I WOULD like to thank all those readers who attended our public libraries on Saturday February 5th, designated National Library Day.
Books have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My parents had a great book collection as did my grandparents. All my life I have been surrounded by books, my personal library numbers some 2,000 books, some dating back to the late 1700s.
As an eight-year-old in 1945 my parents got permission for me to take books from the senior library. Books were my escape from the tough life after World War Two, with food, coal, coke, clothes even petrol and other fuels being rationed.
How I loved reading Zane Grey, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Frederick Holder, Ernest Hemingway, the Rt. Hon Sir Edward Grey Bart, Sheringham, Walker, Venables, BB, William Senior, Bridgett, Scrope and others far to numerous to mention. Through these writers I could visit many far flung places.
Today it’s not been a dream: I’ve been to Zane Grey’s cabin on the Rogue River, fished at Winkle, Bar, visited his house on Catalina Island for dinner. I’ve walked in the footsteps of Roosevelt in the Brazilian jungle and other places in the Amazon. I’ve been a guest at Charles Holder’s Avalon Tuna Club headquarters on Catalina Island during its Centenary Celebrations. It was here in 1929 that the late Sir Winston Churchill, on the second day of his visit, went out and caught the first marlin of the season.
On my visit to the Clitheroe Library on Saturday I volunteered my time should they need volunteers. I’m sure many more pensioners would be willing to offer their time. We should all make sure the public library service is available for tomorrow’s children not yet born, its something we must never lose.