George Dibbern: His Life and Quest

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

Honolulu Star-Bulletin 16 May 1941

Letters from Readers


Dear George:

You have written a book which will hold an honored spot on our bookshelf. Your Quest is more than a book for a day. I am sure I will open its pages twenty years from now (and many times in between) and still be thrilled to be present on board Te Rapunga—still be inspired to larger visions and farther horizons, just because a man was willing to lay bare his inner thoughts and philosophies. Just because a man was honest enough to write unvarnished truths about life, because a man was unafraid to admit his deficiencies and weaknesses.

Quest’s pages are sparkling and gay. You let us see the sea in its shimmering lighthearted moods, we can hear it howl when the thunder and lightning comes upon it. We can see you, George, in the midst of everything—making yourself part of it, identifying yourself with the sea and the wind.

Fascinating little-published bits of news about various ports of the world; description which cuts a smooth facet and leaves an indelible print on our imaginations; glimpses of human beings, not “paper people” but true character sketches—are all interwoven in your book, George. And as one writer to another, I must confess that your prose passed the supreme test in that I discovered my eyes were wet on more than one occasion.

Yes, George. Here in Honolulu you are remembered for your merry ways, your interesting conversation, and your courageous heart. Your book will be remembered for all those same things—but far more, for proving to this prosaic world that there are new horizons, that adventure is not dead and that there are still new visions and a beautiful new life for those who are not afraid to point their bowsprits in the direction of the unknown.

Good sailing to you, and may you never reach the end of your Quest—for that is your place in the world, the function for which you were born! You are one of those fortunate people, who were sent to the earth to keep our dreams alive, and our hopes from perishing.


(Note: George Dibbern has been interned by New Zealand officials at Wellington harbor. He is German-born and self-styled “man without a country.” New Zealanders suspected an ulterior purpose in his much heralded Pacific wanderings.)