The July meeting, attended by 16 members and three guests, was held at the Bolton Hotel today. Two of the guests (Elmar Gailitis and Ian Scott) are members of the Navy League and Captain Dave McEwan RNZN, guest of Eric, is a prospective member.
Unfortunately our planned speaker, Derek Nind (CEO of CentrePort) had to cancel at short notice, so, as an alternative, I personally filled the position.
In the last four and a half years, worldwide centennial services have been held marking the loss of life at battles and naval engagements in the Great War. One of these ceremonies, which must surely be the last, took place in the Orkney Islands at the Lyness Naval Cemetery, Scapa Flow, less than three weeks ago. It was not well publicized and I do not think that New Zealand had any direct representation at the ceremony.
Under the heading of Links with the Past and assisted by two videos and a cd recording, I gave the audience a soft maritime history lesson. The account led up to, included and told the story of the aftermath, of the scuttling of the German Grand Fleet in Scapa Flow in 1919.
The talk also provided me with the opportunity to indulge myself with a personal discourse on my family, one of whom was witness to that event.
Favorable comments after my dialogue included that “it was a bit different”.
Derek Nind is on the speaker list for later in the year.
Lew Henderson reported on his attendance at the NZ Maritime Law Society Advanced Litigation Skills mock trial where he represented the Branch. He said it was a very worthwhile experience.
At our meeting next month we have been asked to co-host a lunch prior to the launch of a new maritime book. The publisher is very enthusiastic and talks of speeches being given by MPs and other important dignitaries. We shall keep you informed as plans develop. For your interest I attach a flyer about the book which explains all about Captain Henry Rose, about whom the book is written.