Page 2 - HGS Suburb News 133 - Winter2018
P. 2

John Hewson 1932-2017                                from his firm but relaxed   welcomed his in-laws, and reached
                                                            approach during our teenage
                                                                                      out to support many individuals
                                                           years. Becoming a grandad was   beyond his immediate family,
                                                            a high point for him. He was   because if he could help, he
                                                           very proud to see Isabel, Ben   would. Dad had a sort of moral
                                                            and Connor come into the   fibre about taking responsibility,
                                                            world and he followed their   and sharing what he had.
                                                            progress with sometimes forensic   In the family we are missing
                                                            interest. Although thankfully he   him for so many things, but John
                                                            never took to Facebook! He was   would want us to remember him
                                                            delighted to meet Elijah, his   with wit, more than sentiment...
                                                            first great-grandchild born in   he was a great fan of Peter Cook
                                                           April 2017.                (some say he even sounded like
                                                              John has been generous to   him) and this quote resonates
                                                            so many of us. He let us be   for me, “I have learned from my
                                                            ourselves and do our own thing,  mistakes and I am sure I can
                                                            but the minute we needed him,  repeat them exactly.”
                                                            he was  right behind us. He             INGER GORDON   Ruta Teteris  1926-2017
      My father John died on 26   in Turkey and well beyond, and   John Hewson’s successor at Fellowship pays tribute  Ruta was born in Ventspils, a   enthusiasm were infectious, and
      November having battled with   loved gathering together his                     advertising world he became   town on the NW coast of Latvia,   therefore, it comes as no surprise
      cancer for 18 months in his   family and friends.     I had known of John Hewson   involved in local voluntary   on 7 September 1926. Her parents   that she was known throughout
                                                            for as long as I have lived in the
      typically  stoic and modest   Dad was very successful at
      fashion, supported at home by   work, joining in 1973 the   Suburb, but more recently I came   work, helping children to learn   were both teachers. Her father   the Suburb as the ‘Rose lady’ and
                                                                                                                                            a very knowledgeable gardener.
                                                                                      to read at the local school, and
                                                                                                                 was the head teacher at Ventspils
      his wife, Wendy, and a team of   innovative advertising agency,   to know him more closely when   joined the Horticultural Society   primary school No.1, and also   Ruta moved to the Suburb in
      devoted carers.            Collett Dickenson and Pearce. He   I succeeded him as Chairman of   and Fellowship. Peter Falk has   founder and head of Ventspils   1981 and lived in Asmuns Place
                                                            Fellowship. He had been a leading
         John was raised on the   was renowned for developing
      Suburb and spent most of his   new ways of working in his   figure in Fellowship having been   told me how they both had a   public library up until the time   up until the end of 2011, when
                                                                                                                 the family was forced to flee
                                                                                      love of dogs and would often
                                                                                                                                            her mobility started to make
      time living there, but in 1940,  field and for mentoring his   Treasurer for many years before   meet in Big or Little Wood,   their homeland in 1944 in fear   life difficult. She spent the last
      when aged 8, he and his family   team members. They repaid him   becoming Chairman, a post he   whilst walking their dogs.  of the advancing Russian forces.   years of her life at The Orchard.
                                                            held until 2015. His was a hard
      moved to Upton Bishop in   with affection and by taking
                                                                                         John was Treasurer whilst
                                                                                                                                              Ruta participated in Suburb
      Herefordshire to escape the bombs   every opportunity to create   act to follow and I was conscious   Eileen Whelan was Chairman. But   Ruta and her family were on the   life in many ways. She was an
                                                                                                                 last fishing boat carrying refugees,
      falling on Brim Hill. After a week   scenarios in which he might   that my actions were very much   when Eileen’s infirmity became   which crossed the Baltic Sea to   allotment holder for many
                                                            prefaced by the thought of how
      or so at Highgate School he   unwittingly entertain them! Dad   John would have responded.   more serious, John found that   the Swedish island of Gotland.   years and served as the secretary
      transferred to a small village   had a wry sense of humour and
      school where one teacher taught   could laugh at himself, which   As I came to know him better   he had to assume the role of   Ruta, her brother and parents   for the Asmuns Place site. She
                                                                                                                                            also helped with the gardening
                                                                                                                 eventually moved to  Lund in
                                                                                      both  Treasurer and  Chairman,
      40 pupils aged 5-14! He was lucky   endeared him to others.  I realised that he was a man of clear   which he found excessive. Their   Southern Sweden, where Ruta’s   at Abbeyfield House and she
      enough to win a scholarship to   After a few years working   will, with resolution, determination   two dogs conferred and by canine   father worked as a librarian at   took part in the Trust’s Suburb
                                                            and  above  all  integrity  and
      Hereford Cathedral School, which   part time for Portland Outdoor
                                                                                      agreement Peter agreed to become
      he attended as a weekly boarder.  Advertising, Dad retired around   sincerity. All the more surprising   Treasurer and John Chairman.   Lund University.   Appraisal. However it was the
                                                                                                                                            Horticultural Society that received
                                                                                                                    Ruta was a promising music
           After  the  war  he  and  his   1990, and he took to the golf   when I realised that he had worked    student in Latvia, but her family’s   the most attention; she worked
                                                            in advertising for over 30 years,  Perhaps I should get a dog!
      sister Anne moved to Wembley,  course and his 1.5 allotments   for these attributes are not   With John’s support and   life as refugees meant that any   on organising the library; served
      and Dad was saved from becoming   with gusto. Like his mother he
      a chartered accountant by the   was a keen gardener and we   commonly associated with that   encouragement, Eileen Whelan’s   further music studies had to be   as membership secretary for many
                                                                                                                 put on hold. Ruta studied Baltic
                                                                                      legacy was used to refurbish
                                                                                                                                            years;  sat  on  the  committee
      call to National Service. He was   were plentiful in beans and   profession!    Fellowship House, and though   philology at Stockholm University,   until  November  last  year;
      proud of his work in the Royal   various vegetables for many   In 2014 John was interviewed
      Army Service Corps (Intelligence   seasons. The balcony of the flat   by Sally Botterill in the form of   ill-health curtailed his role as   and then followed in her father’s   organised a rose festival; won
      no less!) Then based in Sussex,  in Homesfield was resplendent   Desert Island Discs, an occasion   Chairman, he was able to see   footsteps  and  qualified  as  a   the Rose Cup 12 times and the
                                                                                                                                            Banksian medal once.
                                                            many readers will remember.  Fellowship House emerge as the
                                                                                                                 music librarian.
      he met my Norwegian mother,  in petunias.                                       fine building and flourishing   Ruta met her future husband,   Ruta first returned to Latvia
      who was working as an au pair.    John did much for the   Much  of  John’s  early  life  was   enterprise it is today. As you   Karlis Teteris, in 1950 when she   in 1988, when political changes
                                                            revealed, how he had been born
         The young couple married   community on Hampstead
      when both were 20, moved into   Garden Suburb. He was Chair   in the Suburb and after a bomb   enter Fellowship’s garden and the   attended a Latvian song festival   in the region made it easier to
                                                                                                                                            travel  there. Whilst her dream
                                                                                      sun is shining, you can tell the
                                                                                                                 in Leicester, organised by the
      Brunner Close (bought from his   and Treasurer of the Fellowship   had destroyed the Hewson   time of day on the handsome   Latvian refugee community in   of returning to live in Latvia did
      grandmother) and had me two   for many years. During this   home, he had been evacuated   sundial which was given to   England. Ruta and Karlis were   not materialise, she continued
                                                            to Herefordshire. Some of that
      years later. The marriage ended   period he took part in arranging
      in 1958 and in the early 60s   the refurbishment of the Fellow-  rural upbringing may just have   Fellowship by John.   married in Stockholm on 26   to visit Latvia regularly over the
                                                                                                                 December 1957, and moved to
                                                                                                                                            next 20 years. In between
                                                                                         And John Hewson was given
      Dad found himself the man about   ship premises, funded largely   crept into his voice leaving  a   the unique honour by Fellowship   London in January 1958.   meeting her many relatives and
      town again, meeting his mates   by  a legacy,  and  he was very   trace of that soft West Country   to be “Life Time Honorary   Ruta’s husband died in 1975   enjoying Latvia’s cultural life,
                                                            burr that was so attractive.
      Dick, Mike and Alan at Foote   pleased with the improvements.
      Cone and Belding, at which he   He spent much of his spare   John returned to live in the   President” an accolade that   and Ruta was left alone to bring   she acted as an adviser to
                                                                                                                 up her two young children,
                                                                                                                                            libraries in both the capital Riga
                                                                                      always will be his.
      had   followed  his  father’s  time at Fellowship House   Suburb  and  after  leaving  the                 Maris and Jana. She spent her   and her hometown of Ventspils.
      footsteps into advertising.  facilitating  events,  playing                                   JOHN MATHIAS   professional career working as a   She also taught translation, and
         John was a media account   croquet and generally enjoying
      executive who bought air-time   the company there. He also   Joan Beales son, Peter, reflects on his mother’s life in a letter to   librarian in various public and   assisted a number of museums,
                                                                                                                                            universities and schools.
                                                                                                                 school libraries in London,
      and Wendy worked for a TV   served teas and lunches at      our editor, following our obituary in the last issue  before retiring in the late 1980s.   Ruta lived a long and
      station and sold it! They wed in   Abbeyfield, read with children
      1964 at Kensington Registry   at the local primary school, and   Dear Terry,    retired, she was a great user of   Any free time she had was devoted   productive life, and never
      office, and Chris was born in   could always be relied upon as a   Three thoughts have struck me   the H2: for example, until quite   to her family, the Latvian school   regarded  herself  as  old.  In  her
                                                                                                                 in London and various Latvian
                                                                                      close to her move to Worthing
                                                                                                                                            opinion, age was just a number,
                                                            as I’ve been thinking about Joan.
      1966.  In  the  following  years   good neighbour.       First, she – often with Leonie   she would come into the City   charitable organisations.   and  a  person’s  good  heart,
      Dad enjoyed a succession of   Dad was a devoted father   – made  full use  of the theatre   almost every week to have   When she retired, Ruta   actions and interests were far
      misbehaving dogs, took holidays   and Chris and I both benefited
                                                            visits that the HGS Theatre Club   lunch with me and other family   continued  volunteering  for  more significant. For her the
                                                            used to arrange, and I do hope,   members and friends that were   various Latvian organisations in   family,  life-long  learning,  self-
         Hall and Randall Plumbers                          incidentally, that that excellent   Vinos was her favourite haunt,  changes in Latvia she also   development and keeping busy
                                                                                      around. The Cannon Street El
                                                                                                                 the UK, and with the political
                                                                                                                                            were of utmost importance. She
                                                            service has been maintained.
                                                            (Unfortunately not. See page 6   the staff liked her and would   began a new career as a   always tried to encourage those
         Plumbing and Heating Services • Property Maintenance  of our last issue, Ed)   always ensure that she had the   translator and interpreter. She   around  her  to  follow  these
                                                               Second, her fondness for   table that she liked best.  continued  translating  until  ideals, and loved helping other
                                                            the Suburb included extensive   So many fond memories   shortly before her 90th birthday,   people whenever she could. She
                                                            walks on the Heath, often ending   but, if truth be told, she missed   as it was very important for her   had so many varied interests,
                                                            at the Spaniards, particularly when   the Suburb after she left and   to keep her mind active.   and despite her increasing lack
                                                            her beloved Labrador, Max was   would always share with us the   Nevertheless  her  main  of mobility she kept her mind
                                                            still with us; she was pleased to   news that she picked up. I often   interests following retirement   active right up until the very
                                                            be able to do things in return   think  that  if she  hadn’t had   were horticulture and particularly   end of her life.
                                                            for the place that had been her   that accident on the Tube,  growing roses. Her passion and   JANA TETERIS
                                                            home for so long – so was a   which shook her confidence so
                                                            Governor at  Childs  Way for a   much (in spite of the brave face
                                                            time as well as all her RA work.  she put  on it), she might not
         Central Heating, Plumbing Repairs & Advisory Service  Lastly, and when not driving   have decided that it was time to
                                                            her old Honda that she had   move on.
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