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Gillespie, W.H. (1971). Donald W. Winnicott. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 52:227-228.

(1971). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 52:227-228

Donald W. Winnicott

W. H. Gillespie

Many of us here today, who have all too often made the journey to this spot to say a last fare-well to one of our friends and colleagues, will feel a very special anguish at having to part in the end with Donald Winnicott, for he held a unique place in the hearts of all who knew him. I say 'in the end' because the threat of this loss has been with us for many years. We knew that he would never spare himself in the face of the endless demands made upon him, and that he would probably have succumbed much earlier had it not been for the protective and loving care of his devoted wife, Clare. A good example of his disregard for self-preservation occurred in 1965 when, out of a sense of public duty, he took on once again the responsibilities of President of the British Psycho-Analytical Society and went on to serve again the full maximum period of three years, as he had done before, from 1956 to 1959. He, whose health seemed so frail, is the only person since Ernest Jones to have served the Society so long as President, and the Society pays homage now to his sense of devotion. Another instance has been seen in the last years of his life, during which he devoted so much of his failing energies to the splendidly successful campaign for erecting Oscar Nemon's statue of Freud at Swiss Cottage.

Magnificent as were these qualities of courage and devotion to public service, they are only a small part of the Donald Winnicott that we knew and loved; it is far beyond my powers to do justice to the rest, but first let me say that warmth, humanity and sense of humour were prominent among his many delightful qualities and they were apparent both in his public and his private life. In the old-fashioned term, he could be called a man of feeling and of outstanding artistic taste and discrimination as well.

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