Published on May 16th, 2018 | by Keith McClellan0
Message in a Bottle by Brian Reynolds
Message TO a bottle is more apt.
You are starting your journey in Liverpool, one of the world’s great ports and a city of huge significance to this country. I too have travelled from here to far-away places with strange sounding names and to guide you on your journey I have included a satnav, programmed to follow in some of my footsteps. So, off you go around the world with this message of peace.
Sailing down the Mersey into Liverpool Bay you will pass Another Place, Antony Gormley’s one hundred statue tribute to the many thousands who left here on the sailing ships, steamboats and ocean liners to start a new life in America. As you approach your first port of call, like them you will pass the Statue of Liberty, an icon of freedom, and arrive at Red Hook Cruise Terminal in Brooklyn, New York, the city that never sleeps.
Departing New York you will travel south and navigate the Panama Canal into the southwesterm Pacific Ocean on your way to Auckland in New Zealand. This city has a wonderful harbour in which you will be safe. The indigenous Maori people are friendly and will greet you with the Hongi and perform the Haka, which isn’t what it appears to be.
Now you go north to The Philippines where the locals are even friendlier despite the majority of them being poor. There are more than seven thousand islands and you are programmed to arrive in Manila, the capital city on the island of Luzon. Here you will find congestion and chaos, sunshine, skyscrapers and smiling people.
Now you will travel southwest across the South China Sea to Singapore where everything is so different from Manila; don’t linger here as the locals will want to recycle you. Travel north through the Malacca Straits and the Bay of Bengal into the Arabian Sea to Mumbai and arrive at the Gateway to India, where many kings, queens and other VIPs have preceded you. India was once the diamond in the British Empire and there are many British-style buildings and names. Marine Drive, sweeping around the bay is known locally as the Queen’s Necklace; seeing it at night you will understand why. India has now developed into one of the world’s great democracies.
Continue west across the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden into the Red Sea and through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea and on to Piraeus, the port that serves Athens, a city of art and architecture and culture, which many believe to be the cradle of western civilisation.
From here you are homeward bound via the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. Back into Liverpool Bay and soon you will be in sight of Liverpool’s world heritage waterfront overlooked by the Three Graces and protected by two mythical Liver Birds. You will get the friendliest of welcomes.
On your journey you will have met people of different races, different faiths and different cultures, as I did. Hopefully you mixed with those you met, remembered you were a guest in their country and that many people in many places read your message in a bottle:
So many colours and so many creeds,
All of them people, all with the same needs,
We must work together and understand please
To play the piano needs black and white keys.