Dominion Day ’17

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~ AS THE RAIN pours showers of blessings on the Eastern part of this Royal Dominion, I cannot but give thanks for this land– though the last 50 years have been sub-optimal under the progressitopian Trudeau Cult.

Above all, in The Year Of Our Lord 2017, Christians in Canada need to pray for our country, for we have wandered into deep and deadly waters of life and death, sin and evil, and our elected officials and robed rulers wish to command that sweet is bitter and bitter is sweet.

This was founded as and is still a Christian land, founded on truth, faith, virtue, and Christian principles– we have no legal fiction of the separation of church and state, as if citizens could somehow divide themselves inwardly to ultimately serve God and Caesar both. Our due earthly obedience has proper limits, which we forget at our eternal peril.

Here we have no abiding city.. but the lines have fallen unto us in pleasant places; indeed, we have a beautiful inheritance (Ps. 16). Thank you, O Lord.

HCD150,

Binks

 

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love thou dost in us command.
We see thee rising fair, dear land,
The True North, strong and free;
And stand on guard, O Canada,

We stand on guard for thee.

Refrain

O Canada! O Canada!
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow,
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow,
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western Sea;
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!
(Refrain)

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years,
From East to Western Sea.
Our own beloved native land,
Our True North, strong and free!
(Refrain)

Ruler Supreme, Who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our dominion within Thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in Thee,
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day
We ever stand on guard.
(Refrain)

Amen.

Look! A Squirrel!

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~ SO THERE WAS your humble WebElf, reading (online) the Pusey translation of The Confessions of St. Augustine (Book VIII), and I came across pre-saint Augustine’s comments about how deeply moved he was by the (then) book, The Life Of Anthony (of Egypt) Quotation below.

My brain is.. well.. not unlike a hamster on caffeine, so away I went to find a copy of the said other book, and started reading that.. before having finished Confessions... which I promptly forgot to finish. Welcome to my world.

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What’s not to like? A book written by a saint.. about a saint, which inspired another man to eventually became a saint. Doesn’t that insta-rate five stars.. or, perhaps, haloes?

Written by St. Athanasius of Alexandria, The Life Of St. Anthony of Egypt, primary founder of Christian monasticism, is a readable, gripping, and inspiring Christian classic. St. Augustine, in his confessions, describes reading it along with his friends, and being deeply moved by it.

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A youngish St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica, she of the very very patient and constant prayers for her wayward son.

None of us knows the effect of our lives, actions, words– or failures in the same– on our neighbours and times, or those to come. St. Anthony and St. Augustine both knew that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is faithful, and sowed their seed in their times. Lo and behold, those earlier heroes of the faith inspired one of the great Church Fathers in his day and age to fight the battles and fight the good fight in his day and age.

A reminder to abide faithful, however hard the slog or dark the times.

Cheers,

Binks, Elf of Web


 

14. Upon a certain day, then, Nebridius being away (why, I do not remember), lo, there came to the house to see Alypius and me, Pontitianus, a countryman of ours, in so far as he was an African, who held high office in the emperor’s court. What he wanted with us I know not, but we sat down to talk together, and it fell out that upon a table before us, used for games, he noticed a book; he took it up, opened it, and, contrary to his expectation, found it to be the Apostle Paul—for he imagined it to be one of those books which I was wearing myself out in teaching. At this he looked up at me smilingly, and expressed his delight and wonder that he had so unexpectedly found this book, and this only, before my eyes. For he was both a Christian and baptized, and often prostrated himself before You our God in the church, in constant and daily prayers. When, then, I had told him that I bestowed much pains upon these writings, a conversation ensued on his speaking of Antony, the Egyptian monk, whose name was in high repute among Your servants, though up to that time not familiar to us. When he came to know this, he lingered on that topic, imparting to us a knowledge of this man so eminent, and marvelling at our ignorance. But we were amazed, hearing Your wonderful works most fully manifested in times so recent, and almost in our own, wrought in the true faith and the Catholic Church. We all wondered— we, that they were so great, and he, that we had never heard of them.

15. From this his conversation turned to the companies in the monasteries, and their manners so fragrant unto You, and of the fruitful deserts of the wilderness, of which we knew nothing. And there was a monastery at Milan full of good brethren, without the walls of the city, under the fostering care of Ambrose, and we were ignorant of it. He went on with his relation, and we listened intently and in silence. He then related to us how on a certain afternoon, at Triers, when the emperor was taken up with seeing the Circensian games, he and three others, his comrades, went out for a walk in the gardens close to the city walls, and there, as they chanced to walk two and two, one strolled away with him, while the other two went by themselves; and these, in their rambling, came upon a certain cottage inhabited by some of Your servants, poor in spirit, of whom is the kingdom of heaven, where they found a book in which was written the life of Antony. This one of them began to read, marvel at, and be inflamed by it; and in the reading, to meditate on embracing such a life, and giving up his worldly employments to serve You….

Conf. VIII. 14-15.

Loyal Oppositions?

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Ambitious? Disloyal? Or worse?……

— John Ronald Reuel Tolkien– The Lord Of The Rings: Two Towers (1955)

 

WHICH IS WORSE? Rebellion, or Blind Obedience? Or, is there another way?

In Tolkien’s story, times are dark and dire– Éomer son of Éomund, Third Marshal of the Riddermark– one of the great Captains of Rohan and nephew to the King– has seemingly gone rogue, to fight the enemies of Rohan as he sees fit. That’s the merest start of the woes.

To the North-West, the dark pinnacle of Isengard stands, surrounded by armies of huge mutant orcs, evil men, giant wolves, and the darkened powers of the fallen wizard Saruman. Rohan’s neioghbour is preparing for war on that kingdom.

To the East and South, mighty land of Mordor broods under Sauron’s cruel domination, his countless forces massing for an assault on Gondor– last bastion of the West and of all free peoples– then to fill all the lands with a second darkness. Doom will soon fall.

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Worst of all, the king himself, Théoden King son of Thengel, a seeming lesser son of greater rulers, sits bowed and cowed, listening to the poisoned words of Isengard and Mordor via his usurping advisor, Grima Wormtongue. All faithful folk of the Rohirrim wait, and suffer, and hope for they know not what.

What then shall we say of Captain Éomer? Faithless traitor? #NotMyKing perhaps? Seeking his uncle’s crown? Enemy of Rohan and the King and the official direction of officialdom? So says Master Wormtongue into the King’s ear.

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Rebel Scums?

So the U.S. is currently embroiled in what amounts to an attempted coup d’etat– the Left-wing establishment & media are seeking to effectively un-elect the new president, because he’s not one of them. He’s a bad, bad, evil man, a traitor, an icky, and anything is more “truly” loyal than observing the rule of law, or respecting results of a democratic vote by the American public. Heaven knows, those who oppose you must be enemies of all things decent and right or are you an enemy, too?

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QUICK! Throw every bad name at him NOW!

The current U.S. crisis– as driven by radicals– gives a bad name to bullshit & nonsense. Yet all this is very serious, and not to be dismissed as some kind of insane joke.

We moderns love the advice of Jim Morrison & The Doors to “break on through to the other side“, and spent centuries now– since the European Protestant Deformation and the French Devolution– imagining ourselves as virtuous and innocent rebels against The Evil Them. All are shaped and entangled in this revolution, whether we are herd-minded, or cheering the revolt directly.

What is less common is a noble political, religious, and principled position of Loyal Opposition, if the times demand it: to have a sense of abiding right and wrong, of the good and true, beyond the momentary tug of war of the present, the misrule of rulers, and to abide faithful even in difficult circumstances. How to be good when the times are evil? How do we stay faithful if the government is bad, or the king is mad, or traitorous to his people?

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Revolutions.. first to the chop are the kings, then nobles & priests.. then the revolutionaries themselves.. just so much fun for everyone!

Reality Bites

The weakness of Rohan has had a cost. Éomer is caught between two obediences: his loyalty and his duty. For war marches on Rohan, but no orders come from the indecisive throne; orcs raid and plunder and kill the helpless farm-folk in Rohan, yet “Indeed in this riding north I went without the king’s leave”.*

How shall duty and loyalty and truth and love and hope serve in the seeming chaos? How shall we judge and be sure of anything? Tolkien writes

‘As he ever has judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.’

As in pre-Norman England, the battle is not between blind obedience to authority, or a chaotic popular revolution. The English sought one obedience, but defined in two ways– (a) Liberty Under Law, and (b) Freedom Under Faith. Without both parts of each, neither will be enough.

Lawless liberty cannot make a lasting society; Law without freedom is slavery. Likewise, faithless freedom tends towards chaos, for God is the greatest lawgiver, and saviour of mens souls and bodies; faith without freedom is cultish and demeans the faithful, and is not Christ’s way.

See Ya, Yahweh!

Each society, each soul, each age will fight the same battle, in different forms and garb. What is new since the Revolting Age is the attempt to live, legislate, and rule under freedom from faith, where man– or at least the ruling class and its guns & thugs and bankers– seeks to take the place of God, and dominate all things, and call it good, and true, and right in itself.*e7510b391987c95539c7a57d326f87c5

That modern hubris and madness has also infected the Church, via the poisons of various kinds of utopianism. Man is now innately good, needing only guidance, freedom, and liberation to attain perfection. Jesus is a helper and example, and God is our ever-variable and surprising cheerleader. The Holy Spirit is constantly giving us novelties in thought, truth, worship, and everything else, leading and blessing the revolution.

Shall we submit to evil by blindly obeying power gone wrong, or become crazy rebels– or, the third way: suffering and even Martyrdom? Accused on all sides, and rejected by the spirit of the age, and the herd, and the power-mongers, and even the worldly rebels, too? St. Thomas More is an example to us all in this age of conflicting loyalties & duties.

Dissent is not automatically disloyalty, or destruction. Not all watchdogs are rabid. ~

~ Teh Binks

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* As the story unfolds, faithful Éomer son of Éomund becomes a war hero for Rohan, and when Théoden King (having come to his senses) is slain in the Battle of Minas Tirith– having bravely led his armies to the rescue of Gondor against Sauron– loyal Éomer becomes king of Rohan. ~ 

The F-word

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Binks-Dad: Smart, weird, punny, a prankster, a genius, a contrarian to herd-think, a helper, and teacher.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! — This morning whilst walking Wee Wallace The Wonder-Poodle (one cat, no dogs, no birds to startle), I prayed for my own father, and my father in-law; my grandfathers and great-grand-fathers, and forefathers before that, giving thanks for them, and praying that they were resting in peace. I’m also a Dad, of twin young men.

THE Father– self-naming in revelation– is the source of all things, and Fatherhood, the Trinity itself, all creation, all living creatures; and all human fatherhood is a shadow and pointer to that original archetype.

St. Paul writes to the Ephesians:

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, For whom all fatherhood in heaven and in earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

These are the True, the Real things.. to align with them is like a compass pointing North, a bird homing for nest or breeding ground or Winter home; to try and unmake or remake God’s Fatherhood in our own image and likeness is madness, destruction, and a huge part of our current crisis in marriage, youth, and society.

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As I did the drive-through at Tim’s this AM, I asked the window-girl (whom I tease constantly in a fatherly way) what she was up to for Father’s Day. She said ruefully: “My Dad’s in Digby.” That said it all. Whatever the cause, some fathers go rogue, yet their kids still need and crave fathering and fatherly love and guiding. Some Dads are not very noble or dadly; and modern family & divorce law torture fathers in particular, making it even harder to be faithful if a marriage goes awry. As always, the kids go wanting, and suffer most.

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Via

Our clever bossy people talk of countless gender-identities and social constructs and #BanFathersDay, and are too earthly-minded to grasp that they are dealing with heavenly and eternal mysteries, great things which cannot be bent or broken by human will or evil or madness, only half-forgotten, in ways which leave broken lives and hearts amidst our ruins. Or, that those great mysteries are dealing with them. You cannot break or bend God, or his truth, only yourself.

fr-richPray this day as well for those called to spiritual fatherhood as clergy or monks: by God’s name and grace, they can be conduits of grace to make whole what nature and life may have scarred or left wanting. Pray for their courage, leadership, and adherence to the truth in love, for we are in the midst of near-apocalyptic battles in Church and society, and the very foundations themselves are shaken.

There is a war afoot, and men and fathers and fatherly men of all kinds must set down their effing smartphones: there’s work to be done.  Learn up & pass it on, love and defend the truth, follow God, and set to fixing & saving All The Things.  It’s what we’re supposed to do: show up, and Get ‘Er Done, and not sit around waiting for approval, thanks, or the enemies of the good just to become good, somehow. The kids are watching, and waiting.

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Don’t wait until too late to appreciate and tell your Dad & grandfathers and fatherly people how grateful you are. Now.

Sniff. I love you, and I miss you, Dad, Grampa George, and Grandpa Bill, and all my forefathers. You all helped make me who I am as a person, a man, and a father. Thank you– and God bless and keep you.

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen. ~

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A Battle-Cry

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Look! It’s Theology! And one of those Irritating Yo-yos.. er, Fidget-spinners.

WAS SHE A NICE NUN? I suppose if you think Whoopi Goldberg’s “Sister Act” is accurate history, or a great life-lesson.

drmaryThe nun-professor (RIP in 2013) was probably a post-war vocation, and then when the Vatican II Asteroid hit and asploded all the things, she joined the revolution. Heaven on earth! Telling all the bad people how to think! The reputation & power of the older idea of a consecrated nun, whilst undermining all the things! Women clergy now!

We talked in her office one day at the theo-illogical school where she taught. She seemed astonished to meet someone who actually still believed all the things in the Creed– without smirking, mental reservations, or intellectual finger-crossing– as if I were a centaur or leprechaun or some other such legendary beast. A hard case.

She trotted out the ultimate weapon– Latin! You know, cuz in TV shows like ‘Supernatural‘, or the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series, Latin works wonders against evil things. Plus, I was Anglican, and had only a passing familiarity with Latin.

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Oddly enough, opposing the forces of ultimate evil with felt banners, puppet-shows, happy-clappy guitar songs, singing ‘Kumbayah’, and 1960’s churchy cultural Marxism was not  found to be so effective. Who knew?

“It’s a ‘symbolum‘, a symbol, a meaningful affirmation of our unity,” she said nicely. Indeed, The ApostlesCreed is sometimes entitled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, likely` from Rome.

Younger me piped up. Incorrigible young twerp.

“Well, it’s that, too, but it’s also unity based on common truths, revealed by God in the Scriptures and the life of the Church by the Holy Spirit, isn’t it?”

“You need to go and read about symbolism, and not to over-emphasize ideas”, she said not quite so nicely. After all, too much of that olden-times theology taken seriously, and you might stop fighting for the revolution. ‘Heavenly minded, no earthly use’ and all that.

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I don’t recall how the rest of it went, except I was puzzled, slightly mystified by the power of Latin and the ‘Symbolum” thing. You know, how the Revolution undermines and then wrecks actual beliefs, like that hidden rust eating away quietly until the floor of your car is suddenly gone, replaced by… nothing.

Symbolum!

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Come the Roman Legion, their symbols over them of Legion and Rome and Eagles and battle-honours; and within each living breast, the symbol or vow of their military promises to serve, not to run, The Senate And People Of Rome (SPQR) and all that.

You see that coming, from 200 BC until AD 400-ish, and you’d better surrender, run, prepare for a fight to the death.

Early Christian philosopher Justin Martyr (c. AD 150) wrote to Emperor Antoninus Pius:

“….And so it was said by the prophet, The breath before our face is the Lord Christ. And the power of this form is shown by your own symbols on what are called vexilla [banners] and trophies, with which all your state possessions are made, using these as the insignia of your power and government, even though you do so unwittingly. And with this form you consecrate the images of your emperors when they die, and you name them gods by inscriptions….”

[ Apologia, Chapter 55. Symbols of the cross ]

These were not advertising symbols, like McDonald’s or Nintendo; nor ’empty symbolism’ like a now viciously secular university still preserving the dusty chapel built by the faith of the founders. Or something we ‘affirm’ but not too specifically. It was life and death: for Legion, and your brother beside you, and for Rome.

So the nun might have been nice (she did smile a lot), but she was not being entirely honest about the ‘symbolic’ nature of the realities affirmed by Christian Creeds of the Church. This glowing supernatural true Symbol– like flags or banners of an army, a nation, a clan– represent outwardly the inward promises and abiding truths taught in the Bible– and of God’s promises to us.

Finally?

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Every morning I walk the dog, and pray. For me, I say the Apostle’s Creed each morning as marching with the Lord’s Army– of angels, archangels, martyrs, saints, as the promise and rallying cry of a better country, as a spine-stiffening and soul encouraging reminder of the Real, revealed by God in His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our conquering Captain, who has led the forces of darkness captive in a triumph by his dying & rising again. It’s a battle cry, not an advertising jingle, or empty statement.

Try it, in Church, and in your devotions– say the Creed with deadly serious joy, and commitment, since we are all in a battle against evil, Satan and all his works, and the world seeking to replace God. Souls hang in the balance, including mine and yours.

Whatever happens to the West in the next generation, I beg God’s grace that I will not surrender, betray, or fail to serve in my time. Amen: may it be so. ~

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Why, That’s Unpossible!

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The HMS Jervis Bay; Weaponized Ocean-Liner With An Attitude

~ ITEM: HMS Jervis Bay, 1922-1940; and Convoy HX 84

~ ITEM: HMS Jervis BayQuartermaster Sam Patience video Interview; the HMS Jervis Bay YouTube Page

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkAJDMRd7k2iNapEb_WGqWQ

~ ITEM: Official Site: hmsjervisbay.com; the KMS Admiral Scheer

~ ITEM: The heroism of Captain Fegen and the crew of the Jervis Bay

~ ITEM: Captain Pettigrew and the men of the S.S. Beaverford

~ ITEM: CBC– The fearless, near-forgotten story of HMS Jervis Bay; and Caithness Archives– HMS “Jervis Bay” Armed Merchant Cruiser

~ ITEM: If the Gods Are Good: The Epic Sacrifice of the HMS Jervis Bay (Book Review)

~ ITEM: The church can and will survive persecution. It will not survive faithlessness. This is both a theological and historical truth

~ ITEM: OnePeterFive– What is Liberty?, by CHRISTOPHER J. MALLOY; and Hilary White, No Third Way: The Fundamentals of Rationality

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~ SO WHAT EXACTLY DOES victory look like? Giant Roman triumph, displaying captives, plunder, and conquering troops? An undignified mocking of the defeated, bared butts, raspberries, and ‘Neener! Neener!’? Dignity, and proper respect for the conquered?

A World War 2 sea captain make me think that in some cases, there’s another way.

Binky’s Departed Loved Ones

My maternal Grandparents are interred in a cemetery overlooking the beautiful Grand Bay in West St. John, New Brunswick. Only a gravestone or two away from them is another stone, recording that the deceased was part of the crew of the HMS Jervis Bay.

That what-now, you say? How very last millennium!

Grand Bay, New Brunswick, NB, CANADA
Grand Bay, New Brunswick, Canuckistan

A British Bulldog

The HMS Jervis Bay was a converted British liner off the England to Australia circuit, loaded up with some surplus turn of the century 6″ naval popguns and machine guns for convoy duty, and called– almost ironically– an ‘Armed Merchant Cruiser’.  She was refitted for military service in the port of Saint John, New Brunswick.

1940 had been a tsunami of defeats and disasters: Belgium, Holland, and France had fallen, followed by the miracle of Dunkirk; Norway & Denmark conquered, and Sweden left ‘free’ if she continued to supply steel and other war materiels to Germany.

All that late Summer, the shattered and almost weaponless British armies rescued from Dunkirk along with civilian militias and the tireless RAF had guarded Britain from a seaborne German invasion– Operation Sealion— which very nearly happened. Britain stood alone. Some counselled surrender to the new order of things: WInston Churchill, the new Prime Minister, wouldn’t hear of it.

Herr Hitler had jumped the German war-plans by 3 years (thank heavens), but still had enough u-boats and commerce-raiding pocket battleships to seriously threaten the survival of Britain. Merchant convoys were the only remaining life-line.

Our Story Begins

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Convoy Assembly, Bedford Basin, Nova Scotia

The chilly but ice-free wartime port of Halifax, late October 1940– 37 merchant ships gather in Bedford Basin, and set sail with their single escort, the HMS Jervis Bay, out into the stormy & U-Boat haunted North Atlantic. Bound for Liverpool, England, Convoy HX-84 sails into history.

The whole convoy had to go the speed of the slowest ship, and to stay together despite wind, fogs, night, storms, and sometimes the questionable seaworthiness or antiquity of the merchant vessels, some of which had served likewise in World War One. The HMS Jervis Bay had to herd these cats for the whole 2700+ mile trans-Atlantic voyage.

One late November afternoon, 8 days later later and south-southwest of Iceland, the deep-laden ships of HX-84 struggled eastwards against cold and heavy seas.

Convoy commander Captain Edward Fegen of the Jervis hears from the lookouts: they’ve spotted something even worse than the u-boats: a foreboding silhouette– incoming fire reveals the German pocket-battleship Admiral Scheer, angling in for a leisurely turkey-shoot on Convoy HX-84.

Doom. A very nasty wolf chasing down a parcel of sheep and one semi-sheep-dog. The Admiral Scheer was a  fast heavy cruiser with 6 powerful 11-inch guns, each able to fire every 17 seconds effectively out to 20 000 yards, or 11 miles. 38 juicy targets just ahead.

White flag? Run away? 

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Captain Fegen of the Jervis Bay had a decision to make, and little time to make them.

Here’s our convoy to protect, and we’re it, lads– All hands to battle stations; Signal ‘Scatter the convoy, maximum speed’!; and then came the surprising orders: Turn to port, and full speed towards that enemy cruiser! Make smoke! All guns, fire as you bear! Let’s see if we can’t draw  her fire.

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Captain of Jervis Bay, Edward Fegen, VC

With her retro-fitted guns roaring more as defiance than as damage-dealing weapons, Captain Fegen steered the Jervis between the enemy and the fleeing convoy. The eager German Captain Theodor Krancke needed to get at the convoy before nightfall. A collision or lucky shot could harm the Admiral Scheer: best sink the Jervis right away.

“Our captain knew just what we were going to get, but it didn’t matter.”, one crew member later recalled. The Armed Merchant Cruiser drew heavy enemy fire as towering fountains of water exploded around the Jervis Bay, whose own shells mostly fell short of the enemy.

The merchant cruiser Jervis Bay fought to the death when a British convoy was ambushed
Victory In Defeat: Just A Little Longer!

Behind the ocean-liner turned Armed Merchant Cruiser, her convoy scattered to starboard at various speeds; every minute of distraction and delay meant lives and ships and supplies saved. The Scheer’s 11-inch shells pounded into the Jervis, which was soon crippled, aflame, unable to steer or communicate– but for almost half-an-hour the outgunned 15-thousand ton ship had preoccupied the guns of the German pocket-battleship, as the daylight faded away, and had even managed to damage her radar & ranging by a lucky hit.

While the surviving crew abandoned the drifting liner for lifeboats, flotsam, and the bitter North Atlantic, the pocket-battleship finally sailed past, and began to destroy 5 of the 37 ships of HX-84 in the twilight. But Captain Krancke’s frustration was far from over.

The S.S. Beaverford
The S.S. Beaverford

A little-known or remembered chapter of this story is the other convoy ship which fought the Germans. Following Fegen’s example, Captain Pettigrew and the men of the S.S. Beaverford, a Canadian freighter, likewise sailed interference against the Admiral Scheer, and bought even more valuable time for the convoy, allowing the other ships to scatter in the darkness. For over four-and-a-half hours, the Beaverford fired her two small guns, until she was sent to the bottom with torpedoes from the Scheer around 10:30pm. All hands were lost.

Sadly enough, there’s no movie, medals, novels, or memorials for the valiant S.S. Beaverford & her lost captain & crew.

The Aftermath

Captain Fegen himself was killed at his station, but received a posthumous Victoria Cross for his actions. Sixty-eight survivors of Jervis Bay‍ ’​s crew of 254 were picked up by the neutral Swedish ship Stureholm (three later died of their wounds). One survivor went on to live his life in St. John New Brunswick, and to be buried near my Grandparents (I believe it may have been “MORROW. Everett. R.C.N.R. Scullion. Saint John, New Brunswick.)”.

The Jervis Bay inspired many books, including Alistair MacLean’s novel H.M.S. Ulysses, and a short story in his book “The Lonely Sea”; the poem “The Ballad of Convoy HX84“, amongst others; and the final action of the Jervis Bay was portrayed in the movie San Demetrio London (1943, entire movie online here); and various standing memorials in Bermuda, Wick, London, and Saint John, New Brunswick.

Any Point, At All, Binks?

What does victory, or defeat, look like?  Not always how we expect.

The seemingly captive and defeated Lord Jesus went down to a dreadful and criminal death. But in truth, it was a universe & heaven-changing sacrifice. The lamb for his flock; the one for the many; the Lord for his people.

It didn’t look like that, on Good Friday, or Holy Saturday, of course. ‘Another rebel rabble-rouser crushed‘, thought Rome; ‘Blasphemer dealt with‘, thought his enemies in the religious establishment. ‘So much for all that‘, thought the fickle crowds. ‘We thought he really was The One, the promised Messiah‘ thought most of the disciples. The came the bright morning after the Sabbath rest.

For surpassing all we could ask or imagine, God had the last word about Good Friday on Easter Morning when the Lord Jesus rose again bodily from death, and then came Pentecost day, and all the days from those days to this. One sacrifice, once, for all mankind forever. Jesus The Lord wins us eternal victory, through– not despite– his own suffering, death, and resurrection.

Victory In Defeat: There’s More Than One Way To Win

Sacrifice, courage, fighting on come death or defeat, not counting the cost– the HMS Jervis Bay and her crew did not surrender, and did what seemed to be impossible: they put themselves in the way, at the right place & time to do the maximum good. As Christians, our prayers and plans and efforts neither arise from, nor go forth into emptiness. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done”– ultimately, it’s all God’s business, and if we strive to be faithful, to speak up and act and pray and not despair in the face of evil’s apparent victories, He will bless and bring forth– even from our weak and wavering and unworthy faith– wonderfully good things.

Those incoming blessings may be elsewhere, and for others, or for future generations; they may be for us, and such a time as this. That’s His business, not ours.

As for me, I sail in the spirit of the HMS Jervis Bay and the S.S. Beaverford; with the angels and archangels, martyrs, saints, apostles, and all the company of heaven, following Jesus, the author and completer of our faith, under the victory-banner of the blessed and glorious Trinity– even the Father, and the Son, and The Holy Ghost, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. ~

So Preacheth Teh Binks

Christ Pantocrator (“All-Powerful”) Cathedral of Monreale, Palermo, Sicily
Christ Pantocrator (“All-Powerful”) Cathedral of Monreale, Palermo, Sicily