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Dear Sandon Woodturners

I am sure, like me, you will all be saddened to learn that Mark Baker passed away yesterday.

Although we were aware that he had cancer of the throat , had undergone unsuccessful treatment for it, the news still saddens us all.    When I informed you all in June that Mark’s cancer was incurable,  the responses from you were prolific – all expressing sadness and shock but also, gratitude and admiration for him as a person and for his contribution to woodturning - he was editor of the Woodturning magazine for more than 20 years -  and, as patron, to our club in particular.

I have watched every demonstration he gave at the club and I have always wanted them to last longer.   His demos were always interesting, informative and entertaining and delivered in such a pleasant, warm and friendly way.

I remember, back in 2010, shortly after the new club was born after Brian Pugh had sold up, we had an unreliable lathe and not much else by way of equipment and only 42 members   I applied for a Grassroots Grant to help get the club back on its feet.  I had to find a referee who understood the role of clubs promoting woodturning to help make a case for us.   Mark immediately agreed to be that referee and, of course, the application was successful.

We remember with gratitude his friendship, and his generosity with both time and expertise, and with admiration for the braveness he showed in dealing with his cancer.   His legacy will be the enthusiasm he had for woodturning and the inspiration and help he gave to so many people to begin, follow and become proficient in woodturning.

We are all thinking of his family at this very sad time.