Con Vergeer was born February 1946 in Rotterdam, Holland and migrated to Australia as young lad, with his parents and three brothers in 1954, to Medina, Western Australia.

Con succumbed on the 11th of December 2009. He joined the Navy in 1965, over a year after his twin brother Jim.

He was my best mate in the Navy. Through many trips to Western Australia, overseas and as far away as Eden in NSW.

I was at his wedding to Cato Matla. They had two children Leanne and Michael, and all three now live in Western Australia. Sadly, Con’s marriage broke up in the late 70s. The two reconciled just before his passing.

He was a POATW when he retired from the Navy, after 15 years service. We both went to Albatross together, after HMAS Cerberus, firstly to 723 Squadron, when I got to know him, and became great friends when he was posted to J Hangar and 805 Skyhawks, and I to H Hangar and 816 Trackers.

We had lots of great fun together, the Worrigee Races, Eden to take nurses out. His Bucks night and wedding. During the late 60s and early 70s we played Basketball for three years for Navy 111, Navy11 and Navy 1. Winning all three titles. Then runners up in a Team of Western Australians called Sandgropers. We were both founding members of Bomaderry Tigers Aussie Rules team. Plus there were numerous exploits together in Manila, Singapore, Osaka and Honkers.

On our final night ashore in Hong Kong in 1970, I stayed up all night drinking the free booze others had stored at a RAF chaps’ apartment. Dog tired and no sleep when arriving on board that morning, all had to go to the flight deck. I decided to get my head down on a wheel chock. Flaked out, the Melbourne’s Captain, apparently walked up and said, “Is he dead?” With a huge grin, (I am told), a laughing Con Vergeer said “I don’t think so, sir”.

Although we drifted apart a few years after I left the Navy in ’76, he will always be my best mate. He enjoyed entertaining, doing his interpretations of ‘yucka pucka’ & ‘time after time’, at parties. Enduring memories of Old Port cigars and old beer, and numerous stays at his homes in Nowra and Bomaderry. Good on you Con, that’s what best mates are all about.

Robert Wood