Harold Loukes (1921-1980) was a teacher and writer. He taught at the University of Delhi and administered Darjeeling’s New School. Later, he was Lecturer, then Reader-in-Education at Oxford University. He was also the editor of the magazine Living for Learning. His educational approach was nurturing and experiential, focusing especially on the reform of secondary schools. He wrote several works on education, including Teenage Morality and Secondary Modern. In addition, he was a Justice of the Peace and an Oxford City Education Committee member.
Loukes became a Friend while a student at Oxford University. After his return from India, he was active at Oxford Meeting. His particular concern was for Young Friends, by whom he was greatly loved. (He was Senior Member of the Oxford University Friends Society, that is, sponsor of the Young Friends group at the university). His ministry was eloquent, centering often on Meeting for Worship. As well, he served as Clerk of the Friends Home Service Committee from 1969 to 1973.
Loukes wrote extensively on Quakerism. His books included The Quaker Contribution, The Discovery of Quakerism, Friends and Their Children, and Seeking and Finding in the Society of Friends. He also delivered “The Castle and the Field”, the 1959 Swarthmore Lecture, and “Readiness for Religion”, the 1963 Rufus Jones Lecture. He contributed many articles to The Friend.
Harold Loukes brought me into Friends. I read The Quaker Contribution at Northern Illinois University in the early 1970’s. I was very moved by the book and began attending Meeting. (The Quaker Contribution remains the best short introduction to Friends I have ever encountered). Harold was known for bringing young people to Friends, as he did me. I am really sorry that I never met him.
“(Meeting for Worship is)….a living moment, a loving silence, the sound of the sea, the light behind the hills”.