Grand Legacy - Tom Sanger
We never met except by email. My interest in the British passenger liner Athenia brought me to your pages as I began to research my forthcoming historical novel, Without Warning. What an invaluable resource you provided! I was able to share on your website the recollections of my grandmother, Rhoda Thomas, who was a passenger on Athenia and survived the Sept. 3, 1939 torpedoing. (see Rhonda Thomas' personal account - "Experiences of an Athenia Survivor") You and Terry were most welcoming and made it easy to share her story. Many months later, as a result of some additional research, I was able to provide the identity of the author of a letter, posted on your Athenia pages, that vividly described the capsizing of a lifeboat during rescue operations by the yacht, Southern Cross. The letter was signed by “Ruth” and mentioned someone named “Hal” and a boy named “Geoff.” Through contemporary newspaper articles I was able to determine the letter writer was Ruth Etherington; Harold was her husband and Geoff their 10-year-old son. A year ago I connected with Geoff Etherington in Florida and he gave me a great deal of information about the family’s Athenia experiences. None of this would have happened were it not for “Ahoy.”
Your vision and your energy propelled your website, which undoubtedly has helped to connect hundreds of people. More importantly, “Ahoy” shares its many vivid historical memories with millions of other people. These are personal memories that would have been lost forever but for your efforts. What a grand legacy you created.
Rest in peace, Mac.