As I round the corner into the cathedral grounds at ten to 12 it’s obvious that something significant is scheduled. Outside, men in dark suits stand talking in groups, shepherded by officials. From College Street a stream of people flows towards the cathedral, many dressed in green and gold blazers, drawn as iron filings to a magnet. The magnet is Larry Montagu.
Have you heard about the Spanish athlete who gave up his chance to win a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre? He was running second as the athletes entered the finishing straight, when he saw the Kenyan runner Abel Mutai (3,000 meter gold medallist at the London Olympics) mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line. Not being a Spanish speaker, he didn’t understand the shouts from spectators to keep going.
It just goes to show
‘Don’t talk to strangers’
Like many of us, this is something that was drummed into me as a child. As my own children were growing up, there was a book which went the rounds, entitled Just Say No, which came out of the book case regularly to reinforce the message.
My mother also used to say that adversity brings people together.