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

Please send me an email if you would like something published on this page.

Follow the links below for previous QSO pages:

1998/99    2000    2001    2002 (Jan to Jun)   2002 (Jul to Dec)
   2003   2004   2005   2006

Bob Vonarx sends:

Thank you for a very informative and interesting year on RANCB web Karen and I wish you all the very best for a Merry Xmas and a healthy and prosperous 2008.
And to all out there a very merry Xmas .


Be happy...Bob V
My pleasure Bob, merry Xmas.  19/12/07.

Sonny O'Hara sends:

I have attached a photograph from the last Tier 3 Communications Alignment course ever to be held. The Comms school has received official advice that no further Tier 3 Alignment courses are to be held. You will remember that these courses were to align the RO/TO's to CIS. Interestingly, the first of the Advanced CIS course has just been held, made up of sailors that have only ever been CIS - the first of the "throroughbreds" they called them

The course had four Naval Reserve participants, WO Mal Bullivant, WO Gordon Allan, CPO Harry Coulson and myself.

In the photo are, from left to right:
Back row Mal Bullivant, Gordon Allan, Sonny O'Hara
Front Row. Stuart Armitage, Doc Hoctor, Harry Coulson and Shane O'Grady.


Sandy & Pat McNab send the following:

Seeking the Signal letters (W/T callsigns) of the 20 Attack class Patrol boats which commissioned in the late 1960’s including the Acute, Adroit, Advance, Aitape, Archer, Ardent, Arrow, Assail, Attack, Aware, Bandolier, Barbette, Barricade, Bayonet, Bombard, Buccaneer, Ladava, Lae(II), Madang and Samarai.

Assistance with any other earlier or more recent ships missing callsigns, which are indicated with a highlighted ? query on the posted callsign worksheet pages, would be much appreciated.

If any old copies of the HMSO – London printed annual publication SLOBs, Signal letters of British ships, which includes ships belonging to the RN and the other Naval services of the Dominions, are held, owned, borrowed and not returned, or whereabouts known or sighted (in old / rare Aussie books shops), which I may be able to purchase or borrow to reference R.A.N. ships names and the signal letters allocated perhaps back to the arrival of the First Fleet would be a real bonus. I currently hold the December 1945 and June 1946 Supplements, which do not show the Signal letters of the 12 R.A.N. warships unfortunately lost in hostilities in the 1941 and 1942 years. Replies direct to Sandy at thanks.

Seasons greetings to all our Communicator friends, we’re both looking forward to ML 2008. CU there.

Sandy & Pat
Sandy is also seeking the International Callsign for HMAS JERVIS BAY (not the training ship/VKCW, but the INCAT used between Darwin and East Timor), along with the new Tanker - HMAS SIRIUS.  If you can assist please contact Sandy direct.

Vale John Pennicuik & Kevin Phillips

Graham Linton (Hon Secretary RANCBA VIC) sends:

It is my sad duty to inform the membership that one of our members has made his last port of Call.

John Pennicuik passed away on Thursday December 7 after a long illness. John did not enjoy very good health in his latter years and had been in full time care for the past 18 months. He was a long standing member of the Victorian branch and only one of two World War II veterans. His passing is much regretted.

Funeral details to follow.
Lest we forget 11/12/07.

It is my sad duty once more to advise you that one of our long standing members, Kevin Phillips, made his last port of call today (11 December) in the Austin Hospital.

Kevin was our Treasurer, who in concert with the late Michael Rigby-Meth attended to the affairs of the Victorian branch for more than 20 years.

Funeral details will be advised when known.
Lest we forget 11/12/07.

From Graham Linton 17/12:  Kevin was farewelled at the Le Pine Funeral Chapel at 10:00 on Friday 14th of December attended by a number of his family and friends. Bob 'Shorty' Goeldner and I represented the branch with a representative from the Greensborough RSL present to conduct the RSL service.   At the conclusion of the service, Kevin was buried at the Yan Yean cemetery.

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker recently attended the Commissioning Ceremony for HMAS MARYBOROUGH:

Was surprised (but pleased) to receive the attached invitation, and went along to the Commissioning Ceremony with my wife on Saturday. There were lots of veterans there, particularly those who served on the original Maryborough. I got to talking to them, and met up with an ex-Sig, Bob Thomson, who is 87 years of age. He, like most of the others, is a member of the Corvettes Association, but is not a member of the RANCBA, though he has heard of it.

He joined the Maryborough in Brisbane in 1941, and spent time setting up signal posts on Wednesday, Thursday and other islands, before they were sent of to Singapore. When they got chased out of there, they went to Colombo and were under the control of the RN. A very interesting bloke is Bob Thomson. Maybe Shags could chase him up via the Corvettes Association, as I neglected to get his contact details.

Have attached some relevant photos
11/12/07.  Thanks Nullarbor, it's great to see the Corvette names being recycled.


Bernie Brooks sends:

The photo is the SOB (Silly Old Buggers) Christmas BBQ. Faces in the photo from left to right are as follows: Chris (Jammo) Jamieson, ex C rate, Brian (Noddy) Northrope who is recovering from a bypass op, Len (Dogs) Bodimeade, Peter (Bear) Hartwell, Bernie Brooks, Peter (PJ) Davey, another ex C rate, and Rick Crowle. We meet up every week on a Thursday for lunch at various venues and if anyone would like to catch up they are more than welcome to come along as long as their warries are believable. Peter Dowling, Peter Figg and Ian (Banjo) Patterson are also regulars.
Bernie 11/12/07.

Vale Terry 'Barney' Barnfield

Those Communicators who were posted to HMAS HARMAN during the 70's and early 80's would remember a Beagle by the name of Barney Barnfield.  Sadly, Barney passed away in Canberra last night - the following email was sent by Shakey Lake:

It is with regret that I inform you that ex WOSTD Terry Barnfield passed away 2300 Tuesday 04 December 2007 in Canberra.  Funeral notice will be in The Canberra Times Thursday 06 December 2007.

Funeral will be held 1200 Monday 10 December 2007 at Amaroo Catholic Church in Canberra followed by his cremation.

I took over from Terry as the POSTD on SWAN when he was promoted to CPOSTD. I ran into him in Manila where he ran a hotel, not just a bar, must say he never let me buy a drink during my stay there, Vale Terry, you were a wonderful Bloke. You will be missed.

Shakey Lake

RANCBA Tie - wear one to Reunion V in Melbourne next year.

If you are heading to Melbourne next year for the National Reunion, why not promote the RANCBA by wearing our distinctive Association tie.  Shorty Moffatt has a good supply and will post one to you as soon as you place your order.

See for more details.


Terry Feltham passes on the following:

In recent times I have read, and thoroughly enjoyed, two books by former Captain RAN (Communications/Intelligence) Ian Pfennigwerth.

They are titled:

The Australian Cruiser Perth 1939-1942; and

A Man of Intelligence (The life of Captain Eric Nave Australian Codebreaker).

Perhaps you might like to put a *Heads Up* on the RANCBA Web Site regarding these two books.

These days, Ian lives in retirement at Salamander Bay (nr Nelson Bay) and is actively pursuing a writing career. He has a couple of new books at the pipeline/idea stage. The first (pipeline) covers the Minesweepers during Confrontation and the second (idea stage) will seek *stories/dits/buzzes* from sailors old and new.

Cheers, Terry.

Les Thurgood sends:

Being on a DVA pension I get the monthly Vetaffairs newspaper. In current issue on the Notice Board there is someone looking for TO John Buckley who commissioned HMAS Hobart. Wonder if it would be worthwhile putting a QSO up in case someone knows of John. The contact person looking for him is Gus Dodds 3/70 Primrose St Sherwood, QLD 4075 tel 07 3278 1999. Gus is on the RANCBA email list but do not remember seeing a QSO from him asking about John Buckley.

Thanks, Les. 02/12/07.

Fm Kev Eastley 4/12:  Les, I rang Gus Dodds a week or so ago re that article in Vetaffairs paper. I worked with John at Woomera in the 70's, and I also called into to see him in Canberra around 1986, he was a fireman there. He rang me 6 or so years ago, last I heard from him, and he was a comms officer with the Police Dept. in Tamworth. Hope this helps, Regards Kev(Beast) Eastley.

Memorial- HMAS Leeuwin

Following a recent gathering of ex Junior Recruits, discussions have raised the issue of some form of memorial to the Junior Recruit Scheme at the site of the previous HMAS Leeuwin. The consultations extended from these discussions to include a number of people including ex Divisional Staff, the Senior Naval Officer West Australia and the Officer Commanding Leeuwin Barracks. These discussions have led us to form the view that the proposal has merit and should be further investigated. The consultations also indicated that your views and involvement should be considered before we progressed the matter further.

The site at Leeuwin Barracks, as you would be aware, has for many decades been an integral part of the defence facilities in West Australia and a significant component of that was as a training establishment for the Junior Recruit Scheme. Whilst the advice that I have had is very informal, we understand that the facilities may soon pass out of Department of Defence hands and the site transformed for other purposes. As such the need to create a permanent memorial to the servicemen who have served there over the many years has emerged.

Similarly there is perhaps also the need to consider the various fields of conflict that these servicemen were engaged in. Our discussion group who are mostly from the 1963 intakes had many who served in the Indonesian Confrontation and the Vietnam War and there are others (some still serving) who saw active service in East Timor, Solomon Islands and Iraq. One unique aspect of this was that some ex Junior Recruits may have seen active service on passing out of Leeuwin whilst still aged 16. Perhaps something that would not occur today.

The processes that are available to us include the support of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs who have a funding arrangement for the creation of memorials of this nature. At this time it has not been established what the scope of the proposed memorial would be and as such the costs. Some thought has been given to perhaps just having a call for donations if the scope of the work is small and low cost.

As with all such matters the design and inclusions on a memorial like as this will have protocols to follow. More in particular if we are to included references to the various conflicts. I am also not aware of any ex Junior Recruits who may have lost their lives on active service. Notwithstanding this I have written to the Director of the Australian War Memorial firstly to identify if we would need to follow any particular protocols in this work but also to gain the assistance of an artist from the AWM who could assist in the design and choice of materials.

At this time endeavours are being made to widen our consultation process to make as many as possible aware of what we are proposing. The formation of a smaller consultation group would then assist in determining such matters as the source of funds, design and time frame for the project.

At all stages of our deliberations so far on this it has been the desire of all concerned that your involvement in this project would be highly valued. With this in mind we are seeking your views on the concept of such a memorial and also your guidance and assistance to get the matter up and running.

Yours Sincerely
Ken Dobbie
75 Lovett St Devonport Tas 7310
Phone:  03 64247198
I think a statue of a Tingira boy shuffling along in his no 8's holding a 303 over his head would be eminently suitable...27/11/07.

Peter Guy (Secretary RANCBA ACT) advises:

The RANCBA ACT will hold a Christmas barbecue on Sunday 2nd December 2007 - start time 1100 - at Fadden Pines (Bugden Ave. Fadden).

The Association will provide sausages, bread rolls and a limited supply of beer.  A raffle will be held with some good prizes, e.g.. Two navy shirts, wine and some 'fine RANCBA wine'.

For catering purposes, please advise me if you are joining us. Members relatives and friends very welcome.

It was also decided that next years barbecue will be held on the Northside.

Let's have a good rollup for this final function of the ACT calendar.  It need only take a couple of hours of your time.  Please advise Peter asap of your attendance:  23/11/07.

Dave Jeffrey (RANCBA ACT Welfare Officer) advises:

Brian Northrope had a successful triple-bypass operation on Tuesday with significant blockages found. He is in good spirits and is recovering in Canberra Hospital. He expects to be home next Monday (26 Nov).. He is happy for a sitrep to be put on the QSO webpage so all the old (S) pirates can have a good old chuckle about him.

Our thoughts are with Brian and Keryn at this time and we wish Noddy a speedy recovery. 23/11/07.

WOCIS Tim Holliday (CIS Category Manager) sends:

The inaugural presentation to Communications sailors completing their initial training of the CIS coin was conducted by a RANCBA member Jack Duffey on Thursday 15th November 2007. I would like to personally thank Jack and his wife Clare who's presence at the passing out parade was valued by all attending. I would also like to thank Ian Hogarth for his efforts in assisting in the coordination of Jack's involvement.

I believe the quality of the CIS passing out parade ceremony depicts the professionalism of the Category, and is the recognition individuals deserve when entering the category for the first time. The presentation of the coins that Jack conducted enhanced the ceremony and the day.

Jack, I hope has now started a tradition, that a member of the RANCBA will present the Category coin to all members that graduate into the fold from this day forward. A proposal to make funding available for travel to allow members from all chapters of the RANCBA to present the coin is being looked at and I will advise the outcome.

The next passing out parade is the 6th December, all RANCBA members and their family are invited to attend, please call WO Col Scott on 03 595 07724 so entry to Cerberus can be arranged. However, there will be 7 passing out parades next year and I will advise the dates when available.

These coins have been retrospectively presented to all current members and it is hoped to make these coins available for purchase in the near future.

Below is the wording of the speech conducted prior to the presentation of coin.

WOCIS Tim Holliday
Communications Information Systems Category Manager
Ph: 02 99262649
Mobile: 0407552202

Today, we are honoured by the presence of a member of the Royal Australian Navy Communications Branch Association, Mr Jack Duffey. Jack joined the Navy on 08 January 1948. After completing his communications course he served in a number of ships including the Destroyers BATAAN, ANZAC and VENDETTA and the Aircraft Carriers SYDNEY, VENGEANCE and twice in MELBOURNE. He also served in many establishments including KUTTABUL, PENGUIN, ALBATROSS and CERBERUS.

His career included service in the Korean War, the Vietnam War and in Malaysia during their internal crisis of the 1960s.

Jack’s military honours and awards include the Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 (Vietnam and Korea clasps), Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal, the Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 (with FESR and Japan clasps), the Australian Defence Medal, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, the Pinjat Jasa Malaysia Medal and the Korean Presidential citation.

CIS 240, you are about to receive a distinctive presentation to further acknowledge your achievement, the Communications Information Systems category coin. On the observe side the CIS rate badge is displayed with the reverse side displaying the warfare community crest. We, the CIS category, are proud members of the warfare community. The makeup of the coin serves not only to identify but also to symbolise the communications and categories within the organisation. They underline the importance of the link of category, community and the Royal Australian Navy.

All CIS sailors completing their initial training will be awarded the coin by a member of the Royal Australian Navy Communications Branch Association. This will instill in the newest CIS sailors an ‘Espirit de Corps’ that we have a history, a large association of ex-members and will strengthen the ties between the ‘old and bold’ and serving CIS sailors.

The coin itself cannot enhance the organisation – this is your responsibility and the duty of those who follow. The coin serves as a strong reminder of what makes the warfare community and CIS category an essential and leading institution within the Navy. The coins size allows you to carry it with you at all times. Please carry it with pride.

Mr Duffey, could you please present the graduating class, CIS 240 with the category coin.

Jack then stated to each individual he presented the coin to "Carry it with pride" as he placed the coin in their left hand and shook their hand.

It is great to see this sort of presentation being carried out, BZ to all concerned.  20/11/07.

Narelle Maskell sends:

My name is Narelle Maskell and I am the mother of Dean Maskell who graduated from Cerberus 28th May 1988 - Waller Division.

The family thank Carl Smith for making contact through this web site and for his kind words that meant a lot to Dean and the family. (Please follow this link to see previous QSO entries about Dean).

This has been a sad year for the family as we lost Dean after a short battle with Melanoma Cancer. He was an inspiration to all who knew him or came in contact with him and he left a lasting impression of his bravery during the time of his illness.

At the end of his time at Cerberus a video was taken by one of the father's attending the ceremony. Over the years the family have moved several times and this video has been misplaced with some loss of personal effects.

We would be grateful if anyone who was at Cerberus with Dean (Frog) at that time who may have a copy so that we could arrange to have a copy made.

I am attaching a photo of the group.

Thanking you, Narelle.
Thanks Narelle, I hope someone is able to assist you to recapture these memories.  20/11/07.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

It is my sad duty to advise the passing of Ex CPO Coxn John Dowson R35185. When Lance Sutherland (Sig), Sandy McNab (RO) and I commissioned HMAS MORESBY way back in 1964, John was the 'swain. I had previously met him when I did a small jolly aboard HMAS BANKS in Darwin. He always thought Communicators were great, especially when we were up "north" and I gave him a copy of a message, advising he was drafted to ANA Washington (married accompanied) and then Commissioning of HMAS BRISBANE in the USA. He was indeed a great person and will be sadly be missed by all that sailed with him
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt
Lest we Forget

Military Superannuation - Election Update:

Please consider emailing the following to all our colleagues, friends, associates and anyone else you know who may have an interest in military superannuation issues.

I thought it appropriate, at this time in the electoral cycle, to attempt an apolitical summary of what the major parties are offering us in the way of improvements to the various military superannuation schemes. To put it politely, not much; no I should rephrase that; Nothing.

(If anyone should need background information on the Review of Military Superannuation I suggest you go to click on ‘Representations’ at the left of the DFWA home page, then scroll down to March 2007 and click on ‘Submission to the Military Superannuation Review’).

1. The following is sourced from the Townsville Bulletin on 8th Nov 07 or thereabouts.

Labor has attacked the Coalition for withholding a sensitive review on military superannuation, saying it was a scandal the report had not been released publicly.  However, the Coalition defended its decision …, saying the complex issues required a whole-of-government approach and that it would not be in a position to release its Military Superannuation Review until early in 2008. Mr Griffin committed labor to release the report so people could make informed decisions and to a consultation period to determine long-term priorities in the area.

2. Neil Weekes (a retired Brigadier) attended the Labor Party release of its policy on Veterans’ Affairs on 8th Nov 07.
Mr Griffin made it very clear that, if Labor is elected, they will release this Report within one (1) month of taking office. Then there would be consultation and consideration of the recommendations.

3. Bob McMullan MP attended a meeting of SCOA and DFWA members on superannuation matters on 31st Oct 07.
Bob McMullan was the most believable arguing that despite his best efforts for many years he did not hold out much hope for any significant changes in the near future.

4. Gary Nairn in a letter to a SCOA and DFWA gathering in Queanbeyan advised the meeting as follows:
Eden-Monaro’s sitting Liberal member, Gary Nairn, was unable to attend the Queanbeyan meeting but sent a letter stating that the Government considers that CPI indexation is adequate, a position which annoyed many at that meeting given Mr Nairn’s previous public support on this issue.

5. Summary.

Liberals will not release report until some time next year; well after the election and still maintains that CPI is good enough for us. But, as you know it is not good enough for our pollies who entered parliament before the ‘Latham’ amendments to the parliamentary superannuation scheme in 2004. Their pensions remain indexed to movements in a back benchers remuneration. You do not have to be Einstein to deduce that they have absolutely no intention of doing anything about changing the way our our pensions are indexed.

Labor will release the ‘Podgar’ Report on Military Superannuation within one month of gaining office. However, bear in mind what Bob McMullan MP has said about Labor and indexation of our pensions (see note 3. above).

Should you want more information on the war to improve Military Superannuation, send me an email and I shall endeavour to answer your query.

Your vote, who wins the election, and time will tell us if anything will be done to rectify the many deficiencies that exist in our defence superannuation schemes. However, we do know that for the last eleven years the Liberal government has treated us as second class citizens. Make your vote count.

Best regards
Richard Orr

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

Seems you just can't go anywhere without running into another Aussie.
My daughter, Tiffany, and I were walking along the Strip in Las Vegas when we ran into this bloke.

Ron & Tiffany 2007

David MacLean sends:

Looking for Ken Wiggins, ex-Tel (Vengeance/Sydney [R17]) period. Was in DCA for years, retired to Sans Souci & we have lost touch.
Kind regards
David MacLean

David has advised that he found Ken in Brighton le Sands....

Vale Peter James 'Bull' May

David 'Blue' Kerr passes on an email he received from Peter Reed:

Just got a call from Rick May, Bull's son.  Bull died on Sunday after a short battle with cancer, he was 59. He first got cancer last year and looked like he had beat it but came down crook 11 days ago and died peacefully in Toowoomba hospital on Sunday afternoon. He is being buried tomorrow in Toowoomba. Choko Munday and a few others from Canberra are going up. Anyone you know that was close and would like to send flowers can send them to the Heritage Funeral Directors at 314 James Street Toowoomba.

Sad news.  From memory Bull was a LSSIG but may have paid off in a higher rank after changing over to Naval Police.  If anyone can add more please do.  Lest we forget.  07/11/07.

Here is the official email released by the AFP on 07 November:

It is with deep regret that I advise of the death of Protective Service Officer Grade 2 Peter James May, who passed away on 5 November 2007 in Toowoomba, QLD after long battle with cancer. Peter was aged 59

Peter joined the Australian Protective Service in 1987 and retired from the AFP on 8 August 2004. He spent most of his career in the ACT (Official Establishments, Defence, Parliament House and Diplomatic Protection) with temporary transfers to Port Hedland, Woomera, Manus Island (PNG) and Nauru. Peter also undertook international escorts with the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.

Prior to joining the Australian Protective Service Peter served with the Royal Australian Navy for 21 years from 1966 to 1987 as a Naval Communicator and Naval Dockyard Policeman. During his time with the Navy he served at both sea ( including a deployment to Vietnam ) and ashore.

He is survived by his wife Cherie, son Jason and daughter Sally.

Peter's ashes will be scattered at sea off the coast of Western Australia from an Australian Warship .

Tony 'Tackers' Miles sends:

I am sorry to inform you that Bob Argent has been diagnosed with cancer. At this time they say that it is incurable, however Bob is a fighter and is being referred to another specialist with the hope that a new and expensive experimental drug treatment will help with his fight

Tony (Tackers) Miles
Tks Tackers, our thoughts are with Bob while he fights this insidious disease.  07/11/07.

Courier Mail
Ian McPhedran

November 04, 2007 11:00pm

THE Royal Australian Navy's $550 million Armidale Class patrol boats are in such poor condition that even the toilets and electricity outlets are not guaranteed to work.

The 14 vessels, based in Cairns, Darwin and Dampier, are spending more time under repair than on patrol, according to sources.

Sailors claim conditions on the boats are so bad that the navy is losing people because of them. But the navy has denied any major problems with the boats and says just one is out of service in Darwin.

The entire fleet was tied up last year due to a water/fuel contamination problem.

Sailors say basic problems hamper the fleet, including constantly blocked toilets, unsecured anchors, communications failures and American-style power points that require adaptors to be fitted for Australian electrical equipment.

Other problems affecting morale include inadequate lighting, a lack of training specific to the boat and over-crowded shore establishments.

The navy requires the 21-person crews to rotate between the boats after a nine-week assignment followed by four weeks' respite, rather than being posted to a vessel for a two-year billet.

According to one crew member, that means there is no attachment to any boat.

"There is no pride or incentive to take pride in the boat," the crew member said.

"Morale is dead and sailors are leaving in disgust."

The navy defended the "multi-crewing model" saying it provided a 21-ship capability with just 14 vessels.

But sailors say a lack of permanent crews mean problems are not permanently solved. Some sailors had to bring their own power adaptors and extension leads.

In one case, a boat returned to port with a holed bow after it hit heavy weather. "The main anchor's two spikes just flap in the breeze and there were holes in both sides of the bow," a sailor said.

Opposition Defence spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said it was remarkable that so many design faults had made it through to manufacture.

"The difficulties experienced with the Armidale Class patrol boats are symptomatic of this Government's failure in leadership on defence procurement," he said.


Terry “Red” Ryder passes on the following classics:


“Always aim toward the enemy” - Instruction printed on US Army Rocket Launcher
“When the pin is pulled, Mr Grenade is no longer your friend” - USMC Training Bulletin
“Cluster bombing from B-52”s is very, very accurate. The bombs are always guaranteed to hit the ground”  - USAF literature
“If the enemy is within range – so are you”  - Infantrymans Journal
“A slipping trigger gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you very unpopular with what is left of your unit” - US Army Magazine of Preventative Maintenance
“It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you have just bombed”  - US Air Force Manual
"Try to look unimportant. The enemy may be low on ammunition”  - Infantrymans Journal
“Tracers work both ways”  - US Army Ordnance Manual
“Five second fuses usually only last 3 seconds”  - Infantrymans Journal
“Bravery is being the only one who knows you are afraid”  - Col. David Hackworth (ret) Holds the distinction of being the most decorated living US soldier. He served in combat in post WW2 clashes in Yugoslavia, as well as in Korea and several tours of Vietnam
“If your attack is going too well, you are walking in to an ambush”  - Infantrymans Journal
“No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection”  - Infantrymans Journal
“Any ship can be a minesweeper – once”  - Anonymous Navy Brass
“Never tell the platoon sergeant you have nothing to do”  - Unknown Marine Recruit
“Don’t draw fire – it tends to irritate the people around you”  - Platoon Mates

And the best one of all:

“If you see a member of a bomb disposal unit running – it is in your best interests to keep up with him!!”

Allan Moffatt sends:

It is may sad duty to inform you of the passing of Ex L/Sig Grahame Thompson , WWII (Corvettes) He was a very staunch Member of the RANCBA since it began in 1947, he was heavily involved with the Naval Association, and especially as Treasurer of the White Ensign magazine, and was also Treasurer of the Corvettes Association. Prior to his passing.  Rear Admiral Davyd Thomas, CSC RAN when Maritime Commander of Australia had driven up to the Umina Hospital to personally present his Admiral's Commendation for all the work he has done for Veterans of the RAN and their dependants. It was my privilege to represented the RANCBA at the Funeral Service, which was attended by many from both the Corvettes and Naval Association today, 26th October 2007.
Lest We Forget
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt

“Communicators go back to Sea”

As the saying goes, they came by sea and went by sea for the recent RAN Reunion at Coffs Harbour – Pictured (L-R), Ray (Squizzy) Taylor, Bob (Shorty) Turner, Chris Gleeson, Terry (Skip) Gleeson, Robyn (Bobbie) Malby and Trevor Malby seen onboard MV “Accalia” at Coffs Marina. Trip Details - Departed Gold Coast Seaway PM Monday 8th Oct, arrived Coffs AM Tuesday 9th for the reunion weekend, but with early departure on Sunday 14th (due to opportunistic good weather window!) for Port Stephens (Mon – Wed) and finally ending the voyage at Newcastle, arriving Nobbies AM Thursday 18th. Great time had by all, including some quality sea time, plenty of whale sightings, middle watches, beer issues, runs ashore, etc… Enjoyable time and catch up with familiar faces at the re-union, including Tank Evans as per his earlier QSO – Cheers again Tank.

Apart from some difference of opinion as to who was the reigning Bones & Crib champ after the trip, no significant rumblings ‘tween decks. No cases of sea sickness reported, but some green gills on notice early.

Awards for the trip - Rack award co-shared by Trevor and Squiz, Paris Hilton award (most outfit changes in a day) awarded to Shorty, and the special Cecil B DeMilne award to Squiz for excellence in performance as the ships Phot…

Cheers All,
TerryG 29/10/07

Ray Taylor, Bob Turner, Chris Gleeson, Terry Gleeson, Robyn Malby & Trevor Malby...  Accalia at Coffs Marina...  Coffs departure signal...

Fm Shorty Turner:  I would appreciate it if you could add a footnote to Terry Gleeson's post. Re the "Paris" bit, it only happened because he tried to drown me three times! I could go into a bit of detail about the other couple of blokes who were allergic to salt water, but that's probably best left until the next reunion. We had a great time anyway,

Michael "Rabbit" Warren (ex CPORSEW) sends:

Perth, Torrens, Melbourne, Adelaide, Swan, Derwent. Just been trawling through some of the QSO's on this site and see a lot of familiar names. A big hello to all.


I was wondering if there are any of the commissioning crew communicators attending the ball? It would be a great opportunity to catch up.  Please list my personal email -

Gareth 'Tank' Evans sends:

Am meeting up with Butch Turvey to go to the QLD AGM on Friday and my circle of friends is limited (no comment pse) and wonder if you have any knowledge of a reunion involving the Brisbane DDG in the near future. Butch is interested and asked me what I know and is nought as usual. Bunting tossers knew it all though didn't they. HaHA. Just attended the naval Vietnam reunion in Coffs with Phyllis and had a good time. First reunion as a non drinker and funny enough I can remember who I met and what I had done for a change. So the saying once a bad boy always a bad boy is not necessarily true.

Cheers mate
Tank Evans

Fm Royce Bell:  I think the Secretary of the Brisbane Association can be contacted on  Maybe that is an avenue for ‘Tank’ to explore.  Cheers Royce

Peter Guy sends:

I have just read a book titled ''Australia's Navy in Vietnam'' - by John Perryman and Brett Mitchell. John is also a member of our association.

The book covers all aspects of the RAN's involvement in the Vietnam War, Q's visits, DDG's, Vendetta, Vung Tau Ferry, Escorts, RANHV contingents, CDT's, Jeparit, Boonaroo, Etc. Etc. And has plenty of photo's.

Well worth the read and I heartily recommend it. Would be a good Christmas present.  Should be available at all good bookshops or you can contact the Sea Power Centre - Australia, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT 2600.

Book is published by Topmill Pty Ltd, Silverwater, NSW, Australia.

Peter Guy

Australia's Navy in Vietnam

Glinda Major sends:

Glinda is Secretary of the Mallacoota R&SL and Historical Society Bunker Museum Committee. The Bunker was a major advanced operations base used by the RAAF during WWII for Communications.  It was a high security installation forming an important link in a chain of Defence bases located around the Australian coastline.  Strategically located at Mallacoota, the base was important because of its proximity to Gabo Island where a RAAF Radar Station was established.  A series of 'radio shacks' within the bunker listened to coastal shipping and decoded and collated the coastal surviellance intelligence, which was sent via a separate Transmission Station to East Sale and then to Melbourne.

The Bunker Museum Committee is working towards making a roll of honour listing all those who served at the bunker during its years of operation.  Glinda is seeking, via this web site, the names of any RAN personnel who manned the Signals Station on Gabo Island during WWII.

The committee understands that your organisation may be able to help with information concerning those who served at the bunker during the years of its operation, approximately from 1942-47.

The project is a combined activity of the R&SL and the Historical Society.  The committee's research officer, a member of the Historical Society, has discovered that there were 60 men posted to the Mallacoota Camp over time.  As a result of this research, it appears that they were members of the RAAF 10BU (1 Operational Base Unit), but it is possible that some of the signal and cipher operators, both male and female, came from No 16 Radar Station or the Navy Signals Station on Gabo Island. 

Naturally the committee is very excited about finding any further information which may be provided.  The committee is working towards making a roll of honour of all those who served and is seeking information from a number of sources.

If anyone is able to assist the Bunker Committee with information on the Signals Station at Gabo, please contact Glinda direct.  I have also attached a flyer which gives more information on the bunker and lists visiting times and arrangements.  Glinda also says "If any members are coming to Mallacoota please contact me and I will pass on any request to others and arrange a visit".


Gazbo Walker sends:

Where were all you guys when Garry (Gazbo) Walker, Lance (Suds) Sutherland & Graham (Scoops) Cooper got together in the Number 1 Pub in Chiangmai Thailand to remember old times and interview prospective new recruits for the WRANS. We hope that the Melbourne Pubs will offer the same facilities and just as much fun in 2008. See you all then....

Gazbo,Scoops & Suds  22/10/07.

Gazbo Walker, Lance Sutherland & Scoops Cooper - Chiangmai, Thailand 2007

This is cruel and unusual punishment Gaz, where can I book my flight!  CU next year.

Ian 'Mouse' Barrons sends:

Am building a scale model of the SAR (sea air rescue launch (Miami class) Air Spray stationed at Cerberus in the 60’s) have most of the information I need but no colour photo’s, hull black (Matt or Gloss ??, uppers Bright Yellow, what blend of yellow??, side numbers etc.

Any help or colour photo’s would be much appreciated or any information to that’s mouse Barrons and see you at the Melbourne reunion, cheers and beers.  22/10/07.

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

I'm sitting in my friend's home office in Granbury, Texas, having come here after the USS Frank E Evans reunion in Excelsior Springs, Missouri about 8 days ago. Off to Las Vegas tomorrow for 4 days, before hitting Los Angeles for 5 days, then home. I'm showing my 21-year-old daughter, Tiffany, the sights.

Sorry to hear about Pete Western's passing. I ran into him in Inala, Queensland in 1987, while he was visiting his parents..a real nice guy, who will be missed by those who knew him.

Equally glad to hear that Dinga Bell is on the mend. I wouldn't worry much about only being able to lift 2kg though, as most beers weigh a lot less.

If anyone is interested in next year's Frank E Evans reunion, the decision was made to have it on 11, 12 and 13 September in Charleston, South Carolina (an old Navy town).

Sonny Fay sends:

I happened to be in when I noticed the following in the shopping section....

Tesora: TokyoFlash morse code watch @ $149.95.. it goes on to say... Another amazing watch from Japan. The Worlds first morse code watch. We are the first company in Australia authorised to sell this. This genuine TokyoFlash watch, brand new from our factory and shipped in a stunningly beautiful gift box with gold foil embossed dragon. Tired of people looking over your shoulder to see the time. Put a stop to that with a morse code watch. there are three modes for telling the time. (aa1) audio speaker sounds out the time in morse code.

Just imagine you go to bed and forget the watch is on your arm and it starts sending morse code... you would be typing on the back of your wife's head thinking you're back on BL again, and the watch would not be around for much longer, would would be given the deep six treatment..or just imagine the grandchildren come visiting and they are only ankle biters, you can imagine they would have this watch telling the time every few seconds...regards Sonny 15/10/07.

Vale Pete Western (ex-POSY)

Rod and Marg Beckinsale have passed on the following sad news:

"We have just had a call from Wendy Western to tell us that Pete died in his sleep last night. As you probably know Pete and Wendy have been divorced for more than 20 years and he had made another life for himself in Queanbeyan. I lost contact with him over the years, as did a lot of his navy mates-but that doesn't mean we don't hold fond memories of him in happier times. I don't think Pete ever fronted up to an RANCBA meeting, but he was still one of our communicator flock".
Vale Pete Weston.
Sad Regards, Rod 12/10/07.

Saturday 13 October:  Pete's daughter Karen has advised that Peter's funeral will  be on Friday 19th of October at Norwood Park Crematorium, Canberra at  9.00am.

Sad news indeed.  Pete would have been around 61 years old.  Like Rod, I have many fond memories of Pete in the 60's and 70's, in particular Harman in 1968.  I also lost contact with him over the years but now and again I would run into Pete around the traps in Canberra or Queanbeyan.  May he rest in peace.  I will attend the funeral and hope that other Navy mates of Pete will join me.  Lest we Forget.  John Curbishley 11/10/07.

Fm Fran Watson Friday 12 October:
Peter Western, an all round nice guy! I remember going to his place in the patch at Harman for BBQs in the 60's. He and Wendy made the Wrans feel very much at home there.  Jim & I and a few others ran into him at an Irish Pub during the Canberra reunion in 2002. I think he and his partner Anna came there from Queanbeyan a few times and caught up with any communicators who had adopted that pub as their favourite watering hole between functions!
He was his usual jovial self and we had a lot of laughs together. We were hoping to catch up again when we came that way in our "grey nomad" travels. We've just retired and he's no longer around, so sad.

Farewell to another good hand!

Fm Robyn Sullivan 15 October:  Very Sorry to see Pete has passed on. Guess I remember him most for that amazing lop sided smile, but he was a nice person to go with it. Maybe it is true & the good die young. Robyn Spike Sullivan.

Fm Paul Boase & Tony Couch 19 October:  Farewell Pete. One of the 5th JR intake, Nakina division, one of the first Oco's under LRO Gray on Melbourne straight out Leeuwin and then LTO Powell I think on Sydney when we were at the Dolphins cleaning up the old girl for the Vung Tau run, we particularly remember the big red 1940 something coupe with whitewall tyres he had etc etc, we remember when he met Wendy and how he changed (for the better) after that and most of all we remember him for the all round nice bloke that he was, RIP Pete.

Fm John Curbishley 19 October:  Along with a number of other Communicators and a number of Pete's 5th Intake shipmates, I attended Pete's funeral at the Norwood Park Crematorium on Friday 19 October at 0900.  The chapel was full with a good rollup of old navy mates, friends and family.  The service was very well conducted and a moving and loving tribute to Pete was delivered by his son Glenn and daughter Karen.  At the end of the service a slide show of Pete's life was projected and it showed the Pete we knew and served with during his Naval career (1962-82).  May he be long remembered by his family and friends.  Lest we forget.


Operation 'Fair Go' - Letter to Politicians

The following has been received from several sources, I'm sure a lot of you would have received it directly via email.  I have not published the draft letter here, but if you are interested in taking action as outlined below, please contact Neil Weekes to receive same.  02/10/07.

G'day All.

It's time to act. If everyone of the veteran community do not take the actions outlined in this Operation Order then we will have no cause to blame any Government for their action or inaction.

Would all Addressees please forward this email and the attached letter to everyone on their mailing list, and ask them to do the same. I appreciate that this will mean some members will receive two or more copies, but please live with that.

John Graham has also distributed a similar letter with the same request. He has a different mailing list. John and I have been discussing this action, with Barry Corse, for some time.

The purpose of these letters is to prove three things to the politicians and to the National Executive of the R&SLA:

1. There is a very large, disgruntled group of veterans in the general community. These members, and those retired members on a DFRB/DFRDB pension, together with their families and friends, will have a significant influence on the forthcoming election.

2. We are a unified group, even though we do not have "leaders" or a HQs. We speak with one voice on the issues mentioned in the letter.

3. We want a fair go on the issues we have raised.

If you do not want to join the fight then that's OK. If you believe that the letter is factually incorrect then please correct it and send that one to your network.

The point is that we want 2,000 - 5,000 letters to arrive on the politicians' desks, all dealing with the same or similar issues within the same 48 hrs.

Please do not copy the letter verbatim. However feel free to cut and paste. Rearrange the paragraphs, use your own introduction and your own words. Include other issues if you want, such as the establishment of the Veterans' Advisory Council.

Please do not be provocative, do not use profanities. Do not assassinate anyone's character. Be factual and try to keep your letter as short as possible. If you like you can simply refer to the issues saying that you are aware that other writers have provided all the factual background and justification.






(Operational Order 01/07 [OPO 01/07]

Time Zone used throughout this OPO: Eastern Standard Time


Recently the veteran community has achieved some significant gains with the PM's announcement re indexing the TPI against the CPI and MTAWE, effective from Mar 07, increases to widows' and widowers' pensions.

However the politicians probably think that this will satisfy the veterans and DFRB/DFRDB pensioners. This diversion must not work.


To convince the politicians to approve a number of additional benefits by clearly demonstrating that the veteran community is a large, cohesive group that speaks with one voice on these issues.


a. General Outline.: A massive mail out, either by letter or email, or both, so that all correspondence arrives in Canberra on 10/11 Oct 07.

b. Tasks. Each member is to draft an individual letter or email, based on the attached letter.

Each member is to ensure that most of the issues, contained in the attached letter, are included in his/her letter/email.

Each addressee is to forward this email on to every other veteran or DFRB/DFRDB pensioner on his/her contact list and request that they do the same.


Members are requested to bear the small personal cost of the stamps.


a. Timings: Emails are to be sent on either 10 Oct or 11 Oct 07

Letters are to be mailed NLT Mon, 8 Oct 07


Terry 'Red' Ryder sends:

I thought this visit to Woodstock might be of interest for the website. A bit long but truly an amazing coincidence!

I have posted this article to a separate page on this website.  Please follow the link.
BZ Red, another great trip by the looks of it!

Jim Eagles sends:

For those interested in Naval history, Australian Aviation Magazine will soon have available a book entitled "Calls to the Deep". The book (as yet unseen) is a history, including technical information, about the North West Cape wireless station. The book when available, is 46.45 AUD including postage.

You can contact Danielle Cregan at  or write to Phantom Media P/L PO Box 1777, Fyshwick, ACT 2609 if you are interested.
Jim Eagles

From Jim 20/11/07:  A while back I let you know about a book on NWC transmitting station called "Calls to the Deep". The book is now available via cost is $39.95 plus $6.50 postage is anyone is interested. 

Jackie Southern (nee Jackson) sends:

Have been reading all the messages from over the years, recognised many names. Would love to catch up with many of the girls/guys I served with over the years, Cerberus, Harman, Coonawarra, HMS Terror, Kuttabul. The likes of Lorrie Nolan, Pat(Hyland) Quick, Margie (Finlay)Goh, Ian Millard, Jack Button, Kady Howgate, Karen Wileman and anyone else who may recognise my name, would love to find out what's been happening the last 40 years or less. Great site, keep up the good work.
ex WRROT 1968 - 1972 Jackie

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

Just going through the REVEILLE magazine received today and in the Navy section of the VALE, saw RO M.W. CLEGG R50176. No other details. I remember him from HARMAN, great hand and with his size was called "Big Mal". He drafted in off either QUICKMATCH or QUEENBOROUGH, dont know where he went after HARMAN.  Anyway another one has left us for the big BWO.
Lest We Forget
Rgds Shorty

Les Figg sends:

Perhaps you can post the following on QSO the World.

Les Figg
Ex-Kellick Greenie, 1963-69
HMAS Sydney, Hawk, Perth
Santa Clara, CA, USA (ex-Adelaide)

Crew lists for Vietnam trips

If you are trying to recall who might have been aboard your ship during a particular trip to Vietnam, here is a way to find out.  Go to:

Select Advanced Search
Select RAN in Service drop-down box
Select 'your ship' in Unit drop-down box
Select period by entering beginning date in Serving Date From and ending date in Serving Date To fields
Click Search.

You can further refine the search by selecting entries in the Rank, Branch, Qualifications or Categories boxes, but I found these to produce incomplete results.
Good hunting :)

Graham Bence sends:

Does anybody know whether it is true that the ships company on the visit by HMAS Quickmatch and Vendetta to Vietnam in 1962 have been awarded the AASC and RAS badge. If so can the people who already have the AASC for Malaya now add the Vietnam Clasp to their AASC?
Regards Graham.

Royce Bell sends:  Don’t know if this will answer Graham Bence’s question but it may be helpful.

Ross 'Jim' Anderson sends:

I feel this Press Release would be of interest to those DFRDB/MSBS superannuants who are alarmed at what is happening to their entitlements.

I have been a conservative voter all my life but I am so pissed off at the way Mr Howard is looking after Vets at the moment I will probably change my vote this election.

Best regards to all

Jim Anderson, VK4AQ
Innisfail FNQ

Please follow this link to read the Press Release.

David 'Blue' Kerr sends:

I've got my hands on 3 tickets for the AFL GRAND FINAL at the MCG, Block 12, Row 1.

I'm after $250 each or $600 bucks if you buy all 3. Seating position shown on the attached picture.  Let me know ASAP if anyone wants them.  If no-one is interested I will be sticking these on eBay...

Cheers. 08/09/07.

Sue Hackett sends:

Passing on the information to you and those friends of Dinga Bell that he is in the Mater Hospital in Townsville, preparing for a quadruple-bypass on Wednesday 5 September.  He and Anne are both holding up - they had moved out of their home after selling it and temporarily had moved into the local caravan park, but now Anne has rented a unit as they will be staying put whilst Dave recuperates for a few months at least.

I will keep the RANCBA updated on Dinga's condition after Wednesdays operation.

Sue Hackett, Anne's sister (nee Halpin).
Thanks Sue, please pass our best wishes to Dinga & Anne.  04/09/07.

Fm Sue 06/09/07:  Dinga came through his long surgery yesterday and his prognosis looks good. He is sitting up in his recliner today and though pretty sedated for pain, Anne says he is looking and doing well.

Will pass on any more updates as I hear from Anne, but they both wish to THANK all those who have contacted me with messages of support ready to be passed on to them once they are back on line. Am more than happy to keep doing so...Cheers, Sue.

Fm Lofty & Terri Lane 08/07:  Would you pass on our best wishes to Anne and Dinga and welcome him to the "zipper club".  It's now almost five weeks since Lofty had his bypass and he is improving every day so there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Fm Sue 14/09/07:  Have just spoken to Anne – Dinga is home from hospital and apart from some problems with his breathing, he is doing very well. Is doing his daily walk and other than being a little slower than usual, he is also feeling pretty good.  Thanks again to all those who have sent their wishes through to me – all those will be forwarded to Anne and Dinga once they are back on line, but have been passing them on verbally as they arrive.

Fm Dinga 09/10/07:  Just a short note to let you know I am on the road to recovering from the "Zipper" op.  Have been home for 5 weeks, and recovering well.  Thanks to all the support from everybody, it was very touching.  We intend leaving Townsville in early November, and driving down to Bundaberg where we will stay with our son until after Xmas.  Then to Brisbane to see my family and then to Kingscliffe (northern NSW) where we will catch up with our daughter and grandkids from WA for a couple of weeks.  After that we meander our way down to Melbourne for the reunion and then back to WA where we are building a new home.

Have finally retired (in case you didn't work that out), Hope to catch up with lots of people on the way, and also in Melbourne.  We can be contacted on which is our new wireless address.  Regards to all, Dinga and Anne.

Fm Pedro Franklin 12/10/07:   Sue and I made a point of catching up with Dinga and Anne while we were in Townsville last weekend.   I am very pleased to report that Dinga is in good health, but Anne said that he can only lift 2 kg as yet, and of course he is unable to cut his own toe nails (his lovely bride does them for him). We went out to dinner on Friday evening and it was just like the old days.  We look forward to catching up with them when they come down this way in January.  Cheers Pedro.

Pedro, Dinga and Anne - October 2007

Buster Crabbe sends:

Wish to inform you that Harry Yates (ex Harman Greenie) and husband of Terry Nolan (WRRO) died on 28/8/07 at Byron Bay.  A lot of us would remember Harry from Harman in the sixties, when he retired he used to service the juke box etc at the rates then went on to manage the Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan.

Service will be held at St. Pauls Anglican Church, Byron Bay on Tues Sept 4th at 10.00am, then a private cremation. No flowers, donations to leukaemia foundation.  A nice bloke who will be sadly missed.
Buster Crabbe 03/09/07.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

Some of the Communicators at the Get Together, Parramatta RSL Club on the 25th August. Some had already departed and for some it is hard to sit still for a minute!!!. Great day .


Just to introduce myself for those that don't know me. I am WOCIS Tim (Doc) Holliday the CIS Category Manager working for the CIS Category Sponsor CAPT Nick Bramwell (Director General Navy Communications and Intelligence Branch). I recently was involved in the staffing of the Communications History for a Warfare Community publication, which provided me I believe with a better insight of the communications categories past. I unfortunately I had a tight deadline and I wasn't able to consult with large number of the Communication community for the project. I intend when I have time to ask for input from all members past and present to build on the information I have currently got.

I started thinking about the ethos of the communication category when going through our history. The fact after 23 years in the Navy, I was coming across information I previously had no idea about also concerned me. To this end I have come up with a number of proposals for the boss which I hope will improve ethos and the knowledge of the history within our category. One of which is a proposal for a date to celebrate the communications community history i.e. Communicators Birthday, and to celebrate an event which is communications related. I proposed the 9 April, as on the 9 April 1903 it was a first in the world event with an Australian Navy ship conducting a ship to shore wireless transmission (details on the RANCBA website).

However, to ensure that the date which a celebration occurs is the most appropriate. I would like to know if anyone considers there are any other events in the RAN communication history that you believe would be more suited?

If approved (whatever the date) the events being discussed to celebrate the event are detailed below:







Could you forwarded this to anyone who you feel may have comment or interest and look forwarded to your comments. Idea's for other events to celebrate a communications birthday are most welcome.

Once I have suggestions, comments I will staff a brief for CAPT Bramwell.

Thanks in advance.

WOCIS Tim (Doc) Holliday
Communications Information Systems Category Manager
Ph: 02 99262649
Mobile: 0417252954
Sounds like a worthy pursuit, if anyone would like to suggest a date or comment please contact Tim direct.  19/07/08.

DFRB/DFRDB Submissions:

I have received several papers lately which are grouped together below for ease of reference.  They concern the fight to have pension increases determined by MTAWE rather than the CPI, and the fight to have the full DFRDB pension rate restored when notional life expectancy has been reached to stop us repaying much more than the original lump sum commuted.

The submissions are from the National Presidents' Forum of Organisations of Serving and Former Members of the Australian Defence Force, the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia and from John Graham, a veteran.  If you are in receipt of a DRFB/DFRDB pension they are well worth a read.  We can only hope both fights are successful and that our political masters agree to restore our pensions to their full value.

Vietnam Veterans of Australia - Media Release 13 August 2007

National Presidents' Forum of Organisations of Serving and Former Members of the ADF - Statement dated 13 August 2007.

Reversion of DFRB/DFRDB Superannuation Value When the Life Expectancy Used to Calculate Commutation - Discussion Paper by John Graham.

Letter from Bruce Billson MP to Paul Boase regarding indexation.

Pedro Franklin sends:

Sadly WORSS Max Stokoe passed away yesterday 15 Aug 07. Max had been battling cancer for a number of years but finally succumbed after many periods in hospital. An announcement regarding arrangements will be in the Gold Coast Bulletin this Saturday.
Cheers, Pedro.
Sad news, Lest we Forget. 16/08/07.

Fm Pedro 18/07:   A few people have asked me about Max Stokoe's funeral arrangements. An announcement in today's paper stated that there was to be a private cremation followed by a get-together on Monday 20th August at 80 The Panorama, Tallai at 1100 (BYO).

Fm Fran Watson 18/07:  As reported on the RANCBA QSO website, our old mate Max has sadly passed away. He was my PO at Bonshaw when I was at HMAS Harman and to keep in his good books I used to baby-sit for him and his first wife, almost every weekend. He was an absolute honey to all of us very young WRANS and will live on in our fond memories of those days.

According to the Death Notice in today's Gold Coast Bulletin, there will be a private cremation, in accordance with his wishes.  The notice also mentioned that his other wish was "for all who knew him to bring a bottle to help celebrate at his home".  All are welcome and invited to 80 The Panorama, Tallai on Monday 20th August at 11am.

I shall be attending and hope to see any others who are able to make it there.
Regards, Fran

Fm Graham Bence 19/07:  I can always remember being warmly welcomed at Max's house at Harman. He and his wife had plenty of parties and aside from the parties you could go there anytime for a talk and be welcomed. If I remember correctly he was a great clarinet player. I will miss him and another great sailor from the 1950-60's is gone.

Fm Pedro 20/07:   Max was privately cremated today and a family and friends get together was held at his and Eunice's house. It was a great afternoon with many stories told about Max and his time in the outfit. Communicators who were in attendance included Jim and Fran Watson, Terry and June Morris and Peter Baggot. Eunice is very appreciative of the many messages of sympathy she has received from ex-navy people. 

Fm Fran Watson 21/07:  Yesterday's get together for Max Stokoe was really lovely. His wife Eunice and her daughters put on a great spread and welcomed everyone who came to pay tribute to Max. There were a lot of his friends from the Mudgeeraba RSL, Lions Club, Ex Navy and other friends and relatives. They had instructions from Max to fly the White Ensign from a tree off his back patio and had a display of his medals, photos and memorabilia in the lounge room for us all to see.

His son Griffyd (who is the spitting image of Max) and his young family had flown over from Perth too. Griffyd and I had a few laughs about the fact that I used to look after him and his sister Gwyneth in Canberra when they were young kids. Neither of us remembering each other from those days anyway.

Pedro and Sue Franklin, Terry and June Morris, Peter Baggot and Jim and I were the only Navy people, I believe. But between Terry and Pedro they had put together a really good dossier of Max's life in the Navy and beyond, which Pedro presented in fine form to the gathering.

One of the girls, Michelle, had put together a fine collection of photos from Max's life. This CD was played on the computer screen for all to view and even had beautiful music accompanying the presentation. There were photos of Max as a toddler, with his parents, in Navy rigs through the ranks, but best of all, lots of photos of he and the family on great holidays to Bali, Fiji and the Whitsunday's.

All in all I know that Max would have been very proud of the occasion, however as someone said "he would have been a bit dirty that he couldn't be there in person!!

Fm Paul Boase 21/07:  Max was very kind to me as a new CRS helping me to get with the programme in trying times on Melbourne. I saw a number of examples also where Max showed his compassion and thoughtfulness to his young charges rather than the big stick. Whilst we never kept in touch, I have to this day fond memories of the Max and his kindness toward me during our brief serving together. Rest in peace Max.  Paul Boase.

David 'Blue' Kerr sends:

I thought members may be interested in the activities associated with Adelaide's decommissioning which are below and/or be interested in purchasing a decommissioning port or book.

I've also taken the liberty of attaching a photo of those who forever distinguished themselves when they commissioned Adelaide in Seattle Washington back in Nov '80. What a dashing bunch we were !!

Please follow this link for more information on Adelaide's decommissioning.

Please follow this link for the Commissioning crew photo.


David 'Blue' Kerr sends:

I was checking out the RANCBA site on the weekend and after looking through the various class photos, wondered if you may be able to include the attached photo of the Yeoman's course of 1993. They were a great bunch - worked hard and played even harder !!

Thought it might be of interest to fellow members if there was a listing and/or photos of other RS/RSEW/SY courses. Regrettably I don't have any photos of my course in 1983, but course members were myself, Tex Sherriff, Pete Malley, Steve Barber, Roo Medway and Slim Astill (I think that was all!). They ran 2 overlapping courses that year and I although I don't remember everyone on the second course I do recall Georgey Podmore, Irish Cooley and Kev Tingey.....the brain cells have definitely started to fade ! No doubt if someone was to add a few names to the list it'll all come flooding back. Anyway, food for thought.

Back Row (L-R) P/POSY Gooz Oborn, P/POSY Mark Gerrey, P/POSY Pete Chapman, P/POSY Mick Vaughan.
Front Row LSSIG Bob Tadin, LSSIG Mick Chambers, CPOSY Blue Kerr, LSSIG Laurie Haines, LSSIG Bryan Green.

Am happy to run other Advanced Course photos if anyone wants to send  them in.  Have also posted this photo to the 'Class Photos' page of this website, but will start a new page for Advanced Courses if there is sufficient interest shown.  16/08/07.

Graham Linton advises:

The 'Wotif Accommodation' guide to hotels in the Melbourne CBD and an overview of the Melbourne Exhibition and Conference Centre has been added to the RANCBA Vic web site.

We plan to add some tourism links later on, once the better ones have been determined.
Regards, Bear

Shorty Moffatt sends:

I have been informed Merv May is in Mona Vale Hospital and the prognosis is not very good. Merv who is one of the only two surviving Members of the RANCBA who started the Association back in 1946, and he was also elected to the first Committee in 1947. He was one of the people who marched behind the first Banner in 1947, when they had "borrowed" a Church Pendant and the words RAN COMMUNICATORS were written on the fly.

Merv has suffered a massive heart attack and other complications (pneumonia) have now appeared.  I spoke to the Staff at the hospital this morning and it is not good. I have a couple commitments in the next 2 days, but shall drive to Mona Vale on Friday and will be able to give a more detailed condition. 

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt
Sad news Shorty, Merv is one of nature's gentlemen.  He could not have been more helpful when we were setting up the Chapter in the ACT in 1993.  Our thoughts are with him and his family.  08/08/07.

Fm Shorty 09/08/07:  It is my very sad duty to inform you that sadly Merv May passed away this morning (Thursday 9 August). As soon as I find out the Funeral Service details, I shall inform all. Merv as one of the Founders of the RANCBA, and a helping hand to all, shall be sadly missed.
Lest We Forget
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt

Fm Shorty 11/08/07:  The late Merv May's daughter, Helen rang me a short time ago and the Funeral Service for our departed shipmate, Merv will be held on Thursday, 16th August 2007 at the West Chapel, Woronora Cemetery at 11.30am. All are then invited to the Kareela Golf Club on completion which is a only a short distance from there. It is hoped as many as possible can attend.

Now, Helen has put me on a spot, As Merv was not only a Navy Telegraphist he was also a Ex PMG Telegraphist prior to WWII and post WW II and she would like in the background, the sound of morse during the Service. Has anyone a tape of morse that could be used, or a oscillator that could be used.??? I will use my selective skills at sending !

Any help that could be given with this would be much appreciated, and I do apologise for the short time to organise.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt

Fm Shorty 13/08/07: Disregard my query on a tape for morse code. I have copied the MKX (25 WPM) on the QSO Website, and I think this is what Helen (Merv's daughter) requires. I will play the tape very low and it will give the Service a background of morse. Just hope that people don't ask us what it means???

Anyway VMT Harry and Ken for suggestions, but a full NRBLS message sounds good.

I shall also take out the Mini Banner, (this was Merv's pride and joy- he was the person who arranged it) and also have a AWE.

His Funeral Service is in today's Telegraph.
Allan aka Shorty

Fm Shorty 16/08/07:  The Funeral for the late Merv Lewsi May was held today at the Woronora Crematorium. The RANCBA was well represented, and the Chapel it was standing room only.

The following attended
Cec Black OAM and his wife,
Tony Froome,
Max Miller,
Brian Duff,
Dave Sutherland and his Wife,
Andy Mills,
Don Ferguson and wife,
Allan Moffatt and wife.

Merv was a RAN Reservist and was called up the day after WW II was declared in September 1939 and served for 6 years during WW II . As the man who did the RSL Tribute said, there is not many 39'ers around now. Many thanks to all those that attended, and have passed on to his daughter apologies for others,


John Rowe sends:

We, (Me, Trog and Archie) are working on getting a reunion of our old Sigs class T2/61, and am looking for some contacts.

It was a very illustrious class, (made up of the residue of three intakes in Jan, Feb and Mar/61 who wanted to be signalmen) and consisted of the following:

Peter Archibald
"Speed" Barton (Haven't heard from him since the Melbourne in 1962)
Gordon Cameron (ditto)
Ray "Hack" Harris (ditto)
Trog Keenan
Noel Muller
"Bluey" Phillips (last saw him in Canberra 20 years ago. He went to the Antarctic in around 1970 as radio op)
Johnny Preston (deceased)
John Rowe
Jim "Jungle" Ryan
Ray Smerdon (I think posted to a Q class in 1962)
Alfie Wilkes

I have recent contact info for all except Speed Barton, Gordon Cameron, Ray Harris, Bluey Phillips and Ray Smerdon. I've checked the RANCBA site and can't find them there, could you post to the QSO page in the hope of tracking them down??

We are thinking of getting together on one of the days of the Melbourne Reunion next year, and it would be great to have a reunion then of whoever had any interest in attending. It may be, of course, that some of them will want to stay lost.

Many thanks
John Rowe
If anyone can help John with the whereabouts of the above, please do so. 06/08/07.

Terri Lane (nee Kelly) advises:

Barry (Lofty) Lane is to have double bypass surgery at the Wesley Hospital tomorrow (Monday 06 August). We had planned on leaving Brisbane in the middle of the month for a six month caravanning trip to the West Coast. Fortunately this problem was discovered only last week so at least we weren't out in the middle of the continent when this happened. No more cigarettes!!!

Regards, Terri Lane (Kelly)
Yes Terri, time to get off those terrible gurpers!  We wish Lofty all the best.

Fm Terri 07/08:  Lofty's bypass surgery at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane was a success. The surgeon told me that it had been a difficult one but he's now in ICU for a couple of days before going back to the ward for about another five or six days then home, where he will have to accept that I will be "she who must be obeyed"!!!! Son, Nathan, and I went to visit him this morning and he was sitting up attached to wires and tubes but still in a lot of pain especially when he has to cough. He now belongs to the "Zipper Club" so I've been told.
Thanks for your interest.

Fm Jim Anderson 09/08:  Welcome to the "Zipper Club" Lofty. I am a double member having had six the first time around and one the second time. Life is certainly much better now. I do urge you to give the cigarettes away 'though.
Get well soon and best regards, Jim.

Warren 'Fred' Lloyd sends:

During a recent holiday in Vietnam we visited a museum in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) which had a number of displays relating to the “American War”.  In the section relating to Australia’s involvement you will notice from the photo attached that HMAS Hobart must have been on station on it’s own for a long time. Mind you, the one armoured personnel carrier would have been feeling pretty lonely for all that time as well.

Best regards
Warren Lloyd


Tony 'Tackers' Miles sends:

WRRO(M) Veronica (Ronnie) Glover , who served in the 60's at Harman and Coonawarra, has Cancer and the prognosis is not good.  I don't have her address with me at this time but will send to you later. She is very sick and not able to use the phone .


Fm Tackers 5/8: Cards or best wishes may be sent to:

Veronica Kent
Po Box 492
Pialba Qld

Fm Tackers 17/12/2007:  Ronnie passed away on Friday 14 December 2007.  Her funeral will be held on Friday 21st December at the Catholic Church, Pialba, QLD.

Sandy McNab sends:

Pictured are Pam and Bob Hughes (Booth) whom we visited for a wonderful week at Houston, Texas and made both Pat and I very warmly welcome. They send their kind regards to all. As for her personalised PAM CRS license plates, I jested "Boothie, nothing has changed you're still jacking-on" however as she is a full-time Certified Residential Specialist in real estate sales it is her way of advertising same. So if you are interested in a home in downtown Houston see Pam.
Cheers Sandy
Thanks Sandy, great shots of USS TEXAS (BB35).  31/07/07.


Sandy McNab sends:

Have put together a couple of photo's I snapped at the USS Arizona memorial which was all new to both Pat and I, although many from Australia may have visited it previously. I never got any further east than New Zealand in my navy time.

I've included a snapshot of the 'you are here' photo of the whole naval establishment, but it is out of date as there is now a causeway across to Ford Island which we later visited to do the USS Missouri afternoon ship tour.

Thought I would send them over perhaps as a page on the web-site, of general interest to any others contemplating a Honolulu stop-over and a visit to the memorial. A reminder to not visit it on school holidays or when there is a cruise ship alongside as it does not give you time or peace of mind to accord the reverence that would/should normally be expected.

Cheers, Sandy.  31/07/07
Please follow this link to view Sandy's slide show.

One for the Gollies:

R 282317Z JUN 07







Jodi Bonney sends:

I have been asked to host the final CIS forum for 2007 at HMAS STIRLING. O/C of the forum, the intention is to hold a XMAS BBQ for all serving and Ex-serving communicators (date and venue to be advised). Can you please post this in QSO so as to arouse interest. I will keep you informed as planning progresses.


Fm Jodi 02 October 2007:

Can you please post on QSO that I have firmed up dates and venues for the subject forum. It will take place 6/7 Dec 07, with a BBQ following the second day wash-up which will be open to all serving and ex serving communicators (anticipate about 11:30/12'ish). The BBQ will be held at the Naval Association Rockingham (Point Peron Rd), and they will open their bar at around 12:00. It is requested that all interested personnel pass their name to myself (via Email if possible) so that I can work out a cost per head for the victualling. My Email address is below.

I will keep you informed as more information comes to hand.


Nuff-Nuff's Corner:

Sometime these little gems come your way - this time courtesy of Alan Rodgers:
Now, who is going to be the first to provide Nuff-Nuff's memorable line??  23/07/07.

Sam Hughes provided the full line, Nullarbor Baker provided the clean half, so we will leave it at that.  It is after all a family website.  Royce Bell advised that "The interesting thing is that the “memorial” pictured is in Shropshire Park in Ulverstone Tasmania.  So her fame has spread!"

Tony 'Tackers' Miles sends the following sad news:

Ex L/WR RO(T) Bud Simpson Nee Davis is currently in the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane suffering from Cancer, the prognosis is not good.  Bud did her time in the 60's and spent it mostly at Harman and Coonawarra. Those that remember Bud or Bob may like to send her a card to: 3 Tralee St, Manly West 4179

Ex WR RO(T) Gail Chilman Nee Kilkullen is in Mt Olivett suffering from Cancer and again the prognosis is not good. Gail also served in the 60's at Harman. Those who remember Gail may like to send her a card to: 8/11 Balcara Ave, Carseldine 4034

We wish them both well and are thinking of them.  I'm sure they would appreciate hearing from old shipmates.  18/07/07.

Fm Tackers 23 July:
I am sorry to inform you that LWRRO(T) Simpson nee Davis passed away early on Sunday morning, 22 July 2007 . Bud's funeral will take place on Friday 27th July at the Hemmant Chapel and Crematorium Hemmant-Tingalpa road Hemmant at 11 am.

Fm Tackers 08 September:  I am sorry to inform you that Gail Chilman (nee Kilcullen) passed away on Thursday 6 September.  Gail's funeral will be held on Wednesday 12 Sept at 2:30 PM at the Metropolitan Funeral Home 782 Zillmere Rd Aspley.  No flowers by Request, however instead of flowers a donation to Mt Olivett Hospital would be appreciated. 

Fm Gayle Brady 12/09:  We assembled today to say goodbye to Gail Chilman (Kilkullen) and the Service was a restrained and classy farewell to an old friend.

The RANCBA was represented by Tony Miles who read a poem (by Lord Tenyson) during the service and Tony and Heather Walford, Anne and Kevin Ruwoldt and Gayle Brady and Jim Carey.

Gail lived - as she died - with dignity and poise.  It was a privilege to know her and it was a privilege to be there to say goodbye.

To her friends in the Navy who knew her so much better than I did - thank you for the opportunity to say farewell on your behalf.

Gayle (Walker) Brady

Nullarbor Baker sends the following blast from the past:

Here are some pictures taken at a Harman Mess Dinner about 30 years ago. I wonder how many members can put names to the bulk of them

Cheers, Nullarbor.

As I am in the last one, I can name a few of those pictured (Rod Beckinsale with a beard! I don't believe it).  If anyone wants to have a crack at the names please go for it.  Cheers, John Curbishley.


Have had a couple of correct replies for photo 1, keep those names coming.
Photo 1:  Rod Beckinsale, Don Brindley, Pieter Oetlemans (Deceased).
Photo 2:  Kerry Bee (Starvo), Fr ?, CMC Duntroon SNCO's Mess, Ron Baker, Di Bron (COXN), CMC Fairbairn SNCO's Mess, Frank Hicks, Bill Lawson (CPOETC), Senior SGT ? Q'Beyan Police.
Photo 3: Fr Kevin Flynn, Ron Baker, LCDR Frank Debnam??
Photo 4: ?, Ken Hanley, ?, Gerry Bron, Peter Dewar (CPOFC), Shady Lane?, ?, ?, Lennie Maiden?, Ron Baker, Senior SGT ? Q'Beyan Police, John Curbishley, ?, Barb Simpson.

Greg Tacey sends the following sad news:

Regret to inform you that GARY HASTINGS ex LRO(S) died in Hollywood Hospital Perth, on 14 July 2007 after a long battle with cancer. RANCBA members may wish to be informed through the newsletter.

Regards Greg Tacey ex RS
Many thanks Greg, Lest we Forget.  16/07/07.

Fm Alan Rodgers 17/07:  Notice in the West today advises the following;
The funeral Cortege for Mr. Gary Warren Hastings of Kalamunda will arrive at the Main entrance of Fremantle Cemetery Carrington Street Palmyra at 1000am. on THURSDAY 19TH JULY 2007 for a Cremation Service.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

Had the most brilliant day last Saturday down at GI, as guest and carer of Ex CPO Tel/Air Gunner Danny Bowden MID. He is 98 years old and I think will outlive me. What a day, we were guests of the Navy. See my report below.

16th Minesweeping Squadron Reunion
A Reunion of the 16th Minesweeping Squadron HMAS HAWK, CURLEW, SNIPE, TEAL, IBIS and GULL will be held at the Noosa Australis Convention & Exhibition Centre, Tewantin/Noosa, Queensland on 1 - 3 August 2008. All Australian, New Zealand and U.K Ton Class Crews are invited to join with the 16th MSS for this Reunion. Please contact Rod Clarey on Ph 07 5484 1072 Mob 0409 267 388 , Email or Jacqueline Clarey on Ph 075530 4633 Mob 0409 260 573 Email

All ex sweeper Communicators, please make the effort to attend, and should you know of any other crew members, let them know. If possible send me a expression of interest if possibly attending. Email I will be there, have to make the most of it nowadays, everyday is a bonus!!!.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt Ex SNIPE 1965 - 66.









 Frank Lawton has forwarded the following photo which some of us may relate to:

Ah memories!  "A pie and peas and a cup of blood please Harry!"  12/07/07.

Fm Shady Lane (ex-RO): Loved the Frank Lawton pic of Harry’s Cafe De Wheels. Brings back very fond memories, going out on the town for the night in the mid 70’s with $20 in your pocket, coming home by taxi with a skin full and still have enough to buy “a pie and peas and a cup of blood please Harry!”.

Robyn 'Spike' Sullivan (nee Jones) sends:

I have just accessed my navy record on the National Archives Site. Would be pretty new development (I have a relative working there.)

Go to Record Search and do a NAME search on Surname & select Navy Personnel records 1911 - 1976 hit search, then refine with first name or number, ( includes the Letter).

If you now have the right record - view the digital copy ,

It blew me away to think that we are all old enough to be archived!

Thanks Rob, the site comes in handy if you are looking to find service details, particularly for eulogies.  Recent searches for Ron Reavley and Harry Adams were successful.  You should be aware that these Record of Service cards were closed off on 1 February 1970 on transfer of Naval Personnel records to EDP.  12/07/07.

Len 'Chooma' Hulme sends:

I was looking through some old photo's and came across the attached item. It was taken aboard HMAS Labuan during an ACT back in the eighties (Hayman Island in the background). You may wish to place it on the web site for those old signalmen who may suffer with withdrawal symptoms from time to time. I suppose the only thing the Sparkers could come up with is a photo of a 602 (if my memory serve me correctly) painted grey.

Regards Chooma.
That would be a 602 with a reflection of a flourescent light Len!  Loved the photo. 09/07/07.

10 Inch Sunset

Fm Dave Jeffrey 11/07:  It's a pity a few more signalmen weren't cross trained to operate in old wireless offices. Then u wouldn't have to hang onto treasured memories of a 10" light. Ho Hum!!!

Fm Nullarbor Baker 11/07:  Chooma, me old bucket of chadless tapes! You must have heard sparkers talking about the mystical 602, because the only time that bunting-tossers were allowed on the hallowed ground known as 1TR, was when they were bringing brews to the duty sparker.

Ray Powell advises that Roman ‘Wacca’ Warcaba - ex engineer, but well known in the Navy Rugby circles passed away on Saturday 16 June after a battle with cancer. Ray has no other details apart from the fact that Roman's funeral has been conducted.

Lest we Forget

Laurie Pegler sends:

Just thought I'd let you know about a new article of clothing the HMAS Sydney & VLSVA has for sale.  Bollard Covers (Beanies).  Great for those cold winter days or for those of us with huge receding hairlines.  Profiles available at this stage are: Darings, Type 12, Majestic and DDG.  Profiles to come: TON, Q class, Type 12 (Torrens & Swan).  Price: $16.00 each posted.  Could you please place this on the web site. I'm sure there will be lots of interest.

Attached is a photo and full details are available on


Bev Weate sends:

Sadly I'm contacting you to inform you that Anne Kelly (ex CWRS(M)) died this morning (26 June) after a long fought battle with cancer. Would you kindly post this with the RANCBA in order to inform some of her old mates with whom I'm not in touch.
Many Thanks
Bev (Bix) Weate
Lest we Forget 30/06/07

Herald Sun - 28 June 2007

Kelly - The funeral service for Ms Anne Kelly will be held
in the Boyd Chapel at Springvale Botanical Cemetary on
Monday (July 2) commencing at 1130am.
No flowers by request.
Donation to Cancer Council.
Female Care, all suburbs 98085596

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt has been asked the following:

Fm Ted Lesh:
My question is "what and how many radio transmitters and receivers covering the MF and HF bands would our Corvettes had in WW II when acting as Convoy escorts and how many Telegraphists would have been borne on ship's compliment??"
Regards Ted Lesh.  (For those who don't know, Ted was a LCDR and OIC Comms School)

Fm Mike Webster:
In 1981 HMAS MELBOURNE picked up a group of Vietnamese boat people and landed them at Singapore. About 80 of the group settled in Australia, and they and their dependants are running a Reunion Dinner in July. I was in charge of the initial interviews, and as MELBOURNE's SCO I am sure I would have dragrooned a few Comms personnel into the job.

The group would like to make contact with anyone who was directly in contact with them, particularly on initial contact. So the aircrew of S2E that found them, the boats crew and those who did the Admin task in the foscle of the interviews. Most would have been "dibbys" but as LCDR Lin Smith is deceased, I would like to track down the Buffer, Boats Cox'n etc plus any Comms bods who had an involvement.

Please contact me direct by e-mail at or 02 9904 3566.  The Reunion Dinner is in Sydney on 28th July.  Many Thanks Mike Webster SCO MELBOURNE.

If anyone can help on the first query, contact me or (02) 9631 8068 and should you any problems contacting Mike direct, contact me and I will relay, QSP, ZOV -T- etc.
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt 26/6/07.

From Ken Swain 26/6:
Re the request from Ted Lesh... I would like to add the following to Shorty's comment. For those that did not know, in addition to Ted being OIC Comm School he was also the LONGEST SERVING Director of Naval Communications in our short History. Mostly throughout the 1960"s. I had a chat to him at Harry Adams funeral last month and he is still looking and going extremely WELL!!!."


Fellow Communicators

I have attached a letter which describes the activation of our online registration page, the procedures that should be followed and a copy of the form to be completed by those members who do not have Internet access, or choose not to complete the form via that medium.

If any member has any difficulty reading the attachment, please contact me and I will forward another copy in Word format.

Yours in Communications

Graham A Linton
Secretary, 2008 Organising Committee

Jim Carey sends:

Congratulations to our RANCBA WW2 member Alison Armstrong on being awarded an OAM in the recent Queen's Birthday Honours list for service to the community, particularly through organizations supporting war widows, veterans and their families. For many years, Alison has been actively involved in the Queensland Naval Association as Treasurer of the WRANS Sub Section, and also auditor for a number of other sub-sections. As Sonja Hellier has reported recently, Alison suffered an aneurism in Hawaii on her way to the US for a family reunion. Alison is now undergoing rehab in Sunnybank Private Hospital, Brisbane, and is making rapid progress.

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

Our NAA Sub-Section helped entertain some officers and crew members from USS Tortuga and Juneau on Saturday at a BBQ. One group from the Tortuga were not drinking and, when asked why not, told me that they were duty that night and were told not to drink. Unfortunately they were sailing Sunday morning, so they missed out. I have an email contact for the senior guy in the group (there are guys and gals) and told them that I would try to help arrange a run ashore for them when their ship gets to Sydney later this month. Could you please post this notice, asking for any of our RANCBA members in Sydney to contact me if they can organise a "Welcome to Sydney" for them (there were about 8 of them all up). Something along the lines of a visit to the RSL or a BBQ would be fine. I will provide the email contact to whoever can do it.

Ross 'Jim' Anderson sends (apropos of article below from Dave):

Here is a foto of Ruwie and I in my radio "shack" following a CW refresher course for him. He hasn't lost his touch.

Jim Anderson VK4AQ

Here is another of Ruwie and I taken Tuesday 12 June at my camp site in Cardwell, FNQ, where we held an Amateur Radio convention during the Queen's Birthday weekend. Ruwie just happened to lob there on Monday 11 so we couldn't let the opportunity go begging.

Jim Anderson VK4AQ

Ruwie & Jim in Jim's radio shack...  Ruwie & Jim at Cardwell FNQ...

David Wescombe-Down sends:

I am an active ‘ham’ radio op (since ’75), callsign VK5BUG.

I work CW exclusively, building my own aerials, aerial tuners & other RF-related items. A lot of my experimentation with HF verticals has been written up in our “Amateur Radio” magazine since ’75 and I am about to enter a new phase of the hobby (for me anyway!), that being experimental CW operation on 136KHz. I have a radio tower and several large ground-mounted vertical aerial systems all OK, but what I need is at least one Marconi CR200 (B29) or Murphy B41 receiver, both of which were ‘pussers kit’ in the 50s-60s.

My “Wanted” ad would read:

“Looking for Marconi B29 or Murphy B41 LF receivers, dead or alive, for experimental amateur radio LF CW operation. These are 40-45Kg ‘boatanchors’ so transport could be an issue, but I would appreciate details of anything that members might know is available for disposal. Thanks & regards.

David ‘Doc’ Wescombe-Down (ex-RS R62846) & current eMail address is RANCBA listed.”

Blue Higgins sends:

I have managed to get hold of an original copy of the HMAS Leeuwin JRTE  Third Intake official Passing Out Programme, Dated 15th June 1962.  It contains Divisional Photographs and includes aerial photograph of HMAS Leeuwin. The days programme etc. If anyone is interested in a copy feel free to email me at: and only too pleased to send/fax copy.

Blue Higgins
(Also got some sporting photographs of footy teams (Real Footy), soon as I sort them out will mail them to you for inclusion on the site)

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt sends:

On Friday, 31 May I attended the Service held at Rookwood Cemetery to mark the Anniversary of the sinking of the KUTTABUL by a midget Japanese submarine of the 31st May, 1942. The Service was held at the Naval Section of the very big cemetery and the Speaker was Commander Mark Todd, RAN current CO HMAS KUTTABUL who Laid a Wreath, and he was assisted by Senior Chaplain Ian McKenderick RAN . Specially mention must go also to WO Garry Osborne OAM, and the sailors of KUTTABUL who had cleaned the area, and made it a very special day .

The RANCBA has been invited by the Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces to attend, participate in the March and Lay a Wreath at their Memorial Service held on Sunday, 19th August 2007 commencing at 11.30am at Springwood.. The Guest of Honour this year will be Air Vice Marshal John Quaife, AM, Air Commander of Australia .YOU DO NOT HAVE HAD TO SERVED IN VIETNAM as this now includes Korea, Malaya, Borneo-Indonesian Confrontation, Iraq, Afghanistan, Timor and Peace Keeping service. Subject to people notifying me they will be attending, I will take our mini-banner, but if insufficient numbers, as normal we shall join with the FESR Contingent. All those Veterans etc wearing officially awarded Medals or in uniform, the City Rail has consented to free transport to Springwood and return. Having attended this Service in the last 5 years, it would be one of the best held in the Sydney area outside of Anzac Day and is a very well support by the community of Springwood. Anyway if you are considering attending, please contact me by phone 02 9631 8068 or e-mail

The RANCBA (NSW) are having their Get Together on Saturday, 25th August commencing at midday or thereabouts till you wish to call stumps. The venue, PARRAMATTA RSL CLUB, McQUARIE STREET PARRAMATTA. It is within 10 minutes walking of the Parramatta Rail and Bus interchange. Dress, casual but within the guidelines of Clubs. Cost, we put $20.00 in the kitty. Partners, girlfriends etc are more than welcome. The Club has carried out great renovations with outside verandahs in the last 12 months and if it is a nice day sitting outside and it will be a great afternoon overlooking Parramatta Park and the Old Government House. Anyway all are invited, and if anyone is visiting Sydney, please come out. See old friends and make new ones.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt

Darrell White and his stunning art work:

Darrell White (ex Signalman), served in the RAN during the 80's and 90's. 

As a signalman, Darrell served on several Australian Naval ships, including HMAS Westralia and HMAS Swan. In between watches, Darrell continued with his passion for drawing, leading him to produce his first photo-realistic pencil drawing of HMNZS Waikato. His father was part of the commissioning crew of this ship and Darrell and his brother were both christened onboard.

After leaving the Navy in 1997, Darrell travelled extensively throughout Europe and the UK, returning to Australia to enrol at the WA School of Art, Design and Media. Graduating in 2002 with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design and Multimedia, Darrell continued with his drawing and expanding his range of prints.

Please check out Darrell's web site for more detail of his great work, it is well worth a look..  You may be searching for that elusive present for that 'hard to buy for' person.  What better than a print of a ship they served in.  30/05/07.

DDarrell White in his studio with a graphite pencil drawing of HMAS Stuart on the easel behind him. (Photo from


Following discussions at our November [2006] meeting the committee was requested to seek concurrence or otherwise of suggestions that we in the West amend our meeting dates of May & November to other dates.

This suggestion was circularized in the May Newsletter.

At our Meeting held at the Riverton RSL yesterday [27th May] it was agreed to hold all future functions as follows;

Last Sunday in May and the Last Sunday in October. It was considered that the last Sunday in November was too close to the Christmas 'silly season' and more members would attend in October.

Please amend your calendars to reflect this change.

I wish to thank all those who corresponded with me and to those in attendance at the function yesterday for their discussions, suggested dates, ideas and vote participation. I trust these dates will be more suitable to all who wish to visit with us.

Alan Rodgers
President RANCBA WA

CAPT Harry Josephs AM RAN Rtd - Sick Bay report:

Harry has had a couple of health problems in the past month and has been keeping us informed of his progress.  What better way to tell you than in Harry's own words:

"I seem to be experiencing a little of life on the slippery slide of health and ageing, and it is not good!

The saga actually started on Anzac Parade immediately after the Anzac Day march, when I walked across under the gum trees towards Ron Jemesen's car, trod on a couple of dozen dropped gum nuts and found myself launched spectacularly down the embankment and into the gutter. I got up feeling both stupid and unwell, went to the Sydney/VLSVA reunion and after half an hour or so realised I was not going to be able to contribute to the joy of the occasion and got Peg to take me home.

The next morning I still felt crook so took a walking stick with me to Harry Adams' funeral for a bit of graveside support. Afterwards I headed back to my car but found I could only walk about 50 metres without experiencing chest pain and total exhaustion, and a concerned fellow-mourner escorted me to my car and made me promise to see my GP without delay. He also made me promise not to go to the wake at Royals Golf Club - spoil sport!

The Doctor ordered an ECG, looked at the result and declared it abnormal, telephoned Peg and told her to take me to the hospital. Next morning the cardiologist identified a small stretch of narrowed artery in my heart, gave it the balloon treatment and set me on the road to recovery.

Having fixed up my heart a couple of blood tests were prescribed and established that I was seriously anaemic so I was bunged back into the hospital for blood transfusions and more tests. Five days later I was diagnosed with bowel cancer, specifically an adenocarcinoma in the ascending colon. Fortunately there appear to be no nasties in other parts of the engine room. I now have a date with a Surgeon on 7 June and it seems he will remove the offending length of colon a few days later.

I am told a recovery period of about two months will be necessary after the op, and a programme of chemo-therapy will probably follow. I would appreciate it if you could put me on the "Excused Duty" list in the meantime.

I would also appreciate if you could pass the word within the VLSVA and RANCBA. I am quite confident of a good outcome and now regard the April fall as beneficial, since it drew attention to the main problem in a timely fashion.  Until I meet the surgeon on 7 June I do not know which hospital he will use, but am hopeful it will be John James. I appreciate your offer of assistance, and will pass it on to Peg who will also be grateful.
Cheers to all

As well as being a senior Communicator, Harry is the long-standing Patron of the HMAS SYDNEY, Escorts & VLSVA (ACT).  I have no doubt he will be back to full fitness and health before we know it.  I will keep in touch with him during his operation and post-op recovery and update this entry with progress reports from time to time.  Should you wish to pass messages of support, Harry's email address is and his home phone number is (02) 6288 7131.  Regards, John Curbishley, President RANCBA (ACT).

Harry leading the HMAS SYDNEY, Escorts & VLSVA (ACT) contingent on Anzac Day 2007.

Update from Jim Quick Monday 11 June:
I spoke to Harry this afternoon, he saw his Surgeon on Thursday and will undergo surgery tomorrow (Tuesday 12 June).
The surgeon will remove about 18 inches of his colon, his appendix and a couple of lymph nodes. Prognosis is good and Harry is in good spirits. Harry will be in Canberra hospital and expects to be in for about a week.  He says he is very touched by the number of people who have contacted him with good wishes.  Posted 14 June - I will let you have a post-op report on Harry as soon as one comes to hand.

Update by John Curbishley Friday 15 June:
I called in to see Harry this morning and he is fighting fit.  He was up and about and eating well, if fact it was hard to reconcile that it was only 3 days since he had undergone major surgery.  All went well with the operation, the gall bladder (which was full of stones but had strangely not given Harry any trouble) was also removed.  Harry was keen to go home this morning but it was not to be, so he is now hoping that the Doctor will let him go home tomorrow, Saturday.  I was amazed at his recovery and he is confident that all the offending bits have been removed.  He is in Ward 10A of Canberra Hospital.
(Harry was released from hospital on Saturday 16 June and is now at home recovering).

VALE Francis Grant Shearer (ex-Signalman)

John Thorp advises:  Reporting to you the death of Francis Grant Shearer, a Signalman who served on Tobruk and other places.  Francis will be cremated at 10am Monday 28 May at Newhaven Crematorium Jacobs Wells Rd Stapylton.  No flowers by request.  He was a member of Springwood Tri-Service RSL who will be conducting the service.
John Thorp

Pete Brimacombe sends:

Please follow the link below for an invite to the Box Hill RSL Trafalgar Day Luncheon, Sunday 21 October 2007.  Guest speaker is Mr Warren Pasco, the great great Grandson of Lieutenant John Pasco, who served as Flag Lieutenant under Lord Nelson in 1805.

Trafalgar Luncheon Invite

This would be a great place to be on Sunday 21 October if you are in or around Melbourne.  24/05/07.

Judith Rowe has found some great photos from 1952:

Judith sends:  "I have been going through some historical papers given to the WRANS Assn and came across the attached photos. I thought that you might want them for the communicators web site but, unfortunately, there are no names attached. The only details I have are as follows:"

Harman A & B = "A & B Watch Receiving Station No 1 HMAS Harman 1952."

Harman C & D = "C & D Watch No 1 Receiving Station HMAS Harman 1952."

Harman Officers = "The Officers at HMAS Harman 1952."

Harman RS2 = "Communications Branch at Receiving Station 2 known as the "Hut" in 1952. HMAS Harman."


I will post these photos to another area on this web site shortly. Now if only we could put some names to them .... 24/05/07.

Doug Conn sends:

At our recent reunion over Anzac Day in Fremantle we lined up the Communicators for a photo and I thought it might be worthwhile sending it in.

They are listed from left to right as follows:
Back row: George McRobb, Frank Hoy, Geoff Haines
Front row: Doug Conn, Dave (Mulga) Hansen, John (Dolly) Gray.

Regards and see you in Melbourne in Apr 08.

Doug Conn
Thanks Doug, none of you look a day older than the last time I saw you.


Ladies and Gentlemen, greetings from the UK.

To mark the 100th birthday of the Royal Navy's Wireless Telegraphy branch I have just launched a brand new web site which covers the period of 1895 to 1980 for W/T and from 1937 to 1980 for Radar, a sister branch. To avoid confusion, the telegraphist's at the very beginning, 1895 to 1906 were in reality "odd-job-men" [many visual signal ratings being sent below when Morse needs to be transmitted] and it wasn't until 1906/07 that the Admiralty gave into the repeated calls from Admirals at sea to have full time professionally trained telegraphists.

It has taken me many months to write the site which is approximately 700MB in size, and whilst it can be casually browsed it is intended to be a reference library.

It tells of the history of Wireless Telegraphy [and Radar of course but over a much shorter period] in the Royal Navy, which, especially in the earlier days, included the RAN, the RCN, the RNZN as well as the RIN [Royal Indian Navy] RPN [Royal Pakisan Navy] and the SAN [South African Navy] both in the use of ships and the equipment therein. The site covers every piece of kit the RN has even owned or used, and reveals facts and figures from books and documents never before made available in the public domain.

Just in case [and only that - I well understand that you might wish to disassociate yourself from the RN totally] you can see any relevance to your sites from the data publish in my site, then perhaps you might like to add it to your links page. Were you to do that, I would certainly add your sites to mine as a quid pro quo.

My site can be found at

Best regards.

Yours sincerely

Jim Henry is searching for an old mate:

I am trying to contact Allan John Nelson who went to School in Walcha in 50's 60's was a LTO on HMAS Sydney in the 70's ??? There is a reunion in Walcha for those that served in the Vietnam war. The reunion is on 17th to 19th of August 2007 if someone in the communication branch knows of his location could they let me know or have him contact me.

I am a Ex WOCD, Home phone is (02) 45727663

Jim Henry

Red Ryder sends:

Had my 60th birthday party here yesterday (13 May) and had Speed Rowley, Doug Conn and Ron Tuckwell as guests. The attached photo is from L – R Doug Conn, Speed Rowley, Ron Tuckwell and myself.  15/05/07.

I have had too much time on my hands the last couple of days and having Speed Rowley, Doug Conn and Ron Tuckwell at my party, the talk turned to me getting stitched up 40 years ago for letting shreddings from the commcen blow all over the uppers.  Problem was, it wasn’t me but Speed Rowley and he never owned up to it! So, to “out” him, I put together a bit of a poem about it.
Thanks Red, I enjoyed it.  Good to see AFC finally come clean.  21/05/07.

Ex-Greenies Meet & Greet - Port Adelaide 19 May:

Following was passed by Les Figg, ex-LEMWR, 1963-69, Santa Clara, CA, USA (ex-Adelaide) who is cross-posting from another site for info.

Some of you will be aware that the Ex-Greenies organisation holds a Meet & Greet every six months in each capital city. The next one is planned for Saturday 19th May.   In the past I've only invited the Greenies on my mailing list, but then I thought "the more the merrier" so it's open to every one. We usually get 35+ Greenies turn up and we get to tell lots of lies etc.

It will be held on Saturday 19th May at the Port Adelaide Naval Association Clubrooms, 35 Quebec Street Port Adelaide. We start at 1200, with a "happy hour" to 1300 and we are usually finished by 1500.

If you can make it just show up and introduce your self to the one at the door taking down the names of the attendees - that'll be me.

If you haven't been to the Port Adelaide Naval Association club rooms, it is worth a visit in itself. They have a fabulous collection of memorabilia that's worth a look.

I look forward to seeing you if you can make it down, and by the way, it's OK to drink soft drink if that's your thing now - this is definitely not a swim through event.

John Bolton
ex POETS R64072
1965 - 1974
Sydney, Parramatta, Yarra.

VALE CRS Ronald Reavley BEM R31850.  31.01.1928 - 08.05.2007 (79).

Shipmates, it is my sad duty to inform you of the death of ex CRS Ronald Reavley BEM at 0015 this morning Tuesday 8 May, at John James Hospital in Canberra.  Ron passed away peacefully with his family in attendance.

Our thoughts and sympathies are with Ron's dear wife Fran, his son Ray and daughter Debbie, and their families.

Funeral details will be promulgated when arrangements have been made (see below)

Lest We Forget.

The funeral service for Ron will be held at the Church of Good Shepherd, Gillies Street, Curtin at 1100 on Monday 14 May 2007. On completion there will be a burial service at Woden Cemetery, with Naval Ode. We will gather afterwards at the Statesman Hotel in Curtin. Full details will be in Saturday's Canberra Times.

See my entries below for details of Ron's illness.

Fm Dave Jeffrey 08/05:  I joined Harman temporarily in June 1964. Ron Reavley was the Reg Chief. What a nice man. He had a twinkle in his eye and a waxed moustache!! He explained everything very clearly to a young RO in his quiet manner, and warned me not to get into trouble with some of the older hands around!!! Enough said. Throughout the next 6 or 7 years he was the same to all sparkers.

My first experience with him ex - RAN was when my wife Maureen went to work for Information Electronics in Canberra, after leaving the WRANS. There was Ron Reavley, clean shaven but still the same old Ron. We will both miss him very much as will many others. He was a loyal and dedicated member of the RANCBA, and who can forget his story on ANZAC Day 2002 about the young sailor and the prostitute travelling at three knots!!!
Lest we forget.

Fm Bruce Spender:  Like Dave Jeffrey, Ron was the Reg Chief at 1RS when I joined Harman in 1965. He took a fatherly interest in all of us young communicators and Fran a motherly interest in the young wives of those of us who were newly married. What many communicators may not know is that Ron was very active in Lions International, serving as a District Governor and as a Trustee of the Lions NSW/ACT Health Care Foundation - he was also a Life member of Lions International.

Bryce Diggle was one of my instructors when I did my Yeomans course and was also my boss when I was teaching A/T at the Comms School. He was a tolerant and gifted mentor who contributed to my limited skills in an unobtrusive manner.

Harry Adams was, I believe, also the CO of HMAS Perth in 1972/73. I was posted to Perth before my posting was cancelled and replaced with a posting to the US. Tackers Harding-Colis got a pier head jump to take my place. I had alrady done all the command team training with Captain Adams, so Tackers really went in cold. My sympathies to all the next of kin of these fine gentlemen. We have lost 3 great contributors to RAN communications.

Fm John Curbishley 14/05:  We laid Ron to rest today in a manner that would have pleased him.  A huge crowd gathered at the Church of Good Shepherd at 1100 where the service was conducted by Bishop Owen Dowling.  Eulogies were delivered by Ron's son Ray and his Daughter Deb, followed by Neil Henderson, Howard Grant, John Curbishley and Ken Boyle.

On conclusion of the service we departed for Woden Cemetery where Ron was interred with the Naval Association Remembrance Ritual - the Naval Ode being recited by Peter McNay, the President of the ACT Chapter.  On completion, we were invited to celebrate Ron's life at the Statesman Hotel.  It was a great day and we give thanks to Deb and Ray for the way it was organised.  It was a fitting farewell and Ron will be long remembered.

Vale RADM P.H. Doyle AO OBE RAN Rtd

Notice has been received that Rear Admiral Peter Hogarth Doyle AO OBE RAN Rtd passed away on Wednesday 2nd May after a courageous battle with prostate cancer.  Privately cremated.
Lest we forget 06/05/07.

One for the Sweeper Men:

A website for the 16th Minesweeping Squadron is now up and running and for all those Communicators who served on the Sweepers either prior to or during the Indonesian Confrontation or post will find it very informative. Also I think others may enjoy it. Log onto

Don't forget our motto "Wooden ships and men of iron!!!"

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt, HMAS SNIPE 1965-66.

Ross 'Jim' Anderson sends a reflection with which we no doubt all agree:

It has been a very sad fortnight indeed with the loss of two esteemed members of our Branch with the passing of CDRE Harry Adams and WORS Bryce Diggle.  Two fine gentlemen indeed.  Best regards, Jim.

Following advice was received from Sonja Hellier:

Alison Armstrong

Hello all - have received news today that Alison was taken to hospital in Honolulu on her way back home from a holiday trip to Canada. She had a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurism. Her children have flown over to be with her. Last report I received is that she had regained consciousness after a frantic battle. Will keep you posted. Information is coming to me via War Widows Guild. We all prey for her recovery.  Sonja.  30/04/07.

From Sonja 3/5/07:  Alison is conscious, is on dialysis 2 or 3 times a week, is only taking fluids but is now speaking to her daughter. She has certainly been through a rough time but it appears the surgeon has said there is no reason why Alison will not recover and resume her “old life” eventually. I’m sure the family are trying to organize transport back to Brisbane but I don’t know when or how just yet.

From Sonja 8/5/07:  Hi all - Alison Armstrong has been medi-vac'd back home and is now in Greenslopes Private Hospital. She is currently in Intensive Care, but her condition is improving and they may be moving her up to the wards in the couple of days.  Rgds Sonja.

From Sonja 11/5/07:  I visited with Alison Armstrong late this afternoon. She is still in the Intensive Care Unit at Greenslopes Hospital, but can have visitors for a short time between 10 - 1 pm and 3 - 8 pm. - Gown and Gloves etc.
It is great to see her looking so well - she is now eating and has got her colour back and not too happy about being kept in ICU. She must be getting better as she is bored where she is. They are waiting the results of more tests before moving her up to the Wards.  Rgds to all, Sonja.

From Sonja 24/05/07:  Hi - to those who are interested Alison is now in Ward 41, Bed 19 at Greenslopes Private Hospital, Newdegate Street, Greenslopes., having come through the problems that kept her in ICU for some time. They have started Physio and it is hopeful that she will benefit greatly from this. If anyone wishing any further updates, please contact me, as I will endeavour to visit with her at least once a week while she is there.
Cheers Sonja.

Peter Flockart sends:

We are looking for an RO by the name of Joseph Laurence Williams. He served in HMAS Moresby and was posted to Canberra. Lost track of him from there.
Regards Peter.F

Seeking Loch Graham

Fred Goddard is seeking the email address or phone number of Loch Graham or his wife Meryl (nee Mims Powley) - if anyone is able to assist please contact Fred direct. 23/04/07.

Many thanks to those of you who replied, Fred has now made contact with Loch.


RANCBA ACT Anzac Day arrangements:

Dawn Service: Please make your own arrangements.

Main March: Please join the contingent in Anzac Parade by 1000 - look for the RANCBA ACT banner. We should be number 25 in the order of march.

An after march function will be held at the Brumbies Social Club, corner La Perouse & Austin St, Griffith ACT.  The Association will provide finger food - drinks at normal club prices.

Please feel free to join us if you are visiting Canberra.  23/04/07.

VALE commodore Harry Adams AM RAN Rtd

It is my sad duty to inform all communicators of the death of CDRE H.J.P. 'Harry' Adams AM RAN Rtd on Friday 20 April as a result of a  Pulmonary Embolism (a blood clot on his right lung).

Harry was the Patron of the RANCBA (ACT) and an esteemed member of many other associations.  His wisdom, guidance and keen participation with these organisations will be sadly missed. 

Harry joined the Navy in 1946, retiring in 1986. In the course of his naval service, he served in 14 ships of the RAN, commanded two (HMAS DUCHESS 1969-70, HMAS HOBART 1979-81) and two shore establishments (HMAS ENCOUNTER and HMAS CERBERUS). He also undertook a variety of senior staff appointments in Navy Office and Defence.

Harry also served on exchange in the RN and the RNZN. He saw operational service in Korea, the Cyprus Emergency, and Vietnam.

Since leaving the Navy, Harry farmed at Melrose Valley in the ACT and continued to pursue his interest in maritime affairs. He had been Chairman of the Australian Centre for Maritime Studies, a Federal Councillor of the Navy League, the ACT Coordinator for the HM Bark Endeavour project, President of the ACT Rural Lessees Association, and the Regular Defence Force Welfare Association.

Funeral arrangements will be advised when known.

Lest we forget.  22/04/07.

The following advice was received via Canberra Legacy 23/04/07:

Harry's daughter has advised that his funeral will be held on THURSDAY 26 APRIL at 12 NOON at the Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetery, Lanyon Drive, Queanbeyan.

There will NOT be a Legacy component at the funeral – indeed, there will not be a eulogy, either, in accordance with Harry’s wishes. However, the family notice will ask for donations in Harry’s memory to be made to Canberra Legacy, and therefore we will be supplying envelopes for this purpose at the funeral.

Harry's death notice was published in The Canberra Times of Tuesday 24 April 2007.


commodore Harold John Parker Adams AM RAN (Retd) - 13.10.1932 - 20.4.2007
Beloved husband of Marion (dec). Loving brother of Alison (dec) and Athol.
Father of Sarah and Charles. Proud grandfather of Angus and Lachlan.

It was Harold's express wish for there to be a graveside service, which will be held at the Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetry, Lanyon Drive, Queanbeyan, on Thursday 26 April 2007, commencing at 12 noon.

There will be no Memorial Service.
No flowers by request. Donations to the Legacy Club of Canberra.


Lest we forget.  24/04/07.

Final Update 27 April:
Along with a large number of communicators from far and wide, I attended Harry's graveside service at midday on Thursday 26 April.  There were hundreds of people in attendance to pay their respects and to conform to Harry's wishes that the service take no longer than 15 minutes with no eulogies and no speeches. It was a simple, moving ceremony on a beautiful Autumn day.

VALE Albert Bryce Diggle (ex WORS)

Jack Duffey advises: "Regret to report that Bryce Diggle passed away this morning (Saturday 14 April). No further details are known at present, Betty too upset to question at this stage, but will fill you in when I find out. For those in Melbourne I am sure that Monday’s Herald Sun will provide all details".

Doug & Sally Kissick send:  "Regret to inform that ex WORS Albert Bryce Diggle passed away on Saturday the 14th of April, 2007 at 3am. The funeral is currently planned to be held in Frankston on Friday the 20th at 1230. Bette was unable to tell me the exact details of where. Details will be published in the Melbourne Sun during the week. I will email when I know further."
Regards Doug Kissick
Doug and Sally Kissick
(03) 5744 1576

Further advice from Doug Kissick Mon 16 April:  "A Service to celebrate the life of ex WORS Albert Bryce Diggle will be held in the Weeroona Chapel, Bunurong Memorial Park, 790 Frankston-Dandenong Rd. Dandenong South, on Friday April 20th commencing 12.30pm. Following the service a burial will take place in the Cemetery Grounds."
Doug Kissick

Sad news, I will pass on further details as they come to hand.  Lest we Forget.  15/04/07.
Sandy McNab has kindly forwarded the following photo taken at the 1999 reunion in Perth.

Standing L to R are Russ Hooper, Ian 'Tackers' Harding-Collis, Hugh 'Scotty', Green, Barry 'Bones' Lehman, and Jim Quick.
Seated are Marion Hooper, Bob and Jill Hawke, with Bryce and Betty Diggle.

Bryce (3rd from left front row) with fellow WORS' at the RANCBA 2002 Reunion in Canberra.

Bruce (Speed) Heazlewood, ex-LRO sends:

The first 100 beers for a visiting Ex-communicator free!!

I have a small restaurant on the beach in the North East of Brasil, about the most difficult place (and the most expensive) to get to from Australia, so I can safely offer the first 100 beers on me for any ex comm without fear of getting invaded the next day,  but will gladly buy the beers for them.

A 650ml bottle of beer here is only about one AUD!!  Good enough reason for about 95% of the ex comms that I know.

Keep up the good work, it was really good to see so many different names visiting and staying in touch via the forum.

Best wishes
Speed Heazlewood.

Tex Sherriff sends 16/04:  For those who remember Speed and want to check out his place in Brazil go to:-  Click on main picture, then Places to Eat, then Boxing Kangaroo picture.

 Gary Swanton sends:

Was having a look around ebay this weekend and saw this item. Thought some of the members may be interested.

End time is 15 April.

Annual Australian Services AFL Carnival:

The annual Australian Services AFL carnival will be contested in Canberra 16-20 April.  Navy are the reigning male and female champions having defeated Army and RAAF last year.  The Navy games are on Wed 18 and Fri 20 at Ainslie Oval commencing at 1200 (female) and 1400 (male).  Many communicators are involved with the Navy sides and supporters are most welcome.

Rohan Jennings


Calling all ex and serving members of the RAN communicators Branch, in WA to join us and march behind our banner at the
ANZAC Day march in Perth.  All to muster in Barrack Street [corner St George's Terrace] by 0900.  Following the march you and your partner are invited back to the Grosvenor Hotel [corner Hill and Hay Streets] for drinks and lunch.
Further details contact Alan Rodgers 9256 2440.

Kind Regards
Alan Rodgers

Brisbane Anzac Day March:

In keeping with tradition, for those who are fit and able, Navy meets at the old Fig Tree in Eagle Street at 0900.  0915 Fall in and March up Charlotte Street to George Street, accompanied by Navy Band and police Escort.  Fall in for Main March in Elizabeth Street near but not in Queens Park.  Look out for Banners.  Main march commences 10am with Navy leading this year, so don't be late.  Following march, muster at the Bookies Club in Wharf Street for Reunion.  Subs can be paid there if required. For further information contact Sonja or Alan 07 3397 2663.

65th Anniversary of Battle of Coral Sea:

Saturday 5th May 2007 commencing 1000 at Newstead Park Brisbane.  Following proceedings, morning tea will be provided - cost Gold Coin donation.  Anyone wishing to attend please contact Sonja 07 3397 2663 by 26th April 2007.


The following photo of the Brisbane Anzac Day march was forwarded by Daryl Cross and taken by his wife Joan.

Anzac Day 25th April. Sydney

Wreath Laying Service. Our formal day commences with a Wreath Laying Service at the Cenotaph, Martin Place at 0740 am. We muster at the southern end of Martin Place, cnr of Pitt Sydney at 0730am. Due to the number of Associations that take part and Lay a Wreath, we have to march on at the approved time.

March. We fall in at King Street, and our Banner will be displayed from 0830am. As we are the 6th contingent to march off in the Navy section, we have to be fallen in and ready by approximately 0850-0855am This year our Leader will be Ex CYS Frank Lawton..

Reunion. This year we are trying a new venue, The Royal Exhibition Hotel, which is located on the cnr of Chalmers & Devonshire Streets, right opposite the entrance to the Underground Rail at Central Station, also the bus terminal is located within a easy walk in Eddy Avenue, so there is no need to use private transport. As per normal, the State Rail Authority, has granted free travel to those wearing Medals and for those partners accompanying them. Many will know Mine Host of the Hotel, Ex L/Sig Nigel "Swampy" Marsh, you has been a great help to us, and the venue is a new renovated upstairs verandah (under cover) which I think will be more than adequate for our function. All partners etc are cordially invited to attend the Reunion, and all costs are your own choosing, ie, drinks, meals etc

All Ex or Serving personnel and partners are more than welcome. Hoping to see you there.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt

Bob York sends:

I received this request for information regarding the whereabouts of Des Mearns, and some potted history of the S/ES/EW branches from Pete Noble on the RN CT (communications Technician) group. If anybody can help, please contact Pete directly on  or pass it on to me for forwarding at

Bob York

Hello Bob. How they Hanging ?  I don’t think we know each other but I got your email address from squirrelshack. I am an ex RN RS(S) who did an Indonesian language course in Singapore in 1965 when we were attached to the RAN. On the course were some Aussie RAN guys and the only name I can remember is a Chiefy, Des Mearns. He was older than us and probably left the RAN some time ago. We were living at RAF Seletar and when not away (not often) we worked at the GCHQ station in Singapore. Des Mearns came on most of our sneakies (Subs especially) and was generally in charge. I gathered that this was the start of a fledgling RAN (S) branch as I don't think you had one at that time, also no submarines but took delivery of some Brit 'O' class soon after. Would be grateful if you could enlighten me about Des and some history of your branch.

Thanks Mate
Pete Noble

Fm Shorty Moffatt 03/04:  Now CRS (S) Des Mearns, he passed away a few years ago. I still remember him, and especially later on when on Anzac Day at the Reunion at the Snake Pit in Johnnies (Royal Navy House) he would give the ales a bit of a push.  Unfortunately I can't remember the year and his wife's name, she was an ex WRAN RO (S) so I hope this can be of some help.  Rgds, Allan "Shorty" Moffatt.

Fm Peter Noble 04/04:  Thank you Allan for the sad news of Des Mearns. I have fond memories of the 60's with Des on various trips around the Far East as have several ex RN RS(S)s who did Indonesian Language training with him at Nee Soon army barracks in Singapore or worked with him at sea and ashore.  In case any RAN (S) branch who wish to get in touch with us old RN mates and currently serving matelots can join   Thanks again to you both, Peter Noble RN Old Git.

Ray Powell seeks information:

Got a question to get your old grey matter churning again. The Brisbane was the 'Steel Cat' & Hobart was the 'Green/Grey? Ghost' - Did Perth ever get a nickname during her time in Vietnam?
Nothing comes to mind - can anyone help out?? 03/04/07.

Royce Bell 03/04:  At least on the second deployment PERTH was known as the “Jollier Green Giant”.  Here are the texts of an exchange of messages between PERTH and CTU 70.8.9 at Christmas 1968.

FM PERTH 200215Z DEC 68
TO CTU 70.8.9
The “Jollier Green Giant’ is at a loss
So we ask a query to the Gunline Boss
Have you a corps in excess of Four
Cause we’ve done the lot that’s for sure
Sea Dragon – The Quartet – and the D M Zee
Last night we made it by shooting in Three.

We’re ready to go where needed most
We have our chums all along the coast
A friendly bunch of ‘in country’ guys
Who call the fire and spot on flies
We are enjoying it all and are of cheer
Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

FM CTU 70.8.9
A. PERTH 20O215Z DEC 68
On the horizon there were ship silhouettes
And as close they came, the greener one gets.
The PERTH is always a welcome sight
For it’s well known she really can fight,
And carry out my assignments whatever they be
From the tip of IV Corps to the DMZ.
In tense time as these, its refreshing to know
Your are good Aussie friends from way down below
Who are willing to leave home and take to the sea
And sacrifice and fight that men may be free.
I extend to the Men who serve on the PERTH
My best wishes at Christmas and for Peace on Earth.
Captain P.L. Murphy

The messages were reproduced in the Christmas edition of the ship’s “news letter” the PERTH PATTER.

Sonja Hellier sends:

I have been asked to get the following circulated and if possible put on other Websites: This WW II vet does not have access to internet!


Any one who has any information on the above, please contact Ronald John Devitt 07 3886 62548


Terry 'Red' Ryder sends:

In a get together designed to strike fear in to any foe of democracy, truth, justice and the Australian way, (left to right in picture) Terry “Red” Ryder, John “Bill” Blinkhorn, Doug Conn and Arthur Francis Clyde “Speed” Rowley got together this week at the Kings Tavern at Caloundra in Queensland. Red and Bill had not seen each other since 1969 and it was about 20 years between meetings with Doug Conn as well. All 4 were Radio Operators on the first HMAS Perth Vietnam deployment in 1967/68 and the “warries” were flying thick and fast over lunch.

The years rolled back and the general consensus among the gathering was whilst they were not as young and fit as they were in those days, that, if they eliminated Arthurs PTSD, Dougs’ Dickie Knees, Reds Blood Pressure and if Bill could just remember being there, they could still combine to come up with enough spare parts to create a wonderful warrior between them to carry on the good fight for Queen and country if necessary.

They have all vowed that it will not be as long before they catch up again.

Bill Blinkhorn also wanted it officially on the record that of the 4 in the picture, he is the only one that dyes his hair!!!!  03/04/07.

Barry 'Tex' Sherriff sends Hi to all in South Australia - ZFH1

Anzac Day is almost upon us.

If you reside in or are visiting Adelaide, it would be very much appreciated if you could avail yourself to march behind the
RANCBA banner this year.

The numbers of the WWII chaps are thinning, and they do appreciate us turning up to help out, whether it be to carry the banner or make up the numbers.

While there are WWII chaps marching the ANZAC DAY committee will allow us to march with them in Group 2.

You do not have to be a member of the RANCBA SA, only requirements is that, you were, or still in RAN communications.

Bear in mind next year of the RANCBA reunion in Melbourne, so here is a good chance to show your support for the RANCBA SA this year and march with us on ANZAC DAY.

We usually meet in the London Tavern (MYER building, entrance on North Terrace) prior to the march.

The march commences at 0930, assembly on North Terrace, adjacent to the Art Gallery (look for RANCBA banner).

On completion we usually go back to the Torrens Parade ground.

You are also invited to lunch at :-

57 Flinders Street

The bar will be open at 1130, lunch will be served at 1300 at a cost of $25 each for main course of Fish or Roast plus dessert.

If you intend to march either meet us at the London Tavern or at the march assembly point on North Terrace.

If you would like to attend the lunch, please advise me by email or phone (08-8322 3051 or 0413 601 612) and your choice of main course so that we can advise the Bistro of numbers attending.

Hope to see you there for one or both.
Barry Sherriff
0413 601 612

Daryl Cross sends the following photographs:


1.  Think this was QUIBERON cricket team taken in Sydney in 1960 - TO Daryl Cross (top right)
2.  TO "Pony" Moore & TO Daryl Cross on Duchess in 1965 in Hong Kong.
3.  CCY Arthur Hillier, LTO "Bogey" Knights (top left), TO Daryl Cross (with mop), TO "Pony Moore in HK (can't remember other names).  21/03/07.
I've also put these on the MSO page - Pony Moore was never that young!

Matt 'Johnny' Dyson sends:

I would like to inform you and your members about a project that my father and I have been working for a few years now commemorating HMAS BRISBANE - the ‘Steel Cat’.

The project is a limited edition print of 2005 encompassing a digitally composed sketch of the Ex-HMAS BRISBANE with a poem entitled ‘Decks of Shipside Grey’ which Dad (Jeff Dyson) wrote whilst I was aboard during the first Gulf War in 1991 and which was published in the tour book then copyrighted by the Australian War Memorial.

The project has been printed and is now ready for sale.

My reason for contacting you now is to give you a heads up on the project so that members of your website have first preference on purchasing a copy which will be very affordable and which is raising money for Legacy.

I have attached the two pdf's, the first provides a lo-res version of the actual print and the second provides an overview and order form.

I have an absolute preference to track down anyone who served aboard the ship at anytime and give them first preference so if there is any way you can help me that would be great.  Kind Regards, Matt.

Please follow the links below for more information on the above.  21/03/07.

Decks of Shipside Grey.pdf

Overview & Order Form.pdf

Sandy McNab sends something for the morse purists. Please follow the link below to see the results from an interesting exercise.

Sharon Johns and Terry “Red” Ryder recently decided to climb Mt Warning in Northern NSW. They decided to “have a brew” before the climb and were wondering why they seemed to be the subject of a bit of finger pointing and mirth from passers by. It wasn’t until someone pointed out the sign that they were sitting under that they got the joke! No. Mt Warning doesn’t have disabled access to the top and Red and Sharon didn’t need it to get to their either!!!  15/03/07.

POCIS4 Karl Williams sends:

I've been tasked with finding out some call signs of past and present RAN units. I've got the details of the newer units, however I am having trouble with the older units. Would it be possible for you to pick the brains of your members (via the website) and see if they are able to help out?

Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

POCIS4 Karl Williams
Canberra ACT 2600
Ph. (02) 6266 6810
Fax. (02) 6266 6775

Fm Karl 16 March:
I've finally got all of the call signs. I've attached a copy for you to post onto the website. I'd particularly like to thank (in no particular order);

Norm "Ollie" Lewis,
Tony Froome,
Bill Aylott,
Brett Mitchell (who works at the Sea Power Centre - Australia),
Graham McNabb,
Fred Goddard,
Barry Sheriff,
Richard Treasure, and
Jim Muldoon.

Follow this link to see the completed list.

Fm Sam Hughes 27 Mar:  Just a little to add to the callsign list, which I think will give our group a warm inner glow.

I am a member of a group of sailors from Canberra that do a bit racing and cruising around the Tasman and Coral Sea.

On acquisition of our new boat CANBERRA some years ago, I thought it proper to get a good international radio callsign to compliment the name. My good friend Paul Threlfall and I (both working at AMSA at the time) thought VACT would be apt but soon came to the realisation that it was a Canadian allocation. We then decided to approach the Australian communications Authority (ACA) with VNCA (National Capital of Australia). With some sweet talking (don't ask for details) it was allocated to CANBERRA.

CANBERRA has now been sold and has become INCA and resides in Hobart but our nuship NAMADGI (national park in the ACT) continues with the callsign VNCA. Not sure what our next boat will be called but HARMAN sounds very harmonious!!!

Yours aye
Sam Hughes

PS - we send emails on HF just like CW or RATT, waiting for a clear channel to transmit/receive, etc.

Norm & JJ Duscher send:

Can you please do us a favour and let all our friends know we are OK here in Port Hedland.

Norm and I have lived in the Pilbara 12 years and have never experienced or witnessed such a bad blow "Cyclone George".
Personally we are OK so is our son Sam Partner Louise & Grandson Jaxon who also live in Port Hedland.  As we live opposite the ocean our cars and garden copped some sandblasting. Our foxtel dish was found a couple of houses up a bit crumpled but heh we are the lucky ones. We live in a brand new brick home which made us feel safer than others.

People have lost houses and roofs and in one case a life. We have had 2 journalists staying with us and one came back from the rail camp yesterday in total shock of the devastation and belief that it was lucky more weren't killed.

Thank you so much to those who have emailed and phoned to check on our well being. When power was restored we replied to most you but to those we haven't we can't express our appreciation enough.

Norm & JJ Duscher.  11/03/07.


Veterans’ pensions will increase by up to $16.50 per fortnight the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Bruce Billson announced today.

Mr Billson said veterans’ pensions, including service pension, war widow’s pension and disability pensions, will increase from 20 March 2007.

"The Australian Government recognises the enormous contribution made by veterans and their families and is committed to supporting their welfare and protecting their living standards,” Mr Billson said.

"From 20 March 2007, the Special (T&PI) rate of disability pension will increase by $16.50 to $869.40 per fortnight, while the Intermediate rate of disability pension will increase by $9.50 to $594.80.

“Extreme Disablement Adjustment will increase to $487.20 per fortnight and the 100 per cent General Rate of disability pension will increase to $318.70,” Mr Billson said.

“The maximum rate of single service pension will rise by $13 to $525.10 per fortnight and the maximum rate for couples will increase by $10.80 to $438.50 each.

“The fortnightly pension paid to war widows will increase by up to $13 to $550.10, while the ceiling rate of the income support supplement, which is paid to some 81,000 war widows, will rise to $156.60.

“Veterans and war widows will see increases reflected in their pension payments on the payday of 29 March 2007," Mr Billson said.

Rates have also increased for benefits under the Military Rehabilitation and compensation Act (MRCA). The MRCA widowed partner’s death benefit is paid at the same rate as the war widow’s pension, while MRCA Special Rate Disability pensioners receive the same payments as Special (T&PI) rate pensioners.

More information on the new pension rates is available from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 133 254 or at

Media inquiries: Cameron Hill 0408 239 521

Gayle Brady sends:

It is with regret that I pass on news of the death of a fellow communicator - Ken Cassidy whose funeral was held in Brisbane today (Wednesday 7 March). Ken served during WW11 and saw much action and during the Japanese bombings of Darwin was based at Melville. His wife, Audrey, served in the WRANS.

A man of gentle humour and great loyalty he will be missed by family and friends.
Gayle Brady.
Lest We Forget.  09/03/07.

Jim Eagles sends:

Here's one for you, Ed Reid, on his 70th birthday trying out his new cricket bat before a game. He still plays in the local comp, and his bowling is the reason why they call him the "Witchdoctor".

Ed is an ex-sparker from the 50's ex-Gladstone, Melbourne, Barcoo, Brolga etc and still going strong.
Jim Eagles

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

Laurie Scutts and myself attended the 106th RAN Birthday and the 40th Anniversary of the Australian White Ensign at the Heritage Centre, Garden Island 2nd March 2007. A very well executed function, and we both made Channel 9 TV when they were cutting the cake. This was done by Vince Fazio (veteran), a very young 18 year old sailor and Cmdr Mark Todd, RAN, CO of HMAS KUTTABUL.

We were very well looked after by a SBLT Samantha Walker, who organised coffee, new NAVY jockey caps and also a hearty breakfast supplied. There was only a few golden oldies there, but I think Laurie and myself did the RANCBA proud. My only regret, there hadn't been more communication on this and I was only informed about it the afternoon prior, as I am sure most would have enjoyed the function.
Rgds, Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM .

Ex-CPORS Ron Reavley back in Sick Bay:

I have just visited Ron in Canberra Hospital (Ward 14B Oncology).  He was admitted after suffering what was thought to be a mini-stroke at home recently.  Unfortunately, tests have revealed a tumour on the left side of his brain and he will commence 5 days radiation treatment in the next few days.  Some of you will know that Ron has been battling lung cancer for some time, so this would seem to be a secondary cancer.  True to form, Ron remains in good spirits and has a remarkable outlook on life. 

There was an attempt today to move him to John James Hospital, but thankfully sanity prevailed and he will remain at Canberra Hospital and not have to travel too far for treatment.  He will certainly be in hospital for the next week or so, I will keep you informed on his progress.

John Curbishley 05/03/07.

Progress Report Friday 9 March:  Ron has had two courses of radiation treatment to date, with more to come on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.  This will be followed by a CT scan on Thursday and hopefully he will be able to go home that day.  Ron remains in good spirits and passes his best to all his friends.  He is looking forward to going home next week.  Fran was at the hospital with Ron today, they have found her a spot at Mirinjani Nursing Home in Weston until Ron finishes his treatment.

Update Thursday 15 March:   The news is not good in that there has been no reduction in size of the brain tumour after the radiation treatment.  Ron will be going home today so that he is comfortable in his own surroundings with the support of his family.  We need to give him support at this time also, if anyone would like to contact him or send best wishes his address and phone number are shown below.  Regards, John Curbishley.

15 Colebatch Place
Curtin ACT 2605
02 6281 0102

Update Wednesday 25 April:  I have been visiting Ron every week since the last report and his condition has deteriorated.  However, Ron was given a Sick Bay leave pass for a couple of hours on Anzac Day to join us at the Brumbies Social Club with his lovely wife Fran, his daughter Deb and son Ray. Ron is not a well man, but he was determined to make the effort to be with his mates on this special day. He enjoyed the outing and even shouted everyone a drink, but the downside was that he collapsed on the way out of the club and had to be taken home in an ambulance. I visited Ron today (Monday 30 April) and he was in good spirits, but he is now confined to bed with palliative care.  Regards, John Curbishley 30/04/07.  Follow this link for photos of Ron on Anzac Day.


The Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence Bruce Billson announced today that an independent review of military superannuation arrangements has been commissioned.

Mr Billson said the superannuation review complemented a range of Australian Government initiatives aimed at enhancing Australian Defence Force recruitment and retention.

"Superannuation benefits are a key component of the total remuneration package for Australian Defence Force members and the overall aim of the independent review is to ensure that the military schemes continue to meet the needs of our people and reflect contemporary superannuation standards in a sustainable manner," he said.

"Serving and former ADF members can be assured that there will be no detriment to their accrued superannuation entitlements no matter what the outcome of the review."

"The last review of military superannuation was undertaken in 1990 and since then, there have been many changes in the wider community superannuation environment and in the demographics and career aspirations of ADF members".

Mr Billson said that the current ADF superannuation benefits were specifically designed to reflect the unique nature of military service and provide retirement, invalidity and death benefits that in many ways rightly exceed the community standard.

"Now is an appropriate time to review the military schemes to ensure that superannuation benefits are being provided in the most effective and sustainable manner and reflect the needs of ADF members and their families," he said.

The review will be led by Mr Andrew Podger AO, a former Public Service commissioner with strategic Defence experience. He will be assisted by Dr David Knox, a recognised superannuation expert and former APRA Board member, and Air commodore Lee Roberts CSC who will provide advice about ADF personnel and bring a military perspective to the review team.

Mr Billson said that the review team will consult widely with members of the ADF, who will be able to contribute through their Service Personnel offices, consultations at major Defence facilities or via Defence's website.

The review team will also consult with representative Ex-Service organisations, the wider Defence community, superannuation industry bodies and other Government departments. The report will be completed in mid-2007 and submitted for Government consideration.

Submissions addressing the terms of reference are welcomed. Additional information about the review, the terms of reference and consultation arrangements are available on Defence's website at

Media Information:
Cameron Hill (Mr Billson)
03 9781 2333 0408 239 521

Defence Media Liaison
02 6265 3343 0408 498 664

Jim Eagles sends:

To everyone.
I have had occasion recently to email the Minister for Veterans Affairs regarding the release of information regarding HMAS Sydney II. If you ever want to email your local member, you can call them on email, just check with  which lists every member of parliament.
Jim Eagles 27/02/07.

Memorial Service HMAS PERTH:

This service will be held at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on Wednesday 28 February at 11am (Tomb of the Unknown Soldier). The service commemorates the sinking of and loss of life in HMAS Perth during WWII.  There will be a lunch/drinks gathering afterwards at the Ainslie Football Club. Contact the War Memorial for further details.  27/02/07.

Jim Eagles sends:

G'day everyone. for all of the ex-Adelaide crewmembers - the old girl will be sunk after decommissioning in late 2007. The Adelaide is destined to become a dive wreck off the NSW coast near Terrigal. The ship is expected to be handed over to the NSW government early in 2008. It will cost about 3 million dollars to prepare the ship for sinking and this is expected to come from the Federal government. Dive wrecks contribute greatly to the income of regions in the areas where they are sunk and are very popular with divers.

Jim Eagles, Townsville

Proposed PS Super Changes:

I haven't seen this reported elsewhere, but there was an interesting article in The Canberra Times of Thursday 9 February regarding proposed changes to taxation of additional income.   I have posted this article to another page of this web site.  Even though it addresses public servants in the CSS or PSS, I see no reason why the proposed changes would not apply to those receiving DFRB/DFRDB pensions.  Regards, John Curbishley.  09/02/07.

Robert Knights sends:

Search for Pete Owen (was Telegraphist R.A.N.) also Greg Tacey (L/tel R.A.N.)

Both these guys were on loan to the Royal Navy at Kranji W/T during the late fifties early sixties. Pete Owen originated from Surfers Paradise and I believe his parents were something to do with Qantas airlines. I was a telegraphist in the R.N. and lived with my wife in Serangoon Garden Estate, Pete often came over and spent time with us. I remember when my daughter was born in July 1959 Pete was thrilled and loved to come over and see her. Greg lived on the same estate with his wife and the three of us were always on watch at the comcen together. We would love to get in contact again and chat over old times.
Tks Bob, I wish you well in your search.  If anyone can help pse contact Bob direct.  02/02/07.

Fm Shorty Moffatt:  Peter Owen. Last time I saw him was in UK in 1963. I was on exchange with RN at Whitehall W/T and after a day shift, we would always meet in the Silver Cross Bar, just near Admiralty, and lo and behold Peter walked in. We had a good yarn and he also new a few RN communicators from their time in Singapore . Was to meet him next day, but he never fronted. Never heard or seen him since. Greg Tacey.  If he contacts me, shall let Bob know and get his address.

Fm Kev Ruwoldt:  I spoke to Greg Tacey in Alice Springs when I toured through there in June 2002. He was working at Pine Gap and was looking forward to retirement with plans to settle in the Coffs Harbour area. Can’t help any further.
Rgds, Kev.

Fm Bob Knights:  Thank you for your help - after 47 years I was able to contact Greg Tacey who is now in N.S.W. He was surprised and delighted so we are on regular basis now. It took two days after your reply. Still no joy on Pete Owen, any ideas on this, not sure how long he was in the R.A.N. would there be any records at all? Thanks again. Regards, Bob. (I am checking the NAA site to see if Pete's record of service is available).

From Bob 'Bogey' Knights 15 March:  Still trying to contact Pete Owen who I served with at Kranji w/t Singapore 1959 to 1960, I was a sparker R.N. Pete was a sparker R.A.N. on loan transfer we were in the same watch. Would love to contact him again, his home was Surfers Paradise, any ideas would be most helpful, I have managed to find Greg Tacey after 48 years so am hoping (he is in N.S.W.).  Regards, Bogey Knights.

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

Attached photo was taken at Sydney's Mascot airport in May 1965, when replacement crews for HMAS Teal and Ibis were flown to Singapore.  Note the winkle-picker shoes, the skinny belts and ties and dark suits. We were supposed to be travelling incognito, but the sailor's caps in the plastic bag were a dead giveaway.  Tab Hunter and I are on the extreme right front row. P.S. Tab is the shorter one!  Cheers Nullarbor.  And this was before stepping in civilian clothes was introduced in 1966!  02/02/07.

Barry 'Tex' Sherriff sends:

I received the item below from an ex-navy mate.

It is with sadness we wish to inform Friends and Colleagues of the Death of Bob (Robert) Van Bodegraven on 19 January, 2007.  Much loved Son, Father, Brother and Friend.  A private family service will be followed by a gathering at Southport Yacht Club, Main Beach on Thursday, 25 January, at 10:30 am.  The Russell Firth Funeral Group. Ph. 07 5574 4722

Bob wasn't a communicator, but he was a commissioned officer in the RAN, some communicators may have served with him or remember him.

I joined the RAN with him, 23rd intake at Leeuwin - April 1968, he was 54, do not know the reason for his passing, still getting bits of info coming through.

Cheers, Tex

Belconnen VLF Antenna towers felled:

The three 600ft towers at Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station have stood over the Canberra skyline since 1938, providing the support for the 44kHz VLF top-loaded vertical antenna. At 3.24pm and 4.07pm on Wednesday 20 December 2006 the western, and central and eastern towers respectively, were felled when explosives cut guy wires on one side and the other two sets of guys pulled the tower between them.

Videos of this event are online, each only about 2MB, on at:

Tower 1 (72s)
Towers 2&3 (63s)

The central and eastern towers at BNTS being felled, at 4.07pm,
20 December 2006. The western tower fell at 3.24pm.
(Photo from )

Frank Aldred sends the following 'blast from the past':

Browsing through some photos the other day and came across this one of 1978 Wardle Cup winning team from CRR in Nas Nowra.  Names are:

Back Row L-R: Bob Saunders, Mick Milne, Mike (Shady) Lane, Gary Baverstock, Mick Eccles, Dave Vidler, Andy Horsburgh, John Bingham.
Front Row L-R: Ray Pigdon, John Halley, Pedro Franklin, John (Brigham) Young, Frank Aldred.

Interestingly, I believe all but three paid off as Chief or better, with three (John Halley, Pedro and myself) being commissioned.

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

Red Ryder's "career change" seems to me to be a thinly-disguised way of meeting new women. However, I find it a mite physical and, at age 62, I prefer the "laid-back" approach. All it takes is 350 donations of blood products over a period of 43 years! Piece of cake!
Cheers Nullarbor.  09/01/07. 

Judith Rowe sends:

I've just come across the attached photo that I thought you might like for the communicators web site. It is the Day Staff at DEFcomMARS in March 1988. They are back row left to right: ABSIG Gary Murray, CWRRST Karen Robson, SWRROT Trish Manderson, POWRRST Mary Ann Wall, CWRRST Mert Jeffery, CPOSY Peter Cook. Sitting left to right: SBLT Natalie Read, LCDR Judith Rowe, ASLT Monique Buckley.

Judith 04/01/07.

Red Ryder sends:


Terry “Red” Ryder proves that you can teach an old dog new tricks. At age 58, Red decided to get out of the business and education world and do a “career change” to the Fitness industry and become a Personal Trainer. He has been working part time at a gym in Tarragindi in Brisbane for the last 18 months doing Personal Training, Gym Instruction and also takes a couple of “Boxacise” classes a week. The pictures show Red putting some of his charges through their paces and their happy(?) smiling faces after the class. The classes must be vigorous because one of the young guys said to the Gym owner after one of Red’s classes “That old bastard you have doing boxacise is a brutal %#@$!!!! He $%@#&*^ near kills us every time he runs that class!!!” Must be life in the old bloke yet!!

Just to show that you need balance in life though, Red also works part time at the Queensland Performing Arts complex as an usher so he may well be the one to show you to your seat when you next visit there.

Nothing like “retirement” to keep you busy.  04/01/07.


Les Church sends:

For all that may be interested, in particular those who served in 'Vampire', a documentary called 'Shipwreck Detectives' will be screening on the ABC in January, The first episode called Vanishing Ship of War will be screened on the 18th January at 2030. It is the story of the Battle of Ceylon in WW2 and the WA Maritime Museums quest to find HMAS Vampire 1 and HMS Hermes sunk of the cost of Sri Lanka (Ceylon).

Les Church
President HMAS Vampire Association 04/01/07.