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A rum do on Victory
JUST one day shy of 39 years
since Black Tot Day, the tot
of rum was back in focus on
board HMS Victory.
Charles Tobias, the founder and
chief executive of Pusser’s Rum,
was welcomed by the Second
Sea Lord Vice Admiral Sir Alan
Massey onto his historic flagship
with an exchange of gifts.
Mr Tobias, a long-time
supporter of the Royal Navy,
donated US $45,794 (£27,772)
to the Royal Navy and Royal
Marine Charity (RNRMC) – this
total is made up of a proportion
of the sales of this most Naval of
Mr Tobias explained his
earliest encounter with the drink
– described as ‘the single malt of
rum’ – at the somewhat tender
age of 12.
When his father returned home
at the close of World War 2, Mr
Tobias’ uncle, an officer on a
Flower-class corvette, brought a
jug of Pusser’s Rum to the family
● Detritus the troll (aka Cdr Tim Stoneman Ret’d) takes to the stage
Mr Tobias recalled: “You
as part of Collingwood RSC’s production of The Fifth Elephant
have to remember everything was
rationed – our water glasses were
jam jars. At that time I was 12, but
we passed that rum all around. So
● 2SL Vice Admiral Sir Alan Massey and Pusser’s Rum CEO Charles Tobias on board HMS Victory
I got my first slug right there.”
Picture: LA(Phot) Karen Williams
Droll troll
But it was not until many
Pusser’s rum upon the global Marines Charity (RNRMC) distinguished from other RNA
years later that a somewhat more
market. commented: “The generosity of badges as the writing is set against A TROLL, werewolves, dwarven warriors and vampires – the players
mature Mr Tobias caught up with
It took two years of tough Charles Tobias and Pusser’s Rum a red background rather than the of the Collingwood RSC (Random Salad Company) really know how
the Naval drink once more.
negotiation before Mr Tobias was enables the charity to improve the traditional blue. to make their lives easy when it comes to putting on a show...
In 1978, as he had just set
able to persuade the Admiralty to quality of life for people in the In Cdr McClurg’s words: Yet the brave theatricals of HMS Collingwood undaunted brought
out from Gibraltar to cross the
part with their precious formula Navy and their families. “Badges like that are like rocking to life the Discworld story of Sir Terry Pratchett at Portsmouth’s New
Atlantic to Barbados, his yacht
and allow the use of the White “This donation goes towards horse teeth. As far as our Theatre Royal in their latest production of the series written by the
Mar developed problems with a
Ensign upon the label, but in providing really great extras, association is concerned, that is playwright Stephen Briggs.
small pump.
1980 the Naval rum first went on be they a new narrow boat for the highest honour you can get.” It is now well-known that Sir Terry has a rare form of Alzheimer’s
Upon spying a nearby Naval
sale to the general public. Yeovilton, a bowling alley in the In addition, Mr Tobias was disease, so a collection took place over the run of the show for the
ship, Mr Tobias pulled up And from each of those sales, new supermess at Faslane or
presented with a silver medal, a Portsmouth branch of the Alzheimer’s Society, which garnered over
alongside to ask if they might have part of the money has long been providing wonderful new childcare
limited edition produced by the £500 for the charity.
the spare he needed. set aside for the Royal Navy facilities at Alexandra House in
RNA with Nelson’s bust on one The Collingwood RSC’s next production will be Snow White and
Not only did the amiable Sailors’ Fund – now in the form Plymouth, to mention just a few
side and the RNA coat of arms on the Seven Dwarves running from December 2-6 at the Millennium
commanding officer provide a of the RNRMC. of the projects we have helped
the other. Hall at HMS Collingwood (box office 07502 037 922, tickets £6).
replacement part, but he gave Vice Admiral Massey paid recently.”
his guest an old two-gallon jug of tribute to his guest: “There is In an exchange of gifts, Paddy
Pusser’s Rum. a huge amount he does for the McClurg, general secretary of
“We had two weeks across welfare of the sailors.” the Royal Naval Association,
the Atlantic to drink the whole The admiral stressed that presented Mr Tobias with life
bottle,” said Mr Tobias, “and that every penny of the donation goes membership of the RNA, marked
was it – I was hooked.” straight to the welfare of the men by a scroll, a tie and a pin badge.
With only an empty bottle and women of the RN. Mr Tobias took from his jacket
remaining, the businessman was Robert Robson, chief executive his own US Marine cap badge
left with a determination to launch of the Royal Navy and Royal to pin on his new gift – a symbol

● Trainee sailors Rachael Woolley, Gaynor Jones, Wayne Roycroft
and Thomas Parker with their classmates at HMS Raleigh
Picture: Dave Sherfield
Press gang at Raleigh
in Paris
CPO Graham Blick of the
FOUR trainee sailors from HMS Raleigh’s Drake Division formed a very
Fishery Protection Squadron is
special press gang to raise money for the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust.
joining 250 other cyclists this
The four – Recruits Rachael Woolley, Gaynor Jones, Wayne Roycroft
month to pedal from London to
and Thomas Parker – made sure their classmates always looked their
Paris for the Royal British
best with razor-sharp creases in exchange for a small donation to the
Naval charity.
This is the 14th year of the sFREE Membership to those currently
As the recruits were in week seven of their nine-week basic training,
fundraising bike ride, covering
they were due to make their first appearance on parade in their
400km through Kent and
serving in the Navy and their spouses
ceremonial uniforms – and the press gang made sure they looked their
Northern France. The ride ends
at the Arc de Triomphe with a
The trainees raised over £50 for the RNBT, the charity which
ceremony at the Tomb of the
provides support to serving and former members of the Royal Navy and
Royal Marines, and their families, in times of need.
Graham (pictured above) said:
Find out more at
“It will be a daunting challenge
Concorde concert at Heron
– before I started training I had
never cycled more than eight
miles in one go. I think the
West End
AND in another fundraiser for the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust, the hardest thing will be avoiding all
Pendyrus Male Choir with concert pianist Richard Baker are promising the cars in France and not getting
an evening of musical extravaganza at the Fleet Air Arm Museum at saddle sores.”
RNAS Yeovilton on Saturday September 26. Although perhaps Graham
And all beneath the wings under that unique symbol of flight, should have been inspired earlier
Concorde. – his wife Lt Sarah Blick has
Organiser Peter Hughes said: “I served in the Royal Navy, I feel a previously cycled from Land’s
loyalty to the Service and will support them in any way I can, which in End to John O’Groats, and his
“The friendliest Welcome in the
father David Blick rode for the
63-79 Seymour Street,
this case is to raise funds for the RNBT.
“Hopefully this concert in its unique venue will be a forerunner to Legion in Poppy Bike 2008.
London W2 2HF
Armed Forces World”
many more opportunities to raise funds for the RNBT.” If you wish to show your
Tickets, costing £10, can by ordered by telephoning 01935 456299 support, visit www.bmycharity.
or 07785 253923. com and type in Graham Blick.
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