Royal Papua Yacht Club, Life Members
North Queenslander Bruce Lamont first become acquainted with Papua New Guinea during World War II when he saw active service in various parts of the New Guinea theatre. In conversation Bruce made light of his exploits with the cloak and dagger organization designated “FELO” but many of these operations could clearly be classified as hair raising.
Impressions of the country at war apparently not all bad, Bruce returned to P.N.G. in 1950 to work as a diesel fitter and ship’s engineer with Australasian Petroleum Company Pty Ltd, which was at that time conducting extensive oil search operations in the Gulf Province and maintained a large marine base at Napa Napa. About two years later he left A.P.C. to start up his own marine engineering business. An inspection of certain well-known premises in Pascal Avenue Badili in those days, would have shown that B.A. Lamont was still very much active 20 years later (it’s not junk – spare parts!).
A keen fisherman and power boater, Bruce joined the then Port Moresby Aquatic Club shortly after his arrival here and was one of the club’s staunchest supporters for at least a quarter of a century.
In the mid 1950’s, the club was staggering under serious financial and operational difficulties and membership morale was at a low ebb. Bruce and wife Kate headed a small but determined band of members whose untiring efforts at fund raising and improving social facilities soon saw the club back on its feet and going from strength to strength. For many years thereafter the club’s social functions were usually assured of success under the guiding hand of Kate Lamont – ably abetted and encouraged by Bruce.
Bruce served several terms on the executive committee and was Rear Commodore in 1962. His contribution to the club’s development during those times, and indeed at all times as a member, has been a significant one. During the 1960’s he and fellow life member Jim Hayes, were largely responsible for organizing and reclaiming the boat parking area; constructing the marina, and erecting the “Macdui” mast in its position at the last Club location.
While his leisure bent was mainly the extraction of BIG REDS from various deep holes (location best known to himself) he was even willing to turn out to the aid of those misguided souls who had not yet discovered the internal combustion engine as a means of aquatic propulsion.
Particularly in the days before the club was as well endowed with SAR craft as it now is, many a wet and weary rag and stick’er breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of “Balbor” (Bruce A. Lamont’s Bucket of Rust) bearing down to heave him from the drink.
In recognition of Bruce’s outstanding services to the club, his fellow members voted him an honorary life membership in 1974.
It was pleasing to see that the record of service begun by Bruce and Kate was carried on by a younger generation of Lamonts. Saturday night regulars would have known Guy Lamont as the young man who kept the movie projector turning (more or less) through all adversity and despite the advice of certain of his elders.