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- June 1991 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Commodore Lindsey was the first Australian Reserve Officer to reach Flag Rank. He was only 51 when he died but had had a rewarding life both in the R.A.N. Reserve and in his private life. He was born in November, 1939 joining the Reserve as a junior sailor and becoming a Lieutenant in September, 1966, Lieutenant Commander in December, 1974, Commander in June, 1982, Captain in June, 1986 and Commodore in May, 1989.
As Commodore he became Director General Reserves (Navy) which post he relinquished when illness overtook him.
He commanded the Sydney Reserve Port Division 1984-1986 and during his naval career had commanded several vessels including H.M.A. Ships ARDENT and BOMBARD.
In delivering the Eulogy, Captain Ken Taylor R.F.D. R.A.N.R. said:
At this sad time when we give thanks for Anstey’s life and the privilege we have had in sharing that life with him it is for me to describe, as best I can, his legacy to us.
He had of course, a string of personal achievements. He was a fellow of The Australian Insurance Institute, a Fellow of the Australian Society of Accountants, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. He was a recipient of the Reserve Decoration, the Reserve Force Decoration and a Member of the Order of Australia. Employed with the AMP for over 30 years his achievements included appointment as the Chief Accountant and as Chief Manager, Corporate Services, for AMP Australia. I think he found managing the Tasmanian branch of the AMP a tremendous challenge and it was clearly a very happy time for him and his family.
In the Naval Reserve he rose from being a junior sailor to flying his broad pendant. To him the privilege, which comes to few Australians, of commanding one of H.M.A. ships, the opportunity to contribute to policies which will affect our naval force for generations together with his command of Sydney Port Division, were his great satisfactions. But, in some ways, no more than messing about in boats as a boy in the Adelaide Port Division.
Thinking of his naval service we remember with sadness the loss of his younger brother in H.M.A.S. VOYAGER.
Anstey was successful in everything he undertook. The Peer Support Foundation, the Royal United Services Institution of N.S.W., Churches, Schools and a Government Committee. His efforts were prodigious, his sense of service total.
But to my mind his legacy is much more. His great interest, passion if you like, was the study of behaviour; the interaction between groups, between individuals and groups and between individuals themselves, and the management of all this.
This thread offers some explanation for his capacity to maintain an executive interest in so many diverse organizations.
He loved to plan, lead, organise and control. It invoked in him a tremendous intensity. His high intelligence, his well developed skills, education and experience made him a formidable force in developing ideas and translating them into a reality.
The intensity was not just in the high level of effort he was capable of sustaining for long periods but in the deep feelings of concern for and commitment to individuals and groups in our community. It is this aspect of his presence that one remembers with great affection. His was a life of service.
Our community is one where he saw respect for authority being replaced by widespread dissent to the established institutions. From the old values of group based loyalties of God, ruler, country and family to emerging values of unclear loyalties acceptance of dissent and situation ethics.
He noted the postponement of immediate rewards for long term outcomes, such as promotions, being replaced by an orientation of “live now”; where work and leisure must provide immediate satisfaction; we all remember many discussions with him on these subjects.
Despite the accelerating pace of change, which is a feature of our generation, and the often unfavourable direction so far as he was concerned of that change, he emphasised time and time again the importance of maintaining cohesion of groups, from family to nation, and the importance of developing and maintaining a sense of personal worth in every individual.
His solution was not to treat emerging values as being in conflict with the old but by his leadership influence outcomes which maintain cohesion and develop individuals. Importantly, he showed many of us by his example and instruction the means to achieve these results.