A LIFE WELL LIVED – (Excerpts from WOGI Jack Donnelly’s Memoirs) – Part Eighteen

A LIFE WELL LIVED – (Excerpts from WOGI Jack Donnelly’s Memoirs) – Part Eighteen “The Winds of Change” As I stepped into the Management Office in Philomel I was greeted by “RAF” Owen who had also been given a contract such as mine to rejoin. Apparently the Navy had identified approximately twelve personnel from branches that they believed were critical to manning as the “Take the cash payout in bulk and run” scheme had many experienced personnel taking that option and departing. I remember in my first 3 months back in the Navy there were many lavish farewell parties with no expense spared. I soon learned that I was to return to the Tamaki parade ground as the CPOGI. During my first week, I stood back, observed and said very little. Nothing had changed in the way that morning divisions were...

A LIFE WELL LIVED – (Excerpts from WOGI Jack Donnelly’s Memoirs) – Part Seventeen

“Life in Civvy Street” Will I be able to adapt, how will I handle the public, and will I be suitable for this type of work? These are questions I asked myself as I began training to be the manager of a takeaway food-bar. The Te-Atatu outlet was ideal for me as I just lived 500 metres away, it was small, in a busy little community, and the Te Atatu Tavern just across the road. Jenny and Barry were the proprietors whom I was relieving; they were excellent people who had worked hard to establish good clientele relations. I had a 2 week hand over in which I worked under the supervision of the current manager Barry. It just felt so strange to be serving people, cooking at pace and talking to your customers at the same time. The part I had no problem with was the policy Uncles had of...

A LIFE WELL LIVED – (Excerpts from WOGI Jack Donnelly’s Memoirs) – Part Sixteen

“NASU (Naval Air Support Unit)” On being promoted to Warrant Officer, I was posted to NASU to replace my good mate “Bash” Bishop. This was to be a whole new experience for me, being part of the Air Force culture, driving fast boats and being in charge of my own unit. The NASU crew was what I would describe as, hard working, loyal matelots who enjoyed a few “quiet ales” on occasions. They also proved to be very innovative and creative when required. The unit consisted of a large building complete with office, ablutions, store rooms and a huge lounge area ideal for live entertainment. A jetty, pontoon, and four boats, W88, and W44 were wooden hulled fast boats capable of speeds of up to 40 knots. W312 AND W214 were flat bottom large, slow barges. One of the main tasks of our nava...

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