We Remember. Bob Quinn, a Scottish friend, a contributor to AHOY, who died suddenly on the 24th. of February 2005
Bob came to us about a year ago, I had mentioned the Welfreighter on our web site, asking for anyone involved to respond. This under water vehicle was developed in England, and a number of them were dispatched to Garden Island in West Australia, where trials and various experiments were carried out.
Bob as a young Royal Navy rating had volunteered for Special Service, and sailed to Australia in 1944, in the same ship carrying the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke to take up his appointment as Governor General of Australia.
At my first contact with Bob, he was 80, legally blind, but had recently discovered the computer, and was willing to share his time in Australia etc with the Welfreigher Project. Over the ensuing period we quickly developed a close relationship, our mutual wartime Naval Service providing a strong bond, we talked via E-Mails almost daily. I felt I had known this strong character for a long long time, and he became a dear friend.
Many of our discussions did not see the light of day on AHOY, but did include Bob's agony as a newly ordained Catholic priest, trying to cope with his love for Cynthia, a Nurse he had met at a London Hospital.
After a stretch with his church in West Australia, where he had been sent to work through his future actions, Bob returned to UK, left the church to marry Cynthia. A move, I believe he never regretted.
Now he has died suddenly, I am bereft, and my web master, Terry Kearns, in Atlanta Georgia, who also had become a friend of Bob, is likewise lamenting his death.
Bob, you were a fine man, and an equally fine friend, REST IN PEACE MATE!
PS. He married in 1968, and is survived by his wife Cynthia ( whom he adored ) a son Richard, who was in the R.A.F. and is now in Sales, and a daughter Fiona, who is a nurse. His children have grown up to become caring, kind people, of whom he was so proud.
From Bob's Wife Cynthia.
In 1943 he joined the R..N. (Portsmouth) no:PMX 635648. and was sent to Welwyn, to Frythe experimental base(section IX S.O.E.) After diving, demolition, commando training etc he was sent to S.R.D. Australian Army no: 144 AKN. working with midget subs. ( the Welfreighter project ) And was on Morotai when the Japanese surrendered in 1945.
After demob. in 1946 he studied for 10 yrs. in Holland and England to be ordained a priest in 1959. In 1966 he was laicised and studied a further 3 years aa a Social worker & Mental Health Officer. He worked in London, Australia, Scotland , opened a Social Work dept. in Peterhead top security prison, and retired to go fishing in Cruden Bay in his 16ft open boat the " Stella Maris."
He loved History, English lit: Music, Poetry, & could quote verbatim from any book he had read, his memory was prodigious.
Most of all, he loved people debate/argue with anyone, from Jordanian soldiers at the airport to Bertie & Joe in the Salmon Bothy. He communicated just as easily with those who had no English and a bond of mutual respect and affection took place.
He disliked injustice of any kind intensely, couldn't stand liars, and could spot a phoney in 2 minutes, he did not suffer fools gladly!
He was Just, Honest as the day is long, and a Good man.
Bob Quinn aboard the Stella Maris