Direction Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands (photo the author)
I received this email yesterday It is self explanatory, and to me shows the true spirit of Christmas, kind communication and consideration...Merry Christmas to you all....
"Good morning Louise,
I met you in the early 2000’s on West Island, (Cocos (Keeling) Islands) at your father’s home.
I heard you on the radio yesterday talking about Christmas cards. My wife (Michelle) and I are still traditionalists in this regard and together managed about 60 this year – although my contribution was a fraction of this. I was on my way to collect rocks for a stone wall I’m building on our property when you came on the radio .I changed out of my work clothes into some more appropriate attire I had put in the car that morning and it just so happened that I had put a Cocos Island North Park t-shirt which I haven’t worn for years – so my rock collecting outing turned into a trip down memory lane.
I thought a lot about your father and how I lamented not being able to make it over to the islands for his funeral service. I wrote the attached poem(something I rarely do) for Bob and I believe it was your son who was kind enough to read it out at the service.
Anyhow, after hearing you on the radio yesterday I spent most of my head space that afternoon happily on Cocos so thought I should drop you a line and thank you for eliciting those fond memories – by rights I should have written but my poor hand writing skills are generally only on display in those few Christmas cards that I contribute some words to.
All the very best for Christmas and wishing you and all your family a safe and prosperous 2012.
South Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
T’was a mere twist of fate that bought Bob to these isles
A life changing journey of thousands of miles.
He was grieving the loss of his beautiful wife,
His souls’ true companion, the love of his life
Her sad parting, a void that nothing could fill,
He lost his direction and purpose until,
One day in the paper his daughter did spy,
An invite for tourists to Cocos to fly.
He flew to the islands on that very first flight,
A sense of excitement as they came into sight.
With anticipation he surveyed his surrounds,
The vague familiarity of sights, smells and sounds.
The islands were tiny and the amenities few,
Bounded by an ocean of shimmering blue.
So much like his days on the bridge out at sea
He thought to himself, “this feels just right to me”.
His most pleasant surprise were the people he found,
Two cultures so different yet commonly bound.
These islands of contrasts appealed through and through,
A place to reflect and to make friends anew.
How effortlessly did he made friends by the score,
So kind and compassionate right through to his core.
The finest of gentlemen in every sense,
He even gave Cocos its first white picket fence.
His charming warm smile will be missed by us all,
And his clear sparkling eyes and that smooth naval drawl.
But his soul will live on for evermore in these parts,
Commodore Bob you remain in our hearts.
Bob Percy's grave, Cocos (Keeling) Islands (photo the author)