Partner Norman Haire

Willem van de Hagt (1879-1961) was the administrator of the Rotterdam Zoo and also ran a contraceptive export business. Norman Haire was a shy, delicate child who was intimidated by his father and bullied at school; as a young man he was unsure of himself and wanted to 'sit at the feet' of others but he gained confidence, courage and stability in the 1920s once he started his lifelong relationship with Willem van de Hagt, an older man. They had a secret, often interrupted relationship and Haire mentioned making 50 visits to Holland in the first decade of their partnership. This calm, scholarly man, who wrote an archaeology thesis in Latin in 1903 (De urbe Agrigentinorum quae innotuerunt (What they have discovered about the city of Agrigento, which is still in print), was Haire's anchor and inspiration but he remains an enigma despite many attempts to find out more. However, he should be acknowledged for providing the wisdom, serenity and support which enabled Haire to ring out his old, unhappy past and ring in his new one as a crusader. Haire wanted to uplift humanity, not by abolishing sexual morality but by providing a new sexual ethic which would reflect scientific knowledge and social and economic circumstances rather than an outworn Biblical ethic.


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