Lorna Casselton, Foreign Secretary 2006 - 2011

Lorna Casselton Lorna Casselton, Foreign Secretary 2006 - 2011

All Lorna's friends and colleagues will have been greatly saddened by the news of her death on 13th February. For those of us who worked closely with her, the loss is felt especially deeply.

Yet it is only the happy memories which flood back: Lorna and I convulsed with laughter at our illegible writing as we attempted in 1999 to add our signatures to the Charter Book using the modern equivalent of the quill pen. The gales of laughter emanating from that dark Dickensian space known as the officers room as years later I walked in as the new treasurer to find the Foreign Secretary being mercilessly teased by the then SecB. Lorna's own gentle teasing in turn of the Government's Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, as she explained to him and the IAP delegates in 2009 that her ancient role was established decades before his!

She probably travelled more than he did as well - few of us these days aspire to a blue plaque in our name, so you can imagine my surprise in the middle of the Borneo jungle at the Danum Valley research centre to find Lorna's name on one (her exploits when trapped high in the forest canopy when her harness jammed in the vicinity of a wasp's nest are still talked about). She made good, lifelong friends literally all over the world and was an outstanding ambassador for both the Royal Society and the UK.

We will all sorely miss her humour, her gentle charm and her humility - our hearts go out to Bill, her husband, at this sad time.

Peter Williams

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