Cabin Boy to Captain – Part One
By Robert Wyatt
Captain David Munro was born in Aberdeen, Scotland on the 30th May 1903 and lived a full and productive life of 89 years before crossing the bar on the 8th October 1992.
During his lifetime he experienced two world wars and several smaller ones that claimed the lives of some 80 million people. He witnessed a worldwide depression and a flu pandemic. He survived serious illness, a shipwreck and Japanese coastal incursions.
He served his time ‘before the mast’, starting as a 14 year old cabin boy on a sailing ship witnessing the quantum changes that occurred within the shipping industry of which he was part of for 47 years which unfortunately was to include the beginnings of the Maritime Union involvement.
In his tenure at the B.H.P. Company Ltd. Newcastle, (N.S.W. subsidiary) as an assistant cargo superintendent, then superintendent, he was regarded as a ‘hands on professional’ that left big shoes to fill on his retirement.
He was my mentor during my sea- going days, a person to look up to knowing that when he was there you were in safe hands. My life has been a little richer in having known him. His saying, “a mistake is not a mistake until you make it a second time” still resonates with me today even after 70 years.
I am proud to say he was my uncle.
Gold Coast, Australia
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