Margaret Thatcher

I just came off watching Margaret Hilda Thatcher’s Ceremonial Funeral Procession through London, and the Service at St Paul’s Cathedral on TV. It was quite a moving farewell to one of Great Britain’s most able Prime Ministers from 1979 to 1990. I recalled I was barely in my 30s, and just before our Philippines escapade, when Mrs Thatcher announced she was going to war in the Falklands. I sat up in my chair and began to take note of this unusual lady throwing her gauntlet down for some islands over 12,000km off the Argentinian coast, instead of negotiating for a peaceful settlement. My admiration for her started then.

Her hero was Sir Winston Churchill, and apparently this quote made a deep impression on her through her years of political service, “The only guide to man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honor.” What integrity!

The sermon was surprisingly evangelical and mildly evangelistic. She chose the Bible verses she wanted read at her funeral, and these were from Ephesians 6:10-18 and John 14:1-6.