Memories of Leeuwin: 1. First Haircut 2. Threats of
physical violence by ‘senior’ J.R.’s i.e. take up smoking or else,
so they could ‘borrow’ a fag (Never Did!) 3. Run the gauntlet of boots
in pillow-cases. 4. Posting out and going to the big smoke (Sydney).
Memories of The Sydney: 1. Using fire hoses to clean the
forward heads. 2. Whilst in Vung Tau harbour with others on the flight
deck, jumping up and down hoping the Cong would take a pot shot at us so
we would get a medal. 3. Being so bluddy young and naïve 4. Trying to put
up a hammock after a night on the piss.
Bad Memories: 1. Being pushed off the wharf in Gladstone and
nearly drowning, civvy who was responsible disappears by the time I manage
to get out. 2. Dragging myself back on board where Peter Carmichael
thought it was so funny, we had to be separated after almost coming to
blows. 3. Peter also thought it funny when, at Harman, he put a foreign
liquid in my drink (I did repay him in kind!) 4. Being in Fiji for
the coup, it was both funny and serious. I was the first person to notify
the Skipper after hearing about it on the local radio and him thinking I
had been drinking (I had but I was still right!)
Best Posting: My time on Vampire and Vendetta was great but
Penquin was by far the best. I was posted there as Senior Sailor’s Mess
Manager for 3 years. It had some great ‘Perks’
1) Though I lived ashore I had my personal cabin onboard
2) Was paid beside my normal Pusser’s wage a cash amount of $250. a
3) Never paid for a drink (and I had a few!)
4) Had free reign with very little interference
5) Free meals
My time in Pussers was done in 2 stints. After the initial 10 years I
decided to have a break and travel the world to the places the Navy
generally didn’t go, i.e. Russia, Israel, Africa etc. Had a
fantastic time eventually meeting a lovely young spunk from New Zealand,
Dora, my future bride, on a Tiki trip through Europe.
After 3 years O/S came back to Australia, signed back on and did
another 10 years to get my pension.
Since paying off for good have lived ‘the quiet life’ in the shade
of the Adelaide hills, worked in a pub and then Ansett till they fell over
and now help to produce books and lots of junk mail. My wife, Dora, works
at Adelaide City Council in marketing, our son Paul is just finishing his
1st year of university, bachelor of science-human movement.
Have helped out with Paul’s local footy club over the years, most Friday
nights you will find me there having a quiet beer or three.