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Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 12:00AM

The grinning shadow that sat at the feast: In commemoration of Hector Munro, 'Saki'

Professor Tim Connell

Hector Munro was a journalist better known for his satire and biting wit, written under the pen name Saki. He foresaw the outbreak of war and wrote about it in 1913 with When William Came. Although over-age, he volunteered for service at the outbreak of war with the Royal Fusiliers (a City regiment) and died on the Somme. But why did he refuse a commission, why did he not join the Intelligence battalion to stay out of the trenches - and why did he choose the pen-name Saki? A 100-year literary mystery is about to be solved.

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An honorary life fellow of Gresham College, Professor Tim Connell is an Emeritus Foundation professor at City, University of London, where he set up a full range of language activities over a period of nineteen years. He was a longstanding member of Senate and also chaired the Joint Negotiating Committee between management and unions. He is a graduate of Oxford, Liverpool and London universities, and has studied in Spain and Mexico. He also holds the degree of Doctor of Letters from City, University of London.

His particular interest is in the field of professional training for translators and interpreters, where he works closely with the Chartered Institute of Linguists, of which he has recently been appointed an Honorary Life Fellow in recognition of his seventeen years as Vice-President and eleven years as Chair of the Educational Trust over a thirty-year period of service. Tim is a regular contributor to the professional journal The Linguist and is also a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Languages Group, which he addresses with some regularity. He is a Visiting Professor at Richmond International University, developing links with links with China in particular.

International education is another area of key concern. Tim is deputy chair of the international course board for ESCP, (the French grande école based in Paris) which also covers London, Berlin, Madrid and Turin. He has had professional links with Latin America for many years, which has provided ample material for his classes on cultural communication and awareness.

He writes and broadcasts regularly on a wide range of themes relating to London, languages in the modern world and diverse cultural topics. In the past three years he has published chapters on livery companies in the City of London; Languages and Brexit;  and he was the lead writer in 2018 for Get Smart About Scandals, a report on past lessons for future finance. He has also revised the history of Canning House, home to the Luso-Hispanic Brazilian Society, with which he has had an association for nearly forty years. 

Tim has developed particular links in the Square Mile as a Freeman of the City of London and sits on the Court of the Stationers' Company where he Chair of Public Access Committee, which supports the Hall charity.

As a Fellow of Gresham College he sits on the Academic Board and has organised cycles of lectures in the Mondays at One series for 24 years, looking at topics of mainly current interest and speaks on a variety of subjects himself.  He has devised half-day symposia on a wide range of themes with an invited panel of experts and is currently looking at the development of webinars. Since 2006 he has been Chairman of the Gresham Society, which supports Gresham College.

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14 November 2006

The grinning shadow that sat at the feast: In commemoration of Hector Munro, 'Saki'
Professor Tim Connell

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