It was a significant moment for usæ when one of our long-standing board members Herzl Hamburger stepped down. Herzl dedicated four decades to communal welfare.
He was presented with a plaque honouring his service to our board of trustees, by the board’s longest-serving member, Leslie Kaye.
Leslie told the AGM:
“Herzl’s contribution to Heathlands Village, and latterly The Fed is incalculable. His strength of character, high moral compass, and compassionate nature, allied to his leadership and organisational skills, all added to a great sense of vision, have been an outstanding asset to this organisation for the past 40 years.”
Hertzl’s father Sir Sydney Hamburger had overseen the original 1970’s construction of Heathlands Village (and closing down of the “Old Home” and its satellite premises on Leicester Road). Herzl carried this on from his father by developing the project further, supervising the construction of Eventhall House. This eased the pressure for nursing and residential care – there were 90 people on the waiting list at the time.
Leslie praised Herzl’s wisdom fifteen years later, in recognising the huge potential communal benefits and using his influence in bringing together the heads of the then Fed and the Heathlands Village for top level discussions regarding a proposed merger.
He went on,
“Herzl, your involvement with this organisation has been an important factor in its development into the present first class facility which we now enjoy, and which provides a wide spectrum of care for the entire community.”
Herzl explained how his late father had asked him about what he was going to do in the community. Hes said that he’d like to join the Blind Society…but he was told “you’ll join Heathlands” and you didn’t argue with my father! ”
And thus began his 40 year involvement with us, serving in every executive office on the board of what was the former Heathlands Village and subsequently, following merger with The Fed in 2009, the board of the combined organisation.
Herzl described how the greatest influence on his life was being a member, for many years, of the Welfare Committee, gaining an understanding of the problems of running a home and of old age.
“It was in my opinion a fantastic classroom for introduction to older people.”
He spoke of the great pleasure of “working with wonderful sincere people” from whom he had learnt so much and named the late Monty Dobkin, Joe Zatman, Morris Gradell, Leon Eventhall and Joy Cainer, also including in his list, Leslie Kaye, Simon Jenkins and Rodney Berkley. æHe acknowledged the support and advice of his wife Rosemary, a former Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Welfare Committee and longstanding volunteer.
“It was and it still is a fantastic organisation……but now is the time as they say ïto pass on the baton’…..to let others with new visions, different ideas, skill sets and capabilities play their role in this wonderful organisation.”