Memories too painful to recall
Unsung heroes, camaraderie, sacrifice and service was remembered on Anzac Day.
For Kings Empire Veterans of the Hibiscus Coast RSA Stan Job and Max Chilman, it was a time to reflect, honour those who fell and remember the friendship and trust built between comrades.
It’s those friendships that saw Stan move to New Zealand 50 years ago.
He joined the Royal Navy in 1940 in Liverpool, and served aboard escort aircraft carriers HMS Ameer, HMS Formidable, HMS Emperor and HMS Eagle in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean Fleets during World War II.
Half of the crew aboard the HMS Ameer were Kiwis, Stan said.
‘‘I had a very good mate who was a New Zealander, and he would always tell me to come out to New Zealand to live - that’s why I’m here.’’
Now six weeks short of his 95th birthday, Stan doesn’t like to talk of the horrors of war and lost friends.
‘‘It upsets me and it upsets my sleep,’’ he said.
The service history of the ships Stan served aboard, and some of their fates, shows he was right in the thick of the Royal Navy’s efforts. Stan was awarded the 1939-1945, African, Burma and Italian stars, the George IV medal and the Malta George Cross medal.
For Max Chilman, 78, Anzac Day brings back memories of parades past and his time in the service. He was six when victory over Japan was celebrated and he remembers the parade in Waipukurau. Then at 15, he served as a catafalque guard in Waipukurau Anzac Day celebrations. Eighteen months later, in 1955, Chilman joined the Royal New Zealand Navy.
He served ‘‘all over the place’’ including aboard the HMNZS Rotoiti at Christmas Island during Britain’s hydrogen bomb tests, then picked up HMNZS Otago from England. While at HMNZS Irirangi, he remembers heading with a platoon to Taihape for the 1961 Anzac Day service.
‘‘It was bloody freezing. So we quite enjoyed going back to the RSA and ripping into the rum.’’
Then Chilman headed to the Indonesia Confrontation war zone aboard HMNZS Royalist.
Chilman retired to the Hibiscus Coast and has been involved with the Hibiscus Coast RSA celebrations since 2002.
Fresh flowers and remembrance poppies adorned the plaques at the Hibiscus Coast RSA for Anzac Day.