Malcolm C Dragon
If you wish to CONTACT ME, please use the form at the bottom of the CONTACT page.
Hi! I’m the creator of this website, and I’ve been blogging here regularly since the first day of the ‘Dragon’ year, 2012. I curate news items on what’s going on in the world of philanthropy, charity and altruism, adding comments and observations of my own, from time to time. For those who are interested, here’s a little about my background and what makes me tick.
I’m a retired Civil Servant with extensive business and administrative experience, as well as a strong science background. I have a BSc (Hons) in Food Science, a Postgraduate Diploma in Equality & Diversity, and ‘level 5’ membership of the Institute of Leadership & Management. I have expertise in change management, conflict management, project management, risk management, group facilitation, coaching, suicide intervention, advanced writing, and training & presentation methods. I’m an accomplished researcher, report- and speech-writer, and public-speaker. I’m used to dealing confidently with people at all levels, including Government Ministers, and I believe I have excellent people skills and team-management abilities.
My interests are very eclectic, and include: science and technology; the Internet (including social networking*); travel; Eastern philosophy and culture; religion, spirituality, mysticism and other esoterica; martial arts; photography; architecture; music; reading; sociology and psychology; business, management and leadership. In the light of all this I hope it won’t seem too pompous when I say that I consider myself a bit of a polymath.
I currently live in Wales, UK – Aberavon, Port Talbot, on the south coast, just a short distance from Swansea, and a little bit further from Cardiff, the Welsh capital. I’m married (my wife Delia is a Filipina) and I have one son, Marc, now doing a Masters degree at Oxford University (at the time of writing this introduction, January 1st, 2012).
I’m a Trustee of the Chreda Foundation – a family charity devoted to the welfare and spiritual development of young people. In the past I’ve served as a school governor, PTA Chair and Chair of a Local Authority committee.
Although from a traditional Christian (Protestant) background and upbringing – indeed, I was even ordained online, a few years ago – I am strongly influenced by other faiths and the New Age movement, and I keep an open mind on such matters, being guided more by my own conscience than by the dictates of others. In both politics and religion I tend to have very libertarian views. I try not to let race, religious background, age, gender, sexual orientation or other superficial differences be a barrier: it is only intolerance that I cannot tolerate! I believe in the fundamental value and dignity of all sentient beings, and consider it wrong to cause unnecessary suffering, so I’m an almost lifelong vegetarian. I’ve always tried to live my life by the values that Emerson had in mind, when he said: “To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” So it is perhaps natural that I should feel led to create a website dedicated to seeking out the best of human nature, as seen in philanthropic activities, charitable works and altruistic behaviour. The Good Book says, ““Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Still excellent advice, after all these years – so I’ve made it my New Year’s Resolution for 2012!
*If you wish to contact me you can do so by using the form at the bottom of the Contact page.
You can also find me on a variety of social networking sites – here are just a few:
For more on social networking related to this website, please visit our Contact page.
Our family name is thought to originate from the Old French, in which the word signified a snake or monster. It was originally a nickname or occupational name for someone who carried the king’s standard in battle, and there are 12th century records of a member of the Dragon family being a royal standard-bearer, here in the UK. There may be a link to the legendary King Arthur who, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early sixth century and eventually established an empire consisting of Britain, Ireland, Gaul, Iceland and Norway. A dragon-shaped comet inspired Arthur’s father Uther to take the surname Pendragon, and this was indeed a fitting family name for Arthur himself. Pendragon or Pen Draig, means ‘head dragon’ or ‘chief dragon’, signifying a leader of high status. In medieval Latin documents the name appeared as ‘draco‘ or ‘draconis‘ – from the Greek ‘drakon‘. Another (Germanic) version of the name – Drago – was an abbreviation of Dragwald, meaning ‘to wield power, or rule’. In Polish and Ukrainian it signified a dragoon (mounted soldier): these two words were also interchangeable in French, Spanish and Portuguese. Other spellings include: Dragoner, Draconet, Drahonnet, Draghetto, Dragotto, Drayner, Drainer & Draynor. Deragon is also often considered to be a related family: this surname is a corruption of the French D’Aragon – meaning from the Kingdom of Aragon (now an autonomous region of Spain). In England the name first appeared in Kent during Saxon times, when the Dragons were Lords of the Manor. Their influence declined, from shortly after the Battle of Hastings, but the name survived for the next 300 years and records show that in the 13th century Dragons once again held estates in that county.
Tracing the surname’s origins can also take one in a very different direction, to Romania and Transylvania – home of the Dracula legend. Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes, in Romanian) – so-called, because of his practice of impaling the heads of his enemies on stakes – was a Prince who ruled over Wallachia, Romania, around 500 years ago. He reigned for a total of around 7 years – during 1448, 1456–1462 and 1476. He was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Although there was never any serious suggestion that the real ‘Count’ was actually a vampire (as depicted in the fictional accounts), he was a very harsh and cruel leader… understandable, perhaps, during those difficult times, (though sometimes taken to excess), in order to maintain law-and-order and justice: even today most Romanians still regard him as a heroic figure. He was much celebrated for his crusade against the Ottoman Empire. Vlad Tepes (Vlad III) was born in 1431, in Segesvár, Transylvania (in Hungary). His father, Vlad II was initiated into the Order of the Dragon, that year, in Nuremberg, Germany. Five years later, his young son was also admitted to the Order. Founded in 1408, to “defend the Cross and fight the enemies of Christianity”, the Order was a society of knights, in the tradition of St George, which flourished in Germany and Italy for the first half of the 15th century. Members were known as Draconists, and were in effect a private army, dedicated to defeating the Ottoman Empire and serving the best interests of the Christian rulers of that era… in particular, Sigismund, King of Hungary (1397-1437) and Holy Roman Emperor from 1433-1437. Though it grew rapidly and became widely recognised internationally during Sigismund’s time, the Order declined in its influence after his death in 1437. But back to Vlad II… after his investiture into the Order of the Dragon in 1431 he became known as Dracul (The Dragon), and his son Vlad III then took the surname Dracula – or ‘Son of Dracul’. Dracula died in battle, in 1476, and left behind him a mystery as to where his mortal remains were finally lodged… the island monastery of Snagov, near Bucharest, remains the most likely candidate, but recent excavations failed to locate his grave. What is certain, however, is that he did produce sons and heirs, and the family bloodline continued. Although this may be a slightly less salubrious link than the (admittedly nebulous) Arthurian one, it is nonetheless an intriguing one… and again hints at possible royal connections, as well as more esoteric influences.