On Saturday May 5th the Region had the great good fortune to be able to host Mr. Harry Leslie Smith as our guest speaker. Harry Leslie Smith is an internationally published Author who has written two books, 1923: A Memoir, and The Barley Hole Chronicles and is presently working on a third. Mr. Smith is a 90 year old RAF World War Two veteran, who speaks German fluently, a left over from the time he spent in Germany after the War. Mr. Smith spoke to us about his time growing up in crushing poverty after his father was injured working in a Coal mine, and his family was left to starve.
His book 1923: A Memoir is a protest against social injustice, corruption, war, famine, poverty, and societies blinded by greed. More importantly, it is the story of hope and the notion that anything can be overcome if the determination is strong enough. Mr. Smith is speaking out because he sees our society sliding dangerously backwards towards the time not so long ago when the rich owned everything and government existed to serve their interests. Sounds like the Harper government eh?
He sold every copy of his book on hand for sale after his presentation at 730 pm. His speech was very moving and for the 60 members in attendance, more than a few were moved to tears as he recounted the desperate and tragic story of his families struggles. All in attendance were glad they took the opportunity to come out and hear firsthand the living history of this extraordinary man and the times that he has lived through and why it is so important that we work to ensure that the gains our parents, grandparents and even great parents fought so hard to gain must be rigorously defended and expanded upon if we are to ensure that Harry’s past does not become our grandchildren’s future.
Without further words of induction attached below is a written copy of Mr. Smith’s speech. After reading it, I urge you to google him and order his book. Finally I have been in contact with Harry since this past Saturday and he has agreed to deliver his speech once more for us so it may be recorded live and uploaded to our website and others, so that those who were not fortunate enough to have attended can still hear and see this extraordinary man deliver his moving life story.