Wednesday 3 November 2010
Higgy (though I don’t know if me or anyone else ever had the temerity to call him absolutely that to his face) is one of my earliest, most enduring and most endearing memories of Reuters.
I never met Aubrey until after my first posting which was also my first posting to Vietnam.
Arriving in London after Vietnam and determined to change my image to one of respectability (it never did work!!!) I was put on Sports Desk I guess to determine if I was really Nuts or just Nuts.
My Mother had polio as a child so I had grown up in a family where a physical disability was not a big deal and taken for granted. Higgy also had a crooked leg (it may even have been polio though I can’t remember now) so I, in a sense, bonded with him and immediately respected him.
His love was Wimbledon, and not just the tennis tournament. The suburb. So in my search for respectability my first flat, because he chose to live there, was also in Wimbledon. A splendid place with a rose garden where non-respectable things went on.
Other people have commented on how Aubrey taught them (and me) the value of accuracy and getting it “right”. How many times did I know I'd got it "Right" and Higgy picked something up.
But more than anything Aubrey also taught this Australian that underneath a white starched shirt and striped tie could be the most irreverent and free of spirits. He was way ahead of his time. ■