The Royal Navy and Me.

The Royal Navy & Me
by Frederick Rogers
“This is a story told through the eyes of a young sailor who joined the Royal Navy in 1955 as a Boy Seaman 2nd class, the absolute lowest rank in the Navy. Follow his induction at HMS Ganges, the toughest boys training establishment in England if not the world., and his first assignment to HMS Cockade in time to visit Australia for the opening of the 1956 Olympic games.This is a thoroughly amusing tale, tempered with dark moments of despair, as he visits islands in the South Pacific, tours Hong Kong, Korea and Japan, passes through the Suez Canal en-route to Malta and Gibraltar, helps to capture an Icelandic boarding party during the Cod Wars. He dives in a submarine to play cat and mouse with our Cold War adversaries, surfaces through the polar ice at the top of the world, feel the tension in the submarine as it sinks toward crush depth. Laugh at the antics of his fellow sailors and the strange situations they found themselves in. Learn the meaning of the acronym PASAHB, and sympathize with this naïve young sailor as he falls for one of the oldest tricks in the book.
One voyage not to be missed.”

Available on line at Amazon- Smashwords and from the author.

Revue by Francis Gallant..
I once visited a submarine but, even before that, I associated them with being buried alive. Outside of the scary sub adventure, Fred includes interesting nonfiction tales above the surface. He is introduced to his love of the automobile which developed into a hobby and writes of his venture into the unknown when it comes to human decisions, one which includes being tricked into an unwanted marriage. To me, reading the book was scary but, at the same time, a royal experience.————————————————————–

Interesting comment (being buried alive) in the Battle of the Atlantic the U Boats became know as iron coffins. Some 40,000 German submariners sail into war, 30,000 never came home.

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in author of lily & Me, family, HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, The Royal Navy & Me, veterans | Leave a comment

PEI Politics, Oh My!!!!!Back to Basics

I’m having some difficulty understanding Island politics? Just over a year ago we had a plebiscite on the issue of proportional representation. The vote carried the wishes of the people to change the system to PR. The premier, Wade MacLauchlan, decided to ignore the vote (plebiscites are not binding) saying the percentage of the vote was not high enough!  An amazing 37% voted for PR. MacLauchlan won a majority government with 39%. Some sixty percent of islanders vote other than Liberal yet we still have the liberals in power and First Past The Post in place. If its left up to the liberals it will remain so. Now, how about the two hopefuls running for the leadership of the provincial PC party. James Aylward and Brad Trivers, both are working the island for votes. Attending all the usual strawberry festivals etc etc. Photo ops abound at this time of year on PEI. I have never attempted to run for election in politics, but if I were to do so, I think I’d want something important to promote. Hey!!! what about Proportional Representation? That would be great subject to push. After all, whoever becomes the leader of the PC’s, having 37% of islanders almost certainly voting for you would be a great start. But only if you were to champion the system of PR. Guest what, neither candidates have even mentioned the subject, at least not that I have heard of. It makes me wonder if the Liberals and the PC’s are not just one and the same, just different party colours. Brad Trivers promotes a slogan of back to basics, well if we change from red to blue in the next election I guess we will see the usual basic changes. The liberal patronage appointees will run for cover, while the PC supporters will be awaiting their new patronage appointments. Is that what Brad means by back to the basics??????? I will stop here, although there are many other topics the PC candidates are ignoring, heard anything from them about PNP????

God Bless and keep reading

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Is There a Way to Save the Legion?????

I decided to post a comment received regarding yesterdays blog (Attacking the Legion). While I did not find it encouraging I do have to accept the writer makes some very pertinent points. I agree the younger veterans really do not appear to show interest in the Legion in its present form. I also agree we have relinquished our ownership of the legion to the vast majority of associated members/civilians. Its so sad to think we are rapidly reaching the end of the Legion, how much longer can it continue. Membership is seriously falling, I can only offer an estimate of todays numbers. Probably out of a approximate total of 200,000  less than 30% are actual veterans. In the local branch here on PEI most of the members are associate non voting, in other words they are members in order to use the facilities/bar.

The seriousness of the situation is bad and will only get worse. How can those in charge market and commercialize the sacred Poppy? The cheap tat they are producing speaks volumes to the state of finances. Branches are failing, closing or being forced to close by their provincial commands. There is almosty no co-operation between Dominion/Provincial Commands and the branches. Animosity reigns between so many veterans, commands and the associates.

However, two very important issues worry me greatly. (1) if the legion fails what happens to the Poppy, we are responsible as veterans and Canadians.

(2) What happens to our history without Remembrance day, without veterans visiting schools and attending parades.  No more medals of long ago battles on display, history disappearing before our eyes. You might think I’m being melodramatic but test these worries for yourself, how many young people on the streets today could answer the most basic questions about the 2nd World War much less the 1st World war.  Look at what we see happening in the USA with the rise of Neo Nazis/White Suprems, KKK etc. This should be  so concerning for all of us.  I realise most would respond ,Oh! that’s Trumps fault, maybe so, but it is also an attempt to revisit  Hitlers National Socialism. If we forget history we are in serious trouble.  

 

Ira peters commented on Attacking the Legion.
I  received an interesting comment in reference to yesterday’s blog subject (Seeking a Private Members Bill). The writer said …
You have many good points and yes, after the Great War Veterans Organization was formed in about 1918 that eventually became the Royal Canadian Legion there were many Veterans. Today most of our Senior Veterans have passed and our younger Veterans show lack of interest. In order to change all our Veterans we will have to rally the troops but with family expenses I have little faith this will happen and because our Legion was given to non Veterans it will be almost impossible to take back. As for the criminal code 419 I think most of us as Veterans would support your endeavour. As for the Legion I think most politicians will not support what seems to be an attack because they want to be politically correct.——————————————————-

Not sure where we go from here????

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in family, military, veterans | 2 Comments

Attacking the Legion.

I  received an interesting comment in reference to yesterday’s blog subject (Seeking a Private Members Bill). The writer said my letter to Mulcair unfortunately felt like an attack against the legion? I’m not in agreement with that view, indeed the legion has attacked me on more than one occasion over my attempt to amend section 419 of the criminal code. However, if some people see my actions as an attack on the legion then so be it. My own view is this, if I see something that is wrong I try to do something about it. Where the present day legion is concerned I see plenty that is wrong with this organization. It is important, if veterans do not speak out, nothing will change. I doubt anyone can argue that the legion is not doing a good job of looking after veterans.  As for me attacking the legion, the legion is being attacked from all sides, and one has to ask the question ,Why?  If nothing was wrong, would we see so much dissatisfaction in the media. Perhaps, someone might ask Joan Beznoski if she feels she has been attacked by the legion??? Sorry but I make no apologies for my comments regarding the Royal Canadian Legion. I was a member for 30 years and a very proud member in 1980’s 90’s.  Today, I only see a very sad epilogue to this once grand Veterans organisation.

 

God Bless and keep reading

 

Posted in family, military, veterans | 5 Comments

Seeking a Private Members Bill

Below is a copy of an email I sent to Thomas Mulcair three weeks ago, to date no reply, but its summer and he could be away. I do expect he will respond eventually. In the meantime. I tried Senator Duffy, he was not interested, but didn’t even have the good manners to respond.  I’m posting it with this blog, maybe a like minded veteran might know an MP/Senator who would take up this cause.

Fri 07-28, 8:00 PM
thomas.mulcair@parl.gcMr Mulcair

I’m writing to ask for your help, could you please advise if a member of your party might consider bringing a private members bill to the floor of the house. The Bill is to request an amendment to section 419 of the criminal code. I have attempted unsuccessfully several times through the Royal Canadian Legion. I’m asking for a simple amendment, that blood relatives may wear their late loved ones medals on such occasions as Remembrance day. They would wear the medals on the right breast to denote they are not the owner but a relative. This policy is practiced throughout the Commonwealth, Canada being the one exception. The Legion refuse to even consider my request, I have sent two separate resolutions to Dominion Command, but neither went beyond Provincial Command.  The reason the Legion offer is this, to allow relatives to wear a late loved ones medal dilutes the value of that medal. I find this an absolute nonsense! these same members wear chests full of right breast medals awarded by the legion. At Ottawa in 2015 at the national Remembrance day ceremonies, the legion was represented by Tom Eagles President of Dominion Command. He wore a total of thirteen medals eleven of his right breast three on left. He has never served a day in uniform, not the military or Coast Guard-Police etc. Yet I’m sure the majority of spectators assumed he was a decorated veteran. The sad truth about today’s legion is  it is run by the civilian membership. Of approximately 200.000 only 30% are veterans and the membership has been falling for several years. .I have a great deal more info that I’d be happy to pass along. However for the moment I will leave it as is while hoping you can find an interested MP to assist in my quest. I will post a couple of photos with this email. One of Tom Eagles and two other associates, also one of a young girl wearing her great grandfathers 1st WW medals and standing beside her Grandfather a WW2 veteran. I have to ask which of these two photos portray the real meaning of remembrance and respect.

Please note these three Associate members sport a total of 29 medals between them!!!! ask anyone of them and they will tell you to allow blood relatives to wear their late loved ones medals—” It Dilutes the value of those medals” Duh!!

 

Remembrance Day (letter to editor)
As November 11th approaches it is appropriate to mention an obscure and seemingly unnecessary Canadian Law pertaining to wearing of medals.  After the Great War of 1914-18, cenotaphs were raised in cities, towns and villages all across the Empire.  Mothers/ widows who lost love ones in that war attended the unveiling at those ceremonies. It became traditional to wear their late loved ones medals on their right breast. They did so as a mark of respect for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. That tradition continues throughout most Commonwealth countries. However, should a mother or widow in Canada wear their loved ones medals they would be subject to arrest.  The law in Canada forbids anyone but the owner of medals to wear them. If an 80 year widow wore her late husbands medals on her right breast to a service in Canada she could be arrested. See article 419 of the criminal code, it does not set out a specific penalty, for summary conviction offenses, the penalty is maximum of six months imprisonment or $5,000 fine or both.  What I find disturbing is the Royal Canadian Legion not only support this law, they defend it. However, if you were to ask the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command why they support this law, and I have done so on more than one occasion, you might wait a very long time for a clear and reasonable answer. 
Respectfully Submitted  F.Ben Rodgers CD. Naval Veteran
Abram Village PE.

God Bless and keep reading.

Posted in family, military, veterans | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

COMRADE?

If you look up the meaning of the word Comrade you will find the following definition in the Collins English Dictionary.

comrade
noun [ C ] us ​ /ˈkɑm·ræd
a friend or trusted companion, esp. one with whom you have been involved in difficult or dangerous activities, or another soldier in a soldier’s group.

In today’s legions one has to wonder if that word still has the same meaning. Personally I find it difficult to think of the three associates in the attached photos as comrades. My comrades were my shipmates and are to this day life long friends. Of course we didn’t always agree, we didn’t always get along, but we always remained friends and when the chips were down could depend on each other in times of trouble.

In recent times there have been a few incidents of Stolen Valour. While this is a violation of those who have served and gave their all for their country, and  it should never be tolerated. I have to wonder about our many associates who parade in legion uniforms bedecked in legion medals. The general public see them and applaud with respect as if they are the real veterans. It seems to me this too borders on stolen valour.   I realize not every veteran will agree with me and that’s okay. But I think most will agree these legion medals have really gotten out of hand, one can purchase at least two via dominion command. Since when do we buy our medals?

My final view is this, and once again it may not fit with every ones perception of today’s Legions. I find we have a large divide between local branch members and those who aspire to work at Provincial and Dominion Command Levels. It is my feeling they take on an air of superiority, they see themselves as knowledgeable and important.

They often display attitudes of superiority over us lesser beings at the local branch level. I have never felt a motivation for higher office beyond the branch, I have also never felt I was less informed or less important than any other member, whether provincial or Dominion command members. However, it is not difficult to see a degree of arrogance among these members in the upper echelons of the Legion organization.  When I see a majority of associate members running Provincial and Dominion Commands, the picture becomes clear.  The overwhelming attitude that they know best quickly comes into play, this is evident at the branches closed under Provincial commands. The branches that have been shut down permanently, the serious bleeding of membership failures. The continuing stories of Legion disruptions, disputes, dysfunction and absolute dissatisfaction. The disgraceful commercialization of the sacred Poppy, free memberships, legion Lager, bird feeders etc, all in the drive for more money into the coffers at Dominion Command.  

So Comrades it is my view if this trend continues much longer we will see the complete demise of the Royal Canadian Legion. The question is how much longer?

God Bless and keep reading

 

Posted in military, veterans | 2 Comments

A little Sunday Humour

THE EXPLANATION” (Irish Logic at its best)
The mother-in-law arrives home from shopping to find her son-in-law
Paddy in a steaming rage and hurriedly packing his suitcase.
What happened Paddy?” she asks anxiously.
“What happened!! I’ll tell you what happened. I sent an email to my
wife (your perfect daughter) telling her I was coming home today from
my fishing trip. I get home…
and guess what I found? Yes, your daughter, my wife Jean, naked with
Joe Murphy in our marital bed! This is unforgivable, the end of our
marriage. I’m done. I’m leaving!”
“Ah now, calm down,  calm down Paddy!” says his mother-in-law.
“There is something very odd going on here. My daughter would never do
such a thing!  There must be a simple explanation. I’ll go speak to
her immediately.”
Moments later, the mother-in-law comes back with a big smile.
“Paddy. I told you there must be a simple explanation.
“She never got your E-mail!”
God Bless and keep reading

Posted in family | 2 Comments

Its Back!!!!

Friday 11th August 2017 saw the kick off of the new Premier League. Arsenal started with a win over Leicester City in a seven goal thriller! 4-3. Today will see several more first games played. No time for a large blog today, need to shower and dress in time for the next match. So happy soccer is back for another season. Go Gunners Go.

God Bless and keep reading.

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Still Waiting for the Knock?????

There is some irony in yesterdays blog “Still waiting for the Knock”. At my branch in Wellington PEI  in January 2016 at the first regular meeting of the year, no one but me appeared to  have any problem with the double standard for veterans., I decided I’d had enough and left. In 2017 I did not renew my legion membership and approximately June 2017 I received a membership renewal reminder, the only correspondence I ever received . No one ever phoned or called to ask why I had left? A few weeks ago I met the President in the village. He said, we haven’t seen you in a while? I said that’s because I’m no longer a member. I explained I couldn’t be a member of a legion that had double standards for veterans. Oh! its much better now lots of changes, he said. That was the end of the conversation and he drove off. While I do not fault the Provincial Command from trying to recruit new members by knocking on doors, the efforts set by individual branches leaves much to be desired.  So this is one veteran who does not expect a Legion member to be knocking on my door any time soon.

God Bless and keep reading

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Still awaiting the Knock?????

This was posted way back in March 2017 and since then I have heard nothing more! Guess this is just another Provincial Command pipe dream or perhaps something to help them justify their positions?

Knock Knock: Are you a Veteran
Posted on March 9, 2017
by irishroverpei

Knock, knock: Are you a veteran?

Hmm! sounds a bit like a recruiting drive to me??????????
Legion volunteers to go door-to-door looking for ‘forgotten’ veterans

There are about 4,200 veterans living on P.E.I., according to Veterans Affairs Canada. (CBC

Legions on P.E.I. are looking for a few friendly members to knock on doors in an effort to reach out to “modern-day veterans” who may need their services.
“I think veterans have sort of been forgotten by legions for whatever reason,” said co-ordinator Owen Parkhouse.
“But I think it’s time to reach out and get back to what the purpose of the legion is and that’s looking after veterans and advocating for them.”

Owen Parkhouse believes there many veterans on P.E.I. who are unaware of the services available to them. (Power and Politics/CBC )
The number of veterans on P.E.I. has grown to about 4,200, according to Veterans Affairs Canada.
‘Still hurting from their service’
Parkhouse said many of the new veterans served in Afghanistan, and are settling in P.E.I. from other provinces.
‘I think word has gone out that P.E.I. is a quiet place and I think a lot of the veterans from Afghanistan are looking for just such a place.’– Owen Parkhouse
“I think word has gone out that P.E.I. is a quiet place and I think a lot of the veterans from Afghanistan are looking for just such a place,” he said.
But many of those veterans aren’t joining the legions, Parkhouse said. Instead, they are keeping to themselves and as a result do not know about the services and programs that are available to them. Some may even be homeless.
“There are veterans on the Island that are still hurting from their service whether it is a physical or a mental condition,” he said.
‘Friendly’ volunteers
That’s why he’s looking for 25 to 30 volunteers — or about two members from each legion on P.E.I. — to go door-to-door to help find these veterans.
“The friendly types, the ones concerned about their communities are the ones who are going to step up and do this,” he said.
Parkhouse is asking anyone who knows a veteran who may need help, or anyone willing to volunteer as a veteran search officer, to email him at ojwparkhouse@gmail.com, contact the provincial legion secretary at royalcanadianlegion@pei.aibn.com or 902-892-2161.

Guess we will all be waiting a long time for a knock on our doors????

God Bless and keep reading

 

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