Monthly Archives February 2018

HMS GANGES Victorian Division Meeting Jan 2018

.          KICK OFF 2018

Kick Off meeting Sunday 21st January 2018, at the Frankston Naval Memorial Club.

We decided to have our catered Lunch out on the lawns, under the tree’s, like last year, as it had been a resounding success,  with  33/34/35 members and partners attending.   It was all one long table, enabling people to move freely.  We were fortunate that we can use either the lawns or the Clubhouse itself, dependant on weather, which toward the latter part of the meeting, we decided to have sweet inside, as the Humidity was extremely high, and it was becoming uncomfortable.  The comments from members regarding the catering were very rewarding, and who does not like Sticky date pudding, Pavlova’s and Fruit Salads with complimentary Creams and Custards.

A Happy Birthday to John Horner Drake 54

A toast was carried out, with the obligatory Pussers Rum for :Up Spirits” with the able Rum Bosun Harry Thacker, including wishing one and all a Happy New Year, and for attending thus helping  our Association stay alive.We do very well  in general, and I can only thank those that contributed to the raffle in donating prizes,  especially Ann and John Horner, who work in a Charity shop in Gisborne, bringing  down some of the most unusual prizes, Binoculars, watches, plates with ropes and anchors printed on them, Ann and John travelled 118kms(73.5 miles) to get here and then return, likewise one of our very senior members John Hannant and family travelled 125kms(77.5 miles) then return. A true commitment by one and all.

So we now move on to normal meetings, and the thoughts of our getaway, again in Sept/Oct, and to all our members please put your thinking caps on, Moama, Yarrawonga, Melbourne, Warrnambool, Lakes Entrance or anywhere else, as long as we have a  general consensus when deciding. Maybe the interstaters would like to have a say, considering the response last year to Yarrawonga, so please get those brain cells functioning.

Our thanks go to the FNMC for accommodating our Association. To Mark Kinder our associate member for tending the bar, and helping in other aspects, Gordon Canty for once again conducting a very successful raffle, of which the proceeds paid for the Entrée, to keep the cost of a catered lunch at a very reasonable price and Mike Bennett, Chairman of the  R.N.A. Branch,  for the Cheese platter, and our resident photographer Rick Clarke, our youngest member who also travelled 100kms(60 miles by public transport and return, B.Z. Rick

Other Items.

Wyn Agnew Apology.     Bill Agnew has been in Hospital and had approximately 25% of one lung removed, still awaiting results.

Charles Jenkinson in Peninsula Hospital, problem with the Heart Valve


What is a Matelot?

What is a Matelot? A matelot is someone who joins the forces for many reasons be it financial, emotional or following family tradition.
Once a matelot takes the Queen’s shilling; he or she becomes a member of an elite group of people.
A matelot will suffer hardship both physically and mentally so their fellow countrymen don’t have to. Make a matelot your friend and they will be a friend forever, make them your enemy and they will never forget.
To the general public, many believe a matelot is a cold-hearted, loud-mouthed thug in a uniform, but a matelot is actually, quite intelligent and has feelings and emotions like everybody else.
A matelot lives life to the full because at any time they could be touched by death.
A matelot will take the mickey and make jokes about any other armed forces they come into contact with but if these same forces require their help they will give it an 110%.
So to sum it up, matelots are loud-mouthed, arrogant, mickey taking, beer swilling, party-loving fools but they are also a friend, mate, mucker, comrade and brother and … I AM PROUD TO BE A MATELOT AND FRIEND AND BROTHER TO COUNTLESS MATELOTS …. ONCE A SAILOR ALWAYS A SAILOR……

“What’s it like in the Navy?”

To all those who ask “What’s it like in the Navy?
I left home before I was legally able to drive, I left my friends and family behind. I was greeted by screaming drill instructors at Ganges. I wrote my own will before I was legally able to drink. I learnt how to run, march, shoot, take another mans life, save another mans life and run some more! I stood in the canteen at meal times eating food as fast as it was out on my plate cause we had very little time to eat. Too tired even to think how bad the food was. I kept going, every day waking at 0600 hrs for the hard day ahead. I did PT everyday and ached in places I never knew I had.
I watched videos of people with shrapnel wounds and body parts missing! I made friends like you wouldn’t believe. I have laughed, cried and been in scrapes with these people. I have lost friends in conflicts in places that I didn’t even know existed. We didn’t get much sleep and even less pay.
We fight! We fight not only for our friends and family but for our comrade next to us!
So if you want to burn this nations great flag try putting yourselves in our shoes. Try defending it before you disgrace the men and women who defend not only the flag, but you and everyone else in this country. When I deployed I didn’t know if I would be coming back. What I did know is that I was proud to wear the uniform of this great country, and I, if given the chance, know that along with thousands of others, we would stand tall and shoulder to shoulder to defend this great country.
Question is,would I do it again if given the chance?, Absolutely yes, yes I bloody would, not for the medals or the pay, but for having stood next to heroes and called them brother.