Dear Friends & Neighbours
When I was a young teacher I got to know our local Ixworth policeman quite well. My occasional visits to the police station tended to be to plead with him to give some lad or another a second chance after committing a minor offence. Often something had started out as a prank and the teenager didn’t know when to stop or didn’t foresee the possible dangers of his actions.
One evening after such a visit the policeman told me he was a member of Toastmasters International and asked me if I would like to accompany him to a meeting. Somewhat reluctantly I agreed and one evening we set off for USAF Mildenhall for the event. After a good meal and listening to one or two well-prepared speeches a piece of paper was handed to me which read: “Talk about the monarchy in the UK and tell us why the British love it!”
I was shocked! I had not been warned that I would have to take part so there was no time to prepare. I had to think on my feet – fast. All I can remember about my ‘speech’ is that I said that the Queen was a very unifying figurehead and it was reassuring to us British to know that whatever happened in the world, or in our country, she would always be there. It gave us a certain feeling of security and stability. The Queen was above the political shenanigans. She put her country and its people first and as a fine Christian woman she set us an example to follow. I remember saying that her strength was in her weakness – which led to a many questions from our American friends.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee reminded me of that occasion because I still believe that what I said in the early 1970’s is still true today. Here we are marking 70 years of her reign and she has kept the promise she made on her twenty-first birthday in her speech on Radio:
This month we will be giving thanks her and that her life was a long one.
In her Christmas message in 2016 the Queen said:
May we all celebrate the Queen’s anniversary with joy and give thanks for her faith and all she has achieved during her reign.