As with all of us the Sydney was the first sea posting
staying onboard for three deployments to Vung Tau. From there to Watson
for ABUW course which took care of the rest of '68.We stood on
South Head and watched the brand new HMAS Brisbane sail into Sydney on
her delivery voyage and ten days later I joined her in January of '69.
Three months later I was back in Vung Tau but this time
on a real warship.I stayed in Brisbane for two and a half years
completing both her gunline deployments and the refit in between to fit
the IKARA missile system. I was promoted to LSUW in Hong Kong and posted
to Albatross at the end of the trip. Being a Kellick Dib Dab at Albatross meant only one
thing. The dreaded Gangway watchkeeper.
After a year I was posted back to Watson for PO's course
and then to the real Navy of minesweepers. Snipe for two years, then
cyclone Tracy played havoc with Darwin which bought me back to the
real world with a posting to Stuart which happened to be in Darwin Harbour. The
two years on Stuart saw a refit in wonderful Williamstown and then a
trip to USA to celebrate 200 years of Independence.We then completed the
first of the big multi - nation exercises at Shoalwater Bay Kangaroo 1.
I then swapped draft off Stuart who was deploying to the
far east for the Brisbane who was going to England for the Silver
Jubilee This trip was the highlight of my time in pussers.
I then did a short posting to Perth which bought up five
and a half years continuous sea time and then went ashore to Harman.
More of the dreaded gangway watchkeeping but also managed to meet my
future wife Toni Pearse LWRSTD. Nearly two years ashore was a record for
a TAS rate but I then went back to the minesweeper navy in Curlew. Great
ships who did great trips around the Pacific Islands and Far North
At last a promotion, POUW but you guessed it back to the
big smoke, Watson as an Instructor which was also for two years.
My next and last posting was to Queensland as POUW in
Heavy Landing Ship Tobruk which was more like an Army ship than a Navy
one. Great times were had and the feature of this posting was to drive
the ship up onto the beach nearly in front of the Naval College at
Jervis Bay The Old Man was grinning from ear to ear that day.
Tobruk as I said was my last posting which lasted three
and a half years and saw me promoted to CPOUW and was my longest stay in
any one place for twenty years and six months.
As I said at the beginning the familiar faces just faded
away or weren't where I was so until that reunion last year it was it
was all a mystery.
The biggest shock was to come in that at thirty six ,I
had to line up with all the rest of society and apply for a job. Not a
big call for CPOUW in the outside world.
It seemed a pity to waste all those years at sea so I
went to the Marine TAFE in Brisbane and gained my Master Class 4
Certificate which allows me to Skipper vessels over 25mtrs. along the
Qld coast. No jobs available at that time so did the compulsory
"Cab driver and Security Guard " until some thing came up.
It took two years but was employed by the Queensland
Government in their Marine division which is responsible for the
installation and maintenance of the Navigation Aids state wide and also
first response for any Marine Oil Spills that occur in QLD.( We helped
clean up the big spill in Sydney at Gore Bay a few years ago)
I have been with the department for nearly fifteen
years and have just recently been "posted" to my current
locality on the Sunshine Coast.
We bought this Bed & Breakfast last year as part of
the retirement plan so hope all goes well. Wayne Bancroft and his wife
Moira dropped in for "stand easy" while they were on their
recent QLD holiday. We worked out we hadn't seen each other since 1970
With all the contacts we are having through the emails I
now know how many of us are in the local area and maybe some contacts
can be established again. I did travel to Sydney with Woody for the
reunion as he only lives in the next suburb. when he is home!!!!)