Monday, 14 May 2018

Vets Day Planning Blog

As at 1930 hours 14/5/2018

As at 16/5/2018 - Guy Platten has volunteered as Medic and DC bod.  Still need a cheffie to complete the Crew/Committee.

As at 16/5/2018 - Added at end of blog Vets eligibility

As at 17/5/2018 - Have added a link to all Rest Homes/Retirement Villages at base of Blog (There are 28 on the North Shore alone)

As at 19/05/2018 - edits for updating progress.

As at 20/5/2018  Jug K-W has sourced real Pussers Rum for the Up Spirits

Veterans Day At Sea

Sunday 11th November 2018
Remembrance Day

Waitemata Harbour.

HDML Kuparu 

Committee and Roles.

Firing Order P3563Q1348

At this stage we are looking at 1 ML with 10 vets and 9 crew, should Paea come on we will simply double the crews and veterans required.

To achieve a successful day at sea we need now to form a committee to cover all bases. The old story – Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail and we need to be on our A Game with the way we handle our Vets.

I have tentatively put some names together with taskings in a committee, not hard and fast at this stage, some mentioned may or may not want to be in a committee. You'll see that there are two names on each tasking so should someone fall by the wayside we're not left in the lurch.

The Roles and associated (suggested) committee members.

  1. Caregivers/Medical (must have background in Aged Care). Margaret Mitchell/ / Jug K-W/Guy Platten ( Medic/DC.) Rebecca Brierton
  2. Catering ML's/Birkenhead RSA / Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa (Food/Drinks) Howie Synge/ Need a cheffie (any volunteers) (on hold at the moment seeking confirmation)
  3. Finance/registrations (All Ex Navy Volunteers $20 Each). Gordon “Mole” Catermole to administer and liaise with Scott (fuel) and YTBC (Food) (Give a Little Page)
  4. Crewing (WSC) including Safety for Vets (I.e Gangway – toileting logistics etc) Tony Lewis and Brian Henman/John Granville
  5. Transport – Jug Kettle-Williams/Zaps
  6. Cultural Aspects (John Granville - Wreath service at A Buoy)/Roger Kingi – Wreath Laying and Marae - Whakatau for Vets.
  7. HDML's Skipper Kuparu - Scott Perry 

Caregivers/Medical - Each vet will have a care package prior to embarking. Main HDML Caregivers to liaise with Vet's caregiving team. Medications to be held by a Medic . PRN Medication mainly. A full First Aid Kit suitable for senior folks. Margaret Mitchell as Head Caregiver to liaise with all selected Vets medical/care team and will be responsible for all care. (Toileting to be carried out in the Fwd Mess with two able bodied Volunteers from crew assisting.) . Margaret/Becs, we have a request from Scott the Skipper – he will want only Vets that don't have mobility issues (safety around the ML) Jug K-W/Guy as assistants.


A nominal Fee per Volunteer ($20) should be enough to cover a Luncheon at Motuhie Island Wharf.(Give a Little Page will negate the need for registration)  The task for Catering is to identify suitable food (some Vets may hay eating issues – pasta or soft club sandwiches etc. Goffas, tea , coffee.) Also Catering is responsible for organising the evening meal and drinkies at either the Birkenhead RSA or Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa (or both??) Roger Kingi can you liaise with Ngahiwi Walker at Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa?? I'd hope you can be involved. Be even better if you and John Granville can do the Karakia/blessing for the wreath (Tony Lewis organising one ) laying at A Buoy at 1111 hours in honour of all those sailors who have Crossed the Bar. As Tony said, a lot of significance with A Buoy being the sign going out to sea we were saying farewell and when arriving back, thinking of our lives ashore.


It is envisaged this role is minimal. This position will take a $20 fee from each Volunteer in good time to be able to liaise with Catering and HDML Skipper (Fuel). They will also manage the functions of the secretary to the committee (Possibly Mole or Brett Bramley or both)

Added 14/5/2018 – Should we investigate using Give A Little fundraising for covering coats?? Mole/Brams??

Possible Financials (Subject to Give a Little set up)

1. Cost of Van/Petrol possibly around $40 for fuel (Van is booked thank you very much Jug!!)
  1. Cost of ML Fuel (about $100)
  2. Cost of Luncheon (snacks/goffa's/Tea/Coffee for 20 - $10 from each Volunteer $90
  3. Cost of Evening Meal ($15 a head - Vets and Crew $300 – Old Pussers Rum 2 x bottles $130.00
  4. Two Wreaths - $150 each - $300.

Howie is in contact with George Coffin at Birkenhead RSA (Vice President) so things might change for the better financially for evening meal and drinkies. Otherwise we investigate setting up the Give A Little account to raise funds and estimate at most $800, at least $500. I am sure if we drop this Give a Little link in Ex RNZNavy Club FB Page and ask for a $5 donation we'll crank up the funds quick Smart. (Tony you might like to include the cost of the wreath??) Things might change when I chat with George Coffin.  Watch this space.


There are a few diverse roles in this section.

Loading and Unloading Veterans in a safe manner (small gangway to be sourced) Loading/unloading at Bayswater Marina.
Ensuring the Safety of Veterans when moving around or sitting in the ML.
Provide two able-bodied Volunteers to guide/handle Vets movements throughout the vessel especially for toileting Forrid)
Act as a Safety crew, I.e be familiar with ML's Fire Status and anchoring.
And most importantly - SODS Opera cast.
Provide a point of contact between HDML Skipper. John Granville (JImmy)


Transport Officer is to:

  1. Organise Vets in Care to be transported to Bayswater Marina under own steam.
  2. If not practical, find a 12 seater Van and uplift.(Oceania Care Van – organised and booked in for the day by Jug – as at 1810hours 14/05/2018 - I (Zaps) will be sober driver)
  3. On return Same van to take Vets to Navy Museum and then to either Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa or Birkenhead RSA for Square Meal (Sunday Roast) and Up Spirits.
  4. After Dinner/Tot either that van returns them all home or their Care Team uplift them from the RSA/Marae


1111hours 11/11/2018 John Granville to oversee ceremonials (with Lewie organising but not at sea) Wreath Laying at A Buoy - Roger Kingi - Karakia/Whakatau

At Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa (if arranged) Whakatau by Roger Kingi. (May be Dinner at Wharekai) Liaise with Howie.

HDML Skippers

Firstly it's an honour and a privilege to have these vessels and their accommodating owners helping us with this Vets at Sea Day. They will be told everything regarding the event. They also, as one would expect, have the safety of their vessels, and those that sail on them in mind. I'd expect one of our Volunteers (Aforementioned Jimmy :) ) will be the liaison between the Skipper and his (foreign) crew, As long as there is plenty of fun and safe shenanigans all should be good.

Remember Folks – Fun for the Vets, fun for Us Voluntary Ratbags and fun for our hosts.

Revised Programme based on current (12/5/2018) committee transactions. We have plenty of time but we do need to nail down that date (11/11/2018 – Remembrance Day) as many Navy organisations will be doing their bit for that day too.

Now until 15/6/2018 – ratify planning. Last day for nailing things down.

Saturday 7th July – 1300 - Committee to muster at Bayswater Marina for tour of Kuparu with Scott Perry (skipper) – a 2 hour run on the Waitemata Harbour to finalise and ratify all planning. Bring a Sober Driver.

Saturday 6th October 1300 - Plan a committee meeting on Kuparu to review and ratify planning and make any changes.- Once this is complete the next event is Vets At Sea Day.

Sunday 11th November 2018.

0800 Zaps Jug uplift those Vets needing a lift (some may be dropped off-Margaret/Rebecca and Medic)
0815 Volunteers Muster at Bayswater Marina on Kuparu
0855 -0910 Vets Van arrive at Kuparu - load to ML.
0915 Sail for A Buoy.
1050 Arrive A Buoy
1111 Remembrance Day ceremony – lay wreath
1115 Courses for Motuihe Island Wharf (High Tide is at 1050 hours at 3.3m)
1235 Arrive Motuihe Island Wharf – Smally Eats/Goffa's/Tea/Coffee.
1300 Sail Motuihe Island – courses for Auckland Harbour Bridge – Cleaning stations
1450 Sail under the bridge – return to Bayswater Marina
1500 Berth Bayswater – off load Veterans and volunteers – By road to Navy Museum
1515 Arrive Navy Museum – view exhibits/chat with Museum Staff
1600 To either Birkenhead RSA or Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa for semi-formal dinner.
1800 Rum Issue Birkenhead RSA
1830 Veterans picked up or dropped off (Zaps/Jug) Disperse.

By The Way - anything to change/add/delete drop me a line at base of this blog.  And let everyone know in FB Messenger multiple vets account.

Vets Eligibility (Discuss)

I have had input from Scott (Skipper) and I agree with home - that being all vets (and Vet crew) have a fair portion of mobility The ML isn't a large platform but it is also small environment and easy to give our Vets some measure of comfort.

So who qualifies (as I see it)

1.  Must be (if mobile) no older than 85 and no younger than 75.

2.  If on full medications he/she doesn't have  side affects that would cause issues at sea.

3.  Must be in the Waikato/Auckland and Whangarei area (and have the ability to get to Bayswater Marina).  Jug K-W has a 10 seater van for picking up in the North Harbour area.  If we have any fit Older Vet living out of the area south of Hamilton they will have to get their own way there.  I am hoping if we go the Give a Little Donations route and get a tidy sum there may be wiggle room to pay for Our Older Vets.  Watch this space.

4.  Toileting is an issue. Scott emphasised that he only wanted vets on his vessel that could move around safely (ladders)   There is a small ladder leading from the Bridge to the Wheelhouse which is easily negotiable, there is another ladder from the Wheelhouse to the Fwd Mess (and to the toilet)  It is a tight space so semi fit Vets should have support ( on both ladders - 2 crew per vet when moving around the ML  I am thinking some vets may have Colostomy Bags .

Do we need to identify Vets service record?  1 year - 10 years - 20 years?  I don't think this is an issue but yeah, putting it out there.

Remember next main event - 6th July 2018 on Kuparu.  Out of Towners have been offered a bunk on board by Scott (bring sleeping bag/pillow.

Margaret, Jug and Bex, for you awesome people  I think due to travel logistics we only find our North Shore Vets (for now)


Lest We Forget!!



  1. If you dopn't have site access please post as Anonymous after this note. Cheers

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  2. Motuihe island wharf. May just be an anchor in the bay there. As most of them are either closed to public or too useless to tie off too. If this weather ok. I plan to go to Motuihe this Saturday in Kuparu. So will check and update.

    1. Thanks Scott!! You're a freaken Legend