No. 3 — November 2006

George Dibbern: His Life and Quest

Adventurer ~ Sailor-Philosoper ~ Free Thinker ~ Self-declared Citizen of the World

It’s been a busy few months. Rather than fill space and time with lines and lines text, I’ve included links to lead you to all the new material and to reports of events which I trust will be of interest to you.

The Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend was a great experience despite the fog that chilled us for the first two days. See photos and summary.

Through a chance meeting at WBFPT with John Lund from Nanaimo who knew about the Citizens of the Sea, I was able to connect with Jeremy Hewett who was instrumental in bringing the movement into being. Jeremy sent me a ” Brief History “. Check the link periodically for updates with photos of the money, with anecdotes and, I hope, newspaper articles as well as other archival material.

My article “After the Book: More Tales and Treasures” appeared in New Zealand Memories Issue 62, October / November 2006. Unfortunately there wasn’t space for more than two photos—but I’ve added the rest to the link with the article. I’m still amazed at what has shown up since the publication of Dark Sun and I’m so grateful to those who contacted me with their unexpected contributions to the George Dibbern story.

I apologize for the size of some photos—but I didn’t see the point in posting pages from Eileen Morris’s Te Rapunga log unless they are big enough to read. Perhaps by the time you’ve finished reading the article, the photos will have loaded!

My library presentation at the Campbell River Public Library took place on 21 October during a new month-long celebration in October of the important role of libraries in our national life. Though the turnout was modest, the audience sat through almost an hour of slides and commentary without fidgeting or yawning—and stayed on for another half hour of questions! If ever there was an example of the valuable role of the library system, it was my years of research re George Dibbern.


David Williams (summer resident on Cortes Island) 22 August 2006

I dropped in with the DVD [about the Friends of the Nemaiah Valley ‘s attempts to save a herd of wild horses in BC] and to say how much I am enjoying Dark Sun. What a tremendous job you have done. I do feel I know George Dibbern and would have appreciated him. I am going to try to find a copy of Quest as I am still not absolutely clear on what he termed his philosophy, and maybe it wasn’t altogether consistent or even coherent, though the basics of individual human freedom and the goal to be a citizen of the world are in my view admirable if virtually impossible to achieve. It is frustrating to watch freedoms being whittled away as security diminishes, and yet how can it be otherwise with the sheer growth of human numbers and complexity of technology. Yes, I share many of George’s frustrations! Perhaps my greatest frustration is watching the environment going down under a relentless onslaught of excess. Suffice it to say, this book provides lots of food for thought. A man of his turbulent times, Dibbern was also ahead of ours perhaps.

Writing about Quest by George Dibbern, Henry Miller wrote in Circle No. 7, 1946:

This is the sort of book which truly stimulates, which inspires. The physical adventures, the physical hazards, which alone would make it an exciting book are nothing compared to the moral and spiritual struggles which he tells about. He is always truthful and revealing and the more he strips himself the more he finds himself in harmony with his fellow man.

I’m in the process of committing the entire book to digital form in anticipation of a long-awaited reprint of the book that started it all. Expect more news next time.

I know it’s a bit early to extend holiday greetings, but I’ll not be sending out another newsletter till 2007, so I sincerely wish everyone a joyous Christmas and all the very best for a happy, healthy and satisfying new year.

Erika G.

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