Wednesday 1 June 2022

Another Norfolk Character - And His Song

Meet Bruno Peek - the Queen's Pageantmaster, who is organising the lighting of the beacons across the nation tomorrow night.
This guy has an amazing background- he and his baby brother were just abandoned by their Polish parents in a street in Kings Lynn - and a Norfolk couple adopted them and brought them up. He's spent his life in Norfolk, working as a baker, a butcher and a builder's labourer - before ending up masterminding great celebratory events [he was involved in the Golden Jubilee, and then in charge of the Diamond event in 2012]

He does much of the planning from his house in Gorleston [near Great Yarmouth] along with his wife Moira. He seems very humble, and clearly adores her Majesty. He is an expert in arranging the lighting of chains of beacons - having begun 40 years ago with "Operation Sea Fire" - lighting beacons around the coastline as the English Tourist Board launched Maritime England. 

Bruno has commissioned the "2022 Commonwealth Song" - to be sung across 54 countries as the beacons are lit tomorrow night. This song is to honour the Queen for her 70 years of service, and it is hoped that people will perform this song. It is intended to be accessible for all - school choirs, community singers, amateur and professional musicians. There were quite a few entries in the competition. Here is the winning song...

A Life Filled with Grace  

Verse 1
When the world has turned to darkness
And there’s troubled seas ahead
There’s a light that leads the ship
back home to shore

A life lived with grace
A heart filled with love
Peace on earth and harmony
In the heavens above (x2)

Verse 2
When the day is slowly breaking
And the dawn can’t find its way
There’s a sun that shines upon the world
Heralding a brand new day

A life lived with grace…

Verse 3
When the night has come, a-calling
And the daylight starts to fade
There’s a reason why the world rejoices
Singing all as one today

A life lived with grace...

[Lyrics Lucy Kiely, Music Atueyi Vincent]

I'm not 100% sure about the lyrics - I don't think the Queen is the light who leads me back to shore, or the sun who heralds each new day for me. But heigh-ho, it's a jolly little tune when played on the hurdy gurdy...

Is there a Beacon Ceremony tomorrow night where you live?
Will you be singing this new song?



  1. I suspect there will be a chain of beacon-lighting up here, starting at Arthur's Seat which is a stone's throw from Holyrood Palace.

    1. That will be lovely to see. In our corner of Flat Norfolk, I'm not sure we will see any other beacons in the chain!

  2. Hope his last go at this job goes well.
    He said doing the maths on the next two Kings after the Queen means there will never be anymore Jubilees within the lifetimes of most of those alive now, which is an odd thing after all the ones that have been celebrated by those of us born in the 50's

    1. I suppose that if Charles lives to 100 (like his Gran) then it will be 50 years before William has his Silver Jubilee (aged 90) So people aged between 1 & 40 might will all depend in speed of succession.

    2. And now you've got me wondering how much jubilee memorabilia (biscuit tins mostly) I have stashed away ...

  3. Yes we do have a beacon ceremony, but I'm not sure if the song will be sung, I guess it might though as we are a very traditional and 'joining in' type of little town.

  4. It feels strange to be so removed from these celebrations. I left England in 1970 and here the Jubilee is taking second place to so much else. Canada just doesn't have the same enthusiasm, and our capital is still feeling rather tender after the nasty invasion of the "Freedom Convoy". I wish our DDIL could be in England to celebrate. Although Canadian born, she is a happy royalist who loves the Queen!

    1. I guess that many Canadian people feel they have "moved on"

  5. A pretty tune but like you I'm not sure of the words.. I think the beacons will be amazing, we'll go to see ours.

  6. I don't think there will be any beacons being lit here!


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