Max Lucas: editor of the Jersey Evening Post and champion of island heritage

Max Lucas, former editor of the Jersey Evening Post and Jurat of the Royal Court, has died aged 84.

A man who brought a quiet dignity to all aspects of a long and varied life, Maxwell Gordon Lucas was first and foremost a St Ouennais, fiercely proud of his ancestry and his Huguenot heritage.

After working at the Jersey Savings Bank and then as a policeman in the Hampshire Constabulary, he joined the RAF and began training as a pilot, only to discover he was horribly airsick and he eventually had to be grounded.

So he joined the Army. He was in the front line in Normandy for only a short while before he was wounded in heavy fighting.

Once relatively fit again, he was posted to the Royal Army Pay Corps, where he remained until 1946. It was then that he returned to Jersey and, still in uniform, immediately applied to join the staff of the Evening Post as a proof-reader by queuing on the pavement with 30 or 40 other applicants to be interviewed and subjected to a proof-reading test. He passed with a score of 99 per cent.

He was now settled in the job that was to prove the beginning of a long career and association with the Evening Post, as the paper was then called.

Max made his mark at the paper, which changed its name to the Jersey Evening Post in the Seventies, and became a sub-editor, then editor until his retirement in 1975.

He was appointed a member of the board of WE Guiton in October 1963, became chairman of the board in February 1984, and held the post until his full retirement in 1990 after a career spanning 44 years.

In these roles, as in other areas of his life, Max was conscientious and thorough, a stickler for accuracy and truth. He had an excellent rapport with the staff, and there are still some at the paper today who look back on him as a steadfast and reliable friend.

Max was a committed member of the executive committee of Le Don Balleine, where his love of J?rriais, the Jersey language, and his determination to preserve and promote it, was exceptional. His editing expertise was invaluable, and his contribution to the publications of Le Don Balleine has been vast.

He enjoyed gardening and took great pride in growing vegetables and bringing in freshly picked produce for the table.

He loved animals, and a succession of stray cats seemed to sense this, arriving at his house as if knowing that he would feed and spoil them. He would spend more than half an hour, both morning and evening, feeding the cats and warming milk in a bowl for them because they didn’t like it cold.

Max was a remarkably altruistic man who quietly, thoroughly and without fanfare has made a difference to his beloved island home which may only be properly appreciated in future years by those who will cherish Jersey’s roots, language and traditions in a way that many in previous generations have not.

Elaine Hanning

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