||15 years 9 months
||12th October 1966
||Leeuwin, Sydney, Cerberus, Anzac, Oxley, Otway
Training Consultant in Emergency Evacuation procedures
with a Company called TRIMEVAC
|After our stint on the
Sydney, only three trips for me, drafted to Anzac with Jack
Crane after our Stoker's course. Iím sure this ship was
part of the P&O line, as we didnít get out of the south
pacific while I was on it.
Wanted off this tub and tried
to talk Jack into applying for Subs, he declined, so I did
alone and the rest is history. Went to the UK for a few
months then back to Platypus. By this time P&O were into
the RAN, back to the South Pacific, what a drag, I joined
the Navy to see the world?
Free discharge in Xmas 73 due to the new
Labour Government at the time, I think they wanted to down
size the services to keep election promises.
In the mean time prior leaving the service, married Melba
in 1970, the love of my life who Bernie Davis introduced me
to, 'thanks Bernie'.
We had our first in the December 71, child that is, she is
now 32 and has two children of her own, Kirsten 10 and Alex
8. Like some of you, our kids divorce and remarry, as
Nicole has, and another grandchild is on the way.
Now our other child, Mathew is 29 and works for State
Transit, yes, as a stoker or a little more qualified, a
He lives with a couple of mates in town and has a steady
girl friend, no grand children in this relation ship yet.
OK, now let me remember what has been happening over the
past 38 years, on reflection it only seems like yesterday
when a group of young kids were waiting outside the
recruitment office in Perth to be transported to Leeuwin.
Anyway, we all got up to no good even managed to get a
drink, donít forget the drinking age in W. A. was 21, many
of the eastern state boys had been into it for a while as
the age was 18 and some of you looked the part. D. J. liked
a drink, so much so he went over the fence to get a kit bag
of grog that we, or some of us put in a few $'s for. We got
caught, some one found out and sprung us, I still think it
was a set up. D. J. took the wrap and got 2 & 2, I got 14
days 9's and I can't remember who else got busted with us,
let me know if any of you can remember. In the main they
were good times, who would want to remember the bad ones.
Any way lets move on its bringing tears to my eyes, who
said I wasnít sentimental.
When I left the Navy in 73, I thought I was the most,
that is, I went back to Perth with Melba and Nicole and
applied for every managing Directors job going, however they
could not see the potential in my vast experience so I had
to settle for a job as a cleaner in a pub.
I worked my way up through the ranks to the cellarman and
then barman. After a few months of this I came to the
conclusion that working in a pub would only destroy our
marriage and me.
We headed back to Sydney Town and stayed with Melba's Mum
and Dad for a while until we got a place of our own.
Melba's Dad got me a job at Cable Makers in Liverpool where
I worked for 12 months as a labourer in the foam processing
Then one day, I ran into Bernie Davis
who was working at the airport as a Fire Fighter. He gave
me the information I needed and organised an interview.
Thanks to Bernie (again), I was on the path to a career in
Aviation Fire fighting. After about 10 years or so I moved
on to the Department of Main Roads as their Fire and
Dangerous Goods Officer, what a job, but all good things
come to and end, the D. M. R. regionalised and the position
was no longer, however I was able to get a position as the
Central Regions Safety Officer. This wasnít my cuppa, so I
responded to an ad for a position as a Training Co-ordinator
with a risk management company setting up a new section
involving emergency evacuation procedures. After six years
of this, went to a few other companies doing the same type
of work, five years later, landed back where I started at
Trime-vac and Iím still there, for how much longer I donít
Melba and I are now living in Culburra Beach, 20 km east
of Nowra, however we rent a flat from our daughter Nicole,
and spend the week in Greystanes and go back down the coast
Melba works at Liverpool Council and intends to give it up
next July, by that time I should know my fate. Like a lot
of you, I put in a claim to Veteran Affairs, however only
got 60%, appealed and was granted 80%. I was knocked back
on PTSD and Grog abuse, but my hearing is shot and I got a
little for anxiety. I recently changed advocates and am
Well Iím lost for any more information at this time
however I would like to thank Butch and Sandy for the BBQ
and the chance to meet with some of you prior to the last
I did remember some of you, and to those of you I could not,
well, we all get old and I apologise. By the way, I was a
bit quiet and didnít mix all that well, with this hearing
loss of mine, taking Lovan and off the grog I have an
excuse, however I've now got aids (hearing that is), still
on Lovan and back on the grog, but I feel good.
I am looking forward to the next reunion on the Gold
Coast and given weíll have a few days to bond together,
should be exciting. I would also
like to take this opportunity to thank the team responsible
for the 17 web site and the planning committee, well done.