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Notice of recent deaths

 

 

The GS committee is sad to announce the following deaths earlier this year:

 

John Graham

 

On 18 May, founder member member John Graham at the age of 77.  John was a source of much help and advice in the early days of the society, earning himself the fond nickname 'éminence grise'.  Those who knew him will remember what a kind, gentle, courteous man he was, always eager to promote understanding and harmony.  A member of numerous linguistic organisations, he was able to use his many valuable contacts to help the GS organise the first events and obtain speakers.  Moreover, it was John who was instrumental in establishing the long-standing and popular Anglophoner Tag.  He also initiated our first cooperation with the BDÜ, again providing useful contacts.                                                                                                                                             Sally Lamm

 

*****

 

            In 1987 a number of IoL members living in Germany felt we were "not getting our money’s worth" for the subscription, and that we should form a "West German Regional Society".  John Graham mentored us through the process of registering as an "eingetragener Verein" and setting up the society with a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and treasurer.  I was chairman from 1988 to 1990, when we took part in Expolingua in Frankfurt, held a variety of interesting events all over Germany including Duisburg, Kassel, Cologne, Worms and Munich, and even ventured over the border to Strasbourg for a joint meeting with the French Regional Society.  John would often remind us that we must learn to walk before we started to run, and he was always there, a quiet but wise voice in the background, giving advice when requested.  His encouragement and support was greatly appreciated and he will be missed.                      

                                                                                   Janet Berridge, Chairman 1988-1990

 

*****

 

I came to know John D. Graham in early 1989 after I had joined the German (Regional) Society of the Institute of Linguists and attended my first meeting of the society, in Düsseldorf.  We soon engaged in conversation on language and translation and little did I know that less than three years later he would become my boss at the Translation Department of Mannesmann Demag in Duisburg.  John was looking for a new translator and interpreter there, and I was glad to become a permanent employee after many years of working as a freelancer.  He helped me to find my feet in the working environment of the plant engineering and metallurgical sector of the steel industry and to develop my specialist knowledge of the language and technology in that field.  An excellent mentor.

 

Besides being the "éminence grise" of the IoL German Society, John was inexhaustibly active in many more organisations.  Of these I shall just mention his invaluable services to the BDÜ (Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators) and his pioneering role in setting up the Anglophoner Tag, an annual conference of German and English-speaking professional linguists.  The very first AT had only just started when John had to rush off to a BDÜ crisis meeting.  The German Society members present "held the fort" for him, for which John was immensely grateful.  This made it even more enjoyable to collaborate with him in the many linguistic seminars and conferences that followed.  Failing health unfortunately caused him to withdraw from all his activities in his final years, yet we need someone like John even more nowadays, to uphold the spirit of cooperation in a Europe beset by Brexit and isolationism.              

                                Mike Harrington, Vice-Chairman 1991-2003, Chairman 2003-2012

 

 ********

Alf English 

 

            On 3 July, former newsletter editor Alf English, aged 79, after a long period of recurrent illness.  Alf kindly edited the GS newsletter from 2001 until 2007, overlapping with Heidi's term in office as GS chair.  He was moreover instrumental in bringing our newsletter into the modern technological age, thus greatly improving its quality and appearance.

 

With Heidi, Alf attended a great number of our events over the years and was a welcome addition to the GS circle.  A number of us enjoyed Heidi and Alf's generous hospitality at several delightful pre-Christmas gatherings at their home in the Hunrück, often in the company of Alf's lively border collie.  The last event Alf attended was this year's AGM in Mainz.  People will remember his wit and his great kindness.  I always enjoyed hearing his stories about his childhood in the Fens and his time working in Nigeria, told in that soft and gentle voice.  Our sympathies to Heidi at this sad and difficult time.

                                                                                                                      Sally Lamm