In memory of John Paxton

Elizabeth Paterson pays tribute to PEN’s former treasurer

John Paxton, former Editor of ‘The Statesman’s Yearbook for many years and author of several respected reference books, has died (peacefully, at home in Somerset) at the age pf 93.  He played a crucial role as Joint Treasurer of English PEN, with Peter Elstob, when the Secretary, David Carver, died unexpectedly in 1974, leaving PEN with an overdraft of £10,000 at The Midland Bank.  The impression John gave of being “a safe pair of hands” was entirely merited.  He introduced the item State of Play to the agendas of the FinanceCommittee, which lent a soothing aura of cricket on the village green to the chaotic condition of PEN’s finances.  He also entered into the life of International PEN., enjoying the opportunity Congresses gave for meeting delegates from other Centres, who were generally impressed by the appearance he gave of being a typical English Club man.

If you would like to send us your memories of John Paxton to share here please email cat@englishpen.org

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

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