Obituary of EFG’s First President, John Kenneth Shanklin
28th July 1926 – 4 May 2017
The death has occurred (peacefully) of John Shanklin in the Countess of Chester hospital, England.
John Shanklin was for a long time deeply involved in the politics of geology in the United Kingdom. He helped to create the Institution of Geologists (IG) and later was involved in the merger of that organization with the Geological Society. This led to the establishment of the title Chartered Geologist.
John Shanklin gave some 20 years of his life to the European Federation of Geologists (EFG). At the end of the Seventies, with Gerald Clement of France, Eric Groessens of Belgium, José Martins Carvalho of Portugal, Renzo Zia of Italy, Santiago Leguey of Spain and others, he was one of this group of far-sighted geologists who understood the necessity for geologists across Europe to join together to protect and to develop their profession, through an European community of geologists stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals.
Following two years of meetings and drafting, the Federation was officially formed at the Inaugural Council Meeting in July 1980 at the Maison de la Géologie in Paris, France. John Shanklin was elected to be the first President. He successfully guided the EFG through its formative years, helping to develop its policies, to draft the first dossiers and to start the process of enlargement. So in 1983 he was able to hand over a fast-growing organisation to Renzo Zia.
Then in 1989 when John was attending the World Geological Congress in Washington, USA, he met Bill Knight, Executive Director, and other members of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG). This led to the exchange of information and visits which culminated in the establishment of reciprocal associate membership in 1998 between our two organisations and opened up the marvellous dialogue between the EFG and the AIPG that continues today. The AIPG recognised the important part played by John and awarded him Honorary Membership of their Institute.
When John ceased to be one of the UK’s delegates, he was soon drafted in to serve on the Registration Committee for the EurGeol title. There he served diligently, first with Franz Goerlich and then with Eric Groessens.
In 2000 the EFG recognised its huge debt to John Shanklin and he was awarded the first Honorary European Geologist title (later morphed into the EFG’s Medal of Merit), on the EFG’s twentieth birthday.
When he retired from active geological life, he continued with his interests in local Parish, School and Village affairs, along with a long involvement in local Conservative politics. However he always kept up his interest in the progress of the EFG. He will be very much missed by Family, Friends and Colleagues.
Gareth Ll. Jones Past President
Richard Fox Past President