Peter at the British Humanist Association

Created by David on 13/09/2016
Peter was chair of the British Humanist Association before me in the late 1960s and was a driving force for optimism and expansion – a Humanist Week of events all round the country, a conference on the Open Society held at the Royal Festival Hall that produced proceedings published as a book by the Rationalist Press Association, and adoption of parliamentary campaigning when we decided (correctly at the time) that we could not regain our lost charity status. For many years after that I did not see him but observed from a distance his inspiring work on public health: even while still on the BHA executive committee he was starting that work, with huge and eloquent enthusiasm for health systems like that in Vermont from which he wanted the NHS to learn. When we began seeing each other again much more recently for annual or thereabouts lunches at a Highgate pub, he was his old self, always in campaigning mood, full of indignation at what I told him of reactionary religious campaigning on what we now call SRSH, his anger at what was happening to the NHS driving him to more and more manifestos and never to despair. I was sad that the last couple of times we planned to meet his health forced him to call it off. Peter was a one-off: the world will be far poorer without him.

- David Pollock (david.pollock@virgin.net - www.thinkingabouthumanism.org)