Julian Maslinski obituary

Other lives: Hotelier and chairman of the Westminster Tree Trust

Julian Maslinski, who has died of cancer aged 63, chaired the Westminster Tree Trust for nearly 15 years, making a major impact on the streets of Westminster with new bottlebrush trees, Chanticleer pear, disease-resistant elm, birch and whitebeam. I knew Julian for 30 years. He was a ward chairman while I was a Westminster councillor and I came to feel that not a single sparrow fell in Pimlico without Julian knowing it.

One of five brothers, he was born in Andover, Hampshire. His father was a Polish army officer who served in British army intelligence. His mother was a secretary in MI6. After being educated at St Edmund's college in Ware, Julian went into the hotel industry, starting with the company that became the Forte Group. After his father's death he assumed responsibility for the family's small hotel, the Elizabeth hotel in Eccleston Square, central London. He dedicated himself to it for around 25 years.

Julian was a governor of the nearby Churchill Gardens primary school and was closely involved with the school finances and building works. He was touched by the warm messages from the children during his final illness.

Julian loved opera and was a wonderful conversationalist but he was also a superb athlete, running in more than 25 marathons and raising huge amounts for charity. He played tennis at the Hurlingham and Queen's clubs and was often asked to play against visiting foreign dignitaries including the US secretary of state Alexander Haig at the time of his negotiations with Margaret Thatcher over the Falklands.

What gave Julian the greatest joy was his relationship with his wife, Rani. She was working at the hotel when they met 38 years ago, and her son, Sengha, adopted his name. They married in 1989. Both gentle and unassuming people, they displayed steely determination during Julian's 10 years with cancer. Throughout that time, Julian showed kindness, unstinting support and uncritical praise to countless others.

He is survived by Rani and Sengha and two of his brothers, Michael and Robert.

Alex Segal

The GuardianTramp

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