In the middle of August my good friend, Michel Claes, passed away. We became friends through relatives and mutual friends. We shared an enthusiasm for dirty humour and practical jokes, though I couldn’t match his fecundity in the latter department. Our friendship was consolidated when he and his wife asked me to be Godfather to their daughter, a flattering and touching invitation that I was delighted to accept. Lithe and muscularly wiry, his favourite sport was rock climbing and, a very clever man, he was an amateur astronomer. He could have done much in life, but he chose to devote his life to others, living quietly and modestly. He leaves a huge hole in the charitable organisation for which he worked and is much missed by his many friends. In the photograph you can be sure that I have just sat on something suitably unpleasant. You had to be on your wits when Michel was about!