Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Prize Indeed

While going through a box of books, I discovered this book, Birds of the Storm, I had received as a school class award back in 1963.

I was a kid who did relatively well at school. Average for the most part, and not often first in anything, so this award for FirstGeneral Excellence was a prize indeed.

These awards were given to students who were top of their class, or excelled in other various areas of school academia, at an end of year award ceremony at the Palmerston North Opera house, a rather large majestic theatre which had the capacity to hold all the students and parents.

I was so nervous walking across the stage to receive my book, knowing all eyes were on me, (I was the girl who always sat in the back row), and there was always the thought, “I wonder what crummy book they are going to give me this time “

Quite often you would receive a book which was of no interest to you at all, apart from the fact that there was an award certificate with your name and relevant information, pasted inside the front cover, this time it was a story of interest.

The story is of Marjorie Ozanne’s bird hospital on Guernsey in 1940 when the Nazis occupied the island.

Many of those who escaped the mainland left behind their pet birds, which Marjorie rescued and sheltered in her own home. Aided by her friend, Nell, she carried on her own secret “war” with the Nazis to save and protect the birds.

Marjorie would barter her clothes and shoes so she could buy food for the birds.

Her concern was such that eventually even the Germans helped her.

The award says, I was in 5th form (about 10th grade) first in class

Top picture is Marjori Ozzane, right, and Nell littleton, bandaging a gull's wing
lower picture, Calming a hen while putting its broken leg in a splint made with cotton-wool and sellotape.

1 comment:

Ted said...

Nice story Keewee