14 November 2022
Yesterday was a poignant day of remembrance for me as I attended the Remembrance Day Service held in Bangkok.
While honouring those that had died serving their country my thoughts also turned to the loss of those who are now deceased and who contributed so much to my upbringing, service, duty and perhaps some degree of continued stoicism as age, a decline in health and disability, have set in.
Just weeks ago we lost H.M. Queen Elizabeth II at 96, who I had served as a soldier and a policeman during much of her 70 year reign, including in the Solomon Islands.
Last night I took out old photographs of times and now historic events in my service and soon recognised many of my friends and former colleagues had already passed away, including those that had been members of the police service in the Solomon Islands.
I found the same to be the case when looking at the photos of my colleagues during my army days as a national serviceman in the Corps of Royal Military Police, but also during my police service in former Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Swaziland, Hong Kong, St Helena, the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) and in Bophuthatswana (now the North West Province of South Africa).
Patriotism I could say was a driving force of all my colleagues during my service days and a belief in the ideals and unity of the country to which they belonged.
The same was true in the Solomon Islands and why we must not erase our moral principles, based on strong Christian values, no matter the cost, to ensure, patriotism and belief in the nation must endure and continue to bring about national unity, because old demons are seemingly evident and could cause to threaten a tragic course again, threatening our hopes for peace.
The most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great and that which is most important: its moral values.