NEWS Of The Area, recently had the privilege of sitting down for a one-on-one chat with Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair ahead of this weekend’s Remembrance Day service in Tea Gardens.
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The former Governor of New South Wales, will be giving the key address at Sunday’s combined service in Anzac Park on Sunday 11 November.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice which ended four years of one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history, World War One.
For Peter Sinclair, his first memories as a child, was of a country at war during the years of 1939 to 1945.
“I was born in 1934, so my generation grew up during World War Two,” Rear Admiral Sinclair said.
“All my uncles went to war and my father was involved in the Merchant Navy so I was naturally fascinated by ships.”
“I joined the Navy League Sea Cadets at the age of eight where we learned how to be a sailor, and the principal purpose was, if the Japanese invaded, we’d know what to do,” Peter said with a wry smile.
“Growing up in the shadow of World War Two, gave me a realisation of what it was to serve and sparked my desire to be in the Navy.
Peter Sinclair joined the Navy at age 13 and went on to serve for another 42 years.
“I had my share of events, and served on 16 ships, seven of which had World War Two experience and had lost men.”
“I was always very conscience of the fact that I was ‘watch keeping’ in a place where people had died,” the Rear Admiral said.
After his naval career, Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair went on to serve as Governor of New South Wales for 6 years and was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1992.
In retirement, Peter Sinclair’s fascination with ships has continued with his hobby of building model ships.
He’s also a great admirer of Australian Poet, C.J. Dennis.
But when it comes to the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, Rear Admiral Sinclair hopes that those who gather for Remembrance Day will remember the sacrifices made by those who’ve gone before us, so that ‘today’ we live in freedom.
“Remembrance Day is a time, when I not only pay respects to those who’ve given the lives and their world for their country but also a time when I remember a lot of old shipmates and people that I served with, in the hope that they will never be forgotten.”
“I think Remembrance Day will continue as an opportunity to recognise Australians who have fought for their country throughout our history from the Boer War onwards, but God forbid there will be no more wars, like the ghastly, dreadful, never to be repeated World War One.”
By: Margie TIERNEY