News from Jonah Jones

For those of you who reminisce of days gone by and the time we spent on
ships, you cant help but wonder, I wouldn’t mind having another look around
the old girl.

My son Spencer just recently got his dive ticket, and after all the dits that he heard
about having served on Canterbury, all the great ports, all the good times, we were
up in the Bay of Islands and we dived on her.

12 metres down to main stack and there she was, just sitting quietly beckoning
for us to enter. Her ships company being Snapper, King Fish, Blue Mao Mao, and
a whole variety of other sea life. Her decks still grey, but instead of full dress, full

Entered the bridge via the Port wing and stood there just looking around, flashbacks
of watchkeepers, Navo’s, Yeo’s and Signalman, Ensigns, and anyone else that used to
goof off and get in the way. Went and stood behind the signal desk and look at that
not in the way. My son and I actually “Chopped one off”, hence the photo.


Down into the Wardroom flat, quick look around and out the Starboard wing. Dropped down to the where the 4.5 used to be and into the Gun bay and stood around there while we got the lights together, then it was the Guide and my son following me for a tour they had not been on before. Being a wreck dive for Rec’ divers, they normally did the bridge, but, this was a penetration into the main drag and beyond.

Out the gun bay door in the canteen where we were all ripped off by the can man and pretty much purchased ½ our rabbits. Into the sonar bay, bit of a chuckle as the names of all the sonarmen I knew and shared some nautical miles with. Into the Ops room and at the NGS seat which still has a radar display set up, and a chair. Skippers chair is still there, up into that. Yep, it was as dark then as it was most of the time we went in their during the watch to kill time. Out the Ops room and into the main drag next to the wardroom and turned left, into the MCO, no knocking or showing ID’s, kinda cool. Hung around there for about 3 mins and into the CCR, where, hey Wings, remember the door that they welded up, well, gone now, so straight through again, just like it used to be. Into the Tx room and workshop, which, is still cramped, but lots of ships company hanging around and curious as to who was paying them a visit.

Into the Galley and over to the two big cooking cauldrons, which, were now home to a number of sea life. In the mess and a look around, no photos on the wall, no card games, uckers, or movies being shown, but could see it all. At this time, we are at 28 metres in depth and like all good bubble heads, time is limited. Out the port side where an exit had been cut, and into the Hangar, good old Wasp and Air Crew and Rabbit storage. Into the Port Torpedo Room and looked at the now empty racks and across 1 Hotel flat. Yep, Bondy, Zep, right where you lot lived and yeah, in the video, the head is still in tact.

Out the starboard waste,(my footprints are moulded onto that deck for all the miles we ran, now I know why my knees are shot) along and up by the Starboard Whaler Davits with sounds I am sure I heard piped, (say it with pommie accent) Away Seaboats Krew) Not a spelling mistake, just used to sound like that. And up to the flag deck, lots of flag drills remembered racing the bunting tossers, and painting the bloody place, and alas, it was time to head back up.

Look down, she sits gracefully on the bottom, in all her colours and glory, whatever you thought her glory was. She took a lot of us around the world and brought us back. Took me to Canada, where, I brought my Canadian son home and shared some of the memories that I had. Hope you had some too.


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5 Responses to News from Jonah Jones

  1. Jim D says:

    BZ Jonah

    • Frosty - Martin Frost says:

      Nice one Jonah – and while I didn’t serve with you on Canterbury, I’m scratching my head to remember what ships we did serve on – Monowai and Otago I think. But I can catch your face and if my rapidly fading memories serve me correctly a road trip we did to Rotorua??

  2. Chris Bond says:

    Well done Johah, brings back great memories all right

  3. Terry Patterson says:

    As with Jim D, BZ. Ahhhh the memories of the maiden voyage home from the U.K. in 1972 and subsequent trips until I posted off in Jan 1974. Wow! 44yrs have passed since we commissioned her in 1971. To think of the guys i served with, Russell Hockley, John Titmus, Murray Purves, Fred Luke (Passed away), Peter Soper(Passed way), Rick Rapana, John Bickford(Passed away), Larry Herrick. Saw three CSG’s come and go, Russell Hockley relieved by Pog Cookson relieved by Frank Saunders. Saw three Skippers’s, Keith Saul relieved by Derek Chaney relieved by Doug Dommett. The trip home well that is another story.

    Terry Patterson

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