‘I have lived in St Albans for 35 years. My father came to England from Germany in 1933 as a PhD language student. During the war, he was interned on the Isle of Man as an ‘enemy alien’, where his language skills aided communication between the refugees and British authorities. He taught at Bury Grammar School, Manchester, from 1941 until his retirement in 1969. Like him, I taught languages.'
‘This photo is of my father, Arnold Meier. It is probably the first and only time he held a football. The event marked the 40th anniversary of a football exchange programme created by my father in order to foster links between Bury Grammar School, where he taught French and German for over 30 years, and Köln Deutz Gymnasium, the school in Cologne where he had been a pupil.’
‘My father started a football exchange programme in 1954 in order to build bridges between young people at a time when memories of the Second World War were still fresh. He was keen to establish connections and to work towards overcoming prejudice. Although not a sportsman himself, my father recognised the value of football in bringing young people together. This is a shirt signed by the present team. The football exchange that he started continues to this day.’
Jon Meier's spotlight talk about his father