Thursday, September 13, 2012

                       The Reign of Elizabeth II-  Britain’s Second Elizabethan Age 1952 – 2012

          It is most fitting that in this village of Noke, meaning ‘at the oak trees’, a young oak tree was planted as a living tribute to the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
            Under a clear bright sky, trowels in hand, children clustered around the prepared earth waiting for the new tree to be lowered into the ground. Old and young laid hands together to lower the tree into the land where people have lived for five thousand years.
          Across the green lush fields in the middle of Noke a road was built. It was not just any road but a Roman road. At that time ‘all roads’, may have, ‘led to Rome’, but on this day of celebration the hearts and minds of the village were focused on sixty remarkable years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Such an event shall not be seen again in some of our lifetimes.
          As the tree was lowered into the permanent place where the earth would give it life, the celebrants stood in silence. I could not help but wonder if perhaps some of them were remembering their loved ones who had gone before them. In that brief moment, they could share the joy of this occasion with those whom they loved.
           The whimsical saying ‘Noke, the place where no one spoke’, was only in folly. For on this significant day, eloquent words will be remembered as the hearts of villagers and visitors offered a champagne toast to Her Majesty the Queen.
  A Queen after all, is the person who has the love of her people, the sorrows of her country, the sacrifices of her duty, and the joy of knowing for sixty years she has ruled with dignity and grace. The true diamond that sparkles beyond all others is Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Jan Atchley Bevan

Author in Residence 2000-2008
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
Jacksonville, Florida
Member of NLAPW, "Queen" of the Jacksonville chapter

The above piece is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University because I was asked to represent Noke Oxfodrshire for their Jubilee celebration.

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