The best Friend
We were very thankful for the sad news about one of the best best guys in the world, whom I had the privilege of calling a close friend a great colleague and one of those whom used the criteria to used that which around each and every criteria which helped, such as a cigarette break at each meeting on a regular basis. I do hope that his work and documents will live on and overcome the rubbish that is still being associated with the EU and its criteria. Let us propose a toast to one of the finest gentleman whom I have had the privileged to meet. Of course be sure and make it an Irish that is his to his likening?
Arthur Verney and his time with DPI.
I first met Arthur during the mid 1980s when I was attending HELIOS meetings in Brussels representing Disabled People's International and Arthur was working for the European Union of the Deaf. in 1990 he offered to help me put in a funding application for money to enable DPI/Europe to set up an office etc. Eventually this was successful - entirely because of Arthur - and in 1992 he was appointed the Regional Officer for DPI/Europe working from Disability Awareness in Action's offices in London. Arthur was the most inspiring person to work with - he would have marvellous ideas of what we could do for projects to raise the profile of disability rights in Europe - his vision was magnificent. And he was meticulous in carrying them out. With Julie Marchbank as his assistant, he really put DPI Europe on the map - starting off with the Disabled People's Parliament in Brussels - where 400 disabled people took the place of the MEPs and told them and the Commission what the reality was for us all. As well as the usual 12 language translators we had 17 sign language interpreters! He organised workshops all over europe on Human Rights, Bioethics, Independent Living and Access. He organised conferences, reports and opened a charity shop - and was politically astute. He was indefatigable but hated the limelight. It was a great tragedy in 2002 for DPI when Arthur was no longer able to work through ill-health.
Rachel Hurst October 2013