In Loving Memory

Sydney Cook

1918 - 2007

From 1993 through 2007, a familiar sight at our boat show exhibits has been my father, Sydney Cook. Many who met him enjoyed his company, his British accent, and if you were lucky, one of his many stories. Few knew that he was known worldwide in his elite marine circle as a premier marine engineer and naval architect.

My father grew up in the port city of Kingston upon Hull, England. At an early age, he was an eager student, and by the age of 21, had three degrees in Marine, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering. At age 25, Sydney was Chief Engineer of a Liberty Ship in the Royal Merchant Marine; a position usually held by someone twice his age. Being at sea, however, was in his blood; my grandfather had been a Chief Engineer and sailed during WWI, and my greatgrandfather, a captain on a tall ship in the 19th century. For 7 years, Sydney traveled in the heroic convoys of World War II, and although many ships had been sunk by the infamous U-boats near him, my father was fortunate not to meet the fate of many mariners by being torpedoed.




 WWII Era "Liberty Ship"
 Sydney Cook
Chief Engineer (1944)

 British Merchant Marine Ensign

After gaining years of marine surveying experience, my father built the first supertanker in post-war Japan. He also designed and built some of the most fuel efficient, yet beautiful steam turbine cargo ships of the Twentieth Century.

My father was also the Vice-President of Marchessini Lines for over forty years. Headquartered in lower Manhattan at 26 Broadway, NYC, this position took my father around the world dozens of times.


 Sydney Cook,,
V.P. of Marchessini Lines

 P.D. Marchessini & Company Flag

By the time I was 14, my father had traveled 7 of those years, but we were to have our time together at a later date, as he volunteered his ready smile, time and effort towards my (then) new business in 1992.

Having my father in our Fendergrip booth was certainly overkill. However, he was never boastful, and to the contrary, was very humble while answering customers' questions. I know that many customers who met him, left with the feeling that they had encountered someone special.

My Dad had a long life, and the last 15 years we shared together working at New World Marine was especially something that I will always cherish. Although death is expected at an older age, it is hard to express the loss I feel. Although one's practical side knows how inevitable death is, part of me is diminished at knowing that his bright intellect and personality will not be seen again in this lifetime.

As Sydney would have said, "All the Best".

Thank you for visiting,

Peter Cook

Given that my father devoted his life to the sea,
the following poem seemed most appropriate, and
was read at his memorial service:

Gone from My Sight
(Author unknown)
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side
spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and
starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where
the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says "There, she is gone!"
"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side and
she is just as able to bear her load of living freight
to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone
at my side says: "There, she is gone!"
there are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout
"Here she comes!",
and that is dying.

Death is nothing at all
(Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul's Cathedral)

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before 
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!