Friday, 31 October 2014

RIP: Ed Le Quesne

A Man for Whom People Mattered

E QUESNE, Edward Geoffrey (Ed) MBE Passed away peacefully at Palm Springs Nursing Home on Sunday, 19 October, 2014 following a long battle with cancer, devoted and loving husband to Judi, father of Sarah and John and grandfather to Zoe, Lauren and Alex. A man who went through life determined and uncomplaining in the service of others who will live on in the hearts of all he inspired. Grateful thanks to all the caring staff at Palm Springs.

Ed was one of the greatest influences on me both with his support of Oxfam, and when I was around 16, introducing me to “Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered” by E.F. Schumacher which profoundly changed my view of the world.

Later, I become involved in the Amos group which was headed up by Ed, and looked at issues of social justice, taking its motto from the words of prophet Amos – “Let justice flow like water, and righteousness, like an unfailing stream”

Even when the group no longer met, I was still in contact with Ed frequently by email, and the Amos group members remained on his mailing list, and some of my scribblings were good enough for him to forward to the group.

And he was also chairman of Christian Aid, involved with Oxfam (Chairman of the Oxfam Group for about 20 years in Jersey) and Fair Trade, pushing for Jersey to become a Fair Trade island, and educating people into understanding what Fair Trade was, and why it mattered.

He was also integral to the success of the CTJ Housing Trust. CJT stands for "Christians Together in Jersey" and the group was formed being aware of a lack of social rented housing in Jersey. When it was set up, Ed explained that “We borrowed money from the bank and we rent out the properties”, Currently we have 145 houses in the scheme.”

He also was involved it setting up the Le Quesne medical centre based in Kenya, providing medical and other aid supplies to children orphaned as a result of AIDS.

He was awarded an MBE. Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) is awarded by the British Government for significant achievement or outstanding service to the community; actions which set an example for others to follow.

This was certainly the case with Ed Le Quesne, as his life became a beacon shining to inspire others, and even when being treated for prostate cancer, he was still active in promoting good causes. He never gave up.

If I have a passion for social justice and fairness, then it is no small measure due to Ed’s influence on my life. And he touched so many lives. I asked people to tell me about any memories they had of Ed, and I had a number of replies, all showing how much his integrity and desire to do good touched people.

Deputy Sam Mézec commented: “As an Option A supporter, he helped monitor the referendum count at St Saviour's Parish Hall with me last year then gave me a lift down to town afterwards. I'd heard a lot about him but had never met him before. A good honest man who believed in fairness. I'm not a fan of the honours system but I did make sure I congratulated him earlier this year when he received his MBE! He explained how difficult it was knowing he had been awarded it but wasn't allowed to tell anyone. Sad to hear he's died."

Pat Bougeard commented: “ I am so sad to hear of Ed's passing, he was such a lovely man who had a wonderful heart for people in Jersey. Personally he helped me so much with my ministry for Deaf Church and I am privileged my last goodbye service from Georgetown was with him. He will be missed by so many people and I know he is at peace. Thoughts and prayers are with Judy and family. I thank God for him.”

Willy Nieuwburg said: “Now there is a great man. A man of compassion and integrity. I remember seeing him on the Itex walk trail once walking in unsuitable black office shoes. It was at Bouley Bay and was unsteady on his feet on the hill. I asked him if he was ok and he said yes. Kept an eye on him for a while. Then I saw him again near the finish and he said he had wanted to do this just once for the charities. Determination. A hero !”

Roisin Pitman noted: “I was privileged to have been welcomed into his table tennis club last season and played with him on a couple of occasions. He was a good umpire as well. Even when he was ill he still managed to remain cheerful and upbeat. I remember when he came down to the centre just after he had been to the Palace. He was such a humble man that while we were sitting next to each other watching a match he shyly got his MBE out and asked I would like to see it. Ed you dedicated your life to helping others, I trust now that the pain has gone and that you have just beaten St. Peter 3 games to 0. RIP.”

Mark Forskit commented: “Very saddened. I was one of the small band who Ed helped form an Oxfam group while at school. We shared many campaigns and supported many of the same campaign groups aims ever since. More of Ed's calibre, conscience and commitment would make our world a better place.”

LE QUESNE, Edward Geoffrey The Committee and Members of the Jersey Fairtrade Island Group mourn the loss of an inspirational and passionate supporter of many charitable causes in Jersey and especially overseas. His dedication, commitment and leadership helped to change the lives of many poor and disadvantaged people in the world.

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