Happy Birthday Sir Cosmo!
Members of the FIA will be delighted to wish one of their Vice-Presidents, Sir Cosmo Haskard, a very happy birthday on 25 November. Sir Cosmo is one hundred years old!
He and his wife Phillada will be celebrating quietly with their son Julian, his wife and their children in the house which his father built on the shores of Bantry Bay in the south of Ireland. It is one hundred years since he was born in Dublin, the son of John McDougall Haskard an officer in the British army. Sir Cosmo joined the army at the start of World War II and served with the King’s African Rifles in Burma. With the return of peace he joined the colonial service and spent most of his service in Nyasaland. In 1964 he was appointed Governor of the Falkland Islands, a post which should have been reasonably tranquil. But pressure from Argentina to take over the Islands was building up at the same time as London’s determination to defend them seemed to falter. Haskard spoke up strongly on behalf of Islanders despite the displeasure of the Foreign Office which was seeking a compromise settlement that would inevitably prejudice their future. When he retired in 1970 the problem was far from resolved.
Since his retirement Sir Cosmo has lived and taken an abiding interest in the progress of the Falklands. He became a Vice-President of our Association and paid regular visits to our annual reception at Lincoln’s Inn. During the 1982 Conflict he advised the SAS on the conditions they were likely to face on the Islands. He took some amusement from reading the papers in the National Archives which covered his time in the Islands – "We must educate the Governor” one Foreign Office official minuted. Happily Sir Cosmo’s conviction that Islanders must determine their own future remained resolute.
Hearty congratulations to Sir Cosmo on achieving his century and our gratitude for his service to and support of the Falkland Islands for over fifty years.