Thursday, 16 December 2010

Keith Faulkner RIP

Keith Faulkner – TUC Conference Organiser

First met Keith at the Congress House many years ago; Keith was a big guy, 6’ 3”, or there abouts; rangy with long greyish hair, often worn in a ponytail, Keith could be seen in and around the building, usually when events were occurring.

Keith was responsible for the TUC Conference set-up and a whole load of other events that were held at the TUC or by the TUC. Though a big guy, Keith went about his business in a quiet manner, always ready to give assistance or lend a hand if and where needed.

Before I began bringing my own seating to conferences set up by Keith, he’d spot me coming into the conference hall or arena and be at hand to show me where my ‘special’ chair was; if it needed to be changed or moved, he was the man who’d sort it out, no fuss or bother.

Many is the time that I’ve eyed up a ramp in readiness to assault the thing, only for Keith to say “Ok Seán, I’ve got you mate,” and the ramp was taken care of in a flash, saving my poor old arms and shoulders.

Some years ago, when new to the conference scene, I needed to speak to someone about access issues at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens. After a few phone calls I ended up speaking to the person who set up the TUC conference, Keith, and we spent almost an hour discussing the different access issues thrown up by various venues across the country. Alas, on that occasion were unable to marry-up the perfect venue with the best accommodation; while one conference venue was great, the town was short of decent and plentiful reasonably priced accommodation.

On that occasion we agreed to keep in touch with one and other; and, if I had any concerns with venues booked by the TUC I had only to give Keith a bell and we’d discuss things.

Keith was a gentle man always willing to lend a hand and smile; and, he’ll be sorely missed by all those who knew him, both professionally and personally.

Keith Faulkner RIP

By Seán McGovern

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