Not mentioned in that blog was that all presenters also received a wonderful gift from the captain and crew. A gift over and above the tremendous honour of actually being there and allowed to address them as well. Here is that gift...
The Combat Veteran's representative and I were also given a wonderful plaque from Captain King and his crew. This for our efforts to help keep alive Douglas Munro's and the Coast Guard's tremendous story of their constant heroism in the carrying out of duties for the country and indeed the world. Here is an image of mine... .
When a new ship is added to the fleet, all those officers, men and women assigned as its first crew are given the honor known as the plank award. In older days tradition has it that the PLANK, one of the pieces of wood on the main deck, is owned by all those first serving and at some point they could come to collect it. Though not known if any actually did.
Nevertheless it is quite an hour to receive the award and of course become a very important part of the history of the vessel. To receive an Honorary Plank is wonderful keep-sake and tribute to the work I have done over the years. It is most appreciated and shall always be a prized possession and displayed in my home for all to enter, view, and be assured to get more than an ear-full from me on the story of Douglas Munro.
When the presentations and photo ops finished most went about their business. Several approached me for brief chats and one in particular was holding a copy of a most recent book ..."Douglas Munro... Guardian of Guadalcanal," written by Gary Williams whom I was destined to meet the following day.
The young female Petty Officer had a fantastic glow on her face and I had to ask her why she was so excited. I am not sure who had the bigger glow... her or I when she said that when I was speaking and made mention a few times about Canada, she had shivers going up her spine. It turns out her family, like that of at least one other came from Canada, though neither guardsman was Canadian born. She asked me to autograph her book. A first for me... EVER.
The next day I assume she got Mr. Williams to also autograph it. And with some interest, as I was introduced to him, and presented my business card, he read it. His first statement was... "I have heard of you," and hastened to add that they were good things not bad.
The PO obtained permission and spent some time to take me on a tour of the Cutter. I was told that the shop could accommodate two helicopters at the same time and that the very deck we made presentations on was one of the landing platforms. At mid ship I was shown an area where a rescue boat could be launched and shown a long and a short haul rescue craft at the rear of the ship.
Tours of the lower decks avoided sleeping quarters for obvious reasons, but we did visit the all ranks eating quarters, officers and petty officers mess halls...or should I say tinny rooms... and noted that at the door to the PO's mess was a tiny window you could not see through as it was affixed with a wonderful photo of Doug Munro as a youth. In the officer's mess there was a wonderfully crafted mug rack containing ship's mugs with officers names on them. The top row appeared to be reserved for the Captain, the XO, Douglas Munro and some family members.
We also had a look at the upper command deck were a rather large crew of specialists were expected to work their magic to navigate and so much more as the vessel travels the oceans of the world. The taken of pictures was allowed during most parts of the tour but my camera was seized for some of the time.
Here are a few of the pictures taken...
Much of this and many images of these Legend Class cutters can be found at the web site...
Here are the Officers' and Munro mug...
With the number of stairways and the number of times the crew must go up and down, you can imagine the workout they must get daily.
It being Easter, I must get going in another direction. But by next Sunday, if not earlier, I will bring the third blog and comments about the wonderful commissioning ceremony at Seattle on April 1, 2017.