|21 Jun 2022|
Brian, born in Buckinghamshire, attended Thorpe House Preparatory School, then on to Tyler’s Wood, a pre-school for The Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe for which he won a scholarship. He boarded at all three. (His parents were divorced and his mother remarried, a lovely man called Frank Green, who gave Brian his love of golf.) Before Cambridge he did 2 years National Service. Between the army and university he joined Swans Tours, and took tourists to Austria and Switzerland. He loved languages and spoke fluent French.
In the Autumn of 1956 he went up to Cambridge to read History. In Sidney Sussex College, he threw himself into University life, and was elected General Secretary of the Junior Common Room; later, he became Chairman of the May Week Ball Committee. A keen squash player, he also played rugby for Sidney Sussex when they were finalists for the Cuppers Cup. He loved Cambridge, and the years that shaped his life.
In October 1959 he was offered a job with Shell International. In January 1960, his first posting was to Uganda as Retail Manager, living in Imbale. In 1962 he was transferred to Tanganyika as Sales Manager. He met his future wife there, Jackie Fewins, who was working in the British High Commission. That following December they climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, reaching the summit on Christmas Day, a white Christmas in Africa the goal. After marriage in England they lived in British Guiana ( now Guyana), Ethiopia, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Holland. After Puerto Rico, Brian worked in the London office taking charge of Francophone West Africa including three months as General Manager in Gabon. In Uruguay he went out as General Manager, and in Holland as Head of Management Training. By then they had two daughters, Rebecca and Geraldine.
He retired from Shell when he was only 56, enrolling at Guildford University for a year’s diploma course in Russian, with three months in Moscow. He also loved gardening, and every spare moment he had he would be in the garden making it yearly more beautiful. He and Jackie did some long distance travelling - to Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Malaysia, Pakistan and India. He then took up long distance walking and together they walked in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Spain, France and the Canaries. He cycled the Pilgrim Way across Spain.
Brian was interested in everything, and especially other people. He treated everyone with whom he had contact as equals and never lost sight of the value and true worth of the individual. Despite his intellect and breadth of interests, he always retained the common touch, putting people before anything else. He was at heart a family man, and adored his two daughters and his six grandchildren. He had a wonderful sense of humour and never said an unpleasant word about anyone. He always looked for the good in people. A lover of poetry, his favourite poem was “If” by Rudyard Kipling which he knew by heart.
Alan Yeates, Head of Modern Foreign Languages and German More...