Grand­fa­ther and grand­son share spe­cial sea bond

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TORIKA TOKALAU-CHAN­DRA

A young Auck­lan­der is fol­low­ing in his grand­fa­ther’s foot­steps by shar­ing his love of the sea.

One­hunga res­i­dent Josef Power, 19, be­gan an 18-week pro­gramme in Fe­bru­ary to qual­ify as a sailor in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN).

His grand­fa­ther Alan Lip­scombe, 91, be­gan a sim­i­lar jour­ney 66 years ago with a fiveyear en­gi­neer­ing ap­pren­tice­ship to join the Mer­chant Navy.

The Mer­chant Navy, used by the New Zealand and British gov­ern­ments, pro­vided an es­sen­tial ser­vice dur­ing the two World Wars, in­clud­ing transportation for troops, mil­i­tary equip­ment and vi­tal cargo of food and fuel.

Last month, Lip­scombe and other fam­ily mem­bers wit­nessed Power march in his new role of Or­di­nary Elec­tronic Tech­ni­cian with the rest of his 2017 in­take at the naval base in Devon­port.

It was the first time fam­i­lies were al­lowed to see naval recruits in the five weeks since they started train­ing. The oc­ca­sion was es­pe­cially emo­tional for Power who cred­ited his grand- father as his in­spi­ra­tion join­ing the navy.

‘‘The more and more I looked into it, it seemed like a great op­por­tu­nity, some­thing I could re­ally get into,’’ Power said.

‘‘But it was also my grand­dad be­ing in the Mer­chant 2 Navy. He went to One­hunga Primary, like me. He was also an engi­neer, and I’m in­ter­ested in elec­tron­ics.’’

Lip­scombe, who lives in Takanini, said the navy was a great ca­reer op­tion for young­sters.

‘‘I’m very happy to see him carry on,’’ Lip­scombe said.

‘‘He’s shown an in­ter­est in boats up to now with Sea Scouts, so it’s a log­i­cal pro­gres­sion.’’

The vet­eran joined the Mer­chant Navy in 1946. for

He had wanted to join the Royal New Zealand Navy dur­ing WWII but his father, who had served in the WWI, re­fused to give per­mis­sion for his young sons to go to war. The Mer­chant Navy was an ac­cept­able com­pro­mise.

‘‘Peo­ple who went through naval train­ing were well grounded,’’ Lip­scombe said.

‘‘I wanted to have an ex­pe­ri­ence of sea life and I was pleased to get away – there were not many op­por­tu­ni­ties for New Zealand boys back then.’’

‘‘The more and more I looked into it, it seemed like a great op­por­tu­nity, some­thing I could re­ally get into. ’’

SUPPLIED

Or­di­nary Elec­tronic Tech­ni­cian Josef Power Josef Power, left, holds his grand­fa­ther Alan Lip­scombe’s 1951 dis­charge pa­pers from the Mer­chant Navy.

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