Ron Rudd, Legacy Child, speaking to Legatee, Legacy House 11 September 2012
|I have always regarded Legacy as a wonderful organisation, unique in this country if not in the world. |
My father was killed on Kokoda in 1942 and I became a Legacy boy in 1948. My mother died in 1953 and although I lived with one of her sisters and husband, Legacy became an increasing influence in my life. I attended Legacy classes every Friday night for gymnastics, basketball and a half pint bottle of milk! Every year we put on a show at the Melbourne Town Hall where all the boys and girls demonstrated their skills.
There were annual camps at Somers in Victoria and later on I was privileged to have three summer holidays with a Legatee family on their farm in Wangaratta.
There was a basketball competition between the Melbourne clubs and when I was about 14 I started to go to judo classes as well.
In 1954 I was receiving tutoring through Legacy, as my grades had suffered after Mum’s death. I had become interested in a sea-going career and my tutor was also the vocation officer for Melbourne Legacy. After he was satisfied that I really did want to go to sea, he said ‘leave it with me’. From then on Legacy did every thing they could to achieve this.
He said that the best path for me to follow would be to go to a pre-sea training school and that we needed to pass an interview and entrance exam. There were no such schools in Australia, I was to go to a small place calledWarsash a bout 20 miles from Southampton in England. IN ENGLAND! I was just 16.
It was decided that I and another boy should start at the school in the summer term which meant we left Melbourne in April 1955 on the Himalaya which Legacy had arranged and paid for. On arrival in England, we were measured up and fitted out with all our uniforms, books, school fees and everything that we needed, again at Legacy’s expense.
Before leaving Melbourne, Brigadier Bill Cremor who was my tutor and had become a close personal friend said to me “Ron, you keep passing and we will keep paying” So I was focused on completing the year at the school and passing the final exam.
I did pass and had chosen P & O for my apprenticeship but first I had to pass an Outward Bound course in the Lakes district at Ullswater which I did. In those days you had to pay to serve your apprenticeship and again Legacy came to the fore and paid on my behalf. My first ship was S.S. Aden which I joined in June 1956. Interestingly, I piloted that ship out of Hobart on her last voyage to the breakers yard in August 1967
After I completed my apprenticeship and passed 2nd mates, I was employed by P&O as a junior officer and, finally earning my own way, my financial dependence on Legacy had ceased.
However, I felt that I now had a moral obligation to the organisation to do as well as I could in order to repay in my own way the faith that had been shown me.
To this end I stayed at sea until I passed my Master’s ticket in 1966 but came ashore in 1967, starting my shore career in Hobart at that time as a Pilot with the Marine Board.
I stayed in the shipping industry until my retirement in 2002, stevedoring, piloting in Hobart and Burnie, Harbour Master in the Northern Territory and as a supervisor in terminals.
Warsash School of Navigation is now Warsash Maritime Academy and the only pre-sea training school still operating in UK.
Coming from a very humble background, I would not have achieved as much and been in the position I am today without the sponsorship of Legacy. I am most grateful for that and continue to admire the work that they do and will always support them where possible.
Captain Ron Rudd (Master Mariner)
|It is with regret that we announce that Ron Rudd passed away on 1st of April 2014.|