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John & Joan Curnow

Born in Ickenham, west of London, John joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 17, during the Battle of Britain. Within months, he was navigator with an elite bomber crew, flying missions over Europe. In 1943, John's crew was shot down over Reims in occupied France. He was the only survivor. In his attempt to reach neutral Spain, he was imprisoned by Nazi soldiers. Ever resourceful, he made four escapes, only to be recaptured three times. He was rescued in 1945.

In 1946, John became manager of a large tea plantation in North India, where he dealt with international trade, militant trade unions, and invading tigers. While at the plantation, he began to pick up "The Voice of Prophecy" on Radio Ceylon. Through the broadcast and its Bible course, John, "the most blasphemous man on the plantations," according to his colleagues, became a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. On a three-month furlough to England in 1954, John met Joan Gallaher, an RN and midwife from Stanborough Park. Within 13 weeks they were married and on their way back to the tea plantation in India.

In 1958, the Curnow’s returned to England, where John became a literature evangelist, later publishing secretary of the South England Conference. In 1964, they sailed back to India, where John served as publishing secretary for the South India Union; principal and business manager of Lowry Memorial School in Bangalore; and publishing director for the Southern Asia Division. The Curnow’s came to the U.S. in 1979 to work for Christian Record Braille. This scholarship is awarded to returning student missionaries.

John and Joan have a special place in their hearts for missionaries, having served for 15 years in India. They also have a special interest in scholarships. "A tremendous amount of grant and scholarship money came to our four children for grade school through medical school. On missionary salaries, we would never have been able to give our children all the advantages of Christian education without that help. Now we want to help other people's children," they explain in crisp British accents

Students Recipients 

2020-2021-Shania Ramirez Robles, Terrence Simmons

2019-2020 -Leslia Rea

2018-2019 -Josh Ramirez

2016-2017 -Dale Samson Sambeba