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Heritage Guide to The Geelong College






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RUFFIN, David Henry

RUFFIN, David Henry


Born on 12 April 1942, the son of Albert Henry Ruffin and Margaret Prinnie Chinnery, nee Matheson, he was enrolled at Geelong College from 12 February 1953 to December 1957 after previously attending Newtown State School. A member of Morrison House, he played in the Under 15C Football Team in 1956, the Under 15 A Cricket Team in 1957, and the College Cadet Band.

Pegasus of June 1958 reported:
‘Cadet Midshipman David Ruffin (1957), one of the thirty entrants selected from candidates throughout Australia, is on course at the RAN College, Jervis Bay.’

Pegasus of June 1961 further noted:
‘Midshipman David Ruffin graduated from the Royal Australian Naval College, Jervis Bay, with honours in all subjects. He was also light-heavyweight boxing champion, and champion of the Jervis Bay Golf Club. David left in April for sixteen months at Dartmouth, England, where he will specialise in supply and secretariat.

He gained Top Naval Aggregate Prize at the Royal Naval College (Britannia) in August 1961 and graduating in 1962, and, according to Pegasus, 'is expected to return to Australia to join one of the ships of the Australian fleet as a Sub-Lieutenant'. He served (No. 01699) as a lieutenant for a total of 111 days on HMAS Sydney on four trips to Vietnam from May 1965 until June 1966.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs lists him with Vietnam Service as a Lieutenant with the Royal Australian Navy on HMAS Sydney. Specific details are:
HMAS Sydney 27/05/1965 - 26/06/1965
HMAS Sydney 14/09/1965 - 20/10/1965
HMAS Sydney 22/04/1966 - 18/05/1966
HMAS Sydney 25/05/1966 - 11/06/1966

He was posted to the PNG Defence Force from 1972, and then to the US Naval War College from which he graduated in 1975, following which he was posted to the Australian Embassy in Washington. He was promoted to Captain in 1986 and subsequently directed the RAN’s 75th Anniversary celebrations in 1986, and the RAN’s participation in the Australian Bicentenary celebrations in 1988. He retired from the Navy in 1990.


Sources: Pegasus June 1958; Pegasus June 1961; Pegasus 1961; ‘Directory of Old Collegians of The Geelong College 1996’ p148; Department of Veterans’ Affairs (Nominal Roll); ‘Geelong Collegians at the Second World War and Subsequent Conflicts’ compiled by J. Affleck p571 (citing The Pegasus; Australian War Memorial). OGC 1955.
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