The aim of this page is to pass on articles of interest to serving & ex-serving communicators.  I am sure that many of the names shown below will be familiar to many other shipmates.  Via the Internet, we are now in contact with communicators on a global scale, so we are truly QSO the World

Please fill out the on-line form if you would like to add an article to this forum.

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HMAS STALWART sewage gas incident:
I am seeking assistance through your organisation. I am a pension Officer at Huskisson and I am trying to locate sailors that were serving on HMAS Stalwart when they had the sewage gas incident about 20 years ago. If some one can help me to help an ex sailor who has hit hard times it would be appreciated. My phone number is 02 4443 4281. Many thanks for your help, Alex Paton - Ex CPOUWSM.  22/12/05.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends the following update:

I have received a phone call and a short message that the Plaque Dedication for the 16th Minesweeper Squadron who served in Malaya, Borneo etc during the Borneo-Indonesian Confrontation will take place on Friday, 31st March 2006 at the Australian War Memorial Canberra with the Service commencing at 1000am, followed by morning tea, a guided tour of the AWM (in groups of 30) then Luncheon with Friday night , currently being arranged with an informal Dinner at the Ainslie Football Club.  When I receive further information and updates I will send, but for the time being mark your diaries and try to attend and more importantly, partners and families are invited.
(Allan "Shorty" Moffatt Ex HMAS SNIPE ( M1102) 1965-66).

On the 26th November, Ex communicators gathered at the Parramatta RSL Club for their Get-Together, Now as it was getting near Xmas, Santa Claus made a surprise visit, and when he found out, that all in attendance had been good boys and girls over the last 12 months, he gave them all a goodies bag. He did apologise for being early but at this time of the year, he is flat out and had to do other calls. Also on the same day after Santa had wished him well and a good recovery, Buck Rodgers was presented with a Plaque of Appreciation for all the help he had given the 2005 National Reunion committee by the NSW Secretary, Shorty Moffatt. Many thanks to Graham & Cheryl Wilkin who drove Buck up for the day. Unfortunately Buck still has his arm in a sling after his accident (He'll do anything to get out of putting his hands in his pockets for a shout!!!)  Also Tony Froome won a big meat tray in a raffle held by the Club, but I can't remember any invites to a BBQ!!!
Many thanks go to Christine Chapman, McDonalds Family Restaurants, Gary Wylie, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, CPO Jak Goudman, D of D, Navy Office, and the one and only Ken Street for all their support and gifts to fill the goodies bag.

Some of the attendeees, Graham & Cheryl Wilkin, Len Rodgers, Polly Perkins, Frank Lawton, Harry Firth, Doug Mortimer, Ken Swain, Ken Street, John Short, Gus Considine, Rick Easom, Nareelle Parkinson, Jim Kelly, Doriel Wailes, Helen Moffatt, Tony Horton, Laurie Scutts, Tony Froome, Jan Easom and Shorty Moffatt.  Apologies, Andy Mills (duty watch MSB) Trevor Pike (doing Navy Reserve time) Brian Gray, Max Miller, Donn Ferguson.

HMAS PARRAMATTA Memorial Service 27th November
Well sadly it rained heavily overnight and with heavy T/S and rain on Sunday morning, the Service had to be carried out within the confines of Parramatta RSL Club. I rang Bob Roach who was to Lay a Book on behalf of the RANCBA to advise that due to the weather, the Service was now being held indoors, but should he wish, I would do a sub for him that day.  It was a very, very well attended Service, in fact, they couldn't get anymore in the room, and they also had a Cataflaque Party and RAN Band to fit in.  It was a very well conducted Service, the Guest Speaker being the CO of HMAS KUTTABUL, CMDR Chalmers who gave such a good speech, I believe the State Member has requested a copy.  Many thanks to Tony & Elizabeth Froome who attended.

On what could only be described as one of Sydney harbour's beauty spots, at the Base of the old Signal Station on G.I. and with a great day weather wise, RANCBERS mustered at the Fleet comms Xmas BBQ. It was indeed a beautiful day and many thanks must go to Martyn Garrett (Serving) for the organisation and contacting me and inviting us to attend.  Attendees, Jim Carey (Qld), Don Ferguson, Ken Swain, Brian Gray, Ted Bastow, Andy Mills, Tony Froome, Ric & Jan Easom, David Hellier (Serving), Paul Goddard, Bob Way (Reserve time) and Shorty Moffatt.  To all those that tended apologies due to work commitments, I am sorry, but as long you are working, my pension is safe!!

To each and everyone, on behalf of the NSW committee, thank you for a very succesful year and we wish you, your family and friends,
A Merry Xmas and A Happy New Year.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt.  22/12/05.


Glenn 'Chopper' Holmes thought that the RANCBA would be interested in the photos attached from the HMAS CANBERRA decommissioning sea ride on 4 November 2005:
1st photo is Mike Smith (ex LSSIG) and Chopper next to flag bins;
2nd  photo of some of the commissioning crew on the decommissioning sea ride;
3rd photo is the comms contingent on the sea ride - Glenn (Chopper) Holmes (commissioning POSY), Kim Parry (ex ABROEW), Mike Smith and Terry O'Çonnor (ABSIG - LCDR)



Graham Bence sends:
Just found a couple of photographs that somebody might like to see.  The site is Australian Family Tree Connections magazine - Homeless Photographs  Photo HP02 HMAS Anzac in Sydney May 1922 Ships company,  Photo HP 17 HMAT A34 20 September 1917, HP18 Names of the people in HP17.  Regards, Graham.  22/12/05.


Margaret Smith, Secretary of the WRANS ACT sends:

It is with much sadness that I report the passing on 5th December 2005 of Patrice Moya Dow (nee Byrne) WRAN/500. Some of you may have met Patrice in 2003 when she travelled from Sydney to attend the dedication of the WRANS Memorial at HMAS Harman. In 2004, Patrice again attended our memorial service at the WRANS Memorial at HMAS Harman and presented a framed medal board titled “Women at War 1899 – 2004”. This board is currently on display in the Administration Building at Harman. (See attached photo of Patrice with medal board.)

Patrice was born 31 December 1920 and enlisted on 29 December 1942 as a WRAN Telegraphist at Harman. She was appointed 3rd Officer on 21 March 1945. She was married shortly thereafter but continued to serve until 18 June 1946. Patrice was an active member of the NSW ex-WRANS Association.

Patrice attended our communications Branch Reunion in Canberra in 2002 and, along with others of her vintage, enjoyed herself immensely.  May she rest in peace.  Lest we Forget.  14/12/05.

From Gayle Brady:  Along with the Queensland ex-WRANS I can only express our sadness at the passing of Patrice Dow - She was one of the original WRAN communictors and one of Mrs. Mac's girls - a legend and today's RAN communicators both male and female should salute her passing as a pioneer of RAN commuications who set the the standard to which we all uphold. Rest In Peace, Patrice -- A JOB WELL DONE.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:  "Does anyone know the whereabouts of Brian Fordham, HMAS QUIBERON 1958 era. He married June Taylor. Barry "Horse" Dunn enquiring, would like to contact him.  Regards, Shorty."  9/12/05.


VALE Semaphore:

At the ACT Chapter Christmas BBQ on Sunday 4 December, some of the gathered Signalmen (with help from Carol Harris and Denise Butler) sent their farewell to semaphore.  OK, some of the angles are a bit rusty, but it captured the moment perfectly.  Follow this link to see more photographs from the day.  5/12/05.

L to R:  John Curbishley, Ray Powell, Lance Sutherland, Ian Schubert, Peter Guy, Geoff McConnell, Michelle Powell and Sam Hughes.  Front:  Carol Harris & Denise Butler.


SKYPE - QSO the World for the cost of a headset:

I have received a couple of emails in the past week or so telling me about this program called Skype, a P2P Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) type program that is free to download and, with the use of a headset/handset, allows good telephony between computers. To get up and running all you need to do is download the program, get yourself a headset and quick as a flash you can be connected to other Skype users - all for free.  The program is really easy to use and the voice quality is very good. If you're not already on to it, check out the web site at The audio headset (around $10-$15 at Dick Smith's, Tandy et al) plugs into the sound card, and if you still want to use your speakers, you need a splitter - the alternative is to connect/disconnect the headset each time you use it. Some users have gone for the USB headset which is the easier but more expensive option for around $49.95.  To my knowledge this voice programme is only suitable for those on broadband or cable connections.

To date I know myself (John Curbishley), Rod Beckinsale, Pedro Franklin and John Strickland are connected via Skype.  If you feel the need to QSO, please join us.  There are several million users worldwide and it really is an excellent program with good voice quality.  Better than paying for long distance calls.  Of course, correct voice procedure should be used! 2/12/05.

Ron "Nullarbor" Baker - 5/12/05:
Further to your dit on SKYPE - I have been using it for a couple of years to communicate with other committee members of our NAA Sub-Section and with other mates/relatives interstate. It is continually updated and provides a "concise and definite language whereby radio communications can be carried out rapidly, accurately and with the security (not sure about the last one!) etc."
Sound familiar?

6/12/05:  Sam Hughes now connected via SKYPE, David Graham advises that it works well over dial-up (ISDN) also.


Graham Linton sends:

Vale: Albert Victor Lees. (ex L/Sig)

It is my sad duty to inform you that one of our long standing members (Victoria and Sydney) has made his last port of call. Vic passed away last Friday (25th) and his funeral service was today (2nd) followed by a private cremation. The short notice of his passing is regretted, but his funeral notice was not in the paper until Wednesday 30th, and I thought it prudent to leave any advice until then.

Vic was a thoroughly nice bloke and a personal friend of long standing.. He had a wide range of interests including natural history and bush poetry. Besides family, friends and freemasonry, he was an enthusiastic member of the ex-corvettes association and the RANCBA and had the interests and prospects of both organisations close to his heart.

He will be sadly missed. 
Lest we Forget.  2/12/05.


Les Church advises that Neil Edwards TO 1957-1963 Ships - Warramunga Woomera, Harman and Voyager - is in Figtree private Hospital (near Wollongong) he is having one of this legs amputated below the knee today (Monday 28 November), he has had three toes taken off the other foot. The cause is Diabetes.  Regards, Les Church.  Many thanks Les, if anyone is around the area I'm sure Neil would appreciate a visit.  Our thoughts are with him.  28/11/05.

1/12/05:  Les has spoken to Neil after his operation and reports he seems quite cheerful at this time.
9/12/05:  Les advises Neil Edwards has been moved to the "David Berry" Hospital Beach Rd Berry for rehabilitation.
14/12/05:  Les went down to Berry to visit Neil on Sunday, He looks well and is quite cheerful, Les thinks the only persons that visit him are his wife and daughter. He starts rehab this week but will be in hospital till the new year.



Brian Berry, President of the Greenbank Sub-Section of the NAA and a member of the RAN communications Branch Association, sent me the following letter to publish on the RANCBA web site.  Brian has been instrumental in having the HMAS DIAMANTINA preservation issue finally addressed by the QLD State Government - a contract was recently signed to clear and seal the dry dock. Brian's letter follows:

"I would appreciate it if you were to include a mention of the ship in your newsletter, for a couple of reasons.

There will be a lot of work to be done once the ship has been relocated in the dock and the dock has been sealed. There will be a lot of marine growth accumulated on her hull and there may well be some damage to her hull which will have to be attended to. All of that is being left to the Queensland Maritime Museum to attend to at this stage, without any assistance from our State Government.

However, there is another reason for my request. Last year, I visited the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth and purchased a CD-ROM that provides a virtual tour of HMS VICTORY, as well as explaining her sail plan and the purposes of each set of sails in maneouvres, plus telling much of the story of the Battle of Trafalgar and Nelson's career.

I realised that this was the sort of thing we needed to tell people who have no conception of it, just what it was like to serve in a ship like the DIAMANTINA. That also gave me a further idea. We need publicity badly, not only for the Naval Association and all of its affiliates, but for the Navy as a whole and such an item would be the ideal way to spread the word.

Our Maritime Museum here (in Brisbane) where the DIAMANTINA lies, has just this year been put on a commercial footing with the aid of a five-year grant by the Brisbane City Council. They have been able, with this grant, to employ two full-time executives to run the Museum. With their dedication, I believe, we can begin to explore the full potential that the Museum possesses.

As I see it, a CD_ROM which provides a virtual tour of the DIAMANTINA, or better still, a DVD-ROM, could be used to reach every school and every library in Australia and every individual or group with even only a passing interest in our naval heritage. That means that even those who may never get a chance to get up here to Queensland to see the ship, could nevertheless go on a virtual tour of her and so begin to gain an understanding of what she represents.

I began planning to make a CD-ROM that would tell our story and that of the ship last year. This year, I have also been given the assurance of the new CEO of the Museum that they are behind the production. I have also talked to Peter Grant, the Chairman of the Museum's Board, about this idea and he is keen to see it go ahead as well. In fact, he asked me if I would follow it up with one on Queensland's maritime history when this one is complete.

So I am asking you to give the project some publicity. What I would appreciate is stories from any of those who have served in DIAMANTINA and information about sources I can tap into for photos and film footage of her alongside and at sea. Of course, if anyone knows of some organisation that might be prepared also to help fund such a project, I would be very pleased to hear from them as well.

This year, I went back to Portsmouth to see the Fleet Review and to make contact with the Royal Naval Museum there in relation to this project. I spoke to the Curator or Artefacts and I obtained his assurance that I can tap into the museum's resources in this endeavour, so I know that it is possible to put something truly worthwhile together.

I was also given similar assurances of cooperation from the Director of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich when I met him personally during the International Festival of the Sea that followed the Review. As well, I brought back some 600 photographs of the ships that attended the Review, so I have quite a bit to work on already.

Currently, I am putting together a running sheet for a film sequence that will take the viewer through DIAMANTINA and am writing the commentary for that footage. I was employed in the entertainment industry as an actor, announcer and producer after I left the Navy and am experienced in and able to do the voice-over work that will be needed. I will be able to keep the costs down when the actual film work begins, so this project is not going to cost a fortune. It is practical and it is achievable.

Brian J Berry
PRO, QLD Section, NAA
President, Greenbank Sub-Section NAA."

If anyone is able to assist with this very worthy project, or is able to supply material that Brian may find useful, please contact me and I will pass the information on to Brian. John Curbishley. 24/11/05.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends the following advice:

Sir David Martin Foundation (SDMF)

As many that attended the 2005 National Reunion and purchased raffle tickets etc during the harbour cruise and barbecue, and the luncheon and were informed that all proceeds and monies left over would be donated to what the NSW committee considered worthy causes.  One of these was the Sir David Martin Foundation, which was set up in honour and a memorial to the late governor of New South Wales, Rear Admiral Sir David Martin KCMG AO RAN Rtd.  It is a very worthy cause and the committee had no hesitation in recommending that an amount be given to the SDMF.

Therefore, on the 5th October 2005, a meeting was arranged at the Foundation Headquarters and the following attended.  NSW President, Trevor Pike, Treasurer Max Miller, committee Members Ken Swain (who was the Chairman of the 2005 Reunion), Don Ferguson and Secretary Allan Moffat.

Thank you all who attended the 2005 Reunion and made it a success and allowed us to carry out these donations.

Photo:  Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt, Max Miller, Trevor Pike, Lady Suzanne Martin (Member of the Board of Directors SDMF), Don Ferguson and Ken Swain.  25/11/05.



R 240157Z NOV 05
TO AIG 3600
AIG 3602

All good things come to an end eventually.  I sincerely hope that semaphore continues in an unofficial role.  25/11/05.

Christmas BBQ -  Sunday 4 December 2005

The RANCBA (ACT) will be holding a BBQ on Sunday 4th December 2005, at Weston Park, Yarralumla, kick off at 1100.  Keep an eye out of the Association banner as you drive into Weston park.  The Association will provide sausages and bread rolls, bring your own steaks, salads and BYOG, as well as something to sit on.  Relatives and friends very welcome.  For catering purposes, please advise me of your attendance, (or your apology).  Please pass this email on to prospective members.
Peter Guy
Please make the effort to get along to the final Canberra function for the year.  What could be better on a Sunday than having a quiet drink and a chat with old shipmates.  23/11/05.


Tony 'Tackers' Miles sends sad news: 
Can you let the world know that ex RS Bill Avery is desperately ill with cancer. He had asked me to keep this quiet as he didn't want a fuss made. I spoke to him yesterday and he is has now agreed to let people know. There is no hope of a recovery and he may be gone by Christmas. Those who know Bill may like to drop him a card , the address being 6/17 Martin PL Emerald Qld 4720. He has told me that he has no regrets and is resigned to his fate.  He will be a welcome addition to the great boozer, where so many of members have gone , and those who know will be waiting for him to join the shout.  Tackers.  Many thanks Tackers, we need to make a fuss of and give support to our colleagues who are seriously ill.  Our thoughts will be with Bill over the coming weeks.  I hope he receives many messages of support.  22/11/05.


'Jacko' Jackson sends:
On Wednesday 30th Nov I shall be departing Perth with my partner Leeanne. We shall be heading East to Port Augusta then North to Brisbane to get an Awning attached. Then a leisurely pace to Tully to spend Xmas with family. A couple of days after Xmas we shall head South to get away from the wet, then after that who knows. If you see "The Panther" on the road and I am stopped feel free to "knock with your elbows" and chew the fat.  Beers & Cheers, Leeanne & Jacko"  22/11/05.

The Panther  The Panther

From Jacko 22/12/05:  Further to my last QSO, I suddenly took ill with a burst duodenal ulcer which put on hold my travelling plans. I am now 100 percent but it has necessitated a change of plan. I am now departing Perth on 27 Dec, off to Albany, Esperance, then the Nullabor. After that who knows, but look out Tex, Blue and Bloggs.  I am on my way to your part of town.  Beers & Cheers Jacko.


Jim Eagles sends a review of the latest book on HMAS SYDNEY II - Somewhere Below by John Samuels, Halstead Press, NSW, 2005 - should be of interest to those of you who follow the controversy surrounding the loss of the ship on 19 November 1941.  Please follow this link to read Jim's review - many thanks Jim, 17/11/05.


Ken Street reminds us of the following:

R 160249Z NOV 05
TO AIG 1234
B, DATE; 09 DEC 05
C. TIME: 1200-1700
POCIS SHANE LEEK 02 9359 4219 OR ABCIS KAT NOLAL 02 93594213


Subject: Remembrance Day 2005

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends a couple of photos of himself and some of the "sailors" from the Submarine Tender, USS Frank Cable, which has been in Brisbane this week. Ron  had the skipper and 50 troops come out his way to take part in Remembrance celebrations and sink a few beers. Ron says "Sailors sure have changed since our day, mate!"  Cheers, Nullarbor.   It's a tough job Nullarbor, but someone's got to do it!  15/11/05.

Nullarbor and friends..  Nullarbor and more friends..


Frank Lawton sends "another of my very timely reminders of upcoming events which I know you all hang out to receive".

Friday November 18:
Next RANCBA NSW meeting to be held at Swampy's Pub (Royal Exhibition Hotel), Cnr Chambers and Devonshire Streets, Surry Hills (opposite to Central Station).

Meet around 1800 for a kick of at 1830. It only goes for a couple of hours, and you will enjoy the company.

Saturday November 26:
Our Chrissy get together at the Parramatta RSL. Kick off at about 1230. You can head off off home whenever it suits you. Same deal as previous gatherings....Twenty bucks into the Schooner glass per person, drink what you like, when you like, and as mentioned, head off home to the bride or hubby when you like.

Looking forward to seeing y'all at either functions, however if you can't make it.........TO YOU AND YOURS......FROM ME AND MINE............Have a great chrissy and a bonza new year.  Take care, Frank.  10/11/05.


Rosco Tanner sends:  A group of ex-Navy communicators recently participated in the "River Rats Tocumwal 2005" golf competition.

From left: Sonny O'Hara, Dick Lewis, Lynton Riddell, Rosco Tanner, Blue MacAskill, Jim Berridge, and Ossie Gray - absent this year, Ray Powell
(injured) and Peter Chapman (new son).  Tks Rosco, love the golfers ' ankle socks' suntan.  7/11/05.


Marty Grogan (ex WOWTR) has asked that the following be advised to our members.  Mick Scully served at HARMAN and Navy Office during his 20 years service and would be known to many communicators.

Death of ex POWTR Edward Terence "Mick" SCULLY R62312 Aged 60.
RAN Service 1st July 1963 to 21 September, 1983.
HMA Ships SYDNEY(Vietnam), MELBOURNE and BRISBANE (twice).

AASM (Vietnam)
National Medal
Defence Medal

Passed away at home in Hampton East at 1030 on Tuesday 1st November, 2005 as a result of a massive heart attack.

Thanksgiving Service will be held at All Saints Anglican Church, Chapel Street, East St. Kilda (near Corner of Dandenong Road), 1400 Monday 7th November, 2005.  Melways 58.D.8

After the Service refreshments will be served at Mick's former place of employment for the past 21 years, Saint Michaels Private School, directly opposite the Church.  Mick turned 60 on 13th August and took early retirement in September.  Mick is survived by his wife Elizabeth (Liz) and daughters Georgina and Claire.

Proud friend of Mick and Family
Lest we Forget.  6/11/05.


Remembrance Day 2005:  With 11 November fast approaching, the short movie linked below is very relevant.  It's a Canadian production but just as relevant to our armed forces.  The song "A Pittance of Time" by Terry Kelly is worthy of many accolades.  The movie will take quite a while to load if you are not on broadband.  3/11/05. The following is from the Terry Kelly web site: “A Pittance of Time” was written in 1999 to create an awareness of the importance of remembering & commemorating those who have given us our freedom.  Dedicated to:  Our Veterans, Our Peacekeepers, Our Heroes at Home, For the sacrifices that they have made and continue to make on our behalf.

Lest we Forget -


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:  I have just been informed that Len 'Buck" Rodgers whilst out searching last night at Burrill Lake for the missing 22 month old toddler (who was found safe and well this morning), but unfortunately, Buck fell and broke his arm , rather badly and has been taken to Wollongong Hospital for further scans and possible surgery.  At present this is all I can advise but as soon as I get more information I will give you and update.  Regards, Shorty.  31/10/05.

Update from Shorty 3/11/05:  Just been down to Wollongong Hospital to see Buck. All okay, as most patients, bored. He is going well and they had to put his trip to theatre for surgery on hold till Tuesday to stabilise his blood (bit thin or low I think!!!). He has to have a complete reconstruction of the shoulder, and pin or screw. He is in Ward East 4, good view looking out to the mountains, so that's in his favour. I passed on all best wishes from All RANCBers, plus others. He doesn't need anything, and has everything organised, but if anyone does go that way, call in, but as he said, there is no reason to make a special trip. So that's it for now, Regards, Shorty.

Update from Shorty 09/11/05:  As Buck was to have his op yesterday, I waited till this morning and rang Wollongong Hospital. He is back in Ward 4 East. He is going well and no problems. If I get a chance, may make a trip down there on Saturday, but will check before as they don't keep you in long nowadays.

Update from Shorty 12/11/05:  Med sitrep on Buck. Now discharged (they don't keep you in long nowadays). All went well, no problems envisaged. Back home at Bawley Beach.  Regards, Shorty.


HMAS MELBOURNE (R21) - For those who are nostalgic for the times when we had a Carrier, have a look at the short movie linked to the photograph below (may take a while to load if you are not on broadband).  28/10/05



Alan Rodgers (President, RANCBA WA) advises the sad passing of our colleague, DAVID (SPIKE) JONES, 1980 - 2000. David retired as a CPORS. David's funeral will take place at Karrakatta 14.30 Friday 28th October 2005. RIP MATE.  Lest we Forget.  28/10/05.


Dennis Preece sends:  I thought the RANCB membership might derive some interest from the attached pic that depicts Stuart and HMNZS Endeavour attempting a recent RAS. According to a first hand account, Stuart never managed to get any fuel (due a problem with END gear), but did hook up and was ready to fuel. Some pretty good driving by the Captain and some gutsy efforts from the crew! DJ. Ah, I remember it well.... 28/10/05.

RAS from Stuart


Ken Street advises that the RAN HERITAGE CENTRE is now open, at the end of GI. Those wishing to check it out, follow the links...  and



Advice from Government (to date October 2005) is that:

The Government is still considering the eligibility criteria and regulations for the ADM. There has been wide consultation with the Service Chiefs, and the ex-Service community, to ensure that all the issues and ideas raised have been carefully considered. However, there are some outstanding complexities to be worked through before all the eligibility criteria and associated regulations are finalised.

Eligibility for the ADM will be extended to ex-Servicemen and women who:

The six year eligibility criterion was specifically chosen to recognise Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel who had served for a period that demonstrates a real commitment and contribution to the ADF over and above the three or four year enlistment period applicable to the majority of current ADF members. This service can include periods of service, which in aggregate totals to six years.

The full details will be widely publicised in the media after the final regulations and determinations required to establish the ADM have been approved.

Follow this link to view a facsimilie of the ADM.

The above advice was recently issued by RSL National Headquarters.  20/10/05.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt would like to remind CB'ers about the NSW Get Together on the 26th November at Parramatta RSL Club and the following day the HMAS PARRAMATTA II Memorial Service but also for all ships bearing the name PARRAMATTA.

Shorty also advises arrangements for the 2005 Fleet comms Xmas BBQ:

All RANCBA'ers have been invited to the Fleet comms Xmas BBQ this year to be held on the 9th December, commencing at 1200 and stumps will be called at 1700. The cost will be $10.00 per head for food and refreshments will be available for purchase. Now, they are hoping to be able to hold this function on Garden Island, therefore a list of all visitors names has to be submitted.  Let's make this a culmination of what has been a great year here in Sydney, so come along, start friendships and renew old ones, especially if this function is held where the National Reunion BBQ was held.  If anyone is coming, please send your name/names to Allan "Shorty" Moffatt either via phone 02 9631 8068 or e-mail who will be corresponding with the coordinator.  19/10/05.


Artie Wyatt has been in sick bay in recent weeks. Artie became aware of a melanoma after a trip to Cairns in August, it was removed and the biopsy was positive. Artie underwent scans, blood tests etc to find that his left kidney was also positive so that was removed in early September. He will undergo another medical today and then check ups every 3-4 months for the next two years.

Artie would like to make everyone aware of the total support by RSL and DVA for veterans with qualifying service who have any form of cancer (Artie has FESR service). He has never sought anything since leaving the RAN and was generally unaware of any benefits or entitlements. His white card was issued within seven days, all costs went to Vets Affairs. It took a big load off his mind even though he had medical cover. The speed of appointments (RPA in Sydney) and treatment was brilliant. He would like to point out to members (particularly those with FESR service) that they should check their entitlements if they are diagnosed with any form of cancer.
Artie is well on the way to recovery and stressed via emails that he would like people to know about the excellent assistance and treatment he received.  We wish him well during the recovery period and in the future.  19/10/05.


Gayle Brady (Walker) sends:
On Sunday I attended a dedication service at Bundamba (near Ipswich Qld) for the Submarine Branch in general and he WW1 submarine - AE2 - in particular. The service was superbly organized by the Bundamba Sub Section NAA - their President is our member Ron "Nullarbor" Baker and he and his fellow organizers deserve a great vote of thanks for a job well done. The AE2 plaque was unveiled by ex WRAN Pat Rieken (a comms Branch member) whose Grandfather was a crew member of the submarine and who died in a Turkish prisoner of war camp. Other comms Branch members present were Pat Nuss, Jenny Rathbone, Jim Carey and myself.

Also in attendance were the Chief of Navy South Qld., crew members from HMAS Melbourne and the (very) newly commissioned HMAS Toowoomba, the Naval Band (Qld division), the Mayors of Toowoomba and Ipswich and the local Member of Parliament. The Captains of two local schools also contributed to the event.

Well done "Nullarbor" and the Bundamba Sub Section Naval Association of Australia.
Sounds like a great day was had by all - BZ to all concerned. 13/10/05.


At the RANCBA (ACT) AGM on Saturday 8 October there was a changing of the guard.  The new committee is as follows:

President: John Curbishley
Vice President: Ray Powell
Secretary: Peter Guy
Sam Hughes
committee: Ken Weaver, Bruce Maughan, Sonny O’Hara, Carol Harris, Denise Butler, Sarah Curbishley and Kerry Holmes.
Welfare Officer: Dave Jeffrey

Dave Jeffrey was awarded Honorary Life Membership for services to the ACT Chapter, in particular for his role as President for the past 5 Years.

Welcome to the new members of the 2005/06 committee and many thanks to those who stayed on for another year.  I am sure I speak for all when I say we look forward to both serving our members in the ACT and to working harmoniously with other Chapters of the RANCBA.  10/10/05.


Jim Eagles sends:
"While serving aboard HMAS Yarra during the Indonesian Confrontation in the early 1960's [not allotted] the crew of the Yarra were given Red Cross parcels and R and R in the Cameron Highlands. Where any other ships given similar treatment then ? I guess Parramatta crew were as they were with us in the Strategic Reserve at that time. Anyone have any thoughts or information on why the ships' company was given this treatment, considering we were (supposedly) not in a war zone or whatever ? Yarra and Parramatta were in the S.R. when the confrontation blew up. Can contact me direct if you wish or have information.  Cheers to everyone, Jim Eagles, Townsville"  10/10/05.

Fm Coral Donnelly:  To Jim Eagles,
Just to let you know that Yarra was allotted times for FESR in early 60's. May be not your times unfortunately, but they are 23 June 62 - 23 Aug 62 and 10 Sept 62 - 2 Oct 62. You might like to check your serving dates. Things changed a few years ago. You may remember Ken Donnelly at Harman 64 - 65.

Fm Jim Eagles 23/10/05:  Just wanted to say "TKS" to all of those who replied to my inquiry about parcels in the F.E. Some very interesting replies and very informative. Thanks again, Jim Eagle.


Sandy & Pat McNab are back home from their 'Grey Nomad' trip to QLD:  Sandy has sent the following photo of the HARMAN Rugby League side from 1965.  Sandy sends:
"I have included team players Scottie Green and Greg Rouse in this email along with the attached Harman rugby team photo which I obtained from Trevor McKerlie. They may have their own copies of this team photo with all the names and the date. We overnighted with Trevor and Heather (nee Williams) on their property at Apila S.A. on our way home to W.A.. Trevor has it marked as 1964/65 and I assume it was the 'winter of'.  I was at Harman from March 65 to New Years day 66, and all those faces are very familiar. My suggestion is that it is perhaps a 1965 team photo, Sam or Suds or Kev x 2 or Paul or Terry who were at Harman around then may CFM same or otherwise.

I offered to scan it for Trevor and have it posted of interest to the communicators web-site. I have also included Darrell Hegarty, the manager of the 'pussersgreenies' web-site and invite others to complete the names to faces for Trevor, he being an ex-greenie.

I/we have identified some that we believe are correct but there are several not known's (N/K's) in which we seek assistance.
Regards to all. Sandy and Pat"

Coral Donnelly (wife of Ken Donnelly) has supplied the following:

Harman Rugby League in Molonglo Shield Knock-Out comp February 1965.
Defeated Queanbeyan 5 - 3,  lost to RAAF 3 - 4. Captain's Flat won the comp.

Back row left to right:
Bob Menzies, Snow Archer, Pat Armstrong, EM Ray Collins, TO Peter 'Cassius' Cockroft, Ernie McIntryre, PTI Alan Jorgenson.

Middle Row:
TO Scotty Green, RO Greg Rouse, PTI Ray McGuire (boxed for Aust in C'Wealth Games), Graham Rosengreen, RO Don Matheson, EM Trevor McKerlie

Front Row:
Don Grant, Robbie McPherson (son of PO Stoker McPherson at Harman garage), Ken Donnelly.

HARMAN Rugby League side 1964/65.

Many thanks Sandy, good to see you safe home after the long trip.  I have copied your email to Peter 'Cassius' Cockroft, I am sure he will be able to provide some of the missing names.  Have also posted this photograph to the 'sports teams' area.  10/10/05.
Coral Donnelly has now supplied the names of all those pictured, many thanks Coral.  13/10/05.


Ken Street sends:  This little bit below might interest old salts. On the QSO page, if you think it is appropriate.
"Something must have fitted into these holes ??"  And for interesting cryptographic stuff, check
Tks Ken, some very interesting photos on the site.  Takes you back to the good old days. 10/10/05.


Diane Lawrence wishes to advise the following:

The ACT WRANS Association is holding a memorial service at the WRANS Memorial at HMAS Harman on Saturday 22 October 2005 at 11.00am. There will be a BBQ at the wardroom afterwards, at a cost of $20.00 per head. Anyone who wishes to attend should contact me on 02 6292 0332 (ignore the answering machine that says "Welcome to ValleyFM - my partner and I wear many hats!). Please ring even if you are only coming to the service, so that I can make sure there are enough seats for everyone, and add your name to the list at the Gangway - otherwise you won't be able to get in. Dress is smart casual (no jeans).

Diane Lawrence
Vice President
ACT WRANS Association


David Carman is seeking any communicator who served in HMAS MELBOURNE between 24th FEBRUARY 1965 TO 22nd JUNE 1965 and HMAS PARRAMATTA between 26th JULY 1966 TO 8th SEPTEMBER 1966. In his own words...

"I have been diagnosed with late onset PTSD mainly to do with the Melbourne/Voyager and Melbourne/Frank E Evans collisions. But, during the dates I mentioned above is the only time DVA decrees I was actually on "Operational Service" as far as trying for any disability pension, ie TPI. Unfortunately my memory of those periods is what the shrinks call a "black hole", for whatever reason I can't recall anything and need some help from anyone who remembers me on either of those two ships during those periods and who can shed some light on something that may have happened which DVA would call a "stressor" as far as DVA SOP's are concerned. My case against DV is now in its final stages, next stop is an appeal to the AAT. My solicitor is handing this last bit and I need some help, hopefully someone may be able to help.

Therefore, ASAP, if anyone who can help me me I would be very grateful. You can either contact me direct on or via Allan Shorty Moffatt on

David Carman Ex Sig (TO)"  4/10/05


Frank Aldred sends:
What is going on with these old and bold SD communicators? With Bill Ruse and his vino, and Sam Hughes with his golf, they obviously have too much time on their hands. Or do you detect a note of jealousy from another old (but not not so bold) SD who still has to work to maintain his lifestyle, and look after the kids on the weekend? Regards, Frank.  Frank, it's good to see the senior members out enjoying themselves.  I'm not so sure that Bill was SD though..... 28/9/05.


Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker has been spreading goodwill:
"The Canadians were in town during the week and my motley crew and I got ourselves invited on board for exchange of gifts etc, and a tour. Our tour leader was a PO 2nd Class bunting tosser. They don't call them yeoman any more...something like our new comms branch. He was telling us that they get a bit of ribbing about their international callsign, and those of you who can still read semaphore will know why when you see one of the attached photos. Cheers, Nullarbor"  Hmm, depending on the direction sign, it is either CGAI or EAGX, I can't see a problem with either?  28/9/05.


Further to my last TX.....I know you led a protected life, mate, but the CGAI callsign, translates (at least with some of the Canadians) as "Sea Gay". Of course, I wouldn't have picked it up myself...Cheers, Nullarbor.

Fm Gayle Brady:
We also went onboard HMCS Winnipeg during her Brisbane visit. Having met the Captain and some of the crew at the Annual Seafarers Church Service and the BBQ held at Parliament House (in aid of the Mission to Seafarers) a group fom Northside/Wavell Sub Section, Naval Association were given a two hour tour of the ship - most informative and the hospitality was great. Final stop was in the wood panelled Officer's Mess where we were offered coffee, tea or a Canadian dark beer. The ship is based at the Canadian Naval Base on Vancouver Island in British Columbia - one of the world's most beautiful spots. The ship and its crew are a credit to Canada.  Gayle (Walker) Brady.


Sam Hughes is congratulated after winning the 'C' Grade championships at Federal Golf Course yesterday.  After a draining 4 rounds, 2 of which were played in difficult weather conditions, Sam came to the fore in the final 2 rounds despite carrying an old war injury to his left knee.  Off a handbrake handicap of 18, Sam eventually won by 7 strokes. Clearly jubilant (but tired and emotional), Sam gave a classic Jeff Fenech 'I love youse all' acceptance speech when awarded the C Grade cup.  Well done Sam from all your golfing buddies.  26/9/05.


Bill Ruse is our resident wine expert, see below for article in Sunday's Canberra Times:

Bill Ruse - wine taster extraordinaire....

Well done Bill, will be around to taste the 'slightly peppery, fresh fruit flavours' shortly!  20/9/05.


Jim & Pat Quick also appeared in a recent Canberra Times article - they were completing the MS Fun Run and Walk on Sunday 11 September:

The old motor is still running.....

Good stuff Jim, good to see the old motor still purring along, but mate, that jumper.....  20/9/05.


Geoff Stokes  has had oustanding success over the years as the coach of Wests Lions in the ACT Premier Rugby competition.  He capped this off on Saturday with a 19-17 win over the Vikings in the ACT Premier Rugby's first-grade Grand Final.  Wests are without doubt the powerhouse of ACT Rugby, winning all 5 grades Grand Finals on the day.  A big BZ to Geoff and his coaching staff.  20/9/05.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffat has provided the following washup on recent events he attended, along with coming events in Sydney:

It would have to been one of the coldest days that I can remember in Sydney. I was asked the day before if I could push a wheelchair for a WW II Vet. I said yes, Never met the person till the day of the March. He was a EX Seaman (QA Rating) served on AUSTRALIA, SHROPSHIRE and BARCOO, but sadly had suffered a stroke with the right side completely paralysed, but his wife informed me, he did so want to attend. So it was my privilege to help. But as I said it was cold, as it was held early in the morning. It was what they classified as a working day and they couldn't close off George Street and other streets in the CBD. His Excellency, The Governor-General, Sir Michael Jeffrey took the Salute at the Sydney Town Hall.

Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans Day.
Brilliant. The weather was perfect and a good turn out. Well worth the effort to attend. I marched with the FESR Association. Invited to the Official Luncheon . The Guest of Honour and also took the Salute, Rear Admiral Trevor Ruting, who represented the Chief of Navy. The RAAF from RAAF Richmond supplied all the Flag Orderlies, plus the full RAN Band was in attendance.

Battle for Australia commemoration.
Held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place last Wednesday. Sydney turned on a beautiful day, and one of the best Services that I have attended there. The Guest of Honour, The Governor of NSW, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC. The full Australian Army Band, who also supplied the Flag Orderlies and Catafalque Party. The new Maritime commander, Rear Admiral D. Thomas, AM, CSC RAN was there along with his opposite numbers from the Army and RAAF. I laid a rose on behalf of the whole of the RANCBA. Well worth the effort to attend.

Now our next couple of things to be held here in Sydney:

Get Together.
To be held on the 26th November, 2005 at the Parramatta RSL Club, kick off about 12.30pm, till stumps or last light (what ever comes first!!!). Just turn up, dress casual, cost we put $20.00 on the table in the glass and any over, goes to the Assn. The next day, 27th November, 2005 the RANCBA has been invited to attend the HMAS PARRAMATTA II Memorial Service, but it also incorporates all ships bearing the name PARRAMATTA. Dress is jacket and tie etc, plus Medals if applicable. A small march is in the order, and we will Lay a Book on behalf of all RANCBA Members. This is more appropriate instead of a Wreath and you can nominate the school within the Parramatta district who you wish to receive the book, and it goes into the school library. Anyone wishing to attend, could you please let me know, as the Naval Association require numbers for the print of Order of Service and also after the Service, refreshments and drinks at the Parramatta RSL Club.
Many thanks for keeping us informed Shorty.  12/09/05.


Peter Guy, Secretary of the RANCBA ACT, advises that the AGM is coming up shortly:

It's that time of year again.......... please note your calendars now.......


WHEN: Saturday 8th October 2005 – 1900 for a 1930 start.

WHERE: The Weston Club (formerly known as Royals Rugby Club)

Please advise if you are attending, for catering purposes (or send your apologies).


Wal Leijen is on the mend after health problems:
"It has been quite a while since I have been on this website and am saddened to read of the ex-communicators that have crossed the line. The list seems to be growing. I suppose that as we grow older we must expect our health to suffer to some extent. Having just had a couple of stints in hospital myself (hip replacement and bowel problems) it enforces the fact that one must maintain their health. During my stay I had a phone call from Ray (Bogey) Knights who was in Broome at the time and also from Peter Archibald who had heard about my predicament. Ray has been travelling around Australia for some time now and should be back in Yarrawonga soon. I will be doing the trip myself next year and will try and catch up with friends as I travel.  Regards, Wal."  Many thanks Wal, good to hear from you and we wish you all the best with your recovery.  09/09/05.


Kev Ruwoldt is seeking help with identification of a badge:
"An old workmate of mine Alan Smith found our web site and contacted me about an old badge found amongst his departed fathers SArmy memorabilia. Have attached the photo he sent me and was wondering if it could be put on the QSO page and see if some one can identify it. It looks big enough to be a pusser type but the army coloured background throws that out. The two Semaphore flags vary as well. Maybe someone around the world who peeks at QSO may recognize it and let Alan know of its origin. Many thanks mate, Regards, Kev."  09/09/05.

Both Jim Eagles & Graham Linton provided the following link to the Army Signaling Instructor badge shown. More information can be found on the digger history site at  and  Many thanks to Jim & Graham, I suppose Kev and I could have Googled it ourselves, but it is always handy to be pointed in the right direction.  12/09/05.


CDRE Bob Trotter, CEO of HMAS SYDNEY Search Pty Ltd seeks our help:

"Sandy McNab has kindly given me the intro into the RANCBA Web to see if the communicators can advise me regarding a problem concerning our tightening up our search area for HMAS SYDNEY 2.

I have attached two documents regarding the message sent by the German Auxiliary Cruiser KORMORAN when being approached by HMAS SYDNEY 2. The interpretation of these documents has a bearing on the size and shape of the search area for the scene of the battle from which the track of SYDNEY can be further refined.

The importance of the task is one of reducing the area and therefore the costs which dictate our fundraising targets. I am hoping that the combined resources of the RANCBA will be able to give me a view from experts in the technology and procedures of the day (1941) and from experts in the enduring disciplines of communicators getting it right!

I must say that I am after advice on these signals only. For those with views on what might have been the fate of SYDNEY 2, please visit the website

The Task

The records show that Geraldton Radio (G) and the Tug UCO received a QQQQ signal from KORMORAN (K) but those records show the results of analysis rather than the way that the operators and their supervisors may have tried to make out what was being said.

Using the information attached, can you seek the advice of your members and answer the following questions?
(Please follow these links for .pdf files of SWACH message & ACH ROP).

Given the apparent difficulty that both the UCO and Geraldton operators were having in making out the QQQQ signal, how much confidence do you think can be placed in the navigation and time information they did record? Namely, “110 followed by 1000 GMT” as heard by UCO and “7C 11115E 1000 GMT” as heard by Geraldton Radio?

Assuming that the “7C” component of the Geraldton report was meant to be latitude and thus the “C” should actually be “S” (for South), how much confidence do you think can be placed in the “7” being accurate?

Thanks for your help. We are on a short fuse so soon would be good!

Bob Trotter"

commodore Bob Trotter RANR FIEAust CPEng
PO Box 7798, CLOISTERS SQUARE, WA, 6850, Australia.
Tel: +61 8 9261 7749; Fax: +61 8 9261 7700

I'm sure Bob will be grateful for any assistance any member is able to provide to further the search for HMAS SYDNEY, no matter how small you may think it to be.  Please pass this on to any older members you may know of to see if it strikes a responsive chord with them.  As time is of the essence, please communicate with Bob direct, but copy me so that I can keep you all informed.  5/9/05.

Fm Sam Hughes:
It is interesting that ACH ROP does not mention 7C but reports it as 2(gap)7.  The tone/rhythm of a C and S could not be confused, so I couldn't place faith in that.  What could be of interest is that morse code 7 = dah dah dit dit dit, and as you know S = dit dit dit. So, if there was any garble maybe dah dah could have been the end of another figure, say 3 = dit dit dit dah dah. But I doubt if two operators would get this wrong.  Not much help I know but straws are straws.  Good luck with the search.  Yours aye, Sam Hughes.

Fm Wayne Roots:
For what it's worth I tend to agree with Sam Hughes' observations.

* ACH ROP does not mention 7C but reports it as 2(gap)7.
* There is no correlation between the morse symbols for C and S (dah dit dah dit Vs dit dit dit). No CW operator could confuse these.

Using the more logical 2(gap)7 scenario:

* All referenced positions in this area are Deg/Min South (S) and Deg/Min East (E). The receiving operator may have taken a little license as to how the Lat and Long were recorded ie. South or S. Taking this into account the actual coordinate could have been 2X YZS 111 15E where:

* X = Given the report from the CO of the Kormoran I would guess this to be either 6 or 7.
* Y = 3Z Min South
* Z could be any of 0, 1, 2, or 3 (assumption that the first part of the figure was corrupt)

Again I agree with Sam. Straws are straws. Best of luck. Regards, Wayne Roots Ex WORS.


Keith 'Tug' Wilson shares the following item of general interest:

Peter Cabban the former XO of the Voyager, who resigned 5 weeks prior to the sinking, has released a book called 'Breaking Ranks' which exposes some startling facts about the before and after of the disaster. All those times when you left the bridge feeling secure in the knowledge that Australia's finest were in control proves to be a bad misconception, in some cases.

I heard his interview on Late Night Live with Phillip Adams about a week ago and it was astonishing. He cried through part of the interview as he recalled the impossibility of serving at the time of Stevens tenure. He has suffered in the 42 years since due to the guilt he felt at not being able to change the course of events that ultimately cost 82 good lives and ruined many others. Unfortunately there were people in higher places that could, and should have, altered that course.

This book is sure to ruffle some feathers and dent some stately reputations.

Peter stated to shipmates that the Voyager would be lost. His book provides the basis for that premonition and the reason for its fruition. It was released on 1st August 2005. You can find the details on the Randomhouse books website. Personally, as an ex sig, I cant wait to read this. Cheers, Tug.  Many thanks Tug, sounds like a must read.  5/9/05.

Fm Nev Phillips:  Re "Breaking Ranks" I have read the book and yes it is definitely worth the read, it actually sends shivers down one's spine, and at the end of the day you are left wandering why? and struggle to understand the hypocrisy of the people not only running the Country but the RAN at the time, and does it, could it still happen?

Fm Billy Bacon:  Tug and Nev, There is always 2 sides to every story and unfortunately most of the people that Cabban is bagging can no longer defend themselves. If you have a look in "HMAS Voyager survivors association" website you will find comments from sailors who were there and knew all the players involved and the consensus there seems to be that he is a bit of a tosser and is more interested in getting something in his back pocket rather that something off his chest. I personally think he was probably like me and should have been CNS but kept getting a green rub. Regards Billy Bacon.

Fm Keith Wilson 31/10/05:  Regarding Billy Bacon's reply to my article on Peter Cabban's 'Breaking Ranks'.  I have now finished the book and read it in conjunction with Tom Frame's, in depth, expose on the disaster in 'When Fate Calls'.

Your off handed response Bill is a little disappointing. There are two sides to every story, agreed, but there is inevitably only one truth. For political expediency, men and in an effort not to embarrass a very inept Naval Board, in very high positions of trust and responsibility, chose to perjure themselves to ensure their futures were not compromised.

I was particularly disappointed to find that David Martin, , who was widely respected, admitted as much on his death bed. Worse still is that he wrote to Cabban after the 2nd Royal commission and his subsequent promotion, to thank him for his support. After shutting the door on him during the 2nd Royal commission.

The Judiciary, Government and navy were complicit in covering up a very grave oversight by the Naval Board and its promotional policies. 81 innocent fathers, brothers and sons died while innocently writing letters home, playing cards, spinning yarns or on duty died because the 82nd person, Stevens, saw any impedance to his future promotion as more important than the men he had ultimate responsibility for.

The Voyager was not an isolated case, unfortunately, as other stories come through from lower deck sailors who served under irresponsible commanding officers who drank to excess to a point where they could no longer carry out their duties in an appropriate or responsible manner.

I believe the Navy, and its officers, are for more accountable today, although I have no doubt that some will have that golden run to the top because of nepotism that exists in most Government and corporate conglomerates. It is hoped that the 'chosen ones' are armed with the appropriate mental skills to prove worthy of the faith in them. In Stevens case, proven, he obviously did not. This may be one of the reasons for his drug and alcohol intake.

Whether due to excess drinking and the effects or his obvious struggle with an uncomfortable illness it must have been clear that he was "unfit" to command. Unfortunately his peers, but one, ignored his failings with disastrous results.

As for Cabban wanting to line his back pocket. It is obvious that money and his career has been the least of his concerns or he would have 'turned the blind eye' as well.

The truth often is very hard to swallow.  Regards, Keith (Tug) Wilson

Alan Rodgers sends an update on Brian (Chas) Carleton. Brian in now home convalescing following his surgery for Cancer and judging from his graphic story deserves to be resting. He tells me that he must be getting a bit better because his first priority is to clean his golf clubs & make ready to venture onto the golf course. Steady on Brian. He can be contacted as follows:  215 Cormorant Court Southern River WA 6110 - 08 9398 6554.  I am sure he would appreciate a call & or card from those who know him. Many thanks Buck, it's good to see Chas back in his home environment.  31/08/05.


Royce Tandy adds to his entry below:
"Sunshine Coast Mini Reunion is to be held Fathers Day, Sunday 4th September 2005. Venue is bar b q area at the end of Foote St Mooloolaba which is adjacent to The Wharf. referdex entry is map 80 C3. Fairly basic really, for those coming from Brisbane side it is straight up the motorway take the Mooloolaba turnoff which brings you into Brisbane Road, where you turn left and then straight along until you reach the roundabout with Macdonalds on the left. Turn right which is Foote St and proceed about 150 metres. The barbie area is directly in front of you. I will ensure that there is signage saying RANCBA so you will join the right party. Wouldn't want you joining the Miss Mooloolaba Best legs competition.
It is byo everything, and I would suggest a folding chair would come in handy, as everywhere is crowded this time of the year. We are looking at kicking off at around 1200 and the more attendees the merrier. Should anyone lose their way my mobile is 0418560309, call and I can guide you in. Look forward to catching up with old shipmates.
regards, Royce Tandy."  Tks Royce, hope it all goes well.  28/08/05.

Fm Royce 8/9/05:  Well we had our mini reunion smokey on Sunday in Mooloolaba, and a great afternoon it was. What primarily started out as a catchup between Rod Beckinsale and Rod McLaurin turned out to be a great get together of a few more ex communicators living here on the coast. The show and tell award would have to go to ex CRS Ted Beare, who just arrived. None of us had a clue he was living in Noosa. Rod McLaurin broke out in a sweat immediately upon hearing Ted's booming voice, said it reminded him of being doubled across the comms School parade ground. Ted was always more lenient with us Sparkers. For those who may remember that he was (to say the least) pretty crook, he looks great (photo attached) and still manages to puff away at those 16mg fags. Another suprise entrant was Ian (stumpy) Broadsmith, who I believe was heading back to Victoria today. Plans are already underway to make this a biannual event and hopefully include more of the Brisbane residents as well. Kind Regards, Royce.

Doug Conn, Stumpy Broadsmith, Bob Cody in foreground, Rod McLaurnin & Ted Beare in background..  Rod & Marg Beckinsale, Joan Alden with back to camera..  Mal Bullivant, Barb Conn & Judy Cody..   Joan Alden..  Ted Beare..


Kev Ruwoldt had a recent health scare and I asked permission from Kev to publish his account of what happened.  We are no longer bullet-proof and it might be a timely reminder for those suffer the same symptoms.  In Kev's words:

"On Sunday evening returning home from a visit to the southside, we stopped at the Shell garage on the Gateway Motorway for a rest stop where suddenly developed chest pains for approximately 30mins. They were sharp and burning which made me start thinking. Monday nothing happened so I carried on as normal, a typical retiree doing odd jobs around the house and the caravan. On Tuesday I suddenly had another burst of pains and this time they lasted for about 45 minutes. Decided to have a shower, get dressed and drive myself to the Redcliffe hospital (can’t ask Anne to drive anymore). I was immediately laid down and given an E.C.G. and the Dr who attended me was quite concerned as they could find nothing wrong even after having an x-ray also. As I have always been a member of private Health, the current waiting list in Queensland Health not being in a good position, I was accepted by the Holy Spirit Northside hospital to see the Cardio Specialist Dr Con Arooney.

On arrival I was admitted to the Cardiac ward and told to lay down on my allotted bed and slapped with another ECG machine. Dr Arooney arrived an hour later and advised me that he would be performing an Angiogram in the morning. He fully explained the procedure that he used and what I could expect. He gave me two brochures to read, explaining the two types of Angio treatments carried out by him. Surprisingly I spent a comfortable night attached to a portable chest monitor, waking only to rearrange the blankets which kept sliding off me. They gave me instructions to have a shower early, then strap on a hospital gown, which continually gave me that off the shoulder look, I think they should get 1626 to supply them in future. Anyway, I was wheeled into theatre at 1130am and prepared for the Angiogram. Dr Arooney and his staff were very good and he continually made sure I was comfortable. After he had completed the operation his news was that he could find nothing which could have caused the pain, but I did have plaque building up on the arteries sometime in the next five years, I would have been in serious trouble. My problem could have arisen from four things, heart, stress, oesophagus and I forget the fourth. He then advised me that he would inform my GP, the next thing to be carried out on my list is to have a stress test. (Close friends of ours think it’s funny that after six years of being retired, that I now need a ‘stress test’).

I’m glad that I took it seriously enough to do something about the pain. Now that I have had my warning, it looks like I’ll be popping pills for a long time to come. Next up is a visit to my GP sometime next week and I will take it from there. It’s really nice having Anne & Peta running after me for a change too!!!!!  All the best, Kev."  Many thanks for sharing that with us Kev, it's a salient reminder that we should all act quickly if our health is in doubt.  Hope the stress test comes out ok.  23/08/05.

Fm Dave McCann:  Gidday all, I have just read Kev Ruwolt's article and wish to confirm that you cannot ignore any pain symptoms these days ( at our ages ). I had a bit of pain and shortness of breath about 3 months ago but only went for a check up about a month ago, its just as well that I did as on Thursday the 1st of Sept I have to have a quad bypass, didn't know it was sneaking up on me, so look after yourselves as you are a long time gone. cya Dave.

Fm Jim Eagles:  How come Ruwie only gets a chest pain a couple of times and I got a quadruple bypass and a couple of stents etc etc when he drinks twice as much as I do. Just goes to prove the more grog you drink the better it is for your heart ?????  Jim Eagles, Townsville.

Further from Kev:  Thought you might like to know that I had another trip to Redcliffe Hospital with chest pains recently. It was good news as far as the ticker goes, but not so good with reflux. I have been diagnosed with Barrets_oesphagus.

In Barrets oesophagus the cells that line the lower oesophagus are abnormal. The main cause is long-standing reflux of acid from the stomach into the oesophagus. People with Barrets oesophagus have an increased risk of developing cancer of the oesophagus. The risk is small, but you may be advised to have regular endoscopies to detect pre-cancerous changes.

The result of my Endoscopy was negative this time, so from now on I will be having future endoscopies on a regular basis to keep an eye on it.  The change in my diet hopefully, will help me in future. Cheers for now, Ruwie.  14/10/05.


Kev Ruwoldt has also forwarded another chapter in the continuing story of his Naval service - this time he covers his time in HMAS KIMBLA - 1963/64.  For those of you who enjoy a good read, please follow the link.  23/08/05.


Brian 'Dobbo' Dobson has provided aerial photographs of HMAS BRISBANE's final resting place.  Great shots, she looks good from the air, even better to divers I would imagine.  Have also posted a couple of shots of HMAS SWAN in her final resting place, found on the Internet.  22/08/05.

HMAS BRISBANE - Final Resting Place  HMAS BRISBANE - Final Resting Place  HMAS BRISBANE - Final Resting Place  HMAS SWAN - Final Resting Place  HMAS SWAN - Final Resting Place

Fred Lloyd also sent a good selection of photos from the actual sinking.  Please follow the link to HMAS BRISBANE.htm
Bill & Bobbie Bacon also provide the following link to photographs:


Royce Tandy has asked if the following could be posted on QSO:
Since the arrival of Rodney (RANCOs) Beckinsale on the Sunshine Coast there has been a groundswell of ex communicators coming out of their cages with the intent of holding a reunion on the 4th September 2005. Whilst not trying to rival Sydney, or even raise the bar for Melbourne, we figure there are quite a number of the elite (communicators) living up here between Brisbane and Noosa, and it would be fantastic to catch up for an afternoon of fine food, fine wines (or VB), and the opportunity to swap tales (true or false). Seats are limited to 1,000, so anyone wishing to attend should waste no time in contacting via email:
Rod Beckinsale -
Rod McLaurin -
Royce Tandy -
Kind Regards
Royce Tandy
Tks Royce, sounds like a worthy venture to me - could be a good Father's Day for the blokes!  6/8/05.


Graham Bence sends: 

I thought that some of your readers would like to know about a project being carried out by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria.

We are currently entering into a data base the names of those servicemen and servicewomen who died in World War II. It is not only for Victoria but the whole of Australia. So far we have indexed those nominated on the attachment. The only thing missing is photographs of all those who died. We have some but quite a lot are missing or have never been taken. If anybody has photographs of any serviceman or servicewoman and would like to provide copies please use the telephone number or email address to receive the papers allowing BDM to use them.

Those people who would like a proper burial certificate would then be able to apply for one. Regards, Graham.  22/7/05.


Jim Eagles sends:
For those that are not aware - there is now the chance of a simple blood test for Mesothelioma. An information leaflet is available from most Pathology laboratories - coast at present is about $120 but may vary from place to place. Forms should be available from your local GP. There is also now some treatment available which apparently has varying results. More information can be obtained from Dr Charles Appleton (07)38404444 in Queensland. Tks Jim 19/7/05.


Col Bambrook sends:
The site kept an EW amused for quite a while, but that was never hard. Got the site address from Daffy Doyle who works in the Port Authority tower in Melbourne and we talk on a regular basis checking on ship into Patrick (I am the HRM). Going to the Gold Coast tomorrow and would like to catch up with Neil Douglas but his email address is wrong, if anyone can help, thanks in advance.  Tks Col, if anyone has contact details for Neil please pass same direct.  Sorry about the wrong email address, but it is very hard to keep them up to date.  19/7/05.


I have received the following from several sources, seems like sound advice to me:

ICE - In Case of Emergency

A campaign encouraging people to enter an emergency contact number in their mobile phone's memory under the heading ICE (In Case of Emergency), has rapidly spread throughout the world as a particular consequence of last week's terrorist attacks in London. Originally established as a nation-wide campaign in the UK, ICE allows paramedics or police to be able to contact a designated relative /next-of-kin in an emergency situation.  The idea is the brainchild of East Anglian Ambulance Service paramedic Bob Brotchie and was launched in May this year. Bob, 41, who has been a paramedic for 13 years, said: "I was reflecting on some of the calls I've attended at the roadside where I had to look through the mobile phone contacts struggling for information on a shocked or injured person. Almost everyone carries a mobile phone now, and with ICE we'd know immediately who to contact and what number to ring. The person may even know of their medical history."
By adopting the ICE advice, your mobile will help the rescue services quickly contact a friend or relative - which could be vital in a life or death situation. It only takes a few seconds to do, and it could easily help save your life. Why not put ICE in your phone now? Simply select a new contact in your phone book, enter the word 'ICE' and the number of the person you wish to be contacted.  18/7/05.


Dennis Preece sends:  I recently experienced a 'sea change' from the ACT to the Illawarra region of NSW, having spent the previous 22 odd years living and working in the 'bush capital'. In view of this, my new email address is   I look forward to 'breaking bread and drinking wine' with any former shipmate/s who might remember me and/or living on or passing through 'the leisure coast'. AR.  Many thanks Dennis, we wish you well in retirement.  An interesting 'Duchess' email address.  15/7/05


Gayle Brady (Walker) sends:  Interesting to see the photos of USS Kitty Hawk as the USS Blue Ridge - flagship of the US 7th Fleet - has recently been in Brisbane after taking part in Exercise "Talisman Sabre" off the Queensland Coast. Was lucky enough to be given a guided tour along with a group from Northside/Wavell Naval Association Sub-Section. A Civic Reception was held in Brisbane City Hall to commemorate the end of hostilities in the Pacific (60th Anniversary) and the Lord Mayor made mention of the fact that the US 7th Fleet was actually formed in Brisbane. A good turn out attended by crew members (from the Admiral down) of the US ships berthed here and also RAN crew members including a communicator from HMAS Parramatta who was proudly wearing his RANCBA badge.

Crew members from USS Blue Ridge I spoke to certainly enjoyed their visit to Sydney and seemed to be pretty happy with the hospitality being shown to them in Brisbane.  Thanks Gayle 15/7/05.


Ken Street sent the first photo of USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63), snapped by Ken during the ship's visit to Sydney last week.  Ken points out 'we used to have a Carrier!' albeit a little smaller.  The second photo was copied from the ship's official web site - 

USS KITTY HAWK - Sydney - July 2005   USS KITTY HAWK - Sydney - July 2005

The USS KITTY HAWK is the oldest active ship in the U.S. Navy, commissioned April 29, 1961.  I believe she is now heading home to decommission.  12/7/05.


Keith 'Tug' Wilson sends:

Cheerio to everyone from the Solomons where I am currently serving with the AFP in RAMSI.  Reminds me so much of Manus Island with one major difference. I am dry 99.99% of the time instead of the other way around. Very sad to hear of the passing of Jan Broadsmith. She served many a good meal working on the galley scran line at Harman. I recollect that is where Stumpy first asked her to go out with him. She was a great girl and my heartfelt sympathies go to Stump and the family.

If anyone knows Roger O'Donnell, the current IDG chaplain, and still Navy connected then he is seeking information on the whereabouts of Pancho Ferrugia. If anyone knows could you give me a quick one liner with the details, I will pass them on.

Great to see a Tankermen site up and running, not so good to hear about the Jason Pistols. That was hot work in December. Seems to be a neverending list of tools and substances we shouldn't have been exposed to. Hope you are all faring well.

Keith (Tug) Wilson
Guadacanal Beach Resort


Ken Street has very kindly provided the following signal which will be of interest to you all:

R 300247Z JUN 05
AIG 3602


The end of an era.  30/5/05.


From Snow Hildebrand:
It was sad to hear that Trevor Robb lost his fight. I was on his watch at Coonawarra in the early seventies. What a fantastic crew there was at the time. Many fond memories of Mick Cairney and Burfs whom he has gone to join. They will all be remembered.

To Alan Rogers, Sorry to hear about Chas Carleton. Please pass on my best for a speedy recovery.  Regards Snow.  29/6/05


Alan Rodgers advises that another of our shipmates is battling cancer:
Chas Carleton is going into The Mount Hospital on Sunday for major surgery on Monday morning to remove cancer of the oesophagus. He is reasonably confident that it will be a success. He will be in hospital for approximately two weeks and would probably appreciate a visit or card.  I will send updates as and when I am informed.  25/6/05.  Many thanks for keeping us informed Alan.  Our thoughts are with Chas and we wish him well during his recovery.

Update 29 June 05:
Max Hasson has spoken to Chas’s wife and the operation was a success, he is unlikely to be ready for any visitors until end of the week.


David Kerr sends:

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the sudden and unexpected passing of our fellow ex-communicator John (Jack) Gorman. Jack was actively involved in the communications Branch Association for many many years and was the South Australian State Secretary for the past 10 years and took charge of the communications Branch squad each year for the Adelaide Anzac Day march.

Jack joined the Navy as a Convoy Signalman in September 1940 and served until February 1946. In 1944, whilst still serving, he joined the Ex-Navalman's Asociation in Port Adelaide and was an active and financial member of what is now the Naval Association of Australia for over 60 years. He served as a reservist in the Navy until the early '60's.

Funeral arrangements will be advised when known

Lest we forget
David Kerr 23/6/05.

Update 26.6.05:
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a service of Remembrance, Celebration and Thanksgiving for the life of Jack Gorman which will be conducted entirely in the Port Adelaide Naval Association Clubrooms, 35 Quebec St Port Adelaide on Wednesday June 29 at 11.00am. Regards, David Kerr.


Terry Gleeson sends:
A bit belated, but the attached series of photographs will be of interest to all communicators who know Alan and Dorothy Murgatroyd (is there anyone who doesn't?). Alan and Dot departing Sydney via Farm Cove onboard MV "Paul Mitchell" on 26th April for warmer climes north. Bon Voyage Alan & Dorothy, until we catch up again.  Best Regards - Terry & Christine Gleeson.  Many thanks Terry, great photos.  During this cold Canberra winter I envy the lifestyle of the Gleesons and the Murgatroyds.  18/6/05.



Max Hemmy sends the following sad news:

It is with deep sympathy that I pass on the sad news of the passing of Noel Barker.  He was a former Kellick SIG who I knew at Harman.  He had a stroke at work and died in hospital. I do not know where or have any further information on him. Lest we Forget.  Many thanks Max, I knew Noel quite well in our younger years (we did our Signalman's course together).  Noel was a Tasmanian and joined the RAN as a Junior Recruit in January 1963.  Three of that particular Signalman's class are now deceased; Noel, Keith 'Fred' Knights & Paul Rattray.  May they all rest in peace.  If anyone is able to shed any further light on Noel it would be welcomed.  John Curbishley, 18/6/05.


Alan Rodgers (President of RANCBA WA) sends the following sad news:

Tom (Mozza) John Morris

It is my sad duty to advise of the death of Tom (Mozza) John Morris.  Tom passed away yesterday 16th June (7.30pm) at the Murdoch Hospital.  Tom was a member of the First Intake of JR's at HMAS LEEUWIN July 1960. He will be sadly missed, our thoughts are with Rina (Tom's wife) at this time.  Tom was a communicator for such a long time I am unable to advise when he left the branch and went to the Maylands Teachers Training College in WA where he did his teachers training.  He was then employed in the RAN as a Academic Instructor and paid off as a CPO AI.  Not too sure if he changed over from an RS to the AI Branch or not.


A church service will be conducted at Byford in WA at 1200 Noon, Tuesday 21st June 2005.
Funeral arrangements will be conducted at 2.30pm at Karrakatta Cemetery, Tuesday 21st June 2005.
Those who can attend are requested to wear medals.

Tue 21 June 2005:
Today was a very sad day. We paid our farewells to Tom Johnstone (Mozza) Morris at the Karrakatta Cemetery. There, many of his work mates from the Fisheries Department and family members, together with members of the First Intake of the Junior Recruits Intake HMAS LEEUWIN of 1960, said their last farewells to Mozza. Fair skies and smooth seas Tom, and may the wind alway be at your back. Alan Rodgers.

Lest we Forget. 17/6/05.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends the following:

Cecil Audley Black (Member here in Sydney and was a committeeman for the 2005 Reunion) has been awarded an Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queens Birthday Honours List.  Cec has been one of the hardest working people I have ever met, and when I gave him or tried to write how much he worked behind the scene for the 2005 National Reunion, I just couldn't cover it all.  He is also very heavily involved with the Gladesville RSL Club, the RSL Sub Branch and Youth Club, plus local voluntary work. He thoroughly deserves with Award , and to his wife Stella and Cec, BZ to both.
Shorty Moffatt.  17/6/05.


Darren 'Spider' Webb sends the following:
I am trying to track down a hoist that was flown on VJ day at the South Head Signal Station.
Apparently it consisted of the following flags:

Hotel or Kilo?

Code Pennant.

Has anyone heard of this hoist, and what the actual flags were? I am trying to find out for a 80+ year old woman, so any help would be appreciated.
Darren 'Spider' Webb
I have absolutely no idea, is anyone able to help Spider out??  9/6/05.


Frank Lawton sends the very sad news that Trevor Robb (ex PORS) passed away this morning, age 58.  Tricky finally succumbed to his battle with cancer.  It was not unexpected, those of us who attended the recent comms Branch Reunion in Sydney knew that Trevor was very seriously ill, but it is sad news all the same.  Goes to show what sort of moral character Tricky Trev had, he marched the whole route of the Anzac Day march un-aided. He was just a great bloke.

The funeral will be held on Friday 10 June at 1430. North Chapel, Newcastle Memorial Park, Anderson Drive, BERESFIELD. It is my understanding that the funeral parlour is providing an ANF and poppies for ex-members to place on his coffin if they so wish.  Lest we Forget. 8/6/05.

From Sue Hackett:  Have just read the news of Trev Robb's passing. Not knowing he was ill, it has come as a great shock. Please pass on my love to Ann, Aaron and Damian and to all Trev's close friends. I have some wonderful memories of our times together in Darwin especially. Vale Trev - you were one of the best.  13/6/05.

Trevor & Narelle at the 2005 RANCBA Reunion


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt would like to pass the following arrangements to those of you who would like to order additional 2005 Reunion memorabilia:

From Cornerstone Emroidery
Subject. Re additional items from the RANCBA REUNION.
For those who wish to purchase items, the prices will remain the same (the prices that RANCBA charged), that way the "profit" on each item will pay for the packing and postage or each order, so no-one is disadvantaged by adding extra freight to the prices. They can place orders direct to us via e-mail, fax or post, with payment required at time of ordering either by cheque or bank transfer. Once we have completed the order, we will arrange postage to each individual from our end. The following details are relevant:

Cornerstone Embroidery,
43 Cook Avenue,
Surf Beach NSW 2536.
Tel: 02 4471 1308, Fax 02 4471 1408
Bank details BSB 062-650 commonwealth Bank Batemans Bay
A/C No. 1015 5659 Cornerstone Embroidery

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt, Hon Sec RANCBA (NSW) - 4/6/05

Les Figg "found this article on the web and thought it might be of interest to some old Sparkers:"

Morse coders beating SMSers
Jay Leno did a text off between two text messengers and two Morse coders. Here’s a video of it (WMV). The Morse coders handily beat the young whippersnappers with time to spare. comments from the Morse code guys here. It might be a fun phone app to make a Morse code messenger, if you kept your headset in and had an external sender, could be interesting. Perhaps a Morse code Skype device… The idea is fun — the web site is being hit quite a bit so it is best to download it and view it rather than look at it as streaming.
The Morse people creamed the SMS people seriously. It was the backbone of the Victorian Internet after all…


Barry Appleby has provided the following 2005 Reunion photograph of Rod Withers, Barry, Harry James & Nev Kruck - a revisit of the HMAS PERTH deployment to Vietnam in 1968/69.  All those shown were at that time hirsute young men - see what war does to you!  3/6/05


It is my sad duty to advise of the death of Jillian (Jill) Haidon, nee Barrett (ex CWRRSS).  Jill passed away yesterday (31 May 2005) after a long and determined fight with cancer.  No-one could have fought this insidious disease more earnestly than Jill and her passing will be a great sadness to her many friends and colleagues from the communications Branch.  Our thoughts are with Bill, Lisa and Shaun at this time.  Funeral details will be advised when known.  Lest we Forget.  John Curbishley, 1/6/05.


Dave Jeffrey - President of the RANCBA (ACT) advises:
The funeral of the late CWRRSS Jill Haidon (nee Barrett), a member of the RANCBA (ACT), will be held at the crematorium at Norwood Park next Monday 6 June 2005, commencing at 1400. The details will be in the press either Friday or Saturday (see notice above). All available members of the RANCBA are asked to attend this commemoration of Jill's life. Medals may be worn on this occasion.


Alan Rodgers passes the following sad news about Tom (Mozza) John Morris:
It's my sad duty to notify you that Tom is now at home following an operation for cancer at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Nedlands earlier in this month. Tom is seriously ill and your prayers are needed for him.  Rina (Tom's wife) request no visitors at this time, however if you wish to send cards etc they are most welcome. Tom's address 877 Manjedal Drive, BYFORD WA 6201.  Good luck mate we are thinking of you. Regards, Alan Rodgers.


Jim Eagles passes the following 'Virus Notice'.
If you receive an email supposedly from your email provider stating your download limit has been exceeded and which contains a zip file please do not open it as it contains a virus. These emails are generated by a virus called W32.Mydoom.BT@mm. If you forward the email to your provider without opening it requesting advice they will tell you what to do about it. In my case I returned the email to and they advised me to send them on to so a report will automatically be sent to the Abuse desk of the originating network so they can advise their user to clean up their PC. This system will probably work for all, just insert your own provider after @.  Jim Eagles.  24/5/05


Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:
3rd June 2009 will be the 40th anniversary of the collision between HMAS Melbourne (Carrier) and the American destroyer USS Frank E Evans. You will remember that we had a 25th anniversary reunion in Canberra, the 30th in Sydney and the 35th in Adelaide. The 40th is to be held in South East Queensland, centred on Ipswich. When I leave for the States tomorrow (Wednesday) for the reunion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I will be carrying letters of introduction and invitations from the Mayor of Ipswich, Cr Paul Pisasale, to the USS Frank E Evans Association. This site is the first to be officially notified, but I will inform other sites in time. I know it is a fair way off but, as you are aware, these things take some time to get right. I will keep you posted as to the progress of the 2009 Reunion, which is being organised by the Bundamba Sub-Section of the NAA and the Ipswich City Council. If any communicators who were on the Melbourne during the incident (and there were lots of them) require any info, they can email me direct. I will be back from the States on Friday 17 June. Cheers.  24/5/05


David 'Blue' Kerr sends:
I've been asked to pass the attached letter to the RANCBA for posting on the website. It is an expression of interest letter for a HMAS Voyager Reunion in 2007 which a few members of the Port Adelaide Naval Association are keen to arrange if they can get enough interest. I would be grateful if you could post it on the RANCBA web page. Thanks and best regards, David Kerr.  No problems David, please follow this link to read more on the HMAS Voyager Reunion.  23/5/05.


Sandy & Pat McNab were told " we should NOT go home without climbing it."  Here's proof that we climbed it !  Sandy.  17/5/05
Gayle Brady replies:  Well O.K. The Bridge climb was good but the view from the 36th Floor of the Shangri-la Hotel was superb an it only cost the price of (and it wasn't cheap) a drink!!

Pat & Sandy Bridge Climb  
Pat & Sandy, bridge climb Sydney Harbour.


Judy Hughes Bridge Climb (3rd from right)


Judy Hughes also climbed the bridge.  Judy is 3rd from right in the front row.  Sam is in the bar at Circular Quay!

Sandy has also forwarded a photo shown below taken at the Welcoming Reception, entitled 'Coonawarra 65-66 revisited'.  Those pictured are:
L to R. Natalie Cullity (Thom), Pat McNab (Hawkett), Pam Hughes (Booth), Doriel Wailes (Eade) and Hillary Gray (Cooper). In the background Bob Hughes and Merrilyn (Mel) Hill.

Sandy also provided very good photos of the reunion 'Showboat' luncheon cruise and the BBQ at GI, which I originally published with Trevor Pike's thank you message to all who attended the reunion.  I reproduce them here for those who might not have seen them.


Many thanks Sandy, I hope to publish these photos under the 'RANCBA Sydney Reunion' link in due course.  If anyone else would like reunion photos published please fire away!  17/5/05.

Ken Street sends a 2005 national reunion photo worthy for inclusion in this forum:
Ken called it 'timeless' and I agree, Kev Ruwoldt and Bas Cleary don't look a year older...  17/5/05


Frank Lawton sends the following very sad news:
It is with sincere sorrow that I advise you of the passing of Jan Broadsmith wife of Ian (Stumpy) Broadsmith.
Jan entered hospital last Friday for a minor operation and was due to be discharged today. Unfortunately she developed a blood clot and suffered a massive heart attack and died at 1230 today. Jan was and ex WRAN Steward, mother of three and grandmother of two. A genuine lovely lady who will be missed by many. Frank.  Thanks Frank, I'm sure all communicators who have known Stumpy over his long career would wish to pass their deepest sympathies at this difficult time.  16/5/05.

Friday 20 May:  Advice has been received that Jan's funeral is this Saturday (21st May) at 1030 in Bunurong Memorial Park, Frankston Dandenong Rd, Dandenong South.


Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker passes the following:
On Wednesday 11 May, I attended a barbecue for the crews of USS Bonhomme Richard (Amphibious Assault Ship) and USS Milius (Guided-missile Cruiser).  They are on their way home from a five-month deployment in Iraq, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, and stopped of in Brisbane for about 5 days R&R. Attached are some photos of commodore Michelle Howard (first female commodore in the USN) and Rear Admiral Chris Ames, both off the Bonhomme Richard. As you can see, I covered all bases by wearing a HMAS Melbourne name tag, a Naval Association badge and the old RANCBA hat. I also took a supply of Bundamba sub-section NAA Stubby coolers. The admiral and the commodore both have stubby coolers now, and Michelle also has my RANCBA hat, but she did replace it with a Richard Bonhomme cap (officer-type of course, with the scrambled eggs on the peak).  Michelle invited 8 of us back to her ship on Saturday, and we got a guided tour and high tea in the wardroom.  For the technically-minded, the Bonhomme Richard is one of seven ships in the WASP class designation - LHD, with a troop-carrying capacity of 1800.  It cost 1.1 billion US Dollars and is 844 feet long, 106 feet wide and has 2.2 acres of usable deck space. It displaces 40,500 tons and has a top speed of 20+ knots. It's aircraft are comprised of AV/8 Harriers, CH-46 Sea knight helos, CH-53E Super Stallion helos, AH-1W Super Cobra helos. It also carries Landing Craft Air Cushion, M-1 Abrams Tanks, and amphibious assault vehicles. To the not-so-technically-minded, it's a bloody big grey ship, more than twice the size of the old carriers Melbourne and Sydney. Cheers, Nullarbor.  16/5/05.



WOCIS Rod Howard is the CIS Category Manager at Navy Office.  He has asked me to publish the following document, which I am more than happy to do.  Please follow the link to: "CIS Sailors – All Ranks – Professional Employment / Situations Vacant."  Some of you might feel like throwing the rig back on.  10/5/05.


Dave Jeffrey sends the following interesting photograph:
Former DNC Captain David Cotsell and his wife Anne (nee Alworthy) celebrate Anne's 50th birthday and the marriage of their daughter Claire by horse-riding around Geelong!!


LCDR Ean McDonald RANR, has written a book (Flip Side War) on his wartime experiences (see flyer below):
Ean began his career as a Rockie Signalman in 1938, served aboard SYDNEY and all of the V and W's in the Med, then Perth, was commissioned and then commissioned both ECHUCA and SHEPPARTON.  Ean finished the war as First Lieutenant of SHEPPARTON and as Hydrographer.  Please see details on the flyer if you would like to purchase the book.  2/5/05.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt had several enquiries at the reunion regarding  the mailing list for his RANCBA Newsletter:

Shorty would like to advise that if anyone desires to receive copies of the newsletter, could they let him know their normal mail address.  The cost is still only ten dollars for 4 copies per year. This will also give you access to input articles etc, send photos and send cheerios to shipmates.

Shorty's postal address is:

Many thanks Shorty, all communicators should be subscribing to this newsletter which helps them keep in touch with others and also keeps them informed on happenings around Australia.  28/4/05.


Dinga and Anne Bell send the first of the Sydney Reunion BZ's: 

We have just arrived back in Townsville from the Sydney Reunion. We would like to thanks the organising committee for a superb event. All of the individual events were well run and there didn't appear to be any bitches from those attending.

The ANZAC Day Luncheon was simply great - and the RAN Band made it very memorable. I doubt if there were many dry eyes by the finish. Again BZ to those concerned and we can only hope that Rod and his crew from Melbourne can come up with something similar. It seems that each reunion simply gets better - if that's possible. Regards to all.  I endorse Dinga & Anne's comments entirely, it was a great 4 days, superb weather, good company and excellent organisation.  The organising committee did a magnificent job.  27/4/05.


Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:
Attached should be a phot (if I did it right) of my good self presenting a couple of NAA Bundamba stubby coolers to Warrant Officer Julie Walker from Navy Recruiting. Old salts may be interested to learn that Julie is the daughter of Bill Clemson. She was not aware of the RANCBA website, but she is now, so you may hear from her in the future. Julie used to be a WRRO in a previous life. PS..I'm the good looking bloke on the left, Cheers Nullarbor.  Many thanks Ron, Great photo.  27/4/05.


ANZAC Day - Sydney
Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends the following (in addition to his Reunion notice on the Anzac Day march):

In anticipation of record crowds, a large screen would be installed in Martin Place to enable people to better view the ceremony.

Veterans and their families taking part in Anzac Day events in Sydney and Newcastle will travel free on public transport, CityRail, and State Ferries would offer free travel on April 25 to Veterans, widows children, grandchildren and all Serving Defence personnel who are in uniform, or those wearing medals displaying their RSL badge or carrying identification on RSL letterhead.

People from rural and regional areas will be able to buy a return CountryLink ticket for the price of a one-way ticket.

Free travel will not extend to JetCats or Sydney Explorer buses.

Also don't forget if wearing a RSL badge free brekkie at McDonalds.  20/4/05


The ACT branch of the RANCBA will be marching in Canberra on ANZAC Day.  Although many members will be attending the reunion in Sydney, those who are in town are invited to join Bruce Maughan, the Association's Vice President, for the march and ceremony at the Australian War Memorial. Look for our banner - form-up at 0945-1015 - march on - 1030. Due to most committee members being in Sydney, there will not be a gunfire breakfast this year.  After the march members will be meeting up at Vikings Club, Erindale.  Please pass this information on to any serving or ex-communicators who may wish to join us.
Peter Guy


Jim Eagles sends:
G'day fellas, Can anyone settle an argument for us. Anyone recall the correct procedure for corrections in W/T log books or making amendments of changes. Was it illegal to remove pages and rewrite them ?? What was the penalty if any ?? Jim Eagles, Townsville (It was a friendly argument!).  13/4/05.


Royce Bell has renewed acquaintances with Red Ryder:
"I was looking at the QSO site and came across Red Ryder’s name. It prompted a couple of memories of PERTH 67/68 and I went into my memorabilia file to come up with a couple of examples of his humour during a Vietnam Sea Dragon deployment. Sent them off to Red and he has agreed that they can be made “public” if you think they will interest the wider audience/readers. Remember that PERTH relieved HOBART on station just after an unfortunate incident. The files and my emails to Red are attached. They were the simple things that we sent across to the Yanks with each RAS although I’m not sure the command was aware what went across between the RAS points. Most of it was in envelopes addressed to the Yank ‘flagdeck’ and resulted in some interesting semaphore exchanges."  Many thanks Royce, the memorabilia is displayed below.  11/4/05.

Red Ryder Drawing 1  Red Ryder Drawing 2  Red Ryder Drawing 3  Red Ryder Drawing 4

Further to Red's drawings, Jenny Downing has unearthed some editions of the 'Bonshaw News' that Red published in 1969.  Jenny adds:  "As the originals are fairly pale and brittle I have transcribed them rather than try to scan them. If you think they are suitable for QSO the World, I have Red’s permission for them to be posted."  Many thanks Jenny, anyone who served at HARMAN around the late 60's or early 70's will recognise a lot of the names.  Please follow the links to Jenny's transcriptions.  2/5/05.

Bonshaw News1      Bonshaw News2      Bonshaw News3      Bonshaw News Final


Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:
Would anybody knowing an address (either postal or email) for Anne (Anne-Marie) Cook, ex-wife of P J Davey and mother of Lieut Mathew Davey RANR, who was killed in the Sea King incident, please forward to me (or get in touch with Anne and give her my email address). We were on the same watch in Coonawarra lots of years back, along with Tab Hunter, Brian Dobson, Virginia Clarke and thers. and I would like to offer my condolences. Cheers, Nullarbor.  I have been in touch with PJ (currently in Nowra at a memorial service) and he is going to email Ron the contact details tomorrow when he returns to Canberra.  Anne-Marie currently resides in the West, if anyone has further information please advise Nullarbor direct.  8/4/05.

Monday 11 April 2004:  The funeral for LEUT Matthew Davey RANR will be held in the ANZAC Memorial Chapel of St Paul, RMC, Duntroon on Wednesday April 13, 2005 commencing at 2pm.  The funeral will leave the Chapel following the service for the Norwood Park Crematorium.  There will also be a National Service of Thanksgiving for those killed in the crash of Sea King Shark 02 on Friday 15 April in the Great Hall of Parliament House.


Bill 'Rasher' Bacon advises the following:
Pat Forster a sig in Darwin 1941 - 1943 and author of the book "The Navy in Darwin 1941-1943", Is endeavouring to clear up some misconceptions which have crept into Naval history for that period and is preparing a report for the N.T. Heritage and is wishing to contact any sigs that served in Darwin in that period particularly at PWSS Dudley Point or on one of the boom defence vessels he can be contacted direct at or via myself at   Tks Bill, CU in Sydney shortly.  7/4/05.


Sandy McNab sends the following:
Perusing a supplement in The West Australian some time back titled 'Unclaimed Money - Official W.A. Register', I scanned through the Mac's and Mc's to no avail. A name that caught my eye was a MacLeod Barbara D Ms. A substantial amount of $461.19 is unclaimed in the name of Newmont Mining Services Pty Ltd. It may have been an share dividend payment or whatever. A co-incidence perhaps as it might just be the same WRAN Officer Barbara MacLeod (if it is the same spelling). I recall flying Perth to Melbourne on the same passenger aircraft with her in early 1962 and believe she may have retired years later as Director WRANS at Canberra. I am aware she passed away some time back, but can not recall exactly when or where. Any information received via email or by contact at the Sydney reunion would be an excellent starting point. Should any relatives and or maybe those responsible for her estate be located, I would like to onforward the 'unclaimed register application details'. Thanks. Sandy.  5/4/05.


Jim and Anne Eagles send deepest sympathy to the families of those killed in helo crash at Nias.
Thanks Jim & Anne, I'm sure all of us feel the same.  It was particularly close to home here in the ACT with one of those lost (LEUT Mathew Davey) being the son of P.J. Davey (ex-POETC) who is a member of the HMAS SYDNEY, Escorts & VLSVA here in the ACT.  Our thoughts are with P.J. and with all the families of those so tragically lost in this accident.  4/4/05. 


Terry 'Red' Ryder sends the following request:
Does anyone know what happened to or know the whereabouts of a Wran by the name of Barbie (Barbara) Ralph? She was at Harman in 1973 before she got posted to Darwin.  Cheers, Red Ryder. 31/3/05.


Les Dwyer, who runs the NAA web site at passes on the following:
"Had contact from a lovely octogenarian ex WRRO(T) who lives in New Caledonia.  Her name is Elizabeth Dubois (nee Shumack) and she served in HARMAN 1943-45. She is looking to contact anyone from that era who may have known her. Any help you can give will be appreciated. Her email address is Kind regards, Les."
I will pass on Elizabeth's details to the WRANS Association, if anyone is in contact with any other WRAN Telegraphists who served in HARMAN during WW II please pass the message on.  27/3/05.


DFRDB Pensions:
The following very well written letter is currently doing the rounds of service web sites and email forums.  It addresses an issue which should be dear to the heart of all those communicators receiving DFRDB pensions.  Please take the time to read it, whether you wish to take it further is entirely up to you.  27/3/05.
Please follow this link to read the letter from LTCOL David Lewis.


Tony 'Tackers' Miles sends:
Does anybody in communications land know the whereabouts of ex Wran RS Allison Hall . The last time I saw her was at Albatross in 1964.  24/3/05.


End of an Era Badge
I have had several inquiries about the 'End of an Era' badge shown on the main page of this site, mainly from interested communicators wishing to purchase same.  This badge was made up by the RAN communications School when the Signalman and Sparker right arm rates were made redundant by the new communications and Information Systems (CIS) right arm rate, which we all adore.  Because of the interest in the badge I have gone out on a limb somewhat by commissioning the original manufacturer (Evan Evans) to proceed with an extra run of 100 badges, the minimum order allowed.  These badges are about 65mm in diameter and would look good sewn on a baseball cap or a reunion hat tally-band.  All going well I will have the badges with me at the RANCBA Sydney Reunion from 22-25 April. If you would like to place an order beforehand please send me an email.  If you are not attending the reunion please send your $5.00 note, along with a stamped self-addressed envelope to:
End of an Era Badge
PO Box 4138
Manuka ACT 2603

Cost is $5.00 per badge, please make sure you send a stamped (50c) self-addressed envelope if you want mail delivery.  Regards, John Curbishley, Web Manager.  22/03/05.

Update 15 April:  The badges have been received from the manufacturer and mailed out to those who sent in mail orders.  The email orders will be passed on at the comms Branch Reunion in Sydney from 22-25 April..

  July 2005 - I have now sold out of these badges, many thanks for your support.

CPOCIS Rohan Jennings adds to the discussion:
Regarding the end of an era badge, several members serving at comms School at the time also commissioned a commemorative port in a display box with the massaged inscription:

"Of what avail the loaded tube,
The cannon or the shell;
If flags and W/T default,
The fleet will go to hell!"

Individual port glasses were also in the display box and they had gold embossing, one with crossed flags and the other the radio emblem. A function was held in Baxter (Vic) attended by about 100 serving and ex serving communicators. A good night was had by all. Several photos were taken as well as an attendance log. These items now reside in a display cabinet at the Defence Force School of Signals Maritime CIS Wing (the new name for comms School).
Regards,  CPOCIS Rohan Jennings.  Many thanks Rohan, I like the inscription, must use it somewhere on the web site.  01/04/05.


Recently Revised History of HMAS HARMAN
The revised history of HMAS HARMAN 1943 - 2003, by Lieutenant commander Annette Nelson is now available from the Naval Historical Society of Australia Inc.  Cost is $12.00 per book plus $3.00 postage and handling.  Order forms will be available at the RANCBA Reunion in Sydney next month, if you would like to order a copy prior to this please follow this link to print and submit the order form.  I purchased a copy at the Navy Day celebrations in Canberra on Saturday 19 March.  Annette has done an excellent job with the update, the publication is a 'must have' for any communicator who served in HARMAN.  John Curbishley, Web Manager, 22/03/05.


Shorty Moffat has asked that the following be published as some of you may have known Bob and would wish to attend his funeral.
Fm John Withers - Hon Sec of HMAS HOBART Association (NSW Section) - Passing of Bob Bellear:
It is with regret that we advise the passing of our mate Bob Bellear, Tuesday evening 15th March '05 after a long illness. Bob was a sailor, stoker, fine Rugby player, and damn fine gentleman.  He was a member of the commissioning crew of HMAS HOBART and served in her during her first deployment to Vietnam.  He was also the first aboriginal to pass law exams and was elevated to the Bench in 1996 as Mr. Justice Robert Bellear of the District Court of NSW, on which he served with distinction.  A state funeral will be held in Sydney Town Hall at 1300 on Tuesday 22nd March 2005. A private cremation will be held afterwards. Those who knew and served with him are invited to attend.
Lest we Forget.  18/3/05.


Rod & Marg Beckinsale were suitably  farewelled at a local dinner in Canberra on Sunday 13 March 2005.  They are retiring to Morayfield (near Caboolture, QLD) in a couple of days time.  We wish them well on their new life's adventure and know that Rod will be involved in the ex-service community in his new posting. Our loss is Queensland's gain.  I will publish Rod's new email address once he is back on the air.  Those pictured in the group photograph below are:

Back Row L to R:  Maureen & Dave Jeffrey, Chris Sutherland, Des McKee, Martin Holmes, Kerry Wallis (Martin & Kerry will be wed on Saturday 19 March 2005), Judy McKee, Lance Sutherland, Sam Hughes, Sarah & John Curbishley, Ruth Weaver, Joanne & Patrick Moonie.
Seated in Front:  Keghead Weaver, Judy Hughes, Rod & Marg Beckinsale.

Rod Beckinsale - 13 March 2005  Dinner group - Rod & Marg's Farewell


Mal Baker advises:
Just to let everyone know that Ken Stevenson is organising a 25th reunion of the general intake of Waller Division, HMAS Cerberus (October 1980). If there is any old communicators (or other rates) out there, and is interested in getting together over a couple of ales, drop me an email and I will pass on your details to Ken. Many thanks.  11/3/05.


Peter Guy, Secretary of the RANCBA ACT, forwards the following advice from LCDR Annette Nelson:

Navy Day in Canberra this year will be on Saturday 19 Mar 05 at commonwealth Park.
Part of that will be the re-launch of the better-than-ever History of HARMAN by LCDR Annette Nelson, published by the Naval Historical Society. I have not yet been advised of the details of the actual launch, but will let you know when I know more.
I will be there in a tent selling copies and taking orders and would love to see you. Please pass the word.

LCDR A.J.Nelson

Peter Cooke-Russell advises the following sad news:
It is with deep regret that I inform you of the crossing of the bar of our Past National President Admiral Mike Hudson AC RAN Rtd. He passed away on Saturday night at the Royal North Shore Hospital.

I have been advised that his farewell service will be held in the Garden Island Chapel Sydney at 1130 on Friday 4 March 2005.
Peter Cooke-Russell
National Secretary NAA
1300 780 054
Ph/Fax 02 6258 2664
Sad news indeed, I was fortunate to serve as his CPOSY in MELBOURNE in 1981 and his Flag WOSY during 1982-83.  A great man, I mourn his passing.  Lest we Forget. John Curbishley, 28/2/05.

Follow this link for a Sydney Morning Herald article on the life of Admiral Mike Hudson.

RADM Mike Hudson

CDRE Mike Hudson presenting CPOSV Russ Williams 
& CPOSY John Curbishley with their Warrants in 1981.

SWRRO Sherin McDougall came to the rescue when CDRE Mike Hudson 'came
undone' during a visit to Brisbane. As CDRE Hudson, commanding Officer of
the flagship HMAS MELBOURNE and Fleet commander designate, stepped from his
car his medals came adrift but SWRRO McDougall acted quickly to secure them.

P 280203Z FEB 05










Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:
The Java Sea commemoration Service will be held on Friday 25th February 2005 at the Cenotaph, Martin Place, Sydney at 1100hrs. His Excellency, Major General Michael Jeffery, AC, CVO, MC (Rtd) Governor-General of Australia and Her Excellency, Mrs Marlena Jeffery will be in attendance. Master of Ceremonies will be CMDR Ken Swain, AM RAN Rtd. All former and Serving personnel who happen to be in Sydney on this day are cordially invited to attend this ceremony. Please be in attendance by 10.30am. Medals and Awards where applicable are to be worn.
Regards, Shorty.  21/2/05.


VALE ex-RO 'Bob' A.R. Trout R.A.N 1948-1960

Sandy McNab sends:  "Sad to report the passing of Bob on the 9th February 2005. He was a 12 year man whom I first met in 1959 as the 2 badge 'resident' sparker on the HMAS Diamantina (my first sea draft). Many ex-communicators will also recall Bob's work years as a comm Officer and Flight Service Officer with DCA/CAA with several postings throughout W.A. from 12/60 to 8/87.
I stand corrected but believe his only real 'warrie' sea draft may have been the HMAS Australia although there may have been others whilst training. Bob Bergin from S.A. can tell me he did a couple of stints at HMAS Harman with him and even took over the Canteen Managers job from Bob in 1957 when he drafted back to the 'west' once again. I said 'resident' as he always seemed to get W.A. native drafts which may have included HMAS Junee and thence HMAS Fremantle. When he sailed to decommission the Fremantle in Sydney, the Gascoyne, Barcoo and Diamantina all were being readied for re-commissioning. Yes, it was Bob and a TO 'Dinga' Bell from Griffith NSW that sailed on the Diamantina/VMFB/F377 back to the Royal W.A. Navy here in Fremantle in 1959. Bob is survived by his wife Nancy, 4 children, 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. 'Slow ahead both' Bob, we'll see you anon."  Many thanks Sandy, Lest we Forget.  15/2/05.


Duncan Perryman (or John or Jill) has recently retired and now works in Defence at the Sea Power Centre where he is the Senior Naval Historical Officer.
He sends:  "Recently I was sorting out some photographs and came across these that I thought you may want to place on the RANCBA web site. The first is of Rear Admiral Dovers in the old Fleet Work Trainer! I don't recognise the CCY but you might. Then there are two of Princess Alexandra visiting Harman on September 21 1978 talking to some WRAN communicators. Again, I don't recognise any of them but you may. The last picture is of what every true blue flag waver should do in retirement! No doubt I will turn up many more communicator photographs during my time here and if you like I'll continue to pass them your way. With best wishes."
Duncan "John" Perryman
Senior Naval Historical Officer
Seapower Centre Australia
Department of Defence
Canberra ACT 2600

Tks John, I'll take as many photographs as you want to pass on, the photos below will also be put on the MSO page.
The first is of CCY Bill Huggins (the Fleetwork King) in the Fleetwork Trainer with RADM Bill Dovers.  I would put it around 1971/72 when Bill Dovers was FOCAF (if my memory serves me correctly).
I can only put names to Pat McCabe and Joan Meaker in the Princess Alexandra photos, but other faces are familiar and should be readily identified by others -  please help.
There is quite a story behind the photo of John and the  Admiralty Pattern 3860A 10 inch incandescent signalling projector, which now generates one million candle power from 240 Volts on select nights in the skies above Fadden, ACT.  I will be publishing more about this shortly (along with refurbishment photos), but John also has a magnificent collection of about 14 different types including Aldis, Intermediate, Pattern 1038, Harley Lanterns, Doorman Signalling torches and a number of others. He has managed to get all of them working and is hoping (one day) to write something about them. More than worthy of publication (with photos) to his own page on this site I would think.  Stay tuned. 8/2/05.

Bill Huggins & Bill Dovers   Princess Alexandra visit 1978   Princess Alexandra visit 1978   Duncan 'John' Perryman with 10 inch SP.


John Curbishley sends:  Sarah and I recently spent a pleasant afternoon with Pedro & Sue Franklin at their retirement property in Mudgeeraba, QLD.  They have a huge corner block, complete with tennis court and swimming pool, and have recently extended the original dwelling by adding a new wing on one end.  Renovations of the original house are continuing, the kitchen has been finished but there remains a deal of tiling and painting to be completed, as well as landscaping and paving.  The first thing they did was build a garage (complete with kitchen/bathroom/accommodation/games/medal mounting area) at the other end of the house which they lived in while the major extensions to the house were being carried out.  The extension work is magnificent and it will be a fitting retirement villa for them both when the rest of the hard work is done.  I can vouch for Pedro's home brew if you happen to be passing.  8/2/05.

Pedro/Sue retirement villa - garage/shed   Pedro/Sue retirement villa - front of new wing.


Les Thurgood sends:  I recently tried to ring Tex Daley in Cairns, for regular talk to see how he is doing.  But the number is not connected. Before I send off a snail mail, can anyone advise if he has moved or just disconnected his phone - hopefully nothing more than that. Thanks, Les.  8/2/05.

Update 12 February:
Thanks to Wayne Roots, I now have Tex Daley's new phone number and address.  Les.


Doug Kissick advises: Regret to inform that Russell (Snoopy) Edward Hooper ex CPORS and Typing Instructor at HMAS Cerberus passed away peacefully on Wed 26 January 2005 aged 68. Snoopy had been battling throat Cancer since last ANZAC Day. The Funeral is to be held on Monday Jan 31, 2005 commencing at 11am at the Bromley Funeral Chapel 457 High St Echuca.  Many thanks Doug, Lest we Forget.  6/2/05.

Russ 'Snoopy' & Marion Hooper - 1999 RANCBA Reunion


Toxic Dust Alarm For Sailors - Jason Pistols and Beryllium.

Up to 300 sailors have been exposed to a deadly dust while in the navy, it has been claimed.
The danger was identified by veterans group the Naval Tankerman Association in mid December.
It is now urging its members, via its website to see a doctor.
The toxic dust was created during work on the hulls of HMAS Supply and HMAS Melbourne.
The association recommends all seamen who served on the ships between the 1950s and 1985 undergo medical tests.
The dust came from machines called Jason Pistols, which were used to scour paint and rust from the ships superstructure.
The Pistols used vibrating rods coated with an alloy containing a heavy metal called Beryllium.
Jason Pistols containing the metal stopped being used in 1985.
However, despite worldwide concern over the metal's toxicity, the Australian Navy has refused to comment other than to confirm it was used by servicemen and the subject is under investigation.
The Naval Tankerman Association group's nation president Bob Currin Said "We have established that 3000 seamen and women were serving on the ships that used Jason Pistols over the relevant period. Hundreds have suffered breathing problems, but up to now they have been catalogued as asbestosis. We do not know how many may be caused by Beryllium.
The alert was sounded after ex-navy officer Peter Robertson, who served on HMAS Supply received a medical report indicating Beryllium exposure.
Mr Currin, from Baradine in north western NSW, who served on HMAS Supply for nine years said; "We knew the Jason Pistols were made from a special compound that stopped then sparking off the ship's metal when we chipped the paint and rust. It's only now we've discovered it included Beryllium and was dangerous."
Beryllium poisoning kills 2 percent to 6 percent of those exposed and can lie dormant for years.
Symptoms include scarred lungs, shortness of breath and eventually death. It is incurable.
I have received this report from a few sources, this particular one appeared in the Adelaide Advertiser on 24 Jan and was forwarded by Tex Sherriff.  Please check the Tankermen website (above) for any updates.  26/1/05.

The official response from the Department of Defence follows:

Department of Defence Media Mail List

CPA 041/05 Tuesday, 25 January 2005


The safety and wellbeing of all members of the Navy is of the utmost importance to Navy. This includes an ongoing interest in the general health and wellbeing of all former members of Navy.

Navy no longer uses jason pistol needles containing beryllium but acknowledges that jason pistol needles containing beryllium were used in the past.

Jason pistols are hydraulic tools used to strip paint from ships. They work by vibrating a set of 'needles' against the painted metal. This causes wear on the needles, generating dust.

We are currently investigating the extent to which jason pistol needles containing beryllium were used in the Navy, in which ships, and over what time frame. This is a difficult undertaking that may take some time. Relevant records from decades ago will need to be sourced and collated to help us build a clear picture of the extent of this problem.

Navy is committed to ensuring that all reasonable avenues for providing information on the concerns raised by our people are investigated.

Ex-servicemen or women can lodge a claim with the Department of Veterans' Affairs if they believe they have a service-related health problem, including those who believe they have had exposure to beryllium dust which has had a detrimental health impact.

Defence will use the results of its investigations to assist the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Currently serving members who believe they may have been exposed to beryllium dust are encouraged to speak with their unit medical staff.

Records from over 20 years ago may not be comprehensive or consistent in the way possible exposure was identified and recorded. Medical records are
medical-in-confidence and Defence is unable to comment on individual cases.

In very rare cases, respiratory exposure to Beryllium dusts can lead to the development of chronic lung disease in sensitised individuals.

Navy is currently unaware of any proven cases of occupationally-caused beryllium disease, but is committed to working with DVA on this issue.

Contact details for the Department of Veterans' Affairs are: 133 254 or 1800 555 254

Media contact: Defence Media Liaison - (02) 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

Update Friday 18 February 2005:
The Department of Veterans Affairs has set up a telephone hotline service for former Australian Defence Force members concerned about beryllium exposure. It says people can use the number to register for its information service so they can receive advice about their case. The department says in rare cases, exposure to beryllium dust which was produced by hydraulic paint stripping tools, can lead to the development of chronic lung disease.
The hotline number is 1800 000 644.


Dave Jeffrey passes on the sad news of the death of commodore Adrian Cummins RAN Rtd:
Although not a communicator, commodore Adrian Cummins was widely known throughout the branch. Unfortunately, I understand he had a fatal heart attack on a ski slope near his home in New Mexico on 20th January. After his funeral in America there will be a memorial service at St Paul's Duntroon, and his ashes will be scattered at sea. I will keep all informed of details when received. Regards, Dave.  Like many of you I served with and worked for Adrian during my time in the RAN.  He was certainly a unique individual - I wonder if they still make them like him?  Lest we Forget.  24/1/05.

Memorial Service for CDRE Adrian Cummins AO RAN Rtd
Further to correspondence and conversations over the last week, please note that the Memorial Service for commodore Adrian Cummins AO, RAN (Rtd) will be held at the Royal Military Chapel at Duntroon, Canberra on Monday February 14th at 2.30pm. This will be followed by a reception at the commonwealth Club (25 Forster Crescent, Yarralumla) from 4.30pm.

Adrian's wife Benedicte, my sister Kath and I look forward to seeing you at the Service and reception if you are able to make it. We would also appreciate if you could pass on this notice to any other of Dad's colleagues or friends that you think would like to attend. You are all welcome and we look forward to sharing with you some stories of Dad's life.

If you have any enquiries, don't hesitate to contact me at

Warm regards
Julia Cummins
M: 0438 566 625


Brian Nichols sends the following sad news: Just had a call from John Tuke's wife Coral to pass on the sad news that John passed away Saturday, 22nd January at Hollywood Hospital. Funeral arrangements will be advised in the West Australian. Rest in Peace Mate. Lest we Forget.  23/1/05.

John & Coral Tuke - 1999 RANCBA Reunion

To read Alan Rodgers eulogy for John please follow this link.


Kev Ruwoldt sends: I ran into Mel Prosser Thursday night at the Brighton Hotel for a couple of coldies and a meal. Mel had just returned from Hervey Bay, where he visited Frenchie in the Fairhaven Private Hospital. Frenchie is highly unlikely to ever leave hospital (according to one of Paul’s sisters) and has lost a lot of weight. He is still bright in the mind but still hard to understand resulting from the tubes down placed down his throat, from time spent in hospital. Mel was looking well and he flew back to Darwin on Friday. Regards, Ruwie.  23/1/05.


ABSIG Michael de`Marillac R127386 sends:  In the 1985 comms School Staff photo, I am the one standing right next to ABSIG Ron Howard.  The blond haired guy next to Ian Mckeown is ABSIG Peter Retallick (not totally sure about the first name though). The NK next to Rick comfort was an ABRO who was on temporary assignment while having Chemotherapy for cancer (He told me he only had a few years left).

Cerberus was my last posting after serving on HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Supply, I left the Navy in October 1985 to become a commercial Pilot. I flew extensively throughout Queensland and NSW with various flight organisations and I trained the 1st Bachelor of Science (Aviation) at Griffith University (another training role). I still run into many former students around the world. In 1990 I commenced flying with Singapore Airlines for several years before leaving to start my own Aviation Charter company. I ran into a few former communicators in transit home at Sydney Airport after the 1st Gulf War, they'd put on a lot of weight from all that drinking going on. I've worked in all facets of the Aviation industry, Airlines, cropdusting, Charter and Flight Training and then in 1997 I left that to join Australian Search and Rescue as an Aviation specialist (Search and Rescue Officer) (Yes I know Sam Hughes and Paul Threlfall). I was injured during a rescue mission so I can't fly anymore but now I work as a Barrister and Solicitor in Canberra ACT. I am on temporary assignment as a Legal Officer to the Department of Defence, The Defence Legal Service.

Regards, Michael de`Marillac BSc, LLB (Hons), MBA, Grad Dip Int'l Bus, GDLS, GDLP, GCMS.
Many thanks Michael.  23/1/05.


NUSHIP VOYAGER??  The following item from the Gunplot site was forwarded for inclusion on this site as it may be of interest to many of our members:
"It is rumoured that there are moves afoot that one of the new Air Warfare destroyers may be called HMAS Voyager. For information, look at the Gunplot.
As a member of the ships company that was on Melbourne at the time , I proposed that it wouldn't be right. This message is from me personally to gauge the response from you and you members. If I get a response, and unless you do so, I will post your views on the Gunplot. Peter Kroon." If you would like to comment on this please contact Peter direct, or visit the Gunplot site.  18/1/05


Rod Beckinsale has provided the following cutting from the Sweepers Reunion in late November.  Apparently a good weekend was had by all.  Rod is second from the left, followed by Les Figg.  16/1/05.

Sweepers Reunion - Yamba - November 2004.


Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) Medal:
Many of you will have seen these on other sites or received them via email, but the application forms for the award of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) medal are now available on the Department of Defence website. For your convenience they are attached to this posting. The forms are self explanatory.  16/1/05.

Pinjat Jasa Malaysia.pdf


Jim Eagles has written a thought-provoking article on the decoding of the Detmers Diary.  As this issue is topical again with the search for HMAS SYDNEY II gathering pace, RANCBA members may be interested in Jim's thoughts:

" The recent Rewind programme on the ABC discussed the so-called diary/notebook of Captain Detmers.  I hope you find this (Detmers Diary) article of interest.  Please feel free to comment.  This is the first direct evidence of a cover-up about the SYDNEY.  If you pass this article on to anyone else, please acknowledge origin of research, thanks." James Eagles, ex RAN communications Branch, Townsville N.Qld.

The references for Jim's article are:
a.  The Coastwatchers by Eric Feldt,
b.  The Codebreakers by David Kahn
c.  The Australian Archives website.
Please follow the Detmers Diary link above to read Jim's article.  Whether you agree or disagree with Jim, it is certainly food for thought.  12/1/05.


I have heard through the communicator's grapevine that ex-CPORS Russ 'Snoopy' Hooper is very seriously ill.  Our thoughts are with him and his family at this time.  11/1/05.


Kev Ruwoldt has provided a run down on the HMAS DUCHESS Reunion held in Broken Hill from 15-17 October 2004.  Some good photos of communicators who attended the event accompany the report. 10/1/05.


Dave Jeffrey (President of ACT Chapter) sends the following Sick Bay report:

Alan Brecht is in Canberra Hospital in the cardio ward. He is suffering from a breakdown of previous by-passes that were carried out 17 years ago. His prognosis is uncertain at present, with further surgery being cited as 'difficult'.  Alan is our most senior ex-sparker and the only communicator to reach the lofty height of commodore through the Special Duties promotion system. Please remember him in your thoughts, and if you are in Canberra, he should be remaining in hospital for some time to come.

Dave Jeffrey
Tks Dave, our thoughts are with Alan at this time and we wish him a speedy recovery.  8/1/05.

Update 12 January:
Alan was discharged from Canberra Hospital this morning (Wednesday 12 Jan) to home care. He is on a fairly intensive drug regime and will see a consultant cardiologist in about 10 days time. He is still suffering from fluid on the lungs which is affecting his breathing, and he must wait to see what the prognosis is for the future. I have passed on the many gestures of good will from many communicators and he is very flattered by your good wishes.

The future awaits a decision by a Sydney Cardio Thoracic Surgeon on whether he can be surgically repaired or whether a drug regime will be his future.

We will keep you all updated as the decisions are made.

Dave Jeffrey

Update 8 February:
Just an update on Alan. He is due to enter National Capital Private Hospital on Wednesday 9/2 for angioplasty. There is some concern over the procedure, but if it goes ahead and is successful he should improve significantly.

Alan has asked me to pass on his thanks for all the good wishes & support that have been forthcoming from far & wide over the past few weeks. Dave Jeffrey.

Update 12 February:
Alan had a successful Angioplasty on Wednesday and is now ensconced back at home. Sounded pretty chirpy on the phone when I spoke to him so hopefully all will be better for the future. He wishes to pass on his thanks to all those who have sent their good wishes to him over the past month or so.  Dave Jeffrey.

Update 4 March:
I have been gratified to receive many good wishes and expressions of encouragement from RANCBA members during my recent heart problems and in the period of recovery since. I would like everyone to know that I very much appreciate their care and concern. I have successfully undergone angioplasty heart surgery and am now making slow but steady progress and hope for better health in the future. Thank you all very much.
Alan Brecht
commodore RAN (Retired) Ex- Sparker


Alan Rodgers passes the following update sent to him by John Tuke.  John has been sending out monthly updates on the battle with his health, Alan is sure he would love to hear from his old mates or even a card would make him feel that we are thinking of him at this time.

Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 11:17 AM
Subject: December Medical Update

Hello Everybody,
The news of late is not that good in that the GP found my liver to be quite distended and this to go with the oedema in the legs and stomach. I have new medication which seems to work, albeit slowly. I do a lot of resting with the feet up but have lost some strength. This has put a lot of work on to Coral's shoulders but she is coping and is a tower of strength in herself.
More to follow as the situation progresses.
Best regard

Many thanks Alan.  I'm sure all communicators would want to send their best wishes to John & Coral and also let them know we are thinking of them as they fight this battle.  2/1/05.


Alan Rodgers, President of the RANCBA WA, sends the following sad news:

Hello members,

It is my sad duty to inform you that:

WORSEW EDWARD SHAW OAM, affectionately known as "Yockey" sadly passed away early Sunday morning 2nd January 2005, at the Peel Medical Centre, Mandurah WA.

Yockey finally succumbed to cancer after a very long hard battle. He is now with his son Joe. RIP mate.

Funeral details will be sent separately when they have been arranged, but as it is a holiday period now, I understand that the funeral will not take place until early next week. Those wishing more information can contact me

Alan Rodgers
27 Little River Cove
email -
08 9250 8449
Sad news indeed to start the New Year.  Lest we Forget.  2/1/05.

Yockey (in burgundy shirt) enjoying himself at the 2002 Reunion...

Hello again members:

Further to my email this morning advising the passing of Yockey Shaw:

I can now advise arrangements for his funeral are as follows:
The Funeral Directors, Bowra & O'Dea
2 Leslie Street Mandurah WA 6210

Thursday 6th January 2005.
A viewing has been arranged for 1000
The service to commence at 1030
The viewing and service will be conducted at Bowra & O'Dea premises
2 Leslie Street Mandurah WA.

Following the service all to attend the RSL for a drink and final farewell to Yockey.
RSL address = Third Avenue Mandurah telephone 08 9581 4781.

Note: NO FLOWERS - Family have requested that donations be made to the Cancer Foundation in lieu of flowers (a note will be placed in the West Australian newspaper on Tuesday by the Funeral Director that donations be made)

Should you wish to contact the Funeral Directors. Bowra & O'Dea 08 9535 4261

Thank you
Kind regards
Yours Aye
Alan Rodgers

WORSEW Edward 'Yockey' Shaw

"Yockey" first gained entry to the Royal Australian Navy on 11 March 1949 and was discharged after more than 30 years service on 11 February 1982.  He commenced his service with the RAN at the age of 19 years and 2 months as a Recruit and he served in ships that were assigned for service under VEA Section 6(1)(s) as follows: HMAS Anzac 6 August 1951 to 17 October 1951 (KOREA); HMAS Quiberon 28 June 1960 to 3 November 1960 & HMAS Voyager 12 April 1960 to 3 June 1960 and 9 January 1961 to 7 May 1961 (Far Eastern Strategic Reserve) and was deemed to have been allotted for duty in an operational area (Vietnam)for the purposes of the Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986 as indicated below: HMAS Derwent 10 October 1967 to 9 June 1969 and rendered eligible defence service from 7 December 1972 until discharge on 11 February 1982 as a Warrant Officer RSEW.

After "Yockey" left the Royal Australian Navy, he was approached by The Australian Security Intelligence organisation (ASIO) within 24 hours of his discharge and remained in  service with them until 11 February 1990.

Please follow this link to read the eulogy for Yockey, delivered by Alan Rodgers.

Fm Kev Ruwoldt:
I served on HMAS Derwent with Yockie and am deeply saddened to learn of his passing. His leadership and guidance was invaluable and muchly appreciated whilst I was waiting for my DO 10 form to become a PO. His companionship at the Williamstown Hotels and White Ensign Club will always be a favourable memory of mine. I sat next to Yockie on the bus tour of Canberra in 2002 and listened to his stories of being a "Spook" while passing The Russell Hill offices. RIP old mate. 3/1/05.

Fm Len Rodgers:
To Alan Rodgers, please pass on my condolences at Yockey Shaw's funeral or RSL Memorial whichever is appropriate. As you know we had the privilege of serving with Yockey in HMAS Voyager in the 60's. Who can e
ver forget that magnificant body in shorts strolling the flag deck, teasing all the signalmen about buzz's he had heard in his spooks room or the taking of bets for the Aussie races. Who will ever forget the night he won three Tombola games in a row in Voyager, the crew wanted to throw him overboard. Yockie was one of those rare characters that passed through pussers and left an indelible impression on everybody that he came in contact with. He will be sadly missed and remembered by a lot of people.
At the going down of the Sun and in the morning ....... Lest we Forget. Len Rodgers (ex LTO).

Fm Brian Lynch (Ads):
Saddened to hear of the passing of an old going-ashore oppo. Ted "Yockie" Shaw was a great guy to go on a run with. His infectious grin (as indicated in the photo) was always present. He was in Harman in 1955 and lived in the same donga as I and another mate Allan McKendry and we would often check out that the lemonade at the "Tourist" was up to scratch. On one occassion we decided to check out Goulburn hotels on a 24 off. We drove up in Ted's car, stayed the night checking out the hops and next morning were "tired and emotional" and decided to stay another night to see if things got better. We returned to Harman 23hours and 45 minutes adrift and the OOD said he would like to see us take off our caps. We had arranged to tell him that the car had broken down and we had to wait for it to be repaired. He saw us independently and asked each where we had spent the time waiting. Unfortunately we had not got that far in our story so he asked us to please see the 1St Lt on the Monday. On being dismissed Ted asked if he could go back ashore again. "What" said the OOD. "How come". Ted replied "We need to vote" (it was an election day). Reluctantly the OOD agreed. Vale Ted.


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