John Gardner at Home

Memories from Catherine Holmes

Dear John

I feel I was extremely lucky to be at Univ when you were there, and I was very sorry when you moved across to All Souls. Although we were only rarely in the same meetings aside from the GB, whenever we were holed up together to discuss a point of college detail or a student who'd fallen foul of the system in some way, I was always so impressed by the very incisive, and yet light and humorous manner in which you managed to keep the business moving forwards with great economy but also to maximum effect. I am sure that your many colleagues and friends in law and beyond will all be speaking or thinking much the same thing - there are a lot of clever people in Oxford, but very few whose grip on what mattered (and what didn't) was so kind and compassionate, as well as forensic. There are a lot of other memories I could recall in general terms, but I guess one of my favourites was a lunchtime conversation at Univ with Bill Child in which the two of you managed to persuade me (when I had yet to see the film) that 'Frozen' was an example of girl-power! With that final thought in mind, you'll know that we've been working on marking and celebrating 40 Years of Women at Univ. I really appreciated, even very recently, being able to talk through a few of the thoughts which have gone into the planning of this year during the 10 minutes it takes to walk from St Ebbe's to the High.

All best wishes to you and your family,

Catherine (Holmes)