The recent passing of an icon of monarchies, if I may put it that way; has left a void in the “system”. Queen Elizabeth II was ruler over Great Britain, the British Empire / the British Commonwealth for 70 years. Most (all) of the countries that were a part of the British Empire are self-rule now and are members of the British Commonwealth. She was also “Head of State” for some of the countries in the Commonwealth like Australia and New Zealand, for example.

Why do I say “icon”? When you talk “king”, “queen”, “royalty”; more often than not, Queen Elizabeth and the British royal family come to mind. No way does this downplay the importance or stature of royalty of other kingdoms. It is just that the British royal family is more in the news in this part of the world.

Why do I say “system”? Maybe, establishment is a better word to describe monarchies / kingdoms, so on and so forth. King Charles III, has a huge role to play in order to come out of the shadow of Queen E II, his mother; and perhaps, surpass it.

Coming back to the passing of Queen E II. Her funeral was on September 19th, with thousands of people paying their last respects to her.

There were also groups of anti-royals, anti-monarchies, etc, that chose this time to vent their anti-ismness. They have their reasons to vent against colonialization. I am not going to debate their reasons or give my views here, in this article.

It made me think: Did any good come out of this “British Commonwealth?”

I think people moved about and travelled to countries more freely, maybe with a feeling of being “safer” or accustomed to “being within the same umbrella of nations called The British Commonwealth”. If not, my siblings and I will not be here.

My grandfather on my father’s side (my father’s father) came from then known Ceylon to Malaya somewhere in the late 1920s or early 1930s. I am not sure whether he was in the British army at that time. My father’s father married my father’s mother and they had my father and his 5 siblings. That’s only half of the equation.

Charles & Julia Atkinson – Their wedding.

The Atkinsons in the 1970s

The other half of the equation is my mother. My grandfather and grandmother on my mother’s side, i.e. my mother’s parents, were also “imports”. They were both from Goa, which is on the central eastern part of India.

My mother’s parents first came to then Malaya, in the early 1900s. My mother’s father first brought orchestral music to silent theaters at that time.

The Gomes family – 1970s

The result of my father’s father and my mother’s parents coming to Malaya: My siblings and me…My uncles, aunts and their children, too. We are just a couple of families that are here as living proof, amongst the millions of others who share the same journey path as mine.

The Atkinson and Gomes families

So, yes, I believe there was a lot of good that came about the collaboration of countries within the British Commonwealth.

If groups of people want to propagate and champion ill-will and division among men; there are plenty of excuses (reasons?) to churn up. That’s the easy part.

I am all for propelling goodness, equality to all men, peace and kindness. Now, that’s a challenge. Anyone game for it?

“We Are Family”: Sister Sledge and Chic

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