I regret to report that my old friend and Navy League colleague Admiral Andrew Robertson passed away a few days ago. I shall miss him sitting opposite me across the table with his eyes starting to sparkle as he thought of an appropriate witticism with which to lighten our very serious deliberations. He never failed to make the point with unerring accuracy. Possibly a result of his career as Australia’s top naval gunnery officer!
Andrew, even at the grand old age of 94 was still right on top of things and driving into the city for meetings from his home in Mosman.
Born in England, he migrated to Australia as a child and entered the Royal Australian Naval College at 14 in 1939. He excelled there and maintained the same high standards throughout his career. At seventeen, he served in the Battle of the Coral Sea and, later, in the Mediterranean and Pacific. He was awarded the DSC for his service under fire in the Korean War aboard HMAS Anzac, a destroyer. He served on numerous other ships and commanded several.
On retirement from the navy he devoted himself to public service and contributed magnificently. He was one of the founders of the Australian National Maritime Museum, Chairman of Old Sydney Town and, for many years, Federal Vice President of the Navy League of Australia. He had many other unsung roles, not least of which as husband to Pat and father of four.
Andrew was a magnificent contributor to many matters maritime. He will be sadly missed.