Linguistic expert and retired teacher Derick Herning dies, aged 86
The long-standing chairman of the Shetland Norwegian Friendship Society, Derick Herning, died on Friday after a short illness.
Mr Herning, 86, of Lerwick’s Hayfield Court, was highly regarded for his linguistic skills.
In 1990 he won a Europe-wide competition and the title Polyglot of Europe, by proving he could speak 22 languages.
Originally from Kirkcaldy in Fife, Mr Herning began his career in the isles in 1968 when he worked as a principal languages teacher at the former Anderson Educational Institute in Lerwick.
Among the languages he taught were German, Norwegian and Russian.
He enjoyed a long career, teaching generations of youngsters at the institute – later the Anderson High School – until 1995.
Mr Herning interpreted languages on behalf of the sheriff court, the police and fishermen’s mission, among others. He also interpreted for those onboard visiting cruise ships.
An expert ornithologist, Mr Herning, was vice-chairman of a local bird club as well as a leading light in the Shetland Field Studies Group.
He was also an enthusiastic member of the Islesburgh Drama Group and the Shetland Choral Society.
Mr Herning was also a member of Voluntary Service Overseas, Amnesty International and Shetland ForWirds.
A funeral service will be held on Monday at 2pm in St Magnus Church, Lerwick.