Posted by: nativeiowan | January 27, 2010

I’ll miss Peter Pan

Mr. Philip David Palmer. Navigator. Beach Trader.  Marine Engineer. Storyteller extraordinaire. 3rd generation immigrant. Friend. Father. Husband. Grandfather…

PP1

I heard on SIBC at 145pm, Phil has passed away.

I am uncharacteristically at a loss for words. We have all known that Phil was very ill. A combination of emphysema, numerous cancers, a lifetime of hard living is to blame. I am guessing Phil’s age to about 67 or 68.  I will find out in due course.

For us mortals, the death of a close friend and compatriot is hard. It is even harder when it’s a bloke like Phil…

I have referred to Phil as “Peter Pan” more than once. The entire line is… The Solomon Islands is Never Never Land. You go there and you never grow up. And, of course, Phil Palmer was and remains Peter Pan.

I think of Phil at his funniest… a Cmas party we had on the Gizo depot wharf in about 1998. We had roasted a pig and set up a diving board on the wharf. We had presents for the kids, food for the masses and grog for the likes of Phil and I.

As happens we ended up in a frenzy of everyone throwing everyone in the water. At one point I recall my wife Grace, her sister, Maisy, and a friend, Rachel, getting a hold on Phil and carrying him to the edge and tossing him in. All the while the three women had Phil wrapped up he had a cigarette in his mouth. He playfully puffed away as they tossed him in. He went under the water and, when he surfaced, he still had a dry cigarette burning away.

Of course Phil had done the old “turn the cig around with your tongue” trick. He was an adept at this.

The result was hilarious at the time. Everyone was either impressed, confused or simply frightened (magic blo white man, ia).

I must thank Ken West for the picture of Phil, taken in 1969.

Never Never Land will never never be the same without Phil.

 
Advertisements

Responses

  1. I worked in the Solomons from 1969-1971 and the Palmer family were a large part of our life mainly between Wagina Island and Gizo. We regularly chartered both Tofura and Chiomi vessels skippered by Phil or Len and occasionally father Ernie. I have found a photo of Phil in my archives which I thought you might appreciate (not sure how to post it on your site). Ken West


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: