Tribute: Donald Sinden

At the beginning of the committee meeting on 18 September chairman Michael Gaunt invited Richard Foulkes to say a few words about Donald Sinden who had died the previous week.

Richard recalled his pleasure at conferring Honorary Life Membership on Donald at a joint STR / Irving Society dinner in November 2012 when Donald had recently entered his 90th year.

Richard explained that he had first met Donald c1967 and had remained in touch over the intervening years.
Donald was a man of diverse interests and many accomplishments. In ‘Who’s Who’ he listed serendipity amongst his recreations, but undoubtedly pre-eminent was Theatre History. Donald had amassed a huge collection of theatricalia (paintings, costumes, weaponry and so on) at his Kent home examples of which he would display at meetings such as the Irving Society AGM, but he was also the prime mover in the founding of the British Theatre Association (housed at Leighton House) which became (part of) the Theatre Museum.

Richard observed that obituaries had paid no attention to this aspect of Donald, which made it all the more important that the STR had conferred Honorary Life Membership on him alongside the other honours he had received : FRSA, Freeman City of London, CBE and knighthood and honorary degrees from two universities members of whose staff were actively involved in the STR: Leicester and Kent.
The pity was that the span of his Life Membership had been so short.

There is a fuller obituary on the University of Leicester’s website

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