Churchill’s granddaughter shares memories with students
Celestia Rene Randolph, Staff Writer
The Dynamic Words of a Bulldog “An acorn cannot grow in the shadow on an oak. Celia Sandy’s proves otherwise”, said North Carolina Senator Craig Horne, as he introduces the distinguished speaker: successful author, entrepreneur, and member of the Churchill society, the granddaughter of one of the century’s most influential leaders.
She claims the stage, and the audience’s rapt attention, in a hot pink pant suit, immediately exercising her hereditary quit wit. “How appropriate that the ‘Great British Bulldog’s’ grandchild should make an appearance at Wingate University.”
Winston Churchill was built like a bulldog and proved time and time again he had the breed’s characteristic tenacity, but it was the power of his scholarship, his words, that made him great.
“His words were more powerful than any weapon”, Celia stated, introducing the theme of the evening. As the world progressed, and the history he was apart of became little more than textbook history, Winston Churchill’s influence was forgotten.
His leadership and words of wisdom were remembered again after the tragic events of 9/11 shocked the world. George W. Bush and other world figures referred to Churchill’s strength and wisdom.
“The same principles that saw the world through the 40’s remains applicable to the 2,000’s” Sandy’s said. She expressed her grandfather’s belief that a leader uses his words to encourage and strengthen others.
“It was said Adolf Hitler could convince you he could do anything, but that Churchill could convince you that you could do anything.” she stated. As prime minister of Great Britain through WWII, and the horrific Blitz raids that came with it, Churchill often referred to the four values he esteemed the most and deemed critical to the conduct of any leader.
“Courage, integrity, vision, and (sense of) community”, Celia said, were those four values. Of them, he regarded courage as the most important, “for moral, rather than physical courage, requires integrity, the integrity. His life exemplified courage and honesty in all he did.
Sandy’s explained how his physically audacious words and deeds, illustrated in many of his most well known speeches, such as his “We will defend our island whatever the cost may be…we will never surrender.” speech, inspired the best in his people.
His candor, which had often alienated others in power from him in the past, later earned him the faith of his people as they carried on through their nation’s darkest hours. “He did not distort the truth. He always told the bad news as well as the good.”
Community was formed from the unification of his two primary ideals. Before concluding her speech, Sandy’s spoke of how her grandfather remained a strong public figure long into his twilight years, using his popularity to speak the truth even when his authority as prime minister was no longer there.
“He was still the most famous figure in the world.” she said, when he warned the United States of the rising Soviet Powers and the possibility of a Cold War. This message, as his warnings to the UK of Hitler’s impending invasions had been, was ignored.
His words were met by the influential leaders of North America and Europe with incredulity and agitation, but when they proved accurate, his convicting words steeled the free world for the rise of Communism that came soon after.
Celia Sandys recalled the times she spent “with the grandfather the whole world wanted.” She spoke of their adventures around the world, traveling from the United States to Mediterranean beaches, and with a decided twinkle in her eye, praised the works of art he created.
One of which, he gifted to the president. Years later it found a home in the mansion of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. “I do hope they haven’t torn it in half.” she said laughingly. His love of nature manifested itself in the creation of his many masterpieces.
The thousand words the educated speaker could not summon to describe his love of the scenic destinations he visited, he recorded in the form of his paintings.
Edited by: Sara Gunter