Monday, 1 March 2010

I know, I know...

However I cannot but post on the following subject. Mr (yes, dear reader) Stanley Vann, erstwile organist of Pizzaborough Cathedral, coItalicmposer, conductor, choir-trainer and church musician par excellence has just celebrated his 100th birthday. He will, no doubt, have received some form of congratulatory communication from 'Her Majesty'. (Probably a text-message or a tweet or something similar, but no matter.) What he will not have received, but so richly deserves, is a Knighthood.

Now let me be quite clear: I am not one to advocate the bestowing of gongs on those for whom achievement seems to be synonymous with longevity. There is no especial merit in avoiding the inevitable shuffling off for longer than your neighbour. But Mr (oh dear) Vann has achieved so much in his century, far more in fact that all the obsequieous, toadying boobies in Whitehall for whom a Knighthood seems to be the equivilent of the long-service carriage clock. And he has achieved a great deal more than certain foul-mouthing, masticating, cheque-book wielding, referee-abusing managers of Association Football clubs whose enoblement has so debased the currency of our British Honours.

So why no public recognition? Is it that Mr (ooooh) Vann laboured for so long in the unfashionable habitations of the East Midlands? (I refuse to call it Cambridgeshire; Peterburger is not and never has been in Cambridgeshire; it is part of Northamptonshire. One simply cannot go around shoving cathedral cities into neighbouring counties on a whim. Mind you, one shouldn't go around re-naming cathedral cities either, but they renamed the rather splendid Gildenburgh... But that's another matter.)

So let us join forces and wish Mr (how much longer?) Stanley Vann if not many, then at least a few more happy returns of the day. (One has to be realistic in such matters.) And let us agitate as a matter of urgency for the great man's long overdue recognition.