John Durham was known to many of you as a regular correspondent from Botton Village and The Camphill Family. We are very saddened to tell you of his passing earlier this year, after an illness diagnosed as cancer just a few weeks before he died. Here, we look back on his life.
‘When I set out on my career with ICI, I never dreamed I would one day give it all up to live in a place like Botton Village. ‘But in 1965, the company moved me to York. It was there I met Celia, and our wedding at Botton Village in 1968 was a turning point in my life…’
So wrote John Durham in a 1988 issue of Botton Village Life. By then, he and Celia with their five children had made the decision to join the Botton community and were houseparents to a large extended family of adults at Martin House.
John ran the sales and marketing of Camphill Products. But he also became involved in Botton’s fundraising from its earliest days, and provided steady leadership for many years.
Everyone who lived, worked with or simply met John on his travels throughout the Camphill network felt the warmth of his spirit, his very human intelligence and his gift for creating good times. ‘He was such a people person’, says Celia. ‘He valued people.’ In turn, so many people valued him.
‘John always spoke about how happy he was when we were in Botton’, says Celia. ‘They were golden years.’
When the time came to step down from running a large household, and take life at a slower pace, John and Celia elected to move ‘down the road’ from Botton to The Croft community in Malton. But he never stopped putting energy into the development and future of Camphill, which he absolutely believed in.