My Hero Eric H. Liddell
My name is FRANK ALLAN MAXWELL and today 15 August 2011 I achieved a lifetime ambition to visit the Eric Liddell Centre in Edinburgh with my wife Mary. Why was this visit so very important to me? I am now in my 79th year and I can well remember as I cast my mind back to when I was a young lad aged 7 yean when I had the opportunity to meet MY HERO and to shake his hand yes and even share a meal and play Billiards with him in the living room of the Congregational Manse in Coatbridge where my Dad was Minister.
We had a small 6×4 ft. table with small cues and balls so you can imagine the stance necessary for a tall person like Eric to adopt as he addressed the ball. He drew his cue back to sink a winner but unfortunately his cue contacted a Westminster Chime Mantle Piece Clock and broke the Glass face. Eric was profuse in his apologies and the matter was soon forgotten. Very soon a parcel arrived at the Manse with a beautiful China Openwork Basket and a Chinese Fan as gifts to my Mum unnecessary but a measure of the Gentleman.
Eric Liddell arrived on the Saturday and preached in the Church on Sunday to a full Congregation then resumed his programme of visiting other Churches in Scotland. I am in possession of various publications and Newspaper cuttings collected over many years and I was reminded when my Dad was alive that he attended Edinburgh University during the years from 1923 until 1929 the year of his Ordination. Eric Liddell also attended the University during these years for further studies. I believe my Dad was there at the time when Eric Liddell was carried through the streets by the University Students with crowds lining the streets.
Many Books have been written about this very Scottish Christian Gentleman and I hope and pray that this Eric Liddell Centre will be the vehicle to carry his memory into the future. He is a role model that should inspire young and old alike and his unselfish example in serving his Lord and Master is a blueprint for all to treasure yes and even copy. I was privileged and greatly blessed to have had the opportunity of making his acquaintance. I will treasure my memory of him for the rest of my life.
Thanks be to God