Life as a Canadian Naval Officer, 1930-1950
Once I published Dutchy’s Diaries, Life as a Canadian Naval Officer, in His Own Words, 1916-1929, the logical question was “what’s next?” I knew there were binders full of material about later duties and set about investigating precisely what we had. I found special editions of books, binders of clippings about Dutchy’s time in the navy, and hundreds of photographs illustrating a complete story of a long naval career. As he rose through the ranks, his staff collected newspaper clippings for him and compiled them into scrapbooks that proved invaluable in documenting events, even if the name of the publication did not always appear. I scanned everything to have working copies and then shipped all the source material to its new home at Library and Archives Canada. I was thrilled that they considered this material to be of national significance. Thus, Dutchy joined his father and brother in the LAC files.
The partial journals that gave in insight into the day-to-day operations were fun to read.
Typewritten notes combined with the Night Order book outlined the journey of HMCS Prince Henry from the Caribbean to Alaska and the stops in between, including a starlet-filled reception at the Beverley Hills Hotel. As in the first book, I corrected minor spelling errors in the two journal sections but did not change anything else. My principle in this regard was minimum intervention to bring Dutchy’s voice to a new audience. His sense of humour shines through these segments and puts a human face on a naval career. In the 1930s, there was not much going on in the naval world, so Dutchy and Dot were able to compete in tennis tournaments at a high level. This brings a whole different aspect to his life story and reinforces the athletic activities that were mentioned frequently in his early journals.
The book was published in March 2022. An official launch will be held later.