Veteran Journalists’ Charity fundraiser Gerry Armes celebrated his 95th birthday this weekend at his home in Solihull.
Gerry has been championing the interests of journalists and their dependants for more than 70 years and has been responsible for raising more than £350,000 with the charity’s West Midlands Committee where he was district chairman until in 2008. He continued as Treasurer was made the district’s first president in 2018.
Gerry, who started his career as a photographer on the Birmingham Gazette and evening Despatch, launched the West Midland’s Charity Greyhound Racing Night which ran for 32 years and the popular Celebrity lunches which has attracted a long list of Britain’s top journalists as guest speakers. The first of these was in 1983 with Eve Pollard, then Editor of the Daily Express.
Gerry became a Trustee of the charity in 1988, retiring in 2010 and is a life-Vice President. He is still actively involved in the Midlands committee.
Current District Chairman Derek Inman said: “Since the first Greyhound Evening, the district has raised more than £350,000 – almost entirely due to the drive and determination of one man: Gerry Armes.
“But Gerry’s work for the charity has not just been limited to fund raising. He has been responsible for providing pastoral care, visits and referrals to specialist advice for journalists in the Midlands and their dependents for many years.”
Gerry’s represented the region on the National Union of Journalists’ National Executive in the 1970s, before leaving the union. He then joined the Institute of Journalists, becoming its President in 1987 – the first photographer to hold the post.
Picture: Eve Pollard with committee member Alan Deeley and Gerry Armes (right) at the first Midlands Celebrity lunch in 1993