We all heard the sad news last week that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, passed away, aged 99.
What may not be well known is that the Hodge family and Prince Philip had links dating back to the early 1970’s. In 1973 he gave a speech in the Jane Hodge Memorial lecture series, one that he had written himself, on the difficulties but absolute importance of conservation.
A great deal of the contents of that speech still rings true to this day, at a time when the environment and sustainability are so important to the future of our planet and, ultimately, the survival of mankind.
Prince Philip founded the Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1956 to support young people in the post-war era. Since then, over 6.7million young people have taken part in the scheme, many from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The Hodge Foundation has helped support the scheme over many years, providing grants over the last 5 years for a programme to roll out the scheme to many more secondary schools across Wales following the withdrawal of facilities previously provided by local authorities, including Cardiff.
Whilst the programme covered the whole of Wales, it particularly targeted areas of greatest deprivation, and it has been a great success.
Prince Philip was not only committed to serving the UK; he worked tirelessly to support the development of the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth. He was ahead of his time in so many ways and he will be greatly missed, but his enduring legacy will continue to enrich the lives of young people, and the societies in which they live, long into the future.
The full transcript of Prince Philip’s 1973 lecture entitled ‘Dilemmas in Conservation’ can be found here.