The births, deaths and innovations of the year
2013 has been a year of change. Much new has reached us but sadly many have left us and amongst them have been Iain Banks, Joan Fontaine, Sir David Frost, Richard Griffiths, Cory Monteith, James Gandolfini, Lou Reed and Paul Walker.
Readers of The Steeple Times have ranked the arrivals and departures of the year and here we chronicle your top ten of each:
- Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher
- Anti-apartheid revolutionary and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela
- British-Irish actor Peter O’Toole
- Irish poet and playwright Seamus Heaney
- Gin king and hotelier Martin Miller
- Author and historian Tom Clancy
- Russian general and small arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov
- Train robber Ronnie Biggs
- President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez
- Oligarch Boris Berezovsky
- Royal heir Prince George
- Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafazi
- Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un
- Crossing a donut with a croissant to create the Cronut
- Waterless fracking
- iPhone 5s
- The Jaguar F-type sports car
- 266th Pope of the Catholic Church Pope Francis
- Summly app inventor Nick D’Aloisio
- “Selfie” enters the Oxford English Dictionary
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Mandela was a great man, it was with great sadness that I learned of his departure from this life. However, with great interest, I listened to Peter Hain pay homage to him. It reminded me of an incident that happened almost 50 years ago.
Frederick John Harris was a member of the anti-apartheid African Resistance Movement (ARM). On 24 July 1964, Harris telephoned to inform the Johannesburg Railway Police that a bomb had been planted on a whites-only platform of Johannesburg Railway Station. The bomb later exploded, killing a 77-year-old woman and injuring 23 others. Harris, a school teacher, was convicted of murder, and hanged on 1 April 1965. He was represented at trial by David Soggot, who later became one of South Africa’s most prominent civil rights lawyers. At his cremation, 15-year-old Peter Hain (whose family had been friendly with Harris) stood and recited Ecclesiastes 3:3: ‘A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up” Peter Hain later became active in anti-apartheid resistance while in exile in London, and a primary proponent of sanctions to end apartheid. He later stood for a political seat in Britain and never returned to live in South Africa. Hain refused to meet victims of this bombing. There is always two sides to a story, can this incident be seen as terrorism?
Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Sir David Frost, Cory Monteith, Paul Walker.
I pay tribute to Drummer Lee Rigby. Rest in Peace, Soldier.