This poem by Capt. Joe Earl tells you all you need to know about our Members, a fine body of men – say some:

 

WE COULD MAN A BATTLESHIP

(The Merchant Navy Association.)

We could man a battleship, we could sail a scow,
Association members have not forgotten how,
We still remember Morse code and streaming of the log,
How to sail the wide world and navigate in fog.

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We can wield a trusty sextant and box the compass round,
Pull a heavy piston to a chain block’s rattle sound,
We could feed all hands, with plenty left for suppers,
Though the vessel’s pitching and rolling to the scuppers.

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We could anchor anywhere and count the shackles home,
Cleaning up, outward bound, use the holy stone,
Rig a stage or boson’s chair – throw a heaving line,
Most things being nautical we can do just fine.

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We bade farewell to splicing and seamen’s` work by hand,
The cranky coal fired engine and steam emitting gland,
But one thing may be lacking in these modern days,
Is how to work the Sat. Nav. or `push the button` ways.

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So we sit back in retirement and think of olden times,
Like sweating in the tropics supping juice of limes,
Perhaps a Russian convoy freezing half to death,
As well as mighty hurricanes that take away one’s breath

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Still, we know it’s over as we contemplate a glass,
Nothing like a full life to make regrets so sparse,
We are baffled by technology and systems that are new,
This ever-ready bunch of ours – this out of date old crew.