Gordon Higginson Memoir by Eric Hatton

The following memoir was written by Eric Hatton who became SNU President following Gordon’s passing on 18th January 1993.  At the time, Eric was Gordon’s closest friend.  His memoir recalls how Gordon came into his life as well as their friendship for 46 years.  It was circulated by the SNU a few months after Gordon’s passing.


There will be few (if any) who truly knew Gordon Higginson and witnessed his mediumship who do not mourn his passing.  For so many years we have become accustomed to him being there at the helm and, even before his Presidency, as being prominent on the Spiritualist scene, and therefore his physical loss leaves a great void.

No one article can encompass his life or, indeed, his achievements, so where does one commence?

He was already 28 when I first met him, which was at a meeting in Stourbridge Church: the dramatic impact of the evidence he relayed to people was bordering on amazing.

Over the first year of hearing and meeting him, I could not help but be convinced by his accurate relay of contacts from spirit beings, for in spite of my sceptical approach and determination to accept only those things which were provable or corroborative, I could not help being astounded.

My own family, who were in dreadful, shock and mourning as a result of my brother’s sudden, unexpected death in a Sunderland flying-boat in Singapore, were reunited on many an occasion by the brilliant mediumship of Gordon.  Details which were known only to ourselves and could not be gleaned from any source other than my brother in spirit were instrumental in changing our lives from despair to realisation.

In recent days, since Gordon’s passing, my sister and I have conversed upon those early incidents which have determined our beliefs that, come what may, these evidences have made us Spiritualists for all time!

However, there are thousands upon thousands who have been influenced by this man’s amazing demonstrations.  Indeed, the number who have spoken of their reunion with loved ones through Gordon’s unique mediumship are almost too numerous to calculate, but lives have been changed and enhanced by his uniting the living with the so-called dead.

In the mid to late 50s, operating in Longton Church, was a circle group, at which physical phenomena and psychokinesis were being witnessed week-upon-week.  I was allowed into some of these and saw clearly the movement of objects, together with materialisation of a high quality.

This was at a time when I was particularly sceptical, of this form of mediumship and Gordon was no exception to my critical analysis, but when one witnesses the breaking down and reassembly of structures – independent; of the medium – and in discernible light, a new evaluation has to be reckoned with.

Throughout the 46 years I have known Gordon, I have been present at literally countless numbers of his meetings, both large and small.  He became, after Estelle Roberts, Helen Hughes, Lillian Bailey and Bertha Harris, our foremost demonstrator at large public meetings.  I recall one such occasion when I sat next, to Lord Dowding in Solihull Town Hall.  This critical but kindly man said, after one piece of relayed evidence, “That is quite astonishing!”  At meetings such as this, there would always be those who looked for flaws and other explanations for the almost unbelievable, detailed relay of facts: consequently, Gordon would from time to time come under great scrutiny and challenge.

After one such period and episode, he was invited to a secular society of which I was chairman.  We imposed strict conditions, together with careful, monitored isolation, to ensure that he could not be aware of the nature of our test or our audience.  Needless to say, he came out with flying colours, as he did when we tested him in billet-reading, as well as on reading a page of a book by psychometric methods.

When he, together with Mary Duffy and Stephen O’Brien, demonstrated to empty chairs in Stansted Hall some years ago, this pinpoint accuracy with its attendant minute details astounded us all when, a few hours later, people occupied the chairs.

In more recent years, Gordon’s resolve to train and help younger mediums and his desire to teach at the Arthur Findlay College, which in effect opened up a new dimension to his mediumship, has perhaps had a closer and more lasting impact on many people’s lives.

His love of music, his tremendous sense of humour, his kindly disposition, his concern for others’ welfare and his work as the longest-serving President for 22 years all leave us with an unfillable chasm.

Would that we could change the course of events!  However, as the days roll by and snippets of his recent utterances come to my attention, I venture to suggest that his greatest adventure was made known to him in an oblique sort of way.

We who were privileged to know him, and some of us who worked with him, must now take up the torch he has passed into our hands and, in thankfulness for his life, strive to continue the heritage he has left behind!

Source: SNU Circular 1993


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