QSO the World - Year 2001

 

Les Thurgood has passed the following about his brother Pete:  "As you probably know from Rod Beckinsale, my brother Pete (ex LRO) has had some bad news recently. Pete says it is OK to mention on the QSO and would appreciate any of his ex-comms mates giving him a ring sometime. Pete went into hospital about 2-3 weeks ago with what at first was an atypical case of pneumonia and was doing well but kept in as his blood oxygen level was just under 90%. However the biopsy result showed cancer cells on his right lung, and after he had seen the oncologist he was told he had a rare form of lung cancer which is supposedly not curable. Pete started a course of once a fortnight chemo treatment last Friday as an outpatient. He went home last Wednesday with the oxygen, as the count was still just under 90. He is quite stoic and still wants to get to the reunion, so is waiting to see what goes on with the chemo. He certainly sounds positive when I speak to him on the phone, so he is going to fight it. Any one who wishes to ring or write - snail mail only - or 02 97712288, or visit 58 Apex Ave, Picnic Point, NSW 2213. He really would appreciate the good wishes and prayers." Thanks Les, rest assured that the thoughts and prayers of all ex-communicators go out to Les.  We wish him well and look forward to seeing him in Canberra next year.  26/12/01.


Alan (Buck) Rodgers passes the following sad news:  "It is with deep sympathy that I have to advise fellow communicators that Beatrice, wife of one of our (2) Life Members - Jack Mahney, passed away on Thursday 20 December 2001. Jack is the communicator who organised our branch of communicators such a long time ago. Our fellow member Ron Tuckwell is arranging for a notice to be placed, on behalf of the RANCBA WA, in the West Australian for Saturday 22 December 2001. I understand that the funeral will be conducted on 27 December 2001. However it is suggested that you keep up to date with that with the notice in the paper shortly. We think that the funeral may be held at Fremantle? Should you wish to contact Jack Mahney - or send cards:
Mr Jack Mahney
15 / 22 Fantail Drive Bibra Lake WA 6163
telephone 08 9417 1206
Thank you & regards, Alan (Buck) Rodgers."  Tks Buck, for those of you not aware of it, Buck is the newly elected President of the RANCBA WA.  23/12/01.

Kev Ruwoldt would like to pass on the following: "G'day John, on your next update was wondering if it was worth mentioning to all communicators the Gunplot site  www.gunplot.com   It is full of information on the RAN and takes hours to go thru all the info. The new "Report to the QM" enables people to list their Pussers details and communicate to each other, find former mates from different branches, ships and establishments served. I pass on this web site to everyone I meet who have access to the com and are not aware of this information.  They might even find that someone they may know, has been mentioned visiting the "Rooftops" or the "Coffee Stalls".  Tks Kev, Russ Graystone has created a magnificent site, I fully endorse your comments.  23/12/01.


Jim Anderson sends:  "G'day Curbs. All the very best to you and Sarah for the Christmas Season and for the New Year. I have enjoyed your website very much throughout the year and it just seems to reduce the isolation of living up here in Paradise a little. I hope you are able to put as much effort into it all again next year. To all RANCB'ers and past mates, I also wish the very best for a safe and happy festive period. Regards Jim Anderson."  Tks Jim, all the best for Christmas and the New Year.  23/12/01.

 

Daryl Cross has changed e-mail addresses: "John, Forgot to let you know that I changed my email address at the beginning of the year.  I can now be contacted at fotoaction@yahoo.com  Thought you might be interested in the following. At the ripe old age of 59 (close to 60) have just completed four years at Uni doing an Honours Degree in Photography (Griffith University). Also was one of two Arena Managers for Athletics at the Sydney Olympics and received the 'one off' Australian Sports Medal for services to the sport of Athletics late in 2000. Regards. Daryl Cross (ex LTO)."  Well done Daryl, and all the best for Christmas and the New Year. 23/12/01.

 

George & Sally Barry (nee Burden) sends: " Have just been reading through your site. Lots of names we remember. George has been recovering this year from serious car accident in March - shattered pelvic amongst other things but is still in the land of the living. We have 3 children: Daughter 29 still serving in Navy, 2 sons 33 and 31. Would love to hear from any of our old friends."  Thanks Sally, hope you make contact with others.  23/12/01.

 

Shane (blu) Hodges sends: "Have just found the web site and have seen one or two names that ring a bell. I paid off in 1991 as ABSIG two badges gold and moved to the UK to be with my English rose (thorn in the side now though), and have been here ever since. Work as a response driver for Ambulance Service moving medical teams for transplant or actually carrying the organ for transplant (Hearts / Lungs and such like), and as a hobby am a Reserve Police Officer which has it moments. Anyway, thanks for your time and I would like to wish a very Merry Xmas to you and all your readers. Kind regards Shane (Blu) Hodges".  All the best Blu, bit warmer down here this time of year.  23/12/01.


Gavin Jensen writes "on behalf of Gary Johnson who works for Barnes Auto Towing in Brisbane. The other week when my bus needed towing he came along to tow and after chatting he informed me was ex-pussers, (stoker), and was good friends with a communicator by the name of Jim Tweetie early 1970 . I told him I might be able to track him down for him and let him know where his is. Any help greatly appreciated, tks John, regards Gavin".  If anyone knows where Jim is, could you contact Gavin direct please.  06/12/01.


Allan Watt  is "organising a reunion in July 2004 of our intake at Leeuwin (40th Anniversary).  Is it at all possible for you to spread the word i.e. on your site and the 8th intake site.  Any help would be appreciated.  I have not found many of the fellas as yet but I have attached a list just in case you might know some of them.  The reunion is to be at Coolangatta.  Regards.  Allan Watt."  Thanks Alan, any communicators who were in the 9th Leeuwin Intake (July 1964), here's your chance to meet up with some old shipmates.  Please contact Alan direct.  01/12/01.

 

Bill Bacon & Keith Gorsuch have both advised that Ted Watling passed away on Tuesday 27th November in Darwin Hospital. The funeral will be held at Thorak Cemetery Monday. When there is further information to hand I will publish it here.  R.I.P. ex WORS Ted Watling OA.  Lest we Forget.  29/11/01.

Further advice from Bill Bacon:  "Visited Ricky this morning and she advised that there will be a graveside service for Ted at Thorak Cemetery at 1300 Mon 3rd Dec, details should be in tomorrows N.T. News, have also inserted a notice on our behalf" Regards Billy.  1/12/01.

Kev Ruwoldt is "Pleased to say that the interest in the Q Class ship's caps has been outstanding. The arrangements have now been made for the caps production to go ahead thanks to the RANCB Association of QLD. See the attachment for details.  Thanks Kev, a great effort.  23/11/01.

 

Rohan Jennings (RS on HMAS WARRAMUNGA) sends: "During recent operations in the Northwest Australian approaches whilst on a stopover at Christmas Island, I ran into a couple of "old" communicators, Gary and Denise Dunt. Gary was an ETC and Denise a ROS who served at Coonawarra and Harman amongst others and remember reprobates like Harry Harris and George and Denise Butler to name a few. Gary is currently the C.E.O. of the Shire of Christmas Island. They are unaware of the reunion so I have forwarded on your website details. Their contact details are gary@shire.gov.cx Thanks, Rohan Jennings, POCIS, HMAS WARRAMUNGA".  Many thanks for passing that on Rohan. all the best.  21/11/01. 

 

Adam Farley (POCIS4, CCO, NCS HEH) passes the following news: " Hear there, as you may or may not have heard the NAVcomMSTA Harold E Holt commcen is closing down (not the base, just the commcen!) on the 30APR02. To mark this special occasion a limited edition Port crock is being commissioned, to be made by the famous Oakwood Wines crew, filled with a lovely 5 year old Tawny Port. These decorative presentations are both eye catching and attractive, thoughtfully designed for a lasting memento of that special time posted to the North West Cape. Be the first at your locality with one of these little rippers on your mantle, in yr rabbit warren or even hanging off yr rear view mirror! Navy Strong, Navy Proud!  Yours for a very special price of only $35-$40 (dependant on numbers and postage costs) (incl. postage and handling) I require numbers by 01Feb and moneys by end of Feb 02.  Interested? Phone, NOW! on (08) 9949 3348, Charlie is waiting to take yr call!  Alternatively, email adam.farley@defence.gov.au  ps. You may want to take a look at our design, so check it here!

Front label for HEH Port

The rear label will show pictures of the Branch Badges, with the following text:

NAVcomMSTA HAROLD E HOLT
comMUNICATIONS CENTRE
16SEP67-30APR02

On 9 May 1963 an agreement was signed between the Australian and 
US governments, to establish a communications complex at North 
West Cape in Western Australia. It took about 4 years to complete 
and was commissioned, US Naval communication Station North West 
Cape on the 16 Sep 1967. 20 Sep 1968 saw the name of the station
changed to US Naval communication Station Harold E Holt, in honour 
of the late Right Honourable Harold E Holt, Prime minister of Australia
(1966-1967). Joint manning commenced in 1974 and the station was 
renamed NAVcomMSTA Harold E Holt. The RAN finally assumed
management on the 01 Oct 1992 and operated up until the 
30 Apr 2002, when operations ceased. 
Thanks Adam, should be a handy keepsake for those who served at HEH.  21/11/01.

 

John Lennon  would like to keep the communicators in touch with the Bandies: "For any communicators out there that may have made friends with any "bandies" please visit my web site which is a meeting place for bandies on the web. I have links to the Band Association and some of the names on my visitors book may bring back a few memories. If you miss those stirring days marching around the parade ground at divisions to a "pussers band" I even have some "Marches" to bring back those memories....John Lennon (Ex CPO Musician 68 - 82) "Royal Australian Navy Band Parade Ground" www.powerup.com.au\~leywah   As a matter of  interest, Keith Gorsuch is John's brother-in-law.  Many thanks John.  21/11/01.


Sandy McNab has provided the final word on the PERTH scuttling on November 24, with this article from the weekend 'West Australian':

"WARRIOR GIVEN A WATERY GRAVE"

The former HMAS Perth is touted to become a national attraction as divers navigate the hulking, 133m defence force giant. Ron Moore, who founded the Albany Artificial Reef group five years ago to lobby for a navy wreck, said the Perth was the biggest artificial reef of its kind. It will be exciting to see which fish species decide to inhabit the wreck. "This is going to be nothing anyone has ever seen," Mr Moore said. "Due to the nutrient-rich waters, within days of sinking it will be inhabited by reef fish."
Swallowtails, queen snapper and western blue groper will quickly take up residence because they habituate nearby Seal Island and the coastline. "But, like the Swan wreck off Dunsborough, we will have to wait and see what other species arrive because the Swan attracted many fish that aren't endemic to that area." The Perth could also be likened do an underwater theme park, with a major attraction likely to be scuba diving down the massive funnels and popping out on to the No.1 deck. Other popular features would be the bridge and the operations room, which still has its sonar equipment intact. The designated site for the Perth is a barren, silty seabed in 30m of water, 1km off the shore in Frenchman's Bay. This area within King George Sound is protected from prevailing winds and promises good diving all year round. Mr Moore said the prepared wreck would be the first to have its mast rising out of the water, rather than subscribing to the usual surface clearance of at least 7m. "We will be creating a world precedent, which will open our wreck up to snorkellers as well," he said. Explosives will sink the vessel at 0800 next Saturday, November 24. A series of 14 copper linear flex explosives will be placed strategically throughout the ships lower hull. When detonated, the shaped charges will cause the Perth to rapidly sink nose first, maintaining an upright position - at least, that's what the organisers hope will happen ! A flotilla of commercial and private vessels is expected to line the 1km exclusion zone in Frenchman's Bay to watch the sinking. However, Mr Moore says the best vantage point will be around Albany's Whale World, which is as close as the flotilla but above sea level. The elevation of Stoney Hill would be another good viewing area. Year long preparation has involved removing 20,000km of cabling, 330 bunk beds, 100 tonnes of lead ballast, hydraulic systems, bulkheads and all the copper, brass and nickel pipework. "We've dismantled all the steam turbines and ensured they are spotlessly clean of all petrochemical products'" Mr Moore said, "Everything that could, or did, contain oil has been meticulously cleaned or removed." "At the same time, we've left as much equipment as possible so people can see what it looked like as an active vessel." The Perth served during the Vietnam War and carries a scar from enemy fire. Divers would be able to see the damage from the wartime incident. Steaming off the coastline of Vietnam, just north of the demilitarisation zone, the HMAS Perth came under fire from the North Vietnamese shore batteries. An armour-piercing shell of German WWII origin, hit the rear of Mount52 (a five inch gun) and exploded on the deck, wounding four people. Divers on the Perth will be able to see where the shell destroyed the confidential book vault and naval stores office in a fiery explosion. The British Columbia Artificial Reef Society in Canada set down the guidelines for the wreck preparations, which have had diver safety considered at every turn. Six commercial dive charter operators will be licensed to take divers on tours of the Perth www.hmasperth.asn.au refers or contact Ron Moore at albanyscuba@bigpond.com.
HMAS PERTH entering Attaturk Channel, Albany
Photo provided by Ivan Hastie, an ex-RAN communicator of 1946 vintage and now retired at Albany, of the Perth entering Attaturk Channel last year after its long tow across the Great Australian Bight.  21/11/01.

Further to a report from Keggy Doyle on 19/10/01, the following has been received from Frank Guy, by way of Sam Hughes: "Once again it is my sad duty to report the passing of an old shipmate. 'David Michael TURNBULL'. Dave was a communicator (RO), he was an old shipmate of mine and for the past 25 years a work mate, he passed away yesterday (12 November 2001) in Burnie after a long battle with cancer. He will be missed by everyone who ever knew him. This is a sad time. All the best to you all." Our sympathies are extended to Dave's wife Gail and our thoughts are with his family and friends. Lest we Forget.  13/11/01


Australian Service Medal (ASM) with clasp -Middle East-  I have had advice from a number of sources about this award, for service in the North West Indian Ocean area of operations between 1 September 1980 and 31 July 1986.  Follow this link for the 'All Ship/All Shore' message which lists the detail.  This award will not be made automatically, if you think you qualify you will need to fill out the form 'Application for the Issue or Replacement of Defence Force Medals and Awards' and mail it to the address listed on the form.  The photo was taken during HMAS MELBOURNE's  NWIO deployment in 1980, it shows  a young CPOSY John Curbishley and POSY's Bill Bacon, Glenn Gilford, Johnno Johnston and Shorty Hayes with the remainder of the V/S Branch at that time.  12/11/01.
HMAS MELBOURNE V/S Branch 1980


Les Thurgood
passes some sad news about Gary O'Keefe: "Had a message on my mobile overnight from Gary's sister in Turkey. Gary was drowned off his boat at the wharf in Bowen about 3 and a half months ago. Have no further details as yet until I can ring his sister in Turkey later today or his brother in Deviot, Northern Tas.  I had been in regular contact with him - about once a fortnight - since Eva died 2/3 years ago, but had not been able to contact him on his mobile and thought he had lost/changed it. Wrote him a letter to let me know his new one or whatever, but had no answer. His sister apologised for not replying to my letter straight away but that is understandable.  Could you put a note on the web page and I will let you know further details when I have them.  There will be several people who were good friends of his eg; Murgatroyd.  Others not on the web I have or will phone.  Gary paid off as a CPORS(SM), joined at Leeuwin JR 1st intake in 1960, RO's course Cerberus 2nd half 1961, 1st sea draft was Queenborough 1962, posted UK for submarine training 1964 and brought back Oxley.  Many thanks Les, I'm sure others will be interested.  Lest we Forget.  30/10/01.
Les passed on the following additional information on 1 Nov:  Gary died on night of 15th June after returning from Bowen yacht club although his body was not found until morning of 16th. Funeral service and cremation was on 28th. Funeral eulogy was spoken by Brian Winterburn ex RO. Gary's ashes were returned to his home state of Tasmania and will be scattered at a favourite family camping ground in northern Tas in Feb or Mar 2002 with some ashes sent to Bowen to be scattered at sea there by the yachting community.


Sandy McNab has been keeping an eye on the scuttling project for HMAS PERTH.  "The reply below is from Pieter Berkelaar, the Project Officer with the City of Albany W.A. for the HMAS PERTH 'dive wreck project'. 

Quote:  The latest information on the project is;
The ship leaves the Port wharf for the final anchorage on Monday the 19th November 2001. The scuttling of the Ship is scheduled for 12.38 p.m. Saturday the 24th November 2001. The scuttling will take place near Seal Island in King George Sound and will be viewed at a range of 2 to 4 kms from the shore vantage points of Goode Beach, Frenchman's Bay and Whaleworld, a range of 7 to 8 kms from Mt Clarence, Mt Adelaide and Marine Drive, and from a range of 1 km from any vessel to the north and east of the Ship's final anchorage.

The Navy have a large model of the Perth which is being presented to the City of Albany during the weekend of the scuttling.

The main events to attend are, Friday evening memorial Church service at St John's,
Saturday morning final passing out parade for the 3 services Cadets at the Forts,
Saturday morning beach party with Radio West at Goode Beach, 
Saturday midday scuttling at Whaleworld from the whale chaser Cheynes IV, 
Saturday afternoon in York St, Saturday Evening Perth Gala Ball. Plus still 
to confirm is a final memorabilia auction and a photography exhibition.
Web-site perthd38.albany.wa.gov.au about to be launched.  Regards Pieter.  PS Spread the word, its a goer. Unquote."  Tks for keeping us informed Sandy.  22/10/01.  Sandy has since advised that, due to weather conditions and safety reasons, the scuttling time has been changed to 0800 on the 24th November.

 

While on that note, Tony Rees has forwarded the following link for photographs of the decommissioning of HMAS BRISBANE on October 19.  http://www.pnc.com.au/~georgehicks/index.html

 

Kev Ruwoldt is seeking assistance:  "REQUEST HELP PLEASE. Due to the loss of my naval memorabilia during Cyclone Tracy, if anyone can help me, I would appreciate a PHOTO (including names if known) of the following, and am willing to pay for any copies. Putting together a book of my time in the RAN, from 1958 to 1970:
CERBERUS;- SIG SCHOOL 59. 
COONAWARRA;- 1RS, THE LOG, NAVAL HQ, and any SMOKEY, FISHING and YABBY TRIPS during 61, 65, 68/69.
HARMAN;- 1RS, BONSHAW, BELCONNEN, and any SMOKEY PINE ISLAND, COTTER DAM, KAMBAH POOL, and MOLONGLO CROSSING 66, 68, 69.
TARANGAU, HAUS WIRELESS and TX STATION (LOMBRUM PT).
SHIPS, BANKS, BASS, KIMBLA, DERWENT, DUCHESS, AIR FAITH/NYMPH/SPRITE, TRV2, and MRL253. (The Naval Photgraph Unit at GI have advised me that they are not set up at this stage to supply photo's of ships). My address is, PO BOX 349, KIPPA-RING. QLD. 4021.
Phone: 07 32833802, E-mail <kruwoldt@hotmail.com> or you can contact me during the' ULTIMATE SMOKEY' in Canberra 2002."

 

Ken 'Wacka' Payne is "I am looking for an ex WRAN by the single name of Anne Kelly who came from Raymond Terrace in Newcastle and served at Coonawarra with me around 1957-58. Any information on her whereabouts or any ex WRAN that may know something about her would be extremely appreciated.  With extreme gratitude, Ken Payne" wacka@iprimus.com.au  If anyone is able to help please contact Ken direct. 19/10/01.

Keggy Doyle advises the following: "You may recall in a previous QSO, an ex ROS DAVE TURNBULL was having some health problems.  Having spoken to his wife today, DAVE is not in the best of health. He is having radiation on numerous tumours throughout his body and is taking it one day at a time.  DAVE is on small doses of morphine to quell the pain but he is still keeping his chin up I am sure that all that know him will wish him well.  Thanks, Keggy Doyle." Many thanks Keggy, our thoughts are with Dave at this time.  19/10/01.

Jack Duffey has advised the following with regard to the RANCBA Victorian Chapter Annual Reunion.
The RANCBA (Vic) will hold its annual general meeting/drinks/lunch/meeting on Friday 9th November 2001
Time: 11.30 am to 4.00 pm.   Place: Dr. Martin's Tavern. 86a Collins Street, Melbourne. Upstairs Function Room. (North Side of Collins Street, just south of Exhibition Street). Cost: $ 35.00 (all inclusive).  Thanks Jack, hope it goes well.  19/10/01.

Bernie Brooks passes the following sad news: "I have just been contacted by Owen Steggles in Queensland to inform me that Kol (Kool) Barrett, ex Bunting Tosser, died this morning 14/10/01 in Redcliffe Hospital following a massive brain haemorrhage. I have no further details at this time but if I hear anything I will pass it on to you. He is survived by his wife Jenny and family. Regards Bernie Brooks."  Thanks Bernie, our thoughts are with Jenny and the rest of the family.  Lest we Forget. 14/10/01.

Jenny Barrett  has very kindly passed on the following information:

"I logged on to the RANCBA site this morning and was surprised to see a message from Bernie Brookes re Kol, also very pleased. His funeral is on Thursday 18th October, 2001 at 2.30p.m. in the Garden Chapel Albany Creek Crematorium. It was a great shock to us all as there was no sign of any illness, but I guess that is better if you can say that, rather than a long and prolonged illness.  Kol was one of a kind and his passing will be a great loss to many people. Kirsty and I have had a wonderful support team over the past few days, and I don't know how we would have managed without them. The Doctors and Staff at the Redcliffe Casualty and ICU Departments were absolutely wonderful and are very dedicated in their profession. Kol was an organ donor and has helped several people by his generosity, I just hope that there is a very high success rate with his gift to others."  Thank you Jenny, for taking the time to let us know during a most difficult time for you.  Our thoughts are with you and Kirsty and our memories of Kol will stay with us.  He will be missed.  16/10/01.

Les Figg is "In search of HMAS Hawk crews. If any knows the whereabouts of any of the crews that served in HMAS Hawk tours of 1966 & 67 during the Indonesian Confrontation, I'd appreciate contact info. Below is the crew list for the Jan '66 - Sept '66 tour (courtesy of the Skipper - then LCDR John Foster):
Lt Foster - I am in contact,
Lt Debus,
Lt Jones,
SbLt Hore,
Midn Hardy,
Midn Gault,
CPOCOX Johns,
CERA Birch,
POME Pete Gogol,
ERA Munton,
LME Johnson (deceased),
ME Payne,
STD Grantham - I am in contact,
ABUW Gordler,
LSQMG Pete Noonan,
TO Glen Gilford - I am in contact,
ABQMG Callander,
LCK Menzies - I am in contact,
CK Hain,
LSBA Barr,
POUW 'Blue' Cleary,
ABWM Williams,
RO Rod Beckinsale - I am in contact,
LAMET 'Buck' Raynor,
AB Ed Brown,
RO Steve Singleton"

Les also advises: "If there are any ex-HMAS Sydney crew visiting this site, you maybe interested of a message board at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ferrymen Drop in sometime. Cheers, Les."  Thanks Les, all the best.  13/10/01.

 

Nullarbor Baker, only recently back from the US where he attended the Frank E Evans reunion, passes the following: 'CMDR Al McLemore, who was skipper of the USS Frank E Evans when it was cut in two by the Melbourne on 3rd June 1969, passed away recently. He was to have been at the reunion in Denver, CO, which I attended in September, but pulled out owing to sickness. I was looking forward to meeting him for the first time since the collision and was disappointed when I got there to find he was not coming. If anyone is interested in sending condolences to Mrs McLemore and family, they can contact me and I will co-ordinate it. Cheers. Nullarbor.' Thanks Nullarbor, all the best.  07/10/01.


Garry 'Gazbo' Walker is seeking some information regarding an accident in Singapore in 1971: 'I have been contacted by Jim Davey who was in Singapore at the same time as we were. He is after the name of the family who were killed in a motor vehicle incident with a timber truck while on a trip to the Genting Highlands. I don't remember the incident (old timers) but they were Australian Navy - two adults, two children. I know it was thirty years ago but if anyone can help it would be much appreciated. Garry.'  Anyone have any leads on this?  Please contact Gazbo direct.  07/10/01

 

Brian Wheeler (Whizza) would like to catch up with former shipmates 1960-1969 whilst serving at CERBERUS (1960-61, 1963-64), VOYAGER (1961), MELBOURNE (1961-62), MELVILLE (1964-66), KUTTABUL (1962-63, 1967 to discharge.  Contact email address is portholesbandb@telstra.easymail.com.au or if anyone is passing through the South Coast of NSW drop in to 50 Durras Road, Durras North.  Best if you ring first on 02 4478 6650 as I may be on the beach fishing.  Kind regards to all, Whizza.  Tks Whizza, sorry it took me so long to post it.  6/10/01.

 

Kev Ruwoldt has already shared past memories with us about his life in Melville/Coonawarra.  He has recently completed the story of his life at HMAS Harman and would like to share it with us.  It is a great read for those who served in the National Capital between 1962 and 1970.  As Kev says in the introductory paragraph, he is looking at putting together a book about his RAN service, could be something to look forward to.  Tks Kev, once again it is a bloody good read!  16/09/01.

Kev is also keen to initiate a 'Q' Class Frigate cap purchase, which he will be organising through the various State and Territory Chapters.  Follow the link for the full details, but no orders to Kev please, wait for advice from your local RANCBA Chapter.

 

Nullarbor Baker is in the US, trying to get back home after the recent terrorist atrocities:  "The Frank E Evans reunion in Denver was great and, when it was over, I travelled with two friends to Steamboat Springs (up in the mountains). The plan was to stay a week, then go back to Denver to fly out for LA. We had only been there two days when New York was devastated by the terrorists, so we took off in the rental car across Colorado, stayed overnight in Fruita, Utah, then across Arizona and into Las Vegas, Nevada. We stayed there for 24 hours, then on to Whittier, California. I'm waiting here to fly out in 48 hours, but don't know if any Qantas planes are allowed in yet. This morning I sat with the phone to my ear from 0920 to 1120 with a Qantas recording telling me that I would have the next available operator. Can't contact them through their website either, so guess I'll have to keep trying. Some of the Americans are throwing a BBQ tonight and have invited me along to add some couth and culture. Things here are very strained in some ways, with part of the population still in shock, and others very, very angry. There are American flags flying off houses and cars, and yellow ribbons tied to trees. I must admit that I will be a bit apprehensive getting onto the plane to come back to Oz. Security has been beefed up at LA International (and other airports) with armed marshalls everywhere (including on board domestic flights). You have to be at the airport at least 3 hours before flying out, and all bags are searched before departure. Have to get back to the phone now and see if I can find out if I can fly out, or if I have to get up to Canada, where most of the Qantas flights (and others) were diverted to. Ciao for now Nullarbor.  Tks Ron, I hope you make it back to Australia soon.  While on that note, many thanks to all communicators who have sent photographs, articles and Nostradamus predictions to me.  The terrorist attacks in the US were terrible events, and I feel as deeply as you do about them, but I have decided not to run the forwarded articles on this site - they are covered more than adequately by other sites and by the media in general.  However, if you have personal contributions you would like to share with us all, such as Nullarbor's above, I am more than happy to run them.  Regards, John Curbishley 16/09/01.

 

Ron Tuckwell sends: "Regret to report that Les Bartlett (Ex CCY) sustained 'smashed' hip result of car hitting him approx 3 weeks ago. At present in Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital Perth Ward G53. Having hip 'reconstructed'. Les joined 1946 and hopes to make it to the Canberra Reunion next year."  Tks Ron, we wish Les all the best in his recovery.  16/09/01.


Al Conway sends:  "Thank you for the regular updates on the reunion. It is unfortunate that due to my employment limitations, I couldn't make a commitment to the reunion. Nocomheless I am keen to keep in touch with proceedings and the opportunity to catch up with past shipmates either by email or phone is always on the agenda. I'm selling real estate (not as easy as chook raffle tickets for the Hogs) on the sunny side of Hobart (Eastern Shore). Look forward to more info. Regards, Al Conway (0417 597557).  Tks Al, good to hear from you.  08/09/01.

 

Robyn Malby is keen to catch up with her past: "I'm not sure whether I was in Class 81 or 82, but my intake was on 14 May 1965 if that's any help. I didn't buy my Class Photograph at the time, and I have always regretted that.  I'd be most interested in getting a copy if anybody out there has one for me to purchase. Our home e-mail is: trmalby@austarcom.com.au  My work E-mail address is Robyn.Malby@atsic.gov.au. If there is ANYBODY out there who joined up with me, could they please let me know! Jenny Rafferty (nee Wooller) whom I met at the last ex-comms reunion in Perth was always going to send one to me, but she hasn't so far. Cheers, Rob.  Hope we turn up something for you Rob, all the best.  08/09/01.

 

Chris Gallagher has kindly provided the following:

R 302256Z AUG 01
FM CN AUSTRALIA
TO AIG 3601
AIG 3602
BT
UNCLAS
SIC SAB/ZAA
SUBJ: NAVAL comMUNICATIONS STATION DARWIN DE-comMISSIONING
1. TODAY MARKS THE END OF A 62 YEAR HISTORY OF NAVAL comMUNICATIONS
IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY. THE STATION BEGAN OPERATIONS ON 18TH
SEPTEMBER 1939 AS COONAWARRA W/T STATION AND REMAINED SO THROUGHOUT
WWII DURING WHICH IT CAME UNDER ATTACK IN THE FIRST AIR RAIDS ON
DARWIN 19 FEBRUARY 1942. THE STATION WAS RECOGNISED ON A NUMBER OF
OCCASIONS DURING WWII BY ALLIED comMANDERS INCLUDING GENERAL
DOUGLAS MACARTHUR, FOR ASSISTANCE DURING THE LANDINGS IN THE
PHILIPPINES BY SOUTHWEST PACIFIC FORCES. POST WWII SAW A NAME
CHANGE TO DARWIN NAVAL RADIO STATION ON 12 APRIL 1954. THEN ON 4
OCTOBER 1965 IT WAS GIVEN ITS CURRENT NAME.
2. I CONGRATULATE ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED IN THE STATION.
THROUGHOUT ITS LONG HISTORY ON A JOB WELL DONE. AND TO THOSE WHO
STILL SERVE I ENCOURAGE YOU TO CARRY AND PASS ON THE TRADITIONS OF
SWIFT AND SECURE comMUNICATIONS THAT HAVE FOSTERED SO WELL HERE
OVER THE YEARS.
3. PSALM 19 VERSES 3 AND 4
4. CN SENDS
BT

NNNN
(Psalm 19 v3/4 - "There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.  Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.  In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun".)  04/09/01.

Gary Swanton has made contact:  "Its only taken me 3 years since I left to finally find the RANCB website. Great site and really enjoyed seeing some very familiar names from my naval past. Please pass on my regards to all that know me and keep up the great work. BZ. Gary Swanton. EX POSY 1976-1998."  Tks Gary, all the best.  04/09/01.

 

Nullarbor Baker is "off to the USS Frank E Evans reunion in Denver Colorado this Thursday (6th Sep). The reunion goes for three days, then I'm taking off for another week around some more states. Might do Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada (Love that Las Vegas!!) and back to LA for the flight home. Or I might go up through Montana, Idaho, Washington State, Oregon etc.. Haven't made any firm plans as yet. If there are any CB'ers in the vicinity that anyone knows of, I might get a chance to look them up (they could probably do with a bit of Aussie culture!!). Cheers. Nullarbor".  Sounds like a trip to remember, hope it goes well.  04/09/01.

Norman Holden "Just wanted to say how grateful I am for the web site - you really do it well - I find the "QSO the World" a real walk down memory lane - I have to admit that I remember a lot of the names without necessarily remembering the faces - can only put that down to bloody old age. Firstly I hope that the readers will forgive me for claiming to be a "pseudo" communicator as I actually joined in May 1959 as a "R/LB" with a service history as follows:- Cerberus 05/59 - 09/60, Anzac 09/60 - 01/61, Swan 01/61 - 11/61, Harman 11/61 - 07/63 (Watchkeeping Control Room most of the time , with a little time spent at Bonshaw) , Cerberus 07/63 - 05/64 (PO's Course), Vendetta 05/64 - 01/65, Melbourne 01/65 - 07/66, Harman (Belconnen) 07/66 - 05/68 , paid off in May '68 as a POE(C) - don't really know why, I suppose it was a case of not realising " when you are on a good thing , stick to it". Perhaps it was a question of Heyke ( my wife of 40 years and still going strong) not fully respecting my total dedication to the profits at the "wets" , particularly at "Bells" where everyone had a key to the bar, including Alan "Murgy" Murgatroyd, Barry "Lofty" Lane and visitors such as Don "the dugong" Morris. How we survived some of the "sessions" which started at about 1600 on Friday and finished some time in the early hours of Monday morning I will never know. Whilst on the subject of "sessions" I wonder if there is anyone who remembers the runs to the "Greek Club" in Queanbeyan in the early hours of the morning whilst stationed at Harman. I did notice a recent "posting" from Mal Hughes - would like to catch up with him if at all possible , I have already caught up with Murgy and Lofty and would appreciate contact from anyone who remembers those days. My email address is normanh@secom.com.au (Even if it is regarding an old outstanding debt I will do my best to settle!!) Really looking forward to "The Ultimate Smokey" in 2002 and until then , sincere best wishes to all concerned from myself and Heyke. Many thanks for the kind words Norman, see you next year. 21/08/01.

 

David Stoker would like to say "I am now a man of leisure after having left the mob. I went to ADFRU - Sydney (Recruiting) for 12 months after leaving Canberra and decided to pull the pin at the end of last year. I am still on LSL until Nov. It is good having two wages come in. I am presently managing a bar & restaurant at a Beach Resort near Coffs Harbour. I miss the little updates and the avenue of being able to contact people through AIG 2002 and was wondering now that I am online again (have only recently purchased a home computer) how I go about being included in the AIG again. CheeRz n' BeeRZ .  Will reinstate you straight away Dave, all the best in civvie street.  12/08/01.

Kev Ruwoldt has been on the road again: "Upon receipt of Mr Howard's 300 bucks, I attended the marriage of Jim Eagles and Anne Tapp in Townsville on the 21st of July. Only a small family affair but most enjoyable. Met up with a former Cook from Coonawarra days in 61/62, Hughie Schofield. Had a couple and swapped a few yarns, long time span, 41 years since we had a drink together.  Upon return from Townsville, accompanied Tony Sullivan to Melbourne, as assistant driver/navigator, while taking his Campervan down to leave at Wop Boydles place. This resulted in having lunch with Graham Bence, whom I have not seen since the old Quickmatch days, when he drafted off in 60, upon return from "Up Top". Couple of more drinks and more memories surfaced from our past. Tony and I flew back to Brisbane where he will commence touring again.  Kev has also passed on advice of Pat Morris' condition, which I have put with the other updates further down the page.  07/08/01.

 

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker advises that: "At a meeting last night, I met an ex-Tel, John Wilson, who was at Harman/Belconnen 1946-1949. He has never heard of the RANCBA and would like to hear from anyone from that era who may remember him. At present he livesat Mutdapilly, but is moving into Ipswich next week, so anyone who wants to send him a dit via e-mail can do so using my e-mail address, and I will pass it on. Will let you know his new address/phone details when I have them. Cheers Nullarbor.  Tks Nullarbor, let's hope he renews old friendships.  07/08/01.

Jim Anderson has been catching up with old friends: "Great to have Alan and Dot Murgatroyd alongside in Innisfail again after their trip up to Cairns, Port Douglas and Cooktown but to add even a bit more pleasure to it all, Bryce and Betty Diggle rocked up in their caravan yesterday afternoon. So, over a couple of beers at the rissole last night we had three of the Harman CRSOW's (71-72) together for the first time in 30 years. All we needed was Lofty Lane to make the quaddie!
Bill Waldock, buffer at Harman at the same time, on hand to add to the reminiscing and b/s (but that was only from Murgy)." 
Many thanks Jim, sounds like a good session! 01/08/01.

 

Benny Goodman  is keeping us up to date: "Hi again just passed through the web site and thought I should drop a line...for some of you comms members who served through the seventies and eighties I thought you would like to know where some of the old EW boys are hanging out...
Morrie Morris is working the Nowra area and trying hard to get into private enterprise..
"Half" Moon I believe is working along side Morrie ( so I am led to believe)..
Phil Guy ( a late joiner from the British Navy) is working in the Nowra area...
Reg Ferris is living in Queensland and recently got married - yes I know that would shock most people..
Peter Robertson (ex Navcomsta boy) is working at RANTEWSS here in Nowra..
And that leave me - Wayne "BENNY" "PEABODY" Goodman - I am working at RANTEWSS too...
I would like to say Hi to all the members out there and say keep up the fine work with the web site - it brings back lots of good old memories. I would like to know if I can send some photos to you of some of the comms crews from previous ships would you be able to get them on the web - just for old times sake. Benny Goodman."  Tks Benny, and photos are more than welcome.  30/07/01.


Jack Caine has passed the following sad news:

Vale Geoff Gardner
This is to advise those who knew Geoff Gardner through pussers or DCA after paying off, that he passed away on the 9th of July after a very strong fight with Mantel Cell Lymphoma (cancer effecting blood cells and bone marrow). He put up a strong fight, but it beat him in the end. Geoff served at FND, Vampire, Harman, Saletar (Singapore), then a short time on the Sydney and the Perth in a “transit” situation, only for a couple of weeks, then paid off from the Paluma. He also did a lot of “Outstations” in DCA – Port Hedland, Cocos Island, Carnarvon and Kalgoorlie, and had stints in Perth. He paid off from “DCA,” and all the “other’ titles it had along the way in 92. He then did a stint at WA Salvage and Bunnings in various positions, gathering more friends along the way. Geoff loved his family, his golf, and his caravanning. He had been in the Caravan Club of WA for two years, and only 18 months ago bought a new van. It’s a crying shame that he only got to use it about a half a dozen times before his health faded more dramatically. Geoff will be missed by his family and his long list of friends. He was a great sparker, a great bloke, and a bloody good mate.  Lest we Forget.  26/07/01.

 

The following has been received from Robbie Dix by normal mail.  Robbie does not have an email address but wishes to advise: "I recently sold my real estate interests in Queanbeyan and Tasmania and went on the road again for a couple of months onboard 'Greybeard Voyager' - my motor home.  Came across a delightful little town in north east Victoria, went to the local Real Estate guy, bought a property.  Fine wines, excellent food.  Surrounded by wineries.  No stress.  If you are passing through Rutherglen feel free to drop in for an hour, a day, a week, whatever.  Plenty of in house accommodation.  If by chance you own a motor home, I have two covered powered sites on the property.  Telephone:  (home) 02 6032 7448 (mobile) 0415 448 541. Sounds like Robbie has found a great little retirement spot.  25/07/01.

 

Max Hasson would like to advise: "This is mainly for WA ex communicators, but we are having an ex JR's, 40th Reunion of the 3Rd Intake to HMAS Leeuwin next weekend 27, 28 and 29th July. Ex communicators attending are as follows: Geoff Broomhall, Sam Hughes, Blue Higgins, Neville Sampson, Stretch Beck, Norm Hutchings, Charlie Back. Best time to catch up will be at the Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle between 1700-1900 Friday 27th".  Tks Max, a few headaches in that lot I would imagine.  22/07/01.

 

Doug Kissick advises that: " Ex CPO Ted Hunt (and past OIC Keyboard Training Section at Cerberus) was admitted to Beleura Hospital Mornington, at approx 0400 Saturday morning after suffering a Heart attack. I spoke with him Sunday evening and he indicated he felt ok, however apparently he has had a couple of 'minor 'attacks' prior to this one, of which he was unaware (in hindsight had all the classical symptons). Ted undergoes an angiogram on Tuesday 17/7 to determine the severity of the problem. Will keep you posted. The Fox"  Many thanks Doug, please keep us posted.  17/07/01.
Update on 18/07/01.
Ted has 3/4 blockages and is being transferred to the Epworth Hospital tomorrow Wed 18/7. Apparently they will try and fix the blockages with balloon type stents and if this proves unsuccessful will carry out the necessary bypasses. Sal and I visited Ted last night and he was in good spirits and indicated that he felt quite ok. Hazel will let me know of any further updates of which I will keep you appraised. The Fox.
Update 22/07/01.
Royce Tandy
advises that Ted was operated on on Thursday and is doing well.  He is expected home this weekend.
Update 24/07/01.
Doug Kissick advises that Ted was back home on Saturday and says that he is doing quite well.

 

Sonny Fay has sent the following:  "Jim Carey has advised that Raymond Buchanan (aka Buck) is due to enter hospital in Toowoomba on the 22/7/01. The details of Buck's condition I will leave to JC to advise you all.  Buck Buchanan, 1960-1969 saw service on QueenB, Harman, Singapore, Harman, Vampire and Kuttabul.  I notice many ship-mates Buck served with on the AIG.  There would be a few more surfing by, silent running, including WRANS.  Buck only recently retired from his work, moved into a new house and was looking forward to taking his lovely wife on a trip to Singapore.  Buck's address is 30 Hawker Drive, Warwick QLD 4370.  We need an effort to cheer Buck up before he enters hospital ... tks oms qru ... Sonny Fay.  Tks Sonny, and all the best to Buck, let's hope he gets plenty of support.  11/7/01.

Update on 30 July:  Jim Carey advises that "Buck was admitted to St Andrews Hospital, Toowoomba, for tests following irregularities detected in a recent chest X-ray.  Results of tests conducted over a five-day period indicate that Buck's condition can be controlled by medication.  He was discharged from hospital yesterday and sounds fine."  Many thanks for passing that on Jim.

 

Jason Murray advises that: "I am an ex Radio operator, and now currently a Sub Lieutenant in the RANR here in Canberra. One of my best mates, whom is also known widely throughout the RAN, Peter "Jack" Jewlachow lost his battle with cancer late this afternoon (2/7/01) and passed away at his home in Cairns. I was hoping that you may be able to post this information on your site as I am informed that it is viewed regularly by a large number of communicators, serving and ex. Jack had served over 20 years in the navy and loved fishing and his Ducati. He had only just been married in April this year. I was fortunate enough to have visited him and spent a week with him only two weeks ago. He will be greatly missed by many people. Thank you.  Jason K Murray."  Thank you for passing on the sad news Jason.  Lest we Forget.  4/7/01.

 

And from Mark Bryant: "CPORS Peter (Jack) Jewlachow passed away at approx 1700 on Monday the 2nd of July at his home in Cairns. Jack struggled through a 9 month fight with cancer. He is a well respected member of the RAN communications branch and will be remembered by all who knew him as a fighter and joker in the best traditions…..  A private funeral is being held in Cairns on Friday. A memorial service and wake is being held at the Senior Sailors Mess at HMAS CAIRNS at 1300 Friday 6th July and all are welcome to attend. His WIFE the (DUCATI) will be in attendance along with his other wife Debbie and she would be happy to see any of his old mates at the Mess.  Jack asked that tributes (vice flowers) be sent to the ONCOLOGY UNIT, CALVARY HOSPITAL, 1 UPWARD STREET, CAIRNS. These people looked after Jack extremely well over the past months and he had nothing but praise for them (especially the massage girls).  I can provide any other information required by contacting me on 0419 493748.  Regards, Mark Bryant."  Thanks for the advice Mark,  Lest we Forget. 4/7/01.

 

Bill Bacon advises that there are "Ten good reasons why you should attend the big bash in Sydney in October. Rockers, Frisco, Tilbury, Bells, Monties, Ship Inn, First and Last, Newcastle, Bunchers, Bogner. Hope to see a few familiar faces
abreast the bar at one of the above."  I was in Sydney a few weeks ago and visited a couple of the establishments Bill mentions, to find they have changed a little since the days of our patronage,  particularly the Rockers.  Still, the names above evoke a few memories.... 30/6/01.

 

Paul Rattray  made contact a couple of weeks ago with some bad news;  "I was diagnosed with bowel cancer last Sept, and operated on in Oct. I am still undergoing chemo for secondary cancers in my liver, and on a lung. Don't know the effectiveness of this yet, as I only started it 2 weeks ago. I must say that the DVA has looked after me fairly well, with a gold card, and now a pension."  Rats and I did our TO's course together and in the correspondence we have had to date he sounds very positive that he will beat this disruption to his life.  Rats served from 1963 to 1970, then worked with DCA for most of his working life.  I'm sure he would welcome contact from anyone who knew him from Leeuwin or the years following.  Hang in there Rats, we are thinking of you while you fight the beast.   Paul also provided the following photo of our instructors at Cerberus in 1965.  I  can identify Ron 'Pinky' Pinkstone in the foreground, with Bill Huggins behind him, can anyone identify the others?  20/6/01.

TO Course Instructors 1965
Les Church, Wop Boydle & Graham Bence reckon that the first and second on the left are Keith (Dips) Sands & Bob 'Buckethead' Simpson.
Blue McLaughlin has also come to the rescue "To the right of Bob Simpson is Fred Wilesmith (RN exchange) and to the right of Pinky is Doug Bain."

 

Bill Bacon has passed details of the decommissioning of Navcommsta Darwin.  I have posted it to the MSO page for those who are interested.  Thanks Bill, sorry it took me so long, it got lost in my inbox.  Regards.  24/6/01.

 

John Somers advises that "Jim Anderson from Innisfail is in the Mater Hospital in Townsville. He went in with a heart problem and ended up spending 2 days in intensive care. Spoke to him today (Thursday) and he seems to be ok now but will spend some time recovering.  You may like to put it out in your next AIG.  Many thanks John, our thoughts are with Jim and we hope he is back on his feet again soon.  24/6/01.
25/6/01 - Jim sends:

Just to set record straight re my recent stint in Townsville Mater — I went in for another bypass - this time on carotid artery, behind right ear'ole. Made heavy going of it this time and spent a couple of days in ICU post-op instead of the half day anticipated. Had a week in hospital in all. Mobile again now but a bit restricted in activities. Hopefully that's it for a while now — my sixth "biggie" in under three years!  Well, that's a newie on me, I have never heard of a bypass of the carotid.  I'm sure I speak for all communicators in saying we wish you all the best Jim, get well soon.

 

Sandy McNab has passed the following "For those communicators who may still have an interest in things 'nautical', you are invited to visit the new Fremantle Maritime Museum under construction on the Harbour, at website www.mm.wa.gov.au.  The website depicts the HMAS OVENS as now located ashore on a hardstand, with a history of all the Oberons in Australia and other parts of the world. Fremantle was a substantial WWII submarine base for the British, Dutch, and USN. Another interesting web page 'Maritime Archaeology' includes Wrecks off the W.A. coast, and a history of the HMAS SYDNEY and its final encounter. This year being the 60th anniversary of its wartime sinking and tragic loss with all its crew, I assume many theories will be discussed again. I guess until it is positively located it will remain forever an ongoing mystery to the relatives of all the crew who perished. 

For those into 'star gazing', the International Space Station (ISS) now has two pair of 90m by 11m solar panels attached each side, orbits the earth every 90 minutes, and is quite viewable to the naked eye of a night when passing over. Even better when one of the space shuttles is docked whilst transferring hardware and victuals. A perusal of http://spaceflight.nasa.gov.realdata/sightings/ will enable those interested to find out what times, duration in minutes and which direction of orbit travel the ISS should be viewable (weather permitting). Click onto your nearest capital city in Australia and the times are displayed."  Many thanks for the information Sandy.  24/06/01.

HMAS OVENS at Fremantle Maritime Museum

Kev Ruwoldt has updated the story of his life at Melville/Coonawarra - "After a few phone calls and a few beers on Anzac Day, former friends have sharpened my memory banks and so I have been busy updating the story of my 12 years in Pussers, so next year hope to produce my book."   Many thanks Kev, keep up the good work.  24/6/01.

 

Mal Hughes sends "Calling any and all who were members of one of the finest group of  young men ever to join the RAN!!!  I refer to those blokes who joined in Jan 1958 as part of Moran 26...you remember, with Ken Swain, Squizzy Taylor, Bas Cleary...oh and about 30 others.  Well the object of the call is to ask that, if you are thinking about going to the "Big Bash in Sydney in October this year, please contact me, or anybody from that intake.  The idea is that we get together (probably for the last time!!!! - is that a bit too melodramatic???), have a few glasses, and maybe march together...anyhow please get in touch.  Regards Mal Hughes. 19/6/01.

 

Doug 'Swampy' Marsh continues his travels: "Let me post another offer of hospitality on the web site.  I've settled in beautiful Seville, Spain for the next 2 years or so.  As I'll be doing some travelling around Europe myself, then attending the re-union in April 2002, and then doing another trip, I'll be out of town, Seville that is, for various times.  However if anyone is planning to visit Europe, drop me a line and I'd be pleased to meet them perhaps in Madrid or Seville and let them have some free accommodation in a lovely part of the country.  Regards....Doug (Swampy) Marsh.  What a life Swampy, how do you do it.  Regards 13/6/01.

 

Doug Kissick (The Fox, Carn the Pies) advises that: "Today I made a visit to Cerberus Museum and am surprised as to how much it has grown. The whole of the old Band and Supply School is now the Administration Office, which houses a lecture theatre, restoration workshop and an extensive library and across the road, the Museum itself. There is also a mobile display.
CPOSBA (ex) Gary Hermsen was able to produce in quick time, from an extensive photo library, (The WRANS Photo collection is very extensive), a class photo of a much skinnier Sally Welman and amongst others, Bronnie Babbs, whose daughter Megan Baird (a student of Sally's), is currently in the communication School.   Bronnie and Sally were introduced to each other, by the Train Conductor, when making the journey from Armidale and  Tamworth respectively to join the WRANS. The communication School Section, compared to the remaining archives is fairly sparse and I know that Derrick (Butch) Berry and the other Cerberus Museum Volunteer Curator's would would welcome and treasure any photo or item that communicator's would like to be preserved. So if you are concerned about that Class photo, Cruise Book, treasured Morse Key or that set of Semaphore Flags outlasting you, how about considering saving them for prosperity by donating them to the Cerberus Museum. Regards. The Fox".  Sounds like a good cause Doug, I have a set of semaphore flags I made when I was the last Chief Yeoman on VKLP (R21) 1980/81, I will send them down post haste.  9/6/01.

 

June Morris has advised that Terry is not too good at the moment: "Hi there, June & Terry Morris have a new email address due to Ocomel falling out of favour.  Hope all is well with you and that the extra work with the reunion is not too wearying.  Terry had a minor stroke a few weeks back and we are taking one day at a time at the moment, hopefully things will improve. Cheers June.  Thanks June, I hope all who know Terry will take the time to wish him well.  Rest assured the reunion is on track for the biggest and best yet.  Our thoughts are with you both.  9/6/01.

 

Jim & Maureen Griggs seem to have landed in Paradise, "Just a quick note to let everybody know who remembers Maureen and myself, that we are now living in the Barossa Valley in Tanunda, address is 1 Doering Street Tanunda 5352, Phone 08 85630576, love to see anyone passing through, we live within walking distance of 5 wineries.  So if you enjoy a drop of Red, or White, drop in and say hello.  Thanks Jim, sounds like too good an invitation to pass up.  9/6/01.

 

Les Smith sends "When I got your query as to who it was, that had been OIC of the comm. School, plus in command of an Australian cruiser during WWII, I got to work and from my library extracted the names of all the skippers of all the cruisers. That part was fairly easy and from their individual backgrounds, it was possible, with a little bit of a stretch of imagination, to get a couple of them to be OIC comm school at some time or other, because there were several that had been OIC Cerberus.
Then, for the first half of this month, I went up to Townsville, specifically to attend in Cardwell, the Coral Sea Battle commemoration, so the project lapsed until this week, when I got back onto it. That, by the way, was a memorable experience, even in itself, with a twenty piece band being provided from the U.S.S. Blue Ridge, which at the time was berthed in Cairns.
Information on the school was very difficult to unearth and my library didn't have enough resources, but, via the Infracom, ( a comwork for Navy use only), I came up with the school's history, which was very cunningly concealed. A comm. school as such, didn't become part of the Royal Australian Navy, until 1926, when an R.N. Lieutenant became it's first commander. It was then called the Signals School and there followed a couple of other OIC's, who were likewise R.N. appointees, including one incumbent who was a commissioned Signals Bosun!!
Then, in 1926, H.M.L. Waller, R.A.N. was appointed as O.I.C. Bingo!!....., a perfect match, for he was a legend in MY time for his deeds in Med., in the early part of the Middle East war. He subsequently commanded H.M.A.S. Perth until she was sunk by the Japanese in the Java Sea.
To re-cap a little on his wartime experiences, he was the skipper of H.M.A.S. Stuart, an old V & W destroyer, and in October 1939, as commander (D), had the ships, Vendetta, Voyager, Vampie and Waterhen forming his flotilla. For the next two years, his leadership was referred to as "outstanding" and "inspired", by one and all. Admiral Cunningham, said of Waller's flotilla, "the most lively and undefeated fellows, I have ever had to do with." An ex-destroyer rating wrote, "If ever we wish to skite, we say, "I was with Hec Waller in the Med." 
The Tobruk ferry service, which supplied the swotties in Tobruk, can largely be put down to Waller and when Stuart the flotilla leader, would be out of commission, Waller would board one of his other flotilla members and lead the show from there. Lord Haw Haw, the German propagandist, christened them "The Scrap Iron flotilla". The ships may well have been "scrap iron", but they were crewed by an exceptionally pround bunch of blokes, who did the toughest of jobs, well!! 
Hec Waller was lost in 1942, when as skipper of H.M.A.S. Perth, she was sunk by the Japanese. However, his deeds are now posthumously memorialised, by the naming after him, of one of the Collins class submarines.
Hope all of this doesn't come too late. Cheers, Les Smith." Thanks Les, we had several correct replies shortly after I promulgated the question to AIG 2002, but your reply goes into more depth and I have posted it for information.  1/6/01.

 

John Tuke has a particular Darwin story to tell: " Thanks for all the info on your site. It is certainly attracting an increasing amount of interest. My congratulations to Kev Ruwoldt for his recollections of his Northern Territory days. I must say his memory is far more acute than mine for those days and the clouding of the memory is not due to age but the general fog in which most of us lived in those days. With the impending closure of NAVRADSTA Darwin, I though it was time to put my hand up for one of the incidents related by Ruwie and wipe the slate clean. The time was the overthrow of President Sukarno in Indonesia and there was general apprehension about what the outcome may or may not be. In defence of the realm, the LRO(S) of the watch was equipped with a revolver and 2 bullets which was to be worn during the watch. In preparation for the invasion I was taken out the back of the building and had 2 shots at a 44 gallon drum, both of which missed. At that time, I had never even handled a revolver and during recruit training we had about an hour on the rifle range at Cerberus firing .22 rifles set in Lee-Enfield stocks, marked 1912 or 1916. Some preparation! The rule with the revolver was that should there be a ring at the door, I was to draw the pistol and answer the door ready and armed. In case of a mistake, the revolver was to be loaded with the two bullets but with the first chamber empty, so the first shot would not be a dangerous one. I was a little more cautious than leaving just one chamber empty so left a couple empty, just in case. But they forgot to tell me that the chambers revolved anti-clockwise and not clockwise as I believed. So that watch when Ruwie rang the door, I faithfully took the revolver out of the holster and went to the door. There were 3 steps up and being an agile young man I took them at one leap, but put pressure on the trigger, which responded accordingly. Luckily, the revolver was pointing at the floor and not in the direction of some potential enemy lurking behind the door. The bullet hit the floor and ricocheted through the door. After I got over the shock, I opened the door and said something like, "Who the xxxx was ringing the bell?" What a surprise - the corridor was empty. The upshot of this was that I was fined a days pay plus $2.00 to pay the cost of a new tile. I went back to Coonawarra to do my 2 weeks RAFR about 1971 or 72 and found the tile was still not replaced, so imagine my $2.00 went into consolidated revenue or somebody else's pocket. I saw Ruwie at the Fremantle reunion and it was the first thing he mentioned when he saw me. 35 years had not dimmed the memory. Thanks Ruwie for your discretion. Hope to catch up with you all in Canberra in 02. Regards, John Tuke.  Tks for sharing a great story John.  1/6/01.

 

Kev Ruwoldt advises that "Pat Morris (nee O'Sullivan) who has had health problems for some time, was today admitted to hospital for the second time in a week, and is quite ill.  I feel that she would appreciate hearing from any of her old ship mates out there wishing her well.  Her home address is:- Villa 41, Bally Cara Village, Oyster Point Esplanade, Scarborough, QLD, 4020.  I am sure a get well card from former friends, will brighten her day.  Thanks Kev, hope Pat recovers quickly.  31/5/01.

Further news from Kev on 9/6/01.

Pat Morris has had a heart attack and has been transferred to the Redcliffe Hospital and is in intensive care at this stage.  Her daughter is in attendance and will keep me posted on her condition.  Unfortunately, it is family only at this stage.  If anyone would like to contact me on 07-32833802 I will only be too pleased to be of assistance.

Tks Kev, let's hope for the best.  9/6/01.

Update on 12/6/01.

Pat had a "massive heart stoppage" between 12.30pm and 1.30pm Saturday.  Have seen Pat again today, and she is now sitting up, but still in a bad way.  Needs lots of rest.  The Doctor was to speak to her 2 sons and daughter later today.  Highly likely she will be out of intensive care sometime shortly.  Will keep you posted.

Update on 16/6.

Pat is now in the Peninsular Private Hospital and is slowly improving at this stage.  During the week she was not getting enough rest due to the number of visitors.  Have been asking people to restrict their visits to coincide with meal times.  The nurses are now shutting her door, with a note on the outside to check with them first.  Still a long way to go and it will be an awfully long process.

Update on 21/6/01
Pat is now up and about, but as yet too sick to leave hospital. Her next problem is to drain fluid off the lung. The hospital staff are still upset at too many visitors staying too long. Would ask them to restrict their visits to meal times only and make it short, as she does desperately need her rest. Morning tea 10am, Lunch 12 midday, Afternoon tea 2.30pm and Tea 5.30pm. Will keep you posted.

Update on 30/6/01

At the moment Pat's progress is amazing, up and about, walking around like nothing had happened. The Doctor is so pleased with her progress that there is a high chance of her being released next week.  My concern is that the other Doctors are waiting for her release and may start her on the tablets again which caused her problem. Will keep an eye on her and let you know.

Update on 13/07/01

Bad news, Pat has not been released from hospital.  She has developed a bad rash and the Doctors are at a loss as to the cause.  Monday she is required to visit the Wesley hospital for tests, and hopefully she will return to the Peninsular Hospital here on the Redcliffe Peninsular.  Her Specialist is now back from holidays, so hopefully he can answer some questions.  Will keep you posted.

Update on 07/08/01.

Pat received an ICD (Internal Cardiac Device) Wednesday at 2pm after a weeks delay due to bruising from her Angiogram the previous week. Pat rang yesterday (a big surprise to Anne and I) to advise that she was feeling bruised and battered, but now has to await for the Technicians to make adjustments as required over the next week. This device should kick start her heart whenever a failure occurs. Will slip in and see her tomorrow. Pat is also, the 3rd patient in Queensland, to have this device fitted. Will advise more after my visit.

Update on 12/08/01.

This should be my last communication re Pat. Returned home yesterday from Noosa/Tewantin(Caravanning) to find that Pat was sent home Wednesday. Requires a weekly visit for the next month at this stage, for check up purposes. Spoke to her on the phone for awhile and am pleased to say, it sounded like the old Pat of old. Hopefully you will not hear from me again. (i.e. that is on Pat).

 

Brian Agland "a former ABSIG served from 1967-1976 including Sydney (67-68), Derwent (69-70), Perth (70-71), ANZUK Singapore (72-74) and Brisbane (75-76).  Just found the website today and its been great reading all the bumf.  I am keen to catch up with some of my old mates (I only had a few).  I notice a few messages from some of them on the website and its good to see they still know how to type (even Charlie Rigg).  I am about to head off to Sri Lanka for a few years and will send my new email address when I know it but in the meantime if anyone wants to contact me please use my current address brian_agland@ausaid.com.auTks Brian, all the best for your time away.  Keep an eye on the site, we will try to keep you up to date.  31/5/01.

Update on 1/7/01:  I have arrived and am settling into my new job working on Australia's aid program to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. I am off to the Maldives in a day or so (tough job). If anyone would like to contact me on my new email address please do so brian.agland@dfat.gov.au. I have already bumped into two ex communicators, Norm Harrison on the day I left Oz (I hadn't seen Norm since packing into a scrum with him about 25 years ago) and Jim Muldoon who is involved with one of our marine environmental programs in the Maldives. It was great to catch up with them.

 

Gavin Jensen (ex Brackets S) says "just a few lines for you to pass on to anyone who remembers me - Gavin Jensen - served at Harman, Coonawarra, Stuart - was RO(S).  Loved a game of golf, also played a bit of rugby.  Was back in Canberra last weekend for a golf reunion, came across Ollie Lewis and Banjo Paterson, good golfing mates of mine, also Bill Lowe.  I now live in Gympie and work in Brisbane, would be nice to hear from any old friends.  Sid James is also up my way.  Anyway, cheerio for now, fond regards, Gavin.  Tks Gavin, all the best.  31/5/01.

 

Bob Berbeck (Retired Signalman, Royal Canadian Navy) sends: "I worked with the RAN on many different occasions. Wish I had found this site sooner as I may have expressed an interest in coming down there for it, and it appears as though you're full.  Would it be possible to ask if anyone by the name of Peter Bates has registered for this upcoming party?  I last saw Peter in Pearl Harbour for the commonwealth communications Party held at the Junior Ranks mess.  He was a POSY onboard HMAS Melbourne at that time.  Pater and I first met in Singapore in 1968.  At that time I invited him over for a tot of rum.  I was onboard HMCS Qu'Appelle and he was on the HMAS Vendetta.  The invite was sent at 11:00 am Friday and we finally got him off of our ship Sunday afternoon.  Last info I had was he retired in 1980 and have had no luck tracing him since.  Thanks in advance for your trouble.  P1SG4 Bob Berbeck, Vancouver, Canada.  Thanks Bob, does anyone know what happened to Peter, I haven't heard anything about him since he retired.  24/5/01.

 

Doug (Swampy) Marsh took some time off from his South American travels to send an email: "Just reading QSO from tropical northeast Brazil and Jim Anderson's story of gilding the lily with morse speeds in the forties.  I remember in the early 70's when we Brackets S rates had to requalify at 25wmp, (general service sparkers scraped by at the regulation 22wpm), I saw the late Reg Heaney reading an automatic morse tape at 44wpm and getting about 95% accuracy, to the rest of us listening, it sounded like a RATT broadcast.  I also remember passing the hat around at a "smokey" to help Reg vacate the Queanbeyan lockup.  We needed the bail money, as Reg had been invited to stay the night courtesy of the Queanbeyan constabulary.  I think it comes under the heading of Young, Dumb and Irresponsible, but great days were had."  They were great days Swampy, may Reg rest in peace.  16/5/01.

 

John A Frazier (RM2 USN Retired) writes:  "I have recently been in touch with Rod Beckinsale who has sent me the URL new website and I have been able to bring up information on the 2002 National Convention to be held 23-27 April 2002 in Canberra.  The US Navy had a radio school in Canberra during WW2 and I came there in 1943 after completing the Radiomans course at the University of Wisconsin.  I spent two months at the radio school in Canberra, then I was sent out to Harman where I stayed until Japan surrendered.  I left Australia in December 1945 for the States.  While at Harman, I lived in a motel near the Queanbeyan River and we took our meals at restaurants.  I know it was a rough assignment but "I went where I was sent" and I was lucky to be sent to Canberra.  (Incidentally, I was an American Morse railroad telegraph operator at the age of 17 so I had some code experience before joining the Navy at age 18. 

 

Now down to the main reason for contacting you.  I see that RANCBA is holding their 2002 National Reunion 23-27 April 2002.  I would love to attend either this one in 2002 or definitely in 2003.  I just passed my physical and am in excellent condition so I have a good chance of making the reunion - that is if I would be allowed to attend.  Have any other US Navy personnel attended your past reunions?  If so would like to have their names and addresses as I have lost all contact with the 30 radiomen who were stationed at Harman when I was there.  I will be in Washington, D.C. next week and in Chicago the following week but will be home during the weekends.  Looking forward to hearing from you soon.  Sincerely, John A Frazier."  I have replied to John regarding the 2002 reunion, does anyone know the whereabouts of any of the USN radiomen he mentions?"  16/5/01.
John is on the left.

 

John Ferguson has provided further advice on the decommissioning of NAVcomMSTA Darwin:  "I have received a number of emails from some of you and this is to bring you all up to date with what has been going on.  Funding from the welfare committee has not been approved to date but I have been lobbying the members and am confident that after a meeting to be held on the 17May01 that funding will be approved.  There will be a BBQ held either at the station or at the Trap in the afternoon of Fri 31st August, the official closure of the station.  On the evening of Sat 1st September a formal ball will be held in the Ball room at the Carlton Hotel Darwin.  As soon as the welfare committee approves funding I will be able to let you know firm costs, but can say it will be between $40-45 per head, this will cover the costs for both the BBQ and the Ball.  The Ball will be a buffet with pre dinner drinks and a limited amount of wine per table.  The BBQ will hopefully include the refreshments if the welfare committee comes good with the amount of money I am asking for.  The Carlton Hotel has only offered a Defence discount to people attending, being $115 per night - just mention NAVcomMSTA when booking, but I am sure that if you talk to your Travel Agents you will be able to get a  better deal with the many other hotels around Darwin.  A decommissioning port crock is being produced and will be able to be purchased directly through the manufacturer for around $65.00 for a box and glass set.  I will forward order forms as they come to hand.  I apologise for the late advice but it has been a difficult task getting welfare to part with the funds that you helped to build, but as I said I have lobbied the committee and am confident that the money will come through.  The Ball will go ahead regardless.  Yours aye, Fergie."  Thanks for the advice Fergie, I'm sure it will be of interest to all communicators who served in Melville/Coonawarra.  6/5/01.

 

Wally Leijen  has passed the following: "John, I attended Dawn Service at HMAS Cerberus, followed by breakfast at the Senior Sailors Mess.  A good crowd was in attendance and from all accounts the crowds appear to be increasing every year. I had the opportunity to stay with Doug and Sally Kissick and he showed me the RANCBA website, very impressive and a great job.  Attended the march in Frankston where I met up with a few of the ex and serving communicators, including Bryce Diggle and Peter Archibald.  They both indicated that they will also be in Canberra next year.  I'm living in Wonthaggi (South Gippsland) and I wonder if there are any other ex-communicators in the area. For those that wish to communicate with me the address is leijenw@hotmail.com. Anyway, am looking forward to Canberra and once again, congratulation on a great job with the website."  Tks Wally, good to hear from you.  27/4/01.

 

Jim Anderson has sent "a quick dit to advise on ANZAC Day up in Innisfail, FNQ. Alan Murgatroyd and Dot are alongside at the moment (as advised here a bit earlier by Ruwie) so a fifteen year break off the pee one double ess for me was the first casualty. Had a thoroughly great Day though.
The waistlines were a bit thicker and hairlines a bit thinner.
The truth was an early casualty.
The dogs are 25 years blacker than they used to be.
The morse speeds were up in the high forties by the end of proceedings.
The "snakes" we just happened to have in our back pockets "that particular day" are now tiapans.
BS flowed as easily as did the XXXX.
I hadn’t seen Murgy in 25 odd years and really great to catch up again. He is here for about a month. As Ruwie said, it would be easy to stow away on his cruiser for a bit. Beautifully appointed and well maintained. All in all, a great day.Regards. Jim Anderson."  Tks Jim, and well put! 27/4/01.

Dave Jeffrey has very kindly provided the following:

VALE    John Scarlett LCDR RAN Ret'd 1948 - 2001
 
Friday 20 April 2001 saw some 40 members of the RANCBA help farewell John Scarlett from this world.  A moving requiem was celebrated at the Sacred Heart Church in Pearce.  The large church was filled to capacity by family, friends, communicators and about 80 members of the ACT Veterans Cycle Club, with whom John competed on a regular basis.  Jeff Stokes (ex RAN - veteran cyclist) delivered a sometimes humorous, but often very moving eulogy on John's latter life.  He was taken from the church by his sons and selected pall bearers to the strain of Dire Straits - The Walk of Life.  On his last ride, the exit from the church was lined by members of the RANCBA and he was accompanied by his cycling mates for some way.  Sadly, John's second last ride occurred on Easter Saturday when he suffered a fatal heart attack during a competition event.  Significantly, John was officially recorded as the outright winner in D Grade for that day.  John will be missed by his many communicator and cycling mates, but more importantly his close family and friends will take a long time to come to grips with his sudden death.
 
At the going down of the Sun and in the morning - We will remember him.

And the following, from Trevor Dickinson, Doug Conn and Tony Hughes

John Scarlett joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1966 and during his 25 year career served in Vietnam and other peace-keeping theatres. He also served in Singapore as part of the Australian, New Zealand and United Kingdom force, where he met his wife Stephanie in 1972. John is survived by his wife and three children: Liam, Simon and Verity.

John joined the Navy as a sailor and went on to achieve a commission as a naval communications officer. He retired as a Lieutenant commander after a successful naval career and remained active in the Naval Reserve. John continued his association with the Defence Force as an officer in the Australian Public Service. He was renowned for his unique and vibrant sense of humour and was respected and admired by his subordinates, peers and superiors alike.

John was a past President of the RAN communications Branch ACT Chapter and continued to play a part in Chapter activities. He was actively involved in organising the forthcoming reunion of ex-naval communicators, which is to be held in Canberra over the Anzac Day period in April 2002.

He will be sorely missed.

Sam Hughes has passed on the extremely sad and hard to believe news that John Scarlett (ex-POSY and LCDR SDEX C) passed away on Saturday 14 April after suffering what appears to have been a heart attack while competing in an ACT Veterans Cycle club race. Several members, one a doctor and another a paramedic, maintained CPR until an ambulance arrived and transported John to Canberra Hospital, but he did not regain consciousness.  John was a well respected member of  the RANCBA 2002 Reunion organising committee and was also a past President of the RANCBA ACT.  It is a very sad day for those who knew John and our sincere sympathy and condolences are with his wife Stevie as well as their children.  John's funeral will be held at the Sacred Heart Church, Pearce, ACT, on Friday 20 April at 11:30am.  Lest we Forget.  16/4/01.
A recent photo of John, taken during a holiday in Italy.

Dick Adams has also passed on the sad news that Ted (Tiddley) Watson (ex CPO Tel) passed away at home, while doing the gardening, on Saturday 14 April 2001.  No further details are to hand at this time.  Lest we Forget.  15/4/01.

 

Ann Drohan (nee Jackson) "served in Harman in 67/68 and Coonawarra 69 as WRROM.  My first visit to site, recognised a few names which brought back some memories that I thought I had forgotten.  Happy to receive any messages from anyone who remembers Class 98, Cerberus, October 1967."  Thanks Ann - good or bad memories? 19/4/01.

 

Kev Ruwoldt "Ran into Alan and Dorothy Murgatroyd on my recent visit to Townsville.  Visited them at the Breakwater Marina and had morning tea aboard their vessel "M.V. Paul Mitchell".  I tried to sign on as a 'deckie' but my better half wouldn't have that.  Their next visit is to Innisfail, then Cairns, Cooktown and eventually completing their northern run at Lizard Island.  When the trade winds turn, with the breeze from behind they will then head back south to Newcastle.  Murgie says fuel is not cheap in a head wind.  They can be contacted on Mob 0407 960 387 when in range."  Thanks Ruwey, as you say someone else may get a tour over the Paul Mitchell if they are able to meet Murgie and Dot during their travels. Sounds like a great life! 14/4/01.

 

Ted Garth & Dick Adams have both advised the sad news that ex L/Tel (LRO) Reuben Israel Markovitch has passed away.  Reuben's funeral will be held in Sydney on Friday 6 April at 10:30am, at Northern Suburbs.  Shorty Moffatt, as well as many others, will be in attendance. 3/4/01.  Lest we Forget.  A later mail from Shorty described Reuben as one of the legends within the RANCBA - he will be sadly missed.  5/4/01.

 

Sandy McNab has sent the following image to share with the QSO forum.  The image is a panoramic view of the world from the new space station. You can scroll East-West and North-South.  Canada's population is almost exclusively along the US border. Moving east to Europe, there is a high population concentration along the coast of the Med. Check out the development of Israel compared to the rest of the Arab countries. Note the Nile river, and the reason they call Africa the dark continent. Check the outback of Australia and the Trans-Siberia Rail Route. Moving east, most striking is the difference between North and South Korea.  You can tell that Bangkok is a real party place, whereas Vietnam is still in the dark age.  Truly unique!  Tks Sandy, a very interesting look at world energy sources. 23/3/01.
world_at_night.jpg

 

Kev Ruwoldt reckons his fingers have recovered from typing up the story of his life at Melville/Coonawarra (see entry 19/1 below) and now wants to tackle his time at Harman, starting from June 1958 til September 1970, however, "My later years are a problem, trying to remember the names at Harman Jan 68 til May 68 and then again at Harman July 69 til Feb 70.  Is it possible to put something on QSO the World and jog some memories out there."  Not a problem Kev, look forward to reading the Harman version.  If anyone can remember what happened during their time at Harman pse contact Kev. 16/3/01.

 

Bill Bacon is looking for Spud: "We are trying to round up our intake for a reunion next year and one of our missing is J.M. Murphy (Jim/Spud) joined 1962, the last I recollect seeing him is in the early 70's and I think he was at Albatross (Kellick Sparker).  I've put together a web page at http://jrte5.homestead.com/  It's hard to believe in 40 years next year since that fateful day!"  Tks Billy, anyone seen Spud? Phil Butler recently told me he doesn't remember the early 70's, so Billy is doing well!  16/3/01.  Scoops Cooper knew where Spud was and advised Bill accordingly, tks Scoops.  23/3/01.

 

HMAS MOREBSY Reunion - I have been advised that a HMAS MORESBY reunion will be held on the second weekend of September 2001 on the Gold Coast.  Anyone interested please contact Allan Watt 02 6628 6401 or e-mail jakkwatt@hotmail.com

 

Richard Adams has "found an enquiry looking for info on the last trip of HMAS HOBART to Japan in 1947.  Ross Colles was a Sparker on board - if anyone knows how to get in touch with Ross or where he is living would appreciate the info.  Also looking for K A Smith from same ship at same time, he seems to have disappeared.  Regards, Dick Adams."  Thanks Dick, if anyone can help please contact Dick direct.  16/3/01.

 

Jack Button has been in touch with Dave Turnbull (see entry 19/2 below on Dave) and sends: "John, have been speaking with Dave Turnbull this day and he has asked that your site please pass on a big tks to all that have contacted him and indeed who have offered a silent prayer. Many tks, Jack Button".   This is great news, please keep up the good work. 16/3/01.

 

Phil Butler has sent the following: "Thought I would write and pass on the sad news that Sandra Millsom (ex wife of Mick Millsom (LTO)) passed away last month after a brief illness.  Sandy, her two daughters Rebecca and Debbie and my wife became very close friends over the years and we visited each other quite often.  I can still remember the parties we used to have at their place in the Belconnen patch in the early 70's and the people who attended such as; Murgs, Dot, Laundy & family, Gags, Phil Carmichael etc... Sandra was the salt of the earth and always ready to help out during the bad times so I know there are quite a few ex-communicators out there who will remember her fondly.  She will be sadly missed".  Lest we Forget.  Thanks Phil 16/3/01.

 

Peter 'Hack' & Sue Hackett (nee Halpin) "send regards to any who may remember them from the 60's and 70's!!  come on-line only today and have revived many memories going through the attendees list for 2002.  We are really looking forward to April next year.  We have five grown children - even have two grandies!!  Would love to hear from anyone interested in contacting us (would help to upgrade our very-limited computer talents!!).  Thanks to you both and hope you enjoy many contacts with others.  08/03/01.

 

Les Church sends "Does anyone out there know of a CY Alan Purdy who was training Nasho communication Staff in 1954?  I was asked about him by ex commander John King RAN Rtd."  Any helpers?  Please contact Les direct. 08/03/01.

 

Dave Bowditch has passed a Vale for Bruce Dopper (ex L/Tel).  Members who knew Bruce will be saddened to learn that he died suddenly at his home in Dapto NSW on 1 Feb 2001.  Bruce joined the RAN in January 1948 for 12 years, but was granted a compassionate discharge in 1956.  To Bess and family all our sympathy in your sad loss. Lest we Forget. 1/03/01.

 

I have had a request from an ex-communicator who would prefer to remain anonymous at this stage who is "Looking for TO's (and above) on Hobart's 3rd deployment to Vietnam who clearly saw, without binoculars, enemy on a beach - or confirm that we went close enough to a beach to see people and objects clearly.  Preferably on or about 14 August 1970 near DMZ, just after the HK visit".  If anyone can assist please contact me in the first instance and I will pass the message on. 26/02/01.

 

Graham Bence has forwarded the following photograph of a F/A-18C Horcom breaking the sound barrier (sonic boom) taken by Ensign John Gay.  Graham thought QSO visitors might like to see it.  For the technically minded, John took the photograph with a Nikon 90 S 35mm camera, zoom lens on 300mm, shutter speed at 1/1000 of a second, with an aperture setting of F5.6.  Thanks Graham, an interesting shot for the photographic buffs.  22.2.01.
con-sndbar.jpg (54760 bytes)

 

Sandy McNab  would like to bring to our attention the following item which appeared in the West Australian recently: "Information is sought about HMAS LEEUWIN, as it was, situated in Fremantle.  In particular from any former junior recruits or staff who served there from 1960 to 1986.  The information is sought for a book on Leeuwin's role as the Junior Recruit Training Establishment (JRTE).  Contact Paul Kerr, Lieutenant RAN, PO Box 4153, Denistone East, NSW, 2112, Telephone 02 9874 0105." This is a project that has been begging for years and deserves all the support we can give it.  Please contact Paul if you can assist. 19/2/01.

 

Sandy has also advised he has had a letter from Dave Turnbull's wife Gail (nee McCormick) advising of Dave's serious illness.  They are in need of loving thoughts and prayers as Dave is being treated for lung cancer.  This is the third time he has undergone chemotherapy.  Gail advises that the diagnosis is only recent, but treatment has begun already.  The chemo regime is to be 3 days every 21 days for about 6 treatments.  If there is anyone who would like to communicate with Dave & Gail and offer their words of support, the mailing address is 37 Walker Street, Wynyard, Tasmania, 7325, Telephone 03 6442 5225.  Our thoughts are with Dave & Gail as are our hopes for a speedy recovery.  19/2/01.

 

Terry Reid "gave Dave a call a couple of days ago and found him in good spirits and fairly optimistic. It was great talking to him as I hadn't had contact with him for several years and it was good to see his dry sense of humour hasn't deserted him. He was asking about all the latest happenings etc and was hoping to get a computer and get on the com sometime in the near future, he also said he wanted to go on a trip shortly but hadn't decided in which direction to head WA, QLD or NZ, no doubt sometime in the near future we'll catch up with him so for now fingers crossed and wish him a speedy recovery.  Regards to all the troops, Terry."  Thanks Terry, it's great to hear Dave is in good spirits. 28/02/01.

 

I have received advice from a number of sources that ex CPOSY Gunther (Gunner) Glaessner was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on 11 February 2001 in Western Australia.  The funeral service was held last week.  Should you wish to pass condolences, the contact address I have been given is 127 Milina St, Hillman, WA.  Lest We Forget. 19/2/01.

 

Les Church would like to advise that "I am the editor of the Vampire Association Newsletter. If there are any ex Vampire communicators out there interested in joining our association please send me an email at churchl@optuscom.com.au - I read through the numerous naval web pages and I find it strange that communicators don't communicate more in "QSO the World". I did get an email from a Sparker who served on Voyager's last trip up top, he saw his picture in MSO, so communicators start communicating."  Sound like good advice to me Les.  19/2/01.

 

John Ferguson has advised that, further to the advice below, NAVcomMSTA DARWIN will cease HF operations on the 31st August.  The final date for the decommissioning function has yet to be decided, but John anticipates it will be either the 1st or 8th September 2001.  John will keep us all informed.  19/2/01.

 

Jim Anderson advises "I will be in Greenslopes Private Hospital, Brisbane for some more surgery from Tuesday 12 Feb. Expect to be there for between two and four weeks. Would love to catch up with any Brisbane domiciled ex-communicators if they're in the vicinity."  Thanks Jim, we wish you all the best. Hope you make contact with a few communicators you haven't seen for a while.  22/1/01.


John Ferguson
currently serving at Coonawarra, has passed the following:  "I don't know if it is common knowledge throughout the chapters and I am still to get in contact with the Darwin chapter, but NAVcomMSTA DARWIN will cease to exist later this year (no firm date can be given at this stage). Myself and Scott Lockhart are in the early stages of organizing a decommissioning type do. I was wondering if you may be able to put something on the web page, asking for expressions of interest in attending a function in Darwin probably towards the end of September. I am also interested in copies of any photo's or stories from as early as 1939 from the stations beginnings as W/T Station Darwin.  I can be contacted at:
Email:  fergie18@tpg.com.au
Snail mail:  POCIS4 John Ferguson
                 NAVcomMSTA DARWIN
                 HMAS COONAWARRA
                 DARWIN NT 0820"
Thanks Fergie, if anyone is interested or can help please make direct contact.  19/1/01.
Kev Ruwoldt has written the story of his life at Coonawarra, and it makes for a bloody good read. This will bring back the memories. Check it out by following the link to the Kev Ruwoldt Storey.  6/2/01.


Stewart Laurie
has discovered the site and would like to make contact with others: "Hello! My name is Stewart Laurie, ex-sig 69-75 last posting Harman NO.  Great to see so many familiar names, if anyone remembers me, drop a dit if you want to scorpion3@wn.com.au Thanks Stewart, good to hear from you. 19/1/01.

 

Mark Harris has passed on the following, and while I would not wish this site to become too commercial, it is worthy of interest to those communicators who served as submariners:
"Just a quick note to let you know that we have completed a doco on the J class, It is called "Watchdogs of the Deep - The J Class Submarines". The documentary using a narrative style explores the history and what remains of four World War One British J class submarines that were discovered off the Victorian coast in Bass Strait in the mid 1970's. The following themes are covered in the 28 minute program:
- How World War One saw major developments in military technology, one of the major advances was the submarine.

- How World War One heralded the dawn of the submarine age.

- We briefly mentions and build upon the mystique and fascination people have about submarines.

- Interviews with the three people whom located the first J class subs in Bass Strait.

- Why the J Class subs were built.

- What the J Class subs did during WW1.- hunter killer sub role.

- What features the J class had and the bond between subs and crew.

- Tour though the interior of a J class sub using raw old photos and using a section of text from the book Watchdogs of the Deep written in 1935 about J-2.

- We cover how the four J class subs came to rest in Bass Strait.

- We dive on and film each of the four subs in Bass Strait and talk about what is unique about each sub and their present condition.

- We talk about how life hasn't changed much for submariners on diesel/electric subs from WW1 to present day.

- We cover what a unique diving opportunity it is to visit these four Subs in Bass Strait.

You can purchase a copy by contacting Oceanic Australia, toll free on 1300 305 530 or email them on russell@oceanicaus.com.au. It costs $37.50 plus p/h.
Regards.  Mark Harris, email either m.harris@latrobe.edu.au or mbhprods@optuscom.com.au
MBH Productions, 36 Strathnaver Ave, Strathmore, 3041, Australia. PH: +061 0418 34 54 64.  19/1/01.

Watchdogs of the Deep

 

It is with much regret that I advise George Davey (Retired WOSY) passed away last Monday 8 January 2001.  At present I am not able to pass on much more than the death notice in Saturday's Canberra Times which states "DAVEY George ex RAN. 6.11.28 to 8.1.01.  Much loved husband and best friend of Carolyn.  Privately cremated."  For those who knew him George was a wonderful man and it was always a pleasure to see him and engage him in conversation.  He was also a real character, the likes of which we will probably never see again.  Our condolences and best wishes go out to Carolyn.  Lest we Forget.

 

Kolyn 'Kool' & Jenny Barrett (nee O'Rourke) send: "Was referred to this site by Gayle Steggles nee Nankervis (aka Knickers). Thought it was just great and as many have said it sure is a blast from the past. Enjoyed the photos of the ANZUK reunion as there were many people there that we knew. We left Canberra in 1986 when Jen paid of from Pussers and adjourned to Queensland where we enjoy the sunshine, and the fishing. We have one daughter Kirsty, who is 23 this year, and two grandchildren Paige Riley and Rhyan Kolyn. Love to hear from anyone out there who is interested, at jbarrett@iprimus.com.auTks Kol & Jenny, good to hear from you.  15/01/01.

 

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:  'Curbs, I notice that Alan Murgatroyd (aka He-of-the-prominent-proboscis) has used his official number (61407006685) as a prefix to his e-mail address.  Quite ingenious, really!.  Greetings to him and the lovely Dot. Cheers.  Over to you Murgy.  15/01/01.

 

Norm Golding (ABSIG 71-77) "would like to make contact with any communicator, particularly from the MELBOURNE during the mid 70's.  Can't seem to locate any names in the reunion list although there does appear to be a couple of familiar ones, but as I have lost contact, cannot remember. Wondering if any comms during this period are going to the reunion?  Good website. I have no idea how long it has been here, as only stumbled onto it the other day. Good effort, only hope it continues to grow.  Good Luck!  Tks Norm, all the best, hope you get some replies.  15/01/01.

 

Sandy McNab has passed a couple of items for the interest of others, first:

 "In 'The West Australian' front page very recently was a unique photo of a dolphin at play surfing the pressure bow wave of the Dechaineux in local waters with the Sheean near HMAS Stirling, Garden Island. A classic nautical one at that and I thought that if any ex-submariner communicators or any others that may wish to obtain a copy of it, if they go to www.thewest.com.au website it can be ordered (in three different sizes). Attached I have attempted to produce a copy of it from the newsprint (pixels and all). It would not do the original justice, however it may whet their appetite to order a copy of the original and have it framed for their home bar or office wall."

Dolphin & Dechaineux

And then an update on PERTH:

"The Project Manager of the HMAS PERTH artificial reef project is a Pieter Berkelaar phone 08 9841 9202 facsimile 08 9841 9222 email pieterb@albany.wa.gov.au  He is employed by the City of Albany as a Project Officer and this is his baby for however long it takes to have the vessel stripped and prepared for its final resting place. All work done stripping the vessel is being undertaken by volunteers. A mammoth job indeed. As much has to be prepared and completed to comply with environmental anti-pollution legislation, the revised planned date of sinking is now this coming November.

I learnt from Pieter that it is planned to have ashore a HMAS PERTH (history of) display in Albany and he seeks copies of, or donations of any memorabilia (photo's, artefacts) or anything else that may have been rabbited off the ship by any ex-HMAS PERTH crew that would be of interest to the public in such a display. One of his priorities is to obtain a large model of a DDG, preferably the PERTH. The size desired would be similar to that you see of an aircraft (B747 B767 etc) in an airline company office of up to one metre in length. He has not had any success. I would like to use this forum to see if there are any ex-communicators that may be able to assist in any way and to liaise direct with Pieter."  Thanks Sandy, the dolphin reproduction is not that bad.  If anyone can assist with the PERTH model or with memorabilia please do.  3/01/01.