"Whenever a flier was fished out of the North Sea or the Channel, the RAF rescuers gave him a little felt insigne about an inch high, in the form of a half wing--showing a fish skipping over the water. This was a membership badge in the "Goldfish Club." It was sewn under the lapel, and displayed when occasion demanded. It wasn't worn outwardly because, I presume, we didn't want German agents to know how many guys had been fished out of the water." - Ernie Pyle, Brave Men (1943)
You're invited to join one of history's most exclusive clubs and one of the present's least, the "Fishbowl Club". The pandemic of 2020 feels somewhat never ending so we felt that all of us could use some good old fashioned British understatement and practiced nonchalance. Back in the dark days of the second World War the concept of industrial aerial combat was novel and so was the harrowing experience of having survived ditching your failing aircraft in the infinite ocean. In 1942, in classic British fashion, convened the first meeting of the "Goldfish Club" to honor and connect those that had been lucky enough to be rescued. (If this experience is not foriegn to you the club is still active today and accepting members.) Nothing is quite like a cute goldfish on a serene blue background to take the edge off of the memory of wondering if you were going to survive impact long enough to possibly freeze to death in the sea, drown or just simply disappear into oblivion.
Much like those airmen in 1942 the future is still uncertain and challenges remain, but we felt it useful to commemorate the shared trauma of the last few years as well as our perseverance with our own version of that patch. The arc at the bottom of our patch symbolizes the isolation of quarantine in our personal fishbowls, which on many days felt like a saucer. Each of us is represented by the goldfish that is beginning to emerge from the fishbowl with the aid of three wings. The wings are symbolic of the major waves of COVID, those that we lost and the vaccines. So here's to hoping we won't have to do this again and better days ahead!