Fish, Chips, Boniface and Hope…

Yesterday was national fish and chip day. We were told that the ‘crown jewels of fish and chip shops in Lowestoft according to Lowestoft Journal readers is the Golden Fish on Blackheath Road’.

If it’s the crown jewels does it sell goldfish?

As a child on a Saturday morning I listened to ‘Children’s Favourites’ on the radio (probably the wireless then!) with ‘Uncle Mac’… Shirley Abicair sung:

Little boy fishin’ off a wooden pier

Come fish, bite fish, swim along here

Little boy wonder why the fish don’t float

Little boy wanna buy a fishin’ boat

This sweet little song is about a boy fishing. Life is calm. kind and gentle. But he has dreams and hope – he’ll catch fish and have his own fishing boat!

When I was teaching we had an annual school fishing competition. I have happy memories of children and parents by a local lake – sunshine, peace and calm, beautiful scenery and an enjoyable, relaxing evening.

The youngsters taking part had skill, patience and hope.

Tales from the history of the  Lowestoft fishing industry remind us that fishing isn’t always that idyllic. It can be dangerous – many men were lost at sea. The hope of the fisherman is not only for a good haul of fish but also for a safe return to port.

Today (June 5th) is St Boniface’s day. At a Whit Sunday Service in the year 755 he was about to baptise and confirm hundreds of converts to the Christian faith. The service was interrupted by savage fighters.

Boniface forbade his Christians to fight back: ‘Let us not return evil for evil. Do not be afraid of those who come to kill your body, but put your trust in God who will receive you into his kingdom.’ He died a Christian martyr. His hope was in his God.

When we have fish and chips this evening (from ‘Pakefield Plaice’) I hope that will be good – as usual.

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