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You Never Leave the Brownies

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You Never Leave the Brownies Empty You Never Leave the Brownies

Post by The Fourth Lion on Sun 01 Dec 2013, 12:57 am

I have been following, in the last couple of days, the trial of the murderers of off-duty soldier Lee Rigby back in May of this year.

I find it difficult to convey my contempt for the savages who committed that terrible act, but amongst the brutality of their deed, I find a ray of humanness from an unexpected source, that I feel is worthy of mention and can at least give us hope that there still exists decency and humanity amongst the common people of south London.

Please indulge me a little of your reading time as I explain my feelings:

In early May 2013, comediennes Lorna Watson and Ingrid Oliver ran a skit on their weekly comedy sketch show on the BBC which lampooned adult women secretly behaving like Brownie guides.  The catch phrase was “You never leave the Brownies”.  It was funny in the context of the sketch, but they weren’t to know that just a couple of weeks later their  joke would resonate in a completely different way.

As a young girl, my daughter was a Brownie, and not just any old Brownie.  She was an Elf and proud of it.  By hard work and diligence she became a Sixer, which meant she became a leader of elves.  She never progressed to the Girl Guides, but as she has grown into a mature, responsible, well balanced adult who devotes much of her spare time to doing charitable work to help those in need.  I think it’s fair to say that, even if only in a relatively small way, being a Brownie had a beneficial effect on her development as a person.

The same could be said for Ingrid Loyau-Kennet, the 48 year old mother of two who happened to be travelling on a bus in Woolwich, south London that passed by the scene of the horrific murder of off duty soldier Lee Rigby on 22 May 2013.

As a former Brownie herself, and an adult leader of a youth group, with first aid training, her sense of humanity prompted her to jump off the bus to help what she initially thought was the victim of a road accident.  As she kneeled by the corpse of Private Rigby, one of his killers approached her, still holding his bloody machete, and told her to move off the body.  Incredibly, instead of running for her life she thought she had “Better start talking to him before he attacks somebody else”.  Sadly, Lee Rigby was beyond help by this time, but her calm words undoubtedly helped to defuse the situation.

She then approached the other killer who she later described as appearing to be “much shyer” and attempted to disarm him with the gentle words “Would you like to give me what you have in your hand”.

I find it difficult to describe how I feel about this woman.  The Brownies, unlike other youth groups, are not a neo-militaristic organisation so her training had not inclined her towards aggression and confrontation.  Instead, girls vow to “Do my duty to God, Brown Owl and to others and to honour the Brownie code”.  

Ingrid Loyau-Kennet would have made that promise as a small girl and now she is a middle aged woman, but as Watson and Oliver had intimated, albeit in humour; you never leave the Brownies.

As she stood at the scene of an appalling act of savagery, she didn’t rant and rave at the killers, instead she kept calm and for all we know, may have averted further bloodshed.  She hasn’t called for a return of hanging or a war against terror. What she did do, when she had the opportunity, was offer what words of comfort she could to the family of Lee Rigby.

In the face of such a senseless act of brutality it is comforting to know that somewhere in south London a kind, compassionate and incredibly strong woman is teaching children the values we should all wish them to grow up with.
The Fourth Lion
The Fourth Lion

Posts : 835
Join date : 2013-10-27
Location : South Coast

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