Vic Park RSL member followed sense of adventure to the Navy

Victoria Park RSL member Jim Lorrimar has spent 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy.
Victoria Park RSL member Jim Lorrimar has spent 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy.

FOLLOWING his sense of adventure as a teenager, a Victoria Park RSL member lived an eventful life in the Navy during the conflict in South East Asia.

Ardross resident James ‘Jim’ Lorrimar said he joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1960 at Flinders’ Naval Depot in Victoria.

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“In my younger years, I lived on Rottnest Island,” he said.

“It gave me the taste of going to the sea because I was surrounded by the sea all the time.”

His first sea posting was as a leading Sick Berth Attendant on the HMAS Yarra to South East Asia for the Indonesian Confrontation in 1965.

Mr Lorrimar was then posted on HMAS Leeuwin and on the survey ship HMAS Diamantina for Oceanographic research.

“One of the memorable things was I went down to the Antarctic for Oceanographic research,” he said.

“I got a crash posting from there to HMAS Melbourne, which has been in a collision.”

After joining the Balmoral Naval Hospital in 1970 and then a posting on Manus Island, Mr Lorrimar went aboard the HMAS Vendetta as part of the Far East Strategic Reserve.

“It was pretty exciting, HMAS Vendetta was an efficient looking ship and I was sent straight back to South East Asia,” he said.

“I came back to Fremantle from Hong Kong and I was all set to visit my family but the next thing I know, the gangway was closed.

“That night we left for Timor accompanied by HMAS Vampire and got as far as Darwin.”

Mr Lorrimar left the Navy in 1980 and said the experience helped him in his subsequent career as a Quarantine Officer inspecting ships at sea ports.“Some people say that you’re better off in the Navy than being in the army and the air force,” he said.

“They think it’s safer but it’s not really, you can die on the naval ship without a mark on you.”