HMAS LEEUWIN 17TH INTAKE

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HMAS Leeuwin - Junior Recruit Training Establishment  

October 1966 to October 1967

This website is dedicated to Michael John BROWN who passed away 3 December 2006
Mike did an enormous amount of work to make this site a reality

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Stephen Francis BOCK

Official No: R95709 Aged: 15 years 10 months Joined: 8th October 1966
Division: Morrow Home Port: Sydney Discharged: 7th October 1978
Branch:

ME (stoker)

Postings: Leeuwin, Sydney, Cerberus, Supply, Cerberus, Penguin, Brisbane, Stuart, Penguin, Melville (Coonawarra), Kimbla (Temp), Supply.
Notes:
Current Occupation: Retired (TPI)
1966 today
Biography:
Steve's history

I left pusses on completion of 12 years at the dizzy heights of LSMTP3*.  I moved to W.A. to live and got married to Barbara in November 1978.  We have three losers, Claire and Sarah (20) and Kathryn (17).  The reason I call them losers is because I lost about 8 dozen king browns betting that they were going to be boys. Claire has a diploma in Civil Engineering (now going for degree), Sarah is at university doing a degree in nursing and Kathryn is employed in administration.

                My first job when I left was as a plumber’s offsider, digging trenches and chasing out walls to install piping in new houses. I did this for about three months and decided this was not going to be my next career.  I then obtained a position in Kwinana Power Station working for the State Government as a plant attendant looking after their ashing system – these boilers ran on coal, gas and oil.  I moved from Kwinana to East Perth Power Station – the ark is not at Mt Ararat, it was in East Perth.  At one stage I was actually shovelling coal into the bunkers for the boilers and the rejects from the boiler and mills had to be wheelbarrowed to large bins to be dumped later.  I worried about asbestos problems after leaving pusses but the next worry was coal dust on the lungs – sometimes you could not see three foot in front of you when there were coal dust leaks.  Some mornings when I woke the pillowslip used to be black from the dust coming out of my skin.  I was glad when they shut down East Perth and I moved to Kwinana again.  I was a Power Plant Operator and later became a Power Station Operator.  I went to TAFE and got an Advanced Certificate of Engineering (subjects were Electrotechnology, Thermodynamics, control concepts, fluid mechanics, dynamics and strength of materials).  I had a headache for 7 months doing this full time.  I got involved in the unions and represented the troops in court cases, was a committee member of Strategic Automation project to upgrade the power station and was a member of Wages Competency Standards for power stations and later assisted with the National Standards. I was also a member of the Redundancy, Retraining and Redeployment committee.  I hold a National Certificate for all classes of Boilers, all classes of turbines and steam reciprocating engines. I hold a 330kV switching ticket. I operated boilers up to 16.5 Mpa (540 degrees C) and turbines up to 200 MW, gas turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generator on the end to 24 MW and reverse osmosis plant output 400 tonne per hour.  I got to turn the City of Lights into a dark spot when we went on strike and shut down (did this about 6 times).  The last time we did it they chased us to give us writs – I went missing for 24 hours.

 After doing 21+ years working for the government I took a voluntary redundancy.  I then worked for Anaconda Nickel at Murrin Murrin (between Leonora and Laverton) two weeks on/one week off for about six months.  This is one of the most dangerous places I have ever worked.  On a regular basis we had hydrogen sulphide leaks that would put someone in hospital with eye and lung complaints. I resigned from this job.  On advice, I applied to Department of Veteran Affairs for a Gold card and after about 4 months was granted a T.P.I.  So, I am now a dottering pensioner and loving it.  To those who knew me when I was on the leaner side have no fear there is two of me here.  I gave up smoking about 12 years ago and went into a feeding frenzy to compensate.  At the peak of this frenzy I weighted 19 stone (about 122 kgs).  Over the last 2 years I have been slowly coming down and am about 16 stone – the ultimate aim is about 14 stone.  I have few regrets in life, I did not always get the cards dealt right but I put this down to a lesson not to get caught in “all things are good and everyone can be trusted”.  I love my drink, fishing, family, friends and cryptic crosswords, not necessarily in this order.  Life was meant to be easy – just that money is needed to complete this proverb.  

 


 

Personal photographs

 

 

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Last modified: October 13, 2018