Terry Waite

I’m at working at the Harrogate Exhibition Centre / Conference Centre / Royal Hall this week at the NATN conference. I’ve just watched the opening speech from a living legend –

Terry Waite.



What an amazing character that man is. nearly 5 years as a hostage, 4 in solitary. No books, no writing material, no conversation – nothing. An inspiring speech – mainly about humanity itself and the underlying thought that was “what ever happens to me – it could be worse”. He hilighted a story that I found amusing – a few years into his captivity he found a friendly guard who agreed to get him some books. The first 2 books he got were (due to the guards lack of English and access to English books) “The great escape” and “Breastfeeding – a manual” (not even illustrated he added!). He had an idea. He convinced the guard to lend him a pencil and a bit of paper for a few moments. He drew a penguin on it – after that he got a flurry of good books. It struck him (and me) as how powerful a logo can be – an image without the barrier of language. Anyway – I’d better get back to it..

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