by Bernie Klashinsky "Klash"

During the latter part of my service on the Haida, I was employed as the Engineering Officer's Writer, which basically involved all the clerical duties for the Engineering Department.  The EO's office was in his cabin, and right next to the Ship's office in the lower office flat in the After House.

During the days of the good old Pusser rum issue, I had managed to get several tots of neat rum, so each day I drew my tot I went through the motions of mixing coke with my rum, when actually it was pure rum going into pure rum.  I carefully stashed this into a small bottle which I kept in my locker.

When the occasion permitted I would then sneak into a 40 ounce bottle which I had kept hidden.  Now where do you think an enterprising young Stoker would find a place to hide Pusser rum where his mess mates couldn't find it?  Why in the EO's cabin of course.  I had found a place in the vent trunking where there was a removable inspection plate, and when the jug was wrapped in some rags, it didn't rattle and so I assumed, as safe as money in the bank.

I guess someone must have spotted me heading aft with my precious little jug, and put two and two together.  The engineer was one Lieutenant Bill Barnett, who unfortunately passed on many years ago.  Lieutenant Barnett was know to have an occasional liking for a wee dram of the old "dark and dirty".  One day he approached me, and as he always called me Klash, he said, "Klash, I understand that you have a jug that you would only be too glad to donate to a few very thirsty officers in the Wardroom".  There I was between the proverbial rock and hard place.  Needless to say my precious rum was donated to a worthy cause (I guess) and I was faced with either finding a new hiding spot or give up on saving my rum.  I seem to recall I gave it away after that, I never did like the stuff.

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