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Into the Unknown – from Scotland to the Central Hill of Ceylon: the Story of the Early Planters

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Today, May 2, 2021 marks the 129th death anniversary of James Taylor, the Scotsman popularly known as the father of tea in Sri Lanka. Hailing from Kincardineshire in Scotland, Taylor arrived on the island of Ceylon as a 17-years old youth to take up coffee planting and settled in the Loolecondera (Loolkandura) Estate in Galaha, Hewaheta. Taylor pioneered the growing of tea in the ailing coffee plantations. His achievements in growing and processing tea were the beginning of a lucrative industry.

The result was an unimaginable, impressive transformation of the landscape of the hill country. Two years after arriving on the island, Taylor wrote to an acquaintance in Scotland and said that those were the most uncomfortable two years of his life. What sort of life these pioneer youngsters endured! The following notes are on the harrowing life experiences of those pioneers that ventured into the unknown with little or no thoughts of whether their pioneering efforts would ever lead to a profitable industry that would change the lives of a nation.

The credit for introducing coffee to India and Ceylon goes to Arab traders. Following its introduction to the island, the coffee plant grew almost wild in home gardens, its snow-white flowers giving an exquisite fragrance to the surrounding area.

The Portuguese, in the maritime areas of the island, concentrated their attention on cinnamon. Coffee was not on their agenda. The Dutch, nevertheless, had ideas of cultivating coffee besides cinnamon and spices but hardly had the expertise. Their first attempt was to plant coffee in the southwestern part of the island in Baddegama area around the Ginganga basin. The soil conditions were unsuitable. Soon sugar cane and later coconut replaced the crop.

The British thought that coffee was growing wild in the Kandyan hills. They surmised that the climate was ideal for commercial cultivation. Pristine tropical forest-clad Kandyan hills were now called crown land. New entrepreneurs bought these lands that flocked to grab the virgin mountains and valleys. These lands were cheap, some going as cheap as five shillings per acre. Within a short period, the rate went up to reach one pound per acre. The expanding empire required large numbers of young and energetic English people. Coffee planting in Ceylon attracted the adventurous young, prepared to face the unknown future many miles away from their homes. Scots were the most prolific adventurers to arrive in Ceylon. Large numbers were from and around Aberdeen. Many were from the same village or the adjoining districts and were often related. Word of mouth spread far and wide. The British trading ships brought young, iron-hearted men to Galle and Colombo. At first, those who grabbed the opportunity of acquiring crown land were the military and the British administrative officers stationed in Colombo. The Ceylon coffee boom started in 1825. It has been compared to the gold rush in California and Australia around about the same period.

A typical story of a coffee prospector described by John Weatherstone is as follows. A proprietor would hire a newly arrived young Scot as superintendent and a few coolies in Colombo. They will start collecting planting utensils, knives, machetes, mammoties, ropes, lamp oil, candles, and boxes of matches in addition to large quantities of rice and other foodstuffs. The most important purchase of the young recruit would be some coffee seeds for the nursery. Setting up a nursery was the first task to be started almost immediately on reaching the designated land. Their journey to Kandy would now take only a day or two by bullock cart and walking, compared to their compatriot military men.

On reaching Kandy, the group would relax for a day or two while buying little things that would come in handy and to replenish the larder. They also acquired a rudimentary first aid box. They would then move on horseback and on foot to the hills, where a surveyor would show the owner his designated land. Surveying was a lucrative profession and was often almost impossible to carry on due to impassable mountainous terrain and colossal trees that would interfere with the ‘sight lines’. Some of the surveys were way off when scrutinized years later.

The proprietor would return to Colombo after handing over the estate to the young pioneer. Thus the young man, uninitiated (often in his late teens), was left in the unknown, unfamiliar tropical mountain forest. While sheltering in a makeshift primitive talipot palm leaf-covered hut, the recruit would get a patch of land cleared for the nursery. This chore was the first task, and the massive effort towards clearing the virgin jungle came next. By the time land was cleared, maybe 50 – 100 acres, it was hoped, the coffee plants in the nursery would have grown to a size suitable for transplanting.

Clearing of virgin forests accelerated to a new level as the coffee prospectors pushed their way through Pussellawa and then to the Kotmale valley and the hills up the Ramboda area. Jungle clearing was the domain of the Sinhalese. John Capper left a dramatic account of jungle felling while visiting a coffee plantation in the hills above Kandy. About 40 ax-men took part in the chore. Small and medium-sized trees were selected to be axed first, leaving small stumps still keeping the trunks up. The large trees above would receive the axe similarly. A conch shell signal dispersed the crowd of noisy ax-men below, leaving those who managed the large trees above. The next conch shell signal alerted those above manning the large trees to sever the bit of trunk that kept the tree upright. With a thunderous noise, the colossal trees with their spreading branches landed on the smaller trees which succumbed to the same fate. Complete clearing the ground was not essential for coffee. Elephants were often used to clear the area, and what is left was burnt.

One of the earliest coffee planters of Ceylon was George Bird (son changed the spelling of the name to Byrde), known as the father of coffee in Ceylon. He started the first coffee estate in 1821, close to Gampola in Sinhapitiya. Sir Edward Barnes, the Governor, was so impressed with this pioneer tropical agriculturist he awarded Bird a tax-free loan of 4000 Rx dollars to start a much bigger venture. He was the first planter to employ the first consignment of Indian labor to work the coffee estates of Ceylon.

Without the gang of Indian coolies the survival of the early coffee and tea planters would have been impossible. According to John Weatherstone, the whole plantation industry benefited, so did the country. Without the Indian coolies the estates also could never have been worked. Many of the brave pioneers that pushed their way through the hostile, unfamiliar tropical rain forests were soon replaced by a new breed of coffee prospectors when officers of the British India Company and many with their capital started arriving on the island. ‘King Coffee’ of Ceylon reached its climax in 1854. Calamitously the coffee prices fell in 1847. This phenomenon led some of the original coffee prospectors to bankruptcy. Large tracts of coffee were abandoned and allowed to turn into scrublands. Fortunately, coffee was not doomed. Coffee prices gradually started to take off, and soon Ceylon coffee regained its kingship. Twenty-odd years later, around 1867, the coffee rust (Hamileia vastatrix) appeared among the plantations that slowly pushed the entire coffee industry to the bottom, never to raise its head again. The enterprising planters soon took over the new craze of replacing coffee plantations with tea boosted by the pioneers such as James Taylor of Loolcondera (Loolkandura) Estate. People used to say that the re-planting of tea was on the graveyard of old coffee estates of Ceylon. By the 1900s, there were more than half a million Indian coolies working in the plantation sectors. They arrived from south India as ‘unberthed’ paying deck passengers in British India Steam Navigation Company vessels. Their trek to the hills was by foot and, many succumbed without ever reaching their destinations.

The talipot palm-leaved shacks were gone. Estate bungalows with granite walls, wood-burning fireplaces, and chimneys, typically English, estate-bungalows came to be. Generally, an estate-bungalow was run by the ‘Appu’ who was the cook and the caretaker. A ‘boy’ would see to the comforts of the master acting as a valet. The garden and the vegetable plot would be in charge of a coolie who was non-resident. There would be a cowshed, a poultry run, and a stable for the horses. The ‘Master Sir’ was the lord of the estate. It was a lonely job. So young and yearning for company, the Master-Sir had to endure untold hardships.

Nevertheless, the early planters took great pains to continue the English way of living despite being almost isolated in their estate bungalows. The great naturalist and marine biologist Ernest Haeckel, while traveling through the plantations, was hosted by a planter who insisted that he appear for dinner in a black jacket and white tie! Of course, Haeckel did not have such formal attire in his traveling kit. But at dinner, his host was formally dressed while the lady wore a formal dinner gown.

John Weatherstone refers to J. P. Lewis’s note on the tragic death of a young planter of Nillambe, Mr. E.A. Morgan. He was riding back from Kandy with cash to pay his coolies. A Sinhalese emptied both barrels of his shotgun that struck the young planter squarely and the assailant made away with the money. The stricken-planter who was not dismounted, made his way to the estate but succumbed to his injury the same evening.

Dysentery, jungle fever (malaria) and, other tropical diseases were rampant. Many succumbed while still being in the prime of their lives. Many were cared for by their staff and friends. A number of them were taken to hotels or boarding houses in Kandy. Many of them died, away from their loved ones, unlamented and unsung in an alien land. There have been instances where the close kinship between the master, appu, and the boy broke. Weatherstone records the curious murders of two young planters by their appus.

The nearest English or Scottish neighbor being 12 to 15 miles away, the early young planters were suffering from isolation. The feminine company being almost non-existent, almost all took Tamil or Sinhalese girls as concubines. James Taylor had a Tamil concubine. At the time of his demise, there was a grieving Sinhala woman.

In a scenario when all creature comforts of good living are at the touch of a button, it is not easy to imagine the hardships those early planters endured. A recent drive up to the Nagrak Bungalow of Nonpareil estate in Belihuloya along a narrow track made us gaze in awe at the marvel these young pioneers had engineered. The passage involves thirty-three sharp hairpin bends. While driving up this crumbling track, we left our lives in the hands of our expert drivers.

What tremendous effort would have gone in the planning and executing this zigzagging track close up to the Horton Plains? No wonder that this mountain track is called ‘Devil’s Staircase’. Sri Lanka reaped the benefits of tea, boosting our island economy, for more than a 150 years. We are indeed indebted to the pioneer, young brave-hearts who paved the way.

A tremendous transformation took place in the tea industry of Sri Lanka since James Taylor’s time. The following statistic exemplifies this statement. The first-ever export of tea to London was a mere 23 pounds (by James Taylor) compared to the 278.5 million kilograms exported in 2020 despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On the 129th death anniversary of the ‘Father of Tea’ let us spend a moment remembering this 17-year old Scot who never returned to Scotland but spent the next 40 years in the central hills of our resplendent island.



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Ramazan spirit endures amid pandemic

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This will be a sombre Ramazan, indeed, with the country under a lockdown. But the spirit of Ramazan lives on in all Muslims. Ramadan, also referred to as Ramazan, Ramzan, or Ramadhan, in some countries, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and Muslims the world over dedicate this holy month for fasting, prayer, reflection and community.

Although most non-Muslims associate Ramazan, solely with fasting, it is believed to bring Muslims closer to God and inculcate in them qualities such as patience, spirituality, and humility. Those of the Islamic faith believe that fasting redirects one away from worldly activities, cleanses the inner soul and free it from harm. It also teaches self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate and encourage actions of generosity and charity. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion.

Ramazan is a commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s first revelation, and the annual observance of Ramazan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The Five Pillars are basic acts, considered mandatory by Muslims, namely Muslim life, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification, and the pilgrimage. Prophet Muhammad’s first revelation is believed to have taken place in 610 AD, in a cave called Hira, located near Mecca, where Muhammad was visited by the angel Jibrīl, who revealed to him the beginnings of what would later become the Qur’an. The visitation occurred on Ramazan.

Ramazan lasts from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next and the local religious authority is tasked with announcing the date. The Colombo Grand Mosque announced on Wednesday (12) that Sri Lankan Muslims will celebrate Ramazan on Friday (14). Because the Muslims follow a lunar calendar, the start of Ramazan moves backwards by about 11 days, each year, in the Gregorian calendar. Fasting from dawn to sunset is considered fard (obligatory) for all adult Muslims who are not acutely, or chronically, ill, travelling, elderly, breastfeeding, diabetic, or menstruating.

During this month, Muslims refrain not only from partaking of meals, but also tobacco products, sexual relations, and sinful behaviour, devoting themselves to prayer or salat and recitation of the Quran. The pre-dawn meal is referred to as suhur, and the nightly feast that breaks fast is referred to as iftar. During Ramazan, Muslims wake up well before dawn to eat the pre-dawn meal. This is considered the most important meal, during Ramazan, since it has to sustain one until sunset. This means eating lots of high-protein food and drinking as much water as possible, right up until dawn, after which one cannot eat or drink anything. The day of fasting ends at sunset, the exact minute of which is signalled by the fourth call to prayer, at dusk.

It is believed that spiritual rewards, or thawab, of fasting multiply during Ramazan. Muslims do not Fast on Eid, but Sri Lankan Muslims believe that observing the six days of optional fasting, that follows Eid, multiplies spiritual rewards.

Eid-Ul-Fitr is the Festival of Breaking the Fast, also simply referred to as Eid, and marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan, as well as the return to a more natural disposition of eating, drinking, and marital intimacy. In Sri Lanka, this Festival of Breaking the Fast is also referred to, colloquially, as Ramazan. Eid begins at sunset, on the night of the first sighting of the crescent moon. Muslims hand out money, to the poor and needy, as an obligatory act of charity, before performing the Eid prayer.

Globally, the Eid prayer is generally performed in open areas, like fields, community centres, or mosques in congregation. In Sri Lanka, the prayer is performed annually in Galle Face Green and mosques. The Eid prayer is followed by the sermon and then a supplication asking for Allah’s forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world. The sermon encourages Muslims to engage in the rituals of Eid, such as zakat, almsgiving to other fellow Muslims. After the prayers, Muslims visit relatives, friends, and acquaintances, or hold large communal celebrations.

After prayer, Muslims celebrate Eid, with food being the central theme. Sri Lankans celebrate Ramazan with watalappam, falooda, samosa, gulab jamun and other national and regional dishes. The festivals were said to have initiated in Medina, after the migration of Muhammad from Mecca.

This year, as well as last year, Sri Lankan Muslims will have to forgo the custom of communal prayers, and celebrations, due to the ongoing pandemic, and will have to settle for private prayers and celebrations of Ramazan during this period of curfew. While these preventive measures are in place, during this year’s Ramazan, the principles of this holy month remain the same. Devout Muslims all over the world, will still be honouring this pillar of Islam, albeit from the security of their homes.

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Dip Corps Plum Job? I don’t think so!

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I was reading an article in the papers the other day saying that the Attorney General (soon to retire) had turned down a “plum job” (interesting and archaic term) by refusing to go as the High commissioner to Canada. In the days when terminology such as “plum job” was used indeed any member of the Diplomatic Corps was considered elite. They usually came from people who had got degrees with a class and preferably a 1st class, and I believe they had to get through a tough civil service exam as well. Before they reached the top post of High Commissioner (if they came from the service) they had to spend many years learning the ropes. A few High Commissioners were appointed from among civil service retirees in other fields and if so, their role was largely ceremonial with the other staff in the embassy handling the actual policy matters.

Ever since the advent of “Kukul Charlie” to Scandinavia as H/C, during the R. Premadasa regime, this worthy actually had a mini chicken farm in the premises of the embassy, and slightly before that the actions of A.C.S. Hameed as the minister of foreign affairs during the J.R.J. regime.The Dip: Co: has degenerated into a mess. Most of the staffers are political appointees and even the progeny of Ministers and MP draw salaries from the embassy, to fund their overseas studies. Everybody seems to be running his or her own little racket to supplement his or her foreign currency incomes. Many of them don’t even come back when their terms are over. The Ambassador’s main role seems to be a taxi driver or to use modern terminology Uber driver for vising VIP’s and their assorted relatives.

Is it a wonder that the incumbent Attorney General chose to decline an offer of this sort? An offer that would have consigned him to oblivion (as seems to be what happens to all able-bodied, intelligent, and capable people in the Pearl) and to top it off, dealing with the freezing conditions of the Canadian winter. This is a blatant attempt to sideline a capable professional who is perceived as a threat to the government as he seems a bit of a maverick and his penchant to toe the line cannot be guaranteed. Now, instead of appreciating constructive criticism and the actions of a professional guided by his knowledge and ethics, the increasingly military regime wants order followers. Extensions of terms come very easily to those characterless wimps who fill and overflow the ranks of government employees! In this case, a “kick upstairs” seems to be what the powers that be require. I guess the inherent and ever-present guiding light of jealousy among his peers, keeps organisations such as the bar association from protesting these actions? I am sure they will find an excuse all covered in legalize. I fear Mr. Livera will have to carve his own path through the morass of muck that is the Pearl at present.

What demoralises me further is that editors of newspapers and even so-called “journalists” write and publish such articles when they are well aware of the true reasons and facts. Then again, I have read articles quoting government financial “geniuses” saying that printing money will not be detrimental to the economy and even some ministers saying that devaluation of the rupee simply means more money coming in from Middle Eastern remittances and a better lifestyle for the beneficiaries! I was even sent a link by a friend to a published article saying Sri Lanka has done a better job than New Zealand to maintain a low Covid death rate. Of course, the link came with the words “Ammata Siri” from a friend of mine!

On the subject of Covid, I am told the predictions for the Pearl based on statistics put out by American Universities, are dire. Now, I know that those ruling the country firmly believe that Sri Lanka is the centre of the universe and anything said by anyone other than themselves is utter rubbish. BUT I see an opportunity here … this is the time to form a “war cabinet” to overcome this catastrophe. Kick out all the idiots who are simply drawing huge salaries, and gadding about in flash new duty-free vehicles. Send them to their electorates and tell them to stay there, travel by bus, mix with the populace, and do their JOBS. Cut their salaries by 75% and use that money to give benefits to those affected by the virus and resultant recession. Form a Cabinet of 20 (maximum) and concentrate on saving our country and her people so that we can live to fight another day.

I have heard rumblings of discontent among the ruling clan. The big cheese is apparently being hampered by the blue cheese (old cheese) and his direct decedents. Be that as it may there certainly are around 70% of those currently in government who can be sent home to their electorates. There are a handful of those in Opposition who may be able to do a good job in these circumstances if included in this war cabinet. There certainly is a foreign minister in waiting, who doesn’t even have a parliamentary seat at present. The current sitting of parliament is said to cost an astronomical figure per sitting. Close it down and have cabinet meetings at Temple trees or TT as is the current local parlance. Another huge saving that can be distributed among those daily paid labourers who have no way to feed their families at present. Use the Parliamentary cooking facilities to make lunch packets for the needy.

There are opportunities even among this present and perceived chaos. All it takes is the will of a strong leader who is prepared to think outside the box. The current president certainly has the powers, but does he have the will? The country certainly thought he had done when they gave him that massive majority!

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Vaccine need and experts vs political power

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Manna from the skies and the drop of water to a man dying of thirst is for most now a jab in the upper arm which will hopefully keep at bay the dreaded omnipotent, omnipresent Covid 19 virus. It seems to be getting more virulent especially in poorer countries. But countries with massive daily numbers of those ill with C19 and large numbers dead, are fast returning to near normal e.g. USA. A young man who hibernated for the last fourteen months is away on holiday in the Big Apple – a separate State from his. And take it from Cassandra whose age, experience and potent gut feeling qualify her to judge situations, the improvement is due to President Biden’s leadership against that of Trump. Kudos go to Biden mostly for his selection of experts in relevant fields heading various government departments; selected solely on merit and matching the need; not considering relatives, sycophants, ethnic origin of the selected Americans. And he is totally receptive to expert advice. Judge his Secretary of State – Antony Blinken – a polar difference from big brash Mike Pompeo, in the mould of Trump. See how Dr Antony Fauci speaks now to the American media as shown us by CNN. He is confident; knows he is respected and trusted as Chief Medical Advisor to the President and also Director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases while with Trump he nearly had his head cut off for making statements about the pandemic contrary to what Trump wanted to hear. In this context why Dr Anil Jasinha was transferred as Secretary, Environmental Ministry, is still a mystery, since we Ordinaries do not believe it was a promotion. He did magnificently well, with the Army Commander and others in minimising the damage of the first C19 wave.

Many in Colombo are due for the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine. When will it be given? We were lulled to complacency being told some time ago that the second dose was safely stored in time for vaccination three months after the first. Now we find the medical department’s cupboards are as bare as Mother Hubbard’s as regards the A-Z vaccine and there’s begging going on for the WHO to shower enough of this vaccine on poor Siri Lanka. Threatened is a cocktail of merrily mixed AstraZeneca with Sputnik or the Chinese vaccine. We all shout: No thank you!

We do sympathize with the government battered on all sides and reduced to begging. We appreciate what is being done, but go mad when we hear statements like “Development must go on” when development is a speedway to Ratnapura and purchase of helicopters.

Many approve of the move to lockdown regions and Grama Sevaka divisions and now even provinces since locking down the entire country is really too drastic a measure even though it will reduce mass infection.

Wise experts give of their expertise all the time.

The major issue that confronts the government at present is imminently losing the battle of the Covid 19 pandemic. Next, of course, is the mess of the second vaccine for which blame lies on the government. Then the fast-declining economy and solutions thereof, one solution being import of tourists and asylum given to those fleeing India. For this obvious blunder, blame is squarely on offshoots of the government like hoteliers, travel agents and leading the lot, Udayanga W with his Covid barrier-breaking influx of ‘ballooned’ tourists from Ukraine, one of the worst affected countries. The ‘balloons’ burst no sooner they landed in Paradise and were taken traipsing around Resplendent Sri Lanka.

Another disturbing situ inaugurated by the Prez himself is the fertiliser issue – his overnight banning of chemical fertilisers, to save farming community from kidney disease and win laurels as first country to ban such. Misfiring. Tests have shown the use of these fertilisers is not the cause of KDC. More damning: the sudden ban with no substitute organic fertiliser in large quantity will badly affect our primary cash crop and from the next Yala harvest itself our stomachs will rumble with hunger pangs and the poorer will surely starve. Nothing must be done with the sweep of the pen or the gush of words of command.

And here is Cassandra’s bone which she picks with the government. Experts abound in this country of intelligent people. They are not, apparently, consulted before decisions are made. As Prof, Rohan Rajapakse writes in his article Ban on agrochemical: where are we heading? in The Island of 11 May: “Three eminent scientists, namely Dr Parakrama Waidyanatha, Prof O A Ileyperuma and Prof C S Weeraratne have effectively dealt with the repercussions of the ban on chemical fertilizers.” (He gives their credentials in full). Prof Rajapakse goes on in his article to the sphere of pesticides and warns about that too.

No politician or army high-up nor even the Prez knows it all. So experts must be hearkened to, to serve the country and save its people.

Ubiquitous

Have you noticed as Cass has that the Minister of Sports and Youth is seen at very many meetings and exhibits involvement in fisheries, the environment, even the economy; far extended from his sphere of sports and youth. Latest sighting (Tuesday May 11) was him on TV news inspecting the marvelous hospital constructed in a couple of days by hard working, skilled young men. It will be manned mostly by young girls, nursing Covid 19 patients, at risk to themselves. So, Cass praises this young minister for being so interested in the welfare and well-being of the Ordinaries – we the people of Free Sri Lanka. A sports writer in the gossipy column on the last page of The Island of 12 May, gave him a paragraph, not complimentary like Cass’ paragraph (this). Also, we do not approve at all of exercise equipment being set up in villages. The villager has enough exercise in his farming and his spouse in house and garden work. Such centres, said to be open air, will only attract gawkers in their numbers, and laughter. Of course, someone will make money.

Dire danger of military in power

The youth of Myanmar are demonstrating to the entire world what the consequences are of military men ruling countries. Pro-democracy leader Daw Suu Kyi was given one term of half governing the country as Counsellor; the second time she and her National League for Democracy won a landslide victory. She worked with the army leaders and going along with them – a la the Rohingya – was derided as a Nobel Peace Laureate.

The November 8, 2020 elections gave her Party a bigger majority. Then power was snatched off her and she was held hostage god knows where. (She suffered long years of strict house confinement after her first victory.)

The youth of the country rose up for democracy and for Suu Kyi being released. Listening to excerpts of conversations with two fighters for democracy – male and female – on BBC, Cass was overwhelmed with a fifty-fifty, long lasting spurt of emotion: sorrow and admiration for these young uns. Bless them and may they win the battle for a right of every human being – freedom from oppression and dictatorship. But these kids are being shot at with live bullets and more than fifty (if remembered correctly) are dead. Why-oh-why are base men so greedy for power?

The young of Hong Kong also fought unrelentingly but they were imprisoned and not killed deliberately. Their battle is against the growing power of China where a dictator resembling a military man rules supreme.

A bright spot

In media, whether print or visual, we long for news with optimistic effect to drive away, even temporarily, the doom and gloom that envelops us. Cass had her descending-to-depression spirits uplifted by watching a video clip of the Queen declaring the new Parliamentary sessions ‘open’.

Here was the mid-90s Sovereign walking steadily with her eldest son beside her and reading her speech about what ‘her government’ and ‘her ministers’ would do for the country in a steady voice with steady hands holding the script.

Top on this list was fast recovery from the pandemic followed by environmental, health and educational betterment. She hid signs of emotion that would have battered her because for almost seven decades she came in with her beloved Philip by her side at this ceremony.

Cass took courage from this marvelous woman.

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