Lawrence W. Mercer 1966
The sudden death occurred on Thursday 3rd November, 1966, of Lawrence W. Mercer, the President of the Staffordshire Chess Association, an office he had occupied for approaching twenty years.
He had attained distinction in many fields. He was Chairman of the Stone Council in 1962-3 and a County Councillor for Staffordshire from 1961 onwards. He began an insurance broker business in 1934 and had a number of offices throughout the County. His interests encompassed bridge as well as chess and he was a former Chairman of Stone Bridge Club.
His contribution to the chess world was in many ways unique. He played for the Staffordshire first team for a number of years and was always able to hold his own against the very strongest in the County. For the last 15 years he played for the John Thompson Chess Club on a high board in the Wolverhampton League. He will, however, be best remembered by local chess players for his guidance in the administration of the complex County organisation. There are few ventures in the Midlands chess world in which he has not played a part. As well as his County Presidency, he was President of the Midlands Counties Chess Union from 1955-61 and his presence in this quarter healed many a rift and fathered many a project. He will be hard to replace, particularly at a time when those who are prepared to do chess organisational work are thin on the ground. Wherever he played or spoke he made friends and the loss to most chess players will be a personal one.