Champion of Adult Learning

It is with great sadness that the ECA has learnt of the death of former ECA Trustee Lynda Walker. Lynda’s relationship with the ECA began when she was a student representative for Lancaster Adult College where she was a student governor. She then became secretary to the ECA North Region Committee and from there sat on the National Executive Committee (NEC). She was already in her 70’s when she joined the NEC and had later said “I’m going for the ton!” determined to keep active and engaged in her later years. Lynda was awarded ‘Life Membership’ of the ECA as recognition of the vital work she carried out for the Association and of which she said “I’m more pleased to have my Honorary Life Membership than if I’d been awarded the MBE”. Many Association colleagues have paid tribute to Lynda, who died at the end of April 2012 aged 90 and is well remembered for her passion for and championing of adult learning.

Former NEC member, Peter Boshier, who served on the Board with Lynda recalled her with affection as “someone who was a champion of adult learning and who spoke enthusiastically about her own learning. The commitment of learners such as Lynda to adult education as we know it was a strength that is too rapidly diminishing”. This sentiment was echoed by formed ECA President Howard Gilbert, who added that she was “A fine, courageous lady” whose membership and contribution should be added to the ECA archives.

North Region committee members past and present have also praised Lynda and her work. Colin Harding, who served with Lynda, remembers her as enthusiastic and “determined to keep the North Region alive and kicking”. Current North Region Representative Walt Crowson said “Lynda was an incredible person who seemed to have limitless energies in her pursuit of the advancement of adult learning and this combined with her own religious convictions seemed to enable her to reach a potential that many of us could only ever aspire to. She must have spent days of her life travelling across the country using all forms of public transport to rally support and offer encouragement to all of us working and volunteering in the adult learning sector. Lynda could hold her own with people from all works of life, from ordinary people to the most acclaimed of academics and certainly taught me that passion and belief can give you real confidence in reaching your own potential. It was a privilege to have known her and to have spent as much time as I did in her company - I often think about her and she will be sadly missed by all of us”.

Current ECA Chair & CEO Bernard Godding first met Lynda 14 years ago when he was newly elected as the National Treasurer to the Association. Lynda invited him to visit Manchester to meet the Northern Region Committee and between them they established dialogue and trust, which led to further friendships that became immensely strong and rapidly took the association firmly into Europe. Bernard says of this time “It was the first of a number of highly formative occasions in the region that revealed the breadth of Lynda’s contacts and the great respect in which she was held, including by the then BBC Regional Education Officer”. He added that “Lynda’s understanding of people gave her the insight to nominate our former President, Prof Brian Groombridge, who has continued the work she did in helping shape the association and re-establishing its reputation”.

Lynda was a great friend to Bernard and Naomi Godding and they both thoroughly enjoyed her company at meetings and conferences they attended together and when she welcomed them into her Lancaster home.

Lynda will be missed by those in the Association who worked with her.

Date Added: May 14th 2012