A.R. WILCOX #22331963

“Willy” Wilcox was killed in a motor accident whilst driving home from Durban with his family after paying off the Victory.This tribute was written by a family friend, Helen Nash.

When the Lord formed the earth
And laid its foundations
He measured its girth
And declared its dimensions.
He pent up the sea behind great and barred doors,
He marked out its bounds, its limits, its shores.
He made it fast, with a bolted gate
Thus far and no further did its proud waves dare to break.
He harnessed its power,
the waves they took fright,
The billows receded
before his great might !
He gave commands to the day-break,
Sent the dawn to its post,
The pent up waters,
they dared not boast.
He declared – “It is good, it is done – let it be !
Behold – I’m the Lord
Of the earth and sea !”

In the deep ocean waters bold purple and blue
Where Leviathan once played
and the Behemoth too,
Proud ships came a-sailing
Bulk carriers too
Ocean liners and tankers
all gleaming and new !
They churned up the depths
like a cauldron great – seething
marking the ocean with fuming and heaving
Leaving behind them a glittering wake
A floating white fleece
‘pon the waters did break.

Whilst down by the harbour,
A small boy with his dad
Stood fishing and wishing,
A humble, sweet lad
With stars in his brown eyes
a great dream in his heart
To captain a ship,
His desire from the start.
And the Lord of the Earth and the Sky and the Sea
declared: “It is good – This dream – let it be.”

And the boy named Arthur,
Who called himself Willy,
hugged his dream to himself,
‘less folk thought him silly.
Took his pictures and plans,
Whispered soft to his Lord
Of galleons, old ships
and gleaming, great swords.
And his Lord listened so lovingly
As they shared deep in the night,
And he watched the lad grow
Most pleasing in sight,
Gentle, patient was he,
And strong-willed as well,
With a heart that did yearn,
for the sea and the swell.

And when he grew up
and became a cadet,
Navigation his line –
his dream was firm set
And he sailed the great oceans
traversed the high seas
Saw the dawn robed in red –
and an azure sky frieze.
Watched the morning star guide them
Season by season.
Read celestial laws,
their writ and their reason
Saw the storms and direction
from which lightning did fork –
Witnessed wild, rolling thunder
let loose from it’s cork !

Then found himself bound
on the stricken Seafarer
A disaster at dawn –
A spine-chilling drama
While the bows of the ship
on the rocks remained wedged
with a cracked superstructure
just in front of the bridge.
The vessel – giant waves were steadily pounding
And the Moullie Point lighthouse stopped rotating, and
hounding her beam,
fixed her glare on the vessel
that was listing so bad
as with the waters she did wrestle

And Willy prayed to his Lord
as he watched the crack forming
and when a few plates were sprung
the bows started breaking
While the Lord of the sea and waves and the tide
Assigned angels atop each seacopter ride.
And all seventy six people were rescued on board
And Willy he knelt
And gave thanks to his Lord.

Then Willy, he married the lovely Lynette
And seven years they did sail
from sunrise to sunset
Thus the mists wrapped around them
all over, spread out
Saw storm winds hail
from the mansion down South
Watched the clouds hold their balance
In a dark threatening sky
Till winds swept them away –
by command – El Shaddai !

And Willy, he studied
for his master’s ticket –
He could qualify for captaincy –
He just knew he could get it.
It was time now to work
There was no time to play
As he studied and learnt
He had scarce time to pray.
And the Lord of the land,
Of the sea and the light
Did patiently wait
The dark watches thro’ night
But Willy came not,
for his duties were great,
He did earnestly swot
and the long hours kept him late.
While his Lord sorely missed
his jokes and his laughter
And the talks they did share
Of the good life hereafter.

Thus, his dream was fulfilled –
He became Master Mariner
And sailed mighty ships
Thro’ Suez and Panama
While he dreamed of the place where
the white snow is stored
the vast treasures of hail
kept for battle and wars.
Then the Lord one day,
Sent a preacher to town
A man of the cloth, upright and renown
And he spoke of God’s love
And told of repentance
Of how to be saved –
he spoke a strong sentence
It’s never too late –
You’re never too old
To shake off you sin
And the devil’s stronghold.

Then the spirit of God nudged Willy –
He went
Straight up to the preacher –
On his knees did repent
And wept from his heart
for neglecting his Lord
In the flash of an eye
Two old friends were restored.
Many years later
to Israel he went
to the sweet Jordan waters
where they’d been sent
And there the baptism
we all know –
went down under the water
like their Lord centuries ago.

Then came the ninety day trip
to the mysterious Far East
for they and their two sons
A real family feast.
While the Lord of the Earth
And the sea and the sky
He watched and He waited
with new oars to ply

Said : “Willy –
Look up at the skies
and look at them well –
See the strong clouds –
Of a new life they tell
Oh Willy, strong Willy,
Master Mariner mine
You’ve served the tides well
But short is your time
This voyage on the Victory
Will be the last one
There’s a new harbour that’s beckoning
for you – beloved son.”

So off they did sail
on the voyage of their life
The two boys in Bangkok
with Will and his wife.
They rode elephants in Colombo
in Sri-Lanka saw sights
Rode camels in Cairo
Saw bright city lights.
And then it was over
and back they all came
from those far distant places
With strange-sounding names.

On the long return journey
In the car driving home
Willy slept with his thoughts
Of the sea and the foam.
“Captain Wilcox,” called the Great Lord
of the earth, sea and sky
“‘Tis time – are you ready ?
Will said “Sir” and breathed his last sigh
And his wife, she found
a peaceful smile ‘pon his face
He’d gone to his Lord in that heavenly place
where they spoke of ships and sails and sealing wax
and the lady Lynette
With hair like soft flax
And two wonderful sons
named Gareth and Dale
Who’ll one day live in the land
Where the light cannot pale!