Tuesday 31 January 2023 ,
Latest News
11 May, 2017 00:00 00 AM

Print

M’aidez! Mayday!

M’aidez! Mayday!

Mahim Hussain

The year was 1920. After finishing the last day of training, Frederick Stanley Mockford, the 23-year-old British radio officer, bid farewell to his counterparts at the Civil Aviation Safety Investigation and Analysis Office at Le Bourget Airport in Paris.The young officer was sent from England for a vocational training soon after he was appointed as a local radio officer at Croydon Airport near London. At that time, since most of the commercial flights were between Croydon and Le Bourget, officers who worked as radio operators had to get specialised training from the French office.   
When the training was over, Mockford had to board a flight back home, which was due to depart in six hours. Since he had a few hours to spare, he decided to roam about the foreign city. He went to a world-renowned gallery, which exhibited a large number of sculptures and paintings by renowned French artists. As Mockford was scrutinising a famous painting closely, he heard someone panting behind him. He turned over his shoulder to see a young woman carrying a painting twice her size. She was struggling hard to hang the paining on the opposite wall. At first glance, Mockford thought she was the most beautiful girl he had ever laid his eyes upon. She had long, blond hair, turquoise eyes that sparkled and a sharp nose. While Mockford was staring at her, she shot a glance him and uttered in French:
“Ne regardez pas seulement! Venez m’aider!” (Don’t just stare! Come and help me!)
Mockford had learned French, which was a pre-requisite for his job. So, the girl’s cry for help brought him back to his senses and he stepped up to give her a hand. After managing to hang the painting in the right place with his help, the girl turned to Mockford and thanked him.
She told him she had to carry the large painting all the way from the ground floor. But before Mockford could introduce himself, she suddenly bolted out of the room hastily. Mockford went after her. At that moment, a group of enthusiastic schoolchildren trotted up the stairs, and the girl disappeared through the crowd. Mockford was stuck in a corner for a while, until he managed to struggle down past them. By the time he reached the ground floor, the woman had disappeared. Mockford asked around desperately, but no one could give him any information about her. He even attempted to meet the manager of the gallery to get some information about her, but his request was declined. Crestfallen, Mockford headed back to the airport and never saw the young woman again.
Frederick Mockford was from Durham, England. He was the third child of his parents and the first in the family to get an education and make it to the city of London. His father worked all his life in a coal mine and struggled to provide for his family. Hence, deprivation was the driving force in young Frederick’s life, and he was determined to alter his own fate.
In 1923, Mockford was stationed in London as a senior radio officer. When approached by the authorities to come up with a simple word to indicate a distress call in the booming aviation sector, Mockford was reminded of the mystery woman he had stumbled upon at Le Bourget. Instantaneously, he came up with the word, ‘Mayday’, from the French “M’aider”, a shortened version of “Venez m’aider”, which was to become a globally used emergency signal in the transport industry. Editor’s note: This is a fictionalised version about English radio operator Frederick Stanley Mockford (1897 –1962) inventing the distress call signal, Mayday, in 1923.

Comments

Poll
Today's Question »
State minister for power Nasrul Hamid yesterday said everyone to have access to electricity by June. Do you think the feat achievable by the timeframe?
 Yes
 No
 No Comment
Yes 47.3%
No 48.7%
No Comment 4.1%
Most Viewed
E-Paper

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting