2nd April 2004 at 01:00
75 years ago

* March 30, 1929 Every now and again some almost forgotten historical episode is brought back to mind by the appearance of a stamp commemorating an anniversary of the event. In all probability the fact that it is just 500 years since Joan of Arc rode at the head of her army to raise the siege of Orleans would have passed unnoticed by the world at large but for the decision of the French government to issue a special stamp in honour of the occasion.

Millions of this historic stamp have already been circulated since the beginning of the month carrying news of the cinq-centenary to the uttermost parts of the earth, thus proving once more the claim of philately to be the handmaiden of history.

50 years ago

* April 2, 1954 Talking to the London Head Teachers' Association, the Archbishop of Canterbury found an interesting parallel in the shortage of priests and the shortage of teachers - both "pastoral professions" demanding surrender to a vocation and an ideal. Although the age has multiple distractions and the pleasures that high salaries can provide, it is probably not such temptations that lead people away from teaching and the priesthood. Most boys and girls of talent choose jobs less for the riches they may one day provide than because they seem worth doing. And a complicated society has produced vastly more jobs of that kind. Industry, for example, has become a vocation for a patriot. A brilliant young man with the "pastoral" sense strongly developed, might well decide that he could do more to maintain the good life for his poorer countrymen by devoting his own to raising, say, the productivity of the steel industry.

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