Saturday, December 29, 2018

Honours List

Honours List - Column 8: June 23 1993 

I am still simmering! It’s over a week now since the Honours List was published, and yet again my name did not appear on it!!

I realise Her Majesty had an ‘orrible year, because she kept telling us so, but is that any reason to continually overlook one of her loyal subjects? What do I have to do to gain Her acknowledgement?

I have worked for the State (being in insurance for five years) and allowed my brain to be on tap at the City Council. I delivered Her Royal Mail at two different times in my career. Like Her forebear Henry the Eighth, I’m a minor composer, writing my first song worth remembering when I was only a teenager.

I have written countless songs since then, some of which have been performed.

While accompanying four opera singers, I played the piano for thousands of schoolchildren around New Zealand, even continuing to play after the lid of the grand piano at Tokomairiro High School fell on my thumb – mid-aria.

I have accompany a pre-Dame Kiri. She condescendingly told me (and I put it down to her youth) that everyone makes mistakes sometimes. (I assume she meant in the way I played the music, rather than in my choice of singer.)

I have listened to more music than all the 19th century composers wrote in total, much of it with my full attention. It has been music that ran the gamut from the extremely incomprehensible (like that by John Cage, who was opaque in everything he did) to the totally sublime.

I have sold goods door to door, and collected money door to door, so you could easily count me as being a community worker.

I wrote my first play before I was out of my teens, and two later ones which I destroyed, since, like Brahms, I didn’t want my juvenalia undermining the fruit of my later genius (which is still to bud).

I have submitted over 300 articles to various publishers not only in this country, but in the United Kingdom (of Her Majesty) and the United States. Two-thirds of them have been published. (And not all in this column, either.)

You’d think in the midst of Her Majestic year she would have noticed one of those, surely? Furthermore, I have read more books than are sold at the Regent Book sale each year, many of them from cover to cover.

Like Paul’s adopted son, Timothy, I have been a Christian since my youth up. I have worked twice for my church in paid capacities, quite apart from the countless hours I’ve spent shifting other member’s furniture from one house to another, and attending pot luck meals, and listening to those who are going through difficult patches.

I have watched thousands of movies, and untold hours of television (which is why I’ve watched thousands of movies). That any person should endure so much and still be ignored each year is beyond my comprehension.

I have enjoyed book-keeping, endured economics, delight in English, and been bewildered by maths – at times. I have studied Trachtenberg’s system of multiplication, the one he conceived in prison without any paper. I can read some Italian, German and Modern Cool.

I live in a house with four teenagers, amongst others. When I remind them that I used to carry each one in the crook of my arm they give that teenage ‘look.’

With all these credentials (and many more that I can’t fit in due to space restrictions), I ask you: Why wasn’t my name in the Honours List this year?

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