With thanks to Carol Owen, I was very lucky to be introduced to a very unique leader, Moira Cameron – the First Female Beefeater with a tradition going back over five hundred years.
“Beefeater” is the nickname given to Yeomen Warders, an honourable position only held by Elite Soldiers with a life-time of service – commonly seen at the Tower of London.
Moira has quite a high profile as can be seen on Wikipedia and it was one of those chance meetings that has come up during my Trip to the United Kingdom. It took me a bit of time to click in terms of who I was talking too and in addition to getting a personal tour of the Crown Jewels – it was great getting her story and how she has done it and come to be.
Of course as well if you read back in my blogs, I am a very Pro-Equality type of man. In addition too, my mother was an Inspector in the Victoria Police Force (Australia) – so when it comes to women building on tradition I am the first one to say “Awesome!”
In getting her story it was quite amazing. 20+ years in the British Army, a clean-record of prime service and Moira’s inspiration for applying to the Tower of London was while she was reading a copy of “Soldier” Magazine. It made reference to the position of Beefeater being available for women, she applied and got it – being the first in a long time. When you go back into her history, you find a case of an inspirational woman with one compelling story that has to be heard.
From the West Coast of Scotland in a small village, father left her and mother when she was young – leaving the family impoverished. Moira finding herself without direction and lacking clear choices and was “Slightly” rebellious as a teenager. Her mother out of care for daughter knowing that the Military would be good for her – encouraged her to join by a brilliant play of reverse psychology:
– “You will be back in 2 weeks!”
Twenty Plus Years Later of Course! This got me reflecting on a deeper level of success that I have known. Be it in areas of Business, Money, Health, Charity, Military Achievement etc – the people who have something of power and value are almost always rebels of some form. Quite often almost every successful person I know has had the fortitude to overcome great odds and challenges. My story itself has plenty of challenges and thinking on that deeper level about Moira’s Story, leaving her Scottish Village with no money to join the Government must have been amazing in itself.
My lessons and realizations from meeting Moira (and she quoted this) is that “Tradition should be a guide not a jail”. This got me thinking about many lives of those that I deal with. Just because you don’t have the results that you want (yet), you can always create something new with even the slightest change in direction.
In Moira reflecting on her times, it was amazing going behind the scenes of the Tower of London into the Private Residences and sitting in her lounge room – it was the private part of The Tower of London where the soldiers and their families lived. She treated the whole Tower like her home and I loved her patriotism.
If you go back into Moira’s past too she could have easily had given in to mediocrity and never joined the British Army. Her decision to do so created a life of achievement – all starting with one decision she made a long time ago.
So there you go! I have had one life changing trip to the United Kingdom for sure. Thank you from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Lucky Interviewer of Moira Cameron!
I love hanging out with Awesome Trail Breaking Leaders!