Help me find my army pal from Bristol Zoo visit 60 years ago

A Yorkshire baker is trying to contact a former army pal who took him to Bristol Zoo Gardens almost 60 years ago.

Peter Mawer has not seen Aky Akulina since 1959 when they were in the Army Catering Corps doing National Service.

But shortly before Christmas Peter suddenly thought he would try to get in touch with him.

Peter, 78, sat down at his home in Hessle, near Hull and wrote a card.

In it he said: “Hi, do you remember me from our army days in 59 to 61 when you took me to Bristol Zoo?”

He then addressed the card to “Aky Akulina, Somewhere near Bristol Zoo” and wrote on the envelope “Hope you can find him”.

Peter, who after completing his National Service in 1961 set up Mawers Family Bakery in Hull, said: “One weekend I was supposed to get a train to London but I missed my connection and Aky said ‘Come home with me.’

“His mum made a real fuss of me. She said to Aky ‘Take him to the Zoo’.”

Peter says he remembers lying on the main lawn in the heart of the Zoo sunbathing.

He stayed with Aky for the weekend and shortly afterwards was posted back home to Yorkshire.

Peter, who is now retired, said he and Aky served together for about nine months when he was stationed near Bristol.

He recalled: “He made really good gravy and I couldn’t make good gravy, but I could cook better than he could.”

Peter said he had not tried to contact Aky in the years that followed but just before Christmas he thought he would send a card.

“He just came into my mind and I thought I would drop him a line,” Peter said.

The card was delivered to Bristol Zoo Gardens a few days ago.

If anyone knows Aky Akulina or any of his family Peter would love to hear from them.

Please contact him c/o Rob Stokes at Bristol Zoo Press Office on 0117 428 5320 or rstokes@bristolzoo.org.uk


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