Where are you now?

This page is for Mercury Old Boys and those with connections to let others know what you have been doing and where you are now. To add a little about yourself to this page please email; tsmercury@btinternet.com

If you are an Old Boy, please include your number. We will not publicise contact details but are happy to put people in touch with one another on request.

David Parsons (4709)

I was at Mercury from January 1962 to December 1964. The first two terms were a baptism of fire but thereafter, once we knew “the system” life became a lot easier and very often fun. It was certainly character building and prepared me well for life at sea as a Merchant Navy apprentice, although I still had a lot to learn! Towards the end of my last term, Commander Ronnie Hoyle selected me to go for an interview with Shaw Savill & Albion Line, who offered me a threeyear apprenticeship. I have always been grateful to Ronnie as, unbeknown to me at the time, this was a prestigious company trading to Australia and New Zealand. My first trip began in December 1964 on their m.v. Carnatic. Each round trip usually took five months and time in almost every port was measured in weeks – what a privilege! I remained with Shaw Savill after passing my 2nd Mates and spent 18 very happy months on their passenger liner Northern Star.

From there I joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary which was entirely different but enormously interesting and great fun. After six very happy years there, with a new master’s ticket and a young family, I joined Thoresen Car Ferries (later P&O Portsmouth Ferries) for 16 years where I rose to master. Again, a very enjoyable period. It was on a voyage across the channel that I gave our President, Barry West, a bridge visit and was recruited as a member of the Association. In 1993 I applied for and was appointed as Chief Executive of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, the organisation responsible for co-ordinating the work of the all the other maritime charities.  There I spent the next 24 years, the first 10 of which included the administration of the Merchant Navy Hotel.  A wonderful period where I met and worked with so many great people.  I retired to South Somerset in 2017, but recently took on a voluntary role as national secretary of the Merchant Navy Association. 

In 1995 I joined the committee of the Mercury Old Boys Association and became its last chairman in 2001.  With no one volunteering to take my place, I remained there until we “wound it down” in 2019.  This was another huge privilege
and over that time I have been reunited with old friends and made many new ones.