Robin Hall writes this for the Newsletter on hearing of John's death.
I heard John before I saw him and before I met him. He was sitting behind me in the large group of a Group Relations Conference. When he spoke for the first time, his voice and what he said contained such presence, power and authority that my skin tingled. I dared not look round. I was both afraid of and in awe of a person I was still to meet.
Then, of course, I did meet John and his physical and athletic stature mirrored precisely his spiritual and mental presence.
Some time later John asked to meet me and I saw him in his office at The Rock Foundation. There I experienced another aspect of this man. His humility, concern for others and eagerness to learn did not so much contrast with my first encounter with him but completed the picture of one with both earnest vision and the milk of human kindness.
John asked me if I thought he should apply for membership of the Scottish Institute. I tried to pretend to be giving his question some thought but couldn't. I just blurted out, "Of course you should!"
Having joined the Institute, John wrote to me again asking to join the Organisational Consultancy Project.
John arrived at the next meeting of the Project - dressed of course in his leathers and helmet - and he just captivated us. He listened patiently to our meanderings and then came in with a hard-sell proposal for marketing. That certainly shook us all awake.
Bless you John, wherever you are. You are sorely missed by those of us who had only just begun to get to know you. Bless you also Tricia. On behalf of us all we hope fervently that you are surrounded by love and support, and that you are being sustained in your grief.
John became a member of SIHR in August 2001. I had the pleasure of 'doing the interview'. It really was a pleasure. I recall using the term 'counter-transference" because John's CV didn't include a psychotherapy training and I was feeling my way towards understanding how well he 'knew' psychodynamic stuff. There was just a great big grin and a sudden alive joy as he offered an anecdote of coming to see what counter-transference meant, and then we were off into a live and living exchange. I am very sorry to hear of his death.