“I climbed onto the bed and pressed my four-year-old body against the curtain as I looked through the window. Mum had left the house.”
Such begins the memoir of Attorney-at-Law, Queen’s Counsel, Ralph Thorne, in his just launched Whispers of Peace To My Soul – A Childhood Memoir.
Despite illness, famous local author George Lamming commended Thorne’s work in a videotaped address where he noted: “I regard this book, Whispers of Peace To My Soul, to be so important that I thought it important that I should insist on reporting why I came to that view.
“For a long time I have always expressed great regret that in Barbados and throughout most of the Caribbean, the Caricom countries, we know very little about important figures except what we hear about them in public life.
“You have men and women who have been in the public service for 30/40 years, very senior, permanent secretaries, which means these are people, men and women who have very likely served in almost every ministry of government. They therefore have witnessed on the inside, the machinery of government. They have been very close to people who have had to make important decisions and quite often they themselves had to implement the decisions,” Lamming posited, in the review shown to the audience at the Grande Salle of the Central Bank.
He added that on retirement, often the details of the lives of these people were lost and never heard of again, which was why he stated that Thorne’s book was important.
The noted author said often such people did not consider that their life story was worth telling, especially since they played such important roles in the nation’s development.
‘It is very difficult for us to identify any such public servants in book form who have allowed us to see and feel who they are, and this is why the Whispers of Peace To My Soul is important because it is this respect almost unique.
“We have here a very distinguished lawyer, a Q.C., a public figure who is held in very great respect and who decided that he would share at least a decade of what it meant to be who he was from about the age of four, five, six… and he is doing this now from a man who is now reflecting on this.
“That is what I want to stress here, that we do not hear from public figures anything about who they are,” said Lamming, who added that he had read the book a number of times.
Thorne dedicates the book to his parents, his wife, Jacqui, his brother Andrew, daughter, Toni, and son, Benjamin, as well as to his family, schools, church and the village of Rockhampton, “for giving me an experience that guaranteed a worthy life’s journey”. (LB)