Stuart (Sam) Hogg
Salamis Class: Petty Officer Boy
7th August to 20 November 1956     


Stu on the left with Roger Hargis (2009)No one was made a Petty Officer Boy in the class before us. Why I don’t know but, as a consequence, or so we believed, there were 3 Petty Officer Boys in our class. I was fortunate to have been one of the chosen three. We also believed that there was a quota of Petty Officer Boys for each year and as we were the last full class for the year we made up for any shortfall. Nice story.

On 25th November 1956 Ron Berry, Mick Carr and myself flew with the rest of the relief crew to New York by a piston engine aircraft via the Azores and Gander, Newfoundland. In Brooklyn we joined the MV Port Quebec where we had engine failure soon after “letting go” and the tug had to push us back to the wharf. A day later my sea going career commenced. We traded from Montreal and the American eastern seaboard to Australia and New Zealand, (the MANZ Line charter). The 4th Deck Boy was Bill Andrews who came from the “Arethusa.” The distinguished looking gent we predicted to be the captain turned out to be the cook, who we later observed, sweated into everything. As well as a clapped out motor the “Lazy Q” also had a stove that “blew back” putting black sooty spots over everything in the galley. After about 12 months, and 4 Pacific crossings later, we came back to England as passengers (almost like steerage class) on the old Britannic. Then it was two “Around Africa” trips on the Braemar Castle, an extended trip to Brazil on the Parima carrying railway carriages from Liverpool as deck cargo and bulk sugar back to London. Then it was off to Kuwait on the Esso Salisbury for a couple of trips, Fawley to Mina Al Madi.

Maybe it was the effects of tank diving that did it but in 1959 I joined the Royal Air Force as a 5 year regular. I was trained as a radar technician and after some great times in Somerset and Norfolk I was posted to a radar site atop a 6,500 foot mountain in Cyprus. For nearly 3 years. Whilst I made a lot of great friends, “Keeping the Free World Free” was very boring and highly forgettable with just short bursts of excitement, mostly in and around Luigi’s Bar. However, collectively we must have been successful because the so-called Cold War never turned into a Hot One, although there were a few “magic moments”.

On demob I married and we immediately sailed off to New Zealand on the Rangitoto, late January 1964. I had lots of different jobs, anything to earn a crust; builders labourer, casual wharf labourer (a seagull), moving bales of wool around, even shovelled coal for 12 hours a day from the corners of a colliers hold, where the grabs couldn’t get it. Then I got a real job as an electronics technician, with work Monday to Friday, a good salary and a company van. It was just in time as we learnt my wife was expecting the first of our 3 children. To keep the “dream alive” I also got a casual job cleaning offices between 6pm and 8pm. Then I got even luckier with another casual job from 8.15pm through to about 1am as a mobile security guard checking on isolated buildings and factories. This was a bit scary at times so I would talk with a make believe colleague or make noises like a guard dog. Also did the security job 12 hours a day Saturday and Sunday. The goal was a house deposit, then I made some career changes, worked in technical sales, sold insurance, moved into personnel and industrial relations in plastics and motor assembly factories in New Zealand. We moved to Australia in 1978. Was Afternoon Shift Superintendent in a glass factory and later headed personnel and industrial relations in a large food factory. I later became Australian Corporate Personnel Manager for a large multinational civil engineering construction company with major work in Pakistan, New Guinea and throughout Australia. Demolished an old house and supervised the construction of a place more suited to our needs. Also worked as a Management Consultant which was boring but well paid. Family grew up and moved on, sold house and went on a 12 month (1990-91) world trip, mainly using public transport. From about 1996 to 2000 we boarded overseas students, up to 6 at a time. Some stayed with us for over 2 years. And just to prove I could do it I completed an Associate Degree in Law in 2005.

My most extraordinary job was driving a mate who had lost his drivers licence but had to make a lot of after hours home visits. Officially I was his Personal Assistant as he didn’t want it publicly known about his brush with the law. Most of this work was at night and we went to some very weird suburbs. We also played golf 3 times a week.

Other odd jobs; helped at vintage time at a winery, helped deliver a 72 foot yacht from North Queensland to Sydney, arranged boat parties on Sydney Harbour, arranged tourist visits to the Hunter district, wineries, cattle farms and horse studs, and looked after a cattle farm when the owners took a holiday. Also did my share of home remodelling and landscaping, as well as home brewing and gardening.

Most of my life I have been healthy. However, in late 2006 I was regularly getting breathless and a stress test showed something serious was wrong. An angiogram confirmed this. I had a critically narrowed artery restricting blood to my heart. In January 2007 I had two stents placed in that coronary artery and this has given me a new lease on life. A second chance.

I have lived at various times in Wellington, Auckland, Adelaide, Sydney and since 2000 in the Lake Macquarie district of New South Wales.

My times at sea are treasured memories. My Prince of Wales experience is indelible. I’ve had a very fortunate life and many factors have brought that about. However, I shall forever be grateful for the part that the Prince of Wales played, in particular the discipline, the emphasis on self reliance and the confidence building. What a great pity such a school does not exist for the youth of today.