One of our subsection’s members is an ex-bandsman by the name of Hector Napier. He has just turned 86 and is a very spry young bloke – never missing one of our meetings and he got married again just two years ago.
Recently, Hec was going through his collection of memorabilia and very nearly threw away what appeared to be a very badly creased and worn letter written by HRH The Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII and the Duke of Windsor.
The fact that it was hand-written whilst on board HMS RENOWN in Sydney gives it some naval historical significance. Hec has allowed me to copy this letter and I enclose the copy in the event you may find it important enough to be included in the Garden Island Museum.
Kevin Baker,Hon. Secretary,The Naval Assn. of Australia Inc.,Sunshine Coast Sub-Section
Girls and Boys
My wonderful first visit to Australia is nearly over and I want to tell you before I sail how sorry I am to be going and to give you all my best wishes. All of you whom I have seen have given delightfully vivid volumes of your own, and I only wish that I could have gone everywhere and not missed seeing any of you
I should like you all to remember my first visit, when I have enjoyed so much myself, and so I have asked that as a special favour to me you may have an extra week’s holiday some time this year.
Australia is a magnificent country and I think you very fortunate to have iot for your own. Make up your minds to serve Australia well, for the future of every country depends before all things on the spirit of its girls and boys.
You have a splendid example of patriotism before you in the men and women of Australia who fought and worked and won in the great war. Your sailors and soldiers thought first of Australia and the Empire, not of themselves; and many gave up everything, even their lives, in order that Australia and the Empire might be safe and free. Many of Australia’s women too served gallantly overseas, and others did all they could to help at home. If you follow in their footsteps, you will make Australia one of the greatest and happiest countries in the World.
I want to say one think more. You have all been told how great the British Empire is. Our flag, the Union jack, flies in all British territories throughout the World as a […] together in peace and in war. Think always of Australia as part of that free Empire, which has withstood great trials and never failed.
I am not going to say good bye, because I belong to Australia as much as to all the other British nations and shall come back whenever I can. Please always think of me as one of your own. In who will try to server Australia as truly all his life as you will yourselves.