"Yesterday, was the first opportunity I had to see and hold my granddaughter, Olivia Paige Forde. I am so pleased that my life circumstances afforded me this opportunity to introduce myself to the latest addition into the Forde Family, of which I hold the honour of being its oldest member and effectively, 'The Godfather' and 'Protector' of my parent's priceless legacy. That legacy was six siblings, along with the knowledge that mum told us stories every day. Never one day started or ended without my mother telling me that 'I was special' and that 'she loved me'. These are three things I would advise Olivia's parents to do to ensure that their daughter grows up happy, feeling wanted and able to take on the world when her time of majority arrives. They will prove essential when the day comes that she has to take the bull by the horns and lead others her way.
While it is an almost certainty, Olivia Paige, that I will probably miss most of the major landmarks in your development, the special book I recently wrote to celebrate your birth will always enable you to remember this old granddad you never knew fondly during your adult years.
Were I ever to give a young girl like you, Olivia Paige, who faces growing up in today's world one single piece of advice, it wouldn't be how to get a sound education, secure a good job, marry a rich man, good man, handsome man, or how to remain attractive of face, open of heart, sensitive of soul or forgiving of spirit.
Though these and many more things are undoubted of great importance to any young girl who hasn't yet started to walk, talk or is yet able to wipe one's own bottom, they are not the most important in your character building over the years ahead!
You are only ten days old and cannot possibly know the unfairness that still exists between the genders in this man-made-world you will one day try to enter on equal terms, and none of the previously mentioned traits, will of themselves, enable you to survive as a bold, confident and independent person with self-respect and peace of mind.
Was I to offer such a girl as my youngest granddaughter but one solid piece of advice it would be, 'Never consider any person or creature to be more important than yourself or more awesome in their art of power and persuasion. Don't be intimidated by life; Don't fall into the comfortable role of 'follower'; you lead it and don't let it lead you! Face all adversity as though the answer alone lies in your hands, as does your fate, but never be afraid to take the help of others when needed. Be guided by your parents by all means, without ever making the mistake that because they are your parents, they will always know everything that is right for you. They are only fallible and can do wrong as all adults can and sometimes do. When the time arrives that you feel intimate love for another, if it is right for you, it will declare and prove itself whatever difficulty it faces.Know and be accepting of all your family and friends around you, but also know that you can never know and accept them well enough until you come to know and accept yourself.'
It is only when young girls have the fullest opportunities to become women, and who are confident enough in self to take the lead in this world, that society will start to move forward instead of forever standing still and looking back. One day, the march of progress will move farther along. It started with the Suffragettes, it recently found a new identity in the 'Me Too' movement, and hopefully, it will find added expression in the future; in yourself! Olivia Paige, today you are the future; so it is my most earnest desire that the progression of female rights find expression in you and the life you will one day live. Until that day arrives when neither man nor woman receives greater or lesser advantage in all their dealings with our world because of their sex, true equality between the sexes will exist in name only!
Never forget Olivia Paige Forde that your old Granddad Forde loves you dearly, as do your parents and siblings and Grandparents Granger and Grandmother Forde. God bless you and all your family." William Forde: March 10th, 2018.