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Footfalls Echo in the Memory: A Life with the Colonial by Verner C. Bickley

By Verner C. Bickley

The schooling carrier was once a necessary area of the British Colonial provider whereas the British Council has been paramount in selling the English language and tradition in another country. yet are either brokers of colonialism and neo-colonialism? or just altruistic conveyors of language and tradition to a much wider world?  Verner Bickley as an schooling Officer in British Colonial provider in Singapore and as British Council officer in Burma, Indonesia and Japan, exhibits how cultural values have been uppermost and critical in themselves notwithstanding the medium of the near-universal English language, and important for technical education. Bickley's carrier used to be set opposed to a backdrop of political turbulence after global struggle II, colonial independence routine and the emergence of Japan as an monetary powerhouse. This own account of his profession is enlivened via a succession of conferences with different personalities, together with royalty, British and Thai, in addition to writers like Anthony Burgess, Graham Greene and Willis corridor and actors resembling Donald Sinden, Patrick Stewart and Max Adrian.

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15 – Footfalls Echo in the Memor y – would be indoor games such as ‘Musical Chairs’, ‘Blindman’s Buff ’ and ‘Murder’. After the games, card tables would be set up and ‘hands’ dealt. Very early on, I was introduced to ‘Strip Jack Naked’, Whist and Rummy. For two or three Christmases, ‘Monopoly’ was the game to play and, subsequently, ‘Canasta’. I would go to bed after midnight, an adventure in itself, and was often given a double bed in a large bedroom at the top of the house. I would wake up on Christmas Day to see an apple and a banana and perhaps a tangerine on a plate at the bedside table.

Any ‘love scenes’ were booed loudly. It was too early in the game for most of us. Some activities were seasonal. Some followed the fashions of the moment. In the autumn and winter ‘conkers’ (horse chestnuts) were popular. I would drill a hole in a nut and thread a piece of string through it. The game was to pit my oven-baked shiny conker against another boy’s conker by hitting it with mine. Then it was his turn. I won if my opponent’s conker was smashed to pieces. He won if mine disintegrated. Marbles appeared at springtime.

I did not know then that a distinguished predecessor, Disraeli, had made a similar announcement (‘Peace for our time’) when he returned to England from the Congress of Berlin. Despite Chamberlain’s assurance, gas masks were issued to everyone in Britain. The masks came in cardboard boxes which were often used for other purposes. Some people kept sandwiches and other personal items in them. There were no ‘Ziplock’ plastic bags then. At first, the impact of the War was hardly felt, although precautions were taken against attacks from the air.

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