It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we share the news of the death of one of our Trustees, Tony Long. He died in Brussels on the 10th February, 2022, following a sudden health crisis. We have been honoured to have Tony as a Trustee and a loved member of the Andrew Lees Trust (ALT UK) family for so many years. His loss is deeply felt and his influence will continue.
“He was a source of strength, support and inspiration to the Trust.” Richard Marsh (former ALT UK Trustee)
Tony was a close friend of the late Andrew Lees having worked with him on a campaign to protect the wetlands of the Norfolk Broads in the UK in the early 1980s, whilst Tony was employed by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England. As for many of the other ALT UK trustees, his close friendship with Andrew helped to keep the Trust’s aims aligned with Andrew’s values and environmental passions.
“Tony and Andrew had a deep bond in their shared passion for protecting the environment. Andrew greatly valued his wisdom and strategic insights and ALT UK has also benefitted from those talents which he brought to our meetings together with his incredible warmth and kindness.” Christine Orengo (ALT UK Trustee)
Tony joined the board of ALT UK in 2004 whilst head of the World Wildlife Fund European Policy Office which he had founded and directed for some 25 years. With this remarkable background, Tony’s outstanding qualities were always evident in Trust activities. His extensive global experience, compassion, integrity, knowledge of law and institutions, perseverance, together with his friendship and loyalty were all invaluable qualities that contributed to the development of our small charity.
“Tony was a really nice person and I feel very lucky to have worked with him and learnt from him. I will always remember his big hugs and smiles.” Vola Parker (former ALT UK Trustee)
His expertise, developed from directing his large WWF team, also brought valuable process, rigour and passionate inquiry to the strategic and governance aspects of the Trust’s work and enhanced our professional environment. Tony was always probing the details and decisions in insightful, constructive and informed ways. He had a significant influence on the way the Trust has been governed, promoting the highest professional standards for reporting and fiscal management.
Tony was a good man. He was committed environmentalist to the very end. He was warm and funny. And as his lifelong support of Burnley FC demonstrated, he was always on the side of the underdog! (Mike Childs, Trustee, ALT UK)
Tony embraced the goals and ethics of ALT UK from the start. He visited Madagascar to see the field projects and understand the local context for himself. He also visited the traditional Malagasy stone and sacred space that was dedicated to Andrew in Petriky forest, and his visit made a marked impression on the staff and volunteers in Madagascar.
From Madagascar:“Everything he did remains etched in our hearts. It’s too fast as you say, we say it’s life but we will never get used to losing one of our loved ones.” Hanitra Raharimanana (Director, Andry Lalana Tohana, ALT MG)
Those who went on to work with the Trust in the London office subsequently continued to enjoy connectivity with Tony through Board meetings, where they were invited to contribute staff perspectives and reporting.
“What a brilliantly kind and warm man he was. I remember his first trip out to Madagascar very vividly, and the early days of his trusteeship. He brought a wealth of institutional knowledge from his EU and international work, and so much passion.” Gerry de Lisle (formerALT UK Staff Member)
Tony supported and encouraged the Trust to punch above its weight and excel beyond its constrained financial capacity, never allowing doubt or hesitation to undermine aspiration. He liked to keep things focused and succinct and contributed greatly to written outputs from the Trust with an eagle eye on editorial candour.
“Tony often pushed for more than sometimes seemed possible, he kept his expectations of the Trust very high, and kept us on our toes! I grew and learnt a great deal from working with him, especially through our close collaboration on the Trust’s advocacy work, and will greatly miss his warmth and friendship.” Yvonne Orengo (Director of ALT UK)
Tony made the regular trips from Brussels to London to attend Trustee meetings and special events. Straight off the Eurostar to our meetings, his warm smiles and greetings from the continent were especially welcome and strengthened our sense of family. The Trust has been grateful to enjoy many of its meetings at the Friends of the Earth offices in London, in a meeting room named and dedicated to Andrew Lees’s memory. A few years ago, Tony donated a beautiful photo of the Norfolk Broads to Friends of the Earth so it could be placed in this room and find its home, tracing a thread through a legacy of friendship and environmental action.
“Tony gave a lot of time to ALT and cared passionately about the cause.” Craig Bennett (former Director of Friends of the Earth)
His campaigning spirit and experience became an important part of the Trust’s advocacy campaign in the last five years, in which Tony contributed his clarity, institutional knowledge and experience of the larger agencies, such as the World Bank, in order to help advance the rights of communities affected by international mining operations in the south of the island.
“Tony cared deeply about environmental justice for communities and livelihoods affected by greed and exploitation of the world’s natural resources. I could sense his commitment and his alignment with the Trust’s values shining through at every level of our work.” Mary Taylor (ALT UK Trustee)
Tony’s memory and influence will remain with us and we give thanks for so many years of friendship, loyalty and comradeship in the cause.
With profound condolences to his family and all his friends, and in fond remembrance, the ALT UK & ALT Madagascar teams join together in our ALT family refrain: Immortal love!
Our deepest condolences to the whole ALT-UK team for the loss of Tony. We are thankful for his dedication and the inspiration he gave to us. May his soul rest in peace. Ketakandriana Rafitoson, Director, Transparency International Initiative Madagascar, and national coordinator of Publish What You Pay Madagascar
In fond memory of Tony Long (1949 – 2022)