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Legacy stories and tributes

The BUAV is always mindful that our journey towards ending animal testing would not be possible without legacy gifts and we would like to pay tribute to each and every one of our supporters who remember us in this way.

Our legacy givers come from many different walks of life, but all share our vision - a world where nobody wants or believes we need to experiment on animals.

Kathleen Robinson (29th March 1926 – 9th June 2012)

Kathleen loved life and lived life to the full.  She had a happy childhood with loving parents, who did their very best for her.  Her life became complete when she met and fell in love with John.  John was her husband and her very best friend.  They had many shared interests and were always together.  They loved to walk and cycle and dance.  They enjoyed travelling together and had many adventurous holidays here and abroad on their tandem.

Kathleen and John loved wildlife and took great pleasure in nature.  Their concern for the natural world led them to work as volunteers for a number of animal and wildlife conservation charities, as well as offering a safe-haven to many needy cats.  As busy as they were, they still found time to offer a helping hand to friends.

Kathleen and John were regular worshippers at All Saints’ Church, Mackworth and Kathleen continued to attend the church and sing in the choir after John passed away.

Kathleen was a rare soul.  Her kind and gentle nature shone through.  She lived by her belief that everyone should “try to do a bit of good in the world” and she set a fine example to us all.  In her quiet and unassuming way, Kathleen touched many people’s lives and they are all the richer for it.

Kathleen never lost her sense of wonder.  A simple wildflower or the sound of a blackbird’s song gave her great joy.

She really appreciated the gift of life and the gift of her marriage to John.  The memories of their time together brought her great pleasure to the end of her days.

Kathleen will live on in the hearts and memories of those who knew her.

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John-Barry Peters (1st March 1925 – 13th July 2012)

John Barry-Peters was a Liverpudlian whose contribution to life in that famous city will be fondly remembered by many.  From an early age, John was fascinated with science.  At the outset of World War II, he was fortunate enough to find science work at Liverpool University.  This led to his appointment at the age of 17 as a Laboratory Assistant and Demonstrator in the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry at the university.

Whilst working in a subsequent role as a Senior Scientist at the Windscale nuclear power station, John began training to develop his love of teaching, qualifying in 1958. After a short spell teaching science at Liverpool Collegiate School, he accepted a teaching position at Liverpool Bluecoat School in 1960 remaining there until his retirement in 1990.  

John is remembered for his strong persona and his sense of sympathy for the underdog.  He was known to be altruistic and generous, readily offering his time and resources to those he met.  Many of his former pupils achieved a high professional standing and all recall John with fondness and gratitude.

Through numerous visits to Germany, John developed his interest in all things Teutonic, becoming proficient in German, as well as learning to recognise a fine Lowenbrau!

John had high expectations of others, yet was a convivial companion who understood and fought for justice in society.  His love of animals grew over the years and in later life, he became increasingly concerned with the treatment of wild and domestic animals at the hands of humankind.  .  At this time, John’s support for the anti-vivisection cause also developed.

John generously supported many animal protection organisations and causes during his lifetime and always made time to share an affectionate moment with animals that crossed his path.  He had three much-loved cats and is survived by one for whom John has ensured a life of luxury.

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Alec Weeks 2nd February 1927 – 30th April 2011

Alec Weeks was a pioneer in the world of sports coverage at the BBC and is fondly remembered for his maverick, ambitious and progressive approach to television production and directing. 

Mr Weeks joined the BBC as an office junior at the age of 14, becoming an engineer and working on sound effects for many famous shows such as Children’s Hour.  In 1944, he joined the RAF, during which time he discovered a talent for boxing.

Leaving the RAF in 1948, Mr Weeks re-joined the BBC and with his passion for sport, went on to become a producer and director, as well as Executive Producer for Match of the Day between 1965-1984. 

Mr Weeks won many awards for the quality of his productions.  He earnt special acclaim for his coverage of the 1966 World Cup, when England beat West Germany 4-2 in extra time.  The match was watched by over 32 million viewers in the UK, at a time when only 15 million homes had television sets.  62 million viewers watched worldwide, a television audience record.  His coverage for the 1976 FA Cup Final won a BAFTA for best outside broadcast.

After retiring in 1987, Mr Weeks wrote his autobiography, ‘Under Auntie’s Skirts: The Life and Times of a BBC Sports Producer’ (2006), followed by a novel, ‘The Loneliest Place’ (2008), the story of a war-time boxer.

Mr Weeks did not suffer fools lightly and had a reputation for working with military precision, but he took good care of the people around him, providing brandy to camera operators to warm them during the winter. 

He is remembered as a larger-than-life character and will be missed by family, friends and sports fans the world over.  Mr Weeks was a long-standing supporter of the BUAV’s work, although his charitable work was kept close to his heart. 

Over the years, Mr Weeks and his wife adopted many dogs and cats, from bulldogs to a rescued moggy at a local cats’ home.  At one time, the couple had ten Yorkshire Terriers to care for and still maintained a harmonious home! 

Mr Weeks died in April 2011 and is survived by his second wife and a daughter from his first marriage.

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Nancy Bowring - legacy pledger

When did you start supporting the BUAV and what initially drew you to our mission to end animal experiments? 

I began supporting the BUAV about 20 years ago. I first got seriously involved in animal protection after travelling alongside a lorry transporting sheep on the motorway for hours. I was so upset at their distress that when I got home, I immediately contacted my local MP and RSPCA (the only animal protection group I knew about back then!).  One day I watched a BUAV video, showing a baby monkey having a tube forced down their throat by four vivisectionists. The monkey was absolutely terrified and struggled all the way. I had nightmares for weeks afterwards and have been totally committed to ending all vivisection since that day.

In choosing to pledge a legacy gift to the BUAV, you will be extending your support beyond your lifetime.  Ideally, how do you see your contribution helping our work? 

I hope that eventually there will be no need because there will be no vivisection! However, I realise that currently it’s probably naive to think this way. I would like to know that my money is going towards educating future generations about the realities of life for animals in laboratories. I know the BUAV has produced a Schools guide that went to every school in Britain, which I was really impressed with.

Do you wish to be publically recognised for your legacy?

I do not wish for any personal recognition. However, I would love to know that my example will inspire and encourage others to consider legacy giving.

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