Cunard's contribution has been forgotten

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Interesting short read from halifax.

Cunard’s contribution has been forgotten – society

Sat. Oct 11 - 5:09 AM

HE EXCUSES himself and returns a few moments later carrying a shiny plastic bag.

He hasn’t opened it since it was presented to him, so this will be a big moment for both of us.

What John Langley of Halifax is about to unwrap is a piece of maritime history of much significance for Nova Scotians, if only we knew it.

In this bag, folded in a neat triangle, is no less than the huge paying-off pennant for the QE2, flagship of the Cunard line. John is chairman and founding director of the Cunard Steamship Society, enthusiasts dedicated to the life and times of Sir Samuel Cunard, the 19th-century Halifax entre-preneur who founded one of the world’s major steamship lines.

They don’t come much bigger than Sam Cunard and yet, curiously, other than the odd school and street bearing his name, Nova Scotians have been slow to recognize his place in maritime history.

What a daft story!

"A paying-off pennant is a long, tapering affair flown by ships departing home port for the last time. As befits a special ship, the QE2 has four home ports: Southampton, Liverpool, Greenock in Scotland and, yes, Halifax."

QE2's home port is Southampton and that is where she is registered. If she has another home port it would be New York. Also, a paying off pennant is only flown when a ship sails on her final voyage and for QE2 that is a month from yesterday.

Daft indeed. Methinks the wankers who wrote that aren't seafarers. But it brings home the point that Haligonians have forgotten their past. Too busy going to McDonald's & turning their brains to mush watching television I think. Maybe they should try reading a book instead. However, given the average person's attention span of about 15 seconds these days I doubt they'd get past the first page.

Mark Baber

Also, a paying off pennant is only flown when a ship sails on her final voyage...

QE2, though, will be flying a paying off pennant on her arrival in New York on Thursday:

During her arrival in the early morning of October 16, QE2 will fly a traditional Paying-Off Pennant, a maritime flag signifying the ship's length of service to the fleet. The pennant will be presented as a commemorative gift to a local dignitary during a reception onboard the ship.
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I was hoping the QE2 or QM2 would turn their bridge cams on each other. But alas, they haven't.

Current position of RMS Queen Elizabeth 2
1756 Passengers
Departure was 2 d 12 min ago. (at 17:00 h local time)
Arrival will be in 3 d 23 hrs 48 min. (at 12:00 h local time)
Traveled distance since Southampton: 1,042.10 nm (1,929.97 km)
Remaining distance to New York: 2,070.49 nm (3,834.54 km)
Course: 282°

"Also, a paying off pennant is only flown when a ship sails on her final voyage and for QE2 that is a month from yesterday."

A friend on board who spoke with a senior officer mentioned something like 8 paying off pennants presented at many ports including Liverpool (to the Rt Hon John Prescott, MP, who then gave it to the Lord Mayor), New York, Glasgow, for Dubai I believe and a few more. They are 39 feet long - one for each year of service. The Liverpool pennant ceremony can be seen on a DVD commemorating this event.

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