As 2014 Fades Away

Thoughts of Home

I find inspiration in many places and sometime in the last year or two was told about Alfie Boe and the song Bring Him Home from Les Miserables. I have seen “Les Mis” at the Palace Theatre, London with good friends and my best friend Rosemary. I recall the event well, enthralled by the live performances from the stage and the power generated from the fine voices that empowered the audience. When our film director, Casey Williams suggested I re-listen to the song by Alfie Boe, it struck a deep connection for me, one that you can even feel with your eyes.

With my interest in military history on both the front lines and on the home front the thought of home is forever an enchanted message. As the notes first begin, I sense my eyes gently closing, head back slightly and wait for this magical voice to fill my heart, my soul, my person. Home…what does it mean to us, what does it mean to you? It can be a place of joy or sadness, but regardless home is always a place of hope. As the son of a soldier I know what it is like sitting beside a decorated tree with my mother by my side and with my father somewhere else. Now after all these years later thoughts of home become increasingly more powerful as our dear loved ones become more and more meaningful with each passing day.

The Palace Theatre, London. Thoughts of home and the magic of performance.

The Palace Theatre, London. Thoughts of home and the magic of performance.

Home is to the soldier what home is to all of us, a chance to be whole and to be part of something more than ourselves. As Bring Him Home delivers its message, regardless of the context, it reminds me that we find our own experience in anything that we relate to. It reminds me that everyone feels something differently and that is the beauty of the arts, taking any form, any amount of emotion, making it our own and sharing it with those we love. So as 2014 slips past, remember those who cannot be with us, remember absent family and friends, and provide a kind thought for them as you gently close your eyes, head back and listen to Bring Him Home.

All the best for a grand and fine 2015.

The Lyrics of Bring Him Home.

God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there

He is young
He’s afraid
Let him rest
Heaven blessed.
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.

He’s like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son.
The summers die
One by one
How soon they fly
On and on
And I am old
And will be gone.

Bring him peace
Bring him joy
He is young
He is only a boy

You can take
You can give
Let him be
Let him live
If I die, let me die
Let him live
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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