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September's a chance to rescue the shambles of August

2 1 0

Quite by chance the other morning, I heard a toe-tapping tune on the radio featuring a harmonica.

It was very cheering, and so was the information given afterwards by the presenter, Petroc Trelawny.

The harmonica player was the late Tommy Reilly, a Canadian. He had been studying music in Leipzig in 1939 but was arrested and interned when war broke out and remained a prisoner for six years.

One can only imagine how desperately tragic that must have felt to a young man, far from home, fearing for his life and becoming increasingly aware that all his plans were postponed indefinitely.

But here, his history becomes even more interesting, because he used the time to become a virtuoso on the harmonica.

This is the sort of story I love – where talent, persistence and achievement triumph over adversity.

It would have been so easy for him to believe his life was over, to sink into despair and to perceive himself as a victim with no options. Instead, he seized the day and transformed disaster into opportunity.

After the war, now an accomplished player, Reilly came to London and had a stellar career. Those of you old enough to........

© Norwich Evening News

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