Page 2 - HGS Suburb News 145 - March 2021
P. 2

Arif Hussein 1957-2021                                                        John Mathias 1935 - 2021


                                                            her chair – despite being bitten   hen the universal reaction
                                                            by her two dachshunds.    Wto news of someone’s death
                                                               Every Christmas, for years,   is: ‘he was such a lovely man’,
                                                            Arif delivered a full Christmas   you know that man was someone
                                                            dinner to a close friend’s daughter   very special. John Mathias was
                                                            whose parents were vegetarians,   someone  very  special  and,
                                                            just so she could have her meat   although he had been suffering
                                                            dishes. He wouldn’t sit down to   from ill health for some time, it
                                                            eat with us until he had delivered   came as a shock that Covid-19
                                                            it to her.                ended his life on 11th January.
                                                               In March 2020 when the    A proud Welshman, John was
                                                            first lockdown was announced,   born in Gorseinon, South West
                                                            Arif delivered homemade pakoras   Wales. He studied at University
                                                            to 25 HGS isolating households.   College London and did his
                                                            And again in April, and May.   medical training at University
                                                            Each time the list grew bigger.   College Hospital. His long career
                                                            The May delivery coincided with   as an anaesthetist began at
                                                            Ramadan yet Arif still spent the   UCH, during which time he was
                                                            day cooking and distributing   called up for National Service.
                                                            food to others whilst fasting.   After UCH he moved on via the
                                                               In October 2020 Arif and I   Whittington to St Thomas’s
                                                            sold our beloved Apple  Tree   Hospital, where his career ranged
                                                            Cottage and temporarily rented   from  Senior  House  Officer  to
                                                            a house in Edmunds Walk, N2.   Consultant Anaesthetist. He and
                                                            Within days Arif had made firm   Sonia, a nurse, met over coffee
                                                            friends with our new neighbours,   in the Casualty kitchen at UCH   gave his time, advice and loyalty   as Chair of Fellowship House.
                                                            cooking pakoras for them.   and were married in 1960. They   to help friends and neighbours.  Although it was a no risk step
                                                              Tragically, Arif passed away   lived in Mill Hill before moving   He had a great sense of fun and   for Fellowship, it was a surprising
                                        Arif Hussein, Summer 2019  from Covid-19 in January   to the Suburb in 1994; quickly   will be sadly missed.  and courageous move for John
                                                            before we could choose our new   putting down roots and making    MARJORIE HARRIS  to agree to be inserted at the
           here do you begin? Empathy,  at Pinewood Studios. ‘Kaos’ was
      Wgenerosity, warmth, utter   a combination of the initials of   home together.   many friends. John loved sailing,                    top of an organisation he knew
                                                                                      cricket and travelling and was
                                                                                                                  ohn was a great character with
      devotion to our two children, and   my name, his name and the     KATHRYN WOLFE  an accomplished water-colourist.  J a marvellous sense of humour   little about. Added to that, we
                                                                                                                                            were right in the middle of the
      eternal love as a husband. ‘Can   names of our children, Omar                   He left the gardening to Sonia.  and always at the forefront of   expansion project.
      do’ attitude, popular chef and   and Soraya.          The family have set up a fund-  I first met John when I was   our events and shows – he was   On the Committee he was a
      host, first and last on the dance   Arif wanted to give new   raising site in Arif’s name supporting
                                                                                      out canvassing as a Lib Dem for
      floor, charming smile.     writers a chance and created the   the construction of a series of water   Barnet Council. After knocking   the best roadie when it came to   beacon of calm and gentle
                                                                                                                                            humour. He skilfully kept every-
                                                                                                                 the audio/visual system. He was
         Multi-talented actor, director,  British Short Screenplay Compe-  wells in countries where they are   on his door with no reply, we   a constant source of information   one together especially when
      screen writer/film producer. Elegant,  tition described as “the best and   desperately needed, something which   were moving on when a silver-  and always willing to share his   feelings ran a bit high, at times.
      handsome, a true gentleman. The   the most prestigious screenplay   was close to Arif’s heart.
      witty  raconteur,  unconditional   competition in the world” by   www.gofundme.com/f/the-arif-  haired gentleman with a big   incredible knowledge and   John was never afraid to roll up
                                                                                                                 experience with a huge smile
                                                                                      smile  came  rushing  out  of  his
                                                                                                                                            his sleeves and he managed to
      good deeds for others.     Sir Kenneth Branagh. It was the   hussein-project    house after us saying he had a   and never a negative thought or   master the labyrinthine mysteries
         Arif made people feel special.  only screenplay competition that
      So many have told me that Arif   made the winning screenplay   The full obituary is held in the   particular question that needed   backward glance. We will miss   of the audio visual system with
      was their best friend. He was my   into a 35mm short film, and Arif   HGS Heritage Virtual Museum,   a particular answer if he was to   him terribly and he will be a   the ease of a professional. People
                                                                                      vote for me! We met again
                                                                                                                                            will remember his approach to
                                                                                                                 hard act to follow at our HGS
      best friend, and my husband for   won dozens of international film   visit: hgsra.uk/vm/arifhussein.  when he and Sonia joined the   Horticultural Society events. A   everything – unflustered and
      24 years, by my side for 29 years.  awards for those he produced.               Horticultural  Society,  later  real bloke and irreplaceable.   self-effacing, his inability to
                                    Arif was particularly affected
      His achievements could fill a   by news stories about refugees.  Noah’s Ark
      book, but here is a brief snapshot.                                             becoming joint membership                DAVID BROOME   speak ill of anyone and most of
                                                                                                                                            all, his great sense of humour. A
                                                                                      secretaries. Even after retiring
                                 He researched families who
         Arif  was  born  in  Singapore   suffered a  terrible  fate in  the  Children’s   from  Hort  Soc,  John  helped   was really saddened to hear the   good man who will be much
      but young Arif, his mother and                                                  keep the Hort Soc show on the  I  news of John’s death. I really   missed by all.
      his siblings were caught in border   Mediterranean where out of   Hospice
      fighting  near  their  home-town   500 refugees all but 10 drowned.             road in so many ways.      didn’t  know  very  much  about      ANDREW BOTTERILL
                                                                                                                 John or his earlier professional
                                                                                         John was Chair of Fellowship
      of Lahore and placed in Shalamar   Arif tracked down the survivors              House from 2015-2020. He was   life until we approached him   The full obituary is held in the
      Gardens refugee camp for six   scattered across the world, met   (continued from page 1)  a very practical man, who could   after strong recommendations   HGS Heritage Virtual Museum,
      months in 1965. The family were   with them, and contacted
      reunited with his father in April   Hollywood producers. He wanted   more can still be done to support   fix anything for anyone and freely   from all sides in 2015 to step in   visit: hgsra.uk/vm/johnmathias.
                                                            these children and their carers.
      1969 in the UK when Arif was 11.  to give the survivors a voice. This   The hospice needs funding to
         These early experiences of   resulted in Arif being signed up
      being displaced, fatherless and   as Executive Producer with   complete and fit out a hydro-  Lest We Forget...
      homeless never left Arif, and   Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams   therapy pool for these ill   Holocaust Memorial Day
                                                            children to enjoy in the
      become a crucial part of his   on a joint feature film project to   presence of their families and a
      work in later life.        be produced by Paramount. We   professional staff member. It is
         The expectation at his   hope this film will be his legacy.                      n 27 January 2021 candles   The Prince of Wales is a patron.
      Wolverhampton school was that   In October 1998 we moved   humbling to think that these ill   Owere lit to commemorate   Holocaust Memorial Day takes
                                                            children are often unable to
      pupils would become locksmiths   to the Suburb and spent 23   enjoy the simple pleasure of   the 76th Year of the liberation   place  on  27  January  each  year
      at 16 years. Arif gained academic   happy years in Erskine Hill   child’s bath time as most   of Auschwitz. ‘Be the light in   and is a time to remember the
      qualifications and spent two   bringing up Omar and Soraya.                     the darkness’ was the theme for   millions of people murdered
      years travelling the world. He   Arif  quickly  established  domestic accommodation is   the day which was organised by   during the Holocaust, under
                                                            not geared up to providing this
      attended  Mountview  Theatre   himself as the hospitable and   for a child with acute physical   The Holocaust Memorial Day   Nazi Persecution as well as the   in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia
      School, and in 1984 founded the   helpful neighbour. When our                   Trust of which His Royal Highness   people killed in the genocides   and Darfur. www.hmd.org.uk/.
      Alma Mater Theatre Company   next door neighbour fell over in   needs. We are therefore fund-
      touring UK, Europe and USA for   her house and  was unable to   raising towards the cost of a
                                                            hydrotherapy pool at the
      six years.                 open the door, Arif climbed in   Hospice to allow children,   Aylmer Parade Vet
         In 2001 Arif set up Kaos Films,  through a very small window and                                                            Dr Joshua Rusnak has looked
      a film production company based   carried our neighbour safely to   many physically disabled and                               a er the health of Northwest
                                                            in chronic pain, to enjoy the    modern medicine, traditional values     London’s pets for over twenty
                                                            relieving and liberating benefits
        THE ART                                             that hydrotherapy offers.                                                years. Today, he maintains the
                                                              We are looking for support
        OF INSURANCE.                                       from the Suburb community to                                             same dedication to providing
                                                            help fund the hydrotherapy pool
                                                                                                                                     independent, professional care
                                                            which will cost around £50,000
                                                            to complete and equip.                                                   of the highest standard for
        Do you own a collection or a stand-alone               Every donation made will be                                           your pet.
        piece of art? For an instant quote and cover,       matched by the RA to a maximum
        go to our new online quote and buy facility at:     of £10,000, meaning that at least
        www.loveartinsurance.co.uk                          £20,000 would be raised for the                                          We have our own laboratory in
                                                            charity. Please give generously via                                      the practice, with state of the art
                                                            www.charityextra.com/hgsra.
        Call the Art Team:                                    You can give via credit or                                             equipment on site.  is allows
        020 8353 89022                                      debit card. For those wishing to                                         us to make accurate assessments
                                                            give money by CAF, bank
        General enquiries:                                  transfer or other charitable trust                                       of your pet’s illness, in most
        020 8658 4334                                       funds, please click on the                                               cases without the need to go to
                                                            DONATE  button which will                                                a referral centre. Our modern
        We’ve got you covered.                              offer you the chance of giving
                                                            via ‘Other Donation Methods’                                             X-ray facility and high-level
        Brownhill Insurance Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct   and someone from the Hospice
        Authority, registered number 306131.                                                 17 Aylmer Parade, London, N2 0PE        expertise, means we can carry
                                                            team will ring you back to discuss.
                                                            For those needing help please        www.aylmerparadevet.com             out even specialised techniques
                                                            contact me on 8458 3883 or                 020 3935 8811                 when needed to help diagnosis.
                                                  YEARS     chair@hgsra.uk.
                                                                         EMMA HOWARD
      2                                                                                         SUBURB NEWS IS PRODUCED AND DELIVERED TO YOU BY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION VOLUNTEERS
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