A Charmed Life – Every Generation’s first major film documentary project
‘A Charmed Life’ focusing on the life of Eddie Martin Noble and the Windrush legacy.
With Respect Comes Recognition
With respect comes recognition, such should read the inscription on Eddie Martin Noble’s epitaph. Eddie Noble lived his life in such a manner that he would be respected as he firmly believed with respect came recognition. Recognition is what he received in Patrick Vernon’s 64-minute documentary, A Charmed Life. A Charmed Life was released six months ago and acts as a tribute to an indispensable stalwart.
Patrick Vernon, founder of Every Generation Media admired Eddie’s fearless pursuit to educate and uplift the younger generations. Eddie is the quintessence of triumph over adversity. Born in colonial Jamaica in 1917, he was genteel in nature and brought up primarily by his grandparents. In the documentary, he spoke affectionately of his life in Jamaica, as a child riding donkeys and frequent trips to the beach.
His life was filled with never-ending misfortunes based mostly on class and race. He was discriminated against because he was an illegitimate child, a scorn in Jamaican society at the time and was brusquely removed from a predominantly European Jamaican College. This was after parents expressed their discomfort with their children fraternizing with the likes of Eddie, an illegitimate child and son of a domestic worker. Eddie, in full habit, was never dispirited. Aware of the possibilities the military offered he enlisted in the British Royal Air Force, hoping that it would assist him in obtaining his law degree. He arrived in the UK in 1943 to fight alongside British troops in the battle against Mussolini’s Fascist Army in World War II. Alas, Eddie experienced difficulties as his blackness meant he was never promoted, despite his solid work ethic and discipline.
He left the military in 1951 and had a brief foray into business until cash flow problems, as a result of worker strikes, crippled his burgeoning enterprise. His inability to secure a bank loan, banks rarely if ever lent to blacks in this time, meant he was forced to close operations. In 1972 he was savagely beaten by members of the National Front, after months of rehabilitation the scars left were his destroyed tear ducks. As passionate and genuine as Eddie was, it meant whenever emotional, tears would flow uncontrollably from his eyes.
He authored seven books, including, The Burden of Illegitimacy and Black in Britain. Eddie firmly believed Caribbean people in Britain needed to know how their ancestors contributed to the development and shaped the fabric of British Society. A strong advocate for education, into his late 80’s, he attended conferences focused on black children and the education system. Some of Eddie’s advice to young people: be kind, patient, tolerant, and value life experiences.
He left this world on July 11, 2007, aged 90. An unequivocally unique figure, his awe inspiring story has lessons for everyone. Lessons in hard work, tolerance, tenacity, social justice and respect are just a few. He refrained from preaching hatred, considering his hardships, and was bereft of anger, hostility or resentment. He truly lived ‘A Charmed Life’.
Director: Ros Gihan Williams & Patrick Vernon / 64min /2008 / UK. For more information on the film visit www.everygeneration.co.uk
Review by Jo-Ann Hamilton