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Seeking Peter "Cheong" Smith

 
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James Clarke



Joined: 09 Jul 2013
Posts: 61


Location: Isle of Anglesey

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:13 pm    Post subject: Seeking Peter "Cheong" Smith  Reply with quote

Hello all former WC inmates.

Like most of you I was once a temporary resident of the WC - top floor large seaward facing dorm second-last army bed on the rhs (facing sea) in Autumn 1967 - until I jumped-ship by term end.

My full name is James Henry Clarke and this forum doesn't permit it seems using all those names - so I mention them here, since some may know me by my second Christian name and others by my first - and probably most won't know who the hell I am at all.

During my short enforced stay - after Kipper refused to refund my pre-paid Term Fees I became friends with a few fellow inmates most whose names I can't recall except for Isminos Hamalis (whom I tracked-down to his Nicosia home in 1993) and Peter "Cheong" Smith (the subject line of this posting) whose parents lived in Malaya (Chinese mother & English Dad from Nottingham).  It is Peter whom I am seeking - because it was he who  is responsible for me meeting Sue - whom I married in 1971 (as soon as I had paid off my large student loan courtesy of Zim Israel Navigation's generous salary) and we celebrated 42 years married in February this year.  I am seeking Peter not to hold him to account, but rather to thank him and also to catch-up on 40+ years of life story.

As for me I will give a brief summary here - in case anyone is interested. I find other people's life stories most interesting and as ex-seafarers we have a lot to relate - the publishable bits at least.

I mentioned above that my residency at WC was temporary and enforced. Well, suffice it to say that when I took stock of my surroundings, the terrible food and most especially the apparent lack of technical kit (I was told I'd get to see it after Year 1) I resolved to find better arrangements and this I did by choosing between Bristol Polytechnic and the newly built Fleetwood Nautical College, choosing the latter. Both had a vast array of equipment from full rack-mounted radio rooms plus multiple working radar sets but I chose Fleetwood because they had the longest Summer break during which I had to work to help pay for my studies and accommodation in addition to borrowing from the bank.

When I was due to head-off to Fleetwood for interview Peter asked if he could tag along in the hope he also could jump-ship. I said I couldn't promise anything but welcomed him as a fellow traveller.  Well, we were both accepted to start January 1968 at Fleetwood and to earn some money we headed for London and work over the Christmas/New Year.

On arriving at Fleetwood and being allocated to lodging with a strict Methodist family Peter and I settled-in to our studies and the lecturing and notes from WC proved exdcellent - so we did not have far to catch-up.  Unfortunately, the sights and distractions of the area (Blackpool's strip-joints included) turned Peter's head and he eventually dropped-out (failed to return after Christmas 1968 I think) by which time I was completing my Part 1, and CGLI Telecoms Tech up to "B" level and about to sit my Part 2 in Spring 1969 which I did passing both stages (I had no alternative as I could only afford one shot) first time. The attrition rate was 50% Part 1 and 50% Part 2 I seem to recall - which made for a 1 in 4 chance of complete success in one go.  There is lots more but I will save that for another time - should anyone be interested - including my time based in Haifa during 1970/71 and our unique survival procedures aboard Israeli ships.

So as I said at the start (heading) I am seeking Peter "Cheong" Smith and I am hoping that someone of you (or anyone else who looks in) might recognise him and know of his whereaboits. His 1967 photo is on the FNC website I have set-up (Section 11 Message Board) at: www.fleetwoodnauticalcollege.org.uk

I hope someone might be able to help. Apologies if this posting is too long.
James Henry Clarke
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Jack Edwards



Joined: 05 Jul 2007
Posts: 865


Location: Cheshire U.K.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James,so glad to see a fresh face on the Forum. I hope you don't catch the dreaded 'onceonly' disease, that hits new contributors! The name should give you the key to the symptoms! I sailed into Haifa once during WW2. I remember the beer was quite drinkable. Details of life on Israeli ships would be interesting. Don't worry about contributions being too long although two liners by most of our members are considered long! (Sorry Alan,I'm not talking about you.honest!) Sorry James that's an injoke between us three amigos,regulars on the Forum. Welcome and best wishes to you and Sue. TTFNJack.
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James Clarke



Joined: 09 Jul 2013
Posts: 61


Location: Isle of Anglesey

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick reply Jack - as the Missus and I are just heading out for some shopping before the shelves are stripped bare by the invading hordes down from the cities of the North of England. Hot! Phew! - memories of Haifa on an early Summer's day.

I will follow-on with some more detail from my past - especially my time with Golda Meir's (an amazing woman - stronger than any man) shipping line Zim Israel Navigation in that tense period between the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War and the true sense of doing something worthwhile - as well as paying-off my "student loan" so that Sue and I  could get married.

Got to go now so bfn and adios to long-distance amigos in southern parts.

James


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