These are the people who are doing the planning for Tolkien 2005 and who will be working hard on the day. If you would like to join them there are some vacant committee positions.
There is also a requirement for people to be Volunteers and help on the day. For further information on Volunteering please see the Volunteering page.
These pictures are to show you who to look out for when you are at Tolkien 2005.
Click on a picture for a bigger one…
Andy first read The Lord of the Rings at university in 1974 when his girlfriend Helen (wife since 1975) firmly recommended it to him. He started one evening, and was still reading the next morning when he realised it was time to go to a maths lecture. The Lord of the Rings was the first fantasy novel that he had enjoyed more than his normal fare of science fiction.
When life seems less than perfect, he says he finds the philosophy inherent in The Lord of the Rings to be, like lembas, sustaining.
He was at first bemused by The Tolkien Society, but came to find more and deeper friendship among Tolkien Society members than elsewhere.
Since the early 1980s, when Oxonmoot was in the Town Hall, he has provided the sound system for Oxonmoot. Since 1997, he has also been webmaster of The Tolkien Society, after being appointed (with absolutely no prior experience) when Lester Simons, who started the site, died unexpectedly.
In real life he works as a consultant electronics designer, and, more recently, web site designer. Offers of freelance work gratefully received!
Some text about Elina Belsak.
Some text about Sabine Berge.
Chris first read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in 1988 and joined The Tolkien Society in 1989 after finding the details in The Annotated Hobbit. As she was living in Australia at the time, membership consisted of looking forward to the arrival of the next Amon Hen or Mallorn and corresponding with the then Membership Secretary, Chris Oakey.
In 1992 she attended The Tolkien Centenary Conference and as she wouldn't know anyone there volunteered to be a steward, not only to help out but also as a way of getting to meet other people. This worked really well as she met her husband, Richard.
In 1994 she volunteered to be the Society Booking Officer, a post held for two years until someone nominated her as Chairman of the Society in 1996, a post she still holds.
Apart from a love of Tolkien's works and being Chairman of The Tolkien Society, she has several other interests. These include visiting Stratford-upon-Avon to see The Royal Shakespeare Company, following her interest in the life of T.E. Lawrence, cryptic crosswords, interpreting Tolkien's characters by way of building costumes (she says "I don't design them, I gradually build them up from a picture in my head"). She also enjoys gardening; cross-stitch embroidery and has recently learned how to make chain mail with which she can embellish some of her costumes and of course there are also many books to read.
She loves the fellowship of The Tolkien Society and enjoys doing what she can for the Society as a way of saying thank you for the many friends made through membership of it.
Richard has been a member of the Tolkien Society since 1986. He first read The Lord of the Rings at the suggestion of an unknown somebody at the age of 15, at the time of the original BBC Radio 4 dramatisation. Although he read an article in the Radio Times about the Society at the time he did not get around to joining until some years afterwards.
Shortly after joining the Society he started attending events and very quickly became an active member. He has attended practically all the events organised by the Society since Oxonmoot 1987 and has been involved with organising, in one way or another, many of them.
He was invited to join the organising committee for the JRR Tolkien Centenary Conference and organised both Tech Ops and Stewarding. He also became responsible for Ops by default; howerver, it was all too much work for one person – a mistake he does not intend to repeat! Since that event was beneficial to the Society as well as being enjoyable to organise he has desired to be involved with the organisation of other large events for the Society. Hence, he was very keen to see Tolkien 2005 become a reality.
As well as his work with Tolkien 2005 he is also a Trustee for the Tolkien Society. In 1995 he was elected to the position of Officer without Portfolio (OwP) on the Tolkien Society committee; a position he has been re-elected to each year ever since.
Professionally he is an Engineer; Electronics by qualification but Software in practice.
Some text about Alex Davidson.
Christine read The Lord of the Rings in 1962 and joined the Tolkien Society some twenty years later – having finally discovered where to apply. In the meantime she went to training college (main subject English) and in her career as a Primary teacher saw to it that every child that passed through her hands was acquainted with The Hobbit. (She never met one that didn't like it.) Her own children were likewise introduced to Tolkien – and the Society – at an early age, an influence neither have been able to shake off.
Christine ran the Tolkien Society Library for eight years, until family commitments caused her to give this up. In 1998 she volunteered for the post of Bookings Officer, a simple little job as it seemed at the time… then she acquired a computer.
Now at an age when most people are looking to retire, Christine is busier than ever, juggling family with work for the TS and for a historical re-enactment group. She also writes: some papers for the TS, but chiefly stories set in her own Tolkien-inspired fantasy world. (Her first book is currently being prepared for publication.) She looks forward to 2005, an opportunity to meet many more people who share her interests.
Some text about Bob Davis.
Mike desired dragons from a very early age. From virtually day one he had a love affair with his own imagination, probably fuelled initially by such movie heroes as Jason, Sinbad and Captain Nemo. He has always had a need to transfer the images that form in his mind onto paper, whether by drawing or writing. His first medium, however, was most definitely lego; complex sculptures of castles, spacecraft and mythological creatures littered the bedroom floor whilst his age was still in single figures.
Before Tolkien, however, he says his scribblings lacked direction. The Lord of the Rings in particular gave substance to all that he had only glimpsed before. He is not ashamed to say that he is eternally indebted to the Professor for his profound influence on his life. He believes that every time we read his books we contribute towards the sub-creation of Middle-earth; every time we see a new blade of grass on the fields of Rohan, a fresh colour in a Shire sunset, or shed yet another tear for the passing of a hero.
Mike tentatively joined The Tolkien Society three years ago, not sure what to expect. But the common theme that brings everyone together is so powerful that all notions of elitism melt away: "Though our feet are planted firmly in a material reality, are all comforted by the common knowledge that our hearts reside in Middle-earth." Joining the 2005 Committee has given him the chance to give a little back, to repay JRRT in some small way for the gift of his legacy.
Some text about Mary Kay Kare.
Part of the new blood on the committee, and among the youngest as well, Christopher first read Tolkien around 15 years ago. However, his interest did not develop beyond reading the books until he became active in the Cambridge Tolkien Society in 1997. From there, it was a short step to the national Tolkien Society and finally volunteering to help with Tolkien 2005 in 2001.
At university, he had acquired experience in editing and publishing the chess club bulletin (Dragon), and later worked in publishing for the healthcare industry. He also studied for a degree in chemistry and developed an interest in writing, and science writing in particular.
Roger thought a break with type might not go amiss, so arranged for a smiling Finance Controller as opposed to the usual dour and sombre expression that is the norm when he is in "financial mode". He has been in this mode on and off for most of his life, looking after the money of many organizations large and small, local and national, and managing to keep heads above water; he says "I hope I can help do the same for Tolkien 2005."
Roger's interest in matters Tolkien was fired up at the time LotR was broadcast by the BBC the first time around. The broadcast was split into half-hour episodes transmitted over twenty-six weeks — the wait in between each episode was "near unbearable" he says, a feeling that intensified as the series progressed. He was stimulated as well by the music of prolific composer Stephen Oliver. Especially some of the songs (not all of which were broadcast) that he felt were so poignant; expressing for him Tolkien's poetry in such a moving manner: it is a shame Stephen Oliver died in the prime of his life at the age of 42.
Since then Roger has read avidly all the works of Tolkien that he could reasonably lay his hands upon, liking some, not understanding others.
Malcolm is ebullient; mad even. Why else would he do this… (again!). Ssh! Don't tell, but he likes driving boxes of books round the country – especially if it involves food, beer and laughter and friends at the other end! (You could add a roaring fire, cheese, a castle and good sunsets if you like, though water hot upon the back and a shoulder massage after carrying all those boxes is ideal, if rare!)
He first read the books in 1979 and joined the society in 1980 but only read the magazines – didn't attend anything. His first Society event was as the Tolkien Society Sales Officer at Oxonmoot in 1989, so a jump in the Deep End! He has run the Tolkien Society's Sales operation and Oxonmoot Dealers Rooms ever since, including at the 1992 Tolkien Centenary Conference. Indeed, in the immortal misquoted words of Victor Kiam, "The sales operation did so well, we created the Company", and now has a 16-page catalogue of goods that is sent worldwide.
His many roles include Shire-style running of a smallholding amidst the mountains of North Wales, computerized warehousing and distribution for a Supermarket chain, running own Fantasy Bookstore called The Book-Wyrm, and working in the mobile phone industry dealing with technical and customer related issues. Strangely, his degree is in Town Planning. He lives with a black & white cat and is not a postman!
Say hallo at The Tolkien Society sales stand in the Dealers Room and remember that old Klingon adage:
"Today is a good day to buy!"
May your cheque books always be with you and your money never run out!
He also knows where to get a good chilli and real ale nearby!
Andrew read his parents' copy of The Lord of the Rings at the age of 8, shortly after reading The Hobbit, and followed shortly by The Silmarillion. He first became aware of the Tolkien Society when he was an undergraduate at Oxford, studying Physics. One of his fellow students got him involved first in the Oxford TS and then Oxonmoot in 1991. He became involved with the TS in an organisational capacity as the Amon Hen editor in 1997. He continued with that until leaving Oxford for Oslo at the very beginning of 2000. Currently he is the European representative on the TS committee.
Anne has been reading and re-reading The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and the Histories for several years with her family, and has been excited to find another group committed to the study of these works. She attended her first Oxonmoot in 2003 and arrived not knowing anyone nor quite what to expect. Within 24 hours she was completely immersed in what she describes as "a truly remarkable weekend of friendship, Tolkien scholarship and lore". She made ongoing friendships with a group of wonderful people that she would never have otherwise met, and is enthusiastically looking forward to Tolkien 2005.
She works in the advertising industry; which is very film-oriented, and it seems her Tolkien involvement with friends in Los Angeles is usually clarifying what is book versus what was filmed. She says that she believes the added hype of the recent films will add another and probably quite volatile dimension to the event, giving Tolkien 2005 the chance to bring scholars and movie-buffs together for a not-to-be-missed event.
René says that it would have been in 1972 that he first entered Middle-earth at the tender age of 11. He wanted to read the Dutch translation of The Lord of the Rings for no other reason than that it was a nice, fat book – the name Tolkien meant nothing to him. His elder brother told him he had to read The Hobbit first, which he duly did. To be honest he found it a bit boring, and that Baggins chap annoyed him no end! But The Lord of the Rings got him hooked; well, only after Bilbo was carted off to Rivendell...
He wanted to read everything else Tolkien had written, and started collecting; the first step on the slippery slope. In 1982 he joined the Dutch Tolkien Society – only a few months after its founding – became its chairman and, in 1986, founded The Tolkien Shop. At first only a mail-order service, but recently his shop became a 'real' bricks-and-mortar shop, here in his hometown of Leiden. He has so much space available that he could fulfil another ambition: to create a Tolkien museum with his private collection on show. So, if you are in the neighbourhood, do pay him a visit.
There was a young lady from London
Who in two thousand and five wanted some fun;
So she joined the committee
Of Birmingham city
And then wondered what she had done!
Some text about Emma Stuart.
Despite being only 34, Sarah has just celebrated her 25th anniversary of Tolkien Society membership. She was on the committee for the 1992 conference, and also helped to organise TS Seminars and AGMs in the 1990s. She denies all responsibility for Taruithorn and Taruithorn International, which must have been someone else's daft idea. Apart from Tolkien, Sarah enjoys cooking, needlepoint, ballet, opera, teasing her husband Andrew, and persuading people to leave their cars at home.