PIMA BULLETIN NO 47 APRIL 2023
Heribert Hinzen, Phuoc Khau, Dorothy Lucardie, Maria Slowey, Shirley Walters
When Chris Duke informed the PIMA ExCo that he wanted to step down as Bulletin editor, it was not taken seriously. He was praised for doing a wonderful job and he was urged to continue. When the item was on the agenda for the second time, we had to sit up and take notice as he stipulated a deadline - the end of 2022. Intense discussions followed, no one person can replace Chris - so we set up the Bulletin Management Committee (BMC). This is the second bulletin published under this new arrangement and is the second in the new web-based format.
The BMC has worked fine so far. It plans forthcoming
issues, oversees the editorial process, and allows for
innovative thinking. The results are obvious in the
latest two Bulletins. The BMC has also led the
transition to an on-line format on the website, while
retaining a PDF version for those who prefer it.
In one of our discussions, we resolved to honor Chris
for his great achievements to bring the Bulletin to
where it is today. But how to do this? We knew of the
many and diverse honors Chris has received from
Honorary Professor, Doctor Honoris Causa in Korea, to induction into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. We decided that we didn't want to do an academic Festschrift, but in the spirit of the PIMA Bulletins, to produce a Chris Duke PIMA Bulletin Special Issue. We looked back at past bulletins to locate this special issue in that history (see - link to article).
We decided that this Chris Duke PIMA Bulletin Special Issue needed to capture Chris’ personal, professional and political orientations. It needed to honor Chris and also be of interest to a broader readership. We wanted to throw the net wide to invite as many contributors from across the globe as possible, and to present it to Chris before he steps down from the ExCo at the next PIMA AGM in May. Could we achieve a variety of forms like letters, poems, texts, photos, video and also reflect the diversity of gender, generation and geography? Inspired by previous bulletins and Chris himself, we decided on three paths – ‘Letters from’, ‘Gardener’s Corner’, and a live ‘Study Circle’. Given that Chris has been an enthusiastic market gardener and ornithologist throughout his life both metaphors appear throughout the Bulletin.
The editorial group had its work cut out. We communicated widely while trying to keep the project a surprise for Chris. Fortunately, people responded enthusiastically and on time - so we have about 35 contributions from a wide range of regions from many parts of Chris’s life, including a moving poem by Budd Hall. Chris and Budd share a long working relationship which hails back to the time when the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) was founded in 1973 – celebrating 50 years in 2023.
Chris’ biography reflects major influences, which affected not only Chris but many adult educators over the last 60 years – from World War 2 through to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We reprint a biographical note which Chris wrote earlier and which starts off with his time as a child close to a camp of German prisoners of war working on a nearby farm, and leads us through his progress up the ladder in University hierarchy to the level of Vice-Chancellor and President and his multiple contributions to building networks and organisations in civil society, including the PASCAL Observatory and its offspring PIMA - dedicated to Promoting, Interrogating and Mobilising Adult Learning & Education.
You will find a link to the Chris Duke Study Circle - six longstanding colleagues and friends from England, Ireland, Scotland, Slovenia and Sweden, together with a next generation scholar from Mexico, gathered to reflect on the impact that Chris had on them. They clearly had fun reminiscing about relationships with Chris over several decades. What a treat to experience their stories about Chris and adult education moments across time.
In the `Letters From` section, friends and colleagues share some of their stories, values and thematic concerns through open letters. There are 15 letters from Ecuador, through Canada, to South Africa, UK, France, Germany, Hungary, Vietnam, India, Australia. Authors were also invited to include one thing Chris does not know about them in their bio. The stories capture relationships with Chris, threads of the history of adult education now and in the past, and some centrally important contemporary political and pedagogical issues. In the `Gardener's Corner` section another 15 people from Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, UK, Canada, Germany also describe their rich relationships with Chris over the years.
Throughout Chris’ life he has been a cultivator, a grower of flowers, fruit, vegetables and people. His love of life in its many forms shines through as you read the many stories and study the photos. He and his wife, Liz, have nurtured and fed many throughout their lives. The legacy that Chris is leaving through the PIMA Bulletins is there for all to savour www.pimanetwork.com - we hope you enjoy this latest contribution to the collection. We also invite you all to contribute to growing the PIMA Bulletin into the future, so it provokes out-of-the box thinking, helps us to remain connected to one another and builds on Chris’ legacy.
We, and the numerous contributors involved from different parts of the globe would, of course, far prefer to present this Special Bulletin to you in person, Chris. Hopefully, the heartfelt tributes will reach across land and ocean. We also hope that readers who may not have had a chance to encounter you, will be encouraged to search out some of your remarkably insightful academic writing beyond the confines of the PIMA Bulletin. This Special Bulletin is a token of what you mean to so many of us.