The Heart of Bucks ‘Inspiring Buckinghamshire’ series gives local people from a range of sectors a chance to share their knowledge and insights to help inspire others.
Kicking off the series is George Anson, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire for 2021-2022.
Tell us about yourself and your connection to Buckinghamshire.
I am Canadian-born of British and Canadian parents; educated in the USA, and have lived and worked in the UK for over half of my life. I tell people that I am Canadian by origination, American by education, and British by inclination.
Our growing family moved to Buckinghamshire in 1990 and we have resided in Weedon for the last 21 years. I am now retired, but had a very fulfilling and busy career working in the financial services sector in London. Our children are now grown, so my wife and I enjoy travelling (when we can!), the arts, and being with our family.
What personal achievements are you most proud of?
When you first have children, you don’t realise the challenges that you are taking on! Having all three of our children successfully navigate their way through the educational system and find satisfying careers is something that my wife and I are especially proud of.
We also believe in giving something back to the society that we live in. Part of being a responsible and good citizen in Buckinghamshire is to help others as best you can, and we support a number of charitable organisations in Buckinghamshire.
What are some of the challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?
When I came to the UK in 1984 I had ambitions and dreams, but not much else! Living in another country with a limited support network meant I had to figure things out quickly. I had to back my own judgement and match my determination with actions. I was also very lucky to meet my life partner, Kirsty, early on. She has been my closest adviser and helped me navigate some tricky times. Its easy to say now, but looking back I wonder where I found the courage to take those life-changing decisions.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I cannot recall any specific advice given to me, but over the course of my life I have been presented with a number of “sliding door” moments, and so far have taken the right decisions. My advice to someone with dreams and ambitions would be to seize the opportunity and back yourself. You don’t want to look back and wish you had decided differently.
My advice would be: “There is no such thing as a stupid question.” – if you don’t know, or don’t understand, ask. It’s the only way to find out the right answer!
What is your greatest hope for the future for Buckinghamshire?
We have all been affected by the recent pandemic, and whilst there have been tragic consequences for some, it has helped draw the local community together. I would hope that going forward into this next decade that we are able to build on that community spirit and make Buckinghamshire the best place it can be to work and live.
Strangely enough, this past year has also brought families closer together. We have all had challenges, had to slow down, and readjust to a different way of living. I think this has made some of us re-evaluate our priorities in life and establish what is really important.