The batiks were assembled,sorted, and chosen, gold silk to surround the centre circle, the motifs for the North, South, East and West a mottled blue batik, , cut out, appliqued on with fusible web, and buttonhole stitched with my Bernina EQ 440. I used a variegated King Tut thread for this, white King Tut for the inner band, midnight mottled blue batik for the outer area, to signify the night sky, and a silver thread for the stars, to show the many times Wally would be on the deck all night, then framed with brown, for the good earth back home here in New Zealand, and pale blue binding, maybe what some of the seas would look like when calm.
There was a lot of secrecy when I posted his present to the Merino Ward at Auckland hospital, the staff agreed to keep it hidden until the morning of his birthday. In they came, he opened it, and then it was hung on the wall in his room. He phoned me, and I could tell he was delighted, surprised and quite overwhelmed by this. I wrote today’s opening words ( poem) , and enclosed them with his gift, Walter had a stammer, and when he had to take over the Motor Launch and issue the commands, “ Starboard 15, Stop Engines, Slow Ahead” , his stammer ceased and never returned. I knew I had to include them in his poem.
Not long after this, Walter passed away in his sleep on 15th April. I met his family in Auckland at his funeral, and his daughter Kristine suggested very kindly that they might like to return his “Compass” to me .I asked that it might go to a family member. When I opened the mail a few weeks later on, I had more tears, her card told me that his
It still hangs in the Beehive Room in its archival protective sleeve but in a slightly different location.
If you can mention it is at Felixstowe Museum, that would be appreciated.
We have a signed copy of Gerry Wright's book in our reference library.
Good luck with the competition!
tel: 01394 674355