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Chris thoughtfully and lovingly owned and operated Sea Ocean Book Berth for 22 years. In April he sailed off to the next adventure leaving this - his “ship” - still intact but with a desire for all the books (if not the collection as a whole) to find good homes.
This store was his ‘true love’ - 2nd to his lovely wife Cecily and 2 grown children, Ian and Shalynn, of course! Over the years he carefully cultivated and curated this collection, and found great joy in doing it.
Chris was British, born in Milan, Italy. He spent most of his youth in the UK, but started his adventures all over the globe at 16yrs old. He had always been an avid reader and book collector. He found books about ocean travels and sci-fi most interesting, stemming from some of his first memories as a little boy of sailing on the Conte Rossi from Italy back to England the day before Mussolini declared war on Germany in 1943. He vividly remembered sitting on a bollard waiting to board amidst all the “excitement”.
His interest in ships and travel didn’t wane and at 16 years old, after 6 months of study and 3 exams to pass, he got his first job on the White Star Line – on mixed cargo ships running of the African coast. The company was so pleased with his work that they offered to send him to Warsash Maritime Academy in Southampton, UK to study early and sit his Masters ticket as soon as possible – which he achieved quickly.
Chris worked all kinds of different ships – cargo and cruise liners and travelled all over the world having amazing experiences – and of course collecting books, interesting objects and great stories all along the way. He was always excited to acquire the most unique, interesting and historically valuable kinds of books. Everywhere he travelled he carried books and his Sony Tape Deck.
Eventually he came ashore in Hong Kong to build a life with his wife & family. This didn’t stop his maritime work though. He started running shipping and container companies, helped build a typhoon marina, established and owned 3 companies with import export and had a travel agency, which Cecily ran. And all the while collecting books!
It only made sense after moving to the USA to do something with his growing book collection – and he always wanted to own a book shop, so SeaOcean Book Berth was opened.
Even though he was a fairly quiet and introverted salty sea captain, he really loved a good discussion and especially expressed his desire to THANK HIS CUSTOMERS for the many years of those pleasurable and colourful conversations.
THANK YOU for supporting this bookshop and his passion!
~ Peacefully, Capt. Chris
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