My shero by Andrew Cowley


by Andrew Cowley    @Andrew_cowley23

There is a tale I use in assembly about a little boy who was out for the afternoon with his grandmother. At their favourite café the grandmother, wishing to encourage the independence of her three year old grandson, sent him to the counter to order. When their drinks arrived the expected strawberry milk shake arrived not in its usual tumbler but in a sundae glass, topped with whipped cream and strawberry slices.

Madam, your grandson was so polite that we would like to thank you with our deluxe milkshake on the house.”

The little boy of course is me, and the good manners were no more than my grandmother would have expected and it is for this reason I nominate her as my #shero.

Widowed the year before, she had taken on my grandfather’s seat on the local council and I often escorted her to council functions. She instilled in me a sense that values, respect, manners, a sense of community and speaking up against what was wrong was a measure of a person and that this transcended politics. She often appeared on local television, speaking on subjects as diverse as opposing the cutting down of local trees to the provision of ‘granny portions’ in restaurants. Her last act as a councillor was to successfully campaign against building on the only open space in her village.  She had threatened to chain herself to a bulldozer, much to the opposition of my mother.

She died suddenly while I was studying abroad and it broke my heart that I couldn’t say goodbye. She never saw any of her seven grandchildren graduate, marry or make her a great-grandmother eleven times.

I don’t know if they have the internet in heaven but I know that somehow Phyllis Eleanor Trower you will be reading this.

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