Fishhook island

28 03 2008

Bermuda stamp
Bermuda, Scott 165, 1953, 38mm x 21mm

This is not about the place in Colorado, nor the one in Minnesota, but about the island of Bermuda in the middle of the North Atlantic as depicted on the map here, a young Queen Elizabeth II surmounted by coronet looking on benignly from the east. The nine “parishes” making up the island are shown: Devonshire, Hamilton, Paget, Pembroke, Sandys, Smith’s, Southampton, St. George’s, and Warwick. The overprint in red commemorates a series of Three Power Talks held in 1953.

In December 1953, Churchill, Eisenhower and Joseph Laniel, the new French premier, and their foreign ministers met in Bermuda. The conference proved to be Churchill’s last summit meeting. At Bermuda, Larres said, Churchill continued to push for a top-level summit with the Soviets. However, the conference yielded few results and ended in chaos and personal animosity. Larres quoted a frustrated Anthony Eden, writing to his wife: “Please make me retire before I begin to behave like the current Prime Minister.”

I am posting this not so much because of the early Cold War period theme, but because I remember fondly a trip we made to this country four years ago to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We sailed out of Pier 90 on Manhattan’s Hudson River waterfront, cruised out for two nights, spent two nights docked at St. George and in Hamilton, and two nights back. Part of the voyage was a bit choppy and we hit some tempestuous activity once we were on land, but all in all it was a marvellous and restful vacation. We saw no high heads of state at the time, only entertainer Regis Philbin who was a fellow passenger.

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