comMUNICATOR’S FORUM

QSO the World - January to June 2002

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have been informed unofficially that Paul Rattray lost his battle with cancer on 11 June 2002 at Inverell Hospital in NSW, age 55.  I will provide more information as it comes to hand.  Lest we Forget. 25/6/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

James Barnes sends:  "There was a poem which I found quite funny called 'Ode to a Sailor', It was published in Navy News a very long time ago and thought it was absolutely brilliant, I would love to get a copy of this again. I am sure it is in some Signalman's Bridge file somewhere whether they realise it or not, along with Falcon code and all the other old dying trades we practiced."  If anyone is able to help James please contact him direct, with a copy to me and I will publish it in the MSO.  25/6/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bobbie Bacon has passed on the following information: "Judy Hunter from Queensland is at present in the NT, and has spoken to a few of us in regard to the WRANS. On the website "Gunplot", Russ Greystones has given Judy the opportunity to run a WRANS section, so as the girls can make contact, chat, email, etc. with past and present WRANS so as to keep the "service" of WRANS alive and not be overshadowed by others and fade into the background. As there have been no intakes of WRANS since 1984, let's keep these memories on-going, spread the word to other ex-WRANS, and help Judy to keep this Forum alive. We need yours and everyone's help with this. Cheers, Bobbie."  Tks Bobbie, this is a very worthwhile initiative and will be a welcome addition to Russ' excellent site at http://www.gunplot.com  

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alan 'Buck' Rodgers, the President of the WA Chapter, sends:

MEDAL (OAM) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION.
Arthur Henry Hewitt, Attadale, for services to veterans and their families, particularly through the Navy Association of Australia and the WA Division of the Navy League of Australia. Arthur served in the RAN during the period 1938 to 1950 and is a current member of the Western Australian Chapter of the RANCBA. Our heartiest congratulations go to him for his voluntary community work ion looking after those in need. Regards, Alan Rodgers.  Tks Buck, sorry to take so long to post this for you.  Our congratulations go to Arthur for his well deserved award.  17/6/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dave Jeffrey, the President of the ACT Chapter, has passed on the following information about a service plaque.  These are manufactured locally here in the ACT and are well worth the money, the plaque shown is A4 size and costs around $120.00.  Different versions are available at around the $50.00 mark.  If anyone is interested, please contact TROPHYLINK direct on trophylink@trophy.com.au  Thanks Dave, I have seen one of the plaques and they are very well done - I intend to have one behind my bar as soon as I can organise it.  16/6/02.

Graham Blewitt  has now advised: "We have had difficulty sourcing the availability & range of Rank badges. The only rank badges that are available are PO & CPO. Plaques fully badged with all details are $95 ($90 without rank badges) + $10 postage & handling."  15/8/02.

Service Plaque

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Diane Lawrence sends: "Early this year I ordered a port crock (the Harold E Holt one) from Adam Farley, which was advertised on this site. Delivery was promised April/May. I have not received my port crock yet, and Adam's e-mail address is no longer valid. Can anyone else who ordered one tell me if they've got theirs yet? Or Adam, if you still read this site, can you tell me what the delay is. Thanks. Diane Lawrence, Bomaderry."  Is anyone able to help Di with this?  I don't know if others have been successful or not.  4/6/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bill Waldock advises that Jim Anderson is in hospital again: "John, I thought I would advise you of JR Anderson.  Jim today is in Calvary Hospital to collect his tupperware knee. Should be home in approx 7 days. The Reunion was a success by the Photo's. Good to see a lot of old faces. Well Done,  Bill Waldock."  Tks Bill, please let Jim know we wish him well and a speedy recovery - I'm sure others will want to make contact also.  30/5/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Keith Hetherington "Just stumbled on this web site by accident and have had a great time going through and reminiscing. My name is Keith Hetherington Ex LSSIG 1972-1982 and currently work at Ayers Rock on a two weeks on two weeks off basis with my two weeks off being spent back in Melbourne. I work in the tower at the airport provided flight information services. It was great to see and read some of the old names cause apart from Les Church and Bob Way I have not had contact with anyone really since I left, just wish I had found the site before the Canberra Smokie, anyway if you could put my email on QSO I would appreciate that and maybe I'll make it to AIG2005. Thanks and again great web site, Keith H."  Thanks Keith, the job sounds like the best of both worlds. 30/5/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Sandy McNab
has sent something of interest to those who served in Type 12's: "At the CB reunion, I met a Ross 'Sam' Sampson at the Acacia Motor Lodge, and he had a couple of pages of printouts from a website, which I duly noted and have now had a look at since arriving home. Co-incidentally the website currently features all the RAN type 12's, and their full service history etc To save writing the address down, Ross tore the corner off one of the pages for me and I searched for http://www.xsouth.freeserve.co.uk and http://www.xsouth.freeserve.co.uk/riverclassart.htm I think the former address leads you to the website www.navalforces.org.uk which leads you to the latter. I will let you work that one out, when you go surfing live. If you get a spare moment and have a quick squizz yourself, and if deemed suitable you might wish to add it to your website as an additional link of RAN naval interest for the ex-communicators that served on the 12's. A mighty photo of the Torrens being blown out of the water by a demonstration Mk48 wire guided torpedo firing from the Collins submarine Farncomb. I have not had a full look at all of the main website, however I kept you in mind from what I briefly noted. Cheers for now, Sandy McNab." Tks Sandy, I haven't had time to have a good look myself, but it will be a useful bookmark.  19/5/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Frank Rands from the RNZNCA has made contact: "Not sure if we have sent you our new address of the RNZN communicators Association web page. It can now be found at http://www.rnzncomms.com.nz . I know some of your members are aware of the page as Les Thurgood has corresponded. We will put a new hyperlink back to your page shortly. Hope all is well with you and yours. Kind Regards, Frank Rands, Chairman, RNZN communicators Association." Many thanks for that Frank, I'm sure our members will be very interested in your site.  18/5/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

RAN Vietnam Reunion 2002: There will be another "RAN Vietnam Reunion" to be held in Coffs Harbour NSW, over the final weekend in October this year (Friday 25th to Monday 28th inclusive), along the lines of the very successful one held in Coffs Harbour back in 1994. Although this weekend is NOT a long weekend, it has been chosen to avoid clashes with school holidays and the October long weekend, so that accommodation should be readily available. For further information visit http://coffs-reunion.server101.com/  18/5/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeff Raymond sends: "Hi John, Would you mind publishing the following in QSO's. An old friend of mine is trying to contact or gain info on Ted Reynolds. Apparently he was an SD comm's Officer in the mid 50's. If anyone having knowledge of Ted could email me at jeffr@jumpstartpromotions.com I will pass it on. Many thanks & regards, Jeff Raymond." No worries Jeff, hope this helps.  18/5/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeff Todd attended the 2002 reunion and hopes someone found his car keys:  "I was wondering if you could do me a favour, I lost a set of car keys whilst marching on Anzac Day, probably when we were standing on parade. It wouldn't be such a problem except I have a Chrysler Voyager and to buy another key and keyless entry is in excess of $300 ($200 of that is just for the key!). Anyway, I was just wondering if you could put something in your next news letter or even if you could send a small email to the AIG list you have. The details are below:
LOST
Set of car keys for Chrysler Voyager, identified by a grey key with the Chrysler symbol, a keyless entry in the shape of a kidney, 2 or 3 brass house keys and a gold key-ring with 'jeff' on it. Lost on Anzac Day in front of the War Memorial whilst on parade. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I can be contacted on 0404 868 666 or by e-mail jeffandjoanne@yahoo.com.au

Thanks John much appreciated 
Regards 
Jeff Todd"  13/5/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Pat McNab passes the following sad news: "It is with sadness that I convey the news of the recent passing of 'Trish' Berwick (nee Whyte) on the 25th April, aged 51. Trish was an ex-LWRRO WR86730 and served between 1968-1973. Until very recently Trish has been an active committee member, and previously has served as vice-President and before that as Treasurer of the ex-WRANS(WA) Association, and will be greatly missed by us all. Being absent in Canberra, regrettably I could not attend her funeral service myself, however 26 W.A members in our State uniform were there to say 'farewell Trish'. Attached a photo of Trish taken on Anzac Day at the ex-WRANS National 2001 Reunion in Brisbane, sadly the Canberra 2002 communicators Reunion for her was just not possible. Our heartfelt condolences go to her family."  Many thanks Pat.  Lest we Forget.  10/5/02.

Trish Berwick, Brisbane 2001

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sandy McNab
sends: "If any communicators who may have served on the GPV HMAS BANKS or the sister ship BASS and are interested in the naval history of the former, the MV Banks is now based at Ulladulla on the NSW south coast for local tourist sea trips. www.mvbanks.com is the website and it includes historical photo's of the ships unique (then) modular construction, its early navy days, the destructive fire, and its subsequent replating and upper deck rebuild. The owner Mr Peter Smith info@mvbanks.com or 02 4454 0299 who purchased the hulk from the RAN would be very interested in any of its crew history and deployment from the mid eighties onwards. I took several photo's of the 2002 version of this 1959 built ship, however for perusal of older photo's www.mvbanks.com/navalhist1.htm and www.mvbanks.com/navalhist2.htm also refers."  Great stuff Sandy, this should keep Kev Ruwoldt happy.  7/5/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Graham Bence sends:  "The following was given to me by Alan Murgatroyd at the Canberra Reunion and I think it typifies our generation of the Navy. John maybe you can put it on the RANCBA Website:"

THE DEMISE OF JACK TAR

The traditional male sailor was not defined by his looks. He was defined by his attitude; his name was Jack Tar.
He was a happy go lucky sort of bloke; he took the good times with the bad.
He didn't cry victimisation, bastardisation, discrimination or for his mum when things didn't go his way.

He took responsibility for his own. sometime, self-destructive actions.

He loved a laugh at anything or anybody. Rank, gender, race, creed or behaviour, it didn't matter to Jack, he would take the piss out of anyone, including himself. If someone took it out of him he didn't get offended; it was a natural part of life. If he offended someone else, so be it. Free from many of the rules of polite society, Jack's manners were somewhat rough. His ability to swear was legendary.

Jack loved women. He loved to chase them to the ends of the earth and sometimes he even caught one (less often than he would have you believe though). His tales of the chase and its conclusion win or lose, is the stuff of legends.

Jack's favourite drink was beer, and he could drink it like a fish. His actions when inebriated would, on occasion, land him in trouble. But, he took it on the chin, did his punishment and then went and did it all again.

Jack loved his job. He took an immense pride in what he did. His radar was always the best in the fleet. His engines always worked better than anyone else's. His eyes could spot a contact before anyone else's and shoot at it first. It was a matter of personal pride. Jack was the consummate professional when he was at work and sober.

He was a bit like a mischievous child. He had a gleam in his eye and a larger than life outlook. He was as rough as guts. You had to be pig headed and thick skinned to survive. He worked hard and play hard. His masters tut-tutted at some of his more exuberant expressions of joie de vivre, and the occasional bout of number 9's or stoppage let him know where his limits were.

The late 20th Century and on, has seen the demise of Jack. The workplace no longer echoes with ribald comment and bawdy tales. Someone is sure to take offence. Where as, those stories of daring do and ingenuity in the face of adversity, usually whilst pissed, lack the audacity of the past.

A wicked sense of humour is now a liability, rather that a necessity. Jack has been socially engineered out of existence. What was once normal is now offensive. Denting someone else's over inflated opinion of their own self worth is now a crime.

AND SO A CULTURE DIES.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ross Walshe  is "Not a communicator, but ex QMG, served at Coonawarra ’73 - 74. I had the dubious honour of sharing a cabin with Tex Daley (LRO) during that time. For anyone interested, I spoke to Tex the other day and told him of your site. When I told him who I was, he was quite surprised as he believed me to be deceased and I told him that his death had been reported to me a couple of years ago also of alcoholic poisoning. When at Coonawarra I had the job of 'shaking' Tex every morning which resulted in him staring at me blankly and then finishing off the partly consumed green can beside his bunk. Tex is living in Cairns and although he does not have a computer he would be pleased to hear from anyone who remembers him. He gave me permission to pass on his address and phone number, which is.
Tex Daley
145 Russell St
Edgehill
Cairns
(07)40534301 
I am on long service leave prior to retirement from NT Police in November this year. Only bought my computer recently and learning to use the intercom. As stated before even though not one of your branch, I find it quite interesting to read messages on your site as there are quite a few names I remember from my time in the Navy. Regards, Ross Walshe."  Many thanks Ross, good to hear that Tex is alive and well.  6/6/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jim Anderson had a letter published in The Australian newspaper yesterday, I'm sure most of us think along similar lines::

"Sir
commanding Officers and sailors being sold out before Senate inquiries and not being able to defend themselves and long-held naval crossing the line ceremonies dumped because "mums and dads" might not find them appropriate? What complete and utter rubbish. Where is our once proud navy headed and why is it no longer able to maintain it recruiting momentum?

Let me put one suggestion. Until Government gets its meddling nose out of the day to day operations of the Defence Force and allows those properly trained in such matters to get on with it in the quiet and effective way it always has done, problems are going to keep recurring. Let the finger-cocking, latte-sipping politicians set about doing what they do best and that is goosing their constituents just one more time. Allow service men and women to go about their job without having to worry about watching their back from another attack from a suit in Canberra or the bleeding-heart minority group who believes they’re flavour of the moment, safe in the knowledge that their attack cannot be returned.

Fortunately Vice Admiral Sir Richard Peek had the spine to let that witch hunt calling itself a Senate Inquiry into Children Overboard know a bit about what it’s like in the real world away from the rarefied air of the nation’s capital.

Am I imagining it or are there other ex-servicemen and women who think, unlike in Admiral Peek’s distinguished time, promotion to flag rank and a posting to Defence Canberra did not assume metamorphoses to invertebrate status at the behest of the Government of the day.
Jim Anderson
Warrant Officer Radio Supervisor, RAN (Ret)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Best Wishes from the Gulf.  The following email was received from CPOCIS D.M. Hellier:

To all the communicator's gathering for the Reunion, I wish to extend apologies from all the good communicator folk serving on ships deployed to the Persian Gulf who will, by nature of our duties, be unable to celebrate with you over the Anzac week.  I know your thoughts are with us, as ours are with you. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend the best wishes for a safe and happy reunion and what promises to be an historic Anzac day ceremony from all of the communicators of HMA Ships, Manoora, Canberra, and Newcastle. On their behalf, CPOCIS D.M. Hellier, CTG 627.1 N6 (Embarked MANOORA).  Many thanks for the e-mail, it will be a great gathering and our thoughts will certainly be with you this week.  21/4/02. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

POCIS Scotty Dowd advises: "On the 23rd of May, NAVCALS Fremantle (name only) will cease to exist. A fitting renaming ceremony to NAVcomMSTA Stirling will take place at that time. In order to provide a detailed Biography on the history of NAVCALS Fremantle, I'm calling on all those "Back when we had paper tape" and "I remember comms via carrier pigeon" communicators who remember the days when side-burns were cool and wing-tips were hip to provide any interesting slices of history on the Station" Any info via email or phone would be appreciated. I'm sure Doug Kissick will come up with something (anything except Magpie stories please Doug!!) if he ever ventured this far West. Regards, Scotty Dowd, NAVCALS Fremantle Supervisor"  Tks Scotty, I'm sure there are many stories to be told and hope that people will contact you.  16/4/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeff Raymond ex PORS (Kuttabul, Supply, Harman, Stalwart, Melbourne) says "Hi to old shipmates ... I missed out on booking for the Canberra reunion, but will be visiting from Sydney during that time, and would love to receive a phone call from old shipmates who are attending. Maybe we can get together for a quick beer and a chat sometime during your stay in Canberra. I can be contacted at jeffr@jumpstartpromotions.com or telephone on 02 4730 1304 or 0414 402 581"  Thanks - Jeff Raymond. Tks Jeff, I'm sorry you missed out, but am sure you will run into plenty of old mates during your time in Canberra.  9/4/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Joy Williams is progressing well with the Darwin reunion, first reported in QSO on 20 Feb 02:  "So many people have come to us through the RANCBA site so it is probably appropriate to provide more up to date info on our own Darwin reunion. As a final request, would you mind including our recent "Lost and Found" list on the site.  Once again, thanks for your help and best wishes.  Cheers..Joy Williams."  Please follow the link for the latest information, hope it all goes well Joy.  8/4/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Brian 'Wizza' Wheeler is now settled on the South Coast and invites others to join him: "I have, after two years of DIY renovating, opened up the south coast's latest B&B.  Address is 50 Durras Road, Durras North, NSW 2536 (14 kms north of Batemens Bay in the middle of the Murramarang National Park). Also on the web at www.southcoast.com.au/portholes  Special mates rates for any communicator. We only take couples, no kids, no pets and have two very private suites available."  Thanks Brian, sounds like a good spot to relax, might need it after this reunion finishes. 8/4/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Graham Bence passes on the following: "Have just seen this in the Victorian RSL Journal. Thought some people from the Quicky Maru would like to know about it.  HMAS QUICKMATCH - a Reunion of 1956-1960 Ships company will be held in Melbourne May 4, 11 AM. At the moment it will be held at Duckboard House, 91 Flinders Lane. Contact Bryan Burdett (03) 9877 4443 or Ray Cruickshank (03) 9772 8007. Regards, Graham Bence."  Thanks Graham, 31/3/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Frank Aldred
sends "I would ask that communicators be made aware that one of our colleagues, commander Norm Banks, commanding Officer HMAS Adelaide, is being put through the wringer at the moment. To my mind, Norm is upholding the communicators standards, by telling the story exactly as it happened, without fear nor favour. I know that our association, and the military for that matter, should always remain politically neutral, but there are occasions when words of support are required.  Best wishes for the Reunion, and have a coldie for me."  Tks Frank, I'm sure all communicators will endorse what you say.  30/3/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jack Bawden is on the way South: "Just a quick note before Dee 'n' me head of South for "The Ultimate Smokey" -- only 3/bit weeks to go now - doesn't time fly!!  We'll be staying at our farm at Wodonga for two weeks before travelling up to VHC for "TUS".. if anyone is travelling thru the area call me on 0412 894 145 - I may have the remnants of a Darwin stubbie to gladly share.. John, please pass on to yourself and your committee compradres my congrats and admiration for your efforts over the last almost three years.. what a huge job and you've done magnificently... Looking forward to seeing you and everyone, regards, Jack".  Many thanks Jack, see you shortly.  30/3/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Phil Butler hasn't changed: "John, can you make sure there is something in the registration kit that informs all those people who owe me drinks (I always had my hand in my pocket. ((I think it was mine)) that I now drink red wine, so they had better bring plenty of dollars. I would think that probably half of the 800 owe me at least one drink.  Phil."  I don't think the hand ever touched bottom Phil, but you might catch someone.  CU soon.  30/3/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alan Rodgers passes the following information:  "Regret to advise that one of our fellow communicators has just come out of hospital from major surgery.  Norm Hutchings just had major surgery (at the Hollywood Hospital - Perth) for bowel cancer. He was discharged from hospital on Saturday and is now at home recuperating. Doctors advise that he is ok and that all the cancer has been removed. Norm advises, don't leave it too late to get yourselves checked out. If anyone wishes to contact Norm they can do so on the com : norm_eve@tpg.com.au or even on the telephone. 08 9337 7267.  Regards, Alan (Buck) Rodgers.  Tks Alan, we wish Norm well.  Sounds like good advice to me.  23/3/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dave Turner sends:  "I thought I would mention a 60th birthday I went to the other day in just in case it may spark some interest from some of his old friends. It was for ex-PORS Jeff Raymond ex Kuttabul, Stalwart etc etc. Unfortunately he was not aware of this website and apart from missing the opportunity of being a part of the big Smokey, he has missed the opportunity of communicating with old friends. For those interested his address is jeffr@jumpstartpromotions.com.  Another old friend present was ex-PORS of the same vintage, Dave Ring who's intercom address I don't know at this time, but Jeff may. Also present was an ex-communicator during the same period, come Docky Cop Boss, who's name does appear on the AIG2002 (Capt) Martin Toohey (apparently he was their gofor at the time and they won't let him forget it). We had a great time and it was wonderful to re-kindle old friendships. I look at this as a pre-cursor to the events in April look forward to enjoying meeting so many old friends again thanks to the great effort by the ACT RANCBA committee. Kind Regards, David Turner."  Many thanks for the info Dave.  19/3/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

FM Dave Sutherland:  "I attended the service for the late CDRE Ken Shands at HMAS WATSON Chapel yesterday  - a full house with a number standing. A wide range of ex-naval personnel encompassing past CO's (Guy Griffiths, Rothsay Swan, Peter Sinclair), ex-CNS's (Mike Hudson, David Leach) to name but a few.  Crew members from the 2nd deployment included David (?) Holthouse (CMDR E), Ian Callaway (CMDR G). Other than myself, no communicator (from our deployment) was there. A few names that may ring a bell - Zeke Mieszkue (LSCD), ?? Alvisio (LEMWE) now Paul Walker (he used to run the SRE), Bill Bowley (ORDRP) - who was CPOCOX when they paid off HOBART, and Jeff "Lamb's" Fry (LME) who is very involved in the history of HOBART circa 1965 to 1970. All up there were about a dozen of the crew there. All in all, it was a bit hard to put names to faces after all these years. There were two eulogies (1 naval and 1 family). Of interest was that Ken Shands was a young midshipman in the group of ships that sunk the German battleship "Scharnhost" in 1943."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
FM Ray Davis
I attended the graveside service the following day at Queanbeyan lawn cemetery. Very touching. For us, the most prominent person attending would have been CDRE Mike Rayment. Many representatives of the Naval Association and many other Associations that CDRE Shands was involved with. I recommend you use Google to find the web site of Barry Davis [no relation] who is an ex Hobart CPO and has an excellent Hobart site, he was there with his digital camera and said that he will be loading pictures to the site asap [search for HMAS Hobart is the quickest] I made a point of speaking with Peter Shands [eldest son/organiser] and expressed the condolances of all ex D39 comms staff, he wished me to pass on his thanks to all concerned. See you in April." Tks Dave & Ray, I'm sure this will be of interest to all communicators who knew the late Ken Shands.  3/3/02.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

For all you communicators who served in HMAS MELBOURNE, the following may be of interest:

HMAS MELBOURNE ASSOCIATION INC
The above wishes to advise all past and present serving members from ships named HMAS MELBOURNE that a reunion has been arranged to be held from Friday, June 28, to Sunday, June 30, 2002.
For full details, contact Kevin (Mitch) Miller
2 Bottlebrush Ave, Bradbury NSW 2560.
Phone 02 46286840.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ron Tuckwell sends:  "communicators, Regret to report Jack 'Blue' Teahan late of Augusta WA passed away 13th Jan 2002. Jack served from 48 thru 57 at HARMAN twice, in WARRAMUNGA, WAGGA, Vengeance and Melbourne, with a 'term' at Tarangau. Jack married Ainslie ACT girl Beryl Hawkins and is survived by Beryl and 4 sons, a daughter plus grandchildren (one of whom Beryl spoils rotten (her words)). CU Canberra, Regards Ron Tuckwell."  Lest we Forget. 21/2/02. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Renners & Gaynor Renfrey "Wish to advise that we have only just discovered the website thanks to Jack Bawden and would be most keen to communicate with some fellow communicators. Noted a few shipmates and memories flooded back. Now live in Darwin as an Aviation Fire Officer and my wife, Gaynor is jaunting on overseas postings, I am then the house husband, loving every minute of it. knockerdog@yahoo.com if anyone is interested. Is it too late to register for the reunion."  Thanks Renners, I have you noted as an 'emergency' for the reunion should there be cancellations.  20/2/02.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joy Williams sends:  "A group of us in Darwin are currently trying to track down those people posted to HMAS Coonawarra and outstations in or around 1980 for the purpose of advising them of a reunion to be held in Darwin, Anzac Weekend, next year.  Obviously some of those attending the communications Branch reunion this year will have served at Shoal Bay, Humpty Doo or HMAS Coonawarra itself around that time.  Any assistance you can provide in passing on the attached flyer and "Lost and Found" list would be much appreciated. Cheers. Joy Williams."  Not a problem Joy, hope you get some response.  20/2/02.  Please follow the link to read the flyer.

Darwin Navy Reunion organising committee
Red Lily B&B
7 Phoenix Street, Nightcliff NT 0814
Telephone: +61 8 8948 0984
Fax: +61 8 8948 2490
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Maureen Kopp passes the following information for those who know Tiny: "Hi John, just thought I would let you know that on top of Garry (Tiny) having Guillain Barre Syndrome still (leaving him with virtually being numb from the chest down and walking with the aid of a walking stick) he underwent open heart surgery again on 29 January, spent 3 days in intensive care, now back in the general ward and recovering OK. Probably another few days in hospital then back home recuperating for the next few months. He has had a pretty bad trot since moving to Brisbane back in 1991. We were thinking of travelling to Canberra for the reunion to visit friends and also catching up with his communicator associates, but think this is out now that he has gone through this. No doubt he will keep in touch once out of hospital. Regards Maureen."  Many thanks Maureen, please pass our best wishes on to the 'big fella' and let him know we are thinking of him.  For those of you who know Tiny, I'm sure he would welcome hearing from you. 4/02/02.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Doug 'Swampy' Marsh continues his travels: "G'day John, Just spent some time looking through the photos in the MSO, God everyone is so young. I recognise the 2 girls with Dallas Graetz in 1970 as Julie Taylor on the left and Kim Wanstall on the right and some of the guys from Parramatta and Duchess. I'm in Marrakesh, Morocco and just got some sea time up on those "ships of the desert", riding a camel through the Sahara and camping with a Berber family near the Algerian border, great time. I don't know if anyone has visited Marrakesh, what a blast, think of Asia in the 60s and multiply the experience by a factor of 10, incredible place. I'm looking forward to experiencing the Ultimate Smokey too in April, Regards..Doug.  I asked Doug how he spent his time travelling the world..he replied,  "I retired from Civil Aviation in Sept 2000, left Perth December 2000 and have been travelling ever since. The US and Mexico then South America for 4 months (Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil), the UK, back to the US, Portugal, France, Ireland, Gibraltar and Morocco and living in Spain since April 2001. My next trip is probably Italy for a month before going back to Oz in April for the re-union. How do I do it?, no family and paid 10% superannuation whilst working for Civil Aviation, this is pay back time. Regards..Doug.  What a life, Marrakesh sounds like the place to be!  4/02/02.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ken Payne sends: "John, I'm the bloke you helped with the Anne Kelly business, and I was saddened to hear of the passing of one Eric Mabury, I am sure he was a bloke I knew pretty well when I was up at Coonawarra in the late fifties. Was he the stocky bloke with the birthmark on his face, there is a particular reason why I would like to know can you help. Also I am trying to do a favour for a WRAN of the same vintage who is looking for a bloke by the name of John Ronald [Banjo would you believe?] Pattison who was an SBA at Flinders in the early fifties. Kind regards, Ken Payne."  I did not know Eric, so is someone able to help Ken with that and with the whereabouts of Banjo?? Please contact him direct. 30/1/02.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Adam Farley would like to pass this reminder to those of you who ordered Harold E Holt commemorative port:  "Hear there, Orders for the NAVcomMSTA Harold E Holt commemorative port crocks will cease on the 25Feb02. (Please make all payments [by money order] by this date.) Don't let this once in a life time opportunity pass you by. Order yours now. Cheers, Adam Farley, NAVcomSTA Harold E Holt, Exmouth, WA 6707, (08) 9949 3348."  Tks Adam, over to those of you who ordered.  30/1/02.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Barry "Spot" Yeomans, came across this site whilst browsing through the RAN site, great to see so many familiar names of ex shipmates. I did 14 years in and discharged early 1988 and have remained in WA since except for a couple of trips over east where I caught up with old mates. Give a big hi to them all and look forward to conversing with some of them now I know where to contact them.......also iff'n anyone knows the whereabouts of a Judy Ross, she was a LWRROT at Coonawarra in 81/82 era, would like to catch up with her.  c u l for now and look forward to hearing all the latest goss. "Spot".  Tks Barry, does anyone know the whereabouts of Judy??  30/1/02.

 

Brian Lynch sends: "Hi John,just found the site. Brings back many memories. I was Tel etc from 1952 to 1962. Saw listing of passing of Brian Hatch my first PO Tel on Barcoo 1953. He was a gentleman in the best sense of the word. Will try and dig out some pics particularly of Barcoo and some from Harman which have stored somewhere. Regards Brian Lynch (R46549) ex RS."  Tks Brian, will post the Barcoo photo shortly.  29/2/02.

 

Kev Ruwoldt advises: "It is with deep regret that I inform you all of the passing away of Pat Morris on Friday afternoon (25 Jan) at 1240pm, EST. She had just been up to Katherine to visit her son John and family for three weeks. At the end of her stay she contracted a bout of pneumonia. She was admitted to Peninsula Private hospital Thursday morning, and I visited her with Anne, Wayne and Pat Hedges last night. Her condition was not good. The Doctor placed her in intensive care this morning around 1130am at the Redcliffe Hospital. By the time Anne and I arrived Pat had departed this world. I will advise the Funeral details when arranged by her family."  Sad news indeed Kev, Sonja & Alan Hellier and Bill Bacon also advised me of Pat's passing.  Lest we Forget.  27/1/02.  
28/1/02 - Kev advises: "Will be contacting Pat's family this morning for her service details to secure approval to use the White Ensign. They are meeting with the Funeral Directors tomorrow at 10am. At this time I suspect the funeral will be Thursday, will confirm at the first chance."
This photo of Pat & Ron Morris at the 1996 Reunion was kindly forwarded by Sandy McNab.  Ron passed away on 3 June 1998.

Pat and Ron Morris at the 1996 Reunion

FUNERAL DETAILS - forwarded by Kev Ruwoldt 29 Jan 2002.
Pat Morris (nee O'Sullivan) Funeral Service will be conducted at the Holy Cross Catholic Church, Cnr Anzac Hwy and Chelsea St, Kippa-Ring at 11am Friday 1st February. On completion of the service, adjourning to Wayne and Pat Hedges residence at 121 Griffith Rd, Scarborough for refreshments and conversation. The family have asked that there be no flowers, donations can be made to the Queensland Cancer Fund. For those friends wishing to place a notice in the Courier Mail the number is 07-36667710 before 6pm (to appear in the following days paper).
Cards can be sent to the family at 6 Raeside Street, West Lake. Qld. 4074.

 

Ron Tuckwell sends: "communicators, regret advise ERIC MABURY 1954-1964 (S) departed this life 1000 Sunday 20th. Funeral details in West Australian Monday 21. I will submit notice on behalf WA comms. Dennis Gorton reciting Ode subject to family approval, White Ensign will be displayed on coffin. Regards Ron Tuckwell."  Tks Ron, sad news.  Lest we Forget.  22/1/02.

Eddie Pearson sends: "John, I was saddened to hear about Pete Thurgood, He was a good mate of mine. For those who want to remember him as he was in 1964, visit this site (MSO) There is a photo of our communications branch party held in Hong Kong. Its titled Parramatta 1964. Pete is in civvies top row 4th from right. There are a lot of blokes Nullarbor mentioned in the photo - Frank Biddle, John Buckley, Mick Street, Blue Mclaughlan, Myself, Bobby Freeman Etc". Tks Eddie, I had another look and was able to recognise some faces.  22/1/02.

Les Thurgood sends: "Pete Thurgood ex LRO sent his last BT AR today Saturday 12 January 2002. Born 13 Jan 1945 England, passed away peacefully after short illness at Liverpool Hospital Sydney. Joined the RAN 4th intake JRTE Jan 1962. Please feel free to send cards/condolences to his wife Marius and stepdaughter Debra at 58 Apex Ave, Picnic Point NSW 2213. Phone calls also would be welcomed after tomorrow. Will post the funeral details tomorrow evening when I know them. To all his good ex navy mates/colleagues enjoy a stubby or too and remember the good times you had with him and celebrate his life. He was a great brother, good mate and a bloody good Sparker!! Cheers Les Thurgood ex LRO."  Thanks Les, you've said it all, as does the following from Nullarbor BakerLest we Forget."  13/1/02.

"Pete Thurgood's passing leaves another great hole in the ranks of RAN communicators. Pete and I were watchkeepers at Bonshaw/1RS in the 60's, along with such other noteworthy comms as Fred Goddard, Kevin Ruwoldt, Shorty Aldis, Charlie Rigg, Bobby Freeman, Wayne Bachelor, Bob Marnham, Buster Crabbe, Tony Brine, Dave Dixon and others too numerous to mention. It was, to my mind, possibly the greatest decade to be involved in the RAN. Every single sailor/WRAN (and some of the married ones) participated in smokeys during days off. They all supported the Harman football teams and the Junior Sailors Club. If you were late on watch, someone covered for you. If you arrived a bit tipsy (I never did!), you got your head down in a corner somewhere and slept it off. When you weren't at a smokey off-watch, you were most likely at the Tourist Hotel in Queanbeyan, playing an Al Martino song on the jukebox for Gwen behind the bar. Or you might do a run to Ma Hap's for some Chinese nosh for your mates back on board. In the middle of all this was Pete Thurgood, always ready to take part in whatever devilry we could think up. Always smiling or laughing and never putting anyone down. Pete was possibly the "nicest guy" I ever had the pleasure of working with. I have never heard a bad word said against him. When Les contacted me and told me of Pete's medical problems, I rang him at his home. He was in high spirits, despite his predicament, and told me he would beat it. That was typical of Pete. The phone call from Les yesterday to say that Pete was gone, was a terrible blow. I won't forget him. Nullarbor"

Kev Ruwoldt  "concurs with Nullabor's comments entirely, except for one thing, Pete would have been one of the, or possibly the quietest communicator I met in my 12 years. He was always there but never loud. A good bloke who was called 'too early'."

And from Frank Aldred: "As you are probably aware from Les, Pete Thurgood (ex LRO) passed away this morning (120050Z Jan 02). Pete was one of nature's gentlemen. In our time together in Derwent 76-77, I can't remember hearing him raise his voice to anyone. He was a pretty good Sparker as well. Many will not know that after he left the outfit, Pete worked for Sydney Radio (VIS). In this capacity, he would have been responsible for many QTCs and Radfones for HMA Ships. A fine communicator and a great mate. Those who knew him will be saddened by his passing. Regards Frank"

Les Thurgood has advised that: "The funeral of Pete Thurgood will take place at the Eastern Suburbs Crematorium Botany in Sydney on Thursday 17th January, time not known until Monday 14th, but check funeral notice in Sydney Telegraph on Tuesday. Death notice will be in Telegraph on Monday 14th. Any ex navy mates of Pete's will be welcome to attend if in the Sydney area."

Sandy McNab has provided photos he took during the sinking of HMAS PERTH at Albany on 24th November 2001.  Please follow this link to see the sad end of a mighty fighting ship.  Thanks Sandy, I'm sure they will be of interest to all who served in her. 2/1/01.


Phil Butler sends  "have a chap up here (Dave McArthur ex RP) who was asking after an old Perth shipmate, Col Renfrey. Any idea where he can be found?  If anyone knows where to contact Col, please advise Phil direct.  2/1/02.