Our friend Michael DOWER passed away on 7 November 2022. A great champion of rural communities, well known to generations of rural activists in Europe. Retired professor of the University of Gloucestershire, but active to the very last moment – we will remember his passionate video speech to the Kielce meeting of the European Rural Parliament in September. Michael was the initiator and founder of PREPARE and its first Coordinator, always willing to give support and advice to his successors and all PREPARE members. Active at national and transnational levels in the EU and beyond as well as in his own LEADER LAG, gifted with exceptional clarity of thought and ability to convince all kinds of audiences, he was tireless in mobilising support to initiatives strengthening rural civic society, especially in Central and Eastern Europe and in EU candidate countries. We will not forget him!