Jack Passings – January 2019

The following Sailors ‘Crossed the Bar’ during the month of January 2019. Details of funerals etc can be found by clicking HERE.

GRIFFIN Glenn Raymond Stoker
GEORGE Bryan Douglas Cook
TOOTILL, Patricia Ann (Pat). Signals Wren.
TAYLOR, Peter Charles Lieutenant RNZNVR
WHALE, Peter Ronald Seaman
ROGERS, Frank Pilmore. Seaman
JOHNSON, Martin Bell Seaman
GRATTON, Robert Walter. Lt. Cdr (Rtd)
BROWN, Stella Adelaide QSM. 78645, WRNS, WWII

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18 January 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Swanson RSA
19 – 20 January 19 – Ngapona Assn Boating Weekend
28 January 19 – Auckland Anniversary Day
6 February 19 – Waitangi Day
8 February 19 – Navy Club Lunch, Remuera Club
15 February 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Titirangi RSA
8 March 19 – Navy Club Lunch, Remuera Club
15 March 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Waiheke RSA


Our first lunch for 2019 will be held at the Swanson RSA this Friday, 18 January. Swanson always has an excellent meal, so mark it in your diary. Look forward to seeing you there.


The Association Boating Weekend will be held this coming weekend 19 – 20 January. Anyone with a boat is welcome to join us. We plan to meet at Waikalabubu Bay, at the northern end of Motutapu Island on Saturday afternoon and enjoy some relaxing time. Sunday a bit of fishing before departing around lunchtime. More boats the better, totally informal. Skippers should ring round and organise a crew. It will be weather dependant of course. Please advise by return email if you are planning to have your boat there or if you require a berth.

The following boats are confirmed
Scott Perry – HDML Kuparu
Wayne Smith
Terry Creagh
Bruce Lineham
Peter Goodwin


Due to an unusually low amount of rain in December, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced Monday that the maximum draft for a ship transiting the Neopanamax locks will be restricted to 49 feet, or 14.94 meters, as of February 11. The new restriction will decrease the maximum allowed draft in the Gatun Lake by 1 foot, or by 0.3 meter from the last maximum restriction, which was implemented June 26, 2018m at 50 feet, or 15.24 meters. The decrease in the maximum allowable draft is based on the projected water level of Gatun Lake. The ACP announced that the precipitation during December was around 90% below the historic average in the Panama Canal watershed, which caused water levels at the Gatun and Madden Lakes to drop lower than expected for the season. As a result, the ACP will implement water conservation measures to minimize the effects of the lower water levels and to delay any further seasonal draft adjustments.

Vessels with drafts exceeding 49 feet may be allowed to steam on the Gatun Lake, depending on the level of the lake at the time, according to the ACP. If water levels are too low, vessels exceeding the 49-foot draft restriction will have to trim or off-load cargo to pass. At a 49-foot draft, a Suezmax cannot transit the canal fully laden, as such dirty tankers typically require a 50-foot draft for a full 1 million barrel cargo of 43 API crude.


On 15th January 1942, the first class of four RNZN Cadets joined Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Of the four cadets, two, Ted Thorne and John McKenzie, would both rise to be Rear Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff.

RA EC Thorne CB CBE, CNS 1972 – 1975.

RA JF McKenzie CB CBE, CNS 1975 – 1977

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New figures reveal changes to the UK’s veteran population

The MOD has released new projected figures on the numbers of ex-service personnel living in Great Britain over the next ten years.  Click HERE to read further…

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A Trip to Wellington

Laurie and I took our two grandchildren to Wellington for an experience.  Called into the Backbenchers for lunch and saw a few well known politicians hanging about.

Also saw an interesting way of displaying the NZ Flag on the Corner of Stout Street and Lambton Quay.

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Gold card for Australian doctors and nurses of the Vietnam War

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester announced that members of the Australian civilian surgical and medical teams that provided medical aid, training and treatment to local Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War will be eligible for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Gold Card.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Minister Chester commended this group of men and women who will be eligible for the DVA Gold Card from 1 July 2020. This will provide them with access to medical treatment for all conditions.

Minister Chester said that while these medical teams were not a part of the Australian Defence Force at the time, the government has listened to their concerns relating to their time in Vietnam.

“We have determined that it is appropriate to provide them with the DVA Gold Card, which will ensure they receive the support they need,” Mr Chester said.

During the Vietnam War, about 240 doctors and 210 nurses worked in Vietnam under contract with the Department of External Affairs as part of Australia’s contribution to a SEATO aid program in South Vietnam between 1964 and 1972.

The program aimed to provide medical aid in Vietnamese civilian hospitals and training to local medical staff.

“It may have taken nearly 50 years, but today justice is being done as a group of brave Australian doctors and nurses are duly recognised for their selfless contribution as members of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) surgical civilian medial teams that served in Vietnam,” the Treasurer said.

The measure coming into effect is dependent on the introduction and passing of legislation. DVA is aware there are about 200 surgical and medical team members that will benefit from this measure.

“They volunteered, in the great Australian tradition, putting their lives and careers on hold to administer aid to civilians during a conflict in which more than 500 Australians lost their lives in combat,” Minister Chester said.

By Stephen Kuper of Defence Connect

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Wondering what has happened to the Patterson Report

The Professor Ron Patterson report which provided 64 recommendations in a review of the Veterans Support Act was tabled in Parliament in May 2018.

Here is a record from the Hansard of the Oral Questions in Parliament which you may recall.  Cick HERE

The Hansard identifies a number of areas which your Association will be following up in 2019.   Recent correspondence indicates that the Minister of Veterans Affairs has only accepted one recommendation to which he has set up the Veterans Advisory Board to look at.  This Board (which has no Naval Representation) has until 31 March 2019 to respond and we look forward to the outcome of their deliberations.


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New Zealand General Service Medal (Afghanistan: Primary Operational Area) Regulations 2018

New Zealand General Service Medal (Afghanistan: Secondary Operational Area) Regulations 2018

This note is not part of the regulations, but is intended to indicate their general effect.

These regulations, which come into force on the 28th day after the date of their notification in the Gazette, provide for the award of the New Zealand General Service Medal (Afghanistan: Secondary Operational Area) for service, rendered on or after 18 December 2001, on land, at sea, or in the air in various locations in the Middle East excluding Afghanistan.

These regulations, together with the New Zealand General Service Medal (Afghanistan: Primary Operational Area) Regulations 2018, replace the New Zealand General Service Medal (Afghanistan) Regulations 2002. The substantive change effected by the replacement regulations is that it will be possible for an eligible person to qualify for, and wear, both the New Zealand General Service Medal (Afghanistan: Primary Operational Area) and the New Zealand General Service Medal (Afghanistan: Secondary Operational Area).

The regulations are made under a Royal Warrant, The New Zealand General Service Medal (SR 2002/226), which instituted the New Zealand General Service Medal to be awarded to members of the New Zealand Defence Force and certain civilians for “services rendered during war, and both warlike and non-warlike (including peacekeeping) operations commenced since 1 January 2000”.

This has always been a bone of contention for Navy in that if you were in receipt of the Afghanistan Secondary Operational Area medal and then qualified for the Afghanistan Primary Operational Area medal,  the Secondary medal had to be returned to receive the Primary.  These regulations fix this anomaly.  If you were effected by this anomaly watch this space as you should be able to reapply for the Afghanistan Secondary if it was handed back.

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