When I returned home to Belfast I was 13 and had approximately 4 months of school remaining, the official leaving age was 14 and I’d be 14 in January. It was decided not to enroll me for this short period of time. Anna said Jim could leave me lessons during the week and help tutor me from time to time. Naturally I was all for this wonderful solution. The following Sunday Pop took me to visit Aunt Cassie, she asked me which school I would be going to. When I told her none, she was horrified, Tommy do you not know its against the law not to sent a child to school. That ended my grand plans, my father was a law abiding citizen, and school was back on. However, before I enrolled I wanted to change my name back to Rodgers. I hated the name Cook, all through my schools years I had been teased and called Cookie. I believe also my strong desire to sever all ties with my former childhood played a big part. Anna took me down to the City Hall department of Births-Marriages and Deaths to inquire about changing my name. The clerk looked up my records and declared my name had never been changed, it had always been Rodgers. We didn’t argue and I began my 15th and final school “Glenwood Secondary Modern as Eric Rodgers.
Some people never give a second thought to their surname, its just their name and they accept it as such. For me it was of great importance, I wanted the same name as my father, brothers and sisters. I think it was also an important severance of the link to my childhood. You may be wondering about the adoption in Scotland, for many years I believed it had never taken place. When I was researching for my book “Lily & Me” in 2000, I contacted the Scottish Adoption Authorities, Sure enough they held a record of my adoption, but in those days the information was never shared with other district offices. I left it at that, so possibly there is a missing person in Scotland by the name of Eric Cook. There is also the possibility I could owe back taxes to Scotland. But hey!! that’s not me I’m Rodgers.
God bless and keep reading