Iain arrived in the Department of Sociology at Essex in October 23rd. He was a mature student researching Crime and Addiction for his Ph.D. During his time in the Sociology Department be became a highly involved and much loved student. His sad death in March 2008 came as a great shock.
Kenny Monrose writes:
Iain Sanderson was the first person who approached and spoke to me on the day I enrolled in the department. I remember it because it was like the first day at school in many ways – emotions and anxieties ran amok for the newness and anticipation of the exciting things to come. He greeted me with a firm handshake but no smile. In time I realized that Iain wasn’t one for smiling, in fact I don’t think I ever recall him smiling, but that didn’t matter. What you did get from him though in abundance was sincerity and real sense of genuineness – a rare trait in academia, but I digress. Iain’s life was a real tapestry from reaching the ‘heights’ of being an international banker, to hawking the Big Issue on the cobbles, Iain had been there and done it, and didn’t gas about it. As well as being ex military, a banker, a poet, writer and advocate of home baking, to me he was a friend and someone whom I believe the students who he taught had bundles of respect for.
Like me at the time, Iain lived in Newham on the site earmarked for demolition to make way for the 2012 London Olympics, and made bare his sentiments regarding what this upheaval would cause to the community he cherished. As a result he acted tirelessly as a representative for the Clays Lane housing co-operative, in order to aid what was an already deprived and abandoned enclave of London.
I still remember our last meaningful conversation in the Guinness trust flats he was forced to move to in Sloane Square Knightsbridge, where he wasn’t at all happy living and considered it soulless and inexpressive. I was crushed visiting Iain in the Charing Cross hospital and finding him unable to speak, however his eyes knew I was there. Over time the pain eased, knowing that he was truly a beautiful soul who gave encouragement to the powerless, and cared about the welfare of others. I hope the previous talk of extracts from his uncompleted PhD thesis to be published can be revisited.
A tree was planted in Iain’s memory in the university grounds in May 2008. A few of the photos taken at the memorial event are included here. The names of those present are given below.
Liz Day nee Carter
Jane Brown (now deceased)