Regina (Reggie) Kibel died in February 2018, aged 91. She had devoted her life to adult education and joined the staff of the public sector union Nalgo (now Unison) in the early 1950s, becoming assistant to the education officer. Together they expanded the Nalgo Correspondence Institute.
The institute offered correspondence and residential courses, filling the chronic under-provision of tuition for local government officers to gain the professional qualifications necessary for promotion. At any one time, around 5,000 students, from secretaries to trading standards officers would be on NCI courses. Reggie took over as education officer in 1977.
Reggie was also a selfless and astute member of many governing and advisory bodies, and she continued to deploy her experience, skills and wise counsel long after her retirement in 1991. She was also a part-time adviser to many MPs and was appointed MBE in 2017.
Our Institute will be forever grateful to Reggie and her Nalgo colleagues for the support they gave through the correspondence course and associated residential training to enable us to achieve our professional qualifications. For her amazing contribution she was made a Vice President in 1988.
In her most excellent review of our book A History of the Trading Standards Institute published in TS Today in September 2014 Reggie acknowledged the contribution of so many of our colleagues, who over the years “gave unstintingly of their experience, enthusiasm, time and brains” alongside the Nalgo team.
Her review was a potted history of the quite exceptional contribution that the Nalgo education department made to professional qualification training across all services.
Many older colleagues will have known Reggie and will be aware of the considerable debt of gratitude we owe to her.
She was a great friend to the Institute and the Service. She demonstrated time and time again her support and affection for absolutely everything to do with weights and measures and trading standards professionalism, status and qualifications. She was also fountain of common sense.
Few of today’s younger professionals will probably be aware (and why would they be?) of the astonishing debt of educational and qualifications gratitude we owe Reggie and the deep regard in which she has and will always be held by those of us fortunate enough to have known her.
Along with the many invaluable contributions she made to the Institute, in recent years she was instrumental in starting off the Institute’s process to achieve Chartered status. Reggie gave much sound advice in our endeavours, but she also secured us an audience with the Secretary to the Privy Council, a meeting that has defined the course of the Institute’s history.
Members who consulted with her will remember her generous hospitality when being allowed to meet her in the Royal Overseas League or The Grosvenor Hotel. If you were fortunate enough to meet her, you would come across a very gracious, wise and intelligent lady with a captivating personality. A really sad loss to all who knew her.
We offer our condolences to her remaining family.
(Tribute compiled by a Nalgo Correspondence lad!)