Over the past 100 years many ‘Tingira Boys’ have helped make up many of the great traditions our Royal Australian Navy delivers today. What they do best in 2014 as a group, is make sure we do not forget our past traditions.
At the recent annual Tingira mess dinner, the associations latest sponsor ‘Pusser’s Rum’ certainly gave the lads the opportunity to taste some old british naval traditions of the ‘rum ration’ and gave an insight to how young sailors kept their daily health with a ‘tot’ delivered to each crew members every midday at sea.
With rum rationed to the dinner guests the toasting commenced.
“How many toasts can we make?” Came the cry from the delightful contingent of lovely ladies sporting their 30’s flapper fashions at the eastern end of the long dinning table.
“As many as it takes to see the bottom of the Pusser’s Rum bottle” was the reply from former Junior Recruit tinny Boy Peter Stephenson and his relaxed crew mates at the western table end. Surrounding their new President Lance Ker, spinning yarns of the many great navy traditions they all bring to the dining table on such occasions. Scuttlebutt was alive and well amongst the crew and then they were disturbed by the echoes of one of Australia’s leading singer songwriters Miss Amber Lawrence. Amber broke into their conversation with the chorus line of the Beatles famous ‘yellow submarine’ song. Suddenly the drops of rum turned deep high pitched voices to overdrive. Young Amber the former Tingira sailors in her hands, singing in tune and volume, the ladies were amazes how good they sounded with their well oiled voicepipes A ten minute karaoke interlude was certainly an evening highlight, miss Lawrence was in a new atmosphere of her music career, sailors with rum!
The night was a great experience to those visiting a first naval Mess Dinner. Musician Amber Lawrence and senior medical staff from Concord hospital Megan Brady, where both left amazed at the stories of the young Tingira boys. How proud they were to see these lads, now well matured, an active group many years later with wives and families living and spreading the good words and traditions of our naval past and present, they were both deeply moved and loved the experience.
The United States Navy was the first to abolish the rum ration, removing it in 1862, while the Royal Australian Navy never issued the rum ration. However RAN sailors were entitled to the rum ration when they were on Royal Navy ships. The Royal Canadian Navy abolished the rum ration in 1972. The last navy issuing the rum ration regularly was the Royal New Zealand Navy who then abolished the ration in 1990. Thank you Pusser’s Rum, Tingira Boys appreciate you continued traditions and support!