"From my favourite painting images, the sight of a man or woman hard at work moves me most. From my historical interest in Great Britain, I have always been enthralled by the 'Industrial Revolution' which took place between the late 18th and early 19th century. My favourite poem is William Blake's, 'Jerusalem' which Sir Hubert Parry wrote the music for in 1916, turning it into that most uplifting of anthems, 'Jerusalem'. I'm a 74-year-old Irish man who has lived in England since the age of 4 years, but I cannot hear that beautiful hymn without welling up with pride and gratitude, in the knowledge that England has given me every advantage in life I ever had.
My dear father who has been dead many years now, although unschooled and sent out to work in his early teens, always valued the merit of hard labour. He was reared in a time when a man who didn't break sweat ten hours a day hadn't the right to think he'd earned his wage. Unlike my mother, who was constantly giving me her advice whether I sought it or not, my father was very sparing in both his conversation and imparted wisdom. One of the few pieces of advice he gave me was to always do whatever I worked at to the best of my ability or else I was cheating myself and my employer. I was reared in a time when it was not unusual for men to work in the same job and with the same employer for the whole of their working life and changing one's job was not something one did often or undertook lightly. Another piece of dad's advice was, 'There is no shame in hard work, Billy, and no honest job is ever beneath any man. Never give up your job without doing it well until the hooter goes. If you're a good worker and leave it properly, they'll always take you back if the new job doesn't work out!'
My value of hard work and having an industrious attitude undoubtedly came from my father's influence and example, and there remains in me today a sense of profound satisfaction when I have done any work that I cannot better. Let your good work take you to the core of life and the heart of man. Do not sow any seed that does not grow love, nor place your soft coat on a harsh jagged rock to hide the hard contour of the land in which you live. Be proud of your God, country, family, spouse and self. Strip away all false pride, yet bow to no man nor raise yourself above another and your humble garments and honesty of motive shall not be mocked." William Forde: August 3rd, 2017.