|by Paul Holden, PRO|
23 March 2001
AIRCREW LEARN ABOUT FALKLANDS
FROM FORMER COLLEAGUE
At their March meeting, members of the Woking Branch of the Aircrew Association enjoyed a most inspirational talk about the Falkland Islands from a former Lancaster Pilot in the Pathfinders force, Geoff Moir, DFC, FRGS, FRPSI.
Following his wartime career, Mr Moir became a schoolmaster. He became interested in the Falklands as a result of his hobby of philately; so when he was offered a post-retirement opportunity to reopen a school at Fox Bay in the Falklands following the Argentinean conflict, he accepted with alacrity, and spent four happy years from 1982-86 living on a remote farm on the western island.
On his return in 1986, he became concerned to refute the number of misconceptions he found about the Falklands, and set out to lecture and write about the islanders, and their struggle to diversify their skills from their basic sheep farming, as the bottom dropped out of the wool market. In addition to this, his talk covered the proud history of 168 years of peaceful government from the UK, and the decisive Battle of the Falkland Islands in 1914, in which every German ship was sunk, to achieve naval control of the South Atlantic. During the Second World War, the 2,500 population of the whole group of Islands donated £10,000 to buy 10 Spitfires, which all took part in the Battle of Britain. On his return to the Falklands in 1998, he was amazed and delighted to see new roads, modern and successful schools, and a developing tourist industry to absorb and entertain the increasing numbers of cruise ship passengers, which arrive almost daily.