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My name is Ross Kelly and I was born in Grimsby in Lincolnshire England on 17th September 1952 at the Belvedere nursing Home. At that time my father Thomas Brian was a fisherman, a third mate on a trawler working in the North Sea and my mother Jeannie was a nurse, the daughter of Tom Blease, a butcher in the village of Johnshaven on the east coast of Scotland near Montrose.
I still have vivid recollections of my early childhood from the time before I was able to walk. Life was a very bright and beautiful thing to me. It was full of colour and spontaneous delight.
Even before I could speak I knew a sense of excitement about the wonder of my own existence and was aware that being here presented an unanswered question but in the timeless-state of innocence that is babyhood one has no choice but to wait for the answer to come. I did not know the words to express this I just knew that being here was good.
Of course as my life progressed I was to learn that not all sunny days presented experiences of poetic sweetness, even now after all that I have personally lived through it still horrifies me to know that the battle of the Somme, which claimed the lives of twenty thousand English-men within the first tragic hour of its’ happening, occurred on a perfect summers day in June. While no doubt not so far away from that field in hell while mankind’s cruel and insane tendencies were being displayed to the full in all their futile horror, the songbirds still sang their timeless tunes in appreciation of the beauty of the day.
Now that I think back to the time before I knew this and other facts that have made my mind scream in silent anguish at the folly of mankind’s unreasoning behaviour, I realise how wonderful the innocence of our early childhood is and how fragile and uncertain stands our ability to retain the knowledge of the awesome beauty of it to guide our thinking and our morality in later life. Too often with people the simple knowledge that life itself provides the only place where paradise can be, of life itself being our reason for seeking to live another day so that we may continue to hold it dear and know it as the splendid gift that it really is, recedes into the mists of forgetfulness and ignorance of the value of that gift.
At the age of twenty-eight, I was working in Oban Scotland decorating a hotel. It was there that I met Elaine, the girl that was to become my long suffering partner and the mother of my children. The next sixteen years were spent in building up what became a successful mussel farming business on Loch Etive in Argyll and raising our family.
Seven years prior to 1996 were spent at Keepers Cottage in Taynuilt. By 1996 we had four children, Tom the oldest was fifteen years old, Ben was seven, Michael was three and Christopher was the baby. We have since had another two boys, Innes and Andrew and one lovely daughter Cate.
As a direct consequence of what happened to us in 1996 we were forced to leave Scotland for the next fifteen years, we lived in Australia for nearly seven and then spent another four in India...over that time and to this day we have attempted to alert people to what happened, why it happened and what it means to them and the rest of the world. We returned to Scotland in 2008 and have been allowed to continue in peace with the job we have been given by God...so far.