Alastair Keckilpenny's Treasure
My Uncle Alastair died last week at the remarkable age of 110.
Alastair Keckilpenny was my Great, Great Uncle on my Mother’s side of the family. I met him only once, on the occasion of his 95th birthday, celebrated in Wakefield, Yorkshire. I was 16, at the time and I was fascinated by the stories this incredible old man told. His life, his loves and his adventures set my boyish imagination afire.
Shortly after the news of his passing reached me, a small package arrived from Yorkshire. Unwrapping it revealed a finely crafted wooden box with a note inside.
“Dear Nephew,” it read, “As I am nearing the end of a lifetime of good fortune, I shall pass on a treasure to you, with whom I was impressed.”
As I fiddled with the box, I accidentally triggered a tiny drawer that popped open on one side. Inside I found a gold four leaf clover. On the back was inscribed, “Faber quisque fortunae suae.”
Translated, it means, “Each man the maker of his own fortune.”
Thank you, Uncle, it is a treasure indeed.