From a Gentleman of Leisure

Having got used by now to the "Life of a gentleman of leisure" – as one of our friends on the islands chose to put it – I feel the urge to try a bit of summing up. First of all I want to thank those readers of "SCILLY-up-to-date" who took the occasion of my retirement to write either to me or to the editor. Of course it is very pleasing to learn from people who appreciate our endeavour to produce a decent paper within the given framework. And that’s where John Read the printer and publisher comes in. In spite of all the other work that concentrates in his tiny two-man-run workshop he always was interested and flexible enough to try new ways and eager to improve the technical possibilities for our joint offspring, not to forget however: whenever the production-line was delayed due to all kinds of mishaps (and there can be plenty of those) John’s wife Beryl stepped in and his Stepmother Dorothy as well; a real family-enterprise. Knowing all about this, I feel a bit guilty leaving him and Carl alone. Only my confidence that they will manage provides me with some ease.

It would be odd if I had not encountered some people who took offence at the way I expressed my opinion. Perhaps the judgement by the official P.o.W. Department in the Ministry of Defence on the camp paper, I happened to be the editor of, can be of help to cope with opinions other than their own. It runs:
‘Der neue Weg’ "We congratulate the colleagues of No. 167 PoW – Camp for their excellent Camp Paper. In a splendid manner they managed to solve the difficult challenge that "the maser reveals himself when being restricted." This refers to the composition, the make-up as well as to the standard of the editors and their assistants. It does not imply, however that we fully agree with the contents of all your articles, we could even counter-argue now and then; but is not just that the best acknowledgement for a paper run on democratic lines? That you are able, in the enclosure of English barbed wire, to publish such a lively and free paper will surely be equally appreciated by the readers and editors of ‘der neue Weg’, which is honoured by its own name."

(By the way: my set of original copies of ‘der neue Weg’, probably the only one existing, has been handed over to the Imperial War Museum in London – however not before John Read and Carl had worked hard to make photocopies of the lot). After all, I have always tried to comfort critical readers with the advice, never to forget, that "it might be true, though it is printed".


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