Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Dead Reckoning – A Survivor's Tale

Was thrilled to be contacted recently by Sidney Palmer. Sidney was a two-year-old on the Dunedin Star voyage of 1942 and a survivor of the shore party. Possibly the only one left now. Sidney, 77 in June, is a retired diplomat and has spent many years living in Australia. He's venturing to the wilds of Namibia's Skeleton Coast this November to mark the 75th Anniversary of the shipwreck, laying a plaque to the brave mariners, Mathias Koraseb and Angus McIntyre, of the tugboat Sir Charles Elliot, who perished in the rescue. It'll be the first time he's been back.

Sadly, I learned only belatedly that Annabel Butterworth (née Taylor) had passed away. Annabel was the prime anecdotal source for much of the material in my book Dead Reckoning and I spent some very memorable days with her in (a very chilly!) Ottawa in the tail-end of 2002. Annabel was truly a wonderful person, tremendous fun and, genuinely, one of life's great characters. We continued to write to each other every Christmas and updated each other on various family news. It was a privilege to have met Annabel. That's her, age 17, on the cover of the original hardback, alongside Captain Immins Naude. An amazing lady.

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