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Page 35 - Sydney Harbour in World War 2

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/6/1 (411 reads)

who were older at the time, that carried on. And we were never stopped by the weather. At times we'd have to go out and lead ships in. I remember one convoy coming in here in a heavy northeast gale • and no way could you board the ships out beyond the harbour. They followed us in, one ship after another • then they'd have to give us a bit of a lee, the ship would have to turn so to give the pilot boat a bit of shelter on her lee side so you could get up the ladder • and that ship roll? ing. And we had a slow pilot boat until 1943 • the H.M.Whitney. She was good enough a sea boat but with very low power and slow speed. We really had our hands full get? ting aboard ships. Then to keep those ships under control and to keep them separated • in those days there were a lot of ships with magnetic compasses and no such a thing as radar and you'd have to feel your way along in the fog • that's why we had night? mares. My wife tells me I used to be shouting orders in my sleep about letting go anchors and giving helm orders, and all the rest. Roy Bennett Charlie Green The Dubinskys during WW II gener- Anyhow, 'they'd ship the order from North Charlie Green, Ship's Chandler: As al rule you knew the ships were coming be- Sydney. .ife had 6 big motor boats. Ihey'd cause they had to tell the pilots. But you take the order alongside the ship. She'd needn't be told because they were just com- put down a big net, hoist it up that way. ing and going like ants. I was working for Kelly Ship Chandler. I had a big boat dovra here. Once the piers filled up • that was only like 3 berths they could bunker at • the rest had to anchor. iVell, I'd take the boat and get out to them. And it was com? pulsory for each ship to carry 12 days stores. They figured he'd make the journey and that's it, no more. I'd go out just myself, tie alongside and go aboard. And they were only allowed so much of each stuff. I'd take the order and then I'd have to go to the Wartime Prices and Trade Board • the government there • and they'd look it over. You were allowed so much tea, sugar. The government had patrol boats on the har? bour all the time. When you took your boat out first thing you had to do was put up your flag. Didn't have a flag • they could blow you out of the water. You had to have the flag on the stern. And then they could stop you anytime they wanted. Manys the time they stopped me. And they couldn't speak English • ''they were all French. But you never had trouble, never had an order stolen. Left our wharf and went alongside the ship • there's no way anyone could steal anything. Ihe queer part of it was that I was sent so much tin fruit • a quota according to how over here (Sydney) in '28 • my salary was many men you had. No one ship could come in so much, with the house and telephone. War and take it all and go. Then I'd phone the order in • and I wasn't allowed to use the ship's name. We had a code. Pick up the telephone and I'd have to pick up my book to give them the code. And they'd look up in their book and spell the name. If I picked up the phone and said • well, in fact, they took the phone out of the house on me one time. I made a mistake, gave the ship's name and there was a girl on the switchboard up there. "Phone cut off," she said. I was two days without the phone. came on. First year wasn't so bad but we were working hard, god knows. The company thought I should get more wages so they paid me a 500 dollar bonus. So that was all right. My job was froze. I had two or three chances to get a better job with more money but no • the government said no, don't move, can't move. Same as the steel plant. Lot of men on there, they weren't allowed to en? list. So the next year Kelly wanted to pay me more money. They were told they pay it out of their own pocket. So there I was •
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