By The North Halifax Grammar School
Many people know it as the festival of colour and love. Holi began this year on March 12th and finished the next day. It symbolises a new start and the beginning of spring. During the large celebrations people threw coloured powder at each other and joined in the dancing and singing in the streets. The whole festival starts with a huge bonfire, to remember when the Hindu Devil Holika was burned to death by the God Vishnu.
On the morning of the festival, thousands of people join together and the celebrations commence. People taking part can be from any ethnic background or any religion. Last year, Prince Harry was pictured enjoying the festivities in Nepal. The Royal was pictured covered in red paint and laughing along with some of the locals. He is not the only citizen of London to take part. Wembley Park hosted a big festival that anybody could attend, where everyone joins in the colour parties and parades.
However, it’s not all about drenching your neighbours in colour powder. Hindus can gather together to eat a huge feast consisting of traditional Hindu food. The banquet would be prepared by many eager hands, full of delicacies like a creamy drink Thandai or an Indian sweet Puran Poli. “It's an exciting atmosphere with a clear sense of love and joy,” a Hindu said, who had recently taken part in Holi.
Next year, the exciting celebrations are set to begin on Thursday 1st March, yet the dates still may vary.
How did you first get involved with charity work?
It was 1982 and I heard about a marathon that was going on and when I got there I saw lots of people running for charities that I hadn’t heard of before and instantly became interested, and I have loved helping charities ever since!
Have you got any tips on the best ways to raise money for charity?
What you have to do is be passionate about it and what you’re doing and some of the best ways are through sporting activities.
Who inspired you to start raising money for charity?
Myself really as I saw the advert and just couldn't stop running marathons for good causes.
Would you consider writing another book?
Yes I would, I have already written 4; An Introduction To Computer Aided Manufacturing, Evolution Of Slopes, Start Line and A Biographical Reconnaissance Of Coastal Marshlands.
What was the inspiration behind you deciding to name your company Lattitude 7?
Well I originally wanted to call it Jupiter Business Solutions, but a mate told me to drop the business solutions part, so I carried on thinking. At the time I was learning to fly a plane, so lattitude was whirling around my head; I put a 7 at the end for my 7 morals in life, the L stood for learning and the 7, my morals. It bracketed Attitude which is really what the business is all about.
What was the proudest moment in your career?
Probably when we won a massive auto motor deal against a big competitor.
How did you prepare for the UK Ironman triathlon?
A lot of hard work and practice to get down my times to the cut off times. On the day I even cut off 30 minutes!
Do you still keep in contact with the people from the charities you have worked with in the past?
Yes, as I always look to see if there is any other fundraising I can do for them.
What charities do you think are the most grateful for your donations?
Probably Whizz Kidz as they really needed the money.
What is the hardest thing you have done to raise money for charity?
Definitely the Ironman!
Was there any particular reason you decided to learn Japanese?
Yes, it took me two years and it was for a business deal. We ended up winning as it proved we had respect to go out and learn their language.
Why do you think it’s important to give young people apprenticeships?
Because younger people have fresher ideas and it can help to build their futures.
What is your next charity-work event?
Probably another marathon for a charity. I am still undecided which charity to raise for, because they are all worthy.
How did it feel to have to hide the fact that you had been awarded an MBE, did you have to hide your excitement?
It was very hard, it’s not every day you get awarded an MBE and it said in strictest confidence, as the list wasn’t being released until the following Friday, though I did tell my wife.
When do you go to Buckingham palace to receive your MBE, do you get to take anyone with you?
Yes I get to take my wife and daughter, so that should be nice. It will be in May.
Martin also told us they would make a trip of it and spend four days down in London, he also mentioned the trip won’t be cheap as both his wife and daughter expect a new outfit and bag! It was lovely to meet such an inspiring and interesting man.
By Amelia, Daisy and Martha