ARTHUR FRANCIS (Bluey) EVANS
This is an invitation for you all to join me for a stroll
through the life of Blue Evans,
Firstly let me set the scene in the big stokers mess deck in the sky, Stan Gulliford, Sam Simpson, Peter Dahlstrom, Pappy Ramsay, Bob Aiberti, Phil Mc Dowell, there are many others. Blues arrival will no doubt have him as the new draft in, therefore the top bunk outboard forward.
January 1959 was the beginning of an adventure; most of us have undertaken those steps, some with trepidation, some wanting the next train home, especially after the first week.
The Quickmatch was the first sea posting, an experience of the sea that was to be a love affair that endured for many many years.
SO MUCH SO THAT HE REQUESTED HIS ASHES TO BE SPREAD OVER CAGE ROADS
Then Vendetta. Long trips away, including a baptism of fire in the local haunts north of the equator.
The Academic. This was a TOW’s course then to Leeuwin, the homeport. There are some stops along the way, an MTC course then Encounter.
Then Vampire. Those long trips away again, with Vampire resting in Sydney now one can imagine on a still night you could hear that laughter echoing from 3 Queer mess deck, or the Boiler Room.
Back to Cerberus, cushy spare gear PO storeman.
Tarangau Manus Island. Many stories come flowing back about this part of Blues life. Imagine a Lakatoy sprinting down the bay trying to retrieve the fuel installation PO from a mess deck on the Melbourne as it was sailing on to parts unknown. Yes they did get him back, a little worse for wear.
The Brisbane. My first meeting with PO Blue, the start of an ongoing friendship that has continued through all those years. Yes we were on our way, Vietnam had its unknown traumas our departments was our Chief Stoker Bill Zemek. Blue loved to relate stories about Bill, Ross Gibb can testify to some subject matter that I am referring to.
Promotion for me also meant exposure to another side of Blue, the always-immaculate dress and presentation that was a trait that never wavered.
Bruises and aches from Rugby games were met with “ no comment” there would never be too much sympathy, you play it you cop it.
Blue had a fascination with Naval nicknames, great delight and laughter was had by all during the explanation phase of the nickname. Geoff Lenihan (MOONCAKE) as we named him was to play an important part of Blues life on Brisbane.
Darwin, more fuel installation duties, a pleasant site from personal experience as Ron Bratt would know, the truck with the fuel couplings and the familiar blue refreshment container for all occasions, there was something missing in Blues life.
Cupid was reloading the bow, I had seen some of the previous targets in Meg Say Say drive in Subic Bay and the Jungle Hut in Surabaya, the arrows were loaded with a different potion.
United at last, well until a big wind came and took the town away, Phyll had to leave town for a period of time. No one told Blue about the dangers of stepping on nails; an infection nearly ended him there. For our boy it must have been a stirring sight to see all those racing greyhounds anchored in Darwin harbour for the clean up.
Diamantina. Promotion, new friends, rekindle some old ones, this time as the ship came into port there WAS someone waiting.
DEE. That dreaded day when Blue had to say goodbye to something he loved so much. Tough times by way of re-establishing himself back into civvy life. Armaguard, guns and all, Parking Inspector (grey ghost), Mt Henry Hospital Boilers again. Quarantine and sea & ships, our boy was happy at last.
Along this journey we are on, Phyll said I do on 21 June 1983, the shortest day and longest night of the year, but the boy had to fill in for an indoor cricket game on the wedding night as a brief interlude, probably as a warm up, he liked his cricket.
Retirement to Geraldton in 1993, new house new friends, some old ones, Kipper Goodrich being a friendly face. A teenage golf handicap ensued, both the Evans team being regular golfers at the club.
For Phyll, 25 wonderful years, laughter, arguments yes, consultation yes, there would never be a grudge or a complaint, if there was it was said in a quiet way, we will never know what the full time score was.
For the rest of us in someway shape or form a moment with this bloke was one that stayed with you. That infectious laughter would lighten up any moment of doom and gloom.
HONESTY - INTEGRITY - PRIDE, three special features we will remember about Blue, you in your own special way have many others.
FOUR things were held dear to Blue,
1. His LOVE for Phyllis and Family.
2. The troops having a good time and enjoying a cold beer.
3. The country he served, the uniform he was so proud of.
4. Most of all was that three bladed propeller that adorned both arm and
lapel, the STOKERS BADGE - BLACK GANGS SYMBOL.
Thank you for your company on the walk through the life of a remarkable
FAREWELL OLD FRIEND,
LEST WE FORGET
Back to Vale Page