Lord Home of the Hirsel KT., PC.,/Patron of the EFA (1903-1995)
Alec Home, who died last year, was a man who earned the greatest respect not only at home but also in the international field, and it was the Association's good fortune that for all his wide-ranging and important commitments he undertook so willingly and fulfilled so admirably the office first of President and latterly of Patron of the Association.
No-one was more suitably qualified to be at the helm of a sport he loved. Alec Home was a very fine games player and country sportsman himself, and nothing he enjoyed so much as to be present, be it as participant or spectator, at some sporting pursuit close to his heart. Many know of his prowess as a cricketer - indeed, he was President of the MCC; few will know that he was a boy at Ludgrove, at New Barnet in those days, and that at Eton, after two victories against Harrow, he won the School Fives in 1922 - his son was also a good player.
Alec was generous of his time and took a lively interest in all aspects of EFA business, but it was, perhaps, his involvement in the finalising of the tour to Nigeria in 1965 for which the Association is most grateful. At a time when the details were being arranged, his enthusiasm and inspired intervention cleared away all obstacles and delays, and the Commonwealth Relations Office took up the cause with alacrity.
Eton Fives over a long period warranted a place in Alec's diary. He attended Committee meetings from time to time: he was generous with his time when consulted. He was ever ready to help with an appeal, and it came as no surprise that he was pleased to be Guest of Honour at the Jesters Annual Dinner in 1963 and at the Centenary Fives Dinner at Harrow in 1985 to commemorate the first recorded match against Eton. No-one present on either occasion could have failed to enjoy and be moved by the wise, witty and winning observations of a speaker in whom there was always an infectious sense of fun.
So, too, no-one present could possibly forget the Memorial Service at which representatives of the Crown, the State, the Commonwealth and nations outside the Commonwealth, and more than two thousand friends from all walks of life, including many from games he so dearly cherished, gathered to pay their respects to and show their love for a man who had done so much in the service of others.
His service to Eton Fives was that of a truly great friend and supporter, one who will be remembered with gratitude by those who had the privilege to know him well, by those who met him but once or twice, and by those who learned from others of his integrity, generosity and goodness.