Gordon Barnett

Paying tribute to dedicated alumni volunteers

Oxford’s 221 alumni groups worldwide depend on the commitment of their volunteers. It is with great sadness that the Alumni Office announces the recent deaths of three such prominent alumni volunteers and thanks them for their service.

Tatiana Gabrielle Lorriman, 1931-2016

Tatiana (St Hugh’s, 1950), studied Russian and Slavonic Studies at Oxford and was a loyal supporter of the Oxford alumni group OUS Ottawa, for many years, also serving as its President.

Born in Paris of Russian German descent, the grandmother-of-three was fluent in several languages and was an avid world traveller, book reader and art lover throughout her life.

After completing her studies at Oxford and a PhD at McGill University in Montreal, she carved out a successful career as a Professor of Russian Literature and Interpreter with the Government of Canada.

Tatiana met her late husband Guy, an avid photographer who died in November 2012, while he was studying Jurisprudence at University College and they were married for 58 years.

She died peacefully at home on 20 August and leaves behind three daughters Natalie, Sophia and Veronica; sons Benedict and John; and grandchildren Amanda, Sophie and Jaspar.

“Tatiana was loyal, involved and a gracious supporter of our branch activities,” said OUS Ottawa Secretary Harry Corrin.

“On a personal level, she was also a witty and entertaining friend and I shall miss her.”

Gordon Barnett, 1944-2016 

Oxford meant the world to Gordon (Univ, 1962) and he maintained close links with the University throughout his life. He met his wife Cynthia, née Hopkins (St Hilda’s, 1962), when he was reading for BA Biochemistry, and he and Cynthia were actively involved in OUS Surrey for nine years starting with a reception and talk at his house on his ancestor, Barney Barnato.  

Fifty years after their links with Oxford began, Gordon (pictured above) and Cynthia returned to the dreaming spires and enjoyed punting during the Alumni Weekend.  

In addition, they took part in other Alumni Office activities, including a visit to MS Fram while she was moored at Portsmouth, a view of the ill-fated 2012 boat race from a Thai restaurant in Putney, and this year’s alumni reception with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, at the Royal Institution in London. 

Gordon’s volunteering for OUS Surrey included organising visits to the Watts Gallery near Guildford to see the fine collection of works by the great Victorian painter George Watts. After serving on the committee for seven years, Gordon became the chairman of OUS Surrey in November 2015.

His widow Cynthia said: ‘It is a great pity that he was unable to fulfil his ambition of organising more events for OUS Surrey. He was always a great supporter of Alumni Office and branch events, not only in Surrey, but also in Hampshire and London.’ 

Gordon, whose photograph accompanies this article, leaves his wife Cynthia, son Damien and grandson Max (son of his late daughter Rachel).

Gordon Martin OBE, 1927-2016

Gordon Martin’s studies at Oxford, where he read BA Modern Languages (Hertford, 1948), were a springboard to a successful career in international journalism. For many years he was the Latin America correspondent for the BBC. Gordon reported from every country in the region - from Bolivia after the execution of Che Guevara to Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

Gordon was elected President of the Oxford and Cambridge Club of Geneva in the early 2000s and remained a valued member of the Committee.

Gordon was made a honorary citizen of Geneva on his eightieth birthday, and last year he celebrated his eighty-eighth birthday at a Club event.

Gregory Timofiejew, President of the Club, says: ‘It is hard to remember a Club event that was not attended by Gordon. Gordon was an excellent dinner companion, always ready to enliven the evening with some amusing anecdote. We shall miss his words of wisdom at our committee meetings, just as we shall miss his company at our future events.’

Gordon leaves his partner Anita and his sister Olive.

Aleksander Domaradzki, 1969-2015

Aleksander Domaradzki, who died at the end of November 2015 at the age of 46, was Treasurer of the Oxbridge Society of Poland from 1996 to 1998 and then Membership Secretary from 2003 until his untimely death. He was also both the Cambridge and Oxford contact for the group.

Aleksander’s parents were Polish wartime exiles and he was born in London in 1969. As a young boy growing up in West London in the Polish émigré community he was involved in the Polish Scouting Movement and in the Ealing’s Polish Catholic parish. He attended Gunnersbury Grammar School in Chiswick, London where he excelled at rugby. He went on to read Natural Sciences at Magdalene College Cambridge, where he often claimed that he owed his place to the fact that the Admissions Tutor needed a good prop for the College Rugby 1st XV.

He graduated in 1990 and qualified as a chartered accountant in London with Ernst and Young. Perfectly bicultural, he was ideally suited to build a career in Poland, which he did with Coopers & Lybrand (later PwC) from 1994, at the time when Poland was undergoing huge economical and political change after 45 years of communism. His childhood shyness had given way to a charismatic and warm personality where his presentation skills allowed him to contribute greatly to client proposals and his motivation skills to the training side, where he was for a time National Training Manager.

He spent four years working for PwC in Australia (1999 - 2003) and while there he combined his talents in a most unusual personal case: he became mentor and motivator to the athlete Robert Korzeniowski, who won two of his four Olympic gold medals in Sydney. That relationship continued after Aleks returned to Poland in 2003, where they worked together on schemes to popularise sport in Poland. Indeed in 2005/2006 Aleks led the PwC team that advised the Polish Government on the successful bid for the co-hosting of the UEFA EURO 2012 football championships. As a director at PwC in Australia he had specialised in logistics and back in Poland Aleks became leader of the firm’s Transport and Logistics Sector for the Central European region and also of the Global Aviation Group. 

In 2007 Aleks moved on to establish a boutique consulting firm in Warsaw, “DGL Polska” with a team of partners specialising in transport, logistics and supply chain optimisation. 

Aleks combined his professional activities with a lifelong interest in sport and a devotion to rugby football, which he played until the age of 33 when an injury forced him into a management role with Warsaw’s “Frogs and Co. Rugby Club” (an expat team).  He was president for a year and was instrumental in founding and coaching Warsaw’s first women’s rugby team – the “Ladies Frogs”.  He was also an avid philatelist where he was a recognised specialist in Poland’s Solidarity Underground Mail 1982 to 1990.

Aleks was larger than life and unforgettable character with a huge heart.  He always welcomed new members in the Society and excelled in the roles that he played. He is survived by his mother and elder brother.

Mary Frances Clare Feaver (née Harvey), 1927-2015 

Clare Feaver, who died at the end of 2015, read History at St Hugh’s College and had a distinguished career as a teacher and Headmistress of St Mary’s Hall, Brighton, from 1981-1988. In 1988 she married the Right Reverend Douglas Feaver, who was Bishop of Peterborough from1972-84. After his death in 1997 she moved to Chichester, where she was a valued member of the OUS West Sussex committee.