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'True professional' succumbs to ill health

A former supplements editor known for his editorial integrity and commitment to the job has died aged 73.

Compton Ifill, left, known to friends as Mac, was born in Guyana and had worked for the New Scientist and edited papers in Wimbledon and Leamington Spa before joining the Birmingham Post in the early 1990s as its supplements editor.

He retired from the Post aged 66 and was a long-standing member of the Birmingham Press Club.

Its chairman John Lamb said: “As a former assistant editor on the Birmingham Post, I knew Mac as an irascible colleague and dedicated habitué of several watering holes. I will miss him on both counts.”

Mac came from a military background which former colleagues said he rarely talked about even though he spent years behind barbed wire at a prisoner-of-war camp.

Before entering journalism, he had also been a farmer.

Former colleague Steve Pain said: “To cross Mac was to experience volcanic wrath. Wrath based on decades of experience in a profession he loved.

“He was in turn considerate, stern, kind – a true professional. There can be no greater praise than that.”

Former colleague Philip Parkin, operations director of Birmingham Press Club, said: “I was proud to know Mac. We got on very well, perhaps it was because of a few shared interests, including Apple computers and London Pride, both of which he was passionate about.

“Mac was incredibly passionate about all of the things that interested him, not least journalism, where he always strived for and reached the highest standards.

“It was this approach that helped him during the 1990s, when he re-shaped the supplements department of the Post.

“He probably did more than anyone to ensure its survival into the next century. He was a good friend, and will be sadly missed.”

Mac lived in Warwick and is survived by his wife, four children and 11 grandchildren.

He died on New Year’s Day after battling ill health for some time. His funeral takes place at 2.15pm on 19 January at Warwick Crematorium.

It will be followed by a gathering at the Lord Leycester Hotel in Jury Street, Warwick. His family has requested no flowers but donations can be made to the Salvation Army.

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