Thursday, August 10, 2017

ICV 27: Memorial Service for Whitney Smith

It was during the outing to the Lyndon B. Johnson library that I ended up sitting next to a friendly elderly man.  I was delighted to have a deep conversation and make human contact, since it was my first NAVA meeting; I was feeling rather lonely since I was a complete stranger to everyone.  The odd thing is that the friendly gentleman never told me his name.

The next day, the man I sat next to upon the bus gave a thoughtful presentation at the state capital, Austin, on the future of vexillology.  I then asked the person sitting next to me who that speaker was, and I was told that it was Whitney Smith.

Like in the movies when the hero puts it all together, my head spun in circles as my memories played themselves in virtual-reverse.  Little did I know, that I was sitting next to the man honored today, whose wake created this league of international vexillology. 

A small service was held at Holy Trinity Church, Prince Consort Road, London next to Albert Hall.

The service was lead by John Hall, and several vexillologists spoke about Whitney's legacy as a professional and as a friend.

Here, the flag of Whitney Smith lays at the speakers podium.  It was a solemn service that included the song of one of Whitney Smith's favorite singers, Buddy Holly, Rain in My Heart.

This post and this blog exists here as a testament to legacy of Whitney Smith.  I am forever grateful to him and his family.

I first met Whitney at NAVA's 42nd meeting in Austin, Texas 2008 as the friendly gentleman on the bus.  At the end of the NAVA meeting, I ran into Whitney once again.  I took a photo of him holding my mock book, which you can see on the first post on this blog.

Like Smith, I'm also a fan of Buddy Holly. Coincidentally I attended a play about Buddy Holly, back in 1991, when our marching band visited London; we were selected to play at the Royal Albert Hall and march in the Westminster's New Year's Day parade.  On top of that I stayed at the dorm of Imperial College next to Albert Hall, Beit Hall.

One my favorite Buddy Holly songs is the timeless gem, Everyday 1958.

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