the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

My Navy Nickname…


I posted about a session in Kuching yesterday and in it mentioned that everyone had a nickname in the Navy and was asked by some readers what mine was, now I would like to say it was “Impaler” or “Tripod”, but no such luck – some are inherited as such;

  • All those whose last name is Hunter is invariably nicknamed “Crash”.
  • Those with the surname White, are “Chalky”
  • Harris? “Bomber”.

Well, what do you call someone with a name like mine? Well, I have been called a lot of things in my time, but how I got my Navy nickname comes with a story. At school I inherited the same as my older brother which was “Elephant” which seemed right considering the spelling of my last name, although a mate, Puka Parker (yes, a nickname) called me “The Albino Elephant” based on my light blue complexion, but in the forces things happen a little more abstractly than that.

While still under training we used to go on a lot of long runs to maintain fitness and on one instance we had run from the Officer Training School (OTS – see future post about acronyms and slang) down to the local rugby ground for a game of touch before a dip in the sea at North Head and then back to base. After touch one of our Divisional Officers (DO, obvious huh?) asked me to lead the classes back to OTS. Stupidly I questioned him with something along the lines of…”Sir, I thought we were going for a swim first?”. Shit…not quite verbatim, but something close…

“You’re not fucken paid to think Midshipman (my rank), you do as we fucking tell you and no fucking question about it! So, Midshipman (and this is where it happened) Aloofhairyo…Alfeffuckio…ummm, fuck it, from now on, you’re Alf!”

And so it became my nickname from thereon in..

As an aside, a Leading Hand on Waikato added to it as he thought I was a good buggar, he thought “Alfmeister” was better suited and that sort of stuck too once I got to sea…However in more recent times I have been given the nom de plume of “Aussie” due to my origins, but also as I turn up to every cricket or rugby game I play in a Wallaby rugby jersey, and I have four of them!

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