Ngapona Newsletter


1-3 June 19 – Queen’s Birthday Weekend
1-3 June 19 – RNZN Antarctic Veterans Reunion, Rangiora RSA Contact
6 June 19 – 75th Anniversary of D-Day
14 June 19 – Navy Club Lunch, Remuera Club.
16 June 19 – Ngapona Assn AGM, Pt Chevalier RSA
21 June 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Howick RSA
12 July 19 – Navy club Lunch, Remuera Club
19 July 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at New Lynn RSA
3 August 19 – Ngapona Assn Mid Year Function at the Bays Club


Leslie Carnall, the wife of Ken Carnall (CPO Ngapona) passed away on 23 May 2019. A funeral for Leslie will be held at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Takapuna on 29 May at 1100hrs.


Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Sunday 16 May at 1500hrs at the Pt Chevalier RSA. Members are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be available after the meeting. We need some fresh ideas on the Committee, it is not a big commitment (6 meetings a year), a nomination form is attached, (we will organise a seconder).


Our web site is up and running, click on to have look. Many thanks to Bruce Gordon of NZ Websites who created the site for us. If you would like your own website or any work done on an existing site, contact Bruce on 021 08 44 44 88.


On 6 June 1944 and during the long summer that followed, men from all over the world went to fight in Normandy to defeat Nazism and re-establish freedom. Normandy will bear the scars of this moment in history forever and every year we remember and pay tribute to the veterans from America, Britain, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Norway, Poland, Australia and New Zealand along with their brothers in arms, those many heroes who lost their lives there during that summer of 1944. Although the NZ Army did not take part as it had its hands full in Italy and the Islands there was a lot, hundreds in fact, of RNZN and RNZAF personnel involved.

From Jim Blackburn, ” There are still just a few of us left that were there.”


(From Gordon Cattermole)

It was back in 1970 when OTAGO was in Singapore and the cooks were having a mess run, the nature of which and conduct which is something I believe would be frowned upon today but back then it was accepted and part of our Navy as a lot of our Instructors had all seen active Service and many having joined as Boys. The Python was called Harold and he must be the RNZN’s 1ST Trans Gender to give birth please click on following link To read it properly zoom in on the top starboard corner and there you will find an Article written by the RN News back in 1970 on our Chummy Ship HMS JUNO which in itself was unusual as we were paired up and it was as if we were Siamese Twins. I cannot ever remember being as chummy with an Aussie Ship, more hard fighting rivals and indeed in 1971 when we worked up out of Sydney with HMAS SWAN which we christened the FLUFFY DUCK after seeing a couple of her ship’s company mincing along the waist you have to remember that anything that looked gender diverse was fair game. Well back to the story on a rather hot and muggy night the cooks who all lived in the After Mess namely 3P decided to have a mess run where the 5 Leading Hands [Killicks] decided to introduce the young JACKS [Junior Assistant Cooks], this was an Actual rank for those under 17 and a half years of age and the other ACKS [Assistant Cooks] who this was also their 1st time in the Exotic and Mystical Far East. In those days the Killicks and Senior AB’s took on the role of Sea Daddies to ensure the youngsters didn’t get into trouble, too drunk and to make sure that when the time came for them to lose their Cherry, [Virginity] and that they got back on board on time as all those who were not AB’s were on Cinderella leave and had to be back on board by 2359. I pleased to say that the Killicks, who shall remain nameless as they know who they were and I still run into them occasionally at the RSA. So after a what could be called a successful run ashore a good meal of local Kai, a belly full of beer, a couple of cherries lost, they all walked back to the ship with an unusual “RABBIT” which was the result of some incredible bartering skills of a couple of the Killicks, which was to prove at breakfast an unusual choice item on the breakfast menu that gave many a hungover Senior and Junior Rate as they came to collect their scran as we had just introduced Brunch Routine (a rolling Breakfast from 0700 to 1230 on Sunday Mornings when alongside). As we approached the Galley Slide the Leading Cook said “If you would like a freshly cooked bread roll then help yourself to one out of the basket”, that was sitting on the far end of the Slide keeping warm. Well, many a plate was dropped and smashed just as the unsuspecting diner raised the lid of the basket only to find the head of a snake looking them in the eye as its tongue darted in and out. Our intrepid galley crew decided to call it Harold and at night they kept him in his basket down in their mess and thereafter many an RP and Sonarman on the other side of 2P slept at night with one eye open just in case Harold decided to go visiting his new messmates.

He became a popular attraction and indeed one of our officers who also remains nameless borrowed him to wear around his neck and scared the hell out of a Lady guest at a Cocktail Party when she asked if she could pat it and he decided to lift his head as a result of this gaff our intrepid young 2 ringer was invited by the Commanding Officer in conjunction with the Jimmy to volunteer for several extra duties as Officer of the Day.

Unfortunately all good things had to come to an end as OTAGO was ordered back to Auckland for a change of Ship’s Company and return to Singapore as our standing Commitment to the Standing Naval Force to ANZUK as WAIKATO was still recovering from her Engine Room Fire, TARANAKI was also recovering from her TS Fire and BLACKPOOL was being prepared for her return to the Royal Navy. Fortunately, COMAUCK [the late Commodore J.P.S. Valiant, RNZN] had signalled the ship saying that those who volunteered to stay on board for the return trip to the F.E.S would remain. Unable to follow the example of HMS NEWZEALAND in the 1920’s with Pelorus Jack their Ship’s Mascot and we had a snowballs chance in Hell of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of allowing us to come alongside in Auckland with Harold onboard we gave him to JUNO to look after and they gave him to a snake farm in Johore Baru on their return to the UK and you can imagine the surprise we all got when JUNO signalled us early in 71, that Harold had a name change to Harriet on account of giving birth to youngsters

Our combined name of JUTAGO came about again on the Sports Field opposite the Armada Club at HMS TERROR after we lost narrowly to JUNO at Football, then immediately following the game the Field was rigged for a Rugby Match between OTAGO and 1 Battalion RNZIR and halfway through the game we heard a chant begin from the Pom’s “ GIVE US A ‘J’, GIVE US A ‘U’ and of course our reply was ‘ YA DAFT POM’s YOUR GAME FINISHED HALF AN HOUR AGO’ but to our surprise they continued with ‘T’ ‘A’ ‘G’ ‘O’ so thus JUTAGO was born and was heard all over the Far East.
Thanks, Mole



On 29 may 1997, the Warrant Officer of the Navy (WON) position instituted by Rear Admiral Fred Wilson as a member of the personal staff of the Chief of Naval Staff, but normally based in Auckland. The following have held the position of WON:

Colin ‘Knocker’ White
Paul Rennie
Mark Te Kani
Dean Bloor
Lennie Shailes
Steve Burke
Wayne Dyke (current incumbent)

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