John Lorimer R.I.P. one of my Royal Australian Naval College term mates
On Tuesday (October 22, 2003) about noon I had a phone call from Max Reed, one of my Naval College term mates to say that John Lorimer had died in Sydney the previous morning. That means he died on Trafalgar Day the 21st. of October.
John was our oldest member being born 21 January 1922, and I am next from a February birthday. It was Johnno who unearthed the Sunderland crew members from Australia's log in the Sydney Archives for us.
He did have prostate cancer and his wife Joan had died some years ago. Apparently he had a fall, broke a hip, and when on the operating table they had just cut the top of his femur off when he had a heart attack. The surgeon simply sewed him up, and after a spell he went home, but needing a blood transfusion, he was back in hospital, but died there about 3PM on Monday the 20th. The funeral is at 11AM in Sydney tomorrow, and no doubt the 8 remaining members of the original 13 who joined the Royal Auistralian Naval College as Cadet Midshipmen in January of 1936 will all be there to bid him farewell.
Johnno,as we all called him had two daughters and a son, had specialised as an Engineering officer, he was the most practical person I ever knew, and had amazingly creative hands.
At the College, we had a midterm camp, when we went off for a few days under canvas, and each of us always wanted to have John Lorimer in our small group, because of his wonderful abilities to turn his hand to anything that would improve our environment.
The Jervis Year of 1936 were an elite and talented group, and he will be much missed. On our 50th. Anniversary of joining the RAN, in 1986, we all met in Sydney with wives, and on one day, I spent it with Johnno sailing in his boat on Sydney Harbour, it was a magical day that will remain with me always.
I fly out of Melbourne at 2.15 PM today, returning from Sydney at about 4.15 PM on Saturday.