John Morrison: a great boss - humorous, hospitable and tolerant
Sunday 3 September 2017
I was very sad to hear of John Morrison's death.
While I was working in Lusaka, Zambia (1987-1989), he was my regional chief based in Harare, Zimbabwe in the latter part of my tour and I could not have asked for a more supportive, kind, knowledgeable and tolerant boss.
He was always ready to let me foray out into neighbouring Angola and Mozambique at a moment's notice, and was a big supporter of direct, on-the-ground reporting. This was still in the days of telex in Africa - I had one in my office-garage in Lusaka - before comms advances and security obsessions changed (improved?) the profession.
He and his wife Penny were incredibly kind to me when I came down to Harare for a bit of "R and R" from Lusaka, which was rather spartan in those days of the Frontline States vs South African apartheid. They plied me with all comforts and even took me to a game park with the family just outside Harare. I remain very grateful for their hospitality.
John, in addition to his huge worldwise experience, also had a warm sense of humour. I still have a wonderful 1990 letter from him, sent to me in Havana after I moved on from Lusaka, in which he informs me that my successor in southern Africa, Vanora Bennett, is "much better looking" than me.
I'll remember him fondly, as I'm sure will many others. ■