Navy men stay connected for life
‘‘The navy looks after its own.’’
New Zealand is surrounded by water, lots of it, so it’s hardly surprising that it’s often been said we are a nation of sailors.
Whether it’s our world champion rowers, kayakers or yachtsmen and women, our love affair with the sea is a longstanding one that has stood the test of time.
For many sailors, the seas and the oceans of our world were more of a workplace than a recreational pursuit.
The men and women of the New Zealand Navy are the most obvious examples. Many gave their lives in combat, but in recent decades they have braved all sorts of conditions to be our first line of defence and keep our coastline secure.
Naturally these brave men and women form a special bond from their months and even years together on the high seas in such closed quarters.
That camaraderie tends to last forever and today many of them keep in touch through the New Zealand Navy Association.
The Taranaki branch of the Association remains very active and spokesman Trevor Wylde said they would welcome new members.
The Naval Association is open for full membership to all retired and serving naval personnel of the Royal New Zealand Navy or any of the Commonwealth Royal Navys, who served a minimum period of six months continuous service.
‘‘We’re a family,’’ Wylde said. ’’The navy looks after its own and you’re in it for life. Any ex-naval personnel, both men and women, are welcome to join our family. Our values of loyalty and comradeship never change.
‘‘We’re family–oriented, we have social functions, bus trips, and we’re looking to organise indoor activities, including bowls and pool, for example.
‘‘We meet monthly and have a monthly luncheon. The cost is low, with $15 per person or $25 for couples. Ex-navy personnel from throughout Taranaki were welcome to join, said Wylde.
‘‘Although we meet in New Plymouth, we are the Taranaki branch and obviously anyone from Taranaki who meets the criteria would be welcome.
‘‘The Navy may have stopped the rum, but it hasn’t stopped here.’’
The Taranaki branch of the Royal New Zealand Royal Navy Association will hold its annual general meeting on Sunday, October 1 at 11am at the Blue Room, on the second floor of the New Plymouth Club. All members and intending members are welcome.