Recently an editorial in a well-known English publication dedicated a whole page to the magnificent war effort put forward by the Commonwealth countries towards Britain.
Mention was made of the gratitude and appreciation of the British people. All about Canada, Australia and South Africa, but not one mention of New Zealand.
Having loaded myself with all the relevant war-time Google facts on New Zealand’s highly commendable contribution, I fired off an indignant, (and I hope, respectful) letter in response.
In due course this was acknowledged by the editor’s secretary per email, and a suggestion made that my letter could be published in the next issue. It was, but only half of it. The half mentioning the percentage of NZ serving men sent overseas, Sir Keith Park’s contribution in the Battle of Britain and various other facts and figures, were not.
However, here is the really interesting and ‘fun’ part. As a result of the publication of my ‘fact limited’ letter being published, I received an indignant email from an English resident. He said he felt ashamed of the omission of any mention of NZ in the original editorial. In his email he recognised not only our contribution to the war in terms of personnel, food parcels etc, but also mentioned his admiration of the NZ serving men and women at that time.
As it happens, he and his wife were already booked to spend a holiday in New Zealand this coming summer and I have arranged to meet at this time. New friends coming up?
We continue with regular emails that, in view of Brexit, are both interesting and entertaining, containing as they do, some fascinating comments of one man’s attitude towards the huge hurdles the UK now faces. Our son in the UK has taken the opposing view so their comments are enlightening, amusing and horribly confusing.
The moral of my story is…never be afraid to voice your opinion on published matter that veers widely from your own view of known reality and the facts. You never know what might come from such a discussion. After all, writing is a tool.