Tony Forsyth Remembers

The following email was received from Tony Forsyth who some of you will remember as the Staff Officer Reserves in the 80’s. Tony sent the email in response to the article about  Rear Admiral Laurie Carr (CNS 1970)

Laurie Carr and I were both associated with Irirangi. As far as Commanding Officers we were the Alfa and the Omega. He was the first and I was the last. The story is told that when the new sports field was developed down at the old IRIRANGI camp they thought they would name it after the first CO, but on second thoughts decided ‘Carr Park’ was not an apt name for it, so named it Thorne Park after the second CO.  What they then did was name a new housing road in Waiouru Military Camp as ‘Carr Crescent.’ It was meant to be for navy to use but I think they lost out to army. If you Google Carr Crescent Waiouru you can still see it there.

The first time I came across him was when he was CO of Taranaki and I was on Royalist in 1964. Both ships were alongside the North Arm at HMS Tamar in Hong Kong. Taranaki was berthed inside the basin directly over the wharf to us. Both ships had just played a game of rugby and Royalist won. Both were very good teams in their own right and collectively had a number of inter-service, navy, Auckland reps (one being an All Black trialist). Both teams swept the floor of all teams on the Far East Station. I suspect that Laurie didn’t realise that one of the largest Royalist players on the paddock was a just promoted ordinary seaman who would also be the last CO of Irirangi. Time came for Taranaki to go to sea and Laure was making a hash out of backing his ship through the gap out of the basin. To be fair it was quite a narrow gap. Anyway members of Royalist’s crew took it upon themselves to offer a lot of loud gratuitous advice, on how to do so, across the wharf. Don’t think it went down too well but as an Ordinary Seaman I was highly amused. Anyway Taranaki had the last laugh as we were both at sea and Taranaki was alongside for a jackstay transfer. As they pulled away (showing off) they fired the Mortars over us. Problem was they had loaded them with toilet paper, a lot of vegetable scraps etc. Father was not pleased.

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