Jack Passings – December 2019

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

HOLMES, Herbert Clive . AB Seaman
SPAIN John Cook
FORD, Walter James (Wally) ABSEA

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Results.. Yeah Right!

Members will be well aware that over the past two years or so there’s been a number of activities that have occurred in the area of Veterans. To briefly recap, a Veterans Advisory Board [VAB], without RNZN representation, was established by the Minister of Veteran Affairs [MOVA] and tasked with looking at “What is a Veteran? and how would New Zealand recognised these veterans?” (Recommendation 63 of the Ron Patterson Report). You will recall the VAB forwarded their paper/report, in accordance with their tasking, to MOVA on or before 30 June 2019. After many written questions in Parliament raised by Dan Bidois MP for Birkenhead and other MPs regarding the VAB report outcome/results. MOVA, shortly thereafter, advised he was preparing a paper which he would take to his Cabinet colleagues in December 2019. Well here we are now in December, five months after he received the VAB report and where is MOVA’s paper? One can only wonder if it’s still resting comfortably, without a care in the world, in MOVA’s too hard tray! Parliament closes on Thursday 19 December 2019 and does not reopen until Tuesday 11 February 2020. No further comment needed! Well, what say all you ex-servicemen and women about this dilemma? I cannot address you as veterans as Arghhh, what is a Veteran? Put simply, nobody knows very much as MOVA, because of his inaction, seemingly treats us with contempt! Maybe MOVA is waiting for election year to handout a carrot to ex-servicemen and women. Good luck with that!

You will also recall that a shipmate of ours Chief Petty Officer Pokiha (Tom) Hiini tragically crossed the bar on 15 September 2018 and could not be buried in the Service section of the Waiheke Cemetery because although he had served in the RNZN for 21 years (1966 – 1987), Tom had no qualifying operational service under the current rules. This stopped Tom from being interred in the Service section of the cemetery. Many letters were written by the association and Tom’s shipmates to their local Members of Parliament, the Minister of Veteran Affairs, and the Minister of Health (who administer the Act). Also, the Opposition Spokesperson for Veterans questioned this ruling and again what have we heard? Surprise! Surprise! MOH stated that the Burial and Cremations Act will be reviewed in due course. WOW! Now that’s ‘speed of light’ progress for you.

A lot of ex-Servicemen and women expected positive results, especially, when an ex-soldier was elected as a Member of Parliament and appointed as the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of Defence. Sadly, to be blunt, the opposite has been our experience and now all the association can hope for is that 2020 passes quickly and someone else is appointed to those portfolios who is widely respected, scrupulously fair, shows sound judgement and actually abides by the rules of good governance who will promptly and sensibly address all of our legitimate concerns.

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Old Salts Celebrate

A recent 50th Wedding Anniversary saw three old salts reuniting,  The anniversary for Neill and Lynn Dorset was attended by members of their wedding party Richard and Heather Blackmore and Chris and Julie Sonntag.

The story as told by Neill, – Chris was waiting to go into hospital for a Double Hip replacement and travelling, sitting etc was pretty hard on him so our eldest daughter (a nurse) arranged with the local hospital for a loan of the ‘equipment’ in the photo for his use whilst here in Narrogin.

Of course, when sailors or ex sailors get together there is always a bit
of fun and games happening and this was no exception. The photo was
taken out in front of the Narrogin Hospital and our daughter tells us that
it has now made it into the WA Country health news indicating what
equipment is available for anyone suffering from certain problems – in
the photo is Blackie Blackmoore ( ex Bunting), myself ( ex
Bunting/Lieutenant) and Chris Sonntag (ex Chef and later ex CPTI).
Thankfully they did not get hold of some of the other ‘funny photos’-
they got deleted pretty quickly!!!!!

Oh, the joy of growing old, the need for hip replacements, knee
replacements, forgetting who or where we are and so many other problems, but meeting old friends and enjoying those moments is always priceless.

Neill and Lynne wish all their friends and fellow communicators all the very best for 2020 and on this side of the Tasman, we hope that Neill is not in one of the chairs at the next Comms reunion in 2021.  Keep well guys.

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Jack Passings – November 2019

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

EATON, Ronald Albert (Ron) Sub Lt
SANDERS, Peter Joseph Stoker
HUTT Lyall Joseph Stoker
BELL, Dennis Roy
MUSSON Murray Band
CORRIGAN, John Randall (John) SA
WARREN, Denis Alfred QSM Able Seaman
HAGAN, Ivar Charles LTel
McARTHUR, Karen Gail Lt
CONNELLY Tony Koro Diver

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By Neal Catley.

That it has taken the Office of the Chief of Defence Force following its protracted South East Asia Medallic Review [aka threat assessment analysis phase] to state it presently
remains inconclusive in some areas and needs more work in consultation with other government units to make a robust case in order to support NZDF personnel deployed to the FESR/ANZUK theatre from 1966 to 1975 to justify a medallic award is undeniably frustrating.

For their services in what the British Commander-in-Chief Far East stated was hostile territory for all service personnel stationed in Singapore and Malaysia, surely warrants retrospective recognition for New Zealand Defence Forces, with a medallic award of the FESR medal struck by the United Kingdom specifically for allied commonwealth countries.  To their credit, the Australians immediately responded and honoured their personnel for doing quite literally, task for task exactly what the NZ Forces were called upon to do. Not to grant that award is considered churlish and runs contrary to the Commonwealth ‘first eleven’ way of doing business.

It is worthwhile re-reading Brian Edwards BLOG that he posted
some months ago.
EXTRACT ONLY. War pensions issued a directive stating that all Royal New Zealand Navy personnel stationed with the British Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve are to be deemed to have emergency service for the purposes of the War Pensions Act. [Social Security Appeal Authority {18 June 2007} HC WN CIV 2007/485/330].

In stark contrast to para 2 and 3 above the South East Asia medallic review thus far, is distractingly agonising! I’m led to believe if one should wish to torture FESR/ANZUK
military historical data for long enough it will confess to anything one may want it to be.  Added to that, consulting the Chair of the previous 2014 review could well be considered akin to awarding an unconditional contract to a ‘Skulk of Foxes’ to carry out a ‘stocktake’ of a large chicken farm. Those loyal and in many cases long-serving NZ Forces who served under the FESR/ANZUK banner appear to be ‘under the pump’ with the possibility of being shafted by the sword of Philistines.

On the face of it, OVER NEARLY FIVE YEARS, a few bureaucrat influencers seem to have done their best to obstruct and stonewall NZ Forces FESR/ANZUK medallic recognition.
Further, it would seem there was no moral compass and no independent non-military guiding star input. Thus, it would be easy to secure failure.  This of itself is considered not only unsatisfactory but, also mildly offensive.

Surely, it is now accepted wisdom and also in the public interest that the Association should engage with ‘trusted journalists’ and the law fraternity [non-military] to elevate this naked anomaly.  That is, with solid legal advice and guidance using credible social media channels to stimulate this aberration within the New Zealand community and beyond our shores.

Also, to further highlight and resolve this contentious conundrum it would not be unrealistic or, out-of-line to formally seek a government non-military independent inquiry; it having full unrestricted access to each and every FESR/ANZUK historical medallic document/paper. On the flip side, such independent inquiry conclusions and recommendations would, of course, have to be accepted beyond reasonable doubt
as full and final.  However, given the Association’s actions are based on 100 per cent factual historical documentation this could be accepted and embraced without trepidation.

It is almost certain the Prime Minister who has always sought justice and reparation for people from all walks of life, especially, those who have been treated unfairly will not be
impressed with the abnormal protracted South East Asia medallic review. It seems there are now two options. First, the Association to permanently close the FESR/ANZUK medallic recognition book in its entirety and sail off into the] sunset.  Or, alternatively, continue with passion and enthusiasm to pursue a meaningful positive result along the
lines suggested above.

Next steps? While sheltering in the Bay of Many Coves it would be sensible to first wait to see the outcome of CDF’s Report to MOD. If it’s considered unsatisfactory then, it seems there’s little wriggle room left other than to assume Damage Control State One [1] Alfa and proceed at best speed to seriously consider prosecuting social media channels at home and abroad. Anyway, OVER TO YOU good people as the Association will definitely need your help and support to contribute to the next tactical manoeuvre with an unfamiliar level of urgency!

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Skirmish at Yeongdo Island

By Graeme Tricker, NZ13444, Steward, (4 inch gun supply).

Browsing the Communicators Association site I see that  LTCDR  Jeremy HALL
passed away recently.  I remember Lt, HALL well on Taupo.  In Korean waters, his
bunk was always covered with photos of enemy aircraft taken from every possible
angle so that he learnt to recognize them.  But I remember him most for his
experience while on loan for a week to a USA destroyer – it was a swap deal
between ships.

Down the East Coast of North Korea stood Yangdo Island on which the Yanks
maintained an observation station.  We had a memorable skirmish there when the
Communists tried to take back the island.  They didn’t win.  At one stage we
attempted to get between the island and the mainland.  Our 4inch gun was firing
horizontally at the invaders who were in small boats. The focastle was covered in
empty shell cases, but some were ejecting over the ship’s side. Our gunnery officer,
Lt. Saul shouted from the bridge, “Save the shell cases”. One of the men operating
the gun poked his head out from behind the cowling and shouted back, “If you want
to save the cases, come down here and catch them”

But, the bombardment got too hot.  I remember shells flying over the top of us.  One hit a US ship further out to sea, punching a hole in its side.  The enemy couldn’t quite get our range.  But when a shell hit the side of our ship below water level, LTCDR Craddock-Hartop, shouted over the intercom, “Let’s get the hell out of here”.

Eves dropping in the wardroom, on the evening that Jeremy Hall returned on board, I
listened to his story which went something like this “The Captain of the destroyer was a Texan.  He had once been a submarine skipper. He would come up to the bridge wearing a regular cowboy hat and smoking a cigar.  We were a bit further out from the coast from Taupo.  I was on the bridge and the shore guns had almost found our range.  One of the junior officers piped up with, “Gee Captain, those shells are getting really close” The Captain rolled his cigar back and forth from one side of his mouth to the other and merely grunted.  Then the junior piped up again, “Captain, it’s getting risky to stay here” The Captain replied, “What the goddammed hell do you think I should do – SUBMERGE”.

Apparently this destroyer Captain had a pow-wow with Craddock-Hartop.  The
destroyer wanted to go in between the island and the mainland.  “I had a new,
modern gun fitted on the focastle, and I want to try it out he announced” CH forbade
him to do it, but he had no official power to stop him.  The destroyer motors in there
at speed and comes out the other side minus the new gun.  It has been blown off the
ship completely.  Smart arse old salt.


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Naval Receivers 1

This is the dedication stone which is located outside the front doors of new NR 1 at IRIRANGI.

The newly unveiled toka and inscription

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