G. Green OBE, FCA
It is with great regret that we report the death of Laurence Green on 10 February 2003. He was the last of our founding members and his passing marks the end of an era lasting over 50 years (the first meeting of the Circle having been held in April of 1951). He was born in London in1915 and, in due course of time, attended the Sherborn school in Dorset England. Ultimately he went on to become a Chartered Accountant.
When the war broke out, in 1939 he volunteered for service, (although he would have, according to his son, because of his profession, been exempt from military service). He entered as an enlisted man serving in the Royal Artillery in the defense of London in the Blitz. He went on to become a Commissioned Officer in the Royal Marines and served in many areas of conflict. He was mentioned in dispatches (a singular way of the British to honor meritorious service in a particular action) for action in Sicily. Later he was active in Belgium. In February he met the woman who was in March of that year to become his wife. (Parenthetically, his new bride was immediately packed off to England as the Nazis were threatening to take the Belgian city in which they were located. Laurence’s mother then greeted her new daughter in law who spoke only French and she spoke only English). Following the end of his military service, where he had achieved the rank of Captain, he entered the employ of Brooke Bonds Tea Company rising to the position of deputy Chairman at the time of his retirement. His work took him all over the world, Africa, India, the United States, Australia and elsewhere which led to a man of global, rather than, parochial thought. His interests were legion. He served for over twenty years as a Governor of the Moorfield Hospital for which he received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) from the Queen. He was a keen fisherman and birdwatcher and, so long as his legs permitted was a ‘walker’.
His contributions to the Society were varied and of great value. He was an ardent student and collector of the CONGO BELGE overprints and was extremely knowledgeable in this field. He served as our President in 1981 and 1982. He became our faithful Secretary-Treasurer in 1990 and served for many many years. He assisted Ray Keach in managing auction bids (a most daunting task) and was an erudite contributor to our Bulletin. To mention a few I refer to his 3 part article on Great African Mysteries which appeared in Bulletins 51, 52 and 53 and more recently his study of the Grosse Barbe issues which was of particular interest.
In our time together, at Esher, at Tadworth, traveling together to Belgium, over lunch, at tea and more recently in our telephone conversations, his philatelic knowledge, his great sense of humor and his positive outlook on our world were manifest. His person and his contributions to the Belgian Congo Study Circle will be greatly missed by your writer and by us all. I have extended the condolences of our members to the family.