Monday, 14 June 2010

The usual suspects appeared on the

Queen's Birthday Honours list this morning. I have nothing against the Honours list, in fact I think it is a good idea - that gets abused. I rather think that the Queen, being an eminently sensible woman, would like to acknowledge those who, like her, have given a life-time of service.
I also think that the Queen must sometimes wonder at those who are given such acknowledgments.
Why should we further acknowledge people who have risen to positions of power and authority and are paid accordingly? If they are doing their job, being paid for it and thanked in the usual way, then that should be it. If they are doing something extra then that might be different. If a sports person has succeeded in winning a match, breaking a record or some other physical feat then that should be sufficient. The most successful often get huge sums in sponsorship. They should not need an additional medal. Giving a highly paid popular musician with a dubious life style a gong for "services to the music industry" also seems a little odd to me.
It was good to see that a 92 yr old who has worked as a volunteer in her local library for more than fifty years got a gong - but she is the exception rather than the rule.
There is, quite apart from the Honours List, a newspaper initiative called "The Pride of Australia Awards"...for "unsung" heroes. This was supposed to overcome the problem with the Honours List - but it has problems of its own. There is no place in the categories for some of the people I think deserve the local "retired" vet who still cares for native injured animals, the woman who takes on puppies for pre-training as potential Guide Dogs, the man around the corner who collects the left over bread and then goes out with Fred's van to feed the homeless men in the city, those who have worked for our radio station for the print-handicapped and the volunteers in the local charity shop. They are not seen as doing enough, or for long enough, or for their efforts to be interesting enough. They are however the very people without whom society would not manage to stay together.
It is time to visit these people and drop off marmalade and tell them that they are appreciated.


Rachel Fenton said...

My local librarians deserve a medal - they are all brilliant and I would be in such a bookless muddle without them!

catdownunder said...

Yes, we have one in particular - she is just marvellous with children too!