She’s a Dover souler
QUESTION Newspaper articles often refer to the singer Joss Stone as Devon-born. Are they correct? NEWSPAPERS and websites that say the soul/ R&B singer-songwriter was born in Devon are incorrect, though she was brought up in that county after her family moved there.
She was, in fact, born in Dover, at Buckland Hospital, on April 11, 1987, but spent her teenage years in the small rural village of Ashill, near Cullompton.
Joss Stone was born Jocelyn Eve Stoker to Richard and Wendy Stoker (nee Skillin), who parted in 2005 when Joss was 17. She has an elder sister, a younger brother and an older half-brother who shares the same mother.
It is relatively simple to check when and where someone was born because the birth indexes of the General Register Office for England and Wales from July 1837 (when civil registration began) up to 2006 are on several websites, and anyone with a subscription can access them.
These show Jocelyn Eve Stoker’s birth was registered at Dover, Kent, in May 1987. Some websites show her birth forenames as Joscelyn Eve, but the GRO record has her first forename as Jocelyn.
Roy Stockdill, Genealogical researcher, writer and
lecturer, Watford, Herts. QUESTION As part of the ‘nationbuilding’ process, does the Afghan government have a new national anthem and flag? AFGHANISTAN has had several anthems over the past century. The first (1943-1973), during its time as a monarchy, was performed on state visits by King Amanullah and had no lyrics.
After the monarchy’s abolition in 1973, the Republic of Afghanistan was set up, and the first anthem with lyrics was adopted. It began: ‘So long as there is the earth and the heavens; So long as the world endures; So long as there is life in the world; So long as a single Afghan breathes; There will be this Afghanistan.’
In 1978, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a Communist-style anthem was adopted, extolling the benefits of liberation.
Then came the establishment of the Islamic republic, 1992 to 1999, in which a new anthem, a Mujahedin battle song composed in 1919, was used. It began: ‘Fortress of Islam, heart of Asia, Forever free, soil of the Aryans, Birthplace of great heroes Fellow traveller of the warriors of the men of God, God is great! God is great! God is great! Arrow of His faith to the arena of Jihad, Removing the shackles of suppression, The nation of freedom, Afghanistan, Breaks the chains of the oppressed in the world. God is great! God is great! God is great!’ During Taliban rule, from 1999 to 2002, Afghanistan was unique in having no national anthem, as the Taliban banned music.
In 2004, the new Afghan government instigated a worldwide contest to create a new national anthem to signal a new era for the country.
It stipulated that the anthem had to be written in Pashto and contain the phrase Allahu Akbar (God is Great), and mention the names of the ethnic groups in Afghanistan. The winning composition was created by two Afghans living in America — Abdul Bari Jahani (words) and Babrak Wasa (music): This land is Afghanistan It is pride of every Afghan The land of peace, the land of sword Its sons are all braves This is the country of every tribe Land of Balochs and Uzbeks Pashtuns, and Hazaras, Turkman and Tajiks With them, Arabs and Gojars Pamirian, Nooristanian Barahawi, and Qizilbash Also Aimaq, and Pashaye This land will shine for ever Like the sun in the blue sky In the chest of Asia It will remain as heart for ever We will follow the one god We all say, Allah is great, We all say, Allah is great, We all say, Allah is great.
Miss J. Allman, Leeds. AFGHANISTAN had 19 different national flags during the 20th century, more than any other country.
The current flag was first hoisted on December 7, 2004, at President Karzai’s inauguration ceremony.
This flag is similar to that flown during the monarchy up to 1973. The flag (pictured below) has three equal perpendicular parts, in black, red and green, from left to right.
The national emblem is in the centre; a mosque with its mihrab (niche in wall) facing Mecca, encircled with two branches of wheat.
In the upper-middle part of the insignia the sacred phrase ‘There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet and Allah is Great’ is placed along with a rising sun.
The word ‘Afghanistan’ and the year 1298 — the solar Islamic calendar equivalent of 1919AD in the Gregorian calendar, the year of independence from Britain — are in the lower part of the insignia.
Navid Sohail, London W2. QUESTION What is a Gadarene rush? FURTHER to the earlier answer, there is not necessarily any contradiction between the different Gospel accounts of Jesus’s healing of the demon-possessed man.
Matthew locates the event in the area around the city of Gadara, six miles south-east of the Sea of Galilee, while Mark and Luke identify it by the far larger administrative region, whose capital was Gerasa, about 35 miles from the lake.
Alan Cole’s Tyndale Commentary on Mark points out that the name Gerasa has several variants, and many scholars believe the lakeside village now known as Khersa might have been the original location.
The New International Version Study Bible points out that about a mile south of Khersa there is a fairly steep slope 40 yards from the shore, and that about two miles from there are cavern tombs that appear to have been used as dwellings. It is normal for witnesses’ accounts of an event to vary according to what each individual saw or thought they saw.
That the Gospel accounts show some variations (usually reconciled with a bit of research) gives them an air of authenticity.
Rick Taylor, Cumnor, Oxford. QUESTION An earlier answer stated that Marilyn Monroe was the best actor never to have been nominated for an Oscar. Which other great actors have failed to receive a nomination? FURTHER to previous answers, one of the best actors never to be nominated was Joseph Cotten.
He gave a string of fine performances throughout the 1940s in some of the most famous films ever made, including Citizen Kane and The Third Man.
Two performances in particular deserved Oscar recognition: his shell-shocked soldier in I’ll Be Seeing You (1944) opposite Ginger Rogers, and his doomed lover in Portrait Of Jennie (1948) opposite Jennifer Jones.
After 1950, the quality of his roles decreased, along with his chance of any Oscar nomination.
Alan Hobson, Woodford Bridge, Essex.
Diva: Joss Stone was born in Kent but brought up in Devon