Lionel Walsh • My Life and Times

20 March 2010

“A good laugh is sunshine in the house.” 

Mohsin Ali, OBE

 

< Chapter 18 <

Naturally, first, Dolores and I wish our dearest friend a joyful 80th birthday and many happy returns of it. 

To me Lionel has always been a selfless leader, objective journalist and dear friend and colleague. 

Lionel was dedicated to our unique Reuters news agency and the BBC and to all with whom he served. We had the luck and privilege of together reporting for Reuters on many international summits and, foreign, defence and finance minsters meetings. I learned much from his versatility and skill. As Reuters chief correspondent in Bonn and Paris he proved equal to any task and challenge. Lionel never took no for an answer and searched for a way to make even the smallest good idea possible.

He is not only one of the finest journalists of his generation but also a loving husband, devoted father and loyal brother to our distinguished British General and Chief Scout Michael Walsh. Lionel praised the accomplishment of his children and cherished his devoted wife Veronica. They made him the remarkable man he is. 

Lionel has a warm and lively personality, the kind of person you immediately warm up to at the very first meeting. One can talk to Lionel, who is also a fine linguist an artist, about so many things from “cabbages to kings”, like music, fine cuisine and good wine.

By daily example he taught me the importance of the Sanskrit words, Data Dayadhvam, Damyata (Give, Sympathise, Control.) I so admire Lionel as a man of great courage. His family and friends know that he has faced great adversity over the past few years. 

Ernest Hemingway famously said that courage is grace under pressure. Helen Keller observed, "Keep your face toward the sunshine, and you cannot see the shadow." William Makepeace Thackeray said that “a good laugh is sunshine in the house.”  Lionel exemplifies these aphorisms. He continues to find the sunshine in his life and brings it to all who know him.

It is with love and great pleasure that Dolores and I send heartfelt and warmest best wishes across the Atlantic to the unique Lionel. 

 

See extracts of speeches and tributes from Michael Walsh, Michael Reupke, Donald Armour, Randy Holden

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