Monday, 5 May 2008
Just over a week ago I got the very sad news that John Padley, Registrar of the University from 1982 to 1998 had died suddenly, and on Friday I went to his funeral. It was a very moving occasion, with many people there from Sheffield, and two beautiful and emotional readings from his daughters.
John is the reason I am where I am, and doing what I do now. He gave me my first job in 1983 when he appointed me to an administrative assistant post, and I didn't even know what the administration did. He encouraged me to move jobs several times - I didn't stay in any more than 2 years - to build up my experience in different areas. He had the confidence in me to appoint me to a senior post in the Faculty of Medicine, and then to help me form the current department and appoint me to this job. He delighted in developing staff, and made a habit of appointing young people who he knew had the skills, even if they didn't have the experience. He was a real mover and shaker, and completely changed the image of the University. He was also incredibly bright - a quick skim of a paper I'd spent days writing, and he understood the key points and knew what needed to be done. He was inspirational to me, and the reason I stayed in University Admin, and in Sheffield, for so long.
He was a good friend as well as a work colleague - I remember him and his wife Meg being the first to arrive at my house with a bunch of flowers and a bottle of champagne after the birth of both my children. I am stunned and saddened by his untimely death - he retired ten years ago, and should have spent many more years with his family and grandchildren.