Helping Save a King’s Life

How many of us can claim that we once helped save the life of the King of Saudi Arabia? Rhona Messinger can.

In October 1961 Rhona was living with her late husband Bob and their family in Dhahran when someone from the Blood Bank phoned, asking if she would come and give blood. They knew from their records that her blood type was O negative, making her a universal donor. Initially saying no, being busy at the moment with her family, she asked just in case why they needed blood on a weekend. They answered that it was for King Saud, who at that moment was staying in the hospital in Dhahran en route to the USA for treatment. Rhona immediately summoned a taxi and gave her life-saving nectar. She spent the standard $25 she received on a shopping trip to Al Khobar.

 Bob Messinger worked for Aramco for 35 years, while Rhona worked for them for 13 years as a Casual. Bob was working in Ras Tanura and on home leave in 1953 when he and Rhona met in Amsterdam. In January 1954 Bob flew to England, where he and Rhona were married in her home church. On their honeymoon, they stopped for a few days in Vienna and Cairo on their way to the Kingdom.

Rhona and Bob raised their three children, Ross, Andrea and Ray, in Saudi Arabia. Rhona happily reports that she now has seven grandchildren.

One of her favorite memories from her Aramco days is of taking her children on the bus to Half Moon Bay, where they loved sliding down the jebel. Another favorite memory is of playing bridge with their many friends.

Now living in San Diego, Rhona hopes to attend the upcoming reunion in Monterrey, health permitting. At the last reunion she attended, she met many of her children’s friends, members of the next generation.

Rhona would love to hear from any former Aramcon friends who see this article. You can mail her at 18655 West Bernardo Drive, San Diego, California 92127 USA or email her at [email protected].