YORKSHIRE POST SATURDAY FEBRUARY 20 2021

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Carlos Menem
Former Argentine president
CARLOS MENEM, who has
died at 90, was the former
Argentinian president who
delivered short-lived economic
stability and forged close ties
with the United States in the
1990s even as he navigated
scandal and enjoyed an often
flamboyant lifestyle.
A dapper lawyer from one of
Argentina’s poorest provinces,
he was dismissed by critics
as a playboy, yet he steered
Argentina toward a freemarket model that was, at one
point, envied by neighbours
and favoured by investors. His
accomplishments, however,
coincided with growing
unemployment, economic
inequality and foreign debt.
Menem was supremely
flexible as a politician, beginning

CARLOS MENEM: Enjoyed a
flamboyant lifestyle and relished
the company of celebrities.
his career as a self-styled disciple
of General Juan Domingo Peron,
who founded the populist
movement that bears his name

&APPRECIATIONS

OBITUARIES
and placed the economy largely
under state control.
Menem, who served two terms
as president between 1989 and
1999, transformed the country
but in the opposite direction.
He relished the company of
celebrities, hosting the Rolling
Stones and Madonna in Buenos
Aires, and memorably shrugged
off criticism after receiving a red
Ferrari as a gift from an Italian
businessman in 1990.
“It is mine, mine and mine,”
he said in front of television
cameras. “Why would I donate
it?”
The son of Syrian immigrants
whose family owned a winery,
Menem was a folksy, threetime governor of northwestern
La Rioja Province, noted for
shoulder-length hair and mutton
chop sideburns when he came to
international prominence.
He won the Peronist Party
nomination and surged to victory
in 1989 presidential elections,
capitalising on economic and

social chaos in Argentina. The
country was mired in 5,000 per
cent annual inflation and the
poor were sacking supermarkets
to obtain food.
Under Menem, the economy
registered strong growth,
inflation dropped to single
digits and the peso, the
national currency, enjoyed
unprecedented stability as it was
pegged to the US dollar.
In foreign affairs, he withdrew
Argentina from the Non-Aligned
Movement, a Cold War-era
structure that had espoused
independence from the United
States and – less so – the Soviet
Union, and forged strong ties
with Washington. Argentinian
troops participated in the 1991
Gulf War against Iraq and joined
UN peacekeepers in Haiti and the
former Yugoslavia.
During Mr Menem’s tenure,
Argentina was the scene of
deadly bombings – against the
Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires
in 1992 and a Jewish centre in

1994. Argentina accused Iran of
involvement; Iran denied it.
Menem was later tried for
the alleged cover-up of those
responsible for the attack on the
Jewish centre, but was found not
guilty in a trial in 2019.
He also renewed relations
with Britain, severed after the
Argentinian dictatorship’s 1982
invasion of the British-held
Falkland Islands. The invasion
ended in Argentina’s defeat in a
74-day war.
In 2001, he was detained
for several months for alleged
involvement in the sale of
Argentinian weapons to Croatia
and Ecuador in the 1990s, at a
time of international embargoes
on those countries.
He was eventually convicted
in the case and sentenced in 2013
to seven years in prison, but he
was protected from going to jail
because he had been elected as
a senator in 2005 and enjoyed
immunity. The case was dropped
in 2017.

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Laura Mason
Food historian
LAURA MASON, who has died at
63, was an accomplished cook,
a writer and an eminent food
historian. Her most notable
work, Traditional Foods of
Britain, in collaboration with
Catherine Brown, is an inventory
of the origin and production of
some 400 dishes from kippers
to kale, Bath buns to
Borrowdale tea bread.
She grew up on
a dairy farm in
Wharfedale but
spent her adult life
in her beloved York.
She studied home
economics, but it was
the origins and history
of food that became her
passion.
Two of her books, Sugar Plums
and Sherbert and Sweets and
Sweetshops cover the history
of sugar and confectionery,
whilst Farmhouse Cookery is a
collection of writings and recipes
gathered from the tenants
of National Trust farms. She
made countless contributions
to other publications, was a
founder member of Slow Food
North Yorkshire and a regular

contributor to the Leeds Food
Symposium.
She began writing as a cook in
the 1970s, and upon discovering
that no educational institution
was offering a course in the
history of food, decided to pursue
it as a hobby.
In 1990, she became a
freelance food historian,
contributing to The
Oxford Companion
to Food, and York:
Feeding a City, as
well as her own
publications.
She also lectured
for the Ministry
of Agriculture and
York City Art Gallery,
amongst others, and
broadcast on Woman’s Hour and
many other programmes.
Other work included sourcing
produce for Sir Terence Conran’s
Bluebird Store in London, and
providing visual references for
Honeyduke’s sweet shop in the
third Harry Potter film.
She lost her first husband, Ian
Tomlin, to cancer in 1992, and
she is survived by her second
husband, Derek Johnson.

Heather Miller Stanton
Journalist
HEATHER MILLER Stanton,
who has died at 76, was a former
BBC radio journalist who began
her career on the Spenborough
Guardian in the Heavy Woollen
District of the West Riding.
Born in
Hipperholme,
near Halifax, she
moved at 11 with
her family to
Cleckheaton.
Her father, Bob
Miller, had been
a professional
footballer who played
for Halifax Town and
later took over the Brown Cow in
Cleckheaton, now known as The
Priory.
Heather attended Whitcliffe
Mount Grammar before starting
work on a string of newspapers
across the North.
She met her husband-to-

SEARCH FOR TRUTH: Peter Lawrence speaking at a press conference, on the three-month anniversary of the disappearance of his daughter, Claudia, seen with him, inset. MAIN PICTURE: PA.

Peter Lawrence
Solicitor and campaigner
PETER LAWRENCE, who has
died at 74, devoted the latter part
of his life to trying to solve the
mystery of his daughter Claudia’s
disappearance in York in 2009,
and campaigned tirelessly to
change the law so that other
relatives might not have to suffer
in quite the same way.
He received an OBE for his
efforts in the Queen’s Birthday
Honours in 2018, but died
without knowing what had
happened to Claudia, who was 35
when she was last seen walking
near her home at Heworth in
York. She never turned up for
work as a chef the next morning.

In the early years of the inquiry
which followed, her family and
friends were unstinting in their
belief that she was alive and that
they would be reunited with her.
However, 10 years after her
disappearance, Mr Lawrence
admitted for the first time
publicly that he feared she was
dead and he would never see her
again.
“It is hard to say that, and
I have never told anyone that
before. But I have to come to
terms with it, as it may very well
be the truth,” he said.
Mr Lawrence campaigned
for the introduction of what

has become known as Claudia’s
Law, which allows families of
people missing for more than 90
days to deal with their legal and
financial affairs. Previously,
the disappearance
of a person did
not affect the
ownership
or control of
their property
and financial
affairs.
He had
moved to York
nine-and-half
years ago from
Slingsby, near Malton,
partly to keep a check on his
daughter’s terraced house, which
he refused to sell, and also to
pursue a love of singing which
he had nurtured since the age of
seven.

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Cricket official
GORDON COOPER, who has died
at 83, had a lifetime of devotion to
playing, organising and coaching
cricket in Yorkshire, especially
among the game’s younger
practitioners.
A significant
number of those he
encouraged went
on to play at county
and sometimes
national level,
and in June 2014
he was awarded a
British Empire Medal
for voluntary service
to youth cricket in West
Yorkshire.
He was appointed head coach
for the Heavy Woollen District
Junior Cricket League at a time

when it ran only one under-18
league, but under his direction
more were established and in
2003 leagues were introduced
for girls, too. He was also the
organisation’s honorary
public relations officer,
fixture secretary,
president and life
vice-president,
and under his
stewardship it
became one of the
most successful
junior leagues in the
county.
A successful
businessman off the cricket field
he is survived by his wife, Anne,
sons Robert and Richard and
grandchildren Grace and Zachary.

Police officer

arghhh!

Rated Excellent

and rose to become senior
partner at the law firm Pearsons
and Ward. He was president of
the Yorkshire Law Society in
2001, and in 2004 set up his own
practice. He retired in 2018.
More than 2,100 statements
were taken in the first six months
of the investigation into Claudia’s
disappearance. Nine people were
arrested or interviewed under
caution, and North Yorkshire
Police submitted files to the
Crown Prosecution Service in
2015 in relation to four men who
were detained. But there was
insufficient evidence to bring
charges against those arrested
and no one has been brought to
justice.
In January 2017, police said
the inquiry had “scaled back”
unless any major leads were
forthcoming.

Gordon Cooper

Don Shaw

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He was a member of the
York Musical Society, and
worshipped at the city’s Minster.
Mr Lawrence also found comfort
singing with the Missing People
Choir, who got to the final
of the Britain’s Got
Talent TV show in
2017.
Originally
from Lancashire,
he grew up in
Darlington, where
he went to the
local grammar
school and became a
solicitor with the town
council. He met his former
wife Joan through the church
there, and they married in 1970.
Their first daughter, Ali, was
born in 1971, and Claudia three
years later.
He moved to Malton in 1972

be, fellow journalist Graeme
Stanton, in Blackburn, and after
their marriage she left Leeds to
join him in Newcastle.
Work then took them to
Thailand, where Graeme
became editor and
Heather women’s
editor of the
English language
newspaper, The
Bangkok Post.
After 10 years, with
their young sons,
Will and Jim, they
returned to Newcastle,
where Graeme edited
the evening paper and Heather
went into broadcast journalism.
Her long working life with BBC
Radio Newcastle made her a
well-known and larger-than-life
personality, and her broadcast
interviewees included the former
US President Jimmy Carter.

Quote: 20JP

DON SHAW, who
has died at 86,
was a longserving senior
police officer in
Yorkshire.
Born in
Norton, near
Doncaster, the son
of Percy and Emma Shaw, he won a
scholarship in 1945 to Percy Jackson’s
Grammar School and upon leaving
at 16 joined the old West Riding
Constabulary, as a cadet.
He remained in policing all his
working life, including his two years of
National Service, which he served in
the Royal Military Police.
In 1954, he joined Leeds City Police,
one of the urban forces which served
the main centres of the county until
amalgamation in the early 1970s. There
he met Jean Normanton, to whom he
was married for 63 years.
In 1958 he went to Cyprus, where
he served as a detective sergeant in
Famagusta during the Greek Cypriot
War of Independence. In 1974,
following five years of home study,
he obtained a Bachelor of Law degree
from London University, becoming
one of the first officers in the force to
do so.
He subsequently rose to the rank
of assistant chief constable in the
new West Yorkshire Police and was
awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in
1988. He retired in 1993, at which point
he was the longest serving officer in
the force. He is survived by Jean, son
Howard, daughter Janine and four
grandchildren.

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