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MEI Online: People News: Europe: September 10th 2003


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:: Michael West Retires from Mining Journal

This week, Mining Communications Ltd staff in London gathered at Alexander's fish restaurant for a luncheon to mark the formal retirement of Michael West, erstwhile chairman of Mining Journal Ltd. Michael joined Mining Journal Ltd more than 40 years ago, and was the owner for 29 years. He was instrumental in the board's successful move to acquire Mining Magazine in 1962 and in the key decision to launch Mining Journal as an airmail service in 1964.

During his stewardship, Mining Journal flourished and maintained its long-established reputation for integrity, accuracy and a deep knowledge of mining, not least because of Michael's insistence that editorial staff be recruited directly from the industry. He himself had qualified as a mining engineer at the Royal School of Mines in 1955, and worked for some years on the Central African Copperbelt before joining Mining Journal as assistant editor in late 1960.

At home and abroad, Michael has been a great ambassador for Mining Journal Ltd: he served on the Council of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy (as president in 1982-83), was an active member of the World Mining Congress for many years, and was also a governor of the Camborne School of Mines.

He sprang a surprise on Mining Journal Ltd staff in 1988 when he let it be known that he would not be attending the company's summer party as he was being ordained at Southwark Cathedral that same weekend. Although maintaining his interest in the company, the Church had become increasingly important to Michael, and in 1995 he relinquished his controlling interest to Lawrence Williams.

At this week's luncheon, Michael indulged in some reminiscences and wished Mining Journal and the rest of the group's titles well under its new ownership. He expects to call by from time to time and, knowing the man, we can be sure that his 'retirement' will keep him fully occupied.




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