The Old Kings Navy Men

The Traditional Matelot was not defined by his looks – He was defined by his attitude.
His Name ‘Jack Tar’ He was a happy go lucky sort of fella – He took the Good Times and the bad, and there were more bad times than good
He didn’t Cry ‘victimisation’ ‘racialism’ ‘discrimination’ or for his mum when things didn’t go his way
He took responsibility for his own sometimes self-destructive actions
He loved a laugh at anything or anybody ‘Rank’ ‘Gender’ ‘Race’ ‘Creed’ or ‘Behaviour’, it didn’t matter to Jack Tar
Jack would take the Piss out of anyone, including Himself. If someone took it out of him he didn’t get offended, it was a natural part of life.
If he offended someone else so be it, you shouldn’t have joined
Free from many of the rules of a polite society Jack’s manners were somewhat rough
His Ability to swear is Legendary
Jack Loved Women, he loved to chase them to the ends of the earth and sometimes he even caught one (LESS often than he would have you believe though). His tales of the chase and its’ conclusion win or lose, is the stuff of legends
Jack’s favourite drink was beer, and he could drink it like a fish.
His actions when inebriated would on occasions, land him in trouble. But he took it on the chin, he did his punishment and then went and did it all again
Jack loved and lived for his job. He took immense pride in what he did.
From the Radar Plotter to the Ping Bosun who could spot that contact well before anyone else
To the Clanky that kept the Ship / Boat going, heading for those jollies, but still found time to keep the Bright Work immaculate
To the Sparkers that kept 24 hour watches at sea and in harbour and dreamed of ‘seven bellers’ and all day runs ashore
All proud of their job, It was a matter of personal pride, Jack was the consummate professional when he was at work and sober.
He was also a bit like a mischievous child, he had a gleam in his eye and a larger than life Outlook
Jack is as rough as a Rhinoceros No 2 Skin but you had to be pig headed and thick skinned to survive
He worked Hard but there again Played hard too,
His masters tutted and nodded in disdain at some of the more exuberant expression of ‘Joie de vivre’ and the occasional bout of No 9’s or stoppage of leave let him know where is limits were.
The Late 20th Century has seen the demise of Jack.
The workplace no longer echoes with ribald comments and bawdy tales
Someone is sure to take offence!!!!!
Whereas, those stories of daring ‘do’ and ‘ingenuity’ in the face of ‘adversity’, usually whilst pissed, lack the audacity of the past.
A wicked sense of humour is now a liability, rather than a necessity.
Jack has been socially engineered out of existence.
What was once normal is now offensive
Denting someone else’s over inflated opinion of their own self-worth is now a crime
And So Like the TOT a Tradition & Culture has sadly died
RIP JACK TAR we Lived Your Life, Sadly many will never know you or me

RNA Norwich

The Norwich Branch is one of 300+ branches of the Royal Naval Association world wide. It was commissioned in 1979 and today has a membership of just over 90. It is a registered charity in its own right - the Registered Charity Number is: 1068699

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