Nene K270 - Reunion 1985 - Belleville

Belleville 1985 (First Reunion)

The first reunion was held in Belleville in 1985. Altogether about sixty crew members and their wives met at Belleville. There was a great deal of apprehension about meeting ones comrades after so many years. Would I recognize him, how would he look after so many years ? There was one person who stood out above all that no one had difficulty recognizing - Captain Eric Shaw. Bob Munnings paying tribute to Captain Shaw said, "On behalf of the Nene ship's company, officers and men I want to thank you for being our Captain, a leader, but most of all, a gentleman and a father to us all. A lot of us were very unsure and uncertain, a long way from home. You were awfully good to us, you treated us like your sons. You are a rare breed, not the typical naval commander".

Nene crew in Bellevielle 1985 - the First Reunion
Nene crew in Bellevielle 1985 - the First Reunion

As each crew member cautiously approached the other there was a great outpouring of emotion, to again meet someone, with whom you had shared an experience so many years before in your youth. Now most of us were well into middle age, the golden years, and we were there largely because of the support of our wives and friends.

There were many tales to swap, reminisces of navy days, mostly the humorous and the light hearted events. The reunion was marked by the presence of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable George Hees. The traditional "up spirits" was invoked but not with the same vigour and consumption of yesteryear and a younger and more vigorous youth. The weather was glorious for the reunion and the closing was marked by an outdoor barbecue. Each left with a desire to meet again in the not too distant future, because no one knew the fate of destiny two to three years hence.

The Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable George Hees praised the RCN for its role in the Second World War. He said, "Thank God we had you in the Encounter. You got us there and back and kept us supplied." He also noted the warm feelings for Captain Shaw from those who served under him. "These guys all think you're one hell of a good fellow - and when ordinary seamen say that, you know its true."

Al and Marg Turner with Captain Shaw and George Hees - Minister of Veterans Affairs - 1985

Webmaster: Dan Delong - Updated: December 12, 2002