Fin­ley re­cruit leaves Navy

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Af­ter 40 years, for­mer Fin­ley res­i­dent John Scarfe is re­tir­ing from ac­tive ser­vice in the Aus­tralian Navy.

Mr Scarfe left Fin­ley to join the Navy in 1976 as a ju­nior re­cruit af­ter an Aus­tralian De­fence Force re­cruit­ing drive through the re­gion.

Al­though Mr Scarfe now re­sides in Rock­ing­ham, West­ern Aus­tralia, he still vis­its oc­ca­sion­ally. ‘‘I try and get back once a year,’’ he said. ‘‘When I was posted along the New South Wales coast I would make my best ef­forts to re­turn to visit my fam­ily.

‘‘Next year I will be re­turn­ing to Fin­ley for a big fam­ily reunion.

‘‘My mum, Judy Scarfe, is still in Fin­ley, 14 d QUEENS­LAND: 10 d CAPE YORK: Aug 27 .................................................$6,650 8 d CARNARVON GORGE: 4 d CAN­BERRA FLORIADE: 7 d VIC. HAR­BOR/KANG. IS­LAND: 3 d GRIF­FITH GAR­DEN FES­TI­VAL: 7 d LORD HOWE IS­LAND: Oct 21 (2 spots left).................$4,250 5 d FRINGE OF THE DESERT: 5 d DOWN­TON ABBEY TOUR: 14 d TAS­MA­NIA TOUR: 5 d FLIN­DERS IS­LAND: Oct 23.................................$1,095 Nov 6...........................................$4,390 Nov 17 ........................................$3,075 5 d HUNTER VAL­LEY LIGHTS: 5 d THE GRAMPIANS: 5 d MT. GAM­BIER: Aug 23 ..............................................$4,675 Dec 24 ..........................................$1,375 Dec 30 ................................................$1,395 5 d PARKES ELVIS FES­TI­VAL: Oct 30................................$1,450 Nov 13 ..............................$1,295 Jan 10 ...............................$1,550 8 d TAM­WORTH MU­SIC FES­TI­VAL: In­cludes Flights & most meals 6 d SYD­NEY & NOR­FOLK IS­LAND: 10 d NOR­FOLK COUN­TRY: 17 d NEW ZEALAND: 14 d SOUTH AFRICA: Sep 7 .......................................$2,050 Sep 18 .....................................$995 Oct 4...........................$2,150 Oct 13............................$750 Jan 22 .......................$2,075 May 30 ...... Con­tact of­fice Feb 21........................$2,975 May 17 ...................................$4,200 Mar 9 ..............................................$5,745 Jul 2 ...............................................$6,995 my sis­ter Karen is just out­side Fin­ley and my brother Paul is in Blighty.’’

At age 16, Mr Scarfe chose to join the Navy as an op­por­tu­nity to see the world.

He be­gan his tech­ni­cian ap­pren­tice­ship in Nir­imba, Syd­ney be­fore spend­ing two years on air craft car­rier HMAS Mel­bourne.

Mr Scarfe trav­elled to San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia to as­sist in the com­mis­sion­ing of HMAS Can­berra un­til he re­turned to Syd­ney in 1981.

Af­ter mar­ry­ing his wife Kim in 1982, the cou­ple set­tled down in Syd­ney un­til the HMAS Can­berra was trans­ferred to Rock­ing­ham in 1996.

Dur­ing his time in the Navy, Mr Scarfe was ac­tive in two ma­jor con­flicts — the 1991 Gulf War on HMAS Syd­ney and a six months to Afghanistan on HMAS Can­berra in 2002.

‘‘I quit school af­ter Year 10 and de­cided I wouldn’t re­turn for Years 11 and 12, so when the re­cruit­ing drive was tak­ing place I ap­plied and had to fly to Perth.

‘‘I hadn’t been out­side of Fin­ley that much be­fore join­ing so it was a chance to travel the world.’’

Mr Scarfe spent his time in the Navy as a ma­rine engi­neer and tech­ni­cian, skills he said came in handy when he re­turned to Fin­ley ev­ery year.

‘‘When I used to re­turn back home, my skills in fix­ing ma­chin­ery would help mum and dad on the farm.’’

While Mr Scarfe plans to set­tle into re­tire­ment and some vol­un­teer work in Rock­ing­ham, and says he still con­sid­ers Fin­ley an im­por­tant part of his life.

‘‘I grew up there and my fam­ily is still there so I will al­ways have time for Fin­ley.

‘‘I love Fin­ley; it’s a great lit­tle coun­try town. One of my best child­hood mem­o­ries is the peace and quiet of the place.

‘‘Al­though . . . the fish­ing is a lot bet­ter here in Rock­ing­ham than Fin­ley,’’ he joked.

War­rant Of­fi­cer John Scarfe ac­cepts a farewell gift from Lieu­tenant Com­man­der Mark Janiszewski, pre­sented on be­half of the Fleet Sup­port Unit-West.

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