Memorial address [*]
17 December 2017 (online)
Given by Dr L R Twentyman at the Memorial Service commemorating those who died in the aircraft disaster. St. George the Martyr, Queen Square, London W.C.1, on Thursday, 29 June 1972.
Friends, relatives, colleagues, patients, and all who knew them and who care about what was in their hearts and minds. Forgive me, bear with me. They are still too near for feelings to be calm. I am here—as one of you—to try and speak about them, but each one of you must add your words, and minds and hearts, if we are to make a tribute worthy of a catastrophe which is so stunning and at which our single minds balk. Therefore, of course, it is right that we, with the immemorial traditions of our faiths, should try to meet and find feelings and thoughts with which to grapple with these events.
We knew them personally as friends. We came to honour and treasure them, some of them for a long time and some quite new amongst us.
There was—and it does not matter in which order one speaks of them, there was quite new amongst us, a man of distinction and of high eminence in his own profession, FREDERICK ADAMS, who had come from the world of pharmacy to help in these special problems of our work, and who brought with him great good will and great intelligence, and we had come to be grateful for all that he was trying to do. And with him was his wife.
And then ISABEL CAMPBELL, full of vitality and strength, coming from the Scottish land, passionately caring for the welfare of her patients and full of great strength and appreciation of all who came in touch with her, and her friend MARY STEVENSON, whom I often met, here and abroad. All who knew her know how sensitive and caring a heart she had. These two used to go to conferences and take part in them together and take holidays together. They were always of enormously great cheer as they must have been to all who went to see them.
And then, DUDLEY EVERITT, perhaps more widely known in the world of Homoeopathy, and really it is a world, in the five continents, than anyone else perhaps from this country. Whoever came to congresses when we had them in this country, found that the wheels worked smoothly, found that all the strife and conflicts which are part of the activities of this world, had by Dudley Everitt’s self-effacing tact been smoothed away. I know from his colleagues on the Continent, how grateful they were, that this man, who looked so modest, who looked so gentle, had the capacity of justice in their Councils in Europe where they met. The more we learnt to know him, the more we experienced and saw his wisdom in our Councils, the more I think we learnt to honour him. And there was with him MAROOT, his wife, always so full of good-natured humour.
MARJORIE GOLOMB, those who knew her—I knew her a little, others knew her better—must marvel at the sensitivity of her intelligence, and not only that, but at the extraordinary and almost instantaneous gift of tact and understanding from her human heart to whoever it was with whom she talked. I know crossing her path in the corridors of the hospital or at some meeting, it didn’t matter if one had met her recently, there was an immediate recognition in her eye and glance, an immediate response and this she had for all those who came to her. I have heard during these days of the very great distress of her patients at her passing.
There is this about every single one of these which I must say is outstanding in this age of ours, that they cared for their patients each one, they cared for them as individuals. And therefore I feel it is right to try to express today, the individual colour of each of this rich galaxy of those who were on this fated craft.
THE MATRON of the Scottish Hospital, Elizabeth Hawthorn, I have heard how much her presence and personality brought to the well-being of the Hospital in Glasgow. All our world was represented on this plane, Pharmacy and Nursing as well as Physician.
And now a young doctor, young among us, WILLIAM KADLEIGH, brilliant, full of promise, like a star that darts across this world. It is hard, it is hard for all who know such a person when suddenly he is no more here for us to take delight in. Yet we must somehow take the treasure of their being and their meaning, and honour it and lift it up. Strange are the ways of our fates…
LUDI KANDALLA and her sister Kay came from Baghdad, came from the great and mighty race of Assyrians, and when I was there at the end of the war I came to have a deep respect for the grandeur of their race. When Ludi came to the Hospital I could see the same qualities in her, descendant of the mighty Assyrians. You had only to look on the face of her and her sister (Kay) and you can see those same faces in the galleries of the British Museum on those ancient Assyrian reliefs. Lovable, uncompromising—full of vitality and youth—but you do not speak to an Assyrian about compromise—warriors, warriors for what they believe in. This was what was striking and great in the enthusiasm and youth which we learnt to love in Ludi and her sister Kay.
JOAN MACKOVER—I knew her a little, we met and talked, and respect and affection for her grew. One had the feeling she was reliable through and through, that she would not let anyone down. Competent, warm, intelligent, trying with all her being to bring greater and more succour and help to all that she could. All this I saw in her, I’m sure it was true. She was friendly and open to all and everything. Irreplaceable such people are.
And then, JOHN RAESIDE—who was my friend, personal and close and we had worked together for many years. I have seldom met anyone with greater determination to reach the truth—not the truth in the skies but the truth about any problem he had to grapple with; and I think all of us who remember him know of this capacity for grappling which he had. He would argue, he would—like the good Scotsman he was—reject, until he had understood what was meant, until persuasion, and argument and imagination had succeeded in overcoming and bridging the gulf from one person to another, until understanding had flowed of what was being said. Then, when once John had understood I have seldom, if ever, known anyone of such generous appreciation; it would well up like a sun to shine on whoever had contributed that new spark of understanding and piece of truth, Many, many of us have learned to appreciate this core of gold within his good ancestral Scottish rugged exterior. All of us who know the Scots—and we have many from Scotland—have learned to treasure their quality. His contribution was in many things. He never held back from service, he never held back from taking on new responsibilities when they were thrust upon him.
It is not just sadness that overwhelms us, but it is how to find words to honour all these our friends, and how somehow, through honouring them, to find out the meaning of this catastrophe and of their sacrifice.
THOMAS FERGUS STEWART and HIS WIFE ELIZABETH; there are so many qualities and capacities amongst all these. I doubt if he had an enemy on earth. He met one with bright and sparkling eyes. He would enter at once into a good wrestling with one. Sometimes I thought it was like two stags coming from both sides of a mountain and entangling their antlers for a cheerful wrestling match. He was never so happy as when we were in agreement, and never so unhappy as when there was discord and strife. And certainly amongst the international world to which he went as Vice-President he was universally loved and the tributes we heard in Brussels were all of this great pleasure and delight in his eager, energetic enthusiasm.
I have spoken of each of these individually. Can you bear with me if I say something about them as a group?
I feel that a full appreciation must also take in this strange fate that is so stunning, but if you look at this group, in some strange way it represents a whole cross section of our small world, from the world of our pharmacists to the world of our matrons and nurses, and amongst the doctors every wing and branch of our complex world was represented. Many differing schools have grown up amongst us homoeopaths within the very common aim which unites us, and this group was a microcosm. I cannot look at them except as a seed taken from amongst our members—a seed to plant into the future.
It was not only that they represented this little world of Homoeopathy, but if you look closely and carefully you will see that they also represented the tremendous immemorial movements of our European heritage. There were in this strange fated plane coming from Baghdad the Kandalla sisters of the Holy Church of Rome, of the See of Peter; there was William Kadleigh coming by ancestry from Holy Russia and from the Holy Orthodox Church of the East; there were our friends from the Presbyterian North, from Scotland. There were members who found their religious home within the Church of England; those who belonged to the sacred and exalted religion of the Hebrews, of Israel; there was John Raeside who found his religious hopes and aspirations for the future within the Christian Community, and there were those who belonged to the ancient and immensely important stream of our cultural heritage, the ancient world of Masonry. For me this is a symbol which lifts up this great and terrible catastrophe out of mere accident into significance. I do not want one word I say to take one iota from this death but we who have lived in an age when catastrophe is all around us, who have endured and lived through in our life time more terrible catastrophes perhaps than any generation have ever lived through, we must try somehow to find, it seems to me, ways by which the something which is entering into our world in these terrible events can be lifted up and our vision raised up.
There is the realm of things around us, which one can just call Destiny, the realm of things which must be, the mechanism of sheer events, but there is also and perhaps today we don’t lift up our eyes enough, there is the realm of Providence, the realm of what should be, of what ought to be, of what could be and what is possible, not merely necessary. Out of this microcosm as I have looked at it, then these are my thoughts pondering over it this week, struggling with it. Does it not mean, is not the symbol there, that we must overcome everything which is sectarian, everything which divides and separates one from another.
We are met here in a church of the Church of England, but those whom we commemorate come from a far wider range of allegiances, and there are among us those who come from the North and the South, the East and the West, from Africa and Asia and out of the world of European culture and tradition. Something must be raised up and lifted up out of this world of our European heritage, out of the world of our divisions and sectarianism, in medicine as in the wider spheres of life, so that it can become an ideal, to share with the peoples of all our common world. And I would feel that I had failed the appreciation of those who have been taken in this sudden event if I did not try, with my own inadequate words, to point out that there is also a symbol of high hope, a vision of mankind, full of richness and diversity, united in the world of our common humanity. And we are just human, not one of us singly can broach the full depth of the mystery of this event, but if each of us in our different ways could somehow share, as I am trying to do, then out of this, which feels like a stunning blow, there could, I believe, rise up a renewal, a renaissance, a rebirth of the human heart and human purpose and meaning in each one of us. Because even our little world of medicine can never be—in the end—a matter of schools, a matter of science, a matter of some speciality. In the end it must be the care and concern and wisdom of doctor meeting patient, of one human person for another, and I have sought to show that each single one of these whom today we remember was a person of this type and calibre. They cared more for the destiny of each individual person than they cared for some mere system, mere profession or prestige. No, something rises up from the individual to the individual, which finds its echo in the end only in the whole of the world of our common humanity. And it was good that at Brussels, where they came, yet did not come, that there were those who came from the five continents of the globe, those who belonged to every one of the great dimensions of the world religions and so in this spirit I somehow hope, not that my words can give you the answer, but that you will join me in trying to let the wings of the imagination soar upwards until we can behold the full and positive and providential import of this tragedy, which still weighs and still must weigh, so stunningly upon us.
☆This article is a reprint of a previously published article. For citation purposes, please use the original publication details; Br Hom J 1972; 61: 130–133. DOI of original item: 10.1016/S0007-0785(72)80021-8.