Michael John Kirlew, 3078 – May 1941 to December 1942

March 27, 2024

Michael Kirlew was born on 12th October 1926 and died on 24th May 2023, aged 96.

After leaving Mercury, Michael joined the Merchant Navy as an apprentice with Shell tankers.

Some of his war years were spent on Russian Convoys, sometimes ice bound in the North Russian – the freezing convoys he named them. After the war he continued his career at sea, travelling the world and became a Master Mariner in 1952.

Michael married in 1951 and all their five children were born in different ports. His daughter, Caroline had her middle name as Auris, after the ship he was on when she was born.  The family immigrated to Australia in 1965 and he began a career in cathodic (anti-corrosion) protection. Some of his major projects included runways at Sydney Airport, Lucinda Wharf in the far north of Queensland and Westgate Bridge in Tasmania.

On retirement he brought a motor home, driving 194,000 kilometres around Australia.  He eventually settled in Gladstone, Queensland, on the Sunshine Coast, with Caroline who kindly sent this obituary.  He had a keen interest in the Returned and Services League of Australia and local branch of the Merchant Navy Association, attending many Sunday lunches and ANZAC Days. His last years were spent in a nursing home, enjoying organising the facility and Caroline’s family.