The Royal Navy and Me

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 boy’s 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 naive young sailor as he falls for one of the oldest tricks in the book.
Whether a sailor or a dreamer of the sea, this is one voyage not to be missed.]

Review from the Editor of the Ganges Gazette

Review from the Ganges Gazette
Following on from ‘Lily & Me’ comes another ‘cracker’ from Fred’s pen, but this time covering his time in the Navy. Ganges, surface ships – Far East and Home Fleet. Girls, with Cupid active with his bow. Joining the Submarine Service with a very good description of life aboard diesel electric ’T’ and ‘A’ class boats. More girls and arrows everywhere, tricked into marriage, children, divorce and part of the 6th Canadian Submarine Squadron based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Dick Lloyd Editor-Gazette

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Posted in Family and veterans, HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, The Royal Navy & Me, veterans | Leave a comment

Land Purchase? Racism??

The original letter I sent to the editor on September 13th was never published. After re=reading it I’m guessing the paper would tell me they don’t publish rumours. I stated in my opening lines “if the story is factual” that would probably be considered rumour not fact. So here I go again with a few small alterations to my wording.

I recently read on social media some concerning issues regarding the Standing Committee Land Investigations.  In March 2018 a government committee was formed, (Standing Comittee investigating Land.) Among the land owners invited to attend was GEBIS (Buddhist monks).. MLA Allen Roach was a committee member who strenuously opposed GEBIS being included. He claimed to do so was racist, anti immigrant , an infringement of religious rights and completely inappropriate..he succeeded in blocking the monks from having to appear. There have been valid questions raised about the amount of land the monks are buying. It has been alleged they are purchasing land using other names, names that connect directly or indirectly to GEBIS.. I find it  very strange to connect the sale of land with racism, immigration or religious freedoms. Surely the transaction of the sale of land is purely business.

Shortly before this committee was formed I’m told Allen and Betty Roach sold their modest Montague area home for approximately 3/4 million dollars to Chin+Fang Chen and Chieh-Ju Chen, who are allegedly connected to GEBIS.  I’m quite sure the house transaction was legal.  Nevertheless, it does not appear to have raised any question in the house or by news media. One might have expected the opposition and or the media to be all over this.

God Bless and keep reading

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Remembrance Day and what has been Forgotten?

——The first World War—– Recently on Face Book there has been quite a lot of postings remembering the First World War. The Great War (war to end all wars) ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. However, very few people know much about the history of those times, much has been lost.  In no small measure this is due the Royal Canadian Legion. They remain adamant that the law preventing blood relatives from wearing loved ones medals on their right breast should stand.  By doing so they have deprived many younger generations of a very important part of our visual history.

How many citizens know about “Pip, Squeak and Wilfred”?  I would guess not too many. Pip Squeak and Wilfred were a Daily Mirror newspaper cartoon trio from that era. It was a standing joke among the veterans of the Great War referring to the three war medals. 

A citizen wishing to see these medals today would perhaps have two options, War museums or in some legion branch’s. Its sad to think that more than six million where awarded and yet today are so difficult to find.

Here is a very good reason why blood relatives should be encouraged to wear late loved ones medals 0n Remembrance Day
Look at the three WW1 medals the young girl is wearing belonging to her great grandfather while standing beside her grandfather a veteran of the Second World War.
Pip, Squeak and Wilfred nicknames given to three WWI campaign medals: the 1914-15 Star; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. This set of 3 medals or a pair (BWM and Victory) are the most likely medals to be found among family heirlooms. The medals were automatically sent out; soldiers did not need to apply. When the recipient had been killed the medals were sent to the next-of-kin.

It should be noted the tradition of wearing late loved ones medals began just after the end of First World War. Across the Empire in cities towns and villages cenotaphs were being erected to the memory of the fallen. At the unveiling ceremonies mothers, wives and other family members attended wearing on their right breasts these medals. It was done as a sign of their great loss and to honour the memory of those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The tradition continues to this day in most Commonwealth nations around the world. But here in Canada it is against the law, should an elderly person wear his/her late loved ones medals he/she is subject to arrest, fine and or jail.  One has to wonder why we need such a law, asking, most people they will probably say ” I doubt anyone would actually be arrested”. Which brings us back to the question of why the Royal Canadian Legion continues to support this archaic and unnecessary law?  It is even more puzzling while the legion defends this law but supports and authorizes their members to wear an array of legion issued medals. Note legion medals worn on right breast are not official medals sanctioned by the Monarch)

Now as our Second World War and Korean Veterans are aging we are seeing less and less of the medals from these wars. Will they soon become as rare a sight as Pip Squeak and Wilfred???

I believe it is time the Royal Canadian Legion moved to have section 419 of the criminal code amended to allow blood relatives to wear late loved ones medals on occasions as deemed suitable .

When asked, the legion response is to say this,” to allow a medal to be worn by anyone other than winner of said medal, dilutes the value of the medal???” However, to wear many legion issued medals, (some may actually be purchased) apparently doesn’t dilute the value and meaning of an actual medal? Hmm, I must be missing something here! This doesn’t make a lot of sense!

God Bless and keep reading

 

 

 

Posted in Family and veterans, military, veterans | 2 Comments

Is Carbon Tax the answer?

California has some of the toughest pollution laws on this continent, Ontario has just ended vehicle emission pollution inspections. That sounds like a regressive step, perhaps it is, but it rid the province of old oil burning vehicles on its highways. Even today if you drive a polluter down the 401 hwy you are likely to be pulled over by the OPP. So why here on PEI do we have no checks on the many smoke polluting vehicles. Almost every time I’m on the roads I see an old truck pouring black smoke into the air. I see cars and trucks that clearly would not pass a motor vehicle safety check let alone an emissions check. Many farms run old heavy trucks that are not required to be licensed or inspected. They are in many cases not fit to be on our roads. Why not instead of a carbon tax we begin government operated vehicle emission inspection stations. A place to check vehicle emissions, where a vehicle must qualify before a license plate is issued . This would seem a fair way to pay for our carbon foot print rather than taxing everyone. Many drivers today, drive hybrids, or fuel efficient cars, we use heat pumps, ride bicycles or walk. The majority of islanders recycle, many clean the beaches and byways, people do care. However there will always be that element that don’t care, those are the ones who should pay the bulk of the taxes. Just my views on our island roads, who would agree?

God Bless and keep reading

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Name year make and model?

I thought it might be fun to test my blog followers knowledge of the British motoring world of old. Try and tell me the year make and model of the four cars and one motorcycle. That is my young daughter in her Brownie uniform, but what is the car behind her??? The handsome chap in the natty suit is me of course, unfortunately I’m only three years young than the car I’m standing beside. I owned all the vehicles in this quiz but it was a long time ago.  I’ll give you one clue, two of the vehicles are made by the same manufacturer. So folks have fun and enjoy trying to figure out these old mods of transport.

God Bless and keep reading

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What Gender is a Computer(A Little Sunday Humour)

A SPANISH Teacher
> was explaining
> to her class that… in
> Spanish, unlike
> English,
> nouns are designated as either masculine ..or
> feminine.
> ‘House’ for instance, is feminine: ‘la
> casa.’
> ‘Pencil,’ however, is masculine: ‘el
> lapiz.’
>
> A student asked, ‘What gender is
> ‘computer’?’
>
> Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class
> into two groups, male and
> female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether
> computer’
> should be a masculine or a feminine
> noun.
> Each group was asked to give four reasons for its
> recommendation.
>
> The men’s group decided that ‘computer’ should
> definitely be of the feminine
> gender (‘la
> computadora’), because:
>
> 1. No one but their creator understands their internal
> logic;
>
> 2 The native language they use to communicate with other
> computers is incomprehensible
> to everyone else;
>
> 3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory
> for possible later retrieval;
> and
>
> 4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find
> yourself
> spending half your paycheck on accessories for
> it.
>
> (THIS GETS BETTER!)
>
> The women’s group, however, concluded that computers
> should be Masculine (‘el
> computador’), because:
>
> 1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them
> on;
>
> 2. They have a lot of data but still can’t think for
> themselves;
>
> 3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half
> the time they ARE the problem;
> and
>
> 4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had
> waited a little longer, you
> could have got a better model.
>
> The women
> won.

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Supply Management

I’m the first to admit I know little about international trade agreements, but I would also venture I’m not alone in that respect. Watching the recent news coverage I see milk and dairy producers are not happy with the latest USMCA trade deal. On FB and other social media they is a cry to buy Canadian dairy products and shun those from the US. I have to think that is easier said than done. For most of us on fixed or minimum wage incomes, price is always the deciding factor. It’s good and indeed right to support local producers and our Canadian products. However, if there is a US milk carton on the store shelf next to a local one and the US one is cheaper? Which one do you think many shoppers will select? It’s not done out of disrespect or a couldn’t care less attitude, it’s out of necessity. The other factor in this is the price differences between provinces. Why do we pay approximately two dollars more for a four litre jug than in Nova Scotia? How can it cost so much more here on PEI than in other provinces. A lot of questions to be answered and understood by the general public. ‘From the point of view of many, what we pay for a product is determined by what it costs. This is the way supply management works for most of us local shoppers. That’s my interpretation, right or wrong! Oh Canada.

Posted in family, Prince Edward Island | 2 Comments

A Little Sunday Humour

A group of men live and die for their Saturday morning golf
game. One transfers
to another city and they’re lost without him.

A new woman joins their Club. When she hears the guys talking
about their golf round, she says, “I played on my college golf team. I
was pretty good
Mind if I join you next week?”

No  one wants to say ‘yes’, but they’re on the
spot. Finally, one man says.”Okay,
but we start at 6:30 a.m.” He figures the early
tee-time will discourage her.

The woman says this may be a problem, and asks if she can be up to 15
minutes late. They roll their eyes, but say, “Okay”.
She’s there at 6:30 am sharp, and beats all of them with an eye-opening 2-under
par round.

She’sfun and pleasant, and the guys are impressed. They
congratulate her and
invite her back the next week. She smiles, and says,
“I’ll be there at 6:30 or 6:45.”am

The next week she again shows up at 6:30 sharp. Only this time,
she plays left-handed.
The three guys are incredulous as she still beats them with
an even par round, despite playing with her off-hand. They’re
totally amazed.
They can’t figure her out. She’s very pleasant and a
gracious winner.
They invite her back again, but each man harbors a burning
desire to beat her.

The third week, she’s 15 minutes late, which irritates the
guys. This week she
plays right-handed, and narrowly beats all three of them.
The men grumble that her late arrival is petty gamesmanship on her part.
However,she’s so charming and complimentary of their strong play, they
can’t hold a grudge.

This woman is a riddle no one can figure out. They have a couple
of beers in the Clubhouse, and finally, one of the men asks her, “How
do you decide if you’re going to golf right-handed or left-handed?”

The lady blushes, and grins. “When my Dad taught me to play golf, I learned I
was ambidextrous,” she replies. “I like to switch back and forth.”

“When I got married after college, I discovered my husband always
sleeps in the nude. From then on, I developed a silly habit. Right before
I leave in the morning for golf practice, I pull the covers off him. If his willie
points to the right, I golf right-handed; if it points to the
left, I golf left-handed.”
The guys think this is hysterical. Astonished at this bizarre
information,one of the guys says, “What if it’s pointing straight
up?”

She-says, “Then, I’m fifteen minutes late.”

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My political Dilemma

One might say election time is in the air both Federally and Provincially. This is when I once again struggle to make a decision on which way to vote. It is easier here on PEI. I have firmly decided on the Green Party, even if they are unlikely to form the next government. Whatever the final results I feel strongly the Greens will hold a position of power. Whether the liberals or PCs form a government it will almost certainly not be a majority. The Federal election on choices is a much more difficult decision. I do not fancy another four years of Trudeau, nor see Scheer as a better alternative. That doesn’t leave many options, Greens of course would be good but unlikely to make any major inroads into a position of power. The People’s Party is a no go for me, so that only leaves the NDP. I have absolutely no issue with their leader Jagmeet Singh, however, I do not believe Canada is ready to elect a prime minister who wears a turban! To say we are not a racist nation is to not admit the truth. There are many racists all across this land, just look at Quebec and the hijab issues. Or the recent expulsion of a man wearing religious head wear at the Tignish Legion. There are many similar incidents from coast to coast. So where does all this leave me? indeed not just me, but many like minded Canadians. What to do ? How to vote? Difficult choices! Oh well! It will soon be Christmas and hopefully that will release my mind from politics, if only for a brief moment. That folks is the coming dilemma for the New Year of 2019,….in the meantime Merry Christmas eh!

God Bless and keep reading

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Easy Pay Day Loans And Deficits

One of the first things I found difficult to understand when I landed in Halifax aboard the Royal Navy Submarine Alcide back in January 1964 was the word “ Credit”. I tried to rent a car at a local rental business I was informed they needed my credit history. I very proudly announced I had no credit, I paid for everything in cash. To my astonishment they  turned me down, no credit rating no car! I could not understand how I was a greater risk than someone who owed money. However, this was Halifax in 1964, and on almost every street corner one would see a loan company.  Businesses such as HFC (Housewhole Finance Co) Avco and so many more, the many names escape me. Eventually, I did achieve a credit rating it was the way things were back then. Trying to arrange a loan through a bank was next to impossible. Near the end of the 1970s the finance companies were slowly disappearing, banks had finally realized they were missing the boat on this large segment of business. From that point on the banks took over, if you needed a loan, go to your local bank.  Banks began competing against each other. Television and other media started  advertising easy and simple loans with low interest rates. I think now in the 21st century most of us deal with banks when we need to finance most big ticket items. But let’s not forget the credit cards, people sometimes will max out there card to pay for an item rather than going to a bank. This may all seem normal and simple in our modern world of plastic. I see one rather compelling worry in this new way we manage our monies and pay our bills. First of all not everyone manages their budgets, and often fall on desperate times. Unable to meet rent or mortgage, car payment or medical bills and are turned down at their bank, what do they do? Lately, I see more and more pay day loan shops offering quick and easy loans. Television ads promise an easy way to repair a leaking roof, fix your car or maybe pay off a credit card. Their interest rates are very high so instead of easing your debt you are increasing it. Some unfortunate people may never get from under their heavy burden of debts. Finally, I once believed when I heard the word Bankrupt, it meant a business had failed. These days it is not uncommon the hear of families declaring bankruptcy. Perhaps we have reached the point where over borrowing or over using credit cards has become the norm, just like our governments we are running deficits. Nevertheless, somewhere down the line this will surely all come crashing down. That’s my thoughts a this wet and depressing day!  But hey cheer up, it’s snowing out West!!

God Bless and keep reading

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