Peter Ford FRPSL
With sadness, we report that Peter Ford passed away on 27 April 2023 in Spain.
It is impossible to overstate the contribution that Peter made to the British West Indies Study Circle over the last more than 30 years. He was Chairman of the Society for 14 years from 2003 before passing on the baton to Graham Booth in 2017, and in that role oversaw conventions, representation at exhibitions including London 2010, the Diamond Jubilee 2014, and the 2004 Golden Jubilee of the Study Circle and events that took place to celebrate it.
Peter has always gone out of his way to encourage new members for which he will be remembered by many. Over many years, his leadership and drive brought to publication many scholarly books; his enthusiasm for collecting British Guiana was infectious; his editorial demands for perfection were sometimes the bane of dilatory authors. He was the friendly face of the society, the one who encouraged members to research and write, and a person who was well known and greatly respected in the wider philatelic community. He will be hugely missed.
Peter started on the BWISC committee as Public Relations officer in 1991. His tireless efforts over nearly 30 years as Publications Officer from 1997 will be a permanent legacy to subsequent generations of philatelists. From starting out in 1994 producing Victor Toeg's book on Dominica, to embracing more recently the latest 'print on demand' technology for short runs of books that otherwise would never have seen the light of day, Peter produced a series of books and study papers second to none. Currently the list runs to over 40 publications each and every one enhanced the prestige of the Study Circle. Including in that list are those that he either wrote or co-wrote centred on Trinidad and Tobago and also those on the early Perkins Bacon issues. Of particular note historically is his involvement in the updating of the original Marriott book on Trinidad, particularly because of his early family history with that country.
Peter was born in Aylesbury Kent but lived in South Africa and Trinidad with his family, during his early childhood. On leaving education he joined the RAF and travelled the world flying Vulcan and Canberra bombers. He served his country in the Falklands war. Then Peter joined Dan Air and later Monarch Airlines flying around Europe and the world.
In 2002, he and Pat relocated to Spain, where they spent many happy years. A visit to him and his wife Pat at their home there, following his move there in retirement, was always something to look forward to, as were occasions as his guest at the RAF club in Piccadilly, when partaking of a few beers was always near the top of the agenda.
A family man Peter spoke frequently and with great affection about his son Andrew, daughter Antonia (‘Toni’), his wife Pat, and his dogs.Larger than life, forceful and genial, the passing of Peter Ford leaves the BWISC and the wider philatelic world poorer. He will perhaps be best remembered by his fellow collectors for his conviviality and warmth.