Paddy Rice - My Favourite July 4 Memory
2021-07-01

By way of introduction, my name is William P. "Paddy" Rice and I was a B.Sc (Agric) graduate in 1960. I have been overseas most of my working life - in Guyana, Bahamas and much of the Caribbean, and came to live in the USA with my wife Dorothy in 1975. We lived in Miami initially and then spent several years working in the phosphate industry in Central Florida, based in Lakeland where I was widowed in June 1998. I retired later that year and moved to Englewood (south of Sarasota) in 2000, where I live to this day with my second wife, Barbara.

Now to my best ever Independence Day memory! It happened in 1976 - the year of the Bicentennial celebrations. We had been in Miami less than a year, but were invited to a July 4th Independence Day party at the home of a North Miami couple whom we had met in Grand Cayman - Bob & Pat De Young. As it so happened, Richard Street, the future husband of one of Dorothy's nieces in Cheshire was visiting us for a couple of days' leave from the British Aircraft Carrier "Ark Royal" which was in Port Everglades for the Bicentennial celebrations. Richard was a Royal Navy Lieutenant and Second Gunnery Officer on the Ark Royal which had been in Mayport, Virginia in March and had fired a 21 gun salute to the US nation in recognition of the Bicentennial.

The HMS Ark Royal pictured in July 1976 By Isaac Newton - http://www.hmsbacchante.co.uk/gallery_page_3.htm, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=311549

The HMS Ark Royal pictured in July 1976. Photo by Isaac Newton - http://www.hmsbacchante.co.uk/gallery_page_3.htm, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=311549

To cut a longer story short, the De Youngs told us to bring Richard along to their July 4th party. He was greatly touched by their invitation and used the occasion to give both couples unique memorials of the Bicentennial. He presented Dorothy and me with the 3 lb. cartridge of the Number 1 shell that had been fired in the celebratory 21 gun salute, together with a certificate of authenticity signed by the Commander, himself and the First Gunnery Officer. He then gave the No. 2 shell cartridge and certificate to the De Youngs, who as native Americans were as thrilled as we were with this unique gift on Independence Day!

Published by Alumni Relations, University of Aberdeen

Search Blog

Browse by Month

2022

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2022
  2. Feb
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2022
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2022
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2022
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2022
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2022
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2022
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2022
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2022
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2022
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2022

2021

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2021
  2. Feb
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2021
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2021
  7. Jul
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2021
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2021
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2021
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2021
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2021

2020

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2020
  2. Feb
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2020
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2020
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2020
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2020
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2020
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2020
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2020

2019

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2019
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2019
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2019
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2019
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2019
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2019
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2019
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2019
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2019
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2019

2018

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2018
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2018
  3. Mar
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2018
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2018
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2018
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2018
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2018
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2018
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2018

2017

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2017
  2. Feb
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2017
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2017
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2017
  10. Oct
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2017
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2017

2016

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2016
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2016
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2016
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2016
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2016
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2016
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2016
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2016
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2016
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec