Foreword

I have been so blessed with a very varied and fulfilling life that I felt I needed to write my biography, mainly for my niece Kay Morris (née Franklin), her brother Huw and their families because my history is theirs too. We all were brought up in Port Talbot and attended the same secondary school. Thanks to Friends Reunited on the Internet, I was fortunate to reconnect with many friends from the past and whenever I wrote to them for the first time, I would give them a résumé of my life from the moment we last saw each other. Time and time again, school, college friends or former teaching colleagues made remarks about the interesting life I had enjoyed and how their lives seemed to be so banal compared with the variety of mine. On reflection, I could see how exciting and maybe different my life has been from many of my friends and I am grateful to God for good health, a very supportive husband, boundless energy and a zest for life. In May 2003, I attended a Dyffryn Grammar School Reunion and wrote a poem for that occasion. I did not intend writing so much at that time but as I began to recall so many happy school memories my poem became an epic one of 28 stanzas. I will include this poem with Part 1 of my autobiography. There are three parts to my life story.  Part 1 my childhood and teenage years in my beloved Wales called Land of my Fathers. This is the title of the English version of the Welsh National Anthem. Then I enjoyed seventeen exciting years living in London where I taught French and I have called Part 2 Land of Hope and Glory. This song arouses more patriotism in a Brit than the National Anthem and it is used in the Commonwealth Games as England’s Anthem. Finally, Part 3 relates our wonderful life after emigrating to Beautiful British Columbia, Canada where my husband and I are currently enjoying a full and busy life in retirement. This section I have called Land of our Ancestors because the opening words in the French version of the Canadian national anthem are “O Canada Terre de Nos Aïeux” which translated are “O Canada, Land of our Ancestors or Fathers.”

“Mae hen wlad fy nhadau” where I did dwell
Deep in my heart, “hiraeth” and love still swell
O Canada my home and adopted land
True patriot love, you will always command
Now in Beautiful British Columbia
Expatriate living in awesome Canada
Great God of wonders both lands created
Blessed to be the one who has benefited.

Grace Gouldthorpe née Franklin

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