Grandfather and grandson share special sea bond
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. ’’
Ordinary Electronic Technician Josef Power Josef Power, left, holds his grandfather Alan Lipscombe’s 1951 discharge papers from the Merchant Navy.