*Photo by James Burton
*Photo by James Burton

A steady stream of people queued up at People’s Pharmacy today to get their signed copy of a book chronicling a local man’s worldly adventures.

Amateur author Michael Pearman’s publication details his 96-year-old father Edric’s ‘escapades’ from a young boy in St George’s to his experiences serving in the Royal Navy in World War II. It’s is called ‘Socci’, his father’s nickname, which he earned as a youngster in the east end.

Pearman senior, who served as a PO Coxswain during the conflict in the 1940's, has retained a razor-sharp memory that ensures the book, which took a year to complete, does not miss a beat. And the two men were happy to sign copies, share memories and meet long-lost friends in the process of publicizing their book in Hamilton.

“It’s gone pretty good,” said Edric Pearman. “We were driven inside because of the rain but we’ve done pretty good!

“I’ve met a lot of people and some family that I’ve never met before. I’m enjoying myself – I’m 96 and I’m enjoying it!”

He added: “It’s great to be able to talk to people about my life and explain to people about these things that happened years ago – things that wouldn’t happen these days because things are so different. People in those days were more friendly and families mostly stayed together.”

The book has more than 40 illustrations, family genealogy and a map of St George’s as it was during Edric Pearman’s childhood in the 1920's.

The idea of getting the memories down in print grew from regular story-time sessons in the family’s kitchen.

“We used to get the boys and their friends in the kitchen and I would tell them all about my escapades – and the children would be interested. That’s what happened,” said Edric Pearman.

His son Michael hopes people on the island will be inspired by the stories and that it will give people, young and old, a vivid glimpse back into a different era, as well as increasing people’s ‘sense of belonging’.

He said the book has ‘humour, excitement and some sadness’. “He’s led no ordinary life – he got to see the world.”