Commemorating Philip Mason, MBE

Philip Mason has left us at the age of 81.

Philip had an important role in the British and European Independent Living Movement. He served on the ILI Board from ILI’s beginnings until he resigned in 2005 to be able to concentrate more on local issues.

Before he joined the ILI Board, Philip had worked at the local and national level in Britain with Project ’81 together with John Evans, Philip Scott, Tad Polkowski and Liz Briggs. These young adults were based in the Cheshire Home in Hampshire and wanted to get out and live in the community. They raised public awareness about the enormous waste of human capital by society that forces people into institutions only because they need assistance with the activities of daily living. The team looked abroad, mainly to the US where John Evans was studying Centers for Independent Living. They traveled and lectured in the UK and abroad.

I met Philip, together with John, at a conference in Munich in 1982. Since then, he was an important teacher for me with his clear, concise vision and unwavering insistence on the basic principles of our movement. I was always impressed by his analysis and pragmatism in his speeches at ENIL gatherings. Some of his writings are published in the ILI Library.

Most of all, I remember Philip’s wit, his warm, genuine smile, and his cordial attention which he focused on people. We lost a fine and kind human being.

Adolf Ratzka
Chair, Board of Independent Living Institute