honorary conductors

Norman Perrin named as an honorary conductor for 2013

The World Congress of Conductive Education takes place every three years and the next one will be in October this year in Munich.


At these congresses a number of people are awarded honorary conductor status for their contributions to Conductive Education. The first group of these, announced in 1990 at the First World Congress in Budapest, included Andrew Sutton, and I was surprised to be included myself in  2010.

This year Norman Perrin, a British parent who established and runs his own centre, Paces, in Sheffield, Yorkshire has been named as honorary conductor. Norman, parent of Sarah, who has cerebral palsy, has worked tirelessly for Conductive Education since the late 1980s publicising its benefits, attending conferences and meetings, lobbying politicians,writing papers, and now his blog, whilst dealing with the day to day running of Paces.
In the past there have usually been a number of people selected, but I have looked on the Congress website, the International Pető Association website and the Pető Institute website to try and discover who this year’s might be, but without success. There is nothing there, maybe it will come later.

In the meantime, congratulations, Norman, a well deserved honour!

Thank you Claire…and congratulations

Over the years I have got know the names of those who have become involved in Conductive Education in a variety of ways. For example, some are conductors, some parents,  some professionals, and some who now ‘use the principles’ of Conductive Education.
In Hong Kong I met a lady whose name I had known for many years. I knew that she had gone to Budapest with her child and then become actively involved in trying to bring CE to Australia – Claire Cotter, parent, occupational therapist and Honorary Conductor.
Claire gave me two videos of  historical interest, videos of the 1991 Australian conference containing presentations by Maria Hari, amongst others. These are now part of my growing library and very important additions.
Thank you very much, Claire, these will be preserved and made available to others in the future.
Whilst preparing this blog I came across a news item about her reporting an award she had received from the  Victorian State Government in Australia  for her work helping “those with disabilities participate in their communities”.
Claire is the first recipient of the Victorian Disability Sector’s leadership award for all her hard work.
She founded the Cerebral Palsy Education Center, which is staffed by physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and receives input from a conductor.


Hearty congratulations, Claire, and thanks again for the videos.
It was lovely to meet you!

Honorary Conductor Award

I have never been to a conference before so this was a very interesting experience for me. Initially I thought I would dip in and out but got hooked and attended as many sessions as possible.

It was two days filled with parallel presentations which meant I was unable to go to all those I wanted to hear. People from all over the world presented and I learned about what was going on in Israel, UK, Hong Kong, mainland China, Australia, Mexico and Germany. Over the two days I met people who had only been names to me before and was able to learn more about them.

Of course, the main reason I went was to receive my Honorary Conductor Award.
There were seven awards this time to the following :
 Chris K. H. Kan, Hong Kong
 Gillian Maguire, United Kingdom
 Anete Mozes, Israel
 Katalin Racz, Hungary
Bettina Tauscher Fak, Austria
 Karin Weber, Germany
 Edith Y. S. Yeung, Hong Kong
I am pleased to say that Edith Yeung is also a librarian working for SAHK. I had hoped to visit her library but the busy schedule of the congress and the study tours afterwards made it impossible. An excuse to go back some day perhaps!
The presentations were made at a banquet on the Sunday evening after everyone had watched a Lion Dance and listened to the SAHK children’s  Brass Band. All great fun.
My award was presented to me by Franz Schaffhauser, Director of the Peto Institute and I now have a beautiful red leather folder embossed with the Peto Institute’s name containing a certificate detailing the award.  I was very relieved to get up on to, and off the platform without any mishap due to nerves.
After this I was lucky enough to sit with a group of people who were excellent company and we all enjoyed a traditional Chinese dinner of soup, fish, meat, noodles, rice, more soup, more fish and little cakes in copious amounts.
I would like to thank all those who made this possible very much indeed for an evening I shall always remember with pride and happiness.

Around the world in ten days – almost!

I arrived home in Birmingham yesterday lunchtime after what seemed to be a never-ending journey. It was 24 hours since I had left the hotel in Hong Kong and I was very tired indeed. How people can do this all the time amazes me.
On the way out to Hong Kong I stayed over in Dubai for a day with my nephew, a journalist, who lives there. All was on a very large scale – everywhere were tall buildings, construction projects and a very efficient road system. He took me up the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa and round the largest shopping mall in the world on the way to seeing a Fountain display, the water ‘moving’ to music. In the evening we took a short boat ride across the creek to the souks where spices and medicines are sold before having a very tasty Arabic dinner. Fabulous.
I was up early next morning and back to the huge airport for the next stage of the journey to Hong Kong, arriving late at night to a kaleidascope of bright lights.
Hong Kong ws a wonderful place to visit and everyone I met was very helpful and extremely polite. Temperatures were in the early 20s so it was even more wonderful to be there  after the freezing cold in the UK.
The city was very clean, well organised and easy to get around enabling me to visit most of the places on my list in the time allowed. I saw the Big Buddha, had lunch in the buddhist monastery, visited Taoist temples,  went to several street markets, had a trip round the harbour at night, crossed over to Kowloon on the Star Ferry and had coffee in the former headquarters of the Hong Kong Police Force – now converted into a shopping mall with restuarants and coffee bars. On my last day I went up to the Peak by cable car for the fantastic view. Here as everywhere there were more shops and restuarants!  It was windy and cold and a little misty (unless that was pollution, hard for me to tell) but well worth the effort. I was lucky to do all these things in the company of some wonderful friends – so thank you to all who came with me and made it so enjoyable.
This was all fitted in after, and round the conference, which I will talk about later.
Now it is time to unpack, do the washing and start thinking about Christmas.
 Back to earth with a bump!

Congress time

Well its nearly Congress time and I start my journey to Hong Kong later today – weather permitting. It is still snowing here and I am watching the news for updates on the situation at the airport.
The above photo is of my brother, mother and I enjoying refreshment at the Peak in Hong Kong quite a long time ago. I hope to go up there again, enjoy the view and have another ice-cream next week!
I am looking forward to meeting all the people I have ‘spoken’ to via email, whose papers I have read and who contributed to the National Library of Conductive Education whilst I was Librarian.  Its my first visit to such an event and it should be an interesting time.

A surprising year

It is twelve months to the day since I left the Foundation for Conductive Education and the National Library of Conductive Education. http://www.conductiveeducationinformation.org/2009/02/now-is-time-to-say-goodbye-to-era.html

I felt sad and angry. Angry that the Library would no longer be a living library as there would be no-one with the time and expertise to search, find, beg for ,and add material to it. Keep it growing. As far as I know those assigned to looking after it have other responsibilities and therefore little time, if not none at all, to devote to it. Shame. The systems I put in place mean that basic services of issuing and returning items can be offered to the service users, students and staff at the Foundation. It is the only Library in Conductive Education that is open access (I know that the opening hours have been reduced to term time only by appointment) and applications for new membership not being accepted. Access is possible but not in the way it was. Shame.

Soldiering on

I felt sad as I thought that after eighteen years plus in Conductive Education I was leaving it and taking my knowledge with me. I did not think I would be able to keep up this blog, that it would be impossible without the Library around me, but I have managed it and hope to continue. A number of people have written to me with enquiries which I have responded to and the number of hits, now 10,487 as I write this, has been quite satisfying with an average of 200 a week.

Just do it

More time can now be spent on preserving the knowledge and information on Conductive Education through publishing and I am part of the Conductive Education Press publishing house. www.cepress.org The first book, Just Do It, came out in December and sales have been steady. There are plans for several more books, so its future is looking bright and exciting.

Popular and personal support

I would like to thank again those who wrote to me a year ago saying such kind and complimentary things and also those who signed the petition.


The support of several people over the first six months helped enormously. This meant so much and encouraged me to stick with Conductive Education, determined to work for it in new (if unpaid!) ways.

An unexpected anniversary present

I started preparing this posting a week or so ago and since then I have had a surprising communication which means this extra paragraph. I received an email informing me that I had been nominated and accepted for the award of Honorary Conductor to be presented at the World Congress in Hong Kong later this year. Apparently a letter had been sent through the post in December 2009, and I had not received it, but a copy of this from Professor Schaffhauser, written on behalf of the Andras Peto Institute of Conductive Education and Conductors’ College Senate, has just arrived. Naturally this was completely unexpected and left me at sixes and sevens, as they say. Of course I was delighted to accept. I am now waiting for further information and may go to Hong Kong. I did go there as a child and have some happy, if slightly vague, memories of the trip.

It just goes to show how life can change in a very short time – and I wonder what will the next twelve month bring!

Honorary conductors

I received an email re the exact date that Marion Fang was made an honorary conductor and it set me thinking about honorary conductors in general. In the process I remembered having seen a list on the Internet in the past and have managed to track it down on the website of the 5th World Congress of Conductive Education, 2007.

Here it states the criteria for the award.

 The College Senate of the International Peto Institute gives the Honorary Conductor Award. It was established in 1990 to recognise the work of non-conductors in the field, which is well known both in the homeland and internationally. Nominations are initiated by leading persons and are submitted to the International Peto Association Executive Committee. The IPA Nominating Committee considers the person’s contribution to the development of Conductive Education and is deserving of wider and more formal recognition. Final nomination is submitted to the Senate of the International Peto College who are authorized to make a final decision about acceptance.


Included is a list of the recipients from 1990-2007 which includes Marion Fang who received her award in 2001 at the World Congress held in London.The site also has a list of all the World Congresses with their dates and venues.

No doubt nominations to receive the award at the Congress in Hong Kong, 2010 will be requested soon, if they have not been already.