St. Paul’s Cathedral amidst the Whirlwind…

The famed image of St. Paul's Cathedral taken photographer Herbert Mason was taken 77 years ago, 29 December 1940. (Wiki image via the Imperial War Museum and the Daily Mail)

The famed image of St. Paul’s Cathedral taken photographer Herbert Mason was taken 77 years ago, 29 December 1940. (Wiki image via the Imperial War Museum and the Daily Mail)

…Amidst the Peace

For a few days in December 1940 the skies above London were without enemies.

Christmastide, beginning at sunset on Christmas eve through St. Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day) was without the falling rain of incendiaries, high explosives, mines, fuzes, time delays and other harm from Dorniers, Heinkels and Junkers. The rain, the lightning war, began again 27 December 1940.

Two days later Herbert Mason clicked the shutter of his Van Neck camera capturing St. Paul’s Cathedral amidst the second great fire of London. The smokey image captures the spirit of defiance as Christopher Wren’s jewel in his crown stands brazenly amidst the whirlwind.

St. Paul’s Cathedral remains with us today and can be seen standing tall from various vantage points. Its dome – upon the skyline – strikes a landmark feature during the day and at night, a beacon of survival, a jewel amidst the peace.

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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