“I never worry about action, but only inaction.” Sir Winston Churchill.
Several years ago a friend of mine – we’ll call her Sally – suggested I apply for a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
Actually that’s not quite acurate. Sally was talking about her own great experience on a Churchill Fellowship and I’m afraid to say that I drifted away and started thinking about doing something like that myself one day.
But I like to remember that magical day as the moment that Sally unintentionally encouraged me to apply. I have a very active imagination, you see.
Fortunately I also have a good memory. So when I spotted a post on Facebook some years later promoting a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust information evening, I immediately knew what it was about. And I was very keen to find out more.
So on Thursday 23 February 2017 I attended an event at The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania. Having no idea what to expect, I was stunned to find the room absolutely packed with people as eager as I was to learn more.
Do you ever get that feeling that you’re hanging out with ‘your people’, even if you don’t know anyone? Well, that’s pretty much what I felt like sitting in that theatrette.
All the speakers were busting at their seams with enthusiasm for their projects and kept repeating how the experience of doing a Fellowship had completely changed their lives. Each of them, in their own way, was utterly in love with their projects.
I have never felt so excited about the art of preserving old medals or monitoring wildlife populations as I was that night. For a short time afterwards I too wanted to travel to Holland to play the Baroque bassoon.
Their passion was infectious. I asked three questions – three times more than anyone else. I had to stop myself from asking more for fearing of being regarded as a well-meaning nuisance. But I did say hello to the presenters and the CEO of the Trust before racing home to shower my wife with an outpouring of enthusiasm.
Even at this early stage I had a very good idea of what my project would be about. But the details needed working on. And I now had until Friday 28 April to get the application done. Two months and counting.
Time to take some action, Mr Churchill.