LET me add to the excellent pieces about Sydney Litherland last week and mention his involvement with the English-Speaking (ESU) 1066 (Hastings) Branch.
Sydney was ‘catapulted’ into becoming chairman of the local branch of the ESU (a worldwide organistion promoting the use of the English language) in about 1998. Veronica McVey, the founder of the branch (who died last year), took Sydney to an AGM and, on the way, told him she wanted him to be chairman or the branch would have to close. He was duly elected, to his astonishment.
However he took the job on and, under his leadership, a full programme of events was regularly organised.
Sydney delighted in inviting all manner of senior people as speakers: diplomats and ambassadors, Government officials, politicians including Ann Widdecombe, and authors.
He also saw to it that the branch raised money for ‘good causes’. He stood down as chairman after six years, and then continued as honorary secretary until about two years ago. His enthusiastic support for the branch is much missed.