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News & Blogs: In Memoriam

Death of Daniel Reelfs, one of Ecolint's earliest students

lundi, 9 mai 2016   (1 Comments)
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Daniel Reelfs, who attended Ecolint from 1928 to 1932 and again from 1940 to 1942, died in Geneva on 19 April 2016. He was thus one of our oldest alumni, aged 94 when he died, having begun his first period at Ecolint just four years after the school opened.

Daniel was active in the alumni community throughout his life. in June 2014 he attended the 7th Alumni World Reunion, accompanied by his good friend and fellow alumnus Jean-Paul Darmsteter (LGB '42). They were both at Ecolint during World War II and remained in regular contact right until Daniel's death last month. Jean-Paul writes:

"La disparition de Daniel a profondément marqué ses amis parmi lesquels j’ai l’honneur d’avoir compté de si longues années, puisque nous avons en effet vécu à l’Ecolint dans la période de guerre. Tous ont été en effet enrichis à jamais par son souvenir radieux.

Notre ancien camarade cachait sans doute à beaucoup (professeurs et élèves confondus) ses immenses qualités faites d’intelligence et de fidélité à l’Ecolint. Daniel était un grand modeste. Sa présence n’en était que plus forte.

Avoir partagé avec lui une si longue amitié, (je l’ai encore vécue jusqu’à son ultime départ), est un privilège qui continue de m’habiter. Comme c'est le cas sans doute pour tous ses anciens camarades que son départ attriste profondément."

Daniel Reelfs and Jean-Paul Darmsteter
Daniel Reelfs (left) and Jean-Paul Darmsteter, attending the 7th Alumni World Reunion at La Grande Boissière in June 2014. 

In his contribution to the Alumni Office's 90-9-90 Project, to mark Ecolint's 90th anniversary, Daniel shared memories of his time at Ecolint, mentioning the teachers that influenced him most (including such notables as Mme Maurette, Mme Travelletti, Mme Hartog, M Meyhoffer and M Roquette).

He also talked about his more recent preoccupations and, when asked for words of wisdom to pass on to today's students, shared the following advice:

"Remember that when you leave this world for good, the greatest wealth you can take with you is not your fortune or material goods but how positive you can be in your relations with other human beings."

See also:

> 90-90-90 Project - Daniel Reelfs
> Death notice in Tribune de Genève


Paul Elwell-Sutton says...
Posted mercredi, 1 juin 2016
Wonderful memories, and I too remember some of the teachers mentioned. I agree greatly that the funds spent on paving stones and other niceties could be better spent on taking Ecolint to disadvantaged communities and countries. Ecolint in Switzerland, is principally attended by those from privileged and affluent backgrounds, who collectively form an "international" class of their own.

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