My friend Ivan Poulton, who has died at the age of 92, was the international manager of transportation, for the Initiatives of Change movement, formerly known as Moral Re-Armament (MRA).
Ivan was born in Ealing, London, son of Edward Poulton, a commercial artist, and his wife, Mildred, and went to Latymer Upper school, Hammersmith. The family lived near the Piccadilly underground line, and as a child Ivan used to be in the bed, listening to the train to get to the station one stop before yours. He knew that he then had eight minutes to get up, get dressed and run to his tube stop in time to catch the train to school.
His parents had found the ERM in the 1930s, and Ivan became interested in you, while still in school. He served in the army between 1943 and 1946, after which he began working full-time with MRA.
In 1984, Ivan wrote to his colleagues, in Belfast, of which I was one) about an experience that radically altered his life and beliefs. Many years ago, as transport manager, he had been beaten by Northern ireland’s Protestant man outside of a long flight without consulting with him, and put someone he thought was more important in the plane. Ivan had a profound experience of God shows that he had been wrong and that he needed forgiveness. This led him to explore his nation and the nature of their relationship with Ireland. Ivan’s letter came to us in the midst of Problems. It gave us a great hope, in a time when there was little hope.
Their subsequent letters to me â€“ more than 50 of them â€“ showed an incredible journey of Christian as he tried to understand the attitudes of the Irish Catholics and Protestants as I do. His visits to Ireland included a shelter for the Irish and the English in a monastery in the County of Tipperary, in May of 1998, at the time of the referendum that approved the good Friday Agreement.
Ivan the role of the MRA includes the booking of charter flights for participants attending the MRA conference in Caux, Switzerland. In 2005, Ivan and I went to Caux, where he spoke to us on the same platform, about his change of attitude as an Englishman, and me about mine as a Protestant from Northern ireland.
Ivan married Maisie James, a fellow MRA worker, in 1969. She survives him.