George Robb

George Robb was the barman at the Criterion Hotel during the 1960s. I remember George would always be friendly to the DE(R) sailors who stopped in at the pub. The Criterion, like all pubs in those days, would close the doors at 6 PM, however that didn't stop the suds from flowing. During the daytime hours George would serve the beer and also make sure the sailors had some lunch. Usually, there was some type of free food available to the customers, and George would always bring some over to the sailors. The "Cri" also had a "ladies lounge" which was generally reserved for the women who were hotel guests, or visiting the hotel for dinner.

George sent me some cards and letters, even after I left the Navy. I lost contact with him in 1968, and never heard from him again. George was very involved with the Otago Sea Cadet Corps, he sent me a number of articles about Training Ship Waireka, and the Corps. I once wrote a letter to the Sea Cadets command in Port Chalmers seeking information about George, but never received a reply. I'm sure a lot of things change in 37 years. (I've come to learn that George  passed away on Sept. 1, 1977.

Sent to Gene Spinelli by George Robb, Sept. 1966. George was very involved with the Sea Cadets organization in Dunedin. He was the bartender at the Criterion Hotel's public bar.

Additional cards sent to Gene Spinelli by George Robb, 1966.

Commemorative Booklet sent to Gene Spinelli by George Robb in 1967. 32 pges of the history of Otago Sea Cadet Corps

In late 1967, several months after my discharge from the US Navy, George sent me a magazine that contained a series of photos and the story of "Training Ship Waireka". TS Waireka is still an active unit in Dunedin.There is a good photograph of George Robb, circa 1967, on the first page.

Upon leaving Dunedin on the USS Thomas J Gary's last visit to NZ, George Robb gave Gene Spinelli one of those famous pint glasses from the Criterion Hotel. While it hasn't been used in 45 years it has a long history!
Postcard from George Robb  to Gene Spinelli, Christmas, 1967