Jul 2014 Journal
‘Your life is an example of humanity and modesty’: Sir Nicholas Winton celebrates 105th birthday
Sir Nicholas Winton has celebrated his 105th birthday at the Czech Embassy in London with his family, friends and some of his ‘children’ and their families.
Czech Ambassador Michael Žantovský led the tributes to Sir Nicholas at a special event on 19 May. In addition to honouring the man who has become known as the ‘British Schindler’, Ambassador Žantovský conveyed greetings from, among others, the Czech President, Prime Minister and Speaker of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. He also presented Sir Nicholas with a home-made birthday cake with 105 candles and a bouquet of flowers.
In a letter to Sir Nicky, President Zeman said: ‘You gave these children the greatest possible gift - the chance to live and be free. But you did not think of yourself as a hero because you were led by a desire to help those who could not defend themselves, those who were vulnerable. Your life is an example of humanity, selflessness, personal courage and modesty.’ The Czech President also invited Sir Nicky to a ceremony in Prague in November when he will bestow on him the Order of the White Lion.
The event at the Czech Embassy was also organised to launch Barbara Winton’s biography of her father: If It’s Not Impossible ... The Life of Sir Nicholas Winton*, in which she chronicles Nicky’s life from his privileged upbringing to his army days through to his remarkable reunion on Esther Rantzen’s 1988 TV show That’s Life with some of the 669 Kinder he rescued from Czechoslovakia.
*Barbara Winton: If It’s Not Impossible ... The Life of Sir Nicholas Winton (Matador, tel 0116 279 2299, email firstname.lastname@example.org and amazon.co.uk), 278 pp. paperback, £12.99 ISBN 978 1783065 202