In Memoriam — Mike Johnson (1932-2018)
Mike Johnson was not as well known in SOC as he should have been. Although a founder member of the club he seems to have slipped into orienteering obscurity for a long time.
Skiing was his first sport after graduating from Manchester University in Maths & Physics and his enthusiasm for this never wavered.
However his career as an aeronautical engineer with Fairey Aviation was even more distinguished as one of the designers of the revolutionary delta wing jet which held the world air speed record for quite a while.
It was after this that he felt the need to follow in his father’s footsteps as a schoolmaster and taught Maths & Technical Drawing in various schools finishing up at Merry Oak school in Southampton.
It was here that he discovered orienteering and helped found Merry Oak Meanderers. He will always be remembered as the Organiser of the first November Classic in 1968 and of course as a founder member of SOC shortly after that. His love of maps & navigation never left him even when his eyesight began to fail him. We shall miss his cheerful presence at the Classic every November.
A Personal Tribute to Mike Johnson
It was with great sadness I learnt of the passing of Mike. He was not only my Form and Maths Teacher at Merry Oak but the person who was instrumental in me taking up the sport of orienteering some 50 years ago.
My early memories were of someone who paid a great deal of attention to detail and set the standard of organisation for the 1968 November Classic in which his legacy can be seen today.
In the summer of 1968 Mike along with Keith Paris took one of the earliest school trips on an O tour of Sweden which included the 5 Day O Ringen.
Although Mike hadn't orienteered for many years he still kept in contact and regularly came to the November Classic. At last years 50th November Classic it was a fitting tribute to have him present the Southern Championship trophies.
Nick Bosbury - Chair SOC