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                         About Anna & Mike

 

                                                          

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       Anna was born in Mombasa Kenya,  a former British Crown Colony in East Africa of Sicilian parents and raised in the traditional Sicilian way with her sister and three brothers. She speaks three languages and was educated at the  Loreto convent girls school  in Mombasa.  She enjoyed her sport especially hockey at the Loreto school for girls. As a young girl she enjoyed long train journeys with her parents, brothers and sister  across the African continent and travelled to many distant places such as  Nairobi, Tanzania, Dar-es-Salaam, Zanzibar and Uganda.   In the 60's the family home was Mombasa, Kenya. Whilst living there her father built the film set for the producers of the film  ASHANTI  starring Michael Caine and Peter Unstinov.  

                         Mombasa Town Kilindini Road Tusks                                           The Film Poster                                                    Silver Sands Beach - Mombasa

Anna's household came with servants and Kilonzo, head servant, who was later trained by Anna in the art of food preparation and cooking.  Anna is a master chef and avidly promotes healthy eating and Mediterranean foods.  She readily admits she enjoys cooking, experimenting with recipes and has today a home library full of amazing recipes books.   She loves girly things, fashion, shoes and handbags. She has great interest for music and loves dancing.   When motherhood eventually arrived in her life she became a very dedicated mother to her son.  She has watched him grow into a fine young man. Marco is a successful business and financial analyst for a major  "Blue Chip cruise-ship company"  in the UK.

In more recent times Anna has travelled extensively from Africa to Arabia, Europe, Sicilia, Cyprus, Mexico, Portugal, Italy and now back to Greece.   During a visit in September 2009 with her husband she successfully re-established contact with all her long lost family members and relatives on the island of Sicily and including those on the Italian mainland. She has continued this contact again during 2013 with her husband resulting in another visit to this lovely country.

Today Anna is a loyal and trusted individual employing her self motivation and multi-lingual skills in world-wide export for a prestigious leading  "Blue Chip"  UK company trading successfully on to a global platform.  

 

     Mike is of Greek and English extract born of a Greek mother from Patras in the Peloponnesus region with a typical Greek passion for certain things in life, strong convictions on matters of principal, discipline and fair-mindedness.  While fluent in the Greek language, Mike and his wife made an incredible discovery just three years ago, he discovered  his roots originate from  the village of Kiliomeno up in the hills of  Zakynthos some six generations ago.  Mike grew up in the early 50's among the bomb sites of Kennington, south London next to the Kennington tube station.  He attended Keyworth primary mixed school in his junior years.  Mike later attended a famous school near Streatham known as Tulse Hill Boys school before later moving to Surrey.  Mike learnt to fly while in the RAF cadets but later joined the Royal Navy.  He is extremely proud of having served a former career in the Royal Navy In addition to being an ex HMS Ganges  trained boy and an accomplished yachtsman he was also a Royal Navy trained navigator and ships diver.   The mid 60's saw a young Mike onboard  HMS Barrosa (D68)   a radar picket and aircraft controller during the  MV Torrey Canyon incident.  

In 1967 he took part in a mission to assist in a tactical ex-pats retrieval from Logos, Nigeria, West Africa.  He also took part in the British Forces withdrawal from the Yemen, Aden working ashore in the Crater District on loan to 42 Commando Brigade.  In the late sixties onboard HMS Albion R07 he had the honour to serve under Rear Admiral Basil Charles Godfrey Place VC, CB, CVO, DSC., famous for his role in severely damaging the prized German Battle Ship  "Tirpitz"  during the second world.  Mike also played an active part in  The Royal Tournament  “Earthquake 69”   at Earls Court,  London in July 1969 where he was later met and spoken to by Her Majesty the Queen and H R H Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, OM, GBE.   

          In late 1969 during the Vietnam War Mike was 20 miles off the coast of Vietnam watching a high level air raid.  At 0200 in the middle of one particular night, an American bomber aircraft  mistook Mikes ship for an enemy vessel and very nearly bombed his ship.  The next day the captain ordered the flight deck crew to paint a large Union Jack on the flight deck especially for American pilots.  Mike also served with Commander David J Farquharson RN, in  HMS Albion  (R07)   Earls Court, London and at HMS Rooke, Gibraltar, Lloyds Signal station and Tower Radar.  Mike also served in West Africa, Nigeria, Freetown, Sierra Leone, East Africa, Beira Patrol, Mombasa, The Yemen, Aden crater-district seconded to 42 commando street patrol detachment, Hong Kong Island and the HK New Territories, Singapore HMS Terror, Greece, Simons Town Naval Base, South Africa, Gibraltar and the Second Icelandic Cod War.  In early 1970 Mike ship was on patrol just off Beira, Limpopo River,  east Africa and was acting as guard ship to HMS Tiger where discussions were being held onboard between the then British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and the Rhodesian Prime Minister  Ian Smith over the future of Rhodesia. The outcome of that meeting is now resigned to  the annuls of history. There is a book worth reading entitled   The Great Betrayal  by Mr Ian Smith.

          Whilst patrolling  around Iceland in 1972  during the  Icelandic Cod War Mike flew numerous sorties as photographer aircrew in a  Wasp Helicopter  (c/s Pony 455)  photographing Russian warships ( Cold War period) for the Admiralty at permitted range.  During one major documented event Mikes Captain requested Mike act as photographer and correspondent covering a dramatic British Warship rescue of an Icelandic 100-ton trawler the  "MV Jon Eriksson"  which radioed an SOS in the north Atlantic.  The vessel radioed it was on fire and in danger of sinking in the cold north Atlantic seas.  Mike's warship, a Leander class frigate  HMS Aurora  (F10)  skippered by Rear-Admiral Sir Paul Greening  and then later by Captain  Oliphant, a former captain of HMS Dryad,  went to the rescue at high speed and with the captains approval, Mike  provided photographic evidence for the MOD(N) and coverage to all UK newspapers.  During this patrol period Mike's  son  Simon Paul  was born on the 2nd October.  Some time later, Mike swapped places with an American sailor and crewed onboard the  USS Charles F Adams  ( DDG-2)  for six weeks during a NATO  COMSTANAVFORLANT exercise in the Atlantic and Caribbean.  In the mid 70's  Mike  worked directly for  Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse  as an analyst and interpreter and was based in Gibraltar at HMS Rooke.  While serving there, he also ran a water-ski training school.  Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse later became Commander-in-Chief Fleet during the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina.  Late 76' Mike was ships company on HMS Iveston, a TON Class Minesweeper.  Mike also saw service ashore and around Northern Ireland. 

          Mike has survived several high speed crashes and jumped out of three separate aircraft by parachute.  He has travelled the world many times over by land and by sea and as far away as the Southern Oceans known as the roaring 40's.   On leaving the MoD (RN)  Mike worked in the Banking sector for The Standard Chartered Bank PLC which gave him good business and underwriting sense with financial grounding.  Three years later he changed careers and went back to electronics believing his skill set was better placed with VERO Electronics Ltd.  Since then he has also been a company Director in the marine environment for Mainstream Marine Electronics Ltd,  worked with Sky Satellite Broadcast, was privileged  to work with many famous people in the Yachting and Pop Music world and was the Technical Director for design in the early 90's for the complete refurbishment program of all electrical,  electronic navigational aids and communication systems of the famous yacht known as  "British Steel" .   This yacht was formerly owned by Sir Chay Blyth.   "British Steel"  was later owned by the British Army, the Royal Artillery  Regiment.  Mike also redesigned several other famous Pop industry and Corporate owned yachts including the celebrated Scanmar Yacht  "Ceres II"   formerly owned by Sir Paul McCartney's film producer Aubrey Lloyd Powell.  The MV  "Evening Star of Beaulieu"  was a major motor boat project costing capital sums to refurbish.  There are many other vessels found along the south coast of the UK and in the Mediterranean Sea that he was involved with.  Being a former Radio Ham and HF specialist Mike played a vital installation and support role for providing oceanic  HF & VHF  Radio communications coverage with SatCom options  for the TS "Lord Nelson"   including the international Volvo round-the-world yacht racing  Ukrainian  vessel  "Odessa" .  As a result of these comm's improvements addition the prestigious SV "Namaqua"  and one of the fabulous and rare J Class Yachts known as    "Valsheda"   were also refitted to provide much improved communication  links to shore. Mike was the only engineer to replace the VHF antenna at the very top of her 100 feet mast.

           Later in his career Mike and eleven other colleagues were responsible for building the IT  infrastructure and hardware known  as the integrated mail processing system (IMP) nation-wide for the Royal Mail.  Each individual Royal Mail system costing £1.6 million on behalf of Siemens GmbH  of Germany. Mike admits some of the best engineers he's worked with were English and German including his friends Jan Duamman of Leipzig, Germany. Terry Lawson in the UK and of course, Matthew H Walker, Lt.cmdr RN (retired),  his incredible best man.  Mike has lived in Greece and Gibraltar, worked on Hong Kong island & in the New Territories, Singapore, Malayan jungle, South Africa, Cape Town, Simons Town Naval Base, Durban  and Mombasa, Silver Sands, Kenya. 

Today he works in the Aviation world with a talented team of engineers and covers the repair and calibration of ILS (instrument landing systems) for all types of aircraft, voice and data communications equipment including a web based help desk and as if that isn't enough he looks after IT as well.   Mike is resourceful, well disciplined, team minded and still a fun guy. He loves flying so much he once built a full sized hang glider and flew it successfully but admits he was later arrested and cautioned by an RAF Air Traffic Control Officer for flying in controlled air space.  He used water skis for the undercarriage along a water strip until lift off.  After several more successful flights and perfect splash landings he later sold the glider to a serving soldier in the Royal Green Jackets regiment.    In more recent times a work colleague allowed Mike to fly his private full sized glider and when a landing was evident Mike went cross wind and lined up for landing aiming at the beginning of the runway.  On the approach and seeing a perfect alignment his colleague, who was sat behind him, remarked you've done this before.  Mike confessed he'd joined the wrong mob........or rather, had he joined the wrong mob.   Mike is a very capable pilot although never took his PPL.  He enjoys travel, flying, meeting people and also remains a serious photographer.  He is also a member of the MVSA Gliding Club...........Always fly with a parachute and good radio gear.

In 2011 Mike was diagnosed with a male type of Cancer. He immediately underwent some very aggressive Chemo Therapy treatment in Southampton General Hospital UK over a period on 12 weeks with one week rest period between treatment sessions. Today (March 2014) he is still in remission but continuing to recover slowly.

 

 Mike's Personal Comments:  As a former HMS Ganges trained boy at  the age of 15, I was taught to work with my colleagues as a team member or on my own and to always do the job to the best of my abilities. To look after my mates and those close to me. To be resourceful using my initiative and make decisions on the move.  The establishment I entered had a machine like discipline and a rigorous daily routine. It was an exceedingly tough training establishment with an long historical  military prestige for young  boys teaching them to be smartly dressed at all times, personal hygiene, make-and-mend their own clothing and to be proud of their country and heritage with loyalty to the Queen. It also equipped them with all the skills of life, leadership and personal survival.  At the end of my 15 years of  service life,  it took several  more years to adjust back into life in civvy street  where I learnt to be a work-a-hollick. and that money is King.

 

Personal Pride:    It is my opinion  that the period between the end of the second world war and up to the mid 1980's were probably the very best of times for the Royal Navy .    The RN certainly ruled the waves in my day.  Any Captain I served under I had great respect for.  Since those illustrious days, we have all seen successive  British Governments and grossly over paid Civil Servants bowing to the European self appointed beaurocrats  and  become complicit in mismanaging and systematically destroying our Naval surface Fleet, Air Force and most of our military Land Based forces by severely reducing  finance, man power and capitol hardware which  could one day be to this islands cost.  We are an island nation Proud and British.  Our Politicians are infact re-enacting our leaders of previous generations as they did at the start of the First & Second-World-War. This country was caught with its trouser down.

           We must show capability to strike with precision and determined force when required.   Perhaps politicians will one day themselves go to war on our behalf and fight the good fight with the invisible  enemy.  Lets see how they manage in  their arm chairs at Whitehall whilst greedily working their expense claim forms................And to think...............We once taught all foreign Navies of the world  how to fight a battle................Look at the state our Royal Navy today !    

Now they expect us to work with the French Navy!    What HEAD-CASE  Whitehall beaurocrat thought of that one.......The mere thought is ridiculous.   Are our leaders going Mad ?

 

   OUR Motto   In Latin:   Si vis pacem, para bellum..................If You wish for Peace,..................Be Prepared for War

 

 

                                                            What the dickens have our politicians done to our Country. ?.....................................   

 

 

 

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                              Mike & Anna Present Day

                          

 

 

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