Tag Archives: Air Force

May the singing never be done

The sun came out,

the sky turned blue.

Blue

Blue

We fled the coop,

for warm, wide spaces

Warm wide space

Warm, wide space

where spring unfurled,

Spring unfurled

Spring unfurled

and our spirits

took flight.

Spitfire TE 288, Replica, Christchurch Airporthttp://jamesevansjenkins.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/the-christchurch-brevet-club/

Spitfire TE 288, Replica, , gift to the Brevet Club Memorial Avenue, Christchurch.

We felt good, like Lynley’s tui,

The tui sings for all to hear; with thanks to Lynley at ordinarygoodnesshttps://ordinarygood.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/tui-atop-a-pohutukawa-tree-today/ for permission to use her beautiful photo

The tui sings for all to hear; with thanks to Lynley at ordinarygoodness for permission to use her beautiful photo.

singing with all its heart, atop the pohutukawa tree.

Everyone Sang
Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on; on; and out
of sight.
Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted,
And beauty came like the setting sun.
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away……O but every one
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the
singing will never be done.

Siegfried Sassoon  (from Palgrave’s Golden Treasury with Additional Poems, OUP, 1935)

This post is dedicated:

to gpcox, pacificparatrooper  who gathers in the stories of veterans and sends them out again, flying with spirit renewed, into the blogosphere;

and

to  Britt, life/history enthusiast, spreading her literary wings with her latest published book, NOLA FRAN EVIE,

BUT the dedication to Britt comes with a proviso…..that she locates the original  Totem Pole by Chief Lelooska in Portland. Here’s a clue, Britt. 🙂

Friendship Totem Pole,  Christchurch Airport

Friendship Totem Pole,
Christchurch Airport

© silkannthreades

The importance of May 8th

Today, 8 May, is the birthday of  Henry Dunant , founder of the Red Cross and joint  recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901.

Today, also, marks World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, which since 1948 has been celebrated internationally on Henry Dunant’s birthday.

Another celebration that takes place every year on 8 May is my father’s birthday. 🙂

Although the idea for the Red Cross arose  in 1859 and was formalised in 1863, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was only established in 1919, in the aftermath of World War 1.  So the IFRC  was almost as brand new as my father when he arrived into the world in 1920.

In the  Christchurch Press, for the day of my father’s birth, there is an item which mentions the Red Cross Society in the US, providing hostess houses for the 3709 war brides of the American Expeditionary Force. The newspaper also has articles about ongoing peace and treaty negotiations and on war graves decisions, as well as the influenza outbreaks which were, once again, causing concern in New Zealand.  In 1920 the world may have been nominally at peace but the First World War was still very much a presence in everyday lives.  Yet there would, undoubtedly, have been an expectation that babies born after ‘the war to end all wars’ would live their lives in peace.

I am sure, my grandmother, holding her new-born baby, that day in May, did not  imagine that a couple of decades hence her boy would be in uniform.

 

In uniform; 1940s; my dad, closest to the kerb

In uniform; 1940s; my dad, closest to the kerb (Street Photography)

Nor would she imagine that, by the 1980s, her son would be working, in his post retirement years, for the Fiji Red Cross.

 

A favourite photo of my father at his Red Cross desk.

A favourite photo of my father at his Red Cross desk.

That’s the trouble with kids; you never know where they’ll end up or how they’ll turn out, but I think my grandmother would say she raised a good lad. 😉

Happy Birthday Dad. Happy Birthday Red Cross. You’ve both reached a grand age and I’m glad you have.

Postscript of fun facts: The Red Cross has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize three times ( four, if you include Dunant’s Peace Prize http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/themes/peace/libaek/index.html ).

© silkannthreades