Jim’s been well looked after
THIS newspaper’s coverage of the Scottish Independence referendum was an imaginative piece of local journalism.
For a start, it did bring out issues of government that are important to local communities. The possibilities of more influence of local affairs is a matter for us all. The sight of 16 and 17-year-olds voting must be of interest to our youngsters. But it was also imaginative to give the referendum some local prominence because there are many Scots living in the area. They have an interest in the debate although they have no vote. I was born in Scotland and lived there for 21 years of my life and have still a (slight) accent. I came here for work and once married, found Weybridge a very convenient place for commuting to London and to bring up a family. But I always took an interest in Scotland, the beautiful countryside, the mountains, the football and rugby teams and the poli- tics. But in spite of my heritage, I did not have a vote. I was gratified to see the enormous turnout (over 80%). This level of turnout is unknown in this area, even in a general election. Could the referendum event be a precursor to a revival of interest in politics? Many people say to me, why don’t you return? But that would mean leaving a place I have known and served for more than 30 years.
Scottish traditions are followed locally, such as highland dance societies. There is the Oatlands Pipe Band, which has entertained us many times at local events. This shows us that Scottish traditions are of great interest to those outside Scotland. We do not need to return to Scotland to enjoy its traditions.
If it was ‘Yes’ for an Independent Scotland, what would my status be – refugee or asylum-seeker? As the vote was ‘No’, I can leave that question to the side for the moment. A MAN from Virginia Water celebrated his 100th birthday last week with a celebration tea and a Skype call to Canada.
James Evans is a resident of the Merlewood Care Home in Hollow Lane and has lived there for the past 10 years. Mr Evans was born on September 10 1914 in Liverpool but moved to Surrey when he met his future wife, Nancy, on holiday. Naomi Pollard, who works at the care home, said he had jested that he liked to be referred to as a ‘Liverpolitan’ not a Liverpudlian as this was the ‘posh version’. Miss Pollard added: “He is a complete gentleman, very smart and always in a suit and wants to look good. He always asks how do I look or do I look present- able before he goes out of his room.” She said Mr Evans is a quiet man but with a great sense of humour. The centenarian was a chiropodist and worked with the Royal Army Medical Corps during the Second World War and apparently has a lot of ‘harrowing’ memories’. Mr Evans has no children or other relatives in the country but made a birthday Skype call to his cousin, Peter Evans, in Canada. The 100-year-old puts his long life down to the fact he was ‘well looked after’ by his mother and his wife.