Letters to the Editor Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, May 2020, Letters to the Editor


“I am surprised to find two things that need correcting in the latest edition of your always excellent newsletter: Ivor Spencer was made an MBE by the Queen, not knighted. Had he he been knighted, he would be known as Sir Ivor, not Sir Spencer as you wrote. I do hope you are keeping active, fit and well during these ‘horror movie’ times. Warmest regards,” RE

Ed: Thanks for pointing out these errors. I see we have a common misconception in the profession that Mr. Spencer was knighted as an MBE and therefore entitled to the appellation: Sir Ivor Spencer.” In fact, it takes being knighted to earn that appellation, and CBEs, OBEs, and MBEs are awards, not knighthoods. I trust you, too, are doing well in your slice of paradise.

Continuing the correspondence with Alex Parker for his article on Batman’s Batman:

“It reminds me of something my therapist told me about the ‘third place’: You have work, and family as two places that bring with them a lot of complications and baggage, so humans seek a third group for support that is non-judgmental and somewhat disconnected, like church or support groups. Butlers are a mix of work and family but maybe also help perform that third-place role.

“As for Alfred, it really depends on the writer, but he’s often portrayed as a wise, sage advisor, kind of a Watson, who’s also melancholy, having seen the Wayne parents murdered and watching their son risk his life in his Batman quest. If you’re interested, I’d definitely recommend the Dark Knight trilogy of movies by Christopher Nolan. Michael Caine is often heartbreaking in the role, playing this mix of loyalty to Bruce Wayne (Batman’s alter ego) and worry about his self-destructive behavior.” Thanks again! I’ll let you know when I publish.

Ed: I can see you are deep into the whys and wherefores—nice work.

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.