We are the last national newspaper to honour the memory of our late poetry editor John Rety.
No doubt had he still been alive, he'd have been on the phone every day to check that it was going in, ending each call with a trademark abrupt "Goodbye!" cutting the conversation off.
I never did find out whether that represented his sense of humour or, as one friend suggested, his never quite coming to terms with telephones.
Either way, meeting John in his later years, it turned out there wasn't time for nearly enough abrupt "Goodbyes."
But his memorial event last week at the same venue that once hosted the launch of Well Versed, the anthology he helped bring into being via the pages of this paper, revealed the huge impact he has had on so many other people's lives over the years.
In a way the Well Versed launch was his real sending off, a packed event imbued with the magnetic warmth that John projected. He was there to see it all, perched at the side of the stage, grinning quizzically.
He shared little about the early years of his life in Hungary, describing his birth as his arrival in England in 1947, "two years after World War II and at the age of 17."
In fact he despised the country where his grandmother had been shot dead in cold blood in the dying days of the war. Her crime had been to tell a young fascist he should remove his nazi armband as the Soviets were coming.
Seeing photographs of a young, serious-looking John Rety - born Janos RÃ©ti - it is hard to match the emotion in those eyes with the older man, whose eyes never stopped twinkling mischievously in company.
He arrived in Britain and worked for his aunt in a laundry. She burnt his passport, rendering him "stateless" - a fact which didn't prevent him from travelling Europe as a chess master until immigration laws were tightened. He finally received a British passport in his late seventies.
John initially immersed himself in the bohemian world of 1950s Soho, running a furniture shop with partner Susan Johns and producing magazines such as Intimate Review, Cheshire Cat and Fortnightly, which published major literary figures of the era.
Yet the events of World War II had a lasting impact, fuelling John's hatred of violence - a sentiment expressed while watching the recent G8 demonstrations when the media swarmed around a couple of masked demonstrators smashing a bank window. He was mortified.
"When you have to resort to violence, you have lost the argument," he would say.
The war propelled him towards anarchism in the belief that a world without borders based on community co-operation and development was essential for humanity's future.
John would proudly recall his role as an editor of the anarchist paper Freedom during the '60s, its most successful period. He also acted on his anti-war beliefs by joining the anti-nuclear Committee of 100.
While John later moved away from active politics, he maintained his links with anarchism to the end, popping up at the annual Anarchist Bookfair and dropping into the Freedom offices to see how his successors were doing.
Through Torriano Meeting House, a ramshackle creative space in Kentish Town, north London, John continued to engage in practical work along with Susan. They had one child together, artist and current Peace News editor Emily Johns, who joined brother Jacob Rety from an earlier relationship with Laura Del Rivo.
John was also drawn towards poetry, becoming a key figure in supporting and nurturing hundreds of poets via the Hearing Eye publishing house.
Despite growing financial pressures - from the local council which owned the building and the withdrawal of Arts Council funding - they continued to offer a platform for performance, poetry and creative arts.
And it was to John's great delight and surprise that in his last years he reconnected with politics through the Morning Star.
This paper's weekly poetry column Well Versed was very much his project, although I was a key conspirator, and the enthusiasm and interest that he showed in the paper's development was infectious despite an age gap of half a century between us.
He was a man of ideas, too. "Why don't you run a Chinese chess column?" he once asked. "It's very popular!"
Then there was his idea to print the Well Versed book on one sheet of paper and give readers instructions as to how to fold it together. No-one said that all his ideas were good.
The success of the Well Versed anthology was one of John's crowning achievements in recent years. The scale of the task would have made much younger people flinch.
Yet John, for whom old age seemed an irrelevant detail until near the end, powered on with the support of friends and family and made it happen - and succeed.
Ageism works both ways and is hard to avoid. But with John the life in those eyes, the youthful body language and the myriad expressions he would pull as he made a comment designed to shock or entertain served to smash any age barrier.
A year or so before his death he could be seen sprinting like a teenager to catch a bus home.
And he was a regular at Morning Star Christmas parties, dancing away with everyone else at approaching 80 years old. He came out nightclubbing afterwards a couple of years ago and he got stuck straight in, dancing until the early hours.
John's organisational ability, good humour, patience and intelligence - all couched in knowing eccentricity - will be sorely missed by all who entered his orbit.
But the example he provided to people he knew at the Morning Star will not be forgotten.
I never did write that poem, John. If only we'd known you for..."Goodbye!"
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