HMS Cockade Paying Off Dance

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The problem with having a ships company dance in a place such as Hong Kong, is girls!!! We had no one to invite, at least no one acceptable to invite. In Hong Kong there were two types of girls, young girls from good Chinese families who would have nothing to do with sailors. The girls available to us were the type one might find on the streets plying their trade and of course there were lots of them. The Royal Navy having such a spotless reputation such girls of ill repute were definitely not welcome. So the big question, how does one hold a dance in Hong Kong??I’m still not sure. indeed how would one hold a dance anywhere without girls?? I suppose the conclusion here is, its not accurate to say a sailor had a girl in every port. You will notice my invitation card has no name on it? no one to invite. Dancing with a partner with fancy hat was best I could do. Plus we had to be careful of the fast gun wondering the dance floor. Epy was a fan of old Western novels like Zane Grey, he always had a book in his back pocket. Getting dressed up was part of his cowboy fantasy. Poor Epy, I can’t even recall his real name, maybe no one knew it to begin with. He was a career Able Seaman with three good conduct stripes. Probably had little education and the Navy had been his life since he was a boy. I’m not even sure how old he was, probably late forties at least. Three badge Able Seamen were a vanishing breed in the Navy during my time,  most young sailors aspired to better themselves and reach higher rates during their careers.
But that was back in 1957 and things have changed greatly since those distant times. The China Fleet Club and the Union Jack Club have all gone now, indeed the Far East fleet have gone too. HMS Cockade returned the UK in April 1958 and sadly I was never again to see the Harbour lights of Hong Kong. But at least I could now attend dances where girls were in an abun-dance (abundance no pun intended)

God Bless and keep reading.

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in HMS Cockade, The Royal Navy & Me, veterans and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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