Old Scholar Hansi Manning (YG 1979) has been in contact with the Old Scholars' Association to let Old Scholars know the sad news of the death of her father Godric Bader (YG 1941) on 7th July 2022 aged 98. Godric was at Friends' School between 1935 and 1941.
Hansi shared the following account of Godric's life as a visionary business person, an advocate of Common Ownership:
"Godric was a visionary who sought the complete transformation of industry, so as to bring about peace and justice in the world. Common Ownership was his chosen vehicle. For him, Common Ownership meant not only that businesses should be held in trust and directed for the benefit of all employees of the business, but also that businesses should be run in accordance with clear ethical, spiritual, social and environmental values.
Godric was born in 1923 to Ernest and Dora Bader (nee Scott). Ernest Bader (1890-1982) was a Swiss émigré, who moved to England in 1912. He had claimed exemption from Swiss military service on conscientious grounds. He settled in East London and started in business in 1921 as the sole agent for a Swiss manufacturer of celluloid. He quickly added another agency for a
German manufacturer of low viscosity nitrocellulose. The business expanded, as a merchant of chemicals to the point when, in 1926, premises were acquired in Stratford for chemical manufacture. These premises were destroyed by bombing in 1941. The business was then moved to its present site at Wollaston, Northamptonshire.
Godric was educated at the Friends’ School and Queen Mary College, London, which was evacuated to Kings College Cambridge during the WWII. Whilst at Cambridge, Godric followed his father’s example in claiming exemption from military service on conscientious grounds, in front of a Conscientious Objection Tribunal. He was sent to the West Country for agricultural work, but later chose to join the Friends Ambulance Unit as a medical orderly and was trained at Hammersmith and Oxford. He was accepted
as a member of the Religious Society of Friends in 1945.
Having considered and rejected a medical career, he decided to join his father in the family company as a polymer chemist. Very soon he was drawn into discussions with his father and other family members concerning ownership of the company. Ernest had created and developed his company into a very successful enterprise, but he recognised the unrestricted power he had over the lives of those he employed and became fearful of his power to treat his employees as ‘wage slaves’.
This concern, and a strike of employees in 1948, led Ernest and Godric, after extensive discussions with the family and lawyers, to place the ownership of the Company into a new Trust with a visionary constitution – The Scott Bader Commonwealth – in 1951. At the end of creating this new Trust Company, their lawyer, Hubert Munroe QC, remarked ‘Gentlemen, I must remind you that the invitation cards to the funeral of capitalism have not yet been issued’.
In 1956, Ernest appointed Godric as Managing Director of Scott Bader & Co Ltd, in which role he remained until he also assumed from his father the Chairmanship of the Company in 1966. This was a period in which Scott Bader was an international pioneer in the development and use of unsaturated polyester resins. Godric appointed an external candidate as Managing Director in 1971 and remained Chairman of the company for another eighteen years until he retired at the age of 66 and became Life President of Scott Bader. Godric read widely and wrote freely and persuasively on Common Ownership. He continued regularly visiting Scott Bader at Wollaston Hall for over 15 years, casting a critical eye on the management of the Company, during a period in which significant international acquisitions were brought into the Scott Bader Group.
In 2014, at the House of Lords, Godric Bader and The Scott Bader Commonwealth were jointly awarded the Gandhi Foundation’s International Peace Award in recognition of their alternative business model. In 2021 the Centenary of Ernest Bader launching Scott Bader and the 70th year since the formation of the Scott Bader Commonwealth was celebrated by the publication of a commemorative book on Scott Bader’s history and the visit of Anne, Princess Royal to Wollaston, during which she enjoyed a private conversation with Godric. More recently, during the past year, the Employee Ownership Association granted Godric recognition as EO Champion.
Godric was a kind and thoughtful man who extended many acts of kindness to Scott Bader employees and their families. Godric leaves his wife Anne Atkinson-Clark, his daughter Hansi Manning and his grandson Harry Manning."Here is a link
to Hansi's obituary of Godric in The Guardian.