The businessman and former ORT President, Sir Maurice Hatter, has died aged 90 after a long illness.
Sir Maurice, who was born in 1929, had been among the Jewish community's most prominent philanthropists and businessmen. He had donated millions to charitable causes.
Maurice Hatter, who had only £100 to his name when he completed his national service in 1951, made millions by establishing IMO Precision Controls, an electronics components company, in 1972.
The London-based firm grew into a worldwide manufacturer and supplier of industrial control and electronic systems, establishing bases across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
Sir Maurice was intimately involved in ORT, the organisation that supports vulnerable Jewish communities in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Israel.
He was President of ORT UK and, between 2004 and 2008, President of ORT World.
Dr Conrad Giles, World ORT President, said: “The world – and most especially the World ORT universe – mourns the loss of one of its greatest philanthropists and leaders with the passing of Sir Maurice Hatter.”
Former Labour Home Secretary Lord David Blunkett, who had worked with Sir Maurice and his wife Irene in ORT, said: “Maurice encapsulated the best of a tough entrepreneur, a committed philanthropist and a thoroughly decent man. It was my privilege to know him and to count Irene as my friend."
In 2019, ORT’s Board of Trustees paid tribute to Maurice and Irene Hatter’s support over the years, featuring contributions from Tony Blair and ORT leaders, who described Sir Maurice as ORT’s “moral compass.”
Lady Irene said that the couple were most proud of the schools they had helped establish in Kiev, Minsk, Warsaw and Samara, and the ORT campus in Buenos Aires.
Sir Maurice had also supported the establishment of the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute at University College Hospital.
Sir Maurice was a long-standing supporter of Charlton Athletic, where he was appointed Honorary Life President in 2000, and President of the club’s charitable arm, the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) in 2010.
The current Chief Executive of the CACT, Jason Morgan, said: “Sir Maurice provided the initial funding to establish CACT and made generous annual donations in years to follow which undoubtedly allowed the charity to be the success it is today.”
Sir Maurice, who was knighted in 1999, was also a financial backer of Charlton Athletic.