At the last BOS convention, I had the enormous pleasure of presenting a Sidney French Medal to my friend Wayne Brown. This award is given by the BOS in recognition of services to origami and the BOS above and beyond the call of duty.  Here are the words on the inscription.

“Since joining the British Origami Society in 1973 as a teenager, Wayne Brown has amassed a library and archive of over 5000 origami books, and approximately 30,000 model diagrams. Many of the diagrams he drew by hand, more recently using a computer, and his output continues unabated! Wayne’s private collection contains many unique items and is one of the largest in the world. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things origami: you only have to ask to receive copious information and background on a vast range of origami-related subjects. Many people are unaware that Wayne has also designed over 750 models, with several of these published in commercial books.

He served on the BOS Council and has co-organised many BOS conventions. He has hosted mini-meetings at his home and attended hundreds of others at Manchester, Birmingham, Derby, Sheffield and elsewhere. His teaching is exemplary and he always has a range of exciting designs to offer at mini-meetings. He takes particular care to prepare the models so they can be taught effectively! He has taught at many public sessions, including schools and Institutes. He has voluntarily proof-read diagrams for 13 commercial origami books.

He has been central to our work with the David Lister archive and some years ago manually converted David’s massive hand-written list of books into electronic format, a task that has proven invaluable. He is also involved with the Societies own library and archive, working alongside the librarian to identify which books should be loaned, archived or released.

We are truly fortunate to have such a devoted member and one whose love of origami is as strong as it was forty odd years ago. His thoughtful insight into our art is highly valued. We are delighted to recognise Wayne Brown’s selfless service to origami with the award of this medal.”

To be fair, Wayne says he doesn’t know the individual described above 😉

Having been awarded one myself some years ago, I can sympathise with the shock/horror that Wayne clearly felt when his name was red out. He’d tried to head off for the tea machine and was dragged back on some pretext by a council member. Later on, he put the puzzle together and realised why his wife (who has little appreciation of origami) was so keen that he attended!

I have to say, the pleasure of giving this award was every bit equal to that of receiving it, a moment I will long treasure.


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