Past Writers Forum President Peter Wright died peacefully in his sleep on March 25, 2015. Born in Wallasey, England, Peter grew up primarily in Bristol during WWII, eventually moving to the U.S.
After spending his formative years at Blackfriers Dominican School for Boys, where his mother had sent him in hopes he would become a priest, Peter enrolled in the Outward Bound Sea School for training to become an apprentice midshipman and joined the Merchant Navy.
In 1944 he joined the Elder Dempster Lines of Liverpool as an indentured apprentice aboard the Merchant Ship “Calumet” bound for the North Atlantic and the west coast of Africa, where his ship dodged Nazi U-Boats for the rest of World War II. After the war, he spent the next three years on different ships with Elder Dempster calling on the many ports of West Africa.
In 1947 Peter passed the Second Mates examination and rejoined Elder Dempster lines as an officer sailing to Africa and other parts of the world. He ultimately gained his Master Mariners license in 1958 and was employed by the Bristol City Lines between England and North America.
Immigrating to the United States, he first worked for a stevedoring company in Cleveland, Ohio until he discovered there was no employment during the winter months. Moving to the West Coast, he joined the Kerr Steamship Company in San Francisco as Port Captain responsible for handling freighters in Bay Area ports. In 1976 his qualifications as a Captain and his waterfront experience of ships and cargoes carried enabled him to work for a Marine Surveying company which took him to jobs throughout the West Coast and the world working for cargo owners, insurance companies and ship owners.
In 1991 he and his wife, Gloria, moved to Redding, CA where he spent his retirement writing books, gardening and making model ships. His model of the “USS Constitution” is on display at the Redding Library.
Peter was a member of the Library Board and the Redding Writers Forum. He was a gentle, thoughtful soul, and he lived a rich, adventurous life that he generously shared in his captivating memoirs. He wrote four books describing his early life and adventures at sea.
A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at the Center for Spiritual Living, 1905 Hartnell Avenue, Redding, CA.
Thank you for sharing some of his fascinating life with us.
I had no idea Peter had gone. We never met but had so much in common, even sailing with the same shipping company. I am so pleased I contacted this great man and love his books. He was good enough to send me a signed copy of one of them from the USA FOC. We had arranged to meet here in the UK some years back but he had to cancel his trip due to an injury.
Rest in Peace Peter