It is a great privilege to be asked to give this memorial lecture. There must be few in this audience who do not know the name of Jack Kahn, if only from his classic writings on school refusal. To many of us, however, he was a dear friend as well as a rather special colleague. I seem always to have known Jack, although in fact I probably first met him in the middle ‘60s at just such a residential conference as we are having now, on that occasion in Harrogate. This was in the days of the RMPA. Jack was chairman of the Child Psychiatry Section and the guiding spirit behind the organisation of that particular conference. I recall particularly the concluding session on the Saturday morning when to our surprise (although we would be less surprised to-day) the presentation was not by one of our members or distinguished guests but by a local dramatic society who presented us with one scene from a play which Jack, as master of ceremonies with his customary skill and flair, used as the catalyst for an exciting large group discussion.
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