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First Wedding (illustrated with photographs)


The Endeavour Replica - In Sydney

November 25th 2006 was a pleasant Sydney late-spring evening. There was a gentle breeze across the waters as craft of all types, both power and sail, went about their business on a quite busy Sydney Harbour.

On board HMB Endeavour, alongside the Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Roy Dibden and Barbara Rowe, fulfilled a dream as they became the first couple to be married aboard the ship. The celebrant, Captain Russell Hansen, looked splendid in his crisp white uniform. The Great Cabin was filled with a sense of awe as Roy and Barbara signed the Marriage Certificate. That room, the exact replica of Endeavour’s Great Cabin, which had seen so much of history and voyages of discovery, was the scene once again of history and the beginning of a lifetime of discovery and adventure for Roy and Barbara, who had flown in from France especially to be able to be married aboard Endeavour.

As the guests, family and friends, ascended above decks for photographs, celebration drinks and canapés, a few wondered what the small group of four, who had come aboard whilst the wedding party were below, were doing standing behind the mizzen-mast, off to one side.

At a suitable pause in the photo-taking session, all was revealed. This was a group from CCS-A, invited by the UK officers, to surprise Roy and Barbara. The group comprised Daphne Salt (NSW convenor), Patrick Dodd (a volunteer guide and crew aboard Endeavour), Nick Boes and Mal Nicolson. Gifts, cards, felicitations and congratulations were presented from CCS-A and the CCS as a whole, to the happy couple.

The surprise was well received and completely unexpected; such had been the excellent organisation and co-ordination that had gone into this remarkable event.

Roy had dressed suitably for the occasion, wearing his CCS tie, which comes up well in the photograph above.

As the sun dipped below the sails the group wished the couple fair sailing for the future, fine weather for their Aussie honeymoon, and congratulations, best wishes and au revoir.

Continuing the nautical theme the wedding party adjourned to the retired steam ferry-boat "SS South Steyne" just along the wharf, for the wedding reception.

Mal Nicolson I felt very privileged to be invited as a member of the Captain Cook Society’s gatecrashing delegation to be at the wedding of Roy Dibden and Barbara Rowe. My compliments to the organisers for making this possible.

Nick Boes

Roy and Barbara Dibden with Captain Russell Hansen
Roy and Barbara Dibden with Captain Russell Hansen
Roy and Barbara with the gatecrashers from CCS-A
Roy and Barbara with the "gatecrashers" from CCS-A

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 12, volume 30, number 1 (2007).

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