Links 9 :  from Francis Barnes

Elizabeth Barnes 1997

    Re: Dick Sillitto's 80th birthday
    Wed, 26 Feb 2003 17:05:23 -0000

I feel that whatever I have to say will be inadequate, but here goes. I first met Dick when as an innocent first year student I went to see my DoS, Dick, for the first time. I got the shock of my life when I was told that the degree took four years. I knew nothing about Scotland and its Universities, and the furthest North I had been previously was Harwich. I saw Dick once in first year and once in second. He then retired from Director duties, and our next meeting was when he gave the fourth year Quantum Mechanics.

As an Assistant Lecturer and then Lecturer I became aware of the central role that Dick played in the Department. He was one of the pillars. I realise now that he is a scholar; he thought deeply and carefully about the subjects he taught and the topics he researched.

That took only a sentence to say, but it is the greatest compliment that can be paid an academic - Dick was one of the best scholars that this Department has had. In addition, he was an excellent lecturer. I still remember going, as a first year tutor, to some of his lectures on kinetic theory. They were delivered with enthusiasm and were beautifully clear. But above all, they were stamped with authority (I still have the notes).

The whole of Edinburgh should be grateful to Dick and Winifred; they have given the city a successful modern building whose design is in harmony with its setting (which is more than can be said of its next door neighbours which are horrid). They have left their mark in a most satisfying way.

Elizabeth and I are grateful to Dick and Winifred for their friendship.

Happy Birthday Dick, may there be many more.
Very best wishes from Francis.

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