Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

When our grandfathers are gone,
what will become of us?

Rummaging through the attic the other day, I was ecstatic to come across a couple of photos of my late grandfather who passed on over 20 years ago. As you can see from these 1948 shots, he was a somewhat tall and handsome man and dressed most appropriately to the times. No he was not a lawyer or a banker, he was a miner and then a lumberjack - what you were made no difference to how you dressed in public. Lawyer or lumberjack, you wore your Sunday best to town.

My father said he could be frightingly stern and strict at times growing up, but what I remember most about my grandfather, an Englishman born in Wales during the Edwardian period, was his quiet humility, his happy and peaceful acceptance of who he was and where he stood. As far as I could tell, he was only latently Christian and monarchist, meaning that it wasn't apparent, but you knew deep down he was, because that's just the way life was. I think if you had to summarize in a single word the general malaise of society today, if you had to explain what was sorrily missing in the West and what one characteristic was in need the most, I do believe that word and characteristic would be humility. The thing our grandparents had in spades.

As far as I'm concerned, our grandparent's generation, the ones who well remember Emperor George as young men in the 1920s and 30s (the Duke of Edinburgh represents the tail end of this generation), was the last to courageously possess all the attributes of moral virtue in working condition. How will we find our way when they have all gone?


Lachlan said...

a very nice article. makes me think of the stories i have been told about my great grandfather after he moved to Australia in the early 50s from Malta, about how he worked a hard labour's job yet always went to work and came home in a suit with a hat. a hat he wore untill after his retirement and later had stolen from him at the train station.

it still makes wonder what has happened to society when people steal an old man's hat from his head.