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Farewell to an amazing man who made us all feel special
9:00am Saturday 7th December 2013 in News
ON July 7, 1997, Nelson Mandela was awarded the freedom of the city of Oxford. For Oxonians however, he was honoured in our hearts and minds long before.
His impact as an individual of great dignity, modesty and compassion is almost impossible to quantify.
But like most great human beings, he will be remembered not only for the seismic impact his life had on the world and its affairs, but for the minute, almost microscopic kindnesses he bestowed on all those he met, regardless of wealth, religion, colour, social standing and politics.
There are many in Oxford who were fortunate enough to meet both the legend and the man, and doubtless they will now recall him first and foremost as simply that – a man. A person. A friend.
For all the myriad accolades bestowed upon him during his extraordinary life, it was his ability to make every welcome seem so personal, so simple and yet so profound that he will now be remembered for.
Nelson Mandela was that rarest of people, an individual who embodied grace, and here in Oxford, we were fortunate enough to experience first-hand just how he moved mountains with this simplest of virtues.
For that alone we should be grateful.
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