Society for the Furtherance of Critical Philosophy
The Tamsyn Imison Essay Award
by Michael Imison
The conference that brought SFCP members to this pleasant North German town, where the Adult Education centre provided comfortable and historic accommodation, was the Eighth, at which we joined members of the PPA and GSP to learn about and practise Socratic Dialogue. It was my third. I was introduced to the movement by my wife Tamsyn who had the good fortune to have Rene Branton, our founder, as her chair of Governors at Hampstead School where Tamsyn was Head Teacher. She went on to succeed Rene as Chair of the SFCPA. Sadly my wife died in 2017 and it was my desire to support a new friend, Rachel Kellett, as she qualified as a facilitator, that caused me to come again and see what had changed.
Another motive for me to be present was that PPA had inaugurated an essay prize to be called the Tamsyn Imison Award and the winners would receive their prizes at the conference. This was preceded by a video of Rene Saran, now well into her nineties, describing some of Tamsyn’s achievements.
The main thing I noticed was an increase in the number of young people present. They took Dialogue very seriously and a number of them actually earned money conducting dialogues for businesses. However, the buzz of happy chatter over the excellent meals, the late-night gatherings in the bar and, in my case, some hard fought table-tennis games showed they also knew how to enjoy themselves.
Altogether a memorable occasion.
Tamsyn Imison Award prize winners, with Michael Imison and SFCP Trustees; from right to left: Michael Imison (Tamsyn’s husband); Dimitar Elchinov (Mitko) (2nd prize); Cedric Isbrandt (1st prize); Johannes Bahn (3rd prize); Sarah Banks (Trustee); Dorothy Moir (Trustee)