Local Heroes - Seat Nomination Winners Dennis Arbon MBE

1 September 2020

Our next local hero has a long running history with the Hall For Cornwall, playing a vital role in securing the future of our much loved theatre. HFC would not be complete without his name in it, so having a seat in our brand new auditorium named in his honour is....

DENNIS ARBON MBE

Former trustee of Hall For Cornwall Dennis Arbon was a passionate supporter of the arts and, in particular, of Hall For Cornwall. Initially appointed to the venue's board in the late 1990’s and serving four years as Chair, his strong business and management skills helped secure the future of the fledgling theatre during a period of significant financial difficulties. 

Having successfully obtained funding from the Arts Council and a commitment of support from the local authority, Dennis worked with new Director Tim Brinkman to provide a sustainable future for the theatre and develop a programme which showcased the very best of local talent as well as bringing national and international performers to the HFC stage.

In 2009 he gave Upton Towans, the St Ives beach which he had bought 20 years earlier to protect it from development, to Hall For Cornwall to help raise funds to support the theatre. The beach, which inspired the Virginia Woolf novel To a Lighthouse, was eventually sold at auction for £80,000.

In 2013 Dennis was awarded an MBE for his outstanding services and philanthropy to the arts and the community in Cornwall. Unfortunately he was too ill to travel to London to receive his award and so, fittingly, it was presented to him at a moving ceremony in the Hall For Cornwall building. 

Having stood down as a trustee in 2007, Dennis continued to be a passionate supporter of HFC, accepting the honorary role of President and leaving the theatre a legacy in his will. He died on Sunday September 29th  2013.

"We are very pleased that our father, Dennis Arbon, has been honoured with a seat in the Hall for Cornwall.  He would have been delighted to be recognised as a “Local Hero”.  Although not originally from Cornwall he loved the county from an early age, first working there on a farm before doing his National Service.

On moving to Cornwall our parents took a keen interest in the artistic life around them. Later the opportunity came for our father to use his skills to help guide the re-development of the Hall in Truro.  He supported the need to provide a suitable venue for the audience in the South West to experience National and International performances.

He was always keen to support Cornish talent, especially the young musicians, drama performances and the choir festivals, not only giving them a platform in the Hall but also in venues across the County.

He would have been delighted to see the continued development of the Hall for Cornwall and we wish it every success." Dennis Arbon's Family

We are very pleased to be able to remember and honour Dennis in our brand new auditorium.