We Are Veterans.

We left home as teenagers for an unknown adventure.

We loved our country enough to defend it and protect it with our own life.

We said goodbye to friends and family and everything we knew.

We learned the basics and then we scattered in the wind to the far corners of the Earth.

We found new friends and new family.

We became brothers and sisters.

We had plenty of good times, and plenty of bad times.

We didn’t get enough sleep.

We smoked and drank too much.

We picked up both good and bad habits.

We worked hard and played harder.

We didn’t earn a great wage.

We experienced the happiness of mail call and the sadness of missing important events.

We didn’t know when or even if we were ever going to see home again.

We grew up fast, and yet somehow, we never grew up at all.

We fought for our freedom as well as the freedom of others.

Some of us saw actual combat, and some of us didn’t.

Some of us saw the world, and some of us didn’t.

Some of us dealt with physical warfare, most of us dealt with psychological warfare.

We have seen and experienced and dealt with things that we can’t fully describe or explain.

Not all of our sacrifices were physical.

We participated in time-honoured ceremonies and rituals with each other, strengthening our bonds and camaraderie.

We counted on each other to get our job done and sometimes to survive it at all.

We have dealt with victory and tragedy.

We have celebrated and mourned.

We lost a few along the way.

When our adventure was over, some of us went back home, some of us started somewhere new.

Some of us never came home at all.

We have told amazing and hilarious stories of our exploits and adventures.

We share an unspoken bond with each other that most people don’t have and few will understand.

We speak highly of our own branch of service and poke fun at the other branches.

But we know that if needed, we will be there for our brothers and sisters and stand together as one in a heartbeat.

Being a veteran is something that had to be earned, and it can never be taken away.

It has no monetary value, but at the same time, it is a priceless gift.

People see a veteran and they thank them for their service.

When we see each other, we give that little upwards head nod, or a slight smile, knowing that we have shared and experienced things that most people have not.

So from myself to the rest of the veterans out there, I commend and thank you for all that you have done and sacrificed for your country.

Try to remember the good times, and forget the bad times.

Share your stories.

But most importantly, stand tall and proud, for you have earned the right to be called a VETERAN.

Merry Christmas, wherever you are.

Harry Harrison

Folks, this is just to let you know, that Harry Harrison, suffered a stroke on Sunday Afternoon, whilst visiting his Wife Win, in the Nursing Home, she now resides in. He was a lucky man, because an attendant found him and called a Ambulance straight away, he was taken to a local Hospital in the Suburb of Knox, who then straight away referred him to one of our main Hospitals in Melbourne ( Royal Melbourne), where a surgeon operated on him Sunday Night to remove a clot, which was situated in the regions of the upper neck.  Visited him this morning as soon as I knew, he looked the cheerful lad we all know.  As he said if it had have happened at home, I think the results would have been different.  He has movements in all limbs, speech slightly slurred, but nothing that he cannot overcome.

Can I please ask Phil would you let the committee know, harry had a lot of contacts in the Ganges Family
Scotty, although you have stood down could you please let the Queensland members know

James could let W.A. members know
Thank you All.
Any changes will let you know

The 6 P’s..

A former sailor checks his watch, he is 5 minutes early for his interview, looking in the mirror he straightens his tie and remembers his Chief Petty Officer doing this to him many years ago and saying, “Remember the six P’s shipmate! ‘Poor Preparation Produces Piss Poor Performance’ . . ” his words as he showed him how to tie a half Windsor knot, the ex-sailor checks the shine of his shoes, the length of his shirt cuffs protruding his suit jacket and cleanliness of his fingernails, he’s GTG.

The interviewer asks the ex-matelot what he can offer the company as it seems his 22 years of service may not offer evidence of his suitability.

The ex-sailor leans forward in his chair, “Excuse me sir if I may politely add I was not just a sailor, I was a brother to those that needed a brother, I have seen countries that most people dream about and seen things most people have nightmares about. I was trained to do things other people can’t, I am physically and mentally strong, I was trained to save those injured around me and encourage those that struggled close to me.

I served my country to protect those that couldn’t protect themselves, I worked hours that would break most people in some of the most horrendous conditions.

Sir I was more than a sailor, I was a Royal Navy Sailor

And I was a Royal Naval sailor, Amen Me Hearties, Splice the Main Brace!

Lest I Forget

Lest I forget. I have polished brasses, bulled boots, cleaned, swept and painted until my arms ache.
Endured Captains Rounds, Admiral Rounds, Thursday War, slept not slept.
Turn To, Action Stations, Duty Watch, Dog Watch, Middle & Morning Watch
Sailed the seven seas and back again, fought in every port. I speak fluent jackspeak, dhobey, uckers, dig in, dig out.
I have braved gales and storms, fair winds and fair seas, sundowner’s, deck hockey and PT beasting’s.☠️
Store ship, RAS’d and mess parties, laughed and cried.
Saluted more scrambled egg than I can remember, fought for my country, my ship, my mates.

For I Am A Royal Navy Veteran

Charlie Greensmith – Crossed The Bar 06 August 2019

It is with much regret I write to advise you of the passing of Charlie Greensmith. Charlie joined HMS GANGES in 1956, he was a proud man and loved the RN and was particularly proud to be the President of the HMS GANGES Queensland Division for over 12 years.
RIP Shipmate..
Details of service will be advised when known.

Black Tot Day – Queensland 2019

Evening all,

The saddest day in Pussers will be held from 1100 on the 28th July at 7 Draycott Street Alexandra Hills at home of Ken & Linda.  Lunch will be provided by Ganges Assoc. Please ring Linda 07 38244349 or 0408 400 707 & advise if attending.

Ian & Joy Thomson are flying down from Rockhampton for the meeting. They are going home by train the next day, also Frank Chadwick will be flying down from Townsville and flying home the next day.

All members please also be aware that this will probably be Charlie Goldsmith’s last social event and deserves to have all of us with him…

Pussers Rum is available at Dan Murphy’s ($69)and if anyone has the urge to invest in one they can join me and Frank (who will be ‘with bottle’) in a corner somewhere…

HMS GANGES Western Australian Division Minutes of General Meeting 28th March 2019

Patron: Commander Philip Orchard AM AFNI RAN Ret.



Held 28/03/19 at Fremantle Navy Club


Present: James & Cathy Sharkey, Ian Critchley, Tony Richards, Patrick Moore, Gary Foley, Paul Chapman, Dave Parry, Jack Warner, Mary Anthony, Alex and Liz McKinnon, Buster & Charlotte Keating, Peter Godfrey, Karl and Morag Campbell, Brenda Chitty, Barry Morgan, Les Simmons, Nobby Clark.

 Apology:  Peter Greenfield, Brian Thompson, Tony & Jan Smith, Geoff & Ann Rumsey.

  1. Welcome & Opening:

President Ian welcomed attendees, introduced our guest Nobby Clark, and thanked everyone for attending. Ian then called upon Rum Bosun Alex to “Up Spirits”.

  1. Lamp Swinger Session
  • Paul Chapman

Paul continued with part 2 of his entertaining talk on the RN, Then and Now, relating to Rum, Bum and Baccy plus Tattoos Body Art and Piercings.

  1. Acceptance of Minutes (23/01/19):
  • Moved: Alex McKinnon Seconded: Buster Keating “That the minutes of the Annual BBQ Meeting held 23/01/19 be accepted as a true and correct record.” Carried.

 3.1 Business arising:

  • 20th Anniversary report (Tony Richards).

Tony addressed the meeting and gave details of the progress being made towards what will be an excellent 20th Anniversary Dinner at Miss Mauds Restaurant on 1st June. Special mention was given to restaurant manager Claus for his above and beyond assistance with the preparations for the event. Tony discussed the format for the evening, which will be promulgated nearer the time.

Paul Chapman was asked to give details of the Shep Woolley concert. Paul stated that the concert would be at the Rockingham Navy Club on 25th May and will include a light meal. The cost and start time have yet to be finalised.

  1. President’s Report
  • 20 years potted history

President Ian has put together a brief history of our Division from its conception in 1999 to the present day. Ian approached the office of his local MP and “persuaded” him to put the history paperwork into a booklet format for free. A booklet of our Division’s history with photographs will be available at the Anniversary Dinner.

  1. Secretary’s Report:
  • All inward and outward correspondence and information emails distributed.
  • The Division has applied to rejoin the RSLWA’s Unit & Kindred Associations Group.
  • Peter Godfrey has volunteered to be the May meeting Lamp Swinger.

Moved: Barry Morgan    Seconded: Tony Richards     “That the inward correspondence be accepted and the outward endorsed.” Carried.

 5.2 Almoners Report

  • Secretary James has been in touch with Ken Read who recently celebrated his 91st birthday, Ken’s wife Sonya is celebrating her 91st birthday today.
  • James spoke with Una Hughes now living in a care home in Augusta. Peter Hughes is suffering from dementia and Una visits him every day. Fortunately they have two daughters living in the area. I have passed my telephone number on to one of their daughters.
  • An email from Bill Hall was read out to the meeting and sad to hear that Bill is in poor health. Mary Anthony will be in touch with Bill and perhaps he can join us at our next BBQ at the Navy Club.

6. Treasurers Report:

  • Treasurer Peter read his financial report to March 2019:
  • Cash at bank $3252.00
    Petty Cash 121.80
    Rum Stock 6 bottles 390.00
  • Reminder: final day for 20th Anniversary Dinner payment is 30th April.

Moved: Alex McKinnon Seconded:  Cathy Sharkey    “That the Treasurers report to March be accepted” Carried.

  1. Raffle
  • Raffle Master Cathy conducted the raffle. The lucky winners were Pat Moore, Ian Critchley, James Sharkey, Tony Richards, Les Simmons and Rattler Morgan. The raffle raised $95.00.
  1. Other Business
  • Nil
  1. Next Gatherings;
  • Social sausage sizzle: Sunday 28th April – 1200 at RNC.
  • Committee Meeting: Thursday 16th May – 1200 at FNC.
  • General Meeting: Thursday 23rd May– 1200 FNC.
  • 20th Anniversary Dinner: 1st June at Miss Mauds.


HMS GANGES Victorian Division Newsletter December 2018

Victoria Australia

Chairman: David Lines.   Secretary: Harry Harrison 36 Barretts Road Langwarrin South Vic 3911

Telephone Harry 03-9728-3200  Email:rodneyharrison@bigpond.com


Chairman David Lines     Opened the meeting and welcomed John and Ann Horner for making the trip from Gisborne. A warm welcome was extended to Bill Agnew and Owen and Carmen Dingle good to have them aboard after a lengthy absence. A warm welcome to all.

A tab was opened at the bar for the ladies to have a drink.

Birthdays   November Winfrede Agnew, Winifred Harrison, Mike Bennett, John Hillman and Pat Vary Best wishes to all. Also our congratulations to Owen and Carmel, who celebrated their 71st. wedding anniversary on the 18th. October Bravo Zulu Owen and Carmel.

Apologies John and Maureen Hannant, Winifred Harrison

 Sick List.  Albie Cunliffe has a virus and is unable to attend. Winifred Harrison is still in hospital.

Treasurers Report  Total in account $3,851:62.

Correspondence  Bank Statement, WA Hoist, Shotley Buzz 55,Queensland News Letter

UK Association   The Association is moving along positively. Members will receive a 2019 endorsement for their membership card in the next gazette. Dues are payable through Brenda Chitty the Australian Financial Administrator for the Association.

We received a comprehensive financial report from the Treasurer Phil Bridge. Members received the report and the general opinion is that it is good to see the Association in good shape in the black and donating to worthy causes.BZ to Phil and the committee.

Last year Treasurer Phil underwent a hip replacement this year Phil informs us that he marched the full distance on Remembrance Day. BZ Phil and the Ganges Company.

We the Victorian Division wish the Chairman Colin Gent the committee and all members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

General Business   1) The kick off meeting will be held on Sunday 20th. January 2019 At a cost of $36 pp, at the FNMC Catering will be as it was last year.By Cheryl of Gourmet Catering. Those wishing to attend please contact Chairman David or Secretary HarryH with numbers attending,  guests are welcome.

2) There was a good attendance for Remembrance Day. The 100th Anniversary  of the Armistice declared in 1918.

Our thanks to the President and Committee of the FNMC for organising the occasion.

3) Get Together 2019   Anyone with a location they would like to visit pass it on to David or HarryH

4)  Chairman David outlined the reason and methodology of gofunding. In this case for a medication that may prolong Charlie Greensmith’s life. The cost of the medication is $63,000.Which is a lot of money to find. So a gofund site was set up. Individuals may wish to donate to the fund. It was decided as the lunch is all donated the equivalent to the monies that would have been collected be donated to the fund. This was agreed to. Individuals also offered to donate.

.Chairman David Lines Thanked Ann and John Horner for donating the home made Christmas pudding, brandy sauce, shortbreads and mince pies. Thank you John and Ann.

A Big Thank you to Joan and Harry  Kimefor preparing and serving the delicious lunch. Joan and and Harry managed to defrost a 6.2kg turkey from when David dropped the turkey off on Monday to a delicious meal on Wednesday. Also Joan and Harry donated and cooked the vegetables donated the “nibbles”, and decorated the tables very festive. Harry Kime and Mark kinder for bar service. Janet and David Lines for supplying the turkey and ham, and all who donated ingredients for lunch.

Chairman Thanked everyone for attending and making it an enjoyable occasion, and declared Up Spirits for a Christmas Tot or drink

The Loyal Toast was made

ChairmanClosed the Meeting

There is no meeting in December so we hope to see you all and any guests at the Kick off Meeting at the FNMC  Seven Bells (11:30hrs.)on Sunday 20th.. January 2019

Regards – Harry Harrison

The Chairman’s Christmas message: – To all Victorian members, I thank you for your support throughout 2018 to both myself and Harry Harrison, as we have said before, it is you the members that make this Association, and it is you that have helped us make the decisions we have needed to make throughout the year, and this includes the get together held at Cadell on the Murray. Everybody had a say in this, and I think that those who attended not only from Victoria, but also Australia Wide and N.Z. made this a worthwhile A laugh and a bit of fun go a long way to enjoying yourselves. We look forward to 2019, and planning a getaway later in the year, to wherever YOU decide. It leaves me to say, I hope you All have a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Year. See you all on the 20th. January 2019 for lunch at the FNMC. From David and Janet

As me move into the festive season and approach a brand New Year we remember those who CTB during the last year and all those suffering medical problems So when you raise a glass or two remember the good health to all and our absent friends. Harry Harrison Secretary

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