Presidents Letter

Presidents Letter

President

Commodore Ron Warwick of the Cunard Line.(ret)

Welcome to the RMS Queen Mary Association web site. The Association was formed in May, 2004, and the following October, I was invited to become the first President.

I considered this invitation to be a great honour and was very happy to accept, for in doing so, I felt I was supporting the founding members in their initiative to perpetuate the memory of the Queen Mary. The Queen Mary is a ship still dear to the heart of many seafarers, myself included, and to the passengers who sailed on her in times of both peace and conflict.

My connections with the Queen Mary stem from my late father’s association with the ship. He served on board as Staff Captain (1954 – 1959) and then as Captain (1965 – 1967). He left the ship to take up the position of Master Designate of the Queen Elizabeth 2 under construction in Scotland. I joined the Cunard Line in April 1970, two and a half years after the Queen Mary was sold. However, my brothers and I did visit the ship briefly as school boys, and that left me with the desire to follow in my father’s footsteps.

The introduction of the Queen Mary 2 into service in January 2004, awakened an interest in the older ship that exceeded all our expectations onboard. Without fail, every voyage we carried former crew members or passengers who had sailed aboard her. As a result, a Queen Mary reunion was held aboard every voyage. I regularly attended these reunions during my tenure in command and never ceased to be amazed at the stories told or at seeing treasured pieces of memorabilia that the guests brought along to share with others. Such was the importance of the Queen Mary and the memories she held for so many.

Many books have been written about the Queen Mary over the years, and items about the ship regularly appear in the newspaper of her former home port of Southampton. Often the newspaper articles carry an item about a crew member’s recollections of their time aboard, and unless you are an avid collector of press cuttings, these memories will eventually disappear. With the RMS Queen Mary Association web site and the newsletter, it is hoped that with your help, we can record as much as we can about the voyages and life aboard this great liner, thus keeping these stories available for present and future generations, as well as students of our maritime heritage.

On 31 October 1967, the Queen Mary set sail from Southampton for the last time under the command of Captain John Treasure-Jones. Her destination was Long Beach in California via the Cape Horn. She has now been in Long Beach for more years than she was in service and in all probability, this will be her final resting place. In recent years, desires and proposals have been aired about returning this grand ship to her home port of Southampton, but notwithstanding the commercial feasibility of such a venture the biggest obstacle to overcome would be getting her loyal American supporters to release her!

The Queen Mary dominates the skyline in Long Beach, and looks magnificent and as grand as ever. In 2006, my wife and I spent four days aboard in the elegantly appointed Churchill Suite and found this was hardly enough time to explore the ship fully. Her location and accessibility to nearby shopping, and other attractions, make her an ideal hotel to stay should your travels take you to Los Angeles. We now plan to stay onboard the Queen Mary whenever our travels route us through Los Angeles International Airport (which may be more often than we think with Kim being from Hawaii.) Sam, my son, has fond memories of the Queen Mary, for that was where he and his wife, Hilary, spent their honeymoon.

We need your support of the RMS Queen Mary Association web site and hopefully your membership, helping us to preserve the memory and heritage of this great liner.

Thank you for your interest in the Queen Mary, and for taking the time to tell of your memories. We look forward to hearing from you.

Bon Voyage
Commodore R W Warwick
Cunard Line, 1970 – 2006