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PARIS – Laughter echoed through the dining room of the Meridien Hotel in Montparnasse when writer, British television personality and cricket wife Francis Edmonds gave a motivational speech. She cited credit unions as doing great work, helping people to help themselves, but she also drove home some core values. Edmonds told of her father who was an Irish immigrant arriving in England with 20 quid, who still was able to become a doctor and put four children through Cambridge. Her brothers became doctors. “When life gives you adversity,” the tall blond said, “it is what you do with it.” She mentioned her role models. She worked with Simone Veil, a former French Minister of Health whom she knew Arnold worked with at the European Union in Brussels. “This women was a concentration camp survivor,” Edmonds said said, “and when I asked what she did to survive she told me it was her will to become a lawyer and prevent other injustices.” Edmonds also cited Margaret Thatcher, not necessarily for her politics but for her focus and discipline. “Thatcher used to say there were no problems, only challenges. One day her assistant told her they had reached an insurmountable challenge.” Edmonds third role model was Wilma Rudolph who overcame polio to become a U.S. Olympic champion. No matter what she has experienced throughout her life, Edmonds said her core values were formed at an early age when she learned respect for all others regardless of color, religion, nationality or sex, service to family, friends and also to community, discipline and honesty. These values she said transcended countries. They were values truly without borders. Take responsibility for your actions, she encouraged attendees. Edmonds said when her husband’s professional cricket team lost, no one took responsibility, and everyone blamed everyone else. But when they won, she said, they all took credit. – [email protected]

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