EX WORS Pieter Frans
Oetelmans - R93555
approached by China with a request that they would like place an article in
the Annual Newsletter. ďMateshipĒ with a dedication to my partner in life
and love, Pieter Frans Oetelmans, a celebration of his life.
words to paper is always difficult and trying to find the right words to
convey, express oneís love and his joy of life I knew was not going to be an
easy exercise, so please bear with me.
Oetelmans was born to Pieter Marinus Frans and Thelma Dorothy Jean Oetelmans
at Subiaco 57 years ago although his handsome youthful looks and young at heart
spirit would suggest 47 years ago. (Donít tell her my age, girls). So was
his youthful outlook on life.
Pieter was the first born child of Thelma and Pieter, and only brother to sisters Karen (whom he affectionately called Karencha) and Marilyn. Big brother Pieter quickly developed a protective role to his sisters early on. Pieter could always be relied upon to ensure vigilant maintenance of his younger sisters virtues. In particular during his time as a JR whereby, for example, Pieter would be in the company of other JRís attending the theatre but not being permitted to fraternise with the general public (which often included Pieterís sisters). Pieterís sisters Karencha and Marilyn, as sisters are apt to do, would call from across the aisle Pieter! Pieter! and wave frantically. Of course their cries and waves attracted the attention of the other JRís who would want to know who the Ďgood sortsí were thus prompting JR Oetelmans to issue a warning to leave his sisters alone.
the sea and Pieter loved the Navy. Pieter enjoyed many years as a sailor
traveling the world. The deep and
abiding friendships forged
during those years of training and serving
his country including the off-duty playing with his fellow sailors remained
constant and sustained.
Only those individuals fortunate enough to
be deemed worthy of Pieterís friendship experienced
the depth of Pieterís loyalty and
caring. Conversely, if Pieter did not
form a bond with you you certainly knew it.
Those of us
whom may have expressed an opposing point
of view to Pieterís would know Pieter
enjoyed a good debate and you
better be prepared to back up
that opinion of yours with fact especially during political discussions.
Pieterís sister Maralyn was thrilled when Pieter telephoned from Seattle on
her birthday. Marilyn soon
realised the call was not birthday wishes from big brother Pieter in the States.
Pieter was actually calling to find out the results of the NSW State election.
Although, birthday wishes sheepishly followed.
When I first
met Pieter in 1976, was when we were both stationed at HMAS Harman, through work
colleagues, Pieter had just recently been promoted to Petty Officer and was
still wearing his hat, I said he always left his hat on to impress me. But, who
can resist a man in uniform and we were married five years later starting our
grand adventure in USA.
As I said to
Pieter he was the one man who drove me crazy and the only man I wanted to drive
frequently remind me that he taught me the finer things in life, good food, wine
and music. I on the other hand said that I made him raise his standards. Pieter
was known to enjoy the odd flutter, if you could call a large bet a flutter. The
racing fraternity at the Belmont racetrack knew Pieter and I, by name in fact.
You can still see the advertising poster at Belmont that shows Pieter in fine
form enjoying a day at the races.
original approach to placing bets was no flutter though, a theory developed by
him in Canberra and code-named Pieterís
Scientific Racing Theory produced many big wins. In fact, his winnings
allowed for a holiday in Tahiti and many enjoyable fine wines and dinners.
Many of us
will remember Pieter in his final months as he reminded us that:
Life is short,
do all those things you want to do and make no excuses not to.
the waters be calm, the sky blue and the wind gentle to take you on your final
And, let the
red age a bit longer before we join you.
thoughts, a secret tear, keep your memory ever dear.