I am always rather amazed at the stories Majorca throws up. Such a small place but with fascinating people.

Today, we published the story of Antonio Oliver Nicolau, who worked for many years in a bakery in the tiny village of Consell. I bet if you passed him on the street you probably wouldn't give him a second glance. But Antonio has a rather unique claim to fame; he was a waiter aboard probably the finest cruise ship ever built, the QE2.

Not only did he sail around the world six times he is probably the only Majorcan who can say that he took part in the Falklands war. The QE2 was taken over the Ministry of Defence in 1982 and set sail with thousands of troops aboard. Volunteers were sought to crew and support the vessel for its voyage to the South Atlantic and Antonio was one of them. After the aircraft carriers, Invincible and Hermes, the QE2 was probably one of the top targets for the Argentine air force. She was so valuable that she was kept away from the actual war-zone disembarking her troops at the island of South Georgia, which had only just been liberated by British troops. Antonio was part of the 600 crew who volunteered for the dangerous mission.

In the interview he said that he thoroughly enjoyed his time on the Cunard flagship, which visited Palma frequently during her long career. I remember having lunch aboard and having a fantastic time, in no small part thanks to a Spanish waiter who was from the Canary Islands!


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