Robert Cecil Wood Gorman
May 1st.1940. Joined CNCo. Obtained Masters Certificate No. 0385 in Melbourne on June 7th.1942.
He remembers one of his WW2 experiences. "I had only just gone to sleep (on the Yochow) - Yochow II - when I was woken by the sensation of being phyiscally lifted from my bunk. I got my tin helmet and rushed to my gun post. These gun posts were deadly things, as they were surrounded by cement blocks that broke into deadly pointed pieces when a direct hit was scored on them. My gun post was blown to smithereens and the two gunners who were inside were in a terrible condition. I went for a boat to get them ashore, and their words still ring in my memory to this day, as we tried to make them more comfortable in the skiff. "Please shoot me - this is more than I can bear", which petrified me with terror, as they were really asking so little."
April 1948. Appointed 1/M on the "Hupeh II", "Shansi II", "Soochow III", "Fatshan II", then proceeded on Home Leave from April 21st. 1950 until January 3rd.1951. At the end of his leave He was 1/M standing by the new building "Changchow III" at Scotts Dockyard. Due to changing trading conditions C.N.Co. decided to place the ship on charter prior to selling the "Changchow III". and he returned to Hong Kong, sailing as 1/M on the "Hanyang II", "Szechuen III", "Shansi II".
November 1955. Appointed Master of the " Szechuen III ", (his first appointment as Master) and then sailed as Master on the following vessels;- "Fukien". " Shansi II ", " Fengning ", " Shansi II ", " Pakhoi III ", " Sinkiang II ", " Soochow III ", " Anking II ", "Tsingtao", " Wenchow III ", and from June 1966 was Master of the "Kuala Lumpur".
June 7th. 1969. Appointed Fleet Commodore.
June 7th. 1971, Retired after a career of 29 years with C.N.Co. .
Paddy,( as he was known) was quite a colourful character, and ran happy and efficient ships, being popular with both passengers and crew. While on the N.G.A.L. he was popular with the agents in developing good working arrangements with them.
During his time as Master on the Kuala Lumpur, he was decorated by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Malaysian Prime Minister, with the Malaysian Star, a neck sash and cross. - "Johan Sehetia Mahtota". This was worn by Paddy with pride on ceremonial occasions.
His Sydney residence from the late 1950's was in Lower Fort St., Dawes Point, Sydney, only a short walking distance from the wharves in Walsh Bay, where the C.N.Co. vessels usually berthed.
Events / Stories
When on the "Anking II" heading north through the Arafura sea, on approaching Manoek Island, usually after lunch when every one was having their afternoon siesta, "Paddy" Gorman would circle the island, repeatedly blowing the ships whistle. The passengers would appear on deck, some with their life jackets, wondering what was wrong. On looking towards the bridge there was the skipper "Paddy" on the wing of the bridge, with a few passengers, waving and pointing to the large flocks of birds which rose into the air every time the whistle was blown.