The Holloway Icons - Biographies

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Charlotte Beer • Nikunj Chande • Jeremy Corbyn • Carlos DabeziesOrmatie DhaniramTzeggai Yohannes Deres Eddie the CatTristan FletcherPaula Rison Gray JamieGarry Kennard Anil Khatri • Minal KhatriAlex Mitrides Dinesh Nathwani • Anna PamphilonBabak Pamphilon-FletcherErif Rison Stuart Rison • Daniel Sami • Osgur Serin Shokoh • Eve SmithAlfredo Solari • Jane SufianRuth ValentineJane WardArsène Wenger


  Babak Fletcher-Pamphilon: Babak was born in October 2009 and was five months old when he sat for this painting. He is the first child (of Anna and Tristan), grandchild and great-grandchild of a very proud extended family. Babak is named after a Zoroastrian warrior who fought the freedom movement of his time in ancient Persia, reflecting both the Iranian component of his ethnicity and his parents' high expectations.
  Anna Pamphilon: Born in 1978, Anna Pamphilon is an architect and new mum living with her husband Tristan and baby boy Babak in Holloway. Coming from a musical family, she started life as a keen musician, playing the cello and harp and played the cello in the National Youth Orchestra for several years.  After her A-Levels, Anna went to the Glasgow School of Art to study architecture, followed by an Erasmus year at the ‘Accademia Di Architettura’ Ticino, Switzerland and then completing her studies at the Bartlett, UCL, London. She is now enjoying the contrast of being a mum and taking advantage of as many activities with her baby while she can.
  Tristan Fletcher: Tristan was born in Cambridge in 1979 to an English father and an Iranian mother. As a child he lived in Germany and Iran before returning to Cambridge where he went to school and then university. It was whilst at school that Tristan met his wife Anna whom he now lives with in Holloway. He attempted to stay out of a conventional career for as long as he could by first drawing out his education as long as possible and then through various entrepreneurial exploits. Amongst other things, Tristan is currently studying a PhD in Machine Learning and working as a trader in the City. Most importantly, he is the very proud father of Babak.
  Garry Kennard: Born in Islington, London in 1948. He is a painter, writer and lecturer and the artistic director of the Art and Mind Festival ( Earlier life was spent working in schools and at the Tower of London in graphic design, audio visual management and as a museum ilustrator. He ran a gite and gallery in the Languedoc, France for 10 years. Has exhibited paintings in many UK galleries. Work is in collections in UK, France and USA. Recently artist in residence at the Petworth Festival. Writes and lectures on art and the brain sciences. He published his first book 'Essays and Images' in 2013. He is also a mountaineer and has climbed in the Alps, Africa and the Himalayas. Lives in Holloway with his partner Erif.
  Erif Rison: Born in 1944 in Wales, brought up in the United States where her father worked in the United Nations. After living in Spain for a while, returned to the UK, went to university and ended up in London where she worked in Citizens Advice Bureaux, a law centre, housing advice and advising refugees from Latin America.  Now retired and lives in Holloway (has lived here since the late 80s) with her partner, Garry. She is interested in Latin America and Hispanic culture and is a keen gardener.
  Tzeggai Yohannes Deres: Is a human rights activist born in 1950 in Asmara, Eritrea who spent 15 years fighting for the independence of Eritrea. He studied at Addis Ababa University, and later at Goldsmiths College, London. He came to the UK in 1986.  In the late 80s he was on the Management Committee of the Eritrean community in the UK, based in Islington. He worked at the Refugee Council, and from 1994 - March 2010 in Holloway, as CEO of the Evelyn Oldfield Unit, which provides support, training and guidance for refugee communities in London. For many years he was a member of the central governing body of the City Parochial Foundation, one of the major grant-making trusts.
  Ruth Valentine: One of the three founder-members (with Carlos Dabezies and Erif Rison) of the house in Holloway where Garry Kennard now lives and works.  Born in Sussex in 1945, the illegitimate daughter of a British woman and a Russian-Canadian serviceman; grew up in Bognor Regis.  Escaped to London at 18 and has lived here since, apart from a year teaching in Senegal and a year at Essex University.  Worked for many years in Citizens Advice and with refugee organisations.  Currently has three occupations: independent funeral celebrant, organisational consultant in the voluntary sector, and poet.  Her latest book is The Announced, (Sylph Editions 2009).
  Carlos Dabezies:  Born in Buenos Aires in 1947 and brought up in New York, Carlos came to the UK from the US in 1975 and has lived in the Holloway Road area since 1987.  He is employed as a county court judge, having worked previously in law centres and advice centres.   
  Jane Sufian: The grandchild of Ukrainian, Austrian and Lithuanian Jewish immigrants to the U.S., she spent most of her life in New York City, before moving to London 20 years ago. Her parents were politically active, and she became a law-reform lawyer for children, after a short stint as an editor at a news magazine.  In London she worked as a solicitor, and then for a voluntary organisation that tries to improve conditions for young people leaving care. Recently retired, she volunteers as an editor and trustee at a music charity, studies Spanish, and does tai chi, among other activities. Since coming to London, she has lived with her husband Carlos never more than 10 minutes from Holloway Road—even working there for a couple of years.
  Eve Smith: Born 1938 on Tyneside and raised by her grandmother, Eve moved to Lincolnshire in 1954 to live with her aunt and uncle but returned north to take degree at Durham university.  She taught for one year, then married and moved to London. She had two daughters (1962 and 1964). After the break up of her marriage, she returned to teaching part-time in an Islington primary school where she remained for 28 years, ending up as Deputy Head. She has lived in Islington since 1968 and in present house in Holloway since 1982. She has two cats called Oscar and Eddie. She is a keen gardener and enjoys baking, theatre and visiting art galleries.
  Jane Ward : Jane has lived in Islington (or on the borders) for nearly 40 years. Born in the US in 1948, she came to England at an early age and completed both secondary and university education here (getting a degree in Russian and German). After working for 17 years at Amnesty International, she trained as a nurse at Barts.  The next move was to work on the GP referral program, based at the Sobell Centre. Together with her husband Richard, she has been practising Tai Chi and Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung for 25 years with Master Lam Kam-Chuen and now teaches these arts full-time in Camden and Islington - including a popular Monday lunchtime class at the Sobell Centre.
Alex Mitrides: Born in Greece in 1961, Alex came to the UK in 1984 and has lived in London ever since. In 2004, he started the Euro Café, a great favourite for wonderful breakfasts (and lunches) at 270 Holloway Road, almost opposite the tube, which he runs with his wife. Alex likes the Holloway area and its multi-cultural atmosphere. His customers are pleasant, even on match days. Although he enjoys cooking, he would quite like to have time for a hobby – but working from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. means that his “free” time is mostly spent on badly needed rest.
  Minal Khatri: Minal was born and brought up in Mumbai, India. She went to college in Mumbai where she got a degree in commerce. She married Anil Khatri, whom she thinks is the best husband and father ever, kind and with an amazing sense of humour; in 1991, she came to the UK. She is the proud mother of a son of 17 and a daughter of 15. From 1996, Anil and Minal have run the newspaper kiosk at Holloway Road tube station. She thinks the people of Holloway are amazing and is very glad to be part of Hollaway’s every day life. Minal is a henna artist and also loves knitting. Thanks to the encouragement of her customers, she has also discovered that she really enjoys gardening, too.
  Anil Khatri: Anil runs the newspaper kiosk at the Holloway Road tube station with his wife Minal.
  Jeremy Corbyn MP: Born in 1949. A British Labour Party politician he is Member of Parliament for Islington North, has been in the House of Commons since the 1983 general election. He was re-elected in the 2010 General Election with 54.5% of the vote. He has raised issues about poverty and housing in Parliament on behalf of his constituents and is committed to peace and social justice.  During the election, he campaigned to save the local Whittington Hospital's A and E department, a battle which has been won. He opposed the Iraq war, is an elected member of the Stop the War Coalition steering committee and vice-chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. He is also a prominent Amnesty International member. Since 2005 he has defied the whip 148 times, making him by far the most rebellious Labour MP. He lives in Islington North.
  Ormatie Dhaniram: Orma was born in Guyana on 25 December 1939. Her husband Danny came to the UK in 1961and Orma joined him in 1964. They had two daughters. They moved to their present house in Holloway in 1969 after living for a while in the south of the borough. Danny died a few years ago. Orma is now retired, after working in Grays Inn Road for many years. She says the area is less friendly than when they moved here and has fewer houses and more flats.
  Paula Rison Gray: Born in 1979, Paula has been living in Holloway for four years. Paula grew up in Portishead, near Bristol, before movingto Canterbury to study French and History at the University of Kent. Part of the course involved a year spent at the Université d’Avignon
trying to master the language, a skill that has proven useful as her husband Stuart, was born and brought up in Geneva. Paula has been in London for over six years, establishing her career in marketing. Having recently completed a postgraduate diploma she is currently the marketing manager for an agency specialising in luxury hotels. Paula’s interests include baking, playing the piano and luxury travel - ouch!
  Stuart Rison: Stuart is a 36 year old eternal student.  The son of an Austrian Mum and an English Dad, he was brought up in Switzerland and France and came to London in 1991 for the first of his four university degrees, a BSc. in Microbiology.  Despite four stabs at a proper job, Stuart did not take to the 'real world' and also completed an MSc. and a PhD. in Computational Biology. In 2006, Stuart 'left' a job with a Microsoft and applied for his fourth degree as a medical student at King's College.  He is now in his final year of medicine. Despite his inability to hold down a steady job, Stuart still managed to bag an incredible girl and he finally made an honest woman of Holloway Icon Paula Rison Gray.
  Osgur Serin: Osgur ('Ozzie') works in the 'Best Kebab' restaurant in the Holloway Road.
  Charlotte Beer: Charlotte spent her childhood beside the sea in North Devon.  After 'A' levels she lived and worked in Italy. Stints then followed in London, New York, Los Angeles. She traveled the world for work and pleasure. Careers have been diverse: governess, residential social work to upper management positions in varied industries which also included live TV weekly stint. After her third 'working trip' to Los Angeles she recently returned to England and is now living in Central London.  After a redundancy in 2009 she is now working on diverse and interesting projects plus working part-time within the John Lewis Partnership Group on the Holloway Road.  A country girl at heart with a love of the city.
  Arsène Wenger, OBE:  Born 22 October 1949 in Strasbourg, Arsène Wenger is a football manager who has managed Premier League side Arsenal since1996. He is the most successful manager in the history of Arsenal in terms of trophies. Wenger was the first non-British manager to win the Double in England, in 1998 and 2002. In 2004, he became the only manager in FA Premier League history to go through the entire season without defeat. In 2002 he received the Legion d’Honneur, and was presented with an honorary OBE a year later. Wenger has a degree in Electrical Engineering and a master's degree in Economics from Strasbourg University and is fluent in French, German and English.
  Alfredo Solari : Alfredo was born in1952 in Bardi, Italy. He came ot the UK in 1961 and lived in Highbury for many years. He came to work at Franchi's  builders' merchant some 30 years ago where he is General Manager.
  Shokoh: biography to come Shokoh runs the Curious Yellow Kafe in the Holloway Road.
  Nikunj Chande : biography to come
  Daniel Sami: Daniel is from Montenegro. At present he sells the big issue outside Waitrose in the Holloway Road.
  Dinesh Nathwani: Dinesh Nathwani has run the Holloway Booksellers bookshop and stationers for many years.
  Jamie : Jamie worked in the Holloway Cycles shop in 2011/12.
  Andrew Rummer : Biography to come
  Trista : Biogrpahy to come
  Margot : Biography to come
  Sophie Brookesmie : Biography to come
  Jackie : Biography to come
  Anya Thomas: Biography to comenya
  Maureen Grant: Biography to come
  Dr V. K. Gupta : Biography to come
  Isabelle Grey-Rison : Biography to come
  Eddie: A cat. Born 16th February 2009 in Holloway, Eddie now lives two doors away from his birth home with his brother Oscar and their human, Eve Smith.  Loves climbing up garden fences and trellises and lying precariously at the top. His favourite toy is a small furry ball with three coloured feathers sticking out of it which he throws about and chases manically. He is rather partial to Suet Treat bird food which he gobbles up if it falls from the bird table. He is a very gentle cat.

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