Sir Ronald Grierson

I have only just heard the sad news of the death of Sir Ronald Grierson, Ronnie as he was always known, although I have only just learned that this was not his original name, but was born Rolf Griessmann in Bamberg and only changed his name after the war with the help of a telephone directory.   He was an active Trustee of the Royal Academy to the end, missing the last meeting only because he went to the wrong building.   A formidable international networker, I never knew if he would be in Sweden, Liechtenstein or Beijing.   I once made the mistake of boasting that I couldn’t meet him because I was was spending the weekend at a conference in Hong Kong.   He mentioned that he was thinking of coming too on his way back from Beijing.   He did.   We travelled back together, the only difference being that he had a specially designated member of staff to escort him on to the aircraft and always had the front seat, on British Airways as in the rest of life.

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