Oct 27 2021

In memoriam: announcing the death of Companions James Dearden & Patrick Harding

October 27th 2021

A message from the Master of the Guild, Rachel Dickinson

Jim Dearden (2).jpeg

James S Dearden

Patrick Harding.jpg

Patrick Harding (image via Sheffield Telegraph)

Dear Fellow Companions,

As I sit to write this morning, I hear Shakespeare’s words: ‘One woe doth tread upon another’s heels, so fast they follow.’  I want to share with you news I have received this week, that two of our number recently have passed away.

Sheffield-based Companion Patrick Harding sadly died in September.  While I did not know him well, I remember him passionately talking about mushrooms.  I had hoped to one day join him on a walk around Ruskin Land to see what fungi we would find together. I encourage you to look at these web pages in tribute to him and his exuberant love of fungi and skill as a communicator and teacher, and you can read an obituary here.

We have also lost a former Master of the Guild, renowned Ruskin scholar and keeper of the flame, Jim Dearden. He died on Saturday past. In August, the North American Ruskin Society hosted a wonderful event in honour of his 90th Birthday.  This celebration of his impact on individuals and the Ruskin world was recorded, and I encourage you to watch this, below. His grand-daughter Caroline wrote to me about this occasion: 'We were so glad Grandpa was able to watch the zoom event...I know he was touched to hear how much he had helped and inspired you all. I don't think he'd previously been aware how much of an effect he'd had, and on how many.'
It is early days, and there will be further tributes to be paid in due course. In the meantime, I ask you to join me in expressing our sympathy to their families and loved ones, and in remembering and celebrating their lives.
With a heavy heart,

Dr Rachel Dickinson
Master of the Guild