Page 15 - July 2017
P. 15

Whilst it is always a sad duty to write a few personal words on the passing of a colleague, being asked to pen a few words for his obituary, is a great honour for such a well-respected
member of the Company.
My association with Mike goes back to mid- 1970 when I first met him at an interview for an appointment to the Headquarters Fire Prevention Branch of the London Fire Brigade (LFB) as a fire prevention officer. Mike was always approachable, provided inspiration and encouragement to any young individual who demonstrated that they wanted to make a career in the fire prevention branch of the LFB. Mike always found time to listen to an individual’s request and advice, offering his suggestions and help for the individual to follow. This was evident all through Mike’s career up until he retired from the LFB in late September 1989 holding the appointment of Deputy Chief Fire Officer within Brigade Headquarters. For his contribution to the British Fire Service, Mike was awarded the ‘Queens Fire Service Medal’.
Our paths crossed many times during our service, each time we met he still showed that warmth and interest in my career followed by an enquiry on me returning to the LFB! Mikewasatalluprightindividual,wheninuniform he was smart and imposing and looked the part of a Professional Fire Service Officer. Even on retirement he maintained that presence.
On his retirement he joined the Company of Firefighters taking Livery in 2006. He also became a member of the London Fire Brigade Retired Members Association joining 13 Branch – SW Area & Surrey as he lived in Croydon Surrey.
Obituary written by Liveryman Harry Paviour
1932- 2016 LiverymanandArtistAndrewVicari,whocreated portraits for the Saudi Royal Family, has died at
the age of 84.
He began his career as an artist at Neath Grammar School , and went on to study at the Slade School of Fine Art at University College, London (UCL), under the teaching of Lucian Freud.
He was later noticed by the Saudi Royal Family for his work and in 1974, he was appointed as the official painter to the King and Government of Saudi Arabia.
He painted several portraits of the Royal Family in Saudi and in 2001 he sold his collection of 125 paintings of the First Gulf War to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khaled for £17m.
His nephew, Andrew Vaccari, paid tribute to his late uncle. “He will leave a huge hole in our world. But this is also a time for us as a family to reflect on his incredible life,” he said.
“He studied at Neath Grammar School and was the youngest person ever to receive a scholarship at the Slade Art School in London. He was very well known for his work in London in the 50s and 60s.
“He has lived all over the world, including France, Monaco and Saudi Arabia, where he became the official painter to the Saudi Royal Family.
“He changed the entire course of art in the Middle East where he has left a real legacy. There are three museums dedicated to his work.” Mr Vaccari also spoke of his late uncle’s love of his Welsh home. “He was passionate about the place he came from and passionate about being Welsh,” he said.
“He really was the most extraordinary individual I have ever known.”
Obituary written by
Andrew Vaccari (nephew)
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