REG Wild throughout his life devoted himself to fulfilling the dictum of the Prince of Wales, that young people need something to belong to and feel part of.
In every community it is the athletic track which provides the biggest single focus of worthwhile activity and the highest point in his life was the endless but successful negotiation to construct a modern track for Hastings, at no small cost to himself.
He said to me ruefully, ‘At all these meetings, officials are paid good salaries to take part, but as a self-employed businessman I am out of pocket each time I attend’. Regardless, he pressed on to success.
As chairman and then president of Hastings AC he had the superb skill of persuading and encouraging others to work for the good of all.
Voluntary organisations are not run by a CEO who gives orders. They only thrive through co-operation and consensus, and they suffer when valuable officials move away - something the powers that be seem to forget.
Reg was always there with a charismatic personality which secured the help of all.
It must have clouded his final days to learn that the latest council document says that there is no provision to fund the £300,000 needed soon to resurface the track.
It is not only the Prince of Wales but also the whole community which will be dismayed if the track becomes unusable.
The best remembrance for Reg Wild will be quick agreement between borough and county to provide for the necessary resurfacing.
As a headmaster I knew Reg as the invaluable parent of a pupil and, years later, the news of his death leaves me very sad.