Celia Edey - Author
Celia grew up in Colchester, England. Her mother Lois’s stories of her own childhood and family in South Africa instilled in Celia a strong sense of her South African roots. After her education in England and France, Celia worked for one of the foremost theatre and ballet photographers in London in the mid-sixties, learning to work with photographs while indulging her passion for the performing arts.
She met and married Russell who had himself grown up and been educated in South Africa, and the couple moved to Johannesburg where their first son was born. Russell’s work then took the young family to Australia for nearly seven years where their daughter and younger son were born, and finally back to the UK where they settled to bring up their children.
For 25 years, Celia was a lay magistrate and involved in the governance of Magistrates Courts at both County and National level. In addition to serving as Chairman of Fundraising for the British Lung Foundation for 12 years, she has served on a number of other not-for-profit Boards. On the Council of the University of Essex for ten years, she was appointed Treasurer in 2010, retiring in 2016. She has been on the Board of the newly independent University of Suffolk since 2008 and is now Chairman of its Foundation Board . In 2015 she was appointed O.B.E. for services to Higher Education and the Communities of Essex and Suffolk.
Since her parents’ deaths in 2004 and 2005, Celia has been researching her family history, producing a book based on her father’s diary of an Antarctic Expedition for which he was Medical Officer from 1937-39.
More recently she has concentrated on her South African family, and in particular on the extraordinary story of her great-grandfather, Sir Walter Stanford, or ‘Ganku’ as he was known within the family. Celia wanted to explore his personality and understand his background, as well as his achievements. She also collected and worked on many old family photographs, drawing on the skills she acquired nearly 50 years previously. This book is the result.
She still lives near Colchester with her husband, Russell, and loves spending time with their three children and six grandchildren. She continues to research and add to her family tree which now includes 2367 individuals. For light relief she sings in a Chamber choir and plays bad golf!