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Today, Wednesday June 27th 2018 is a VERY SAD DAY.
Today, Wednesday June 27th 2018 is a VERY SAD DAY.
I have been advised by my old purser pal and shipmate John Edge ~ from '63, 3/0 Obuasi and half mast arrival in NY for an assassinated President ~ that today was the last EVER Elders of Elders luncheons in Liverpool.
I could not have attended anyway, much as I would have loved to but was there in 'real ale' if not in spirit or physically. I am not ashamed to say I had tears in my eyes reading the following:
Sorry I have not been in touch for so long - do trust you are managing to have some easy times and that Sue is keeping well.
I just wanted you to know that at the very last Elders of Elders
Luncheons today in New Brighton, you will be 'toasted' by Barbara & I, as we look back on all the great times together with you.
The very best of regards from Barbara & I,
Are you not privileged, Graham, to have seen what you have seen?
I treasure many memories but see very little point in mourning their passing.
Who understands, today, the tocking-ticking of the clock?
Horology? And will-she-won’t-she clear the half-tide rock?
The sight at noon? The phase of moon? The fix at evening stars?
Does anybody care a toss for Jupiter or Mars?
Perhaps, or may be not. Today all cause is so much less.
Through electronic knowledge, skill, the app and GPS,
Unknown to me, a sad old fart in terms of where we are.
Where have we been? Another matter? See, my child, a Star?
Ignore. Perhaps you will, for it is truly up to you.
It’s not for me, try as I might, to tell you what to do.
I never knew, In any case. But fun I had in trying!
Knowledge I cannot forsake, nor privilege of dying
With wonders in my memory, engrained since days of youth.
Simplicity is solid rock. Simplicity is truth.
In granite or in other stone to rip your bottom out,
If you should dare to chance your arm, as Jack-the-Lad or lout.
All things in their place. There is a place for everything.
A place for international trade. A place to laugh and sing.
And you will take your place, although you might not know it yet:
And privilege will then be yours; though nothing yet is set.
Time and tide and ebb and flow. What clearance under keel?
To keep yourself afloat, no matter how your soul might feel?
If you can put a rope ashore at time of voyage end,
You will have served your purpose: as a shipmate and a friend.
Pilot, Marine Lawyer AND Poet?
Don't argue lad, just 'chop chop', stow it.
That's a ship's lifeboat, now row it.
That? A heaving line, now throw it.
Another four years and you just might know it.
Know what Sir? All there is to learn about the oceans?
No lad, to never end a sentence with 'it'.
Yes, I am privileged Barrie but ~ rightly or wrongly ~ I do take a period of mourning then, when complete, 'move on' retaining the memories. My 'first', for what it's worth, was 16th August 1944 for an instant transition from childhood to what the real world was all about.
He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.
And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Joe has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Veteran died today.
He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.
He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Veteran died today.
When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Veteran
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?
The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.
While the ordinary Veteran,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.
It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever-waffling stand?
Or would you want a Veteran
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Veteran,
Who would fight until the end.
He was just a common Veteran,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his likes again.
For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Veteran's part,
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A VETERAN DIED TODAY.
Last edited by Graham the pipe; 28th June 2018 at 07:29..
Thank you, Chaps.
At Liverpool College, at the end of term we sang:-
Lord, dismiss us with thy blessing,
Those who here will meet no more.
Make their seed-time past be yielding
Year-by-year a richer store.
Make more faithful than before.
Mostly, we threw our caps in the air at being free of the tyranny of school discipline.
Only a prize lunatic would mourn the end of any war.
Last edited by Barrie Youde; 28th June 2018 at 10:23.. Reason: Spelin'
Hi Graham, I was there at the last luncheon, a quiet sad affair, some have said a private meeting could possibly be organised. It is all due to funding, DHL have stopped their cash imput and the other organisations have done similar.
However Bert Lawton and I sat outside Wetherspoons with a pint of real ale just as the Mersey hit high tide, we had a good view of the various vessels arriving and sailing, passing the Rock Lighthouse, including your favouroit container vessels, all very nostalgic, we even managed Harry Ramsden fish and chips with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
However no yellow, blue or red funnels all gone except at the south end of the dock road there are some replicas along the pavement, funnels I mean.
All the best Frank
Hi Frank. Sorry for the delay in replying.
Can picture you and Bert in retro guise putting the world and it's ever increasing problems to rights. Well remember your first words to me at the Holiday Inn after 'a few years since our last meet' ~ "You were well p*****d the last time I saw you".
I forecast, sadly only too accurately, that once my old mate Derek 'B' crossed the proverbial Es of Es would fall apart. It's happened even quicker than I had envisaged. Still, we must all "Kick on" as my equestrian pals keep saying. Don't lose touch.
Cheers, for now.
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