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OPINION AND ANALYSIS | 20-07-2019 12:03

Readers' write: Letters about Andrew Graham-Yooll

A selection of contributions from our readers about their remembrances, experiences with and feelings about the late Andrew Graham-Yooll.

We were flooded with letters after the passing of the Andrew Graham-Yooll. Here are selection of contributions from our readers about their remembrances, experiences with and feelings about the late journalist and writer.

A portrait of my friend

Dear journalists,

As a friend of Andrew, I am extremely moved by his departure.

I met him as a boy, when he helped a relative to be located through the Herald in the ‘years of lead.’ That he achieved. He saved his life like that. I admired in silence this Anglo-Argentinian journalist, capable of risking his life for others (whom he did not know) just in the darkest nights of Argentina. Over time, in the 1990s, we became friends. Over the last few months, he gave me a hand with a work that will be released at the end of the year. His capacity for work and the enormous range of his contacts and friendships were surprising. Everything was offered with generosity and a lot of humility. ZERO EGO.

When I asked him if he had not been afraid of being “sucked up” during the dictatorship, he replied that he was always afraid of the military government, but never cowardly enough to cover up the facts that he denounced in the Herald.

I attach the last emails from Andrew that he sent. A recurring theme for him was his asthma. A brutal weight that he tolerated stoically and that marked many hours of his life. In spite of that, he worked hard, helped his friends, loved and enjoyed life, knowing well in advance the value of each hour.

Everyone who lives with the health condition that Andrew faced knows how difficult it is to sit on a computer and work in an immobile position, suffering from the discomforts of asthma. In spite of that, this enormous journalist met deadlines to the letter. In these emails, you can appreciate the hard work it took to move permanently from the neighbourhood of Barracas to his place in the world that was Larroque in Entre Ríos. And obviously the enormous effort that demanded he manage his life alongside his illness.

With a bulletproof sense of humour, in his spirit he mixed the best of two cultures. He was an admirer of Graham Greene and a father committed to all his children. His youngest child, adopted with deep love, is direct proof of the kind of human being he was. With these simple lines, my tribute to a great man. Thank you for everything Andrew!

Pedro Alberto Filipuzzi
Via email

 

An inspiration

As a journalist who moved to the southern part of the United States of America almost 20 years ago, I can truly say that Mr Graham-Yooll was one of my greatest influences. His journalistic grit and intellectually unique approach to different topics helped me approach my own endeavours boldly and more enthusiastically.

Back in the 1990s I had the privilege of assisting with some of his conferences and I read his weekly columns at Noticias newsmagazine religiously.

His ethics, knowledge and dedication were of great inspiration for me to become an international conflict, war and combat correspondent.

He’s physically gone, but I have his rich timeless work to read over and over again. Thank you for the many life lessons and for helping me build character and determination, Mr Andrew Graham-Yooll!

Rest in peace.

Sincerely,

Marcelo F. Palermo
Via email

 

 

Un buen hombre

Sorry to hear that this great man has passed away. I enjoyed his journalism at the BA Times and just finished reading A State of Fear – stunning read.

I’m from New Zealand and would like to pass my sympathies on to the team at the Times – he will be missed.

Era un buen hombre.

Regards,

Jeremy Reynolds
New Zealand

 

 

Condolences

Dear Mr. Robert Cox:

I send you and the whole crew my deepest condolences for Mr. Andrew Graham-Yooll’s passing away.

I used to be fond of him through his writings at the Herald and his books.

Best regards.

José E. Teitelbaum
Buenos Aires City

 

 

Tremendous humility

Dear Sirs:

I was very shocked by the very tragic news of Andrew Graham-Yooll’s death.

I had a brief phone conversation with him and noted his tremendous humility and goodness as a human being.

He generously allowed me, with Michael Soltys, to write two articles on architecture for the ‘On Sunday’ supplement of the Herald in September, 2007.

I still cherish that opportunity, of being able to write for the Herald, as one of my greatest life experiences. The Great and Brave Buenos Aires Herald!

I will surely miss you Andrew and your great articles every week!

All the best,

Ruben O. Feldman

Via email

 

 

Remembering Andrew

Much has been said about Andrew’s professional skills. I was fortunate enough to have crossed paths with him when we both lived in London. We used to remember, with a pinch of irony, all the fantasies about Argentina.

He was at the peak of a very successful career then, working as a war correspondant at The Guardian, living in a beautiful house surrounded by a supportive family, praised by colleagues and academics.

I want to emphasise the importance of his decision, about his life and his work, to donate his personal archive to the Universidad de San Andrés, turning down in the process a few US universities and an English one.

He was concerned about the inconvenient loss of memory so inherent to the Argentine way of life. His boxes of correspondence, books magazines, diaries, photographs and writings etc. could have ended up abroad. He was writing a book about ageing. We will miss Andrew, our wonderful friend...

Raquel Glusman
Via email

 

 

Passionate about the free press

My first real job as a journalist was at the Buenos Aires Herald from 2000- 2001. So imagine my nervousness when my seat at the business desk was just a few over from Andrew’s. He was a legend to a 25-year-old kid from New York who had been soaking up all he could about Argentina’s complicated past.

I worked up the courage to talk to him at the dishevelled desk he kept in the newsroom. And I found, like many people have over the years, a man passionate about the free press and standing up to power, who was generous with his time for one of a constant stream of expats who moved through the newsroom in those days. He coached me on some of the bigger stories I worked on.

His wit and bullshit detector were incomparable and the skills I learned from him have served me well in the decades since. My condolences to his family and friends.

John Pain
Seattle/Washington,
United States

 

 

Heartfelt

Dear Sirs:

Heartfelt tribute to the late Andrew Graham-Yooll, recently deceased, in London. A very brave man! R.I.P.

Best wishes,

David Parsons
Via email

 

 

If they ain’t saintly – give ’em hell!

Goodbye Andrew – if they ain’t saintly, give ’em hell!

Thirteen of my 28 years with the Buenos Aires Herald, I worked very closely with Andrew as his night news editor, international news editor and special supplements coordinator – all at the same time. (They didn’t call the Herald the “little” great newspaper for nothing!) That usually meant workdays from early afternoon until past midnight, and often several hours at least one day on the weekend. And I wasn’t the only staffer working long hours.

Andrew was as biting with his wit and words, as he was energetic with his enthusiasm and encouragement. “Have fun when you write,” he would challenge, “be creative, tell the story to your friends.” Then he would leave us to work, but his presence was always powerful.

Sometimes he would signal approval, others urge improvement, and others make clear his disappointment.

Often after the editorial meeting blueprinting the next day’s paper, and attending to pressing board, newsroom or advertising needs, we would pop out for a cup of coffee and glass of wine. This was our chance to review previous editions and plan ahead, fine-tuning special publications. But we would also touch on our personal projects and problems. Some came with the job, others of our own doing. It was good to talk, and listen. There were other places, lighter moments: stories and jokes, smiles and laughter – usually with a Schneider beer or two along the way.

Andrew impregnated the newsroom with the same values of yesteryear’s bastion of emblematic ethics when, along with Bob, Uki and company, he resisted the silence, darkness and despair, giving voice, light and hope to those whose relatives would fill the sadly infamous legions of the disappeared, saving more than a few with courage and commitment.

Not counting family, Andrew is among the handful of people, along with Bob, put in my path to admire and emulate, no matter how far short I fall. I am left with his teachings and friendship, meaningful messages posited with conviction and insight, constantly striving to encourage while challenging to engage, gently guiding through trying times.

P.S.:Please notify reception.

Joe Schneider
Ex-Herald staffer
(1985-2013)

 

 

An unforgettable contribution

Dear Ineé Graham-Yooll and family,

It was an year ago, in July 2018 in London, having lunch at the Argentine Ambassador’s Residence, that I suggested to your father that he deliver a lecture on a subject he would prefer. He told me that he would like to do so the following year, when coming back to the UK in July, 2019.

I really enjoyed his conversation, not only for his wisdom but also for his sense of humour.

That event was also going to be a good opportunity to inform and promote all his work, the work that helped to create a better and democratic Argentina, as well as help record the history of the Scottish-Anglo-Argentine communities that has contributed to the development of our civil society, as he perfectly recorded in his work, The Forgotten Colony: A History of the Englishs*-peaking Communities in Argentina.

When we spoke, a few days ago, you told me that he had prepared his lecture to be delivered on July 23 at the Residence, at a conference organised by the Embassy and the Anglo-Argentine Association in London. Destiny has decided that you instead will deliver his lecture, on behalf of Andrew GrahamYooll’s family.

Thank you so much to the family for that decision. It will be a tribute to his literary work, to his courage, to his contribution to the truth, justice and democracy in my beloved country Argentina. I am personally thankful for that.

I will do all my best to continue to promote his work, as a representative of Argentina in the United Kingdom and wherever my job will take me.

Please, accept my condolences and thoughts, on behalf the Argentine Embassy in London.

I am looking forward to meeting you and the rest of Andrew’s family at the Memorial Service in London on July 22 and at the conference on July 23.

Yours sincerely,

R. Carlos Sersale di Cerisano,
Ambassador of the Argentine Republic London
United Kingdom

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