The College Historical Society is saddened to note the death of dissident playwright and former Czech president Vaclav Havel. Recognised as one of the great Europeans and and men of our age, he orchestrated the peaceful Velvet Revolution of 1989 which toppled the ruling communist regime. After the Prague Spring of 1968, Havel used his success as a playwright to satirise the ruling class and was jailed for his dissidence. His life’s work was at the essence of what the Hist holds dear – contributing to public discourse and allowing his well-placed idealism to achieve real difference in the world. “I never wanted to be a political writer,” he once said. “I think that good writers and good art and particularly, good theatre, is always political, not because writers and directors want to be political, but because it is something which is in the substance of theatre.” One of the founding members of dissident initiative and human rights document, Charter 77, he highlighted the many restrictions on freedom under Soviet rule in Czechoslovakia that remained just 22 years ago. He left an enduring legacy to all who continue to work for individual and political freedom. Our thoughts and best wishes are with his friends and family.