This week I received my degree at a graduation ceremony, and while that piece of paper is a pretty swell piece of paper to have, I'm also excited about my Nanna's graduation gift.
My father's family is from the Shetland Islands, a tiny cluster of islands to the far north of Scotland. Plenty of fine things come from this part of the world: Shetland ponies, Shetland sheepdogs, Fair Isle Knitting, my family. Off the coast of the Shetland mainland is Foula.
In 1914, the Oceanic was wrecked just off Foula. It had at one time been the biggest ship in the world and was made in the same shipyard as the Titanic with similarly luxurious fittings. The dangerous waters that had been the Oceanic's downfall also hampered any salvage efforts until 1973, when advances in equipment made diving feasible.
At that time two divers, Alec Crawford and Simon Martin, managed to recover some of the valuable metals used in the engine rooms, including copper from the generators. Shetland Silvercraft (now known as Shetland Jewellery) crafted the metal into pieces linked to the story.
(See the island's silhouette?)