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Arnold Schwartzman OBE RDI FRSA to receive the Honour of Freeman of Margate

Arnold Schwartzman will become an Honorary Freeman of Margate, with the official ceremony due to take place on Friday 29 September at The Margate School, where he is the patron. The title is an honour invested on an individual who is a person of distinction and has rendered eminent service to the town.


"I’m still greatly in shock at the wonderful news which I deem to be more significant to me than all the other accolades that I have been honoured to receive over the years." Arnold Schwartzman OBE RDI FRSA


As patron of The Margate School since 2014, Arnold presented and endorsed the concept to one hundred guests at Turner Contemporary Gallery in 2015 and has continued to support TMS ever since.


Arnold Schwarzman | Patron of The Margate School
Arnold Schwarzman | Patron of The Margate School

At the meeting specially convened for the purpose on 17 July 2023, it was unanimously agreed that Arnold Schwartzman be awarded the title of ‘Honorary Freeman of Margate’.


The Mayor of Margate Cllr Rob Yates stated “Arnold has supported Margate throughout his successful career and has been and remains, an asset to the Town’. The Charter Trustees are pleased to recognise by the granting of this Honorary title, for his service to the Town of Margate.”


“We are absolutely delighted that Arnold Schwartzman is to become an Honorary Freeman of Margate. Arnold is a long standing supporter of The Margate School and we are looking forward to hosting the official presentation event this autumn.” Uwe Derksen, Director, The Margate School


Born in East London in 1936, Arnold Schwartzman moved to Margate after the second World War, when he was 9. His parents ran the Majestic Hotel in Cliftonville. Initially he attended Holy Trinity Primary School, moving on to King Ethelbert School in Birchington-on-Sea in 1947.


Following a part as an extra in "The Weaker Sex", which was partially filmed in Margate, he became the assistant cinema projectionist at the Cameo Cinema, Cliftonville, he later enrolled at the Thanet School of Art and Crafts in Hawley Square, Margate before attending Canterbury College of Art.


After graduating and a period of national service in Germany and South Korea his professional career took off as a graphic designer, in broadcast television, film maker, advertising art director, public speaker and author of art books, taking him first to Manchester and London before arriving in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, where he has since made his home.


Margate has remained very much in his heart and he has maintained strong ties with extended family connections and friends, returning periodically to both his former schools to make presentations about his life and career.


Rob Garratt, Headteacher of Holy Trinity and St John Church of England Primary School said; “As a school in the heart of Margate, we're always delighted to hear about people who have grown up here and forged successful careers for themselves and then continued to support the town.


“We wish Arnold Schwartzman all the best as a Freeman of Margate and would welcome him if he wanted to come and inspire our children and show them his Oscar. Holy Trinity and St John's may not be as Arnold would remember it as the school has moved to a new site in St John’s Road. We'd be happy to show him around and show him the fantastic and creative work that our children are producing.”


"Arnold Schwartzman is a great designer who relishes his Margate youth and enjoys the Catapult of Fate which took him from the Kent coast to the bright lights of Hollywood. No worthier person exists to receive the Freedom of the town he loves so much. And if you look at his drawings, you will laugh and cry. Arnold’s profound humanity continues to delight and enrich". - Miriam Margolyes, OBE


In 2012 he began to develop the concept for the film ‘Margate Paradiso’ and became Patron of the Margate Clock Tower. The following year he conceived, ‘Margate Rock’ on the terrace of the Turner Contemporary with UCA foundation students.


In 2014 Arnold became patron of The Margate School, followed a year later by presenting and endorsing the concept of TMS to one hundred guests at Turner Contemporary, where he also opened an exhibition. In 2018 he created and installed the TS Eliot mural at Margate Station, with the support of the T.S Eliot Foundation and The Margate School. His patronage has continued and he continues to visit, make presentations and to support The Margate School. He is a champion of Margate, with many anecdotes and memories, spreading word of the town around the world during his extensive travels. His support extends around Margate and includes Cliftonville Cultural Space and talks to The Margate Civic Society at the Walpole Bay Hotel, Sands Hotel the Turner Contemporary and many local schools.


In 1982 he was appointed the director of design for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and in 1982 he received an Academy Award, Oscar®, as the producer & director of the Best Documentary Film “Genocide"


2013 The designer of the U.N. Peace Bell Memorial, Seoul, S.Korea.


2023 the designer of “Tango” a divider screen mural for the United States Embassy Buenos Aires, Argentina.


In 2002 he was awarded an OBE and conferred the distinction of Royal Designer in 2006.


Read all about it in The Isle of Thanet News

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