Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Honorary Commodore of the Queen Mary

On February 1, 2011 Commodore Ronald W. Warwick of the Cunard Line was made the Honorary Commodore of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Everette Hoard did the honors on behalf of the ship's management in a small ceremony in the Sir Winston's restaurant. He made the presentation with a touching speech that paid tribute to both the Commodore and Mrs. Warwick, whom he referred to as "the perfect First Mate." My friend then presented him with the Red Ensign that was flown in his honor aboard the ship as well as a Cunard house flag. I personally had the honor and privilege of presenting the Commodore the White Star Line's burgee. These were the flags that Commodore Warwick would have flown back in the Queen Mary's service days.

Upon accepting, Commodore Warwick told us all a story of how he found a White Star flag among his father's belongings (Commodore William E. Warwick...who also commanded the Queen Mary). He eventually took it down to the wreck of the Titanic in a submersible, and upon returning to the surface it was hoisted high on the mast. It was a poignant moment, for the Commodore went on to say how the disaster helped shipping and tightened safety standards that ultimately allowed him to transport thousands of passengers safely across the seas. For this, Commodore Warwick has become endeared to those who sailed with him.

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