The Rector writes ‘Today is World Refugee Day which is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. Each year. on June 20, we celebrate the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. It is an
occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives. This is so
important as it shines a light on the rights, needs and dreams of refugees, helping to mobilize political will and resources so that refugees can not only survive but also thrive. Obviously while it is
important to protect and improve the lives of refugees every
single day of the year, international days like today help to focus global attention on the plight of those people fleeing conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day was held globally for the first time on June 20, 2001, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and is marked by a variety of events in many countries around the globe in support of refugees. These activities are led by or involve refugees themselves, government officials, host communities, companies, celebrities, school children and the general public, among others.
As we work towards becoming a Church of Sanctuary, and as 20th June is a Sunday this year, I felt that it was important that we somehow mark the significance of the day in our Church Services’
Random Notes CCCLXXXIV
The bombing of Pearl Harbour on Dec 7th, 1941, led to the marriage of two people who would, otherwise, probably have never met.
Dean Darrow, a 24 year old sailor, was on board a ship, the West Virginia, when it was bombed. The blast knocked him unconscious. He was blown off the deck and landed in the sea, fished out of the water and taken to hospital. The doctors found that he was unscathed, apart from a slight back injury and he was assigned to another ship. He became increasingly unwell, however, suffering from exhaustion and unable to perform his duties. He was sent for more hospital tests and this time the doctors spotted something they had previously missed. A bullet was lodged in his heart. He now faced a dilemma. If the bullet was not removed, the outcome would certainly be a fatal one, however, open heart surgery had a much lower survival rate than it does now. He decided the risk was worth it and consented to the operation. He was one of the lucky ones. The surgery was successful and he made a full recovery. While recuperating, he became friendly with a nurse who was known to all her patients as ‘Miss Becky’. On the day he was discharged from hospital, he asked her out on a date. She said yes. Their relationship blossomed and they were married in August 1942/43. They had 49 years together until Dean’s death in the early 1990s. ‘Miss Becky’ was still alive in 2017 at the ripe old age of 97.
The bullet that began a love story is now exhibited in the Pearl Harbour Museum.