Hester Solomon, 1943 – 2021
We are heartbroken to learn that Hester Solomon passed away peacefully on the 5th of October 2021.
Hester McFarland Solomon
The death of Hester McFarland Solomon on October 5th, 2021 is truly a profound loss for the international Jungian community. Hester was only the second woman to become president of the IAAP, following Verena Kast. Both instituted much needed major changes: Verena brought clear, shorter term limits to the IAAP Executive Committee for inclusion of those interested in serving the organization; Hester, during her presidency began the process of revising and modernizing the IAAP constitution. As I was president-elect during Hester’s term, we worked closely together, collaborating on this and many other projects, e.g., developing the IAAP Education Committee, and evolving the role of finance officer. She set a high bar for leadership.
Hester was a very dynamic person, who was a good friend and colleague to many analysts around the world. She was a skilled diplomat with an ecumenical grasp of culture. I was one of those fortunate enough to have had the chance to develop a close friendship with her over our 9 years serving together on the IAAP Executive Committee, in addition to collaborating as part of The Journal of Analytical Psychology’s editorial board, as well as other professional projects. As a result, I was able to witness and learn first-hand what a skillful administrator she was, tackling complex problems with innovative solutions. She had a keen mind and could discern potential problems in emergent states and then effectively strategize interventions before difficulties could escalate. She was also a fine writer with a broad knowledge base and range of skills and was able to produce scholarly contributions to the analytic literature as well as composing important technical and bureaucratic documents. All of this in addition to having a rich family life created in her chosen country of emigration, the UK.
During our years on the IAAP Executive, we traveled the world together for association business. She was an intrepid globetrotter and good companion that allowed for memorable shared adventures on numerous continents. Her insightful vision and good sense of humor made for convivial and pleasurable excursions for all who accompanied us. We worked hard, accomplished much yet always found time for important historical and cultural encounters: for example, when in South Africa preparing for the Cape Town Congress, we visited Robben Island where Nelson Mandela had been a political prisoner; when in China assisting the founders of the Shanghai Jungian contingent achieve Developing Group status, we toured Taoist shrines and Buddhist monasteries; prior to presenting at a conference in Rome, we immersed ourselves in the splendors of the Vatican Museum and at an officer’s meeting in Milan, after a rather long day of meetings, we saw a memorable production of Carmen at the Teatro alla Scala.
Hester’s kind, open-minded and thoughtful demeanor made her an excellent leader, with an empathic knack for mediation of conflicts. A person of her caliber does not come along often and I am grateful to have been a part of her orbit. It was a high honor and privilege to work in partnership with Hester and count her as a significant friend. The world has been diminished by her passing.
In fond memory,