Speech given by Tommy Seaward LG, former London Group Secretary, during the handover celebrations at the Cello Factory, 5 Aug 2021
Over the years Susan has engaged me with various projects here at The Cello Factory and by being around and about the place, I have observed her at close hand, sometimes watching Susan work at London Group matters all day long and for many days at a time. Often it would be dealing with stuff that never reached the light of day and most members would be oblivious to knowing much of all the hard work that was actually happening.
As President, Susan has been utterly dedicated to The London Group, throwing all of her energies into the tasks at hand and sometimes agonising over particular issues of any given moment.
In my own opinion, Susan is the epitome of a good leader, particularly with her natural ability to inspire others into action with her enthusiasm for projects and activities. Susan’s fervour and determination and vision have been very infectious amongst the active members of the Group. I believe that many of the exhibitions and programmes of events that have manifested over the past fourteen years would simply not have happened without Susan at the helm, with her outstanding skills of inspirational leadership.
An aspect I particularly admired, was that Susan never dug her heels in. Over the years if Susan saw that the Officers or the Working Committee were not in agreement with her on a direction or a particular decision, she would always acquiesce to the preferred structure and still go on willingly to lead enthusiastically from the chosen tack.
I expect the era of Susan Haire’s presidency will in the future be viewed as a time when The London Group was truly flourishing, full of activities and operating at its very best. The profound generosity of both Susan and her husband, Frank, through providing the superb exhibition space of The Cello Factory and entirely without fees, will doubtless be appreciated to be a key factor in the achievements of The London Group during these times.
So, welcome Amanda Loomes to the role! Amanda and I are only a few months apart in age, (although she looks twenty years younger.) Amanda, we all look forward to supporting you as best as we can as you take The London Group forward with whatever visions you have in store for us all.
Susan, I feel most privileged to have been closely involved during your long presidency. Thank you for all and everything that you have contributed to The London Group, from a personal level of course, but I am certain from all of those who are gathered here today. Susan, many congratulations and thank you for taking the Group forward so very finely and now go on to enjoy your retirement!
Tommy Seaward LG, Aug 5 2021