To: Mrs Margaret Lochrie 

Dear Margaret,

It is with sadness that we convey to you our condolences at the passing of your
husband, Robert. Our deepest sympathies to you and your family.
I first met Robert in 1996, when I was a newly elected representative to the IFWEA
Executive committee. At the time he was a Vice President of IFWEA, and General
Secretary of the WEA England and Scotland. New to international work, I struck up a
firm friendship with Robert in those early years of my service to IFWEA. I appreciated
his kindness, his sharp intellect and his even sharper tongue. Most of all, I admired
and was inspired by his dedication to worker education, his conviction and
articulation of the intrinsic value of lifelong learning for its own sake as well as for the
benefit of society as a whole.
We met shortly after he had successfully steered the WEA out of a resource crisis,
obtaining central funds which allowed local branch WEA activities to continue, and
increasing the international profile and solidarity activities of the WEA. Robert’s role
on the IFWEA executive committee was invaluable, not only on a policy level, but on
the moral and resource support the WEA provided under his direction, keeping the
IFWEA going during the difficult years when the execution of the neo-liberal agenda
was at its height and resources for international worker education was diminishing
Although we lost contact with him after his troubled exit from the WEA, he will always
remain one of the champions of the IFWEA global knowledge community. Those of
us on the IFWEA executive committee never doubted his commitment to the highest
ethics of worker education and solidarity. We remember him fondly and mourn his
passing with you.

In solidarity,

Sahra Ryklief
IFWEA General Secretary
13 February 2018

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