Royal Papua and New Guinea Constabulary


 




 


                

 
Officers Club Dine out  Davana Motel 1974
 
Jack Graham Jack Butler Bill Burns 
 

    Henley   ,      J Graham,       Pita Lus,     K Gascoigne

 
Paddy Outridge, Frank Hoeter, D Jenkins, Jack Graham, Kevin Gascoigne 
unknown, Arthur Tanner, Ernie Young,
 Bill Burns Snow Feeney, Mike Thomas  
 
Sam Mesa,         Bill P Tiden,                Pat Briancourt 
August Vuna Enb, Joseph Mangut  
 
 
The Mess 1975
 

Officers Mass  May 1975 newly appointed

Sub Inspectors 

 
Officers Club Dine out  Davana Motel 1974 
 
Brian  Merie  Sue and Colin Holt 
 
            Sue Holloway Brian Merie
 

Officers Mess President Superintendent Jack Butler presents Superintendent Jack  Carroll with cigarette lighters for himself and his wife Anna

 

 
      Pat Briancourt and Wife         Mrs Henley    Colin Holt

 
 
  
 Ed Spackman             Ian McPherson           Col Holt
 
 

                   William Tiden     Frank Hoeter           Henry Tohian       
 
 

 

Dave Fitzgibbon  with Inspectors Wheo & Poito 

 

 
 

 

The officers' mess. Everything revolved around the mess. Mess dinners. Mess social events. Mess bar. It was every regiments' central gathering place for exchanging ideas, jokes, scandals and complaints. There were happy messes, sad messes, stuffy messes and casual messes. But there were no  non-alcoholic  Messes

MESS ETIQUETTE AND CUSTOMS

1. Officer's Mess. The officer's mess is an institution, which influences all aspects of an officer's life. For single officers, who live in the mess and are known as in living or living-in members, it serves three main purpose - it provides them a cabin for residence, place for dining and wining finally it provides them space for entertaining relatives and friends. On the other hand, for married officers, the mess serves as a social space where they can gather for moments of relaxation and quiet talk with their brother officers. In addition, the command or station mess serves as the centre of social life of the station. The customs and etiquettes, which are observed, are essential for fostering pride in the service. The conduct of an officer in the mess, whether his own or that of other units, is a reflection of the standards of his unit and by extension his service. Many living in officer tend to overstep the boundaries of propriety, by equating the mess to the home of their married counterparts and thereby conveniently conduct themselves in a manner oblivious to the presence and sensibility of others. The common spaces of the mess are likely the drawing room of a home. You are on display there and are expected to be at your best behaviour. It is only in the privacy of your Billit that you can give yourself a greet degree of personal freedom.

2. Objectives of the Officers Mess. In an officer's mess every one, whatever their tastes or means be, can make it their home, and so long as officers conduct themselves in accordance with established customs of the service, strict rules are rarely required. The chief objective of a mess is to secure comfort and economy to all the officers and although it is very desirable that no interposition of military authority should be required, the senior officer present is at all times responsible to ensure that decorum and good order are preserved, that every officer is correctly dressed and that no irregularities or infringement of the mess rules are permitted. Simultaneously a junior should ensure that at no time he ignores the presence of a senior or deliberately violates laid down norms and regulations.

3. Dining In The Mess - A Parade. For an officer the experience of dining in the mess should be akin to being on parade, formal and stiff yet comfortable with the knowledge of exactly what comes next and the expected and accepted reaction. As on parade, without prior intimation, officers are not to skip meals or bring in extra guests to dine with them. The Mess premises and property should be treated with due care. They are part of a venerable tradition and it does not speak well of us to obliterate the past. Being in the prescribed rig in the mess is also included in maintaining the dignity of the institution.

Mess Night

4. Mess Night is an official function regularly conducted in an Officers Mess. Two common variations of the mess Night are the Guest Night and the Ladies Night. In the former specific guests are invited either singularly or as a group, for dinner. The latter is a Mess Night in which Ladies are also present. While specific rules of conduct are laid down for a Mess Night, it automatically follows that in a Guest Night and a Ladies Night, the Guests are treated with all courtesy and decorum.

5. Normally it is mandatory for all officers who have not checked / warned out of the Mess to attend a Mess Night. On other occasions officers are nominated to attend a Mess Night. All officers nominated or invited to attend a Mess Night are to be present preferably 15 minutes before the stipulated time. Normally a cocktail precedes the dinner, and is of one hour's duration. All members are to be present in the mess before the first guest arrives and remain in the Mess until the last guest leaves.

6. Seating Plan. Normally a seating plan is drawn up and placed outside the dining hall to indicate where the officers and the guests are to sit at dinner. Officers should ascertain their seat prior to moving into the area where the cocktails are to be held. If the occupants of the adjacent seats are not known to you, ascertain their particulars. The details will help start and maintain a conversation. If in the adjacent seat a lady or a guest is to sit it is considered gentlemanly to meet her / him during the cocktails, introduce yourself, and escort her/him inside for dinner. A variation to this procedure would be when a greater number of officers are invited for the cocktails and the guest list for dinner is restricted. In this case officers attending cocktails are to remain in the mess till all the invited / nominated officers have moved in for dinner.

7. Procedure For Mess Night. On the dinner being reported, the senior officer allows a few minutes to lapse before entering the dining hall in order that glasses may be drained and other officers can get to their seats. Officers who wish to go around the corner should do so much before entering the dining hall and not wait till just prior to entering the dining hall. It is to well worth remembering that there is bound to be a rush of officers with similar requirement. Guests and ladies, if present, are escorted inside by the hosts. On entering the dining hall, all officers, and guests if present, stand formally behind their chairs till the senior officer present enters and seats himself. The PMC sits at the head of the table. Normally a young officer is nominated as the Vice President and is addressed as Mr Vice. Mr Vice would at all times be seated facing PMC. Officers commence eating only after everyone has been served. Water, wine and other drinks for toasts are passed clockwise. Only the PMC or the VPMC may pass instructions to waiters while at dinner.

8. Table Manners. Officers should commence eating only after everyone has been served, taking time from the President. They should also stop as soon as the President closes his plate. The timings are also given by the band, if in attendance, through adjustments of musical score to give a reasonable duration for each course to be consumed. Cue for starting and ending a course however is to be taken from the President. Bread when served should always be kept on the table and not on the side plate. Correct table manners and etiquette are to be immaculately followed throughout the dinner. It is forbidden to come in and sit down at the table once the dinner has commenced. It is bad manners in the extreme, during the preceding cocktails and the dinner, to smoke, read/write, use indecent language, tell smutty stories, laugh uproariously, discuss or place bets, discuss political or controversial issues, speak a foreign language, mention a woman's name wantonly, talk shop or propose any toast.

9. Drinking Toasts. Toasts are normally drunk to the health of the Sovereign Head of State, which in our case is the Honourable President. Toasts thereafter can be proposed and drunk to the health of any other Indian dignitary. Toast to the President is drunk standing. Toasts for all others are drunk seated. The procedure for drinking toast to the President of India's is as follows: -

(a) On formal occasions, a toast to the President of India is customarily drunk at the end of the meal. After the desert has being served, the Senior Steward will signal to the Bandmaster that the table is being cleared.

(b) Senior Steward report to the PMC -Request permission to clear the table, Sir. When permission is accorded the table is cleared and a wine glass is placed before each member.

(c) Senior steward report to PMC - Permission to place decanter, Sir. In large messes additional decanter may be placed before Mr Vice and other members midway down the table.

(d) PMC removes the stopper of the decanter in front of him and others with the decanter before them follow suit. The decanter is passed to the left between the officer and glass (meaning not from the outer side of the glass), without lifting the decanter off the table (they are to slide down from place to place). PMC and the other officer who had the decanter placed before them are not to help themselves before passing the decanter.

(e) Each successive officer at the table fills his glass and passes the decanter to his left till the decanter reaches the President and Vice President who fill their glasses and replace the cork in the decanter. In case two glasses have been placed, the inner glass is filled first.

(f) If there is a gap between places at the table, the steward attending slides the decanter across the next table.

(g) When the decanters have reached their destination and the PMC has filled his glass, the Senior Steward report to the PMC - Decanter has been passed, Sir.

(h) The PMC then puts the stopper on the decanter in front of him and the other officer follow suit.

(j) The President taps the table thrice with the mallet, for silence, and stand up lifting the glass to chest level. The other officers are to continue to sit and not stand up or attempt to do so as the PMC stand up.

(k) The PMC says - ' Mr Vice - The President', and lower his glass to the waist level.

(l) Upon this all those seated at the table including the ladies, rise and hold their glasses at their waist level. The band then plays the national anthem, while all officer and ladies stand to attention. When the band has finished playing, the Vice President says,' Gentlemen - The President ' or 'Ladies and Gentlemen - The President'

(m) All present raise their glasses and repeat - 'The President' and drink the toast.

(n) If the band is not in attendance and foreign dignitary is present, Mr Vice rises and responds to the toast proposed by the PMC saying, 'Gentlemen / Ladies and Gentlemen - The President'. All present rise, say 'The President', drinks the toast and sit down again.

(p) If foreign dignitaries are present, the PMC is to first propose a toast to the Head of the foreign dignitary's country, after which the glasses are recharged and a toast is drunk to the President of India. If dignitaries of more than one country are present, the toast is drunk to the head of their respective countries in the order of the dignitary's seniority. If in attendance, the band plays the appropriate National Anthem during the respective toasts.

(q) When dignitaries from Commonwealth countries are being entertained, an additional toast to the health of the British Monarch is also drunk, after the toast to the Heads of the dignitary's country but before the toast to the President of India. In thee event of the dignitary being from United Kingdom, only one toast to the British Monarch is drunk, and is followed by the toast to the President of India.

(r) Toast for any Indian service dignitary is proposed only after the toast to the president. The procedure is similar except that the toast is drunk seated. The Chief host, who may or may not be the PMC, strikes the mallet thrice, and when all are silent speaks a few words about the Chief Guest and then propose a toast to his health. For e.g. on the occasion of formally dining out R Adm Pradeep Kaushiva and Mrs Kaushiva, the Chief Host after speaking a few words, propose a toast as - 'Mr Vice, I propose a toast to the health of Adm and Mrs Kaushiva'. Mr Vice responds by raising the toast and saying - 'Ladies and Gentlemen, to the health of Adm and Mrs Kaushiva'. All present respond as - 'Adm and Mrs Kaushiva' and then drink the toast in sitting position.

(s) After the toast(s) have been drunk all present sit down and conversation is resumed.

(t) Coffee and chocolates are passed around. Though smoking in common places is frowned upon, officers may only smoke when either the senior officer commences smoking or the President gives permission to do so. Due consideration is to be shown to the ladies, if they are present, before lighting up.


Mess Night

4. Mess Night is an official function regularly conducted in an Officers Mess. Two common variations of the mess Night are the Guest Night and the Ladies Night. In the former specific guests are invited either singularly or as a group, for dinner. The latter is a Mess Night in which Ladies are also present. While specific rules of conduct are laid down for a Mess Night, it automatically follows that in a Guest Night and a Ladies Night, the Guests are treated with all courtesy and decorum.

5. Normally it is mandatory for all officers who have not checked / warned out of the Mess to attend a Mess Night. On other occasions officers are nominated to attend a Mess Night. All officers nominated or invited to attend a Mess Night are to be present preferably 15 minutes before the stipulated time. Normally a cocktail precedes the dinner, and is of one hour's duration. All members are to be present in the mess before the first guest arrives and remain in the Mess until the last guest leaves.

6. Seating Plan. Normally a seating plan is drawn up and placed outside the dining hall to indicate where the officers and the guests are to sit at dinner. Officers should ascertain their seat prior to moving into the area where the cocktails are to be held. If the occupants of the adjacent seats are not known to you, ascertain their particulars. The details will help start and maintain a conversation. If in the adjacent seat a lady or a guest is to sit it is considered gentlemanly to meet her / him during the cocktails, introduce yourself, and escort her/him inside for dinner. A variation to this procedure would be when a greater number of officers are invited for the cocktails and the guest list for dinner is restricted. In this case officers attending cocktails are to remain in the mess till all the invited / nominated officers have moved in for dinner.

7. Procedure For Mess Night. On the dinner being reported, the senior officer allows a few minutes to lapse before entering the dining hall in order that glasses may be drained and other officers can get to their seats. Officers who wish to go around the corner should do so much before entering the dining hall and not wait till just prior to entering the dining hall. It is to well worth remembering that there is bound to be a rush of officers with similar requirement. Guests and ladies, if present, are escorted inside by the hosts. On entering the dining hall, all officers, and guests if present, stand formally behind their chairs till the senior officer present enters and seats himself. The PMC sits at the head of the table. Normally a young officer is nominated as the Vice President and is addressed as Mr Vice. Mr Vice would at all times be seated facing PMC. Officers commence eating only after everyone has been served. Water, wine and other drinks for toasts are passed clockwise. Only the PMC or the VPMC may pass instructions to waiters while at dinner.

8. Table Manners. Officers should commence eating only after everyone has been served, taking time from the President. They should also stop as soon as the President closes his plate. The timings are also given by the band, if in attendance, through adjustments of musical score to give a reasonable duration for each course to be consumed. Cue for starting and ending a course however is to be taken from the President. Bread when served should always be kept on the table and not on the side plate. Correct table manners and etiquette are to be immaculately followed throughout the dinner. It is forbidden to come in and sit down at the table once the dinner has commenced. It is bad manners in the extreme, during the preceding cocktails and the dinner, to smoke, read/write, use indecent language, tell smutty stories, laugh uproariously, discuss or place bets, discuss political or controversial issues, speak a foreign language, mention a woman's name wantonly, talk shop or propose any toast.

 


 

 

 
 
Barry Reade and Graham James Breman
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Subpages (1): Post War RP&NGC
Comments