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François Duriaud: An appreciation

François was everything one could wish for in a colleague and friend in difficult times and we had many in the Reuters of our time.

If we needed a rock, François was that rock. If we needed a tree to lean against, François was that tree. If I needed a wise and calm opinion, François was the person to give it. He never failed. He was there for his colleagues and for his staff. I never saw him angry, annoyed or flustered. However serious the moment he would look me in the eye with that calm gaze, his head turned ever so slightly, a quiet intake of breath, and a good humoured look deep in his eyes that seemed to convey “too much ado about nothing, isn’t it?” though he never said so.

He never demanded but he unfailingly won the respect and the fondness of everyone with whom he had contact.

He taught us a lot.

I am learning from him still, and in that way he will live on with me for as long as I live. ■