the friend online
25 August 2006

Obituaries

Elizabeth Salter - preview
Born during the depression in 1933, her beginnings were not auspicious
  • Elizabeth's mother died when she was very young, with her father much of the time in prison
  • A great-aunt brought her up in London
  • She wanted to go to university but sexist mentors decided that was no place for a girl
  • She ended up in Grenoble to learn secretarial skills and French
  • She fell in love with French life and culture, a love that never left her


  • Her bi-lingual skills led to a job as assistant to the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva
  • There she met a brilliant young British diplomat and europhile Noel Salter, bringing a letter from the Prior of Taize
  • They went there together and immersed themselves in Taize's ecumenical spirit, Noel from the Reformed tradition, Elizabeth as an Anglican
  • In 1959 they married
  • Noel had been seconded by Winston Churchill to the Western European Union - the forerunner of the European Community
  • Paris was where they felt they belonged
  • Was there a life without Le Monde?

    Paul Oestreicher

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