This question is often raised by not only Communicators but also by members of other branches.  A number of us joined the Police, Government Agencies, Petrol Attendants, Courier Drivers, Import Export, Teachers, Nursing etc etc etc.  I have now received support for this page so click HERE to view the input so far.

If you would like to add your contribution please forward to frankandlaurie@gmail.com

36 Responses to Occupations

  1. Mike Commons (ex NZ14918 - ex LTO) says:

    Was a 29th boy, finished as Killick Bunting tosser… On discharge 1963, took a while to settle into the routine of civvie life. Got a job in the construction of the Manapouri Power House. Was there for 3 years, then in 1968, came over to OZ to try mining. Was at Mt Isa till 1982,(14 years) when I left to come to WA where I worked (17 years) in a dairy factory making butter powdered milk and casein. Then for the past 10 years have been piloting a bus round the streets of Bunbury WA. But reckon I am ready to give it all away and stick to pilotting a lawn mower round to section!!!!!!! I reckon it has been a great life I have had, and still look back with fond memories on my Pusser’s time – would not have missed that for quids, Made some bloody great mates there, and it sorrows me deply to know that Arfur Venus is in hospital. Please give him my best regards and hope that he will soon be up and about again.
    Mike Commons

    • Brian Rowe says:

      Hi Mike…great to see your msg. and to know what you have been up to..do you remember me . We were on Royalist in the early 60s with Arthur on the FES trip.
      Brian Rowe

      • Mike Commons (ex NZ14918 - ex LTO) says:

        Hi Ya, Brian, Yeah, I remember you. but I think we were on the Prince when we went North. We had a frigate and 2 Oz destroyers with us and remember we (the combined crews) drank Darwin out of beer, and the next beer boat wasn’t due till 6 weeks after we all left. Was on the Royalist only twice, On the “getting” trip in 55/56 and again on the trip to Canada/USA in 62

  2. Dave Wistrand says:

    Just a thought – The best skill Pussars taught Communicators was typing that was a natural lead in to Computers and feeling comfortable with them (better not make any mistakes) Morse and waving flags don’t cut it any more but typing was the basic gift from the Blue Funnel Line

    • Mike Commons (ex NZ14918 - ex LTO) says:

      Yeah Dave…..Pity I couldn’t do the typing bit correctly. Will have to remember to edit and proof read what I have written, so I can correct mistakes.. Yeah think it is a real shame that the morse and flag waging part of the job is gone. But that applies to a vast number of fields —to wit, farmers don’t have oxen and more, nor and more saddly Clydesdales to do the ploughing. But, re Pussers, the worst part of it is nobody is allowed out on deck after dark these days, what was wrong with turning out for middle watch on some cold rough winter’s night up on the flag deck??????

  3. Brian Edwards says:

    After nearly 14 years Pussers I became a Cargologist. I was a Wharfie for 30 yrs on the Auckland Waterfront. Did my Comms trade benefit me? Not really, although I did occasionally tap out excerpts from an old crumpled Playboy mag during lapses in my crane cab. Oh yes, and I did shoot the breeze with an American Destroyer via short arm semaphore whilst standing at the end of the Container boom. Retired 12 yrs ago, but came back out ( of retirement not the closet ) to drive a Country school bus in Murwillumbah NSW 7 yrs ago. Occasionally get pestered by Chook Fowler driving down to my farm in his flash Limo. To Brian Rowe- I think we may have served together on Royalist 63-64 trips. Also, I know this is the wrong forum, but in my opinion the findings of the employed Naval Historian into Op and FESR service is a load of Bollocks.
    Regards Pilz

    • Brian Rowe says:

      hi pilz..yeah we did a bit of a time on the Royalist at that time ..I was looking a photo of us in Sembawang in Singapore in 63 doing some shopping..good to know that you are still around.

    • Grenville Darroch says:

      Good on ya Pilz. What memories reading your notes brought back> I am also in OZ only a bit far south of you to commute (Melbourne to be exact) Maybe you could give me a call on 0397868646 if you would like to catch up. I agree with your comments re FESWr service, however maybe the wrong people are giving the info.
      Grenville Darroch

  4. Ernie Pope says:

    Nice see you are still looking at the green side of the grass rather than the brown side. Still driving school buses are we. Was in Oz recently and going again next year. Wheres the nearest big known town to you?

    • Brian Edwards says:

      Hi Ernie,
      Murwillumbah is a bit inland half way between Tweed Heads and Byron Bay. Thats our town but we are 15 mins away in a Village called Stokers Siding. Population at last census was 389. Unfortunately we are in the thro’s of selling the farm and heading back home due to health reasons but nobodys got any money. Closer to the time drop us an email as we will most probably still be here.
      Regards Pilz

    • Mike Commons (ex NZ14918 - ex LTO) says:

      Hi ya, Ernie, Right, where is the nearest known big town ?? Well, that would be Bunbury,
      That is on the coast, about 180 km south of Perth. We all live out in Dardanup, about 15 km from Bunbury. By we I mean, the missus, Christine, the dog, Laika, and the 4 chooks, as yet unbaptised, and then there is me, and that is in descending order of importance!!!! And at times it is a bit of a toss up whether 1st place should be Christine, or Laika?????
      Catch ya Mike

      • Noel Kininmont says:

        Hi Mike would you get Christine to send me an Email pse.Been trying to get hold of her.Noel and I are at Whangamata on the Coromandel, but Noels wheels have got a bit wobbly now, not quite fallen off yet though. Tks.

  5. Bill Bartlett says:

    Hiya Lofty,
    Think saw you last in Nelson 2009 Reunion? plus others I hadn,t seen for years.
    I retired in 2007 after a total 50 yrs in uniform and as a Civvy at NSD. I reckon had a good innings except as usual the pleasures of DFs and cheap liquid refreshments gets the better of one.
    By the way, any idea what happened to Sid (Blue) Graham. He and I knocked around together on the 55/56 Bell/Royalist trip.I wonder if he went back to UK.
    Anyway nice to know you are keepin OK.
    I shifted to Rotorua from Northshore last Feb (2010).
    See yer mate,
    Regards Bill Bartlett

  6. Mike Commons says:

    Hey Bill, Kia ora e hoa. Very long time no sea……Great to hear from you and to know you are still alive and kicking. Yeah, I remember that reunion, but it was in Auckland. Tell me, do you still speak like a Janner??? Couldn’t get over that , a Pommey speaking Maori???? No, mate Haven’t heard a dicky bird about Bluey. Boy, you must be getting old, if you gotta go to live in the heat of Rotorua. You got your own thermal pool?? Don’t stay in there too long or you will finish up like a prune. You know Buck is in hospital with cancer of the oesophagus?? He is undergoing chemo at present and it seems to be working.
    Well, better do something before the old girl comes home. I am trying to be retired???
    Thanks for the note Bill. All the very bests to you and yours Kia Kaha Mike

  7. Dave Synnott says:

    A tall streak from memory? plenty of room for the Margaret river to roll down smoothly, should make the effort to drive over and see the West before I fade away. Great to hear you’re well and enjoying life, take care

    Dave Synnott

    • Mike Commons (ex NZ14918 - ex LTO) says:

      Hery Dav, Where are you parked up these days?? And what is this talk of Margaret River? you got stuck into the sherry or something???? Take care and try to be good!!

  8. RussellGHockley says:

    Russell G Hockley, departed 19 after 23 yrs,77 went fishing 2 years, pub trade 2 years,packing whole longline snapper for Japan 10 years, fishing , bar trade 2 years then retired aged 66. Loved the sea time. From passed radio experience, used to man the fishboat circuit from time to time and had 3 maydays in that time, rapid response and good people around meant we only lost one fisherman, in their moment of distress in very bad weather he got caught with some longline hooks and went over the side. Best comms exchange was with Brian Pog Cookson when he was at Whangaroa Radio. His classic daily opening was “Good morning good morning good morning this is Whangaroa Radio the time is zero eight circle circle”. always remembered Cookie. regards Russell G.
    6426 Te Kao, RD4, Kaitaia 0484.

  9. John Titmus says:

    Left the RNZN in December 1985 and joined the Ministry of Civil Defence and still here albeit the ministry has changed its name a few times and restructured 7 times at my last count. Have had various statutorial roles in the Ministry and at present a regional coordinator based in Auckland. Not too many emergencies in the country since that time have I not been involved in. While I am passionate about trying keep NZers safe during natural disasters I also have a significant role with the UN in responding to disasters globally for example spent a month in Asia support the response to the boxing day tsunamI in 2004 and then again in US for Hurricane Katrina 2005. I have done more travel overseas since I left the navy than I did when it, what I dont miss is the long days between ports and in most cases end up closer to the front of the plane instead of the back so travel in comfort (sometimes). It is an interesting job and with the increase of emergency managers positions across the country mainly in local government it is a good career. Generally the sorts skills and competencies that “senior matelots” have when they decide to leave the navy are what this profession requires and to name a few who have gone down this track – Joffre Vallant, Jo Quinn, Jock Elder, Bill Morley, Paul (skin) Murray, Frank Arnott, Bruce Pepperell – as an aside my boss is ex CAF John Hamilton

  10. Dean Whaanga says:

    Well since leaving the RNZN in 1997, I have been travelling under the umbrella of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office at various embassies around the planet. First as accountant in Oman where I was fortunate to get a ship visit from HMNZS Te Kaha to Muscat on completion of her deployment to the Persian Gulf. Following, a 4 year stint in Chile as accountant. Finally a 4 year posting to Iran as Estate Manager. Suffice to say, probably on reflection, gained a lot of valuable knowledge during my time as a communicator in various capacities to enable a rounded set of assets for the diplomacy path. An interesting and challenging lifestyle to say the least. Now I have recently returned to NZ and have established myself on a largish property in Mahia Peninsula, where by the way, the Paua are flourishing and the crayfish are monsters. We have a modest motel that goes with the property and am entertained by the local wood pigeons (kereru) and the tui with many other flighted birds in the fold. If any communicators/RNZN pers (ex or otherwise) find themselves in this neck of the woods, please do not hesitate to call in or stay, rates are negotiable (it goes without saying) contact dwhaanga@hotmail.co.uk

  11. Dave Wistrand says:

    Just for the record – After leaving RNZN in 1987 went working for a company called Financial Systems which were one of the first selling PC’s. IBM then Compaq dealer selling to Corporates in Auckland. Become the Operations Manager fairly smartly and controlled up to a dozen Network Engineers at different times. Those were the days PC’s were just becoming the thing – $15K for a IBM AT PC, remember the first 386’s and Compaq moving into NZ. Couple of successes – Sky City couldnt get the Casino working (as all done on instructions from Atlanta) so sent a couple of boys down there and they sorted it or at least told them what they would have to do. SKY TV was another one. Only knew the basics but my job was to hire the bright boys which worked for ten years and then got made redundant in 1999. Back packed around europe for six months and came back and was living in Waipu and took a job as the Caretaker at the Coopers Beach Front Estates in Doubtless Bay – Parks and Gardens and security and odd bit of real estate for owners. Lasted about 2 years there but was too far north. So back to Waipu and found a job as a security guard at the NZ Refining Company at Marsden Point. About a year later become the Superviser and due to increases over the years now have about 15 of us here full time. So for the last ten years been driving an office here for 36 hours a week and playing golf on Wednesday’s (Sports make and mend – old habits). Retire in August this Year to play golf and have a small B & B http://www.maggiesplace.co.nz to keep us going. Been on the Board of the Waipu Golf Club for four years in charge of the Course and Buildings and also Waipu RSA just to keep the hand in.

  12. Mike Commons says:

    Hi ya Rick, Right, will give you my email addy so that we can arrange a meet up during your time in Perth. We, the missus and I live in Dardanup, a small town out from Bunbury a couple of hours south of Perth Will wait to hear from you so we can organize something OK? My e-mail addy is turehu5@bigpond.com

    • Tom (Tiny) Johnson says:

      Hi Mike, Been through Dardanup, couple of years ago my son was at Donnybrook with the local Constabulary, now back in Perth.
      Dardanup looked like a nice little settlement.


      • Terry Patterson (ex LSG) says:

        Hi Tiny, You still in Mataura..? Am now living in Perth.
        I am the Underground Mine Electrical Supervisor..(run a crew of 10 electrcians and 2 apprentices)..at a mine called “Gwalia Deeps” which is about 800km NE of Perth. Yes I do fly in fly out (FIFO). This is the second deepest underground mine in Oz. Worked in other mines of various sizes and my oldest son also works for the same company I work for in a mine about 1800km north of Perth. Just like pussers, manage the staff, rosters for shiftwork as mine runs 365-24/7, machinery service schedules and maintenance, breakdowns and all the other safety and electrical regulatory obligations that go with operating the Mine.
        Worked open cut in Karratha for a while on some of the biggest machinery made for mining in the world…quite an experience. Will probably give it another couple of years and put my feet up and more than likely retire down Dunsborough way here in WA.
        If you over this way be nice to catch up

        Terry Patterson

      • Tom (Tiny) Johnson says:

        Hi Terry Patterson, Living in Gore now semi retired left St John Ambulance after 30 years and am now a school caretaker, what a doddle great kids great staff and no politics.

      • Tom (Tiny) Johnson says:

        Hey Terry are you on facebook or do you have an email

        regards Tiny

      • Terry Patterson (ex LSG) says:

        e-mail is silvertoolbox@gmail.com
        Don’t have facebook, took it off as it got hacked a couple of years back.

  13. Wayne Bennett (Wiggy) ex CSG. says:

    Just a wee note to say Hi to everyone. Retired now but look after a large coastal spread in the South Island. Lovely to hear our own resident pom Willie Bartlett is still around. Regards also to Frank and ‘Titty’.

    • Frank Rands says:

      Hi Wiggy, Good to hear from you. Its been a while. Last heard you were driving boats in the South Island. How about adding your contributions to the occupations section. It’s amazing the different directions we take in the walk of life. Cheers Frank

  14. Noel(Skin) Kininmont says:

    Left pussers in May 1965–married coms jenny Blue Wilson in June 65–the whole of WHangamata
    were at the wedding–the whole 565—bit different now on a Queens Birthday weekend
    —Navy personnel took over over the pub—made him as much money on the Sunday as
    he took all week–To Taumarunui and started own rural mail general goods contract–left after 8 years–spent a season on venison recovery–and then got a job as controlling officer for 1.,5
    million acres in the volcanic plateau/Wanganui Headwaters and Turangi area as Pest destruction controller–lasted 10 years–but when they centrelised meant too much travel every day with nil kickback–soo went contract fencing and then joined AFFCO Freezing works as a labourer–became a mutton butcher and then a beef butcher and then progressed to supervisor of the slaughter boards then o’all supervisor of boning rooms,,Works closed became redundant so
    moved to Rotorua and set up International Airport shuttle business sevicing Auckland and Hamiton International plus tours around Rotorua Taupo Mountains areas–ended up with 7 drivers working for us plus Blue and myself—–decided to reire in 2004 and turned the business over to my 3rd daughter and her partner and came to Whangamata to retire and enjoy the good life–THEN
    the wheels fell off everything–My heart showed me who was Boss and then the big C decided it would have a go also–still I’m waking up every morning feeling ok and Blue has stuck with me through thick and thin—Not too bad for a ratbag sparker and a cute jenny wren–and I must have
    had one drink too many to say that–Skin

    • Dave Smith says:

      H Noel, Long time no hear good to hear you are still in the land of the living. I have also had a cancer episode. Living in Palmerston North where I finished up as Area Manager Department of Conservation there. Travel to North Queensland every year to avoid the NZ winter
      How about sending me your email addy
      Dave Smith

      • Dave Smith says:

        Noel or Blue please send me your email address as I will be in Tauranga most of January and would like to catch up if possible

  15. Frank Elliott says:

    didnt reengage 1964 , radio telegraphy was getting less and less skillfull . worked for two american mult nationals for fifteen years in nz and aus got up to executive vice presedent sales and marketing for scot phizer this is a grand title for sales and marketing manager unlike pussers they paid the equivilant money for the responisibilty Got involved in property and have been doing same ever since 76 and still active ..got a vets pension cancer from op grapple am ok though

  16. Bill Bartlett says:

    Hey Frank! Thought you’d shot thru in Japan mate!(Rotoiti ’60-61). Nahh, just bein cheeky.
    saw our ship’s photo taken in Honkers xmas “60 I think. Anyway mate you absent. maybe you was on watch? Can’t remember if BWO was operating while alongside in HK then.
    I gave pussers away in “87 . Had reached my “compulsory retiring age for rank”at “50.
    Had a job jacked up in Naval Stores as a Clerk stocktaker. Stayed there till finally retired in 2007.
    Now resident in “Rotovegas” – Rotorua since moving down from Auckland in 2010..
    Anyway that Rotoiti trip up north was a good one. Poor old Herb lost his hook and I copped an acting local which I hung on to till passed the old ET1 mate. Did it while we were in Terror.
    Anyway. all the best for 2013 wherever you are.
    kindest regards
    Bill Bartlett

  17. frank elliott says:

    ,Hi Bill,happy 2013 . Just goes to prove if you keep your nose in the right place you survive . George Rolton was lucky he didnt get busted nude diving at terror wasnt good form . I was in sickbay with concussion when that photo was taken Roy Sefton recons i was never in the right place when needed once again its a nose thing . Verran caught up with me in the end , allowing a unortherised rating in the wireless office , quartermasters mate wanting box of matches morning watch can you believe it ? skippers defaulters he asked if i had anything to say ,big mistake , Nothing sir except i feel the 1st Lts attitude toward me from experience on this ship has been leading up to this .I was marched out , marched back in after 10 mins , 7 days 7 . The rpo said i was to pack my kit he would get me drafted to navy office and i would leave the ship when we got to wellington .Why he said the skipper wasnt very nice to the jimmy and said the charge was frivilous but couldnt be dissmised . if i stayed onboard both my arms would be clean , I was in wgton for 2yrs got married and didnt reengage . Worked for a couple of american multi nationals here and in aust, then got involved in project marketing for developers which is where i am now thanks for your contact see you 2015 wgton im sure . up spirits . Frank Elliott

  18. Peter Broom says:

    Peter Broom Sig nz11652. left pussers 1955 went into cabinetmaking and then to boat building which has taken me to Sri Lanka and South Korea, now living in Cambewarra NSW south coast and of course have been retired for 16 years and loving it. Still fit and well and will endeavour to make next reunion . Regards to all.

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