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Lionel Walsh - Brilliant mentor

Among other qualities recalled by colleagues, Lionel Walsh was a brilliant mentor. I first met him in 1962 when he was Reuters bureau chief in Geneva. 

London had sent me out as his number two, in the two-man office at the United Nations. It was a busy beat and Lionel could well have protested at being saddled with a raw university recruit with barely a year’s training on the London desk - and no reporting experience. Instead he gave me a warm welcome and set about showing me how to do the job of foreign correspondent.

I remember his patience and generosity in teaching me the tricks of the trade. In the next year I learned how to handle all kinds of reporting assignments, from top-level international conferences to mountain rescue stories. Lionel was a great professional, a terrific teacher and a truly kind man; I owe him a huge debt of gratitude. ■