The SEA is extremely sad to report that one of its longstanding National Executive members, Nicholas Russell, died suddenly on 17th August 2014.
Former SEA General Secretary, Martin Dore posted a short tribute on the Facebook group page set up in memory of Nicholas: ‘In addition to all his other commitments, Nicholas was also a longstanding NEC member of the Socialist Educational Association. He worked particularly closely with me recently, in preparing and campaigning for a series of policy amendments to the LP consultation documents which addressed our key educational priorities, including a powerful Equalities agenda. He had a fantastic eye for detail and certainly knew his way around the abstruse procedures at the recent NPF in Milton Keynes. He helped us achieve far more than we would otherwise have done so without his expertise. He was a fantastic campaigner but more importantly, he was absolutely charming company. He will be sorely missed by us as well as by everyone else. Martin Dore – General Secretary SEA, 2008-14′.
Julie Hilling MP a close associate of Nicholas for many years also posted a tribute: ‘I’ve known Nicholas for some years since he came on to the SEA Executive. I’m so terribly sorry to hear of his untimely death – a dreadful shock. Nicholas has been a great campaigner, particularly on disability issues. He took his commitments extremely seriously and was dogged in his determination to ensure SEA policy reflected the needs of disabled learners. I was also shocked to learn that he was Earl Russell. In all the years I have known him he has never used that fact to gain advantage. A thoroughly good person who will be missed by many. My condolences to Georgina, his family and all his many friends. Julie Hilling – MP for Bolton West and Vice-President of the Socialist Educational Association.’ The funeral of Nicholas Russell takes place at 3.15pm on Thursday 4th September at the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium.
I didn’t know Nicholas very well but I was always impressed by his commitment, attention to detail and hard work. I had a few email exchanges with him about the recent NPF meeting in which he was very helpful. I am sure he will be greatly missed.
I attended a very moving funeral today in honour of a modest man with true integrity. He will be much missed.