10 MAY 1935, Page 6

BUt if Monday was before all things the King's day

it deserves hardly less to be known as radio day. Never before, I imagine, has wireless more triumphantly fulfilled its function as the servant of the people. It was the servant of much more, too—the servant pre- eminently of monarchy itself, for the effect of the intimacy of King George's simple and human words conveyed into literally millions of homes throughout the Empire is beyond all estimation. Someone who listened to the St. Paul's service on Monday morning observed that it made monarchy in this country secure for another century at least. On that basis the King's own speech in the evening should have added at least another two hundred years—with the reservation that a bad king could still end kingship in Britain. The wireless pro- 'gramme, it is true, was not a perfect reflection of the day's sensations. It confined itself in the main to the deeper notes—the Cathedral service (the beautifully- phrased prayers were, I believe, written by the Arch- -bishop of Canterbury) and the Studio service the evening before, at which the Archbishop preached and his brother, the Moderator-Elect of the Church of Scotland, read the prayers, Dr. Temperley's historical pageant, and as climax of all the King's own address to his people. The spontaneity, the subconscious unity, the good humour, the inexpressible enthusiasm of the crowds were something no invention so far registered Could quite convey. But with all that, such a national celebration as Monday's would have been inconceivable in those hardly credible, yet relatively recent, days when wireless was still a thing of the future. There cannot have been in our time a more distinctive and lovable Londoner than Thomas Okey, who died on Saturday, at-the age of 82. I should describe him as the finest flower of that purely English movement of adult education in mid-Victorian London out of which came the Working-men's College and Toynbee Hall. Beginning life as a basketmaker in Bethnal Green, he worked at his trade until his 45th year, by which time he had become an accomplished Italian scholar with a large and exact knowledge of modern Italy. At the end of the War he was an examiner in Italian to the Civil Service Commission, and then for nine years professor of Italian at Cambridge. He was extraordinarily sweet-natured, unselfish, unpretending, "of every friendless name the friend," finding the deepest pleasure in the honour and affection that he had gained from hundreds of men and women whom we think of as belonging to the best of England. His little book of reminiscence, entitled appro- priately A Basketful of Memories, is a delight.