Recognising Woodwork

I was reading the New Zealand Herald on the iPad this morning, (keeps me in touch with NZ, and between the New York Times, NZ Herald and BBC, I get good world coverage, and unlike the Australian papers, none are stooping to getting you to subscribe for content that is already provided for free on their website) and came across a photo from the New Zealand version of Underbelly (not a show I watch- saw one and it was too amerturish for my liking, although I’ll make an exception when this NZ episode is on) that leapt out at me. The woodwork in the background was so familiar, it was like coming home.


Which in many ways was exactly what it was- this was from my home in New Zealand, when I was an Officer in the New Zealand Navy. The background is from the wardroom of one of New Zealand’s now retired Leander class frigates.


Seeing as Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury are all sitting on the bottom of the sea as divesites, and Southland was towed to Singapore to be turned into razorblades back in 2005, the wardroom from one of the ships must have been preserved. It isn’t Waikato, so I’d guess Canterbury, being the ship I am least familar with (typically, every ship produced in a class still have minor differences between them), and although the porthole cover holddowns looks right, the book racks and TV cupboard don’t to my eye.



I’d love a home bar, especially one extracted like this from my old floating home away from home.

So to Underbelly NZ, land of the long green cloud, (highlights the alternate meaning to the slogan “keep New Zealand green” ad campaign), thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Navy Days Memorabilia

Projects seem to take forever these days! The Navy Display Board that I started in January is still progressing….very slowly.

Found quite a bit more to include as well, and getting a bit of a layout together.

Lieutenant shoulder boards, some 50 cal cartridges, a 5.56 cartridge, (and to display to either side on a shelf, 2x 5″ cartridges and 1x 4.5″ cartridge!

The 5″ came from the ANZAC Class fridge TE KAHA, and the 4.5″ came from the twin gunned Leander Class Frigate WAIKATO.

There is also the torch I used for years, climbing over (and under) the steam pipes in the boiler and engine rooms, conducted boiler and tank inspections, and did many, many salinity tests of the water being produced by the dual evaporator water purifiers (that produced around 4 tonnes of clean water per hour).  On the other side is a valve spanner – a critical tool for opening and closing big steam valves, especially when they have become stiff.  Such a simple design, that works exceptionally well.  And in the boiler room, where it is 100F and 120dB, it can also be thrown to land on the plates (the metal floor) right next to someone who is dozing off.

Ah, the days of old before political correctness, OHS and all the other trappings of modern life wrecked the seagoing experience.

There are other things I want to display – commissioning parchment, various watchkeeping certificates etc that will be more traditionally framed.  The final item I have only just become aware of in the last month or so: turns out that I will be receiving a medal from my days in the military, which is very, very cool.

It is the New Zealand Defence Service Medal, and will definitely be in pride of place when it arrives (it will take 2-3 years, so patience is a virtue!)

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