How does anyone decide on their blog name? Was it easy, a no-brainer, or difficult to the point of despair? When I began this blog way back in 2011, I had no idea of where I was going, how to write a post, how to edit photos, or have a friendship list. Then after talking to Marg Ussher who lives in the Auckland area, and throwing around a few ideas, her help in rearranging the words to what it is now was the deciding moment. For a long time, Walter’s compass was the header photo.
In March , 2010, I made Walter Drake ( 4th March 1919 - 15th April 2010) a wall hanging, a “ Mariner’s Compass” to celebrate not only that day but to represent his time with HMS during WW2. Our friendship was over some 13 or more previous years, and he so enjoyed a visit to our home here in 2002 .
As First Lieutenant, and later Commanding Officer of Motor Launch 106 and finally senior officer of the 51st ML Flotilla, Lieutenant Walter Charles Drake, DSC, RNZNVR took part in thirty four successful mine-laying operations in enemy waters off the Dutch coast in the North Sea.
He was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) in July 1944.
Along with this, I also enclosed some words, and the wonderful staff in the Merino Ward at Auckland Hospital kept the parcel, ( a bit more subterfuge ) and brought it in for him on the morning of his birthday, and after opening it, they hung this on the wall in his room.
Happy 91st Birthday 4th March 2010
The Mariner’s Compass
Not sitting in the binnacle with the bridge just up above
No shouting down the voice pipe “Starboard 15. Stop Engines, Slow ahead”
A Mariner’s Compass in quilter’s terms, sewn with needle and with thread.
No swinging gimbal and no glass cover for salt spray protection
The four points, North, South, East and West, and others for direction.
Remembering those words; “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
This is sent to you with friendship and with love.
Today I wrote a comment on another blog on what was my most happy mail, real snail mail, and I am sure it was when Walter’s daughter Kristine sent me a card after Walter’s funeral to thank me, and to say that his wall-hanging was at the Felixstowe Museum where memories of the Coastal Forces are displayed. It is on the wall, covered with special glass so it will not fade. A wonderful honour and huge privilege.A small part of our friendship, that has travelled from New Zealand to the UK.
Quotation of the day, by Mark Twain
“ Grief can take care of itself,
but to get the full value of a joy you must have
somebody to divide it with”
Greetings from Jean