Remembering Malcolm

The UK and Ireland branch of IAML was sorry to hear last month of the death of Malcolm Lewis, Branch President, 1992-1995. Although Malcolm had been ill for some time, his spirit and sense of fun, lasted right to the end. He was much loved by members of the Branch, many of whom have sent memories for inclusion on the blog. Malcolm’s funeral will take place on October 16th, at 2.00 pm at St. Peter’s Church, Nottingham, followed by interment at Tithe Green Woodland Burial site.

Ruth Hellen (former President, IAML (UK & Irl)):

It was always a joy to be with Malcolm, both socially and in meetings. One of the many things which I remember about him in Executive Committee meetings was his ability to act as a mobile filing cabinet. In the days before papers were digitised and accessible by various means, the question was often asked ‘what did we decide last time we discussed this?’ After a quick rummage in his briefcase Malcolm would come up with the very set of minutes which were needed to answer the question.

Julie Crawley (former General Secretary, IAML (UK & Irl)):

I have so many fond memories of Malcolm Lewis, having been General Secretary while he was President in the early 1990s.  Those were the days before email and so at work I had daily phone calls from Malcolm on branch business.  I remember we were both invited for drinks in the House of Commons bar, overlooking the Thames, when we were lobbying MPs over some issue but I can’t remember what now!  I also remember at the IAML conference in Helsinki we were both looking out for Roy Stanley – to discuss possible UK and Ireland allegiances, which of course eventually resulted in IAML(UK & Irl).  That was a matter we spent much time planning and discussing.

I have so many fond memories of his good humour and kindness and amazing diligence, dedicating himself to branch business. 

Malcolm Jones (past President, IAML (UK & Irl)):

Malcolm Lewis, Branch President 1992-5 served on the Executive for many years. Among his achievements were a mastery of the Branch Constituition, which he revised several times, and a Guide to the Interlending of Sets, which contains much useful material and shoud surely be made available again. 

He encouraged co-operation in all its forms; he was a leader in a Group of East Midlands Librarians in the 1970’s, and took part in a printed union catalogue of vocal music sets (edited by Kem Anderson), which was later converted to a data file, much of which survives in Encore. He was secretary to the group who formulated the ISMN, taking part in ther negotiations in Paris, which led to its publication as ISO 2709. The Branch awarded him a special commendation for this work. He “found time” to run a very successful operation from Nottingham until his retirement.

He was always cheerful and good fun to be with. He would happily take a joke: when camping in France on the ways to the ISO negotioations, he went shopping and was asked to get potatoes. He came back complaining that he was only offered apples, having overlooked the essential qualification to “pommes!”

It is now nearly six years since he was diagnosed with cancer, which spread, and led to many treatments. He was initially given a few months; in all this time in regular phone calls and some visits to a favourite pub, he never complained, although he was entirely realistic about his condition, and would talk about it. It is ironic then, that it was not the cancer which killed him, but a bout of pneumonia. Knowing him has been a joy and a strength. We miss him terribly.

Margaret Jones (Blog editor):

Many thanks to all the contributors. I never knew Malcolm, and wish, after reading tributes here and on the list, that I had been able to meet him. It is clear that not only was he admired and respected professionally, he was also much loved. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

Past IAML Presidents 1986-2016: Malcolm Lewis is third from the left.
L-R Malcolm Jones (1986-89), Pam Thompson (1989-92), Malcolm Lewis (1992-95), Roger Taylor (1995-98), Ruth Hellen (1998-2001), Susi Woodhouse (2001-04), Kathryn Adamson (2004-07), Liz Hart (2007-10), Richard Chesser (2010-2013), Peter Baxter (2013-2016)