Memories of Harry Ree

25th September 1998 at 01:00
We would like to thank all those who have contributed to the trust set up following the death of Harry Ree in 1991.

The Harry Ree Trust has now completed the tasks it set itself by allocating Pounds 14,000 in small grants to youth groups and schools. Our criteria emphasised the sharing of arts activities with young people in cities such as Barcelona and Frankfurt, which would not have happened without external financial support. The grants we provided enabled hundreds of young people from disadvantaged communities to travel out of Britain for the first time in their lives.

All those who knew Harry Ree, whether as a head, a professor of education or as an indefatigable promoter of community education, will know how much he would have enjoyed the feedback we received as trustees, showing how the arts, in particular, enable young people to communicate with each other and learn in ways which even the best-managed classroom cannot provide. Their experience marked as citizens of Europe.

Harry Ree argued that Britain was depriving the young of these kinds of opportunities and turning its back dangerously on the Europe of which we are all now all part.

In his view Britain needed to adopt the large-scale exchange scheme for young workers and the unemployed on the model of the Franco-German exchange scheme. While the European Community now funds somewhat similar schemes, we believe there is clearly a place for many more small scale exchanges of the kind our Trust has supported, probably at local level.

Friends and former colleagues of Harry Ree may be able to contribute to his memory in another way. An archive collection of letters, tapes and other material relating to Harry is being compiled and catalogued at the University of London Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL. Anyone who has anything to add to this should contact Jennifer Haynes, senior archivist, at the Institute.

Sir Richard O'Brien Chairperson (and seven trustees) The Harry Ree Memorial Trust 53 Abingdon Villas, London W8

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