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Boat blessed ready for veterans' charity.

Byline: Alex Finnis Reporter alex.finnis@ncjmedia.co.uk

in in ch wa as str was as A GREAT tale of lost and found had a fitting ending on St George's Day, as a fishing boat donated to a veterans' charity was renamed and blessed. Steve Jackson, 66, met Bernard "Dusty" Miller in 1965 in Lemgo, Germany, where they both served with the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. They became close friends but lost contact when they both left the service in 1973.

with bb bb bth in Steve was delighted when he came across Dusty at a reunion event in 2012, completely by chance, though Dusty was unable to speak well, as he had suffered a stroke.

wDin ch wa as strN ma Du and DuB cide Ass Nevertheless, he re-mained in contact with Dusty and his wife Jen, and they spoke about Dusty's love of sea fishing.

By another lucky coincidence, Steve's Forward-Assist/About Turn veterans' charity took veterans fishing, and so arranged for Dusty to go, while Dusty donated an old boat that had been sitting unused in a field for five years.

They decided to give it a new lease of life and get it back on the seas again but, tragically, Dusty passed away in September last year before the work was completed.

He was remembered on St George's Day as the newly-painted, pristine boat, renamed the Dusty-Jen, was unveiled and blessed at a touching service at St Andrew's Church in Newcastle.

"The boat was in terrible condition when we first got it, but thanks to International Paints we've painted it in the Northumberland Fusiliers colours like Dusty wanted," said Steve.

"We decided to bless and rename the boat on St George's Day because it is the regimental day of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

"It is going to be used by veterans for social events and fishing because Dusty was a keen fisherman."

Reverend Canon Glyn Evans led prayers, hymns and the national anthem, before blessing the boat with holy water.

The champagne popped, and half of that ended up over the boat too, but quickly dried off in the sunshine.

Dusty's widow Jen, 63, said: "He was a very, very funny man.

"He was lovely and very gentle." g

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The blessing of the "Dusty-Je" boat at St Andrew's Church in Newcastle C

Jen Miller and Steve Jackson give the boat a Champagne launch
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:5BERM
Date:Apr 24, 2014
Words:399
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