RAN 16th MSS -Tribute to Allan T. Jones

Allan Thomas Jones

Today we celebrate Allan’s life and the impact he’s had on all of us.

Thank you all for coming. I am very honoured and pleased to be asked to speak on behalf of the Jones Family. Allan has left a wonderful family, his wife of 44 years, June, three married children and eight Grand-children. The oldest boy, Andrew, married Belinda in March 1989 and they have four children. Emily, Courtney, Adam and Bethany. Andrew works for the National Bank and has been with them for 25 years.

Their daughter, Catherine, married Colin in July 1985 and they have two children. Ayden and Ashleigh. Catherine and Colin both work for AMH. Catherine has been there for 20 years and Colin, a maintenance supervisor, has been there for 18 years.

Their youngest, Robert, married Aeron in February 2005 and they have two children, Dane and Renae.

Robbie worked at AMH for 14 years, attaining the position of supervisor and then changed his employment to Teys Bros. Rockhampton where he established himself as a valuable member of their management team.

Allan Jones was born 66 years ago in London, England to AIan and Nora Jones. He was the eldest of two children. His sister Patricia was born in 1941. They grew up in England where in 1954, at age 15, Allan joined the Royal Navy.

Allan’s parents migrated to Australia in 1960. In that same year Allan was on active service in Gibraltar. During a navel crisis, he took an R&R visit to East Africa where he met and fell in love with June Field, a crew member of the SS Uganda.

In 1961, Allan transferred from the Royal Navy to the Royal Australian Navy. Allan and June married in December 1962 in Tatura Victoria. He continued to serve in the navy and they moved to Sydney.

In 1964, during the Malaysian confrontation, Allan was away at sea on-board HMAS Snipe when he received news via telegram that his wife had given birth to his first son, Andrew. June had moved to Queensland to be with Allan’s parents until Andrew was born.

Allan and June continued to live in Sydney upon his return and within a short time, daughter Catherine born.

ln 1968, having been based at HMAS Kuttabul for a few years, Allan said goodbye to the navy on a full time basis so he and his family could move to Queensland. He remained in the Navel Reserves for quite some time.

Residing in Thornside, Allan worked at ACl Glass Manufacturing, who at about this time decided to open a factory in Lae, Papua New Guinea. Allan was offered a supervisors job at the new factory for a year, but he and his family ended up staying for six.

ln 1975, the family returned to Australia, moving back to Thornside, where Allan continued to work for ACl.

February 1976 saw the birth of Allan and June’s third child Robert. Again, as always after a new experience, Allan and June purchased the Victory Theatre in Kilcoy. They stayed there for 4 years.

After moving back to Brisbane, Allan and June purchased a Good Elf Juice run and lived at Red Hill. This was followed by a short stint in the farming life, operating an Orchid in Amiens via Stanthorpe on the granite belt.

ln 1983, Allan and his family settled in Ipswich where Allan went to work for AMH. He stayed with AMH for 20 odd years, until his retirement, after which he took great pleasure in his many community activities.

ln recent years Allen joined the sub-section of the Navel Association of Australia at Bundamba and enjoyed the friendship that he found. He also took a position on the board of the Goodna RSL. His time at the RSL proved to be enormously satisfying and he spent his last days busily organising the annual Jacaranda Festival which turned out to be a huge success, but unfortunately he didn’t get to see it.

His hospitality was exceptional. He built a very cosy well stocked bar which became known as ‘THE CRAB POT”. We called it this because every time anyone went to leave, he would insist on ‘Just one more” or would declare we’d need a roadie. Hence just like a crab pot, once you got in, you could get out!

During his employment with AMH, he worked through various sections, clothing Store, Engineer Store and finally up to Group O.H.S. officer. He and I were involved with pioneering a lot of changes to the safety procedures that now, no export meat company operates without. Allan always gave 100%, he was a team player and his home and bar were always available to AMH staff.

Allan always made everyone feel like they were a part of a great team and the bonding that took place at his little bar had untold benefits on the morale of key staff. He had many challenges along the way, all of which he overcame with style. If I, or any of the senior managers had a problem and needed to know the facts, we would send for JONES.

He could be trusted with confidence and you could be sure that he would handle any difficult situation diplomatically.

He had a great passion for his animals. When he sold his Aratula properly, he searched high and low for a suitable home for his much loved donkeys, but made sure a deal was made to allow him and June visiting rights.

Up to the present time, a group of lifelong friends would meet at THE CRAB POT for drinks and chew over old times. This will never be replaced. There is not enough time today for me to relate to you what I hold dear about Allan Jones and the impact he has had on my life and all of those around us. Allan was an extremely loyal and caring person, he cared deeply for his family and always spoke of them with pride His grandchildren were a source of great enjoyment in his life.

His spirit lives on in all of us. His unconditional love of family and friends will not be forgotten. I have a few stories that reflect his true spirit that I would like to share:
One time at a party at Karalee, one of the guests came and advised Allan that the upstairs toilet was blocked. Allen, being a man of action, and having had a few drinks, decided to get the ladder and inspect the pipes on the outside of the house. By now the party had gathered around the ladder to watch Allan climb to the top to fix the problem. He removed one of the inspection ports and was unable to see a thing. He then removed a second inspection port. The immediate affect was the blockage was removed. Unfortunately for Allan he was caught on the ladder and covered in the entire contents of the toilet including the blockage.

Another time when Allan was the new kid on the block at Karalee, he decided to burn off some rubbish. After the blaze was well and true alight, it went a bit crazy. The local warden, Mick Applebee, appeared. He looked at Allen and in a terse tone said “Where’s your permit Mate?” Allen in his normal style, simply looked him in the eyes and said, “It’s in the fridge”. The warden accepted the beer and no further action was taken. They remained friends up until Mick moved interstate.

When I was younger and though I was bullet proof, there were a couple of occasions that I lost my licence for drunk driving. Allan made himself available any time of the day or night to drive me anywhere I wanted to go. Again confidentiality was critical and he never let me down.

There was another time when I needed Allan to pick up my car from the side of the road. I had hit a traffic island at Redbank and blown out the driver’s side tyres. I had to leave in a hurry so I got Allan (in case the police were there) to take an extra spare down the next morning and bring the car home. Once again, he didn’t say a word to anyone.

Allan was a man who loved his family, his friends, his work and community services. I would not be able to reflect on Allan’s life without remembering him and his best friend – Daryl Hudson.

Whilst drinking together the insults would fly, one trying always to out do the other. Between them, they would keep us entertained for hours. Like all best mates, they have had their tiffs over the years and recently made a bet as to who would be at whose funeral. Daryl’s health has been poor to say the least, but it appears that Allan has had the last laugh, going out owing his mate 20 bucks.

Allan will be sadly missed, however I would urge everyone to remember him as his cheerful, larger than life, and always his happy self and we are all thankful to have known him during the 66 good years he had among us and that his passing was swift and painless.

On behalf of my wife and family, we offer our most sincere condolences to June and her family. I would like to thank you all for coming today, and as we say our last farewell to Allan, just know that he is smiling down at us from the big CRAB POT in the sky, probably drinking a Johnny Walker Black.

We’ll miss you Allen.