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James Thornton: A Splendid Life

The Renaissance Founder of Mailing Lists Asia

July 8, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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I received this email a couple of weeks ago.

FROM:  Anthony Green
TO:      Denny Hatch
DATE:  June 17, 2014

Hi Denny,
I am sure you encountered James Thornton of MLA [Mailing Lists Asia] Hong Kong at various DMA events over the years. He certainly remembers you.

James died of cancer a couple of weeks ago. I read the eulogy at his funeral here in Manila where I live.  I am not sure if Target Marketing likes to mention such depressing events but if you wanted to I attach a copy of the eulogy I read out at James's funeral.

All the best.

A Eulogy For James Thornton (1940-2014)
Delivered by Anthony Green at the funeral of James Thornton on May 28, 2014.

We’re here today to say farewell to an amazing individual. A complete eccentric and a perfect English gentleman. A man who has inspired and influenced, in one way or another, most of the people in this room. When I visited James last Friday at Makati Med his doctor, who had looked after him for the last six years, called him a brilliant man and a genius. I wouldn’t disagree with that assessment. For James achieved much in his lifetime and was still giving everything he had right up until the last few days when his life was cruelly and painfully taken away by cancer.

James was what I would call a serial entrepreneur. He lived for his businesses. He was an ideas man who was continually pushing the boundaries of convention and looking for new ideas. His business interests were wide and varied. Some might say too wide and too varied. From property portfolios in Bali to Alpaca farms in Chile to hotels in Philippines to direct marketing agencies in Hong Kong and India to astrological newsletters, investment newsletters, list broking, selling luxury luggage, developing innovative healthcare products, and a state-of-the-art biotech company.

He was not the sort of man to say no to proposals. If someone came to him with a plan to start a crocodile farm he would probably have gone for it!

And for James it was the element of excitement and challenge that inspired him rather than the idea of making money. He was never interested in the trappings of wealth. He simply wanted to enjoy life and start businesses that would be fun. And that involved gathering like-minded individuals around him, many of whom are in this room today, and inspiring them to jump onboard and work with him.


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