Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A fast-track investiture

Sir Paul Holmes' investiture is to be fast-tracked; the Herald reports:

An urgent knighthood ceremony has been arranged for Sir Paul Holmes next week because of concerns about his health.
The veteran broadcaster, journalist and author will be given a rare early investiture on January 16 after a request from his family and friends, who are worried about his deteriorating health.
The Governor-General, Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, agreed to the request and will travel to Hawkes Bay for the ceremony.
The Herald understands it will be held at Sir Paul's home, a sprawling patch of farmland where he grows olives for his olive oil business.
Other recipients are due to receive their titles in several months.
A spokesman for the Governor-General said Sir Paul has been considered a knight from the moment the honour was announced on December 31, but his family had asked for the investiture to be held as soon as possible.
The finer details, such as who will attend the ceremony, are still to be confirmed.
Sir Paul ended his broadcasting career late last year because of ill-health. He had an operation last January for prostate cancer, which returned aggressively later in the year, and also underwent open-heart surgery in June.

Whilst the fast-tracking of the investiture is unusual, it is within the Governor-General's perogative to do it. And the announcement today is confirmation that Sir Paul's health is markedly worse than his previously been acknowledged. On compassionate grounds alone, Sir Jerry's decision is laudable.

We saw a TV One interview with Sir Paul on the day that his knighthood was publicly announced, and were surprised at how frail he was looking. He was also  very emotional, and it is clear that the honour means a great deal to him as the end of his life draws nearer. In the circumstances, the decision to bring the investiture forward is the right one.

1 comment:

Rex Widerstrom said...

Poignant news indeed. And of course you're absolutely correct, it's the right thing to do.

It's going to sound dreadful but I hope the sentiment behind this comment is clear: I've seen people who ought to have perished a long time ago continue on through sheer willpower, but they've needed others to encourage their "rage against the dying of the light".

I hope Sir Paul's family and friends, who undoubtedly love and care for him deeply, aren't underestimating the extraordinary determination which saw him survive everything from crashes to career downturns.