Geoffrey Hugh (Geoff) Logan
Geoffrey Hugh (Geoff) Logan (Reg. No. 2109) was still a young teen when, at 15, he joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1941, as a sea boy, signing on for 12 years and training as a telegraphist. In the last years of his life, Mr Logan was a resident at Ruawai House in Feilding, New Zealand.
After learning morse code and the skills of a navy serviceman, at the HMNZ Philomel training facility in Devonport, Auckland, in early 1942, Sea Boy Logan went to war. "Dad comes from a family of five boys with a strong history of giving service," Mr Logan's son Marc said. "Dad's father Rueben Logan served in World War I at Gallipoli and at the Battle of the Somme 1916. Reuben's brothers, George and Stanley, were both killed at Gallipoli."
On the HMNZS Achilles, Mr Logan served in the Pacific Ocean. On January 5, 1943, a Japanese bomb destroyed the HMNZS Achilles X turret and three months later the HMNZS Achilles docked at Portsmouth, England, for repairs. The crew of the HMNZS Achilles was transferred to the HMNZS Gambia. "On the HMNZS Gambia we travelled through the Mediterranean, to the Indian Ocean, where the ship carried out trade protection duties, working with the British Far Eastern Fleet, based in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)."
Mr Logan served in three oceans, the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. Returning to New Zealand, still in the New Zealand Navy, Mr Logan worked at Auckland Naval radio station then transferred to Waiouru Naval radio station. "One of the first things I did on arrival in New Zealand was purchase a BSA motorbike" said Mr Logan.
He married Dorothy Marchioni in 1948 and they had four children: Marc, Judith, Peter and Diane. Sadly Peter has died. "While serving at the Naval radio station, Waiouru, I had the unpleasant task of taking the message regarding the loss of life of my brother in-law Bobbie Marchioni," Mr Logan said. "He was only 18 and killed while serving in the New Zealand Navy in the Korean War 1950 to 1953."
Leaving the navy in 1952, Mr Logan went to Christchurch to train as a teacher. His first five years in his new career were spent at Hiwinui School followed by Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School. He retired in 1985 after many years at Monrad Intermediate School.
Mr Logan presided over the local chapter of the King's Empire Veteran Association, a national organisation established in the 1900s. Its membership is conditional upon having been awarded a medal for serving in a New Zealand defence force overseas during a foreign conflict.
For many years Mr Logan travelled New Zealand on behalf of the organisation attending to the welfare of veterans. "And that is a lifetime defined," he said.
The above was written in 2010 when he was nearly 84. Mr. Logan passed away peacefully in the presence of his family at Aroha Lifecare, Palmerston North, aged 87, on February 2, 2013.