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Why for me the Good in Mankind outweighs the Bad, the Venal and the Corrupt
“Retiring after 20 years as Chairman of Philip Cussins House, the Residential Care Home in Newcastle, can I close in this way? For me it’s something quite profound. It is amazing how one event can colour a whole life. In 1976 Arnold Brewer – his firm made fine custom-made furniture in Sunderland – introduced me to the Rotary Club of Sunderland, with its mantra “Service above Self.” There I met the late Fredwyn Haynes, the inspiring head teacher of Barbara Priestman School, a school for children with learning difficulties. He invited me to be its Governor, then Chair of Governors. My main contribution to that school was to help the parents in their successful campaign to keep it open when 100 other special schools were being closed.
I would have missed so much without that happening.
Without that I would have not have had the bad experiences, bordering on the obscene, that have so disturbed me and provoked me to write for the last ten years. I also would not have had the wonderfully good experiences that have so sustained me during that time.
Since I retired from SCS in the 1990’s, I witnessed at close quarters the work going on in that school and the work for our aged in Philip Cussins House here in Newcastle. My personal philosophy has always been to see as much as possible, do as little as possible and leave it to the professionals.
What I have witnessed over the years has given me faith in humankind and God-given hope. I have seen compassion, innumerable small acts of kindness and everyday loving as gifts from God; and it’s been just beautiful to see. And in closing, I say to you: Seek, and you will find too.