“Can you organise the liveliest 800-year-old in Scotland?” “You bet I can!” replied Henny. And that’s how she came to Dundee in 1990. She stayed for the rest of her life. An exuberant, flamboyant woman, she will be long remembered for her personality and her amazing hats (and her chewing gum).

Henny was born in Austria to Eugene and Maria Lowy, the village greengrocers. By the late thirties it was evident that trouble was brewing for Jewish people there; when Henny was seven she and her nine-year-old brother Fred were put on a ship specially chartered to take Jewish children to the safety of the United States. Their parents joined them later, and the family settled in Montreal where Henny grew up and became a Canadian citizen. Winning a scholarship, she opted to study in Jerusalem, learned Hebrew and worked with the National Theatre of Israel before returning to Montreal, qualifying as a Hebrew teacher and then deciding on a career in journalism.

One of her assignments was to interview Kentucky man Alan Levy He was 6’8” tall and bearded, a pop singer later known as Solomon King. She married him in 1960 and they had four children as they toured the road. Then in 1968 he hit the top of the UK charts with “She wears my ring” and the family came to Britain, settling in Manchester where they stayed for the next sixteen years. Even after they divorced in 1980 Henny kept the surname ‘King’.

Henny worked first as honorary organiser of Manchester & Salford Council of Social Service’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. Then she became director of the Manchester ’73 Festival, which opened with a message from the moon at Jodrell Bank and a street party for 500,000 sponsored by Granada TV, who wrote the event into Coronation Street.. After the success of the festival, Granada invited her to organise their special events. Later projects included organising Salford Civic Centre’s 750th anniversary, fundraising for a children’s after-care burns unit at Booth Hall Children’s Hospital, PR Officer at Whitworth Art Gallery, at Granada TV and then at the Royal College of Art. She was on the staff of the Manchester Evening News. As communications officer for Greater Manchester Transport she learned to drive a double decker bus; always up for a an adventure her fund raising exploits included tag wrestling on TV and (aged 60) abseiling five storeys in a gorilla suit as ‘Henny King Kong’.

At a private view at the V & A in1986 Henny met her second husband, artist Edmund Caswell. He was near to completing his huge Peter Pan mural at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and it was Henny who master-minded its grand opening two years later.

The couple arrived in Dundee in 1990. It was largely her irrepressible drive that made the 1991 year-long octocentenary festival such a success and brought many a foreign tourist not just to Dundee but to Scotland as a whole. There were Hogmanay celebrations on TV, a new rose garden, the first Discovery lecture, a carnival, a specially commissioned print – and a gasometer painted to resemble a huge cake with 80 candles atop. They made their home in Duntrune House, and Henny embarked on work organizing two exhibitions of Caswell’s painting, one shortly before he died in 1996, fund raising for RRS Discovery and later for a bronze statue of Bamse, a “war hero” St Bernard, in Montrose and directing the Angus Roots Festival in 2008. She taught at Dundee College and was a board member of the Chamber of Commerce and chair of Dundee synagogue. She also journeyed back and forth to Canada to see her aging mother
In 2003 she was diagnosed and operated on for a brain tumour. Undaunted; she lay in bed planning her next project and reckoning that if she lost hair through treatment her splendid hats would hide it. It was not to be. She grew worse, and moved back to Manchester for her last two years to be near her children. But her ashes are scattered at Duntrune House

Her son John paid tribute: “She had a great attitude and she instilled so many good values in us. She told us that anything is achievable.”