Talk by David Dornom. (CAHMS event). Please note that this talk replaces the one previously advertised.
Local retired sea Captain David Dornam told the February meeting of our local History Society’s members and friends about the highlights of his life and sailing career. The talk was accompanied by many slides of the ships he had sailed on and ports he had visited. David’s 5x great grandfather apparently came from the continent possibly Esburg, married in Plymouth and had 3 sons who started a boat building dynasty in Salcombe that ran up until the 1960’s.
Obviously the sea was in David’s blood and at age 15 he went off to sea. Living on board was very basic and they lived on the lower decks with sea chests and hammocks. He described being in Mombasa when Princess Elizabeth was staying in Kenya with Prince Phillip. David and the other cadets spent all day in the heat sewing flags onto wires to dress the ship for the Royal couple, notwithstanding that the ship couldn’t be seen! In the event, because the death of King George VI was announced, plans were changed, the ensign was put at half mast and all the flags taken down!
His career involved spells with the Royal Navy as well as the Merchant Navy, on board many well known ships, including mine sweepers, fishery protection vessels and the Canberra. Finally, he captained the container ship Flinder’s Bay for 10 years, his wife Paddy accompanying him on his last voyage.