February 21, 2011
We Are Cunard
With Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth making their final approaches to Sydney, this week marks another historic Cunard Rendezvous. At about 6am on Tuesday morning (which is Monday evening at 7pm in London and 2pm in New York) the two Queens will pass through the Heads and make their way in to the famous harbour, and I’m sure many of you will be watching it on the Web Cams.
For us on Queen Elizabeth, it’s been an amazing journey heading across the Pacific to New Zealand. The weather was fantastic all the way, and the welcome was as warm as ever. I’ll have more Blogs on that later in the week.
Many of you will recall Queen Elizabeth’s Madrina Dennie Farmer, who was at the Float Out ceremony. It’s amazing to think that was it was just over a year ago, but as a reminder you can read more about it by following this link:
Dennie is on board Queen Elizabeth for the World Voyage, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to a special presentation a couple for days ago. Dennie had brought the original bell from the first Queen Elizabeth with her and this is the bell that was rung by Commodore Warner at the New York Stock Exchange on the 13th of January.
Until recently it was on Queen Mary 2, where it had been since January 2004. It was taken on just before Queen Mary 2’s Maiden Voyage, but Dennie felt the right home for the bell was now on the new Queen Elizabeth. Here’s Denny making the presentation to Captain Julian Burgess with Hotel Manager Robert Howie and Chief Engineer Colin Black also at the presentation.
Dennie also announced that she would be generously donating the original bell from the Carmania, as a replacement, and that presentation will be made when Queen Mary 2 arrives back in Southampton at the end of her World Voyage.
Speaking of Queen Mary 2, I was delighted to hear from the Assistant Entertainment Director, Rachael Fish who had a story to share about an important Charity Auction that had recently taken place. I’ll let her take up the story:
Rachael Fish, Assistant Entertainment Director
Queen Mary 2
Since late last year, Queensland has been hit by flooding and cyclones that have destroyed homes and businesses causing devastating disruption to every day family life. Queen Mary 2 took up the challenge to raise some money for the people of Queensland in conjunction with the Salvation Army and Variety, the children’s charity.
Variety made us aware of some of the children in Queensland that had suffered due to the floods, having equipment that was vital to their everyday life completely destroyed.
A charity auction was held on the 16th of February 2011, and featured many items that had been donated by guests, Cunard President and Managing Director Peter Shanks as well as the Officers, Staff and Crew aboard Queen Mary 2.
Items for the auction included a Transatlantic Crossing on board Queen Mary 2, a one month vacation in Sarasota, Florida, holiday homes in Australia and Captain Paul Wright even donated his formal jacket, complete with gold trimming!
The Entertainment Staff organised the event along with Bruce Newey, who was a guest from Sydney, Australia. Bruce was instrumental in raising money for the charities and even hosted the auction. Here he is in full flow:
Bruce did an amazing job selling items which included one of the ship’s lifebuoys (a spare one I might add!), which was sold for $550. It was advertised as one size fits all as demonstrated here by Entertainment Director, Ray Rouse!
One unique experience up for auction was for a personal Bridge visit and the opportunity to blow Queen Mary 2’s whistle at noon. This was won by Mr. and Mrs. Lawson, who generously bid $1000. Here they with Second Officer, Connor Mulligan showing them the controls of our flagship.
Amongst the items was the Navigation Chart for that leg of the World Voyage, which I am holding here with a member of our Stage Crew, Peter Winter.
Everyone was so generous but I have to mention one lady, Dorothy Fisher, who bid on almost everything to raise more money…. what a fantastic lady!!! One of the items Dorothy bought was an Australian flag scarf:
The auction was a huge success and it raised over $25,000 and there are still more activities to come, so we look forward to making a real difference to these worthwhile charities. Our thanks again go to everyone who took part and especially those who were so generous with their bidding.
Thank you very much Rachael for an inspiring story and congratulations to everyone on Queen Mary 2 for raising so much. In fact raising money for charity is a Cunard tradition on a World Voyage and here on Queen Elizabeth we have already started with many more events planned over the next couple of months.
The day after the auction Queen Mary 2 arrived in Fremantle, her first Australian port on this year’s World Voyage. One of our Cunard Insights Lecturers, Blogger and Author, Chris Frame captured some great pictures of her arrival.
And here she is just coming along side to a wonderful welcome by local well-wishers.
Chris also took some video which you can see on this link: -
Thanks for the link and the great photos Chris, I’m sure we all agree she looks fantastic.
I hope you enjoy watching the Royal Rendezvous, and of course I’ll have pictures, and Vlogs coming to you soon with the highlights of the day. I’ll be back on Thursday with some great pictures of Queen Elizabeth’s Maiden calls to New Zealand and next week we’ll be celebrating Cunard’s latest Stars.
Cheers for now, Alastair