Colleagues will be sorry to learn of the recent death of Kenneth Proctor, Project Manager in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries. The following tribute has been contributed by friend and colleague, Haili Ma.
Kenneth joined the School in February 2020 as project manager for two AHRC awarded research projects, Bridging the Gaps: Mixed Reality Performance of Chinese Opera in Rural and Urban Shanghai (2020-2023) and Song of the Female Textile Workers (2020-2021). Ken was responsible for all logistical and administrative duties, whilst managing a team of interpreters and translators and ensuring the maintenance of sound working relationships with external industrial partners across the UK and China.
Before joining University of Leeds, Ken had 30 years’ service at North Yorkshire Police as a Detective Sergeant, specialising in Major and Serious Crime investigations. As a Tier 5 National Interview Advisor, which is the highest UK national advisory role, Ken was seconded regularly to Major Crime Investigations as manager and supervisor nationally and internationally.
Bringing his experience and skills into the AHRC research projects, Ken demonstrated excellent communications and meticulous management standards. It is under Ken’s full support that the AHRC projects developed gradually and steadily, despite COVID travel restrictions and tremendous logistic challenges. Just days before Ken’s sudden death he invited UKRI AHRC personnel to attend our June post-theatre discussion Song of the Female Textile Workers and was arranging with Leeds Industrial Museum and Shanghai Textile Museum for the August transnational online exhibition Queens of Industry across Leeds and Shanghai. He was, in his own words, ‘extremely excited to see something wonderful begin to emerge’ and was confident that ‘the projects will truly make a difference in bridging the gaps of understanding between China and UK people’. Ken will be missed dearly by the project team members across UK and China, as a colleague, a friend and an inspirational partner whom we had the fortune to have worked with.
The funeral service will be held at 12.15pm on Friday 9 July 2021 at Lawnswood Crematorium, on which day the flag on the Parkinson Building will be flown at half-mast in his memory.