• Register
Return to: Home > Comments > Comment: Age is just a number

Comment: Age is just a number

It was a strange week. In fact, more accurately, you could say it was a week of extreme contrasts.

It started with some friends, my wife and I enjoying the wilds of Dartmoor. The Monday was my wife’s birthday with a few family celebrations and on the Wednesday I went to hospital, to have the metal that had enabled the surgeon to reconstruct my injured arm, removed. I was even presented with the plate and screws afterwards as some sort of bizarre trophy. So, from Thursday onwards I was at home with an active, if somewhat drugged, mind but otherwise ‘armless.

Which, you may have noticed, leaves Tuesday unaccounted for.

Tuesday’s story started some six weeks ago when I received a card in the post.

The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by Her Majesty to invite Mr and Mrs Graeme Gordon to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

So, on Tuesday, duly kitted out in tail coat and top hat and accompanied by my wife in a beautiful new dress and hat, we went to tea with The Queen!  

While I shared this privilege with some 8,000 others from all walks of life, it was unique for me.

It was special in so many ways – the diversity of people and clothes, from kilts to kimonos, from Canadian Mounties to New Zealand sailors and from top hats and tail coats to shiny suits and T-shirts. However, perhaps the most special and telling aspect was when Her Majesty, The Queen and other members of the Royal Family entered the ‘fray’. They welcomed a few hundred individual guests chosen at random, but also involved as many others as they could. What struck me, however, was the warmth and enthusiasm of this lady and her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh. You should remember The Queen was born in 1926 and is, as I write, 91.  The Duke of Edinburgh is 95. Both were unfailing in their work.

Unlike many of her European counterparts, The Queen has made it plain that she will not abdicate. She made an oath to the people of the Commonwealth before God at her coronation in 1952, she says, and will not break it.

“The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God”

Thus, at 91 she is still effectively working a full day. She may have delegated some of the more arduous duties or those that need to be performed simultaneously, to other key members of The Royal Family, but she will not cease her role as monarch until she is no longer able to perform it.

How many of us can say we have that level of absolute commitment to the role given to us?

I believe that even the staunchest republican would acknowledge The Queen’s commitment to the Commonwealth and her role, and it would be hard to suggest that she had not served those within her realm to the very best of her ability.

So, 24 hours before I went for surgery, I had a very tangible example of the level of commitment you should arguably give to any role you have committed to. Whether as a parent, employer, employee, carer or politician, we have no excuse for doing a half-hearted job. I will remember this 91-year-old true lady’s example of doing it ’right’.

By Græme Gordon, Executive Director, Praxity

Top Content

    South Africa: sensing new opportunities

    It has been an interesting couple of years for the profession in South Africa. A number of high-profile scandals have brought the profession and the role of auditors into sharp public focus, brewing a distrust towards accountants and a large expectations gap. Joe Pickard reports.

    read more

    Ghana: a quest for consistency

    Ghana’s current economic profile would suggest a fertile landscape for purveyors of accounting services. But inconsistent approaches to compliance and application of standards – coupled with problems in the banking sector and consequent liquidity constraints – have created a challenging environment. Paul Golden writes.

    read more

    Drone technology: audit takes to the skies

    The movement towards a digitised era has already impacted the auditing profession in a number of ways, from blockchain to artificial intelligence. Now firms are taking to sky and using drone technology in their audits. Mishelle Thurai speaks to Big Four firms to find out more.

    read more

    SBC: a new alliance joins the market

    Jonathan Minter speaks to Paul Tutin, chair of founding firm Streets Chartered Accountants, about why the business and its European partners took the decision to launch their own association.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.