The treasurer has gone – long live the treasurer. That is how it goes and should go. So since Walter Lussi has left the Board in September, we have had elections and we elected Kostas Zorpas from the Orthodox Academy of Crete. The work continues and that is good!
At the Annual Conference it was impossible to have a farewell moment with Walter since he was too much in the ‘recovery-mode’ after a heavy car accident in August. So Walter participated also in a part of the Board meeting in Corrymeela at the end of November. There we had the opportunity to meet him again and to thank him for the work he has done for us.
That was a lot! He entered the Board in 2010. From that year on, it became more and more clear that a restructuring of the work was required, especially for financial reasons. In April 2012 the decision was taken that we had to end the labour contract with our former General Secretary, Wolfgang Lenz. After that the restructuring continued. We had to develop new ways to work as an association. As we did and do.
All these years Walter has been a rather quiet and very dedicated treasurer. And more: a person you could fully rely on when things got hot. When there was a need to be present and clear, he was present and clear. And beyond these moments he was and is a pleasant person, not heavily looking for serious matters of life but always looking for a fruitful combination of dedication and joy. Be it in language, be it in going for a coffee or another drink – I felt it a pleasure and a blessing to work with such a person in the Board. The deep understanding of being dependant on others in many aspects of our work is a characteristic which is nurtured by Walter. It attracts people to his style and attitude.
That is what is also required in his new job, which formally starts in January next year but already has started for more than 90%: ‘Kirchenratsschreiber’ of the Reformed Church of Zurich, in English something like a chancellor. In a company it would be the CEO. This is challenging, also since budget cuts are on the agenda. It seems to a certain extend that Walter goes where the challenges are.
From our side we said ‘thank you and farewell’ to Walter in Corrymeela. He has done a lot for us with a high quality in a difficult situation. And we hope to meet him on some occasions in the future, for instance at an Annual Conference. And even when that will not happen, we will not forget him!
Jaap van der Sar
President of Oikosnet Europe