CPOMECH DONALD EDWARD CUMMING, R50752.
Friday 27th April 2001 at approx I33Ohrs, shipmates, friends
and family mustered at the ‘Sportsmans Bar’ in the
Rockingham to bid farewell and present the ashes of the late Donald “Blue”
Cumming to a representative
of the Royal Australian Navy for Burial at sea.
Actually, the day started earlier than this, as six
of us reported for duty at the “Chinaman’s” residence at 1l45hrs for
mandatory thirst quenches, the only difference between this and the previous
occasion was, it was beer and not
whiskey. (Thank the Lord).
Once again the skipper at the helm for our passage to
Rockingham was Joe Yukich, who after the ANZAC days
festivities swore off the
grog. On arrival at our destination, “Blues” wife, son and daughter plus a
number of other
V.L.S.V.A. members greeted us, and the “Ashes” were placed
near the bar. China’s pussers counterpane was again
put to good use as a base
for a very highly polished “boats crew”, medals and the urn containing the
ashes a glass of
whiskey was then placed in the appropriate position and we
commenced to drink with our departed shipmate.
At approx 1500hrs the contingent made it’s way to
the designated assembly area where after a short announcement
by our President
and the reciting of the “Ode” Blues remains were handed to the R.A.N. for
passage to H.M.A.S.
Stirling where they will eventually be buried at sea. I
suppose occasions like this leave a dry feeling in the throat, so
before embarking on our trip home it was decided to have one or two more “Pale
Ales” and to make sure we had
sufficient to last the distance back.
Had we done just that, (returned home) then things
would probably have turned out fine, however, sailors will be
sailors, never had
enough, so we headed for the Bicton/Palmyra R.S.L. sub-branch and continued to
“Blue” which for one or two of us lasted a little to long.
On behalf of the President, I would like to thank
those members who attended to give Donald “Blue” Cumming his
and to wish him the best in that “Engine room” in the sky.
LEST WE FORGET
from Blue Cummings daughter.
As promised I have enclosed a couple of Dad’s poems
for use in your newsletters. I would also like to take this
opportunity to once
again thank yourself and the association for all the care and support you have
provided our family
both before and after Dad passed away. This care and support
has enabled us all to focus on the achievements Dad
made during his life and not
dwell on the sadness of losing him.
For as long as I can remember Dad said “I want to
go home”. I never really understood the significance of this
after he passed away and I found a hand-written verse tucked neatly into an old
book he used to jot
things in. I have enclosed this verse as I think there may
be many ex-sailors out there who
could easily relate to it. It
states that, “ he wants to go home so that later
he can return afresh”. I believe that when he makes his final trip out
HMAS Anzac that he will be ‘returning afresh’. Inspired by the works of A.
B. Paterson’s verse “Mulga Bills
Bicycle”, Dad used the alias Mulga-Blue
and aptly signed all his poems (MB). I hope your readers enjoy Dad’s poems
I have since I first read them.
want to go home"
“I want to go home”, and the young bloke smiles, or maybe
replies, “So do I”, without realising just how much has
really been said,
because to the shell backed sailor, “I want to go home” is a phrase that has
more meaning and
more feeling in one little syllable, than anything else he
might say has in it’s whole text.
To the crusty old salt, “I want to go home”, means, “I want to
talk to my wife; I want to hug my
children; I want to lay
under a shady tree; I want to hear
birds that are not sea-fowls; I want to spend some time out of sight of
and sailors; I want to break routine; just want to go, so that at a
later time I can return afresh”.
So the next time you hear a sailor say
“I want to go home”, treat this with
reverence and respect, because, in his
own austere way, that sailor has
said a mouthful.
LEST WE FORGET
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