JOSEPH (Yockey) SHAW OAM R37199
(Eulogy delivered by Alan Rodgers - President RANCBA (WA))
I am honoured and privileged to be able to write a few words about WARRANT OFFICER Radio Supervisor Electronic Warfare – Edward Joseph (Yockey) Shaw OAM, R37199.
Yockey joined the Navy at age of 19 and a couple of months and served his country proudly for more than 33 years with final discharge on 11 February 1982.
I am told that on his joining HMAS Cerberus in 1949, Yockey was quite short and because of his “weight for age” missed out on his passion to become a Jockey. He loved his horses and this passion did not falter during his life both in the Navy and when back in Civvy Street. His fellow Recruits on finding out this information christened him “Jockey”. Eventually the J was changed to a Y and thus Yockey was borne. He has been affectionately known as Yockey by all who knew him. This was not only by his ship mates but by Senior Officers and even in Civy Street and by those in the Governor Generals Department and all in DVA.
Following his recruit training at HMAS CERBERUS in Victoria he was posted to many sea drafts (during his career) and often complained that he seemed to be the only Petty or Chief Petty Officer to ever go to sea.
Some of his ship borne posting included HMAS Anzac during the Korean conflict, 1949, HMAS Quiberon 1960 & HMAS Voyager 1961 to 1963 (Far Eastern Strategic Reserve) HMAS Derwent 1967 to 1969.
Yockey was posted to HMAS Watson “on special assignment” to establish the Electronic Warfare School. He took up this challenge with gusto and revelled in this project and excelled in all his duties.
He was awarded the Order of Australia, in 1981, for his outstanding work at HMAS WATSON. He used to laugh about his OAM he said his boys reckoned he was a mongrel because they did all the work and he got the glory.
In the middle of his naval career Yockey managed to catch the eye of attractive young lass by the name of Sondra and they were married in 1959.
They were blessed with three great kids; Dianne is the eldest, married to John. Neil came next is married to Lydia and the youngest was Joseph who also joined the Navy and was in submarines but unfortunately was killed in a parachuting accident in May 1993. This tragedy affected the whole family but Yockey managed to even use this to bring his family and friends even closer and together they overcame even this.
Following Yockey’s naval career and DEE as a Warrant Officer, he was grabbed by ASIO within 24 hours and remained with them until his retirement in 1990.
I am told when he joined ASIO (Governor Generals Department) he waited until he’d finished the course and then told them he wanted to be posted to the West otherwise he would resign, naturally he got his posting (Terry Reid said, I am told that to get a posting to the West you had to virtually dynamite the existing people out of their positions)
Trevor Robbins says that Yockey also qualified as an “Old Bastard” in may ways, all of which endeared him to all that had the privilege of knowing him. Trevor was actually aware that he was a card carrying member of that association and his card number was even lower than his, which only had four digits.
Len Rogers reports, “Who can ever forget that magnificent body in shorts strolling the flag deck during the early sixties, teasing all the signalmen about buzz's he had heard in his “spooks” room or the taking of bets for the Aussie races. Who will ever forget the night he won three Tombola games in a row in Voyager, the crew wanted to throw him overboard”
Yockey had some problems with various lesions and cancers several years ago and seemed to get over each problem with his usual tenacity and cheerful outlook. Nothing ever seemed to get him down, which was why he was such a good leader and could inspire those who worked under and around him. Eventually however he lost a kidney a couple of years ago and he recently developed a severe form of prostate cancer and even he had difficulty concealing the pain he was feeling. He passed away at 0430 on Sunday 2nd January 2005. The pain is now gone and we have lost a man we admired, loved, sometimes even hated temporarily, laughed at and with, wept with, partied with, reminisced with and enjoyed knowing.
His attitude to life in general, plus his always smiling demeanour seemed to be unchanged in all the years known.
Yockey 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.
This Eulogy was delivered by, Trevor Robbins Hon. Chairman ANNWA (WA).
Alan Rodgers & others.
Yockey’s request was to have his Ashes scattered at sea.
Arrangements are now in hand for his Ashes to de delivered to HMAS STIRLING for transfer to a HMA Ship to allow this ceremony to be accomplished. Following this ceremony, a certificate showing the exact position (in latitude and longitude) will be presented to Yockey’s family.
Those in attendance; Included:
Apart from the family some others who attended included Freemasons Lodge (some eighty), the RSL, Community, Governor Generals Department, and from the many other organisations that Yockey had dealings with totalling some 250 persons,
Those members from the ex Communications fraternity included:
Members of the Communicators Branch WA included:
Graham (Sandy) McNab
A fantastic turn out for a true gentleman.
Following the service at the Bowra & O’Dea facilities, 2 Leslie Street Mandurah, many ventured to the Mandurah RSL to say their final farewells to Yockey.
Peter Launder & Yockey at the 1999 RANCBA Reunion