Sunday, January 16, 2011

Commodore Marr & Myself

On January 15, 2011 I was given the great and rare privilege to wear the late Commodore Geoffrey Marr's uniform. He was the last master of the RMS Queen Elizabeth, and sailed the ship to her berths in Florida and later Hong Kong. Shortly after his retirement from Cunard, Commodore Marr went back to sea as Second Mate aboard a banana boat; the allure of the ocean is too strong for some people. He passed away on March 4, 1997 and was ultimately buried at sea.
This particular uniform (Marr had several) is in the possession of my good friend, Everette Hoard, who actually knew the Commodore in his later years. He mentioned to me one day that the coat would probably fit me, which really got this idea underway. It turns out, actually, that the coat fits me perfectly and my friend was gracious enough to take a few photos for me.

Everette says that "there's a certain kind of magic about that uniform," and he is completely right. As soon as I slipped it on I instantly felt a connection to Commodore Marr and his life. I think it's amazing how certain objects can hold such power and significance; and it makes sense in this case. This uniform represents Commodore Marr's entire life and career; from his early days aboard the HMS Conway to chasing down the Battleship Bismarck aboard the HMS King George V to commanding the RMS Queen Elizabeth. All this and more is symbolized by this old jacket and hat.

It truly was an experience that I'll never forget for as long as I live. I don't think that I could ever convey enough thanks to Everette for letting me do what I did.

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