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Commonwealth Journalists' Association

Ian Richardson at God's Triangle launch

By Rita Payne, CJA President

One would not expect to read about a sex scandal and intrigue in a book about missionaries in India. Yet, God’s Triangle by Ian Richardson, an ex-BBC journalist, is an unexpected page-turner.

It’s a story about the author’s great-aunt, Florrie Cox and her husband, the newly-ordained missionary, the Rev. Frank Paice, who were in East Bengal in British India during the First World War to spread the word of God.

The saga began with a photo Ian discovered of his great-aunt and he was told that “the family didn’t talk about her”. His curiosity was further aroused when he discovered that his great aunt’s missionary bridesmaid had an affair with her husband, resulting in a divorce granted in mysterious circumstances in Melbourne, Australia. The church hierarchy appeared to have colluded to hide what happened. Two Supreme Court judges ordered the divorce file to be sealed for all time.

Ian’s quest took him to Calcutta and what is now Bangladesh and the places where Florrie and her husband lived and worked. In the process, Ian gained an insight into how missionaries at the time saw their role and how they were viewed by the local population.

At a launch organised by the Commonwealth Journalists Association in London, Ian spoke eloquently about what impelled him to write this family history despite the risk of upsetting close members of his family. He also spoke about why he decided to self-publish.

Ian set off on the trail of his great-aunt and her husband ten years ago. His first objective was to write a screenplay now under option to an Australian producer and in what is known in the movie business as “development hell”. Ian is determined to see this fascinating and moving family tale on the big screen, despite the difficulties raising the $10m budget.

For more on the story, go to the official website: