Peter Rapelye (Bruce 66)

“Living ‘across the pond’ affords a certain perspective and fondness for past memories of the UK and Stowe. The recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II captured the attention and hearts of most Americans, echoing Churchill‘s sentiment in 1944 that a “special relationship” exists between Britain and the United States. That same year, Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), making her the first female of the Royal Family to be an active-duty member of the British Armed Forces. Her training as a mechanic in the ATS remained a point of pride throughout her life. She led by example for Brits and Americans alike.

Last spring, I taught a course entitled, The Trials and Triumphs of the Lincoln Presidency, in which our 16th President emerged as an iconic figure, popularised by Presidential scholar, Jon Meacham in his latest biography, And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle. Before his death in 1865, the International Workingmen‘s Association in London stated in 1864 that Lincoln was “one of the rare men who succeeded in becoming great without ceasing to be good,” a fitting tribute to a great leader admired much like the late Queen. Both shared the highest moral values and respect for democratic principles.

Retirement has provided opportunities for teaching part-time, for serving as a trustee of our local historical society and military officers association, while supporting our local school committee‘s strategic planning and diversity efforts. Our Boston Whaler saw good use on Duxbury Bay this past summer, exploring shorelines and tidal creeks once frequented by the Plymouth Pilgrims and Native Americans. Come late spring 2023, Janet and I hope to travel to Switzerland to visit our youngest daughter, a U.S. Foreign Service Officer stationed in Geneva after two years in Haiti. On the return trip, a visit to the UK and Stowe will renew that ‘special relationship’.”