Don Anderson - A lonely life

Running time
1 min 40 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


I had a fairly lonely life in the navy because I had a resistance to alcohol in as much as in hot weather, I could take a glass of beer and that's fantastic, right, I couldn't drink a second one. It was like drinking lemonade. I could no more drink alcohol than I could lemonade or water with the result that I usually went ashore by myself because if I went ashore with a group of shipmates they'd want to stay in a hotel, drink there until it was time to go back to the ship again because you've got to understand the conditions that sailors lived under, they wanted a bit of release, a bit of freedom.

Occasionally in a place like Melbourne one of the crew members would say, "Are you going ashore tonight Andy?" "Yes" "Well, can I come ashore with you?"

"Sure as long as you don't expect me to get stuck in a hotel somewhere because I won't go"

"No, no. I met a lovely girl and I want to meet her about 8 o'clock and don't want her to think that I've been drinking".

So I kept a few blokes sober. But it was a lonely time because they'd go ashore, and they'd release all that pent-up energy in the nearest hotel where I didn't have any use for that.

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