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I received the attached from an ex Warrant mate of mine in Surfers.
I think the story tells itself. Comments Please!!!!!
 I was wondering if you and your Defence Minister have completely lost control of the ADF or has the whole ADF machinery lost the plot? I doubt you will have the time or interest to read what I write here but as my local member and the assistant to the Minister for Defence (that’s another laugh) I felt the need to write after reading VADM  Barrett’s speech and session at the War Memorial in June this year.
 I refer to the recent  (June 23rd) debacle by Vice Admiral Tim Barrett. I’m personally now ashamed to say I served in the RAN after his performance and toadying up to one particular cult (not a religion in my eyes).
 Further why on earth was he allowed to use the war memorial for this political stunt. The Chief’s appalling judgment offers a disappointing vignette of how and where the madness of PC and “inclusion” is leading the ADF—the navy in this case. VADM Barrett should know that such a hallowed venue would be off-limits for the exploitation of political/religious partiality. He should also know that unlike Christianity, Islam does not separate religion from state and that political directions of Islam are derived directly from the Qur’an.
I noted with disgust that apart from the Muslim war dead the 102,000 of various and no religion service men and women were not acknowledged in the Navy Chief’s remembrance, quote:
“I commence my address in this place of remembrance by paying tribute to all those Muslims who lost their lives in war in service of Australia and whose names are recorded here in the cloisters of the memorial.”
Further, With fewer than 20 Muslims serving in the RAN, normal logic would suggest any such minority should fit the navy, not the reverse as seems to be the case here—unless bias exists in senior ranks! In all my days in the Navy I never saw an Admiral or senior officer pick out one religion above another as he has  in this case, quote:
I am delighted to be able to host this Inaugural Navy coordinated Iftar. I have fasted today in solidarity with you all, to properly immerse myself in the experience and purpose of Ramadan and to gain an appreciation of the challenges and rewards Muslims experience during this important month in the Islamic calendar.
Will the good Admiral also be observing the religious high points for Jews, Buddist, Hindu and  seventh day Adventists etc etc. If so he will not have much time for anything else. Really, what a farce.
His platitudes and waffle ridden speech was little more than spin and I would like to take some of his points to task:
 “what should be done by Navy to meet the legitimate religious needs of those members of the Islamic faith is done. Henceforth Navy will always need advice on how to be an inclusive recruiter and employer of choice for those Australians who profess Islam.”
  It provides a great deal of information on the beliefs and practices of all the religions represented in the ADF. It provides clear guidance on the following matters:
§      Religious observances at work, the facilitation of prayer and leave for religious festivals.
§      Bereavement leave
§      Uniform regulations and permissible variations in dress
§       Medical Treatment
§      Dietary needs and fasting
§      Worship and in the worst case Death in service.
Are you guys MAD!!!. Do you really understand what this means. Let’s just take one element of the 5 pillars of Islam, the need to pray 5 times a day. Spare me the platitudes, your telling me that somebody else might need to stand a watch or relieve one of these people so they can go and pray at the appointed time. I expect that also means a special compartment needs to be allocated. What the hell are you going to do about the scran (food) issues or are you proposing everyone on a ship will need to go Halal or have separate messing facilities to suit these people. What happens to dress of the day requirements? I won’t even pretend to know what would happen if action was being taken against an opposing Muslim force. Probably the Muslims on board would be forced to abstain, that would be interesting to see how a Skipper handled it or is it already mandated.
 “The Minister  said: Increasing the breadth of the RACS to include the Muslim faith reflects the ADF’s pastoral care responsibilities for all its members and is entirely consistent with Defence’s commitment to cultural reform.”  “The Navy I lead is a work place where men and women of all faiths should be able to offer service to Australia and meet their religious duties, without compromising either obligation. “
 Cultural reform my foot. You guys are rolling over. Let me be clear, the old Navy I knew wasn’t perfect but we knew how to get a job done and we had a hierarchy of command that was respected and served us well. We also had the Naval Discipline Act which also worked despite the complaints of the do- gooders that threw it out. What you seem to have instituted is a softly softly, cuddly little uniformed extension of the public service. I joined the Navy as a vocation and a dedication of service to my country, not just as “job” or “workplace”
 Whilst I’m on that subject, the “workplace” or as we knew them ships, are a farce, mostly unreliable and poorly acquired leftovers or out of date designs. The maintenance of these “workplaces is also appalling as the crews don’t fix anything anymore. In fact I don’t think they even stay onboard their “workplaces” whilst they are in harbor. Thus civilian security has charge of the “workplace” and who knows how they are supposed to look after these advanced systems.
 “So what are these Navy values that our people live by? They are: Honour, Honesty, Courage, Integrity and Loyalty.”
 Admiral… these are not values! These are absolutes. Values in my day were mateship, obedience and dedication. That aside, let’s look at how these so called values stack up for the Muslim sailor
 Honour, - they honour and Obey Allah above all.
Honesty, - They can lie to non Muslims if it furthers the cause of Islam
Courage,- For them this means death is a blessing which puts everyone on a vessel (sorry workplace) at risk
Integrity – Only to Allah and other Muslims
and Loyalty-Only to Allah
I will finish by saying when I joined the Navy I put my hand on the Bible and swore allegiance to the Queen. When I raised the new Australian white ensign in London for the first time we sang God save the Queen. Tell me that these traditions (apart from God save the Queen) are still carried out and I would be surprised. It is still the ROYAL Australian Navy and by my reckoning if you join you should forego other allegiances as the paramount requirement. This includes allegiance to Allah, this includes wearing the uniform as issued not a special one just for you, this includes being obedient to a chain of command regardless of your religious leanings.
 What you are doing is highly divisive and will be the slow death of a fine service with a fine tradition of service. You might as well contract out the work to civilians as go this way.
 Yours Sincerely
 Thor Lund
 PS in case its escaped your attention, the majority of conflicts we are engaged in overseas are against Muslim extremists. Try and define the difference here.


Authors name and address supplied.


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Have you stood on a bridge at midnight
Not a bridge over a rippling stream
But the bridge of a warship steamer
Deep laden and slim of beam

Have you gazed out into the darkness
With rain blinding spray and sore eyes
Cursing the fate that brought you
To a race with so poor a prize

Have you sweated in a red hot galley
Over a pot of Irish stew,
Cursing the three bell dinner
And waiting for a good hot brew

Have you toiled deep down in the bilges
Deep 'neath the lubber line mark
Where the engines grind out their horse power
And the stokers spew in the dark

If you have, then you'll understand me
And the story I'm trying to tell
Of men who leave home love and comfort
For a modified form of hell

You think it's all plain sailing
On beautiful tropical seas
Basking on deck in the sunshine
And fanned by a gentle breeze

But no, they sweat to the sun in the tropics
And they freeze to the bone at the poles
Facing natures mighty wrath
Hungry for human souls

So if tonight your window panes rattle
And you complain that you cannot sleep
Think of the life these sailors lead
Out on the raging deep.

For these are just poor mortals
Drifting in life's human stream
Who fight and win their battles
Nightmares to you, if you dream.

These are the men ordained by God
That the words of your prayer may come true
"Give us this day our daily bread"
And give the poor sailor his due.



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Stoker's Lament

Now each of us from time to time, has gazed upon the sea.
And watched the warships pulling out, to keep this country free.
And most of us have read a book, or heard a lusty tale.
About the men who sail these ships, through lightening, wind and hail.

But there's a place within each ship, that legend fails to reach.
It's down below the waterline, it takes a living toil-
A hot metal living hell, that sailors call the "HOLE".
It houses engines run by steam, that make the shafts go 'round.
A place of fire and noise and heat, that beats your spirits down.
Where boilers like a hellish heart, with blood of angry steam

Are of molded gods without remorse, are nightmares in a dream.
Whose threat that from the first roar, is life living doubt,
That any minute would with scorn, escape and crush you out.
Where turbines scream like tortured souls, alone and lost in hell,
As ordered from above somewhere, they answer every bell.

The men who keep the fires lit, and make the engine run.
Are strangers to the world of night and rarely see the sun.
They have no time for man or God, no tolerance for fear,
Their aspect pays no living thing, the tribute of a tear.

For there's not much that men can do, that these men haven't done.
Beneath the decks, deep in the holes, to make the engines run.
And every hour of every day, they keep their watch in hell,
For if the fires ever fail, their ship's a useless shell.

When ships converge to have a war, upon an angry sea,
The men below just grimly smile, at what their fate might be.
They're locked in below like men fore doomed, who hear no battle cry,
It's well assumed that if they're hit, the men below will die.

For every day's a war down there when the gauges all read red,
Twelve hundred pounds of superheated steam, can kill you mighty dead.
So if you ever write their sons, or try to tell their tale,
the very words would make you hear, a fired furnace's wail.
These men of steel the Public never gets to know

So little's heard about the Place, that sailors call the hole.
But I can sing about the place, and try to make you see
The hardened life of men down there, cause one of them is me.
I've seen these sweat soaked heroes fight, in superheated air.

To keep their ship alive and right, though no one knows they're there.
And thus they'll fight for ages on, til steamships sail no more,
Amid the boiler's mighty heat and turbines hellish roar.
So when you see a ship pull out to meet a warship foe.
Remember faintly, if you can, the men who sail below.

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Our Flag

Author: Unknown

  Our Flag wears the stars that blaze at night,
In our Southern skies of blue,
And a little old flag in the corner,
That’s part of our heritage too.

It’s for the English, the Scots and the Irish,
Who were sent to the ends of the earth,
The rogues and schemers, the doers and dreamers,
Who gave modern Australia its birth.

And you, who are shouting to change it,
You don’t seem to understand,
It’s the flag of our laws and our language,
Not the flag of a faraway land.

Though there are plenty of people who'll tell you,
How when Europe was plunged into night,
That little old flag in the corner,
Was their symbol of freedom and light.

It doesn’t mean we owe allegiance,
To a forgotten imperial dream,
We’ve the stars to show where we’re going,
And the old flag to show where we’ve been.

It’s only an old piece of bunting,
It’s only an old piece of rag,
But there are thousands who’ve died for its honour,
And shed of their blood for OUR FLAG. 

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Why I Liked The Navy 

I LIKED standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe, the ship beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drive her through the sea.

I LIKED the sounds of the Navy, the piercing trill of the boatswains call, the syncopated clanger of the ships bell, the harsh squawk of the main broadcast and the salty language and laughter of sailors at work

I LIKED Navy vessels, sleek darting destroyers, plodding fleet auxiliaries, dark submarines and dedicated survey vessels

I LIKED the proud names of Navy ships - Melbourne, Sydney

I LIKED the lean angular names of Navy destroyers Anzac, Vendetta, Vampire, and Voyager

I LIKED the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the upper deck speakers as we pull away from the tanker after refuelling at sea

I LIKED the pipe "libertymen fall in" and the spicy scent of a foreign port

I LIKED sailors, men from all parts of the land, from city and country alike and all walks of life, I trust and depend on them as they trust and depend on me for professional competence, comradeship and courage, in a word they are shipmates

I LIKED the surge of adventure in my heart when the word is passed Special Sea Dutymen close up"

I LIKED the infectious thrill of sighting home again, the waving hands of welcome from family and friends.  The work is hard and dangerous, the going rough at times, the parting from loved ones painful but the companionship of robust Navy laughter the all for one and one for all philosophy of the sea is ever present

I LIKED the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ships work, the beer issue, watching flying fish flit across the wave tops
as sunset gives way to night

I LIKED the feel of the Navy in darkness the masthead lights the red and green navigation lights and the stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar screens

I LIKED drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad of noises large and small that tell me that my ship is alive and well and that my shipmates on watch will keep me safe

I LIKED quiet middle watches with the aroma of cocoa on a winters night

I LIKED hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze grey shapes racing at full speed keeps all hands on a razor edge of alertness

I LIKED the sudden electricity of "action stations" followed by the hurried clamour of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors and hatches as the ship transforms herself from the peaceful workplace to a weapon of war ready for anything

I LIKED the sight of space age equipment manned by kids clad in overalls and sound powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize

I LIKED the traditions of the Navy and the men who made them and the heroism of the men who sailed in the ships of yesteryear.

An adolescent can find adulthood.  In years to come when sailors are home from the sea they will still remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods, the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm tossed grey water surging over the bow, and then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm a refrain of hearty laughter.

Gone ashore for good they will grow wistfil about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon, remembering this they will stand taller and say

" I was a Sailor once, I was part of the Navy and the Navy will always  be part of me"


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HMAS Cerberus Museum   - Link 

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Sailors in the Making 

HMAS Cerberus in the '60s   - Link

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Life on the Ocean Waves - Interesting Read  - pdf 

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The Demise of Jack Tar - author unknown.

The traditional male sailor was not defined by his looks. He was defined by his attitude; his name was Jack Tar.

He was a happy go lucky sort of bloke; he took the good times with the bad.
He didn't cry victimisation, bastardisation, discrimination or for his mum when things didn't go his way.

He took responsibility for his own sometimes, self-destructive actions.

He loved a laugh at anything or anybody. Rank, gender, race, creed or behaviour, it didn't matter to Jack, he would take the piss out of anyone, including himself. If someone took it out of him he didn't get offended; it was a natural part of life. If he offended someone else, so be it. Free from many of the rules of polite society, Jack's manners were somewhat rough. His ability to swear was legendary.

Jack loved women. He loved to chase them to the ends of the earth and sometimes he even caught one (less often than he would have you believe though). His tales of the chase and its conclusion win or lose, is the stuff of legends.

Jack's favourite drink was beer, and he could drink it like a fish. His actions when inebriated would, on occasion, land him in trouble. But, he took it on the chin, did his punishment and then went and did it all again.

Jack loved his job. He took an immense pride in what he did. His radar was always the best in the fleet. His engines always worked better than anyone else's. His eyes could spot a contact before anyone else's and shoot at it first. It was a matter of personal pride. Jack was the consummate professional when he was at work and sober.

He was a bit like a mischievous child. He had a gleam in his eye and a larger than life outlook. He was as rough as guts. You had to be pig headed and thick skinned to survive. He worked hard and played hard. His masters tut-tutted at some of his more exuberant expressions of joie de vivre, and the occasional bout of number 9's or stoppage let him know where his limits were.

The late 20th Century and on, has seen the demise of Jack. The workplace no longer echoes with ribald comment and bawdy tales. Someone is sure to take offence. Where as, those stories of daring do and ingenuity in the face of adversity, usually whilst pissed, lack the audacity of the past.

A wicked sense of humour is now a liability, rather that a necessity. Jack has been socially engineered out of existence. What was once normal is now offensive. Denting someone else's over inflated opinion of their own self worth is now a crime.



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Enough is enough.  This certainly must be the finish!
We Are Broke
     Please circulate  widely!        Every Australian should know about this travesty...........

Isn't this a right bloody ripoff by K. Rudd and Wong!!!

Well, would you believe it....flooding throughout Queensland and the Government asks people to
 donate to an appeal set up to help the victims of flood in places such a Roma and Charleville in Queensland.
 The Governments, Federal and State, are appealing to the public (once again - bearing in mind the bush fire
 victims in Victoria still haven't - in the majority of cases - received much, if any, financial assistance from the
 millions we Australians contributed to that appeal) to come to the aid of the victims of flood in Queensland
 (they really have suffered greatly and really do need all the help they can get).  

Well hello!!!!!!!!!!!!...the Australian public have been asked again to help disaster victims....Governments, at this time, have contributed nothing, but ordinary Australians should.   
 That, however, is not the case where Indonesia (where Muslim inhabitants are rapidly approaching 80% of that
 countries total population) is concerned.  How much money did we give them just a short time ago...where did
 that go....not much to any 'victims'.

Well.....believe this.  Today is Thursday the 4th March, 2010 and they are imploring us to donate and help the flood victims in Queensland because they still don't have 'emergency funds' in place to help Australians during a crisis.

But just yesterday, Wednesday the 3rd March, 2010 (yes, yesterday, suckers) the Federal Government announced that they would give Indonesia 30 million dollars (of your money) to help them....wait for it.....'preserve forests'.  
To preserve forests...!  Do you believe it......they have got to be kidding (the Indonesian government is almost solely responsible for the decimation of Indonesian's forests and they justify it on the basis of 'we need the money').

Thanks Kevin, what a magnanimous gesture, we knew we could depend on false pretender, criminal
 b*****d, who wants to be the world leader of 'who knows what'.  
 When did you ever get a mandate to give 'our' money away to foreigners, for any cause, let alone on the basis of climate change.  Absolutely nobody else in the world believes all the crap - but you...and we truly doubt that you believe it either't it simply about taxing us further, so you can give it away and ingratiate yourself to all and sundry (what a wonderful man you are).

Have a look at the attachment from the Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 3rd March, 2010 page 19.  
 This is bullshit.    
When, oh when, are Australians going to wake up....




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Laws of the Navy ... pdf 

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New Generation Veterans


We honour our old veterans, we honour them with pride,

And read of all the horrors they have carried deep inside,

We know they served in Asia or New Guinea ’s highland rains,

Vietnam or in Africa where many men were slain.


We know that fateful landing on Gallipoli’s dark shore,

Wherever Aussies fought, we know there are so many more,

But now a new young generation needs our help as well,

They too have been to war and suffer with their private hell.


Though losses are not classed as great, their fears are just the same,

Those electronic hidden bombs, still injure, kill or maim,

They fight against an enemy they find so hard to see,

Who mingle in the market place, then cause much tragedy.


Insurgents in Afghanistan hide in the rough terrain,

Or roaming in Iraq , where, wearing robes they look the same,

The suicide stealth bombers, don’t care who they hurt or kill,

Then, with their own beliefs, they try to break our forces will.


Our fighting Aussie spirit shows on any foreign land,

They’re in the skies, they’re on the sea, or on the desert sand,

Now many are returning with the horrors they still see,

And living with their nightmares, suffering bureaucracy.


I know on ANZAC Day, we all remember with a tear,

But ALL vets, young or old, they need our help throughout the year,

Support and listen to their stories, when they do get told,

Let’s honour our NEW veterans, just like we do our old.


David J Delaney

10/02/2010     ©


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The model is just over 16 feet/5m long. It was scratch built by Ken Taylor.

The scale used was 1/24. It took over nine years to build.

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T&PI War Veterans To Miss Out On Payout

Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 8:09 PM  


Can you please pass this to your lists for widest dissemination? 

Norman J Rowe, AM
7023 Springfield Drive
Hope Island
Qld 4212

I was informed by a veteran VVAA office bearer friend of mine that T&PI’s who are not drawing a Service Pension would not be receiving the Federal Government’s Bonus payment.

I was amazed at this news and so I started to make some calls. I spoke with Graham Edwards - former MHR, and then to Blue Ryan – President of T&PI Association to find out that whilst this is not entirely correct, the payments will go to all TPI’s over 60 years of age and TPI’s under 60 years of age who are drawing Service Pension. (Also, apparently, many War widows may miss out. This is yet to be confirmed. But if true is another cruel omission.)

This means that Veterans of the last two or Three years of the Vietnam War who are not yet 60, Vets of Namibia, Somalia, Desert Storm, East Timor, Bougainville, Iraq, and Afghanistan who are T&PI and who are not on Service Pensions will miss out.

In many cases, this is a cruel anomaly. A Vietnam veteran who was called up for service and spent his tour of duty during the last two years of the war, who is carrying severe war c au sed disabilities, but whose spouse is earning more than $40,000 p.a. is not eligible. This is yet another insult to people ( many of whom were press ganged into service by National Service) who served their country, have been treated as pariahs for many years of their lives, have carried war related disabilities, and have had their entitlements eroded badly by the Keating Government and by subsequent Governments since, will not have access to the money being handed out by the Rudd Government..

This Federal Government has shown a great deal of compassion to Veterans in the last year, it would be a shame to have their copy book blotted by a bure au cratic, arbitrary line in the sand which is clearly discriminatory.

Normie Rowe, AM
07 5530 8757 (ph/fax)
0418 258 158 (mob)
International +61 7 5530 8757(ph/fax)
+61 418 258 158 (mob)

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.... PDF

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Agent Orange and Prostate Cancer ...  pdf

Read this and remember get your check ups


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Well said Tom


It must be that time of the year again, the following was sent to Channel 7 Sunrise program on the 3 SEP 08 0635h in response to Kochie getting on his soapbox and suggesting we change the union jack for the aboriginal flag.
Your remarks on the Australian flag have surprised and shocked me, I am an Australian soldier that has served my country for over 16 years both at home and deployed overseas. Your suggestion that we should get rid of the union jack and replace it with the aboriginal flag is insulting. It is only while we were a British colony and eventually an independent country in 1901 that the modern Australia was formed. By your reasoning as a democracy we should have a Chinese or Greek or Irish flag in the top corner as there are more people from this background than of the indigenous population. You went to the middle east last year to see our serving soldiers and you were quick to come back a sprook about how professional the soldiers, sailors and airman were over there and how they were doing our country proud. It is amazing how short the medias memory is when it chooses to, because those same service men and women you spoke of are the proud  custodians of the customs and traditions of the Australia Flag. Currently tens of thousands have now served under that Australian Flag in Iraq and Afghanistan and East Timor. You only need look at the young people at gatherings such as ANZAC Day, Australia Day, or even backpacking across the world to see that they are not ashamed to be seen wearing or draping the flag over themselves. Kochie if you find our flag that offensive then I suggest you have a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself a simple question, " Am I really proud to be Australian and the things we have accomplished over the last 200 years". If the answer is no then I suggest you leave this country as there are plenty of people in other countries that are literally dying to come here and be part of this great nation. I personally think your ego has got the better of you Kochie, and you have got some sort of god complex, but that another thing I can fix since I live in a democracy were the freedom has already been paid for with the blood of our young and continue pay to serve our country. I have been a loyal watcher of sunrise since the very beginning, but this is the final straw, today I start watching the other channels in the morning. P.S. I won't expect a reply as I'm sure you will just delete it because after all I'm soldier that the media couldn't give two stuffs about unless I stuff up and then the media is quick to bash the Army on any pretext to increase the ratings, and I will take the liberty to pass this email onto everyone I known in the Army so they can know about your comments too.

SGT Tom Cross 
Proud member of the RAEME MAFIA


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Let There Be No Moaning at the Bar

Old sailors sit
And chew the fat
About things that used to be,
Of the things they've seen
The places they've been,
When they ventured out to sea.
** **
They remembered friends
From long ago,
The times they had back then,
The money they spent,
The beer they drank,
In their days as sailing men.
** **
Their lives are lived
In the days gone by
With the thoughts that forever last.
Of the bell bottom blues,
Round white hats,
And good times in their past.
** **
They recall long nights
With the moon so bright
Far out into the lonely sea.
The thoughts they had
As youthful lads,
When their lives were wild and free.
** **
They know so well
How their hearts would swell
When the flag fluttered proud and free.
The underway pennant
Such a beautiful sight
As they plowed through an angry sea.
** **
They talked of the chow
Ol' cookie would make
And the shrill of the bos'n pipe.
How salt spray would fall
Like sparks from hell
When a storm struck in the night.
** **
They remember old shipmates
Already gone
Who forever hold a spot in their heart,
When sailors were bold,
And friendships would hold,
Until death ripped them apart.
** **
They speak of nights
Spent in bawdy houses
On many foreign shore,
Of the beer they'd down
As gathering around,
Telling jokes with a busty whore.
** **
Their sailing days
Are gone away,
Never again will they cross the brow.
They have no regrets,
They know they are blessed,
For honoring the sacred vow.
** **
Their numbers grow less
With each passing day
As the final muster begins,
There's nothing to lose,
All have paid their dues,
And they'll sail with shipmates again.
** **
I've heard them say
Before getting underway
That there's still some sailing to do,
They'll say with a grin that their ship has come in, 
And the Good Lord is commanding the crew.

Courtesy of C.M.


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The Spirit of ANZAC

I saw a kid marching with medals on his chest,
He marched alongside Diggers marching six abreast.
He knew that it was ANZAC Day – he walked along with pride.
He did his best to keep in step with the Diggers by his side.

And when the march was over the kid was rather tired,
A Digger said, "Whose medals, Son?" to which the kid replied,
"They belong to Daddy, but he did not come back…
He died up in New Guinea, on a lonely jungle track."

The kid looked rather sad then and a tear came to his eye,
The Digger said, "Don’t cry my son and I will tell you why.
Your Daddy marched with us today – all the blooming way,
We Diggers know that he was there – its like that on ANZAC Day.."

The kid looked rather puzzled and didn’t understand …
But the Digger went on talking and started to wave his hand.
"For this great land we live in, there’s a price we have to pay.
For we all love fun and merriment in this country where we live.
The price was that some soldier his precious live must give.

For you to go to school, my lad and worship God at will…
Someone had to pay the price so the Diggers paid the bill.
Your Daddy died for us, my son – for all things good and true.
I wonder if you understand the things I’ve said to you?"

The kid looked up at the Digger – just for a little while…
And with a changed expression, said, with a lovely smile:
"I know my Dad marched here today – this is ANZAC Day.
I know he did. I know he did … all the blooming way."

D. Hunter (a veteran of shaggy Ridge with the 2/12 Battn in WWII)  

Courtesy G.T. & The Buzz


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Paul Martino, Sapper, Nui Dat south Vietnam 70/71. Son of Kenneth
Martino, R/O HMS Hardy, Torpedoed North Atlantic Run WW II; Grandson
of Dominic Martino, Soldier, Green Howards. Machine Gunned France WWI.

The Athlete

The Swimmer touches the tiles, winning his race by 1000th of a second,
He is hailed mightily throught the country as a "Hero."

The overweight Weightlifer lifts and extra 10lbs. He too is called a "Hero."

The too-lean Cyclist in fancy colours wins by a lead of milliseconds.
Apoplectic newscasters go into hysterical cardiac fits.
The Javelin Thrower’s spear goes that extra yard, yet another "Hero"

The sweat stained runner wins by two yards and we’ve got another "Hero."
Let the screaming thousands of sightless, mindless drunkards, loose,
Headed by our disgusting cricket mad, overenthusiastic Prime Minister, lose
on a cricket Pitch,
And if you believe him, we have a team of the greatest "Heroes" who ever
"Heroes" all, these sportsmen, if you are uncaring and believe in fairy stories-
For this is the new cheap sensationalism. Every Australian athlete is now a
"Hero," Merely to stir up long wanted forgotten patriotism, to forget about
the real Heroes.
To quickly forget those who actually gave their all, and get on with "real" life,
That the pampered Athlete might continue his life of uninterrupted luxury.
That he might immediately receive the best medical treatment to be had,
The best clothes money can buy, the finest food, and luxury accommodation,
Ticker tape parades, screaming crownds of the ever forgetful at every move.
More of a welcome that the most true Hero, existing in peaceful silence, ever
got."Hero" the soft, pampered, Athelete is definitely not!


The Hero

Lays quietly, in peace, forever at rest in a turbulent false world
In mysteriously, well tended endless soft rolling green fields
Scattered around the world, all enveloped in an eerie peaceful silence.
In acres of fields lined with hundreds of thousands simple white crosses
In absolute parade ground precision of the living.
No cheering of the enthusiastic apoplectic sports commentator here,
No enthusiasm by any Government Official, or Prime Minister of note,

The true Hero all too quickly forgotten by those many who never
And yet luckily, there are those of us, who returned,
Left to remember as we grow old,
And remember we will. Forever.
For there’s Homage to pay.
And pay you will, you spoiled majority.
Those same families who never served, the same sons of the same rich,
For we will never let you forget the real Hero beneath those humble
white crosses
Laying in eternity, silently at peace, in those roughly hewn graves,

These are the Heroes. These are the men and women, who gave their all,

Who really went the extra inch, who lifted far more than the ten pounds
In living conditions unimaginable by today’s generations.
Their opposition was deadly aplenty, their lot – filthy ragged clothing,
bad food, Expected to perform their best in all weather, hot, cold,
raining, dry, and freezing.
Day or Night. Rested or not. Neither hunger nor thirst a factor of any

No clean clear smooth quiet, peacefully pathway for these men and women
No first class medical treatment, for strains or painful wounds, on call
day and night.
And yet shamefully you all forget, they too won their competition
Except there was no handshake at the end of their race. Just exhaustion.
Out of respect for the true Hero, get it right. An Athlete is after all, just
an Athlete.

The surviving Hero often arrives home in the quiet darkness of night,
No greetings, Medals in his pocket, kitbag on his shoulder,
Expecting no more. And getting even less.

Courtesy G.T. & The Buzz 


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Since the war ended, there’s been many stories told
Of heroes on the upper deck, these sailors brave and bold.
Facing enemy aircraft, dodging enemy shells,
Their gunnery ever accurate, as the ship rides o’er the swells.
I’m the first to say with pride, the ‘SHROPSHIRE’ had the best.
For many times they saved the ship, when put to the test.
But spare a though for the engine room branch; the stokers born and bred.
Whose job it was to propel the ship and the engineer who led
The "dustmen" as they are affectionately known, are a special breed,

But not too much is written about their various deeds.
Down in the engine room spaces where temperatures rise so high,
At action stations, for days on end, never seeing the sky,
Where it’s roasting hot in daytime and boiling hot at night,
And the bravery thought of bully beef, made you lose your appetite.
Where the screaming of the turbines, play havoc with your ears,
And your throat gets dry and parched and you’d love an ice-cold beer.

Where the dynamos are as hot as hell and the devil wanted to know,
"Could he swap them for his furnace and take them down below?"
When we were called to action, we were quick

From watchkeeping in the engine room to handling shells in the bowels of the

Or, up on the four inch gun deck, to tote the shells
So, the gunners could keep firing and maybe have a spell.
The telegraph spins around and orders from bridge come through
The stokers are quick to act, as they know their jobs
The skipper needs precision as he handles the tiller,
Again it is the stokers who help him manoeuvre the ship.
Then comes a lull in action and heads to nearest port
The "upper deck" get a "Make and Mend" stokers report for duty,
The engines need attention, vats are full of scale,
The boilers have to be shut down and clean before sailing,
Pumps and bearings to overhaul, before morning light,
These are necessary, so, we work through the night.
This will benefit all the crew, with water, heat, power,
For drinking, cooking, dobie-ing, and nice hot showers,
There’s much more I could write, re the engine room branch,
And I guess I’m biased, when given half a chance,
But were would all the sailors be, if not for the engineers’ crew.
Who always get them home, when a leave is due.

Indeed, we were a lucky ship and toast the whole ships’ crew,
They were the best ships’ company, a skipper could have, ‘tis true
It’s just that stokers are quiet achievers, out of sight and out of mind,
And to be recognised for their efforts, would be rather kind,
So, when the accolades are bandied about, with unbiased attention,
Spare a thought for the stokers … just give us a mention.

Jim Murtagh

(Jim Murtagh had the distinction of being one of only three engine room branch that served from before commissioning to the paying-off
of HMAS SHROPSHIRE. She commissioned into RAN 20 Apr 1943
and paid off 20 May 1947. Ron Frasa HMAS SHROPSHIRE)

Courtesy G.T. & The Buzz


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The Final Inspection

The Soldier stood and faced his God,
  Which must always come to pass. 
    He hoped his shoes were shining 
     Just as brightly as his brass.
     "Step forward now, you Soldier, 
     How shall I deal with you? 
            Have you always turned the other cheek? 
              To My Church have you been true?"
                   The Soldier squared his shoulders and said, 
                   "No, my Lord, I ain't. 
                   Because those of us who carry guns,  
                   Can't always be a saint.
                   I've had to work most Sundays, 
                   And at times my talk was tough, 
                   And sometimes I've been violent, 
                   Because the world is awfully rough.
                   But, I never took a dollar, 
                   That wasn't mine to keep.. 
                   Though I worked a lot of overtime, 
                   When the bills got just too steep.
                   And I never passed a cry for help, 
                  Though at times I shook with fear. 
                   And sometimes, God, forgive me, 
                   I've wept unmanly tears. 
                    I know I don't deserve a place, 
                   Among the people here. 
                   They never wanted me around, 
                   Except to calm their fears.
                   If you've a place for me here, Lord, 
                   It needn't be so grand. 
                   I never expected or had too much,
                   But if you don't, I'll understand.
                   There was a silence all around the throne, 
                   Where the Saints had often trod. 
                   As the Soldier waited quietly, 
                   For the judgment of his God.
                   "Step forward now, you Soldier, 
                   You've borne your burdens well. 
                   Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets, 
                   You've done your time in Hell."
                   ~Author Unknown~

Courtesy C.M. 


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