PORS(S) JOHN PEATFIELD TUKE
(Eulogy delivered by Alan Rodgers - President RANCBA (WA))
John & Coral Tuke 1999 Reunion
Hello my name is Alan Rodgers and I am the President of the Royal Australian Communications Branch in Western Australia. I am honoured and privileged to be able to say a few words about John Peatfield Tuke.
John joined the Navy at age of 21 and served his country proudly for twelve years until his final discharge in 1972. I am told after joining HMAS Cerberus in 1960 John carried out his training with gusto and was enlisted into the Communications Branch which he loved. He loved the Navy. Following his training at HMAS CERBERUS in Victoria he was posted to many sea drafts (during his career) with his first posting to HMAS Quickmatch, Where I am told Brian Nichols first met him and stayed good friends with him from then on. Both Brian and John visited the Far East and as sailors do, enjoyed themselves very well. From time to time even had to remove each other from the storm water drains, obviously they must have been confused as sailors sometime are.
Brian is in Darwin and is very sad to be unable to attend this service today.
One of his sea posting, to HMAS PARRAMATTA, I have been reliably told that during a refit in Sydney, Tukey (as John was also know) was using a “Windy Hammer” chipping paint on the Flag Deck and decided to “stir up” another of the Communications Branch Staff in the Main Wireless Office.
He called down the voice pipe:
Are you there “Roley?”
“Then cop this”
John then disconnected the Hammer and sent a blast of compressed air down the voice pipe.
This in itself may have been ok as a joke BUT
Sitting at the main desk was Chief Petty Officer “mother Prior” – an immaculate, dapper little person in his best number one suite making a telephone call.
As you may well imagine a blast of air accompanied by years of accumulated dust, lint and gunk is blown all over the Coxswain turning him into a raving snowman.
John first marriage was early in his life, this was to Dorothy and he has two children to Dorothy, they are John and Suzanne.
He was also posted to land depots HMAS COONAWARRA (IN DARWIN) in 1963/64. And to HMAS CERBERUS in Victoria and carried out his duties as an Instructor.
When John was finally discharged from the navy in 1972 he finally returned to Western Australia and took up an entirely different career. That of Milkman: Those of you who may remember him during this time, could picture a totally different man to that of a sailor. Long haired, almost Hippie like. Pony tail streaming down his back he would be running from house to house delivering milk.
I am told that he had the fastest milk cart in the west.
Following Johns’ naval career he managed to catch the eye of an attractive your lass by the name of CORAL, they were married in 1986 and have a lovely young daughter, Bethany.
John was also Stepfather to Daniel, Fiona and Rachel.
His attitude to life in general, plus his always smiling demeanour and softly spoken manner seemed to be unchanged in all the years known.
John was one of those rare characters that passed through pussers and left an indelible impression on everybody that he came in contact with.
He will be sadly missed and remembered by a lot of people.
Our hearts go out to all the family members.
At the going down of the Sun and in the morning,
Rest in Peace shipmate,
Lest we Forget: