Dick Gibbons

We were all very sorry to hear of the passing of Dick Gibbons. On behalf of Reardon Smith Ships, our sincere condolences are extended to those closest to him.
From the time our Forum and WebSite was set up in 2009, Dick sent us a copious amount of data and photographs; many of his images are already displayed on the WebPages. His contributions and support in this respect will be greatly missed. R.I.P Mike Jones p/p Reardon Smith Ships

Dick and I struck up a close friendship during an epic and happy eighteen month maiden voyage of the Australian City. We shared the same interest in jazz and had similar sense of humour. We sailed with some of the great characters in Smiths--Danny Lloyd , Sukki, John Louden--and ,of course , Eric, Woody, John Cann, Lofty Cruttenden, Taffy Shannon--all of whom can be seen in Dick’s photo collection which he made accessible to the forum.
Dick’s quiet smile in these photos was indicative of his laid back nature-which came to the fore when we were run in for armed bank robbery in Baton Rouge-the things that happen on a quiet afternoons run ashore!
When enjoying a quiet beer we were suddenly flanked by two guys “straight out of central casting”--in rather scruffy tan suits , one flashing us a badge and the other pulling back his jacket to show us his pistol.
“Yeah these are the foreigners!” cries the bartender who had “made a call”.
“I’ve seen this movie “ says Dick with a chortle.
For the next hour or so ,as we went through a process involving a “Get in the back!!” car ride , an entirely illegal I.D. parade at the bank and a minor brush with the F.B.I. ,Dick maintained a smile and a little steam of subtle ripostes which
went , perhaps just as well ,straight over the heads of our captors, who eventually released us , ignoring our request for a lift back to finish our beer.
We discovered that the bank had been held up by two men identified as “foreigners” because they were “neatly dressed and very polite”.
I was reunited with Dick last year when he came up to Wales to visit the Sunderland Flying Boat Museum in Pembroke Dock-as well as a life long interest in jazz , Dick ’s other passion was Sunderlands - and his brother, Don , informs me that all of Dick’s research data is being passed to the museum.
When we met, Dick ,like the rest of us was a little older, a little smaller but the smile and sense of humour was still there “I liked the photos!” said I.
“It’s O.k. !Peter.” he grinned “ I haven’t published ALL of them!”
I shall be attending Dick’s memorial service and I’m sure I can extend to his family and friends,with my own, the condolences of all of us who sailed with him. Peter Turnbull.

With Pete Turnbull and all of us who sailed and knew Dick, it was sad to hear of his passing away last Sunday. It is a relief however to know that he went without pain and with dignity. Dick was a quiet and friendly shipmate and as Pete says, had a great sense of humour. That was still very evident when my wife and I were privileged to catch up with Dick for lunch in London this last June after 40 years. As he said to me in his last e-mail "I've had a good life".
Dick's funeral will be at 11.30am, 16th October at the North Chapel, City of London Crematorium and afterwards at the Wanstead Golf Club. RIP Dick - 'Woody'

Like you say Dick was a good friend and shipmate from the old days and a
real gentleman to boot. I first sailed with him when I was an
apprentice on the old "Atlantic City" in 1958 and later with him on
the maiden voyage of the "Cardiff City", (50 years ago!) in 1962, on our 20 month trip when I
was 3rd Mate and when you joined us as apprentice in early 1963 I think.
Not to forget your apprentice colleagues, the infamous `Bloomers`` - Clarence - Mike Hurst - Timothy Reardon Smith and a few others I can`t think of right now. There were more voyages with
Dick but I will have to try and remember.
On finally paying off in Rotterdam in early 1964......Dick - Derek
Anthony 2nd Mate - Keith Dancey 2nd Engineer and myself took the train
to Hamburg and spent around six weeks staying in the "Hotel
Monopol" right on top of the "Moulin Rouge" Night Club and right
across the street from the Zillertal on the Reeperbahn. As far as I
can remember we went to the Zillertal every night around 9 pm and
stayed until kicking out time (around 4 am) and then risked our lives staggering across
the busy Reeperbahn to our hotel where we slept until noon and then repeated our daily cycle.
When we had the time we visited places like the `Star Club` where the
Beatles and other bands played a lot before hitting the big time.
The whole purpose of this exercise was to stay out of the UK until the
end of the tax year and we finally left Hamburg after 6 weeks on April
6th to return to the UK......a great memory for us all but not exactly
a money making venture, even after getting the tax refund.........but
we would have done it all over again! Tony Crowther.