WHY are we so obsessed with anniversaries and commemorations? The media loves them, of course, because they provide a useful hook for a story, however tenous the occasion.
But there’s something much deeper in our need to acknowledge the past, whether glorious or otherwise, our continual need to celebrate the achievements of the good and great, to relive the horrors of catastrophic events, and condemn the terrible actions of rogues and villains. By reminding ourselves we learn from their mistakes, acknowledge their struggles, and give thanks for the ways in which they’ve benefited us.
November is a month for remembrance and commemoration, and it’s important because it embodies both our human frailty and greatness. There are two very special concerts happening in Suffolk this month which provide the perfect setting for reflection and commemoration. On November 11, Nigel Short (one-time member of
‘By reminding ourselves, we learn from their mistakes, acknowledge their struggles, and give thanks for the ways in which they’ve benefited us.’
The King’s Singers) brings his superb vocal ensemble, Tenebrae, to Snape Maltings in a programme of music designed to touch the soul (pages 58-59). On November 12, Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a symphony concert for Remembrance Sunday at Ipswich Corn Exchange, comprising Copland, Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Barber and Beethoven (page 9). I’m sure both will be well supported by appreciative Suffolk audiences.
As a magazine editor I understand the need to celebrate anniversaries and achievements and next year there’s a big one – 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote in England. Not all women, of course, only those over 30 who owned property. But there were a million who qualified following the loss of so many men in the First World War and it paved the way for full enfranchisement.
Suffolk played an important role in women’s suffrage, and we’ll be telling its stories. I’d like to hear from you if you have stories and information to share. Email me at email@example.com
Meanwhile, I’ll be wearing my poppy with pride this November.
Wing defence . . . Eastward Ho, Felixstowe. Seconds before I took the photo, there was a whole team of rooks lined up in goal. Then they got camera shy, except for this one who obliged with a pose. I think I got his best side.