rcnhistory.org :
Newsletter submitted by Ken Johnson

HMCS Ontario : Tardust Newsletter,
Vol. 1, No. 11 : Nov. 24, 1945.

Transcriptions of the text are below each page image.

HMCS Ontario, TarDust, Page 1, 1945.

C.P.O. W.A. Elliott, L/Sm H. ("Moe") Maubert, R.P.O. C. Copeland, L/Sm D. Scott, A/B B. Morris, A/B M. Mitchell, Chaplain I.R. Edwards (Advisor).


DUSK settles over the Thames, but high above the last lights of a dying sun glimmer on the pinnacles and spires of the time-honored buildings of Westminster. Within the spacious corridors and stuffy offices, men gather their papers together, set their desks in order, and reach for their umbrellas. Visitors are shepherded by their guides toward the exits, while down the halls, through the libraries, and across the council rooms, sounds the cry of the guard: "Who goes home?"

STEEPED in tradition, nourished by time, made sacred by a rich and fruitful history, that cry has resounded to the people of succeeding generations of Britishers -- people who at the close of day turn their thoughts and steps toward the oontemplative and peaceful atmosphere of home. Does it not seem that we, too, have heard a similar call echoing in our hearts? For what is our packing of kits, souvenirs, rabbits, and the trappings of a long sea voyage, but the answer to that question "Who goes home?"

AND over and above this there is a deeper and more telling implication to these words. While our human senses and physical reactions adjust themselves to the happy thought of home-coming, there is also a "home" of our spirits where, in the long run, we discover the lasting qualities of existence which determine life here and hereafter. Call it what you will; attach religious significance to it or not; the fact remains that our spirits seek a place of peace following the long and busy day of life. "Who goes home?" -- who, in other words, seeks that contentment of mind and heart which comes from finding the clear light of truth, the love which casts out fear, and the confidence that moral values and Godly virtues have their own recompense of reward? It is in the knowledge of these things that our souls recover serenity, our minds recapture a lost sanity, and our personalities achieve balance and poise. Spiritual homes are built and made secure where love, hope, faith, and worship flourish and grow. "Who goes home?"

"So long as there are homes to which men turn

At close of day;

So long as there are homes where children are,

And women stay;

If love and loyalty and faith be found across these sills,

A stricken nation can recover from its gravest ills.

So long as there are homes where fires burn

And there is bread;

So long as there are homes where lamps are lit

And prayers are said;

Although a people falters thro' the dark, and nations grope --

With God Himself back of these little heroes, we still can hope."

HMCS Ontario, TarDust, Page 2, 1945.

THE JAPANESE SOLDIER -- "The best behaved people in Hong Kong are the Japanese prisoners," said the Brigadier. "In fact they have worked so well I do not know how we should have managed without them." How is it that these simple, obedient, stocky little men with their 2nd rate equipment chased the British and Americans out of the Far East in a matter of weeks? What was the secret of their success?

The Japanese soldier is a machine, who with sub-human irrationality believes everything he is told, implicitly obeying any order given and whose greatest ambition is to die a soldier's death in battle, thus securing for himself a glorious after-life in the soldier's heaven. To them war was a crusade and death for their divine enperor the highest honor of every loyal subject. Never before had Japan been defeated, and they honestly believed in the invincibility of their sacred nation. How else could one explain their suicidal attacks and fanatical defence, examples of which are too numerous to mention here. The Jap gave no quarter, and expected none; the biggest disgrace which could befall them in battle was to become a prisoner of war. Indeed, they were instructed in the art of suicide and told that no POW would ever be allowed to return to the homeland. Thus in Dec. '43, after two years of fighting in India, we held exactly 12 prisoners. Time and time again we took positions only to find slightly wounded men with their brains blown out, and at Taungui in North Burma my own unit found a crater containing over 200 Jap bodies: the occupants of a field hospital they were unable to evacuate. On another occasion a prisoner we took bit off his tongue and bled to death.

And there are other factors which have not been mentioned. First, with no supply problems the Jap soldier was able to live for weeks on jungle roots and handsfull of rice: rations which by Western standards were not capable of supporting life. Secondly, (in Burma at any rate) he fought us in purely infantry country where lack of communications denied us the use of vastly superior tanks and heavy artillery. Thirdly, like the ant, he never stopped working, and his defencive positions were an engineer's dream, where 20 men dug in and literally determined to die fighting, were able to hold up a battalion for days.

A British officer, when taken prisoner by the Germans was asked, "Do you consider our infantry the best in the world?"

"No" he replied, "the second best."

"Of course" answered his captors, "you think the British are the best."

"Wrong", he said to their surprise, "the Japanese are the best."

I am afraid he was right. -- "PONGO"

A BROAD(!!!)CAST ABOUT GEOMETRY -- We all know about the fact that 'things that are equal to the same thing are equal to one another', and 'the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides', according to Mr. Pythagorus; but how many of you can prove that it's all right for a young lady to sacrifice her virtue for half a loaf of bread? Well, it's a fact, and here's the proof:

"Nothing is better than virtue;
Half a loaf is better than nothing;
Therefore half a loaf is better than virtue."
-- "DICO"

THAT MESS DECK SING SONG -- And it all started when A/B Weinstein broke out with a few musical laments on his harmonica. Now a harmonica without a guitar is like ham without eggs, so along comes A/B Bouch with the singing "guts". A drum materialized in the hands of A/B Westerman, and the percussion dept. was all fixed up proper-like when several seamen dropped their copies of 'Back to Civil Life' and equipped themselves with 2 or more admiralty pattern spoons and joined the uproar. More and more queer things were added as the night went on -- a violin to the orchestra, and the Padre to the audience. When the musicians played 2 or 3 different tunes at the same time, who cared? for everyone was singing right hearty and having a good time. It was fine medecine, all dished up impromptu, unrehearsed, unpremeditated -- a sure sign that the road home is always short and sweet, even if the music is sour.

HMCS Ontario, TarDust, Page 3, 1945.

THE SAILOR'S ALPHABET -- The Stokers have produced a Shelley-Shapesbeer-Skeats combination and offer the following as their poetic utterance:
A is the anchor -- and this is no joke
B are the boilers which often make smoke.
C is the capstan which pulls the line right
D are the docks where the sailors get tight.
E is the ensign at aftermast flown
F is the foc'sle which breaks out the foam.
G are the guns, sir, by which we all stand
H are the halyards by signnalmen manned.
I is the iron of shackles and cell
J the jacket preserving life in the swell.
K is the keelson, way down below
L are the lights -- navigation, you know.
M is the Mainmast so stout and so strong
N is the needle that never points wrong.
O are the oars of our boat's jolly crew
P is the pennant flying up in the blue.
Q the quarterdeck where officers sunbathe
R for the rum which all of us crave.
S are the steelyards that weigh out our beef
T are the Topmen who most of the time sleep.
U are the unions which join line and pipe
V are the vultures (almost human in type).
W the wheel we take one at a time
X is the letter for which I've no rhyme.
Y are the yardarms we oftimes do brace
Z is the letter for which I've no place.
The bosn's piped grop so we'll all go below
The mystery is ended (?); I'm glad it is so.
So merry, so merry, so merry are we,
No mortal on earth like a sailor at sea;
So merry are we as we're sailing along
Give a sailor his grop and naught will go wrong.

THEY FRAMED HIM! -- Captain (to defaulter): "The evidence is that you got drunk when ashore, went to the YMCA, got into bed while still smoking a cigaret, fell asleep, and set your bed on fire. What have you to say?" Defaulter: "It's a lie, sir. The bed was on fire when I got into it."

THOSE LETTERS FROM HOME! -- When HMS "Implacable" visited Vancouver so great was the crowd that many had to depart without getting an inside look-see at the carrier. SBA Fishwick got a letter from hs wife in which she tells of the event: "I took the children down to the wharf, but when we couldn't get near the ship for the crowd, we went to Stanley Park where we saw the monkeys and bears instead the wolves."

BRUCE BARTON offers this bit of wisdom for us to chew on: "If you can give your son only one thing, let it be enthusiasm."

THROBBING HEARTS -- by MADAME TOO YUNG -- Dear Madame; Thousands laughed when i sat down at the piano; many more jeered when I couldn't pass the FN (fingernail) test, so I cut off my nails and stood up at the piano. But the fact is, all my life I've taken abuse and learned to stand any staggering blow, but my spirit is now broken beyond repair, and here's why. I was listening to my favorite serial "Pearl Peril" and excitement was running high. Pearl was just finishing up her chores. It had been an uneventful morning: the usual dishes to wash, beds to make, 3 cords of wood to split, 6 or 7 odd noisy wild Indians to pick off with her trusty six-shooter, a few hundred head of steers to brand, a couple of gash kids to save that "Dirty" Dalton had tied to the railroad track, and with these things finished up she sat down for a smoke before dinner. Her thoughts wandered to Tom her lover; would he come back? would he marry her? protect her (she was such a weak, defenceless creature!)? These thoughts coursing thro' her mind, were interrupted by hoof prints on the porch (or was it finger beats on the door?). The cry of 'Hi Ho Silver' which chills the bones of all evil-doers, echoed thro' the valley. Ah Tom, you have come at last! and rushing out of the cabin, she hurled herself at the spot where Tom's arms should have been -- but it was a trick! "Dirty" Dalton had moved the house to the edge of the cliff & down went Pearl to her death on the rocks below. But Pearl had wiped her eyes just in time to see the trick, and had pushed her sister Sarah out the door instead, fooling Dalton, the radio audience, and mostly me. For I loved Sarah and now life has no meaning for me. What am I to do? (Signed) DEFLATED

Dear Deflated: Why don't you go jump off the same cliff? Sarah needs you. (Signed) MADAME TOO YUNG

HMCS Ontario, TarDust, Page 4, 1945.

Wan' tam, h'in de "Ontario"
I'm stand beside de port
An' puzzle all my brains for t'ink
How mak de good retort.
You see, dat ship she's h'in de bay,
Victoria, Hong Kong;
An' planty Chinese sampan come
An' bring de kids along.
Wan' Chinese woman say to me
"See? babe! -- how much you give?"
An' hol' up leetle chile for see.
By gar! What way to live!
It mak me t'ink dat in dis worl'
Dare's maybe planty wrong,
When mudder 'ave to sell de chile
Jus' so zey get along.
An' later in ze day I read
Were rich man make ze moan
Because ze bomb 'ave spoil ze golf
by stir up planty stone.
Perdu! (I t'ink) If mos' rich man
Could see dat pore babee,
Pur'aps she's figger somting alse
Is matter more as she.
An' tak "tam hout" (lak 'ockey game)
To help de worl' along;
So maybe even Chinese girl
Find life somtam lak song.
--- C.P.O. W.A. Elliott

ABOUT MESSES AND PEOPLE IN MESSES -- When "Mo" Maubert vowed that 5 minutes after leaving Hawaii, he would jetison his much-used, much-abused and time-honored whites, he wasn't foolin'. The vow was made good, but scarcely had the tropical gear settled down to a watery grave than consternation mantled Moe's happy face, for how could he answer that pipe just made: "Hands fall in dressed in tropical rig"?

BILL Manning, world-renowned expert on gopher hunting, is giving free demonstrations on how to lie in wait for a gopher. When awakened for an interview, he said "Why should I worry about competition in the gopher-trapping business? I'm joining RCN." This should at least interest Gus ("Gopher") Levins -- the little rodent can sleep easy these nights, freed from the fear of such a mighty gopher hunter!

WHILE PO Clearwater was idly playing his Yo Yo on the QD patch, just killing time until classes began, he was noticed by the Surg/Cmdr, who commented that he was a little old for such games. PO Clearwater drew himself up to his full height and proudly said: "No sir! I'm one of the instructors!

PERRY Macereth does not believe in conventions as he proved not so long ago. As we all know, the conventional way to go up and down hatches is by the ladder. But not Perry! Oh no! Perry being a firm believer in animated suspension. But you and I know that for all his slim girth, he is not built to defy gravity. Well, to get on with the story, Perry launched into space with nearly disastrous results. He landed on his head 20 feet below with no apparent harm -- tho' we doubt if the ship will ever be the same.

RON (Crash) Harlow scoffs at all the tributes paid to rat hunters by this paper, and laughs out loud at Robbie Burn's "Of mice and men". He says 'Show me the mouse and I'm your man!'. Now apparently, Crash has stolen a march on old Mother Nature and perfected the ball-bearing mousetrap -- Old Ron raises bigger and better Tomcats.

With all the blessed events happening to fellows on this ship, it is no surprise to us that Roper ("The Terrible") should be blessed with a whole family. "Rope", being so kindhearted as we all know, has adopted a litter of mechanized dandruff -- "and boy!" (he says) "me and the little beasties are having a scratching fine time."

IT'S too bad we haven't a photoengraver on board to reproduce "Dip" Colegraves new home. He is buying it with his rehabilitation money -- even the island on which it is situated will belong to him. The only holdup now is that the Indian and his squaw want 12.50 (Hong Kong dollars) and "Dip" won't pay a cent more than 12.00. But we hear he may weaken if the Indian agrees to throw the squaw in for the extra fifty cents.

THE other day, 40 Mess lived up to its name as one Angelo Legare single-handed battled it out with 2 pans of jelly -- the jelly being younger and trickier finally defeated him and baffled any attempts at revenge. The great outburst of French that followed was not complimentary to the jelly, nor did it help clean up the mess of Mess 40.

THEN there's that killick in H mess who broke down and wept bitterly because we weren't calling in at 'Frisco on our way home. He had hoped to skip ship and beat it for Hollywood. We understand that NSH decided the risk was too great, for judging from the spells cast over women by this Adonis, it wouldn't be safe to turn him loose without an escort. Do you recall the trouble he had whilst stationed at Hong Kong? His pals had to beat off the women with clubs; and when sailing orders came, the jetty was so crowded with sobbing women that Lt/Cdr McLaughlin had to drive them back with fixed bayonets so our hero could embark unmolested. What a man! Even his messmates are spellbound by his gigantic appeal and magnetic personality, and sit for hours just gazing and gazing at his perfect profile.

UNTIL next time fellas, that's all -- there isn't any More!

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