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Bob Taylor: Judgement and vision

Jacquie and I were very sad to learn today that dear Bob has died. He meant a great deal to his many friends. We shall all miss him greatly, but we are also relieved that he is suffering no longer.

Bob and I first met at the end of the 1960s, when he joined Reuters in Geneva. He delved immediately and enthusiastically into his new job, covering the Swiss banking and economic scene for Reuters. It was always good for the rest of the Reuters team to have him nearby when we covered economic stories that arose in the UN's Palais des Nations, where we had our office. 

I still treasure the memory of Bob leaning back in his office chair, conducting lively conversation in fluent Schwyzer Dütsch with his banking sources in Zürich and Basel. We worked together in Geneva for a couple of years. He was a hugely stimulating colleague with great integrity. His sound judgement helped to keep us on track and ensured that he always saw the bigger picture even when handling quite detailed topics.

Happily our paths crossed again when I succeeded him in Brussels in 1977. By then he was launching himself into the world of consultancy, where his judgement and vision, and his knowledge of EU affairs must have been invaluable to his clients.

He was always a good friend, good company, with amusing tales of life in Bern: he once tried to forestall his next door neighbours' habit of calling the police if a party at his flat lasted mere minutes beyond the time when local law decreed that parties must end. One evening he invited the neighbours to come and join the fun. They duly came. They duly went home at the legal hour. The police were called and were soon at the door. Bob always had the wit to see the lighter side of life.

Jacquie and I used to look forward to seeing him on our occasional visits to Brussels after I retired in 2000.  

With our deepest sympathies, and our profound thanks to Bob for being such a good friend. ■