31 May, 2008

Leading by example.

It might have nothing to do with chess. Or has it?

Last year I wrote a post of a former schoolteacher colleague, Lambis Englezos, an amateur historian who claimed to know the whereabouts of 173 Australian soldiers unaccounted for from WW1. They were in a paddock somewhere in France.

For 6 years Lambis’ investigations received ridicule from both the highest ranks of Government Departments, and journalists he’d harangue about his theory.

But with dignity, and patience, Lambis persisted.

During the week he was vindicated. Human remains from that paddock in France indicate the site is in fact a mass burial site from WW1- the largest grave uncovered since WW1.

Perhaps it was Nine News correspondent James Talia’s humble pie, or Dr Peter Stanleys, director of the Centre for Historical Research at the National Museum of Australia, admission of ‘egg on face’ that puts into perspective what a remarkable story this is.

Lambis persued his project, not for fame, or recognition, or money, but because, deep down he thought it was just the right thing to do. He had a moral purpose. And when human remains were discovered last week, he remained humble and decent when others would have shouted “I told you so”.

Persistence, resilience, planning, strategy, dignity, patience: sound familiar?

There's probably a lot you could write about this story. And no doubt others will. The most important thing to say is : Well done, Lambis.


Richard Taylor said...

Unfortunately the lack of credit given to your former colleague continues with several stories recently in the UK press which have not mentioned him at all. This is an amazing feat and surely worthy of some serious official recognition! Both of my great. great uncles server in this area, Uncle Frank was away from Australia for 900+ days (I have his diaries) and Uncle Reg was not allowed off the troop ship when they returned until my mothers Grandfather went down and paid his gambling debts!

Phil Smith said...

What an awesome story. I will be using this with my students(both staff and kids) to demonstrate the qualities you listed. Proof again one should never listen to the don'ts, and neverwills as they are most likely wrong to begin with. Thank-you for sharing this remarkable story.