It’s in the Genes…

… or so we are led to believe, according to current research. Or is it ? If an immediate ancestor was a gifted thinker, does the offspring become a philosopher?; does a highly successful economist produce a millionaire?; would Dr Crippin’s offspring have followed in their father’s footsteps?

How do we differentiate between intellectual capacity and inherited, coded instructions as to what we look like or might eventually become? Answers on a postcard please, as they used to say on the wireless…

What’s brought this on is some research I’ve been doing into my maternal grandfather’s career. He was a pharmacist with the Royal Army Medical Corps, before ending up – by a circuitous route that I am still trying to discover – as the bandmaster of the embryonic Mauritius Police Band in the years before the Second World War. Of diminuitive size (so that, at least, I didn’t inherit!), Inspector Harry Stephen Rolfe built up both the band and his reputation on the island. I’d like to think that his music genes were passed on to me; can’t think of what other source pushed me in a musical direction …

This is the only photo I have that shows both him and the band:

MPB pre 1939
Bandmaster Rolfe and the Mauritius Police Band, c.1926 [?].

I have a baton that was presented to him in 1925 as a token of apprecitation by the residents of Port Louis. It is of ebony with decorative gold bands; he never used it to couduct, as he found it too heavy. He was very forthright and I can imagine his response when the suggestion to use it to conduct was made …

Nearly 90 years on and his grandson uses a much lighter wooden one:

EGCB baton
A lighter baton guiding the East Grinstead Concert Band.

And to finish off this time, a couple of before and after photos …

MPB marching
Band Master Rolfe and the Mauritius Police Band c. 1926
MPB today
The modern day Mauritius Police Band

2 thoughts on “It’s in the Genes…

  1. Hello, your grandfather is my mother’s Uncle Harry! Would love to exchange information and perhaps you could add to/correct the information that I have on Harry – see my Rolfe blog –
    I do have a photograph of the Mauritius band which I have yet to add to my blog which you may be interested in seeing (now I only have to find it!).
    William James Rolfe was my grandfather but unfortunately he died before I was born.
    Very excited to find a Rolfe relative!
    Best wishes

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