ROYAL Navy veteran Bob Currie has realised a lifelong ambition — and published his first book of poetry at the age of 80.
The pensioner, from Sunningdale Road, Portchester, was inspired to write the book and raise money for The Rowans Hospice, after his friend Ian Macpherson died there two years ago.
Mr Currie said he had also dedicated the book to his late wife Dora Rose, who died three years ago. Dora Rose worked for The News as a van driver for 17 years.
Mr Currie, a regular letter writer to The News, said: ‘I have always been interested in writing poetry, I’ve written it all my life. It’s always been at the back of mind to write a book.’
Mr Currie said he got some friendly advice from a neighbour, who said publishing a book is relatively cheap and he realised he could make money for charity — and he could think of no better charity than The Rowans Hospice.
‘Ian spent the last three weeks of his life there,’ said Mr Currie.
‘They treated him so well. They were so kind to him. We were both Scottish, and both served in the Royal Navy together. He met and married an English girl, so did I, and we both moved to Portsmouth. Our children were even born at the same time.’
Mr Currie got 250 copies of his book published at Bishops Printers, in Walton Road, Portsmouth.
Mr Currie said: ‘I’m 80 this year and one of the chaps at the printers said I should promote the fact that it’s never too late to realise a dream.’
Mr Currie said he was also heartened when Portsmouth libraries bought nine copies to put on their shelves.
The book, which is entitled Family of Poems and costs £5, is available to buy from The Rowans Hospice charity shops.
Mr Currie said: ‘What’s going to surprise people is how entertaining it is. I sent a copy to a friend in Scotland and they wrote back with £20 saying they’ll take four!’