It is rare for me to post on a subject that doesn’t in some way involve writing but this time I’m hanging it on my hero – my real hero; my husband. He has for many years been one of that quiet band of self-effacing people who give of their time and energy, sometimes in very difficult circumstances, for the welfare of others. At The Mansion House on 4th July, along with twenty-eight others, he was recognised for his contribution at the annual ceremony of The League of Mercy.
|Louis with Ellen Tumelty|
It all started several years ago when Louis began volunteering at the Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice. It may be that I am biased but the people who work at the Hospice are most certainly not. On many occasions at fund-raising quizzes or summer fetes I have been told what a wonderful man he is (as if I didn’t already know). At the ceremony I was lucky enough to meet Ellen Tumelty, Modern Matron, who worked with my husband for many years and who speaks of him with great affection.
I had never before met Lord Lingfield, President of the League and a truly charming man. As each recipient was called to receive his or her Badge, he spent several moments chatting, with no diminishing of enthusiasm even by the time he had reached the last.
The ceremony was held in the Egyptian Room at Mansion House and took place with all the pomp one could wish in those beautiful surroundings. If you would like further information about the League you will find it here.
|The Egyptian Room|
|The Egyptian Room|
At the close of the ceremony the recipients were held back in the Egyptian Roomfor the taking of formal photos, a copy of which they will receive in due course.
|Insignia from the Past|
The rest of the assembled company, a personal guest and a representative of the nominating organisation, were all invited to take tea in the salon, a magnificent room where we were joined by the participants after the photo shoot. The trustees somehow managed to talk to everyone present.
It was for me a day filled with pride and humility. We all have our heroes, don’t we. They may appear in books, in films, on our television screens or in the news. I have my own at home. Congratulations, Louis Kleinman, on the public recognition of work undertaken so discreetly but with such far-reaching effect.
|The Badge of|
The Order of Mercy