The Dickens Fellowship
Message from the President.
The medallion worn by Presidents of the Dickens Fellowship carries an inscription reminding us that it was created as a presentation to B W Matz in 1923 on the 21st anniversary of the Fellowship’s foundation. It carries a miniature portrait of Dickens, painted by Mrs Allan C Rose, wife of one of the members of Council at the time, and painted under the supervision of Dickens’s daughter Kate, Mrs Perugini. In 1971 Matz’s son and daughter presented it back to the Fellowship. The first President to wear it in 1971 was Margaret Lane, Countess of Huntingdon: it has been proudly worn by all of her successors since then.
Through an evocative artefact like this we are enabled to make contact with the founders of our organisation, and with Dickens and his family. In making the presentation to B W Matz in 1923, Frank S Johnson, Chairman of the Executive Committee, spoke of ‘all that Dickens meant for the world’ and ‘the feelings and the hopes and the goodwill of every Dickensian throughout the world’: values we still hold dear, so many years on in the future.
I am very grateful to you all for appointing me as the Fellowship’s 58th President. I look forward to maintaining those important Fellowship values over the next two years and to the continuing good health of the organisation we all cherish.
With every good wish, in Fellowship,