Story Time with Kim Chipman…

Seeing the photos from the RMYS Presentation night reminded me of how things have changed over the years.

I joined in the early fifties, and the trophies were handed out by a special guest (usually a high-ranking naval officer or such) to members (male only in attendance) in black tie and dress suits. Menus were printed in gold, as were the specially printed entry cards. All very, very formal.

Annual Presentation Night 2022 and Annual Smoke and Presentation Night 1955

I joined RMYS as a Cadet. You remained a Cadet until your nineteenth birthday when you became a Junior Member until you reached twenty-one. Cadets were not allowed upstairs or anywhere near the bar under the pain of death. Things were very strict in those days.
The age limits brought to mind an amusing story…

S14 Cadet Dinghy

There was a club rule that any person serving in Her Majesty’s Forces was accepted as an Honourary Member and was, therefore, able to be served in the bar. Well, my mate Doug Cruickshank and myself were called up for National Service and sent to HMAS Cerberus for a stretch, so on leave, Doug and I would front up for a beer even though we were still officially Cadet Members. We were stretching the rules to the limit.

About the same time, the Tumlaren owners and crew would challenge the HMAS Cerberus Officers for a race around the sticks followed by lunch at the Club on alternate years. Every second year we would travel to HMAS Cerberus for a challenge in their 14ft cutters and then lunch in the Wardroom.

As it happened the return trip to Cerberus was held while Doug and I were on leave so we made up part of the challenging team. There we were two Recruit Seamen, the lowest of the low, (being National Servicemen) dining in the Wardroom.
Somebody must have spilled the beans because the next time (two years hence) we were sailing against Petty Officers and eating in the CPO’s Mess.

The racing was for a beautifully polished copper chamber pot which I tried to track down last time I was at HMAS Cerberus a few years ago. With the help of a Lieutenant Commander who assured me they had every trophy catalogued the Pot could not be found.

Kim Chipman
Fifty-Year Member

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