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Commanding Officer PEGASUS: 1983 – 1990, and 1993 – 1994

Commander D.B. (David) Bool, VRD*, RNZNVR

Commander D.B. (David) Bool, VRD*, RNZNVR


The first Commanding Officer of the Canterbury Naval Reserve to be born in Christchurch, David Boyes Bool arrived on 25 June 1940. He received his education at Somerfield Primary School, Christchurch South Intermediate School and Christchurch Boys’ High School (1954 – 1957).


While attending Intermediate school his interest in things nautical prompted him to join the Open Unit of the Sea Cadet Corps, NLTS STEADFAST which paraded at HMNZS PEGASUS.    While attending Christchurch Boys’ High he joined the School’s Closed Sea Cadet unit.  When he completed his secondary schooling he had attained the rank of Cadet Petty Officer and he remained with NLTS STEADFAST until May 1958 when he joined the Canterbury Division of the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve.


At this time he had taken up an apprenticeship in pharmacy which required him to undertake evening classes at the Canterbury Technical College for two years with a further two years study by correspondence, following which he qualified as a Member of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (MPS).


In 1958 and 1959 he undertook training in HMNZS STAWELL and on completion qualified as an Acting Able Seaman, in which rank he was confirmed 10 October 1960, and at the same time qualified as a UC3.   Further sea training followed in HMS CARYSFORT, and then, between June and October 1962, came the opportunity of extended training in HMNZS ROYALIST when the ship visited Hawaii, and the West Coast of North America.   In February 1963 he was promoted Acting Leading Seaman.


On 1 January 1964, he was promoted to Probationary Acting Sub-Lieutenant, and on completion of his promotion courses was promoted Lieutenant on 29 June 1965.   Further practical training in HMNZS KIAMA, and a series of courses resulted in the award of his Seaward Defence Motor Launch (SDML) Watchkeeping Certificate in January 1968 and his SDML Command Certificate fifteen months later.


In the succeeding years he spent a great deal of time in the Division’s SDML, including periods around Stewart Island, Akaroa, the Marlborough Sounds and the far north of New Zealand, and also spent a week at sea watchkeeping on the submarine HMS TABARD in June 1966.   Search and rescue incidents as well as the observation of Waitangi Day at OKains Bay added to his time at sea


David Bool was promoted Lieutenant Commander on 29 June 1973, just four days after being awarded the Volunteer Reserve Decoration.


He was involved in the development of the re-structured Volunteer Reserve which placed emphasis on small ship operations and the Naval Control of Shipping, and took effect in 1978.  With the operational effectiveness of the SDMLs diminishing, and in anticipation of proposed new Inshore Patrol Craft, he undertook training in the similar Inshore Survey craft.  He was awarded both his Patrol Craft, and Survey Craft, Watchkeeping Certificates during these periods, and at the end of 1983 was awarded his Minor War Vessel Command Certificate.


In 1981 he was appointed an Honorary Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to His Excellency the Governor-General Sir David Beattie GCMG, GCVO, QSO, KStJ, QC.   This was followed by periods as Honorary ADC to Sir Paul Reeves, GCMG, GCVO, QSO, KStJ, and Dame Catherine Tizzard, GCMG, GCVO, DBE, DStJ, JP.


In December 1983 he was promoted Commander and appointed in command of HMNZS PEGASUS, a position he held until his retirement on 30 June 1990.  During 1987, he was he was also appointed Acting Naval Reserve Adviser when Captain G D Hill was on sabbatical leave in the United Kingdom.


He was awarded the clasp to the Volunteer Reserve Decoration on 4 September 1984.


In 1993, he was invited to take a further term as Commanding Officer of HMNZS PEGASUS for the twelve months July 1993 to June 1994.


In retirement he continued to operate his pharmacy business in Christchurch and was actively involved in the affairs of the Pharmaceutical Society. His family had for many years had a holiday home in Queen Charlotte Sound where he was able to pursue his maritime interests in retirement.  When he retired from business he moved to live permanently in Blenheim.

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