QSO the World

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 listed below will be familiar to other Communicator shipmates.  We are now in direct contact around the globe via the Internet and email, 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  2007  2008

Vale Doug Bain (R55508, ex CCY - Brisbane Commissioning Crew and first D41 Gunline Deployment).

I have been advised of the death of ex CCY Doug Bain R55508 on Saturday morning 19 December, age 70.  For whatever reason, it seems that Doug chose to end things on that date.  Our thoughts and best wishes go to Doug's family and friends.  He will be remembered by those who knew him as a great bloke and an excellent Chief Yeoman.

Lest we forget.

The Funeral to celebrate the life of Mr Douglas William Bain (Doug) of Woodvale will be held in the PINNAROO Crematorium Chapel, Whitfords Ave, Padbury on Wednesday (30.12.2009) commencing at 2.00pm. No flowers by request, donations in lieu to Cancer Council of WA.
(West Australian 24/12).

Fm David MacLean:
Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Doug Bain. We were at Sig school & in Voyager together. He was a top hand. Who knows what happens over 50 yrs. May he find peace - Lest We Forget.

Fm Bill Aylott:
Very saddened by the news of Doug's death. We served on Voyager together. I have a photograph of a very young OTO Bain enjoying a quiet one at The Brit Club Singapore with myself . Doug Campbell & Tony Koh (Singapore Defence Force) Sympathy to family.

Bill Aylott, Tony Koh, Doug Campbell & Doug Bain  Doug Bain Voyager - early 60's

Fm Trevor Harriss:
Served with Doug on the Brisbane commissioning crew and first Vietman trip, Doug was held in high regard by all the comms crew and will be sadly missed. sympathy to his family.

Fm Len Rodgers/Alf King:
We also had the pleasure of serving in Voyager with a very young Doug Bain. My thoughts are with his family. 
Fair weather and calm seas old friend,
At the going down of the Sun,
and in the Morning

Len Rodgers/Alf King
South Coast NSW

Sandy McNab sends 01/01/10:
It was a magnificent gathering to say farewell to Doug. A quick head count of about 60 ex-service men 'at attention' formed a guard of honour each side of the roadway with a lone piper preceding the cortege as it arrived at the venue along with family mourners. The chapel was packed to capacity and nearly overflowed. We learnt of Doug's family life pre and post his R.A.N. service years.

Born 18.3.1939 and a Melbourne native, Doug was a plumber/gas fitter when he joined the Navy on the 25.5.1959 initially for 9 years and re-engaged for a further 3 years plus to 31.12.1971. Passed for OTO 25.11.1959, TO 10.1.1961, A/LTO 8.2.1963, LTO 8.2.1964, A/CY 11.6.1965, CY 11.6.1966 and CCY 13.9.1968, a remarkable expeditious career path.

Drafts included Cerberus, Melbourne, Cerberus (you can pick the Melbourne home-ported natives!), Voyager, Cerberus, Duchess, Anzac, Cerberus, Brisbane and Harman up to 11.1969.

Press tributes included the HBF of WA, RANCBA WA, VLSVA WA, FESR WA, Wanneroo Joondalup RSL, and the Perth North Sub Section of the Naval Association of Australia in which Doug was their Charter President.

Communicators at the service included Blue McLaughlin, Dusty Miller, Dick Cantwell, Dave Maclean, Vic Ford. In saying farewell Doug, we will see you anon.

Dave Jeffrey sends:

Two stalwarts of the (S) Branch are doing it really tough over this Christmas period, and may not see much of 2010. They are Jim Griggs (ex - CRSS & LCDR SDEX C) & George Bell (ex WORSS).

Jim is in hospital in Adelaide and George in Canberra.

Please keep them and their families in your thoughts at this time of Peace.

Thanks Dave, our thoughts and best wishes are with Jim and George at this time.  We sincerely hope that they are able to enjoy Christmas with family and friends.

Fm Norma Dix 22/12:
Sorry to hear that George is under the weather. For many of us WRANS of the 60s era, George used to scare the living daylights out of us (and on draft to Darwin to watch out for the grass!), however, returning to Bonshaw as an Leading Wran/Wran RS he really was a lovely man and cared enormously for those under his care. I had the pleasure of meeting him again after many years at the reunion in Canberra and wish him well and I'm sure the thoughts of many 'S' personnel are with him.
Norma Dix (nee Featch) W86155.

Fm Penny Seib 26/12:
I was very saddened to hear about George Bell being hospitalised and not being too well at all. I also have very fond memories of George during my time at Bonshaw in the early 60’s and would like my best wishes passed on to him if that is at all possible.
Penny Seib (nee L/Wran RO(S) Broadbent)

Christmas/New Year Shutdown 2009/10

Sarah and I are in the process of moving house to Tuross Head, NSW, so the RANCBA website will only be updated with urgent notices from Monday 14 December to Monday 11 January 2010. 

For those of you who have recently sent me photos and longer items for publication - I will work my way through them next week and publish them as required.  I apologise for the delay.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas with family and friends, as well as a happy and prosperous 2010.  Thank you all for your support during 2009.

John Curbishley
Web Manager
10 December 2009

Terry 'Red' Ryder sends:

"They came from all points of Oz near and far, some by plane, some by ship, some by car and one even decided to catch a train. The reason was a get together of ex HMAS Perth Communicators from the Vietnam era. The venue was the iconic Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane built in 1889 and with a reputation for great steaks, historical bars and even beer "off the wood" Myself, Doug Conn and Arthur Rowley came by car whilst Bob "Willy" Williamson flew up from NSW, Bob "Westy" Westhorp flew in from Melbourne, Ron Tuckwell flew all the way from Perth to join us and Rod Beckinsale took the train. Bones Lehmann flat out refusing to be outdone by any of us arrived on his own private yacht the 116,000 ton Diamond Princess!!!! We were also joined later by a couple of Willy's mates from his RAAF days and an ex SAS Colonel. I am sure we kept them very amused with our stories and general bonhomme.

It didn't take long for the beer and the warries to start flowing accompanied by a toast to old times and good times and another to the lately departed Ted Beare. As is usual in these types of situations, many tales passed the lips and as the lips became more and more lubricated, the tales got longer and better. Inevitably the old tale about the Shredder Bag Incident raised its' ugly head and the decision was made to settle the matter once and for all by secret ballot. Ballot papers were handed out and I can now say that after 42 bloody years I have finally been exonerated (Now Chief - about that bloody kitmuster and 3 days chooks you gave me!!!) HOWEVER, to confuse the issue even further the 8 vote ballot was split evenly between Arthur Rowley and Bones Lehmann!!!! At least I'm finally off the hook!

The Brekky Creek Hotel is a very historical hotel built by and ex Brisbane Lord Mayor who it is said fell to his death from a second floor window (the coroner found that he was actually drunk at the time!!!) and the folklore is that he still haunts the building. Another interesting historical aspect of the place is that from the 1920s to the 1940s, two brothels were located where the car park is now and during World War II, American soldiers used to queue up the street, right opposite a school, which caused community uproar until the brothels were removed. The working girls used to drink at the bar and were greeted in the evenings by a resident parrot who cheerfully screeched from the pub's verandah 'Here come the whores! Here come the whores!' I have to report that even after about 7 hours of tasting the amber fluid, none of us reported seeing either ghosts or whores!!!!

Anyway I digress. Part of the history of the Brekky Creek as it is known is that every day at midday in the private bar, a wooden keg of beer is spiked open and drinkers can partake of beer "off the wood" Ron Tuckwell did such a good job of charming Sue the barmaid that he was given the honour of spiking the keg on the day. The pictures tell the story. The beer tasted very nice on the warm Brisbane day that it was and we gave the keg a good shake. Lunch was in the beer garden and continued on until about 5 in the afternoon. Doug learned a valuable lesson when we decided to have a coffee. I got served straight away and he was ignored. I suggested to him that we were in an iconic BRISBANE pub and perhaps the young lady serving might have been a BRISBANE LIONS supporter and was trained to ignore customers wearing Geelong Cats polo shirts. We had to start saying goodbyes when Bones was under sailing orders on his yacht and Westy had to get back to the airport. We all went our separate ways deciding that we will arrange another get together in another capital city some time next year. I put both Willy and the Chief up for the night and my son arrived home to find Willy flaked out fully clothed on my couch and the Chief in the spare room in his smalls! Some things will never change!

Lots of tales were told but the award for the best one of the day went to Willy Williamson who told us of when he was an ORDCO on the Melbourne, he invited Mum and Dad on board for family day. Come lunch time he took them down to the mess and they settled in at a table with all his mates. Willy decided at one point that he didn't want any more of his lunch and pushed his plate away. In a voice that only a mother could muster and in front of the entire mess, Willy's Mum said in a very stern voice "Robert! EAT YOUR GREENS!!!!!"

Another great day was had by all and even though some of us had not set eyes on each other for over 40 years, we were still the same as we were those many years ago with maybe just a bit more paunch and a lot more life in between. A day to remember"

Left to right in back row: Bones Lehmann, Arthur Rowley, Doug Conn, Red Ryder, Front Row: Bob Westhorp, Bob "Willy" Williamson, Rod Beckinsale, Ron Tuckwell  We are all doing our ballot papers and Westy and Bones look rather apprehensive!!!  Ron Tuckwell spiking the keg...  Doug Conn and AFC Rowley  Willy and Westy...  Left Bones Lehmann Doug Conn Red Ryder, Right Ron Tuckwell Arthur Rowley Rod Beckinsale Bob Westhorp Willy Williamson.

And for a trip down memory lane, see the photos below for the younger versions of those shown above.....

Bones Lehmann & Speed Rowley  Bones Lehmann 1967  Red Ryder 1967  Red Ryder Willy Williamson Phil Watkins Bognor Hotel 1967  Robin Watson, Wally Leijen, Ron Tuckwell, Arthur Rowley, Doug Conn, Banjo Patterson  Speed Rowley, Brigham Young, Dipso Campbell
Brigham Young, UK, Bob Westhorp, Bill Blinkhorn, Speed Rowley  Dipso Campbell, Doug Conn, UK, UK Speed Rowley, UK, UK, Willy Williamson  Miss Subic Bay, Speed Rowley, Bones Lehman, Miss Olongopo Jeepney Queen  Willy Williamson, Miss Olongapo 1967, Speed Rowley

Navy Uniform - Everyone Recognises a Sailor

A couple of days ago I was walking to the local railway station on the way to work at Waterhen. I was dressed in the old 10s (white shorts, white shirt, long white socks etc). As I passed a little coffee shop with tables on the footpath a little old lady jumped up and said "Excuse me Sir, I'd just like to say I take my hat off to you. You're doing a wonderful job and I hope that you and your family have a lovely Christmas". Feeling quite chuffed I thanked her and wished her a Merry Christmas as well. As I kept walking the old lady turned to a waitress beside her and said "Those Salvoes are the salt of the earth"..... Fair Dinkum I didn't know whether to laugh or cry...

(WORS Tony Froome)

Tex Bradley (ex LSSIG) sends:

Came across your website recently (amazing what can be found with Google) and have been wading through the MSO photos section with a large degree of nostalgia, and recognized quite a few names and faces from all those years ago. Not much in the way of personal memorabilia has survived, but I did find some photographs whilst rummaging through some old boxes. I have attached what I have, so perhaps (If possible) you could post them in your MSO section, and then maybe others will recognize themselves and fellow shipmates if/when they come across your website.

Appreciate the trip down memory lane and please feel free to add my email address to the contact list.

Tex Bradley


Great photos Tex, particularly the ones with Goldie in them!  Great shot of how we used to gather after the beer issue (Tooths KB too, but beggars can't be choosers!).  Love the sign above Goldie "No Alcoholic Beverages". 

Would love to put names to all the faces in the first photo - Comms Crew HMAS VAMPIRE 1979.

Dixie Lee sends most of the names:

Between gun barrels - Phil Flavell.
Back Row L to R:
AJ Love , ? , Dixie Lee, Tex Bradley, Dave Daniels, ? , Russ Loimaranta, Tug Wilson, Vern Elms.
3rd Row L to R:
Clark, ? , King, Bones Harkin, Rags Majinski, Wombles Ellis, Clarke.,
2nd Row L to R:
Noel Barker, Michael McConnell, Andrew Coustley, Trevor Dickinson, Dennis Thompson, Les Bullivant, Mick Crowe.
Front Row L to R:
I Think CPOSY Bob Ison, the rest I'm not sure.

Mesothelioma & Asbestos

My name is Doug, and I represent the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center, a leading Internet resource for information about mesothelioma, a fatal form of cancer. I am also a veteran of the United States Navy, and a proud advocate for veterans. The MAA Center has been recognized by the Health on the Net Foundation as a reliable & trustworthy source of medical information on the web and is approved by Disability.gov as an excellent resource for veterans and all members of the military community.

As you may know, mesothelioma cancer is caused by previous exposure to asbestos. Countless veterans were exposed to asbestos while aboard naval ships, while repairing military vehicles and aircraft, and while residing in aging military housing. Troops currently serving in Iraq are also at risk of asbestos exposure, making this a very timely health and safety issue for veterans and all members of the military community. In addition to featuring information about asbestos exposure and the health consequences for veterans, we also provide content on a number of other veteran issues, including PTSD, addiction, and more.

Because the MAA Center has such important health information to share with all veterans, I would like to inquire about adding a resource link to our veteran information section on your website. I am confident that the information we provide, including content focused on military asbestos exposure, will benefit all who visit our site, and we are eager to share this content with as many veterans as possible.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and for your support of veterans. As a veteran myself, I truly appreciate your efforts.

Yours in health and service,


Douglas Karr, United States Navy Veteran
Veteran Advocate & Outreach Coordinator
Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center


Vivianne Price provided the following photos of HMAS ANZAC Ship's Crew 1960 and HMAS MORESBY Dress Ship (circa 1967).  They are great photos, well worthy of publication.

HMAS ANZAC Ship's Crew 1960  HMAS MORESBY Dress Ship circa 1967


Fm Royce Bell:
Would there be some special reason why the photo of the dress ship photo of MORESBY shows the ANF at the masthead instead of the AWE or, if it was prior to March 67, the White Ensign?

Royce, the recesses of my memory suggest to me that prior to March 67 we used to dress with the ANF at the Masthead.  I can't confirm this but can anyone help out??

David Wescombe-Downs sends:

Greetings to all.  I Copied the following from Bevan/VK4BCM via the BrassPounders group website and thought it trivia worth sharing with all the ex-Sparkers out there:

Heavy-handed morse operators

It has been calculated that a Morse operator carries a daily workload which is quite remarkable!

A Morse key requires 4 ounces of pressure to operate (approx).

Each letter necessitates approx 4 upward plus 4 downward movements, 8x4 oz = 32 oz.

On average there are approx 6 letters to each word, 6x32 (2lb) = 192oz = 12 lb.

Each minute a good operator sends at 27 wpm = 27x12 lb = 324 lb. Each hour = 60 x 324 lb = 19,440 lb.

For a six hour day = 6x 19,440 lb = 116,640 lb.

Dividing 116,640 by 2,240 (lbs in a ton) = 52 tons 160 lb each day.

A great accomplishment with one hand - whilst in a sitting position!


Dusty Millar sends:
That's very impressive.  What were you all doing with the other hand??

Dick Cantwell sends:

G'day John, this one may be of interest for the web. Dick - 70 years on.  There were times when I thought I'd never make it this far - especially in the late 50's early 60's. I'm out of 'dress of the day' but what the heck, it
was my birthday.

L to R:  Gary Markey (stoker), Blue McLaughlin, Peter McMullen (non military-but would be instantly
recognisable to just about any RANCB member that served in DCA/CAA W.A.), Tom Jarrett and myself.

Regards and all the best for the festive season and Christmas.

Kev Ruwoldt sends:

The following ex Communicators recently got together (1st December) at the Grand Central Hotel (Ann St) at 10.30am for a couple of convivials, adjourning over the road to the ‘’Berkeley On Anne’’ for Lunch, a couple of coldies and conversation. We have agreed to meet on the 12th of January 2010 again and every 2nd Tuesday of each month. We would like to extend an invitation to any other ex Communicators to join us and enjoy a quiet day of memories......



Photo L to R:
Gus Dodds, Jim Carey, Wayne Hedges, Bob Simpson, John Horton, Noel Chidgey, Tony Miles.

Gus Dodds, Jim Carey, Wayne Hedges, Bob Simpson, John Horton, Noel Chidgey, Tony Miles, Kev Ruwoldt.

Kev Ruwoldt, Tony Miles, Wayne Hedges, Bob Simpson, Gus Dodds, Jim Carey, Noel Chidgey, John Horton.

RANCBA NSW - Attendance at HMAS PARRAMATTA II Memorial Service

Sunday 22 Nov 2009 was the 68th Anniversary HMAS Parramatta II Memorial Service. This service is held Annually at Parramatta Memorial on a Sunday nearest to the date of the sinking of HMAS Parramatta II 27 Nov 1941. A short march with RAN Guard, Band and Veteran Associations in 40 + degree heat proceeded, followed by the service. Officiate Mr Russell Jardine, President Parramatta Memorial sub Section Naval Association of Australia welcomed Clr Paul Garrard, Lord Mayor Parramatta City, LCDR D Woodruff RAN HMAS Parramatta IV, Ms T Gadiel MP State member for Parramatta, Ms J Owens, Federal Member for Parramatta, Chap I McKendrick RAN and Relatives of HMAS Parramatta II crew. Allan Moffatt laid a wreath on behalf of all Communications. More that 40 degrees of searing heat did not deter our RANCBA NSW stalwarts from participating in the march and memorial service. And later, much needed and appreciated refreshments, provided at the Parramatta RSL Club.


Pictured just before meltdown, L to R:
Liz Watts, Merv Bartlett, John Short, Shorty Moffatt, Ken Swain, June Swain, Ric Easom, Jan Easom, Ken Street.

Also of interest and adjacent to the HMAS Parramatta II Memorial is the HMAS Parramatta I Memorial. The two pictures show the resurrected stern section.

If you have read Bill Walshe's book "Signalman Bill's Story, Convoys Signals Pacific War", and I certainly recommend you do, Merv Bartlett, second from the left in the photo, has his duties and exploits, favourable and some more interesting, referred too frequently. Bills story is published by Literary Productions Sydney. Soft cover 178 pages.  The foreword is by RADM Tony Horton AO RAN (Rtd), Patron RAN Communications Branch Association..........


RANCBA ACT Christmas BBQ - Sunday 6 December

Our annual Christmas barbecue will be held on Sunday 6th December 2009, details as follows:

Where: Greenway - adjacent to the Sea Scouts boatshed - access via Mortimer Lewis Drive

Date: Sunday 6th December 2009 - 1130 for a 1200 start.

The Association will provide sausages, bacon, eggs, bread, chips and a limited supply of beer and wine.

As usual a raffle will be held.

Members, relatives and friends very welcome.

For catering purposes, please advise me if you are joining us.

I will have the CIS medallions to hand out to members.

Peter Guy

David Wescombe-Downs sends:

CW lives on! Remember the old sidewanker & bug keys? The attached article (currently awaiting publication in Lo Key, journal of the Australian low power CW amateur operators' club) and 3 pix might be of interest. If any old, salt-encrusted retired or retiring sparkers out there find that the attached material increases their pulse rate, the entry-level Foundation Licence for amateur radio awaits you. Why not read 'the dit'?

Follow this link to Dave's article.

Cheers to all


Fm Jim Anderson 20/11:

Further to Dave Down's article:

I operate CW every day between 5 a.m. and 6.30 a.m. on 3599 kHz under the callsign VK4AQ. There are about eight of us on the Net. Other than myself and an ex CPO Hydrographer, all have civvie or PMG backgrounds. The oldest is 93 (ex WW II RAAF Flight Engineer on bombers out of the UK) and the youngest (the droggie) is 56. We operate at speeds between 40 wpm down to about 18 wpm for the droggie who has done an excellent job of teaching himself.

My big challenge these days is long distance low band VHF on 50 MHz. (Remember the old 86M and what a shit of a thing it was???) I have worked as far afield as Japan but others have gone way beyond than that.

As Dave says, the Foundation Licence is fairly basic and a good way for those communicators who have a "yearning" to get back on air fairly quickly. Unfortunately it aint cheap.

Best regards
Jim Anderson VK4AQ
Innisfail FNQ

Kev Ruwoldt sends:

I attended the small but efficient Remembrance Day Ceremony held at the Evans Head Cenotaph. The service was conducted by former ‘Crusher’ Kev Savill who invited me over to the RSL on completion of the service.

Kev was an RPO at Penguin when I did my NBCD course for PO in 1966. One of the days during Duty Watch I was instructed to take MUP (Chooks) for rifle drill using 303’s. He gave me a serve for not carrying out my duty like a GI, told me I was too slack to be a Leading Hand. He changed over to Chief Coxswain when the Reg Branch got the chop.

Next year I will return to Evans Head and will attend the Ceremony again, this time with my medals. Kev only noticed me because I was wearing my Duchess shirt.


REMEMBRANCE DAY - 11th November 2009 - RANCBA NSW Chapter.

RANCBA (NSW) where possible attended Services. Herewith some of those.

RANCBA was invited to attend the Service held at Parramatta under the auspices of the Parramatta RSL Sub Branch, President Maurie Green APM, and Secretary Bob Durbin. Dignitaries in attendance included, Federal, State and Local Govt Members, LAC NSW Police Supt, Ambulance and Fire Brigade Officers, DVA, Serving personnel from ADF Recruiting at Parramatta. ADF carrying out the Catafalque Party with Troopers from the 1/15th Lancers as Flag Orderlies and also providing the Bugler who played the Last Post and Reveille. It was pleasing to see so many from the public and more importantly, school children, and as the Guest Speaker referred to them, "Young Australians". RANCBA NSW President, Allan "Shorty" Moffat was accompanied by Committee persons John Short and Rick Easom. They were joined by ex LRO (SM) Michael Poole. Allan laid a Wreath on behalf of all Communicators. Then back at the RSL Club where refreshments were provided. At this time we were joined by CPOCIS Kym Viant and his wife, Leanne. Guest Speaker was Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson AO, DSC RAN Rtd, who gave a great speech which was well received by all in attendance. RADM Robertson mentioned briefly his naval service, which is quite considerable, and how he joined the RAN in 1939 at RANC as a 13 year old Cadet Midshipman, and later on specialised in Gunnery. During his speech RADM Robinson gave great tribute to those who served in the Merchant Navy and especially on convoys during those dark days.

Michael Poole, John Short, Allan " Shorty" Moffatt, Rear Admiral Robertson, Rick Easom

Liz Watts RANCBA NSW Committee person and also Secretary Ex WRANS Assn NSW attended the Service at AGH Concord which was attended by Local Dignitaries, including Mayor Angelo Tsirekas, City of Canada Bay . The Correctives Services Band carried out the musical part of the Service. A Serving Commander (Navy), Captain (Army) and a Group Captain ( RAAF) Laid Wreaths. All attending were invited to Lay a Red Poppy on a Cross after the Last Post.

Ken Swain, Vice President RANCBA NSW and President of the FNSA was invited to attend the Service at the Cenotaph, Martin Place and to Lay a Wreath. Many Wreaths were laid by various dignitaries. The Service was very well attended by at least 500 people and certainly larger than last and previous years. Immediately after the Service, the NSW Minister for Veterans Affairs, The Hon Graham West MP, invited about 20 guests to Parliament House from a list previously supplied by Don Rowe OAM, NSW RSL President. The Minister sat us down to tea/coffee etc and invited comments from attending Veterans. Ken Swain represented that Veteran Superannuants i.e. DFRDB etc had increased over the past 10 years by 68 percent, Aged Pensions by 110 percent and Politicians Pensions by 131 percent, Ken also advised the Minister that Veteran Superannuation remains linked to the CPI which NO LONGER represents the true Cost of Living. Aged Pensions are now linked to Average Weekly Earning, while Politicians Pensions are linked to (from memory) Judges Salaries. Ken therefore sought the Ministers, and Don Rowe's (RSL) support to align Veteran Superannuation with Average Weekly Earnings and NOT the CPI as we are going backwards. The Minister noted this and other concerns.

George Standen attended the Service at Port Macquarie and even though he was the only Member of the RANCBA there, advised it was good Service and met with a Ex RN sparker also in attendance.

Don Ferguson RANCBA NSW Committee person attended the Service at the Cenotaph and had the pleasure of meeting and joining with Ms. Thelma Crawley OAM State President of the RSL Women's Association. Also he met with the South Korean Delegation there for the Ceremony. On completion of the Service he met with Ken Swain.

Ken Street,
Secretary, RANCBA NSW

RANCBA ACT Walking Group

Just a reminder that our walking group kicks off for the inaugural walk this Wednesday, 18th November 2009, at 0930. Meet at Dunrossil Drive, Yarralumla.

If Wednesday's are not a good day for you, let us know, we are flexible!!!!

Hope to see you all there!!

Peter Guy

Fm Peter Guy 18/11:
Well.... The walking group got off to a good start this morning...... Just five of us, Ken Eynon, Ian Schubert, Lance Sutherland, Fred Goddard and myself...... We met just inside Dunrossil Drive, Yarralumla, and walked for about one and half hours to Weston Park and back. Then off to the Curtin shops for a well earned coffee and cake.

The next walk won't be until early February now, with Christmas and the holiday season coming up. We intend to also hold it on a Thursday, to see if that suits members better.

Have enclosed some photo's taken before the walk.

Fred Goddard, Peter Guy & Ian Schubert  Fred Goddard, Ian Schubert, Lance Sutherland & Ken Eynon


Allan Moffatt and committee cordially invite all RANCBA members to the very popular RANCBA NSW Annual Xmas function. Location is Parramatta RSL 1200 Sat 5th Dec 2009.  Parramatta RSL is located close to to public transport - trains, boats and busses. The RSL car park is also available.

Ken Street

Welcome Home Parade to Mark End of Operation Catalyst

See the attached DEFGRAM for information about a welcome home parade to take place in Canberra at 1400 on 21 November 2009 at the Australian War Memorial.

Follow this link for more information.


Vale Phil Carmichael

G’day, I felt I had to write in and express my sadness at reading about the passing of the late Phil Carmichael.

I joined VKMP in 1970 something as a 17 year old kid, where Phil was the Kellick Sparker and I was to be the ‘Boy’.

I have many fond memories of those days, they were probably the best of my time in the RAN. Phil taught me more about being a sparker than any Comm School could. Not only was he my mentor, he turned out being a good mate as well. So, rest in peace Phil. It’s been around 33 years since those days, they still remain vivid in my mind. Condolence’s to his family.

Tim Hill.

Search for HMAS LEEUWIN Ships Bell

Management at Leeuwin Barracks are endeavouring to locate HMAS Leeuwin's (JR Training establishment) original ships bell. This is required for a celebratory function in 2010.

If anyone out there has any knowledge, could they please email me at work - lynton.michael2@defence.gov.au

(If anyone has it in their "safe keeping" and is able to drop it off at Leeuwin - this should be possible during normal working hours, as it is an open base during this time. i.e. no security on the gate).

Alternatively, I should be able to arrange transport if it is interstate.

With thanks,

Lynton Michael


Is being held at FHQ Potts Point 19-20 Nov.  Tagan Wright CPOCIS4 FCPOCIS at FHQ has extended an invitation to RANCBA members to attend the CIS Forum End of Year Function Friday afternoon 20 Nov 1300 at the Royal Exhibition Hotel, 86 Chalmers St Surry Hills. (Swampy Marsh's pub.)

This is a generous offer from the senior CIS fraternity. If you are able, please attend. This is a wonderful opportunity to foster relations with the many CIS Officers and Managers from around Australia. For further info please contact me on (02) 9359 4976.

Ken Street

HMAS PARRAMATTA Annual Memorial Service

The Naval Association of Australia Parramatta Memorial Sub-Section cordially invite RANCBA members to attend the Annual memorial service in honour of the men who served on HMAS Parramatta II. The service will be held at the Parramatta Naval Memorial, Queens Wharf Reserve, George St.

There will be a short march and in the even of wet weather, the service will be held at the Parramatta RSL Club.  On completion there will be light refreshments at the Parramatta RSL Club. Sunday 22 Nov 1:50.

 Public transport is plentiful. Bus, Train or Ferry from Sydney. Allan, (Shorty), will be laying a wreath on behalf of RANCBA.  If you would like to attend please advise me as catering will require numbers. Dress of the Day - Medals.

Ken Street

Action Sheet for Indexation of Military Superannuation - David 'Blue' Kerr sends:

The Defence Force Welfare Association along with a number of ex service organisations including the Naval Association have been party to a campaign to achieve a fair and equitable means of indexation for military superannuation. No doubt you would be aware of the ridiculous recommendations that came from the Matthews Review.

I ask whether you can place the attached action sheet on the QSO page of the website with a view to getting as many members as possible to take action and bring this completely unfair situation to the attention of their Federal Member. I am sure it affects a considerable number of RANCBA members.

All we seek is a fair indexation method for all.


David Kerr J.P.
S.A. State President
Naval Association of Australia

Please follow this link to read the action sheet.

Golfing Trip to Tocumwal - Ray Powell sends:

If there is anyone interested & available to spend a week at Tocumwal Golf Course (8 – 13 Nov 09) with a motley bunch of hackers/reasonable players – have I got a deal for you.

There has been a mixture of 16 retired and serving Navy/Army/RAAF and APS personnel attending a yearly ritual of playing 36 rpt 36 holes a day at Golf courses along the Murray for the last 10 years. Unfortunately a member of our band has had to pull out. If there is anyone interested in coming along this year for the week we would greatly appreciate it....... Details below:


Has been booked at the Tocumwal Golf Motor Inn - (8xtwin share rooms numbers 14-21)

Check in: Sunday 8th November 2009
Check out: Friday 13th November 2009


18 holes of golf on Sunday at 1pm for 16 players
36 holes of golf on Monday at 8am & 1.30pm for 16 players
36 holes of golf on Tuesday at 8am & 1.30pm for 16 players
36 holes of golf on Wednesday at 8am & 1.30pm for 16 players
36 holes of golf on Thursday at 8am & 1.30pm for 16 players


A buffet breakfast is included in the package.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 7am each day.

Rivergums Bistro Meal Credit:

The quote includes meal credits to the value of $75.00 per person.

The cost will be $475.00 per person

In addition, because we are all getting a lot older but no less bolder, the option of 8 x Carts this year was agreed and has incurred an extra $200 per person. Therefore the cost will be $675 for the best week in OZ since “Dream the Rest”.


Anyone interested pse contact Ray direct.

Ben Franklin sends a Vale for Ron Elkington (ex RO(S))

Re Ron Elkington. I notice in the October issue of the RSL mag "The Listening Post" that Ron Elkington (ex RO(S) R63090) has crossed the great divide. I only knew Ron at DCA for a short period in the 70's.  I believe he was based in Mandurah WA, but have no details of his passing.  For inclusion in "Vale" section.

Tks Ben Franklin
Lest we forget.

Fm Ben 28/10:
Re Ron Elkington...On further advice it appears that the Ron Elkington that passed on is not the RO(S) Sparker I thought it was!!!
Seems the dearly departed gent was a greenie...the official numbers are not far apart...(S) Ron has done a Lazarus and is still with us as far as I know.
Rgds Ben Franklin...(Sri about that Ron)

John Griffin sends:

Ray Sylvester ex CPORSSM passed away in late September. Ray's last posting was as the Submarine Commcen manager at HMAS Kuttabul in the eighties. Ray was retired and lived in Gosford, NSW.

John Griffin
Sad news.  Lest we forget

Fm Tony Froome:
I first met Ray when I was posted to Plats as a LSRO in 1980/81. He and (then PORSSM) Titch Parsons ran the Commcen. It was a steep learning curve for me at Plats being a "skimmer" in a submariner's world and those two, especially Ray, helped me a lot. Ray was a great believer in "get the message across and worry about the bull**** later on".

I recall one incident during a submarine "jolly" when Ray had to contact Captain Barry Nobes (COMAUSSUBRON) around 0300. I could hear a rather sleepy befuddled voice answer the phone after a couple of rings, then Ray sprang into action. "Sorry to disturb you so early Sir, but we've run out of coffee in the Commcen". There was a brief pause and then some rather angry noises..."Now that I've got your full attention Sir, this is what's going on......"

I can't think of anyone else who could have pulled that off!! I almost caused a SUBMISS to be declared when I mixed up some check reports and Ray was summoned to explain why I shouldn't be hung, drawn and quartered. He walked up to the boss's office, knocked on the door and threw his hat in....ice broken, all forgiven.

Quite a remarkable man. He will be missed.

Fm Dixie Barron:
Thanks for your article Tony. I was also a well respected young general service communicator at "Platts" in the seventies however. I remember Ray Sylvester and Gary O'Keefe and am grateful for the many hours of watchkeeping in their comcen.

Again its sad to hear that too many have crossed the bar.
Lest we Forget

David Wescombe-Downs sends:

Just a note to share that I managed 5th place in the Over 60s superheavyweight class at the 2009 World Masters Weightlifting championships & World Masters Games. Successful with 6/6 attempts in Snatch & Clean&Jerk for 2 x PBs & 2 x State records, so I am pleased with that. I was second lightest @ 106.4KG & big German, Russky & Polak lifters took the podium spots with some very powerful lifting. It was really great to have Terry Feltham come along to watch the proceedings: hadn't seen him since '76 @ Cerberus. We were shipmates on VKLP in 68 as kellicks & 69 when Terry was Comcen RSOW, DWD LHOW & Ron Baker senior RO on watch when the Evans & Melbourne collided early a.m. June 3rd. It all seems a million years ago...

DWD, Ingrid & Clay

Here is a piccy taken by journalists who interviewed me after the competition. Ingrid, my wife (girlfriend in '66 when I was an RO aboard Ibis) and my 14yo son Clay, 'gun' U14 union outside centre (SA State squad). Clay is youngest of 6 we share.

Ted Beare's Farewell

Ted Beare was farewelled on Thursday 15th Oct at Drysdales Funeral Parlour Tewantin. It was a fitting ceremony with Ted's family present. The Comms branch was well represented and as usual it took a funeral to bring old mates back together. Lesley, Ted's wife, asked me to say a few words but it's not something I am particularly good at and passed it off on to Terry (Red) Ryder who did a terrific job.

Many stories were told and probably the truth lay somewhere in between with the infamous 'shredder incident' which occurred on the Perth, being re-told again and still after all this time we still don't know who the perpetrator was although we all have our suspicions. It wasn't me because I'm sure I was asleep and I would surely recall something like that with my legendary memory.

Red even gave a creditable impersonation of Ted himself, the sharp authoritative voice with the Pommy accent but thankfully the language was watered down. There was a great slide show recalling Ted's early years in the 'other Navy', once again I marvel how all you blokes have aged and I have stayed much the same! After the service we retired to the Tewantin RSL where Ted shouted a few drinks at last squaring up with the blokes he owed a beer to.

He didn't want anyone to be sad, it was a celebration of his life so we all did the appropriate thing and told the odd warrie and had a few laughs. It was a great time for me catching up with Bob Williamson and Barney Lutton who I hadn't see for about 40 years, pity it had to happen under such circumstances. A fitting farewell to a bloody good bloke.

John (Bill) Blinkhorn


Rear L to R:
Bill Blinkhorn, Barney Lutton, Red Ryder, Bob Williamson, Phil Roy, Rod Beckinsale, Doug Conn, Arthur Rowley.
Front L to R:
Ted's daughters Liz, Sally, wife Lesley, Sister Glenda, eldest daughter Jo.

Fm Lesley Beare 22/11:
On behalf of the family I would like to thank everyone that made phone calls, sent emails and attended Ted's funeral, he would have been touched and very proud to know that so many of his shipmates thought about him. He was a true sailor with salt water in his veins and loved being at sea. I very much appreciated seeing you all there. I am sorry that I am unable to get in touch with you all individually. Thank you.
Lesley Beare.

Gary Swanton sends:

I had the privilege to be asked to represent the RANCBA at a graduation parade for class CIS262 at the Maritime School of Signals, HMAS Cerberus on Thursday 15 October.

In typical Cerberus fashion, the parade experienced both sunshine and pouring rain, which saw the graduating class, family and guests eventually move inside the school to complete the ceremony.

The reviewing officer was Colonel S. Lee ARA who is the inaugural Commandant Defence Command Support Training Centre. LCDR Ian Broadsmith, Officer Commanding DFSS M-CIS-W was also in attendance.

Once inside, I presented each graduating class member the CIS coin and welcomed them into the category. Please find attached a couple of photos of the day for our RANCBA colleagues and join me welcoming the latest members of the Communications Branch into the fleet.


Even though it has been around 14 years since I was last on a flag deck, some feelings just don’t leave you. Today when tack line was lost when some trainees were putting up a hoist, I was tempted to jump up and yell, Cancel that hoist and get it back up there correctly, however, I remained under control, but only just.

Gary Swanton


Plaque for Guy Faulks

As you may or may not be aware that one of the legends of the RAN Comms Branch in the late 40s and all of the 50s and then in the Dept of Civil Aviation Comms Branch passed away last month, Guy Faulks.  He had served in the RAN from 9th March 1946 until November 1959.

Anyway he had asked for no Funeral Service but to be cremated and then his Ashes scattered at sea (I believe this has been approved by RAN) but also for those that knew him, gather to have an ale to remember him (he loved his ale). All his requests were abided by.

But saying that, I believe his only known relative was a sister, and so that his name may be remembered, I wrote to the Chaplains Office at Garden Island could we as an Association have a plaque dedicated in the Chapel of Remembrance for him.

Today I received an answer in these circumstances we could, and they are forwarding me the application etc. Also I shall be responsible for the cost.  Now, it is in the vicinity nowadays of $71 so I am asking if anyone who served with Guy or knew him would like to contribute a dollar or so.   Please give this consideration as I would hate to think that someone who gave so much for the Nation and the RAN, would disappear without any further word.

Please think about this.
Allan "Shorty Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)

Terry 'Red' Ryder sends:

Ted Beare's Eulogy - Thursday 15 October.

Bill Blinkhorn called me tonight and advised that Ted Beares wife Lesley, has asked that someone from the Navy read part of Ted's eulogy at his funeral on the Sunshine Coast on Thursday 15th. That task has fallen to me and I am happy to undertake it.

I served with Ted on the Perth from 1967 - 69 and then didn't set eyes on him until he came to one of our get togethers a few months ago before his surgery. Therefore I only have my thoughts and memories of Ted and any that the Queensland lads can give me.

I would really appreciate it if you could put a bulletin out on the RANCBA website for anyone with any interesting anecdotes, warries, comments and memories of Ted that they think might be appropriate to be included in my speech. I would like to send him off in a lighthearted but respectful way and I am sure that his family will appreciate knowing that his former shipmates have been included in his farewell.
Anyone with anything to offer can contact me on traventer@optusnet.com.au or on 0424 220 728.
Many thanks

Terry "Red" Ryder

Sally Kissick sends sad news:

Just had a phone call off Alan Diggle, Betty Diggle (widow of Bryce) passed away last night (Sunday 11 Oct) from stomach cancer. I have to tell you it was a bit of a shock, I had just found out that she had the cancer (so had she). Funeral will probably be early next week.

Thanks Sall, sad news.  Will post the funeral details when known.  13/10/09.

Sall advises that the funeral will be held at:
Bunurong Memorial Park, 790 Frankston-Dandenong Rd, Dandenong South on Tuesday 20 Oct, at 0930 (No flowers by request, Donations in lieu to Anti Cancer Council).

Sandy McNab sends an interesting page for the website (follow the link):

The Articles of War - 1749

Sandy says "And to think I used to have a whinge about compulsory Sunday service, clearing lower deck for entering harbour, and getting changed into evening dress for 1900 rounds (unless you're already in the fart sack).

Look what these poor wretches had to put up with at the penalty of death if otherwise, and I guess para 29 would have sorted a few of them out."


Red Ryder sends:

Ron Tuckwell sent these photos to me and asked me to send them on to you.   First one shows Ron inspecting a scale model of HMAS Perth D38 and the second shows Ron as CRS aboard the Perth for the first 2 Vietnam trips presenting a Perth plaque to an unknown US communicator. Others in the photo are LRO Ray Thompson and LRO Ted Beare.

Terry "Red" Ryder



Graham Bence passes on the following information:

A National Boer War Memorial Monument is to be built in Canberra to recognize the men who served in Australia’s first military expedition as a nation.

As part of the memorial project, a database of descendants of Australians who fought in the Boer war is being established. If you are a descendant, you are invited to contact the Boer War Memorial Committee to register your name on the database. If anybody is aware of any other descendants, would they please bring this to their attention.

Have a look at the website www.bwm.org.au or phone 03 9890 2465 or write to the Committee at PO Box 42, Bulleen VIC 3105.

Gathering for Guy Faulks

Guy Faulks Ex Telegraphist RAN and then Comms Officer DCA. 23/04/1925 - 9/09/2009

Guy was a very unique person, and I often hear from people say how good some one was on a morse key or someone could read morse at a good speed. Guy was both and I think he was born with a morse key in his hand. He joined the RAN IN 9/4/1946 and on completion went into Dept of Civil Aviation in communications without a break in 1959.

Guy had requested that there be no funeral, but that he be cremated and his ashes to be scattered at sea, and the RAN has agreed to. But saying that he also asked that all that knew him, gather for a beer to remember him. We did so, and the wake was held at the Coronation Hotel, Park Street, Sydney on Tuesday, 29th September at about 1400hrs.

It was a good mixture of ex RANCBA/RN Communicators who knew him both in the RAN and then had joined DCA and had worked with Guy over many years. To put it mildly, I think Guy would have been proud of all who attended. I knew him both in the RAN and then for about 20 plus years in Civil Aviation and he was a great hand, and was highly thought of, in both the work field and outside, and I would have to say, in all this time, I don't think he missed a Anzac Day March and Reunion here in Sydney.

Some of those that attended, Peter Davey, Kev "Keghead" Weaver (who had travelled from the ACT), Peter Barton, John McNally, Max Miller, Ken Wiggins, John Short, John Leis, Dave Holmes, Ted Gray, Ray Smith, Harry Kruger, (who had travelled from the boondocks near Mudgee), Warwick Harry, Greg Black, Mark Farrah and self, Shorty.

Guy you served your Nation, and the RAN, so it is now time to have a rest.
Smooth sailing old friend

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt


HMAS MORESBY Reunion - Canberra - 24-27 September 2009

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

Ex Communicators at the HMAS MORESBY Reunion, Canberra 24-27th September. 

Photo 1:  Nev Phillips,(WA), Shorty Moffatt (NSW), Lance Sutherland (ACT), & Les Thurgood (Vic) at the Formal Dinner

Photo 2: Ex Communicators at the Wreath Laying Service, Australian War Memorial, Chris & Lance Sutherland, Les Thurgood, Shorty & Helen Moffatt.  Lance & Shorty were two of the four communicators who Commissioned HMAS MORESBY in 1964.



Progress Report on Ted Beare:

As reported a couple of months ago, Ted Beare underwent an operation to remove a brain tumour. He had a rough time during the op and has spent a long time trying to recover. In addition, they have found a spot on his lung which also will require attention.

He has undergone radio therapy which has cost him his fine head of hair and as well as about 14kg of body weight. At the moment he is bedridden and only taking fluids. He is being cared for by his wife Lesley. She has told us that she is getting "mixed messages" from specialists etc about his condition and is starting to demand more specific answers so they can at least deal with whatever it is they have to deal with and perhaps see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Bill Blinkhorn, Doug Conn and myself went to visit him yesterday and spent about half an hour with him. Whilst he is physically weak, his mind still seems very alert and he enjoyed the visit and the usual piss taking, spinning of warries and trips down memory lane. His handshake is still very firm and his memory still appears to be very sharp. We have set him a target of being up and about enough to join us for a Christmas lunch sometime in December.

As we were leaving, his wife said that it was the best spirit she had seen him in in a couple of weeks so hopefully our visit contributed to that. Bill is going to check on him every few days and Doug and I will try and get up to see him every couple of weeks.

We will keep you posted as to his progress.

Terry 'Red' Ryder
Many thanks Red, please pass on our very best wishes to Ted.  I'm sure we all wish for a speedy recovery.

Fm Bill Blinkhorn 30/09:

I went to see Ted yesterday and he is not very well at all. I don't think he would still be here if it wasn't for Lesley who is an ex nurse and still could hold her own in any hospital. For the first time she conceded that she thinks she could be losing the battle, its been very difficult to get any solid food into Ted and he is just wasting away. He is on morphine via a patch which manages the pain. Ted is still lucid and I had a short conversation with him but its difficult for him to stay awake for any length of time. He really appreciates knowing that his old mates are thinking of him. Will keep you all updated.

Regards to all
Bill Blinkhorn
Noosa Qld

Fm Bill Blinkhorn 10/10:
Ted passed away during the night at Selangor Private Hospital Nambour. Ted's wife Lesley was with him. No funeral arrangements have been made at this stage, Ted's sister is flying in from Perth today, they were very close and Lesley tells me she has the same sense of humour as Ted which is a bit of a worry. They will get together and arrange the funeral, I will let you know details as soon as I find out. Ted put up a hell of a fight and was always up for a laugh whenever I visited him. He could not have lasted as long as he did without the knowledge and determination of his wife Lesley, an ex nurse who would still hold her own in any hospital.

Thanks Bill, sad news.  Lest we forget.

RANCBA QLD AGM/BBQ - Saturday 31 October

RANCBA (Q) will be conducting AGM / BBQ at the Maritime Museum on Saturday 31st October commencing 11.30 am.

Cost is $15.00 per head. Drinks at the right price. All welcome - make it a family day out!

Names and monies must be paid to Treasurer Jim Carey, PO Box 78 ALDERLEY 4051 by Friday 23rd October so we can get details to caterer.

Presentation of the CIS 'coin' to all members present will be made by SNO Commander Geoff Fiedler.

Those not in attendance will receive same by snail mail as soon as possible following the event.
Details will be in October Qld News to be circulated shortly.

Look forward to seeing as many members as possible on the day.

Any queries phone President Alan, or Secretary Sonja on 07 3397 2663 or email smhellier@bigpond.com


RANCBA ACT - AGM - 9 October 2009

A reminder that our AGM is being held on Friday 9th October 2009 at 1900 for a 1930 start, at The Weston Club, Liardet St. Weston, ACT.

For catering purposes, please advise me by email, or phone 6288 0828, if you intend to attend, or to send in your apologies. Finger food will be provided.

Please feel free to pass this email on to any prospective/lapsed members.

All positions on the committee will be declared vacant, so please consider nominating for a position on the committee to keep our association alive and kicking.

Please remember to wear your name badge.

Our association needs and values your membership.

Peter Guy

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

Peter Fredrick 'Speed' Cox R36423

I had a phone call from Peter Baggot to advise that Speed is not very well, and should anyone wish to see him, do not leave it too long. He is in Allora Gardens Nursing & Retirement Homes, Maroochydore. Speed served in the Navy Comms for many years, he did 2 tours of the Korean War, on 2 different ships, and also was a Voyager Survivor from that collision. On his engagement completed he enlisted in the RAAF Comms Branch and completed that engagement as a Flight Sergeant.

I first met Speed at Harman, and he would have been one of the nicest persons one would wish to meet, loved a cold ale or two.

Should anyone be seeing him, please pass on my very best.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt

Fm Shorty 06/10:
It is with much sadness that I have to advise that one of our own, Peter "Speed" Cox has passed away. As in my previous message, he was a great hand and will be sadly missed by that knew or worked with him .
Rest in Peace
Allan"Shorty" Moffatt

Shorty, with sadness I must report Speed signed off and ceased operations Thursday evening 1/10/09. I visited him the Friday before and at that time everything was closing down and it was only a matter of time. As per his wishes there is to be nothing formal with his ashes to be scattered by the RAN when that is arranged. We served on many watches, runs ashore and have many memories. When departing last Friday I said to him ‘seeing you’re not stepping tonight can you lend me ten bucks’ he broke into a grin and that is how I will remember him.
Vale Speed
Garry (Tiny) Kopp

Fm Sandy McNab 06/10:
Sad to learn of his passing, but I guess it was a good innings, if there is such a thing. Research shows a dob of 5.11.1930 at Southern Cross W.A.  I didn't realise he was an ex-Sandgroper. Trying to establish when we first crossed paths and it would have been at Sig School when he re-entered 10.3.62 for a further 6 years. A Voyager survivor followed by 17 months on the Vampire and it was at Coonawarra 8.1965 - 12.1967 where we met again, with his DEE as an LRO(S) 9.3.1968. His first engagement 5.8.1949 for 12 years included drafts to Sydney, Parkes, Mildura, Harman, Leeuwin, Sydney, Anzac, Harman, Condamine, Leeuwin, Cerberus, Melville and Harman DEE 4.8.1960.

Fm Shags Hellier 07/10:
I wish to advise that Peter Fredrick Cox (Speed) passed away Thursday 1st October 2009.  Privately cremated, Maroochydore - as in Death Notices CM 7/10/09.  "Speed" and I were on Voyager together and did some moonlight swimming off JB in Feb 1964.

Fm Dave 'Dicko' Dixon 24/12:
I know this is a little late, but have only just heard of the passing of Peter ‘Speed’ Cox.

‘Speed’ and I served on Vampire together back in 64/65, and as he was a few years older, he became ‘Sea-Daddy’ to us ‘young fellas’. That dubious honour entitled you to be able to loan him a ‘quid’ or ‘brick’ whenever he needed it, and in return he would introduce us to the delights of Wan-Chai, Kowloon and other wonderful places.

One of my most enduring memories is of ‘Speed’ giving his rendition of Gene Vincent’s “Bee-Bop-a-Lula She’s My Baby” I think it was in the Blue Sky Bar – he had the crowd in the palm of his hand! and us rolling on the floor with laughter !!!

Although I don’t know his family, please pass on my deepest sympathy and tell them he lives on in the memory of many of us.  Regards.  Dave ‘Dicko’ Dixon.

Fm LCDR David Sowter 22/02/10:

I will have the honour tomorrow (Tuesday 23 Feb 10) of scattering Peter's ashes along the QLD coast, as requested by his son Brian.
David Sowter
Commanding Officer

Max Hasson sends:

I have had a request from an ex Navy mate who is also an Advocate and is having some difficulties with the Review Board for a passive smoking claim.

He has asked if we could put a message on our site if anyone has photos of ‘smokey’ comcens/ops centres of the 60s/70s.

Paul Harris (ex JR 3rd intake) is his name and his email address is paulthedaul@bigpond.com.au


Seeking John Burdett

I would like to hear from John Burdett who was on Teal with me in 1965/66.
Do not see him listed on this website. Hope some one can cast some light as to his whereabouts.

Tab Hunter
Sandy McNab was able to put Tab in touch with John who lives in WA.  A great result, many thanks to all concerned.

Vietnam Veterans Reception NSW

The Honourable Nathan Rees MP Premier of NSW requested the company of these fine fellows at a reception in the honour of Vietnam Veterans held at Government House, Conservatorium Road, Sydney on Sunday 13th Sep 2009. Of course we all accepted as Vietnam Veterans and representatives of RANCBA.

MC was Minister West, Minister assisting the premier on Veterans Affairs. Premier Rees gave a most memorable speech referring mainly to the often not so comfortable home coming of servicemen from the Vietnam conflict and giving praise to the many entertainers, four of whom were present, who provided
the troops a variety of much needed distractions.

We RANCBA boys, enjoyed the fine refreshments, nibbles and goodwill that were most abundant. Pictured are Ken Swain, Allan Moffatt, Ken Street and Frank Lawton.

Being fine communicators we signaled the Premier a BZ (Well Frank did, being a signalman and all) upon which he joined us for a photo opportunity.  (That photo you will more than likely see cropped and enlarged in a later edition of RANCBA Newsletter.... (Shorty and the Premier))

Ken Street

Changing of the Guard in NSW

Since Shorty's recent election to President, he now associates with a whole new set of friends.


Fm Bill Aylott:
As an ex Asst Secretary of the NSW Chapter, one must agree wholeheartedly with whoever placed the article Changing of the Guard in NSW.

Vale James Gilford 'Guy' Faulks (ex Tel) - R30082

Fm Peter Davey via Keghead Weaver


Guy Faulks died today in his sleep (9/9/09).  I know nothing about funeral arrangements

Please distribute
Peter Davey


Keghead advises that Guy was a Telegraphist (old school) from way back, Culgoa, Quadrant etc.
Lest we forget.

Fm Sandy McNab:
I recall meeting Guy on watch at the Kuttabul MSO on coastal common (was it VHD ?) in 1959, and I think Graham Long and perhaps Terry Morris were a couple of the other sparkers. I did some research and learnt his d.o.b. was 23.04.1925 and he joined the RAN 9.04.1946.  His drafts included Cerberus, Harman, Melville, Tobruk, Harman, Anzac, Tobruk, Kuttabul, Burdekin, Macquarie, Harman, Culgoa, Kuttabul, Cerberus, Quadrant, Melbourne, Kuttabul, Tarangau, and at Kuttabul again completing his RAN service in Nov 1959.  May he rest in peace, and finally meet up with the drafting officer(s) who inflicted such a sequence and multitude of postings upon him.

Fm David MacLean:
Very sad to read of the passing of Guy Faulks. I think he was J.G. Faulks, a Tel, joined up just prior to the "cessation of hostilities" in WW II and saw service in the Korean Campaign. Jim joined DCA as a com officer and served in PNG in the early 1960's. I think he saw out his DCA career in the Sydney (KSA) Comcen. Jim was a quiet bloke who generally kept to himself but was very fond of a drink on a warm day, he grew up in NSW, a neighbour to Rear Adm Rodney Harrington, it was "Sir" and "Faulks" at sea & "Rod" and "Jim" ashore. I don't think that he married. A great bloke, he will be sadly missed.

Fm Peter Davey 15/09:
Guy has requested no funeral (He is being cremated and the RAN will be spreading his ashes) but would like us all to have a beer together to remember him.

Unless otherwise advised we will meet at the Coronation Hotel (In Park St near Town Hall Station) at 1400 on Tuesday 29th of September.  Request distribution.

Vale CMDR SD (C) Bruce McRae RAN Rtd

Allan 'Shorty Moffatt sends:

It is my sad duty to inform of the passing of the late CMDR Bruce McRae SD (C). The only notice that I have been given at present, his Funeral Service will take place at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium on Monday 14 September and the RSL Tribute will be given by the North Ryde (Sydney) RSL Club.

Having know him at various times, and on getting further information, I will be attending and representing the RANCBA.

Allan Moffatt OAM
Sad news, from memory Bruce was CO at Harman in 1968.  Lest we forget.

Fm Shorty 10/09:
Details of the Funeral for the late Cmdr Norman Bruce McRae . The Service will take place Monday, 14th September at 2pm (1400hr) at the South Chapel, Northern Suburbs Crematorium, 199 Delhi Road North Ryde. For those attending, suggest carry Medals as may be required, North Ryde RSL will be doing a RSL Tribute.

Fm Jim Anderson 10/09:
I served with Bruce at the Directorate and again when he was the skipper at Harman. We have lost a true gentleman.

Fm Des Byrne:
Noted the item re CMDR Macrae - he was CO here from 72-74, you may recall we also had the funeral service here for Weary Weil last year - he was CO in 78-79 - now enjoying my 6th posting here and 11th CO - with a bit of a 22 year spell in the interim.
Cheers, Diz

Fm Barry Appleby:
Bruce was the divisional officer on the Melbourne when I joined her Christmas 1963, a good officer and a very fair officer who was very approachable in those days even though I was only a new tactical operator. Next saw him after I had paid off in 1972 and he was the new boss at Harman and he still had that same pleasant manner which he had when I first met him.  As already mentioned a true gentleman.

Bev Bryceson sends:

I was in the WRANS Class of 68 1963. I do have a picture if you are interested to receive it. I also noticed Bev (Bix) Weate made a contribution to your comments page. Are you able to pass her email address onto me or alternatively, could you pass mine onto her. My phone number is 03 9515 7747 and I would appreciate it if you could pass that onto her as well.

Many Thanks
Bev Bryceson
If anyone can help put Bev in tough with Bev Weate please do so - I don't have an email address for her.  I will arrange for Bev's Class photo to be put on this website.

The Vung Tau Ferry

Ken Swain sends:

I've just received this short clip of HMAS Sydney on a Vung Tau Ferry run in 69 from Bill and Margaret Krause.   I thoroughly enjoyed watching the RAS and Jackstay etc for served onboard the "Ferry" in 65/66 and 70/71. There is quite a few shots of "Signalmen" on the Bridge so I thought someone might spot themselves if you place the link to the "7 minute film clip" on the QSO Pages. It provides those who served onboard SYDNEY with a nice nostalgia trip down memory lane.



RANCBA NSW Report - Cenotaph Service for Battle of Australia.

Yesterday, 2nd September 2009, the Battle for Australia service was held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place and the Guest of Honour was the Her Excellency the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO accompanied by Sir Nicholas Shehadie AC OBE. The Service which was very well attended commenced at 11.00am and as planned at 11.04am a F18 (Hornet) flew overhead, entering from the east over the harbour, at LSALT over Garden Island, and then overhead Martin Place before climbing. Very very impressive. My camera does not work at that speed.

There was no Wreaths Laid, but sprigs of wattle which is our National Emblem by selected people, which included the Governor of NSW, 3 Representatives of the Services, Fuzzy Wuzzies from New Guinea, Consul Attaches from the UK, USA, Greece, NZ, Federal, State and Local Government Members, 2 children representing Australia and 2 from New Guinea. The full Army Band was in attendance with the Army carrying out the duties of Catafalque Party with 2 sailors from the RAN as Flag Orderlies.  Also in attendance a flag guard from the USAF. Ex L/WRAN RO Liz Watts with Amy Taylor AM representing Womens Army, along with a ex WRAAF laid a sprig each on behalf of the Womens Forces in Defence. As there was Representatives from 5 Nations, a statement was made that only one National Anthem would be played and that of the Host Nation, Australia.

A very impressive Service which included the following Communicators, Ken Swain AM, Trevor Pike, Don Fergson, Liz Watts, Rear Admiral Rothesay Swan AO, CBE RAN Rtd accompanied with his wife Margaret, and myself. There was probably others in the very big crowd, so I do apologise for missing their names.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

An update on Military Superannuation Issues


If you consider it appropriate, would you, please, distribute the attached summary of the current state of affairs on military superannuation issues to the members in your respective associations and interest groups?

We may have lost the last skirmish with Government on the need to index our DFRDB pensions. However, the war is not over.

Lindsay Tanner, in his media release 52/2009, confirmed that the Rudd Government would do absolutely nothing to rectify the inadequate method of indexation of pensions for retired military (and Public Service) personnel. As a consequence our standard of living in retirement will inexorably continue to decline with time.

More than 300,000 retired Australian Government superannuants will be less than impressed with the government’s support for the Matthews report on his Review of Pension Indexation Arrangements in Australian Government Civilian and Military Superannuation Schemes. The cavalier manner in which this government treats its former employees is to be abhorred,

Action is needed NOW to have our elected government accept its responsibility to correct the many deficiencies in the Military Superannuation Acts. They have been well documented

Please take the time to write to the PM, his Ministers, your local MP, and others, expressing your frustration at the complete lack of action by this government to rectifying the many deficiencies in the Military Superannuation Schemes.

Best regards
Richard Orr
Postal Address: 2 Naughton Grove, Blackburn, Vic 3130
Home 'Phone/Fax: 03 9877 6067
Mobile: 04 2938 1862
email: richardorr@bigpond.com


Fm Murgy 11/09:
Have read all the arguments about justice for us all who are DFRDB receivers and I think we are flogging a dead horse, solely because our fight is linked to "justice" for pension recipients in the Commonwealth public service, and there are just too many of them.  No Government of whatever persuasion is going to cop the additional cost of all those claimants ,simple as that. Having said that, I wish the people still fighting the battle the very best.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

I received an Official invite to represent the RANCBA and to attend the Official opening of Legacy by Her Excellency, the Governor General of Australia, MS Quentin Bryce AC. Also in attendance the Chief of Defence, Air Vice Marshal Angus Houston. Representatives of the 3 Services with Rear Admiral Nigel Coates representing the Navy on behalf of the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Rus Crane. There were others, Federal, State and Local Government Members, Mr John Haines representing the RSL, Legacy and with War correspondents from the ABC, SBS and Foreign Affairs.

There were only a few Wreaths Laid, and the sad part was where Mrs Hill, wife of the late Sergeant Hill killed in action in Afghanistan was one of those given this honour.  She is about 6 1/2 months pregnant and the baby is due in November, but the child will be born without ever seeing its parental father.

One of the speakers was a Blair Whitaker son of a late L/Seaman who passed away in the late 90's due to depression, and Blair gave a beautiful speech, were Legacy came that day of his father's passing and helped his mother and 2 other siblings. He completed his HSC and now doing a Applied Science Degree at University, last year he walked the Kokoda Track and this is also due to Legacy giving them full support.  His younger sister Bethany Whitaker sang the National Anthem accompanied by the full Army Band who were in full ceremonial uniform. The Army also carried out the duties of Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies.

I was also invited to a gathering where refreshments were made available and the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Vice Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC, gave a speech were he said it is so ironic, that today on the launch of Legacy, this very moment, the final journey for the last two servicemen missing from action in Vietnam are arriving in Australia.

All in all, a very good Service and full support should be given to help this very worthy cause.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA NSW Chapter

Mystery Photo for September 2009

Here's one from the late 50's showing the late Kevin Powell with a group of (presumably) Communicators from HMAS TOBRUK at the China Fleet Club.   Kevin is 3rd from right, you can't miss the family resemblance to Ray (who is currently serving as a WO at Navy Communications and Warfare Branch at Campbell Park).

If you are able to put names to the other faces please don't hesitate to do so.

Kevin Powell and Co...


07/09 Blue McLaughlin sends:
The person on the right is TO Bob Hutchison.

History of Harman Rugby League Football Club

Sonny Fay has been contacted by Randall Guy.  Randall is an ex navy writer and is currently undertaking research about the Harman football club.  Basically anything you can remember of your time at Harman rugby league would be appreciated.

I sent back: "Communicators were doing shift work at Harman and if not on watch saddled up and played.  Tactical Operator Terry Buttons having a few beers before the game... just before RO Gardiner taking the signal from Melbourne .... have had collision with Voyager in position ... Point Perpendicular..  waiting on the roadway outside the shop in the early hours of the morning for the bus to take us to Bonshaw and its minus something or other.

A few lads in a Volkswagen taking an artillery piece from Duntroon and bringing it back to the rates at Harman.. somewhere along the way it managed to lose a wheel.  Someone at Harman during my time was posting the details of rugby league games to Navy News.  Perhaps AB Donnelly's wife would remember.  Anyway I know its over 40 years ago.. if anyone remembers anything of interest for Randall please contact him at guy.randell@deewr.gov.au "

Many thanks and best wishes to all...
Sonny Fay

Progress Report on Doug Mortimer

Rod Withers reports:

Visited Doug in hospital last night. He is out of surgery and doing well. Could talk OK and spent some time with him (nothing wrong with his memory). Unfortunately he found out yesterday that they have not placed the clip in exactly the right place in his brain and will have to operate again on Monday. Whilst the risk is slightly less than the original operation he is not happy about it (don't blame him). The Op is scheduled for next Monday. I guess he will go through the same recovery process, a couple of days in ICU then into the general ward for a week or so. Lesley is staying at a nearby motel but not sure how long she will remain in Sydney.

His contact details are:

Dalcross Private Hospital
Stanhope Road (on the left)
Killara (Sydway 236 H13)
Tel: 9932 6600
Room 13
Visiting times 1100 to 2000

Rod Withers

Fm Dave Sutherland:
Doug remains in hospital for at least this weekend (12/13 SEP). Now in Bed No. 19B.

Vale Jack Hayes - ex WW II Convoy Signalman

It is my sad duty to inform all of the passing of Jack Hayes, Ex WW II Convoy Signalman who was a long time Member of the RANCBA since it first started back in 1946/47 here in Sydney.

His Funeral will be held tomorrow (Wednesday 26 August) but unfortunately no other details have been received. A former Convoy Signalman Don Ferguson will be in attendance and representing the RANCBA.

"Lest We Forget"
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Indexation of Australian Government Civilian and Military Superannuation Pensions

The media release from Lindsay Tanner MP dated 21Aug09 is now available at http://www.financeminister.gov.au/media/2009/mr_522009.html

The review was led by Mr Trevor Matthews who has "recommended that pensions from the Australian Government civilian and military superannuation schemes continue to be indexed by the CPI as it is the most suitable index to protect pensions against inflationary price increases available at this time."

A full copy of the report and the Government’s response is available online at: www.finance.gov.au/superannuation/pension-indexation-review.html

A disappointing but predictable result.

Alan Murgatroyd sends a message for Brian Claxton

Would like to send a message to Brian Claxton. 'Brian, at the Voyager reunion I offered you a HF Receiver, when I tried to contact you the phone number was incorrect. I have left the receiver with Doug Manners,he is staying at Helensvale .His phone number is 0417639023.Would you contact him please'... Alan Murg


Seeking Col Bambrook

I have had a request for an updated email address for Col Bambrook - the existing one on this site is his old work address.  If anyone can help please advise.

John Curbishley
Web Manager
Dick Waldie has provided a current email address for Col.

Demise of Bonshaw

While travelling down the Monaro Highway today, I noticed that Bonshaw Receiving Station has been levelled to the ground. I, like hundreds of sailors and wrans, have a soft spot for Bonshaw and remember fondly some of the great characters who passed through its portals. Bonshaw served the Navy and Fleet well.

Bernie Brooks

It certainly did Bernie and it is sad to see it go, but as far as I know it wasn't heritage listed.  That's progress!

Fm Royce Bell:
Re the demise of Bonshaw. Back in 89/90, an update was being considered for Bonshaw and it was found to contain considerable amounts of asbestos that made a refurbishment/update financially unviable. Receivers were relocated to a demountable that was erected just inside the outer gate. The new building and the resiting of equipment cost only a small fraction of what it would have cost to renovate the old building. Much to the chagrin of some in Russell Offices at the time, the project, overseen by Dave Edwards, Mick Hamilton and CMDR Brogan, in close liaison with the Commanding Officers of HARMAN starting with Neill Bell and completed under George Spence providing the funding from HARMAN resources, the project was a total success and a tribute to the skills of the station’s greenies. I have some personal memories of the flack the station’s staff suffered but it was all overshadowed by the total success of the project. Given the later notoriety of asbestos I think all the grief endured by ‘Bonshaw Project overseers’ was somewhat ill directed.

Fm Trevor Percival:
I have happy memories of Bonshaw when we ate well from the crayfish caught in the small dam and shooting rabbits from the louvered windows but I wasn't fussed about leaving the warm steam heated dongas to catch the bus on the COLD Camberra early mornings.

Fm Terry Nugent:
Was down in Canberra recently for Knocka White’s function. Thought I would take a trip out to Bonshaw as a farewell type thing. Gatehouse would not let me in, less than helpful about the current status (or didn’t know). Gate manned by private security with no sense of history. Agree with Bernie some great people passed through both East and West Bonshaw. Wonder if they left the dam, some great yabbies came out of there to supplement our delivered meals.

Bonshaw circa 2004

(The above photo of Bonshaw was contained in a Preliminary Assessment Report for an ACT Prison Project dated 2004. VMT to Dick Waldie for passing it on.)

Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans & Associated Forces Memorial Day, Springwood 16th August 2009

The RANCBA was invited to attend this Service which was the 40th Anniversary of the Battle of Binh - Ba.

1. Ex L/WRAN RO Liz Watts Laying a Wreath at the Memorial on behalf of all Communciators.

2, Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt with Major General Sandy Pearson AO, DSO, OBE, MC, JSSC at the Service.
Sandy was the Commander , 1st Australian Task Force, Phuoc Tuy Province, Vietnam 1968 - 1969.

3. Communicators, Jan & Rick Easom, Frank Lawton, Ken Street, Shorty, Keith Payne VC, OAM, Sharon Mundy, Laurie Scutts ,The Guest of Honour . WO11 Keith Payne, VC, OAM ( he was Awarded his Victoria Cross for Gallantry in the field, Vietnam 1969, but also served in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Oman ) joined with Communicators for a chat and wished us many thanks for attending.

Others in attendance, Don Ferguson accompanied with his son Chris, and John "Blue" Short.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


Memorial Statue proposed for Williamstown

Graham Bence sends:

Thought all the old sailors who joined a ship in Williamstown would like to know that a planned statue will be erected by the Port Phillip Council.

The following is from their web site and was dated 11th August 2009.

"Plans are underway to erect a memorial statue in Beach Street, Port Melbourne to commemorate the significance of Port Phillip in Australia’s maritime history.

The two metre high bronze statue entitled Answering the Call, is based on the figure of an Royal Australian Navy sailor from 1942 and will face towards the sea on a bearing directed to the entry of Port Phillip Bay.

“Council strongly supports the Naval Heritage Foundation of Australia’s proposal to install this memorial, which is of great national and local significance,” said Mayor Cr Frank O’Connor.

“It will be the only heritage marker in Australia recognising all naval men and women who have served our country and the substantial maritime heritage of Port Phillip from 1859 to 1992,” he said.

Three sites along the Beach Street foreshore at Port Melbourne have been considered for the statue and the recommended site is directly opposite Dow Street.

This specific site has been selected due to the long association with this locale and national maritime defence, in particular with the old Drill Hall on Bay Street and the site of the Town Pier.

“The City of Port Phillip is committed to preserving our heritage, valuing the past and planning for the future and this statue is a great way to develop and maintain a sense of place in our City,” said the Mayor.

Port Melbourne was the site of the first Australian local voluntary naval service and culminated in the national maritime defence force, reflecting the political changes occurring as Australia moved from its colonial beginnings through federation.

The statue will be fully funded by the Naval Heritage Foundation of Australia."

I was down at Williamstown only recently and was surprised how trendy the place now is, bit different from what I remember from the 60's and 70's.   It's great to see Australia's maritime history being commemorated.


Brian Berry has advised that the filming of the interactive DVD on HMAS DIAMANTINA has now been completed.  The DVD is available for purchase for $34.95 from Brian Berry, PO Box 823, BROWNS PLAINS Q 4118.  There is a further discount available should any Association wish to purchase bundles of 50 for reselling to members.

Follow this link to a letter from Brian which explains how the filming was carried out and who supported it.

The DVD should be a worthwhile acquisition for those who served in DIAMANTINA or have an interest in the historical record.  Given that many hundreds of Junior Recruits used the ship as a training ground whilst at HMAS LEEUWIN it should also strike a chord with these members.  I haven't seen the DVD but have no reason to doubt Brian's word that it 'really brings the old ship to life'.  It should certainly bring back some memories for those who served in her.


Final Report into the Loss of HMAS SYDNEY II

For those who may not have received advice by other means, the final report into the loss of HMAS SYDNEY II is now available for download at http://www.defence.gov.au/sydneyii/finalreport/index.html


DVA Health Week 24-28 August 2009

Peter Guy (Secretary RANCBA ACT) advises that DVA are having a Veterans' Health Week from 24-30 August.  A range of activities will be held in many locations across the country - one activity in Canberra is a Bridge to Bridge walk on Tuesday 25th August.  Schubes, Taffy Eynon and Peter are going to do it then have lunch after it somewhere to put it all back on!!!

Peter asks that we mention this on the website.  There are more details at http://www.dva.gov.au - the DVA website also gives a breakdown of activities from State to State.

If anyone wishes to join Peter & co I'm sure you would be more than welcome.  If I am in Canberra I will be there.  13/08/09.

RANCBA NSW AGM August 2009 election of Office Bearers.

NSW President 2008-2009 Andy Mills, reluctantly stood down as President.  Work commitments have prevented him from attending the many Official Functions RANCBA NSW is requested to attend. Andy sincerely regrets having to stand down and has expressed his desire to remain on the RANCBA NSW Committee.  Andy, already known as a very enthusiastic member, was elected to RANCBA NSW Committee.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt was elected President RANCBA NSW and Editor RANCBA Newsletter.

Ken Swain elected V/President. Ken Street elected Secretary (Big ask to replace Shorty).

Frank Lawton V/Secretary and Minuter. Max Miller Treasurer.

New contact details will be available on RANCBA Contacts NSW Chapter.

Articles for inclusion in the RANCBA Newsletter direct to Shorty as previously.


Phil Roy sends:

Enclosed is a photo of some 'older signalmen' taken recently at HMAS CAIRNS. Occasion was Ted Cummins' birthday who turned 50 on 1 Aug. Ted is currently XO at the base and 25 of his clan flew to Cairns for the occasion.

The previous evening we attended an all messes cocktail party which was held on the new patio in front of the Wardroom, Senior and Junior sailors' messes. (The redevelopment of Cairns Base was recently completed). Gags got a huge suprise (he had tears in his eyes) when the CO made a speech and got Gags to unveil some 'brightwork' which named the patio in Gag's honour. The CO made reference to the number of (cushy) postings Gags had to the base - hence the plaque dedicated to "LCDR Christopher Donald 'Gags' Gallagher" on the barrack stanchion.

Photo left to right:
Gags Gallagher (ex WOSY), Phil Roy (ex WOSY), Ted Cummins (ex WOSY), Russ Power (ex CPOSY)

Four ex-WOSY's

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends info on China Fleet Club Memorabilia:

If you squeeze this onto QSO website would be very grateful.  Most in our era spent many, many hours there and just maybe it will bring back memories. Sadlly the Club is no longer.


Follow this link to the China Fleet Club Memorabilia flyer.


Harold Skinner sends:

I came across a couple of photos on the net of a group of WRANS taken in 1952 as they were being sworn in. One of the girls in the photo is named Mavis Samuels and I was wondering if you could please let me know how I can get in touch with her. Does she have an e-mail address? I feel sure I met her when she was a school teacher at the Penola Area School many years ago.

The photo can be located at http://www.rancba.org.au/WRANS_Class_8_of_1952.htm

I realise that it was taken 57 years ago and it could be difficult to find Mavis now but somebody may know her whereabouts.  I am thankful if you are able to put a note on the website for me.

My email address follows along with my home phone number:

08 85523816


Vale Ernie Sumner (ex PO Tel)

Graham Linton sends the following sad news:

If you have not been previously advised, could you publish that a past President of RANCBA Victoria, Ernie Sumner R29359, ex PO Tel, crossed the bar on Saturday morning (08 August 2009) in Vasey House, Bundoora.

His widow would like the words " Home is the Sailor Home from the Sea" included in the notice.  Ernie was 81. Funeral details will be advised when known.

Home is the Sailor Home from the Sea.  Lest we forget.

Ross 'Jim' Anderson sends:

These URL's are sure to bring back a few memories to many in the Forum.



Looking over the BID 30 5UCO article brought back some frustrating bloody memories of the RAX Room at Harman hi hi.

How we used to worry about the security of all these machines and publications and here it all is laid out so beautifully.

I wonder how it's all done these days????

Is semaphore and flashing light still used?

Jim Anderson VK4AQ
Thanks Jim, great links, I will also put them in other areas of this website.  Here's a chance for serving members to let Jim know how we operate these days - without disclosing national secrets of course!

Deborah Hall has joined the email list and sends:

Hi there, I was a WRAAC, working for 7 Sig Rgmt. at the Joint Service Comms Station at Shoal Bay in the N.T. in the mid to late 70's.

Accommodation post cyclone Tracy, was at HMAS Coonawarra, then into a demountable at the Airforce base before moving into Wulagi through Navy housing.

Later worked for 4 years at DSD, Victoria Barracks in St. Kilda Road in Melbourne, firstly in Comms Centre and then in the DSD Computer Section.

Was married to Bill Ratcliffe for 18 of his 20 years in the Navy (if this helps anyone with the link).

Would love to be contacted through this email contact list to get back in touch with many I worked with and knew at that time, if possible.

Kind Regards,
Deborah Hall

WRANS Commemoration Service

I am President of the WRANS Association (ACT) and thought I would contact you with the hope you may be able to assist us in getting some information out to your members on our Commemoration Service.

The Service will be on Saturday 17 October 2009 at 11.00 am at the WRANS Memorial at HMAS Harman and we are using the 25th Anniversary of the Last Intake of WRANS (Class Xray of July 1984) as our theme. We would love to hear from any of these girls.

We will be lunching at the Wardroom after the Service at a cost of $20 per person and invite all Ex-WRANS and female serving members of the RAN to join us.

Hope you can assist us.

Pauline Trounson
WRANS Association (ACT)

Mystery Photo for August 2009

This one was sent by Frank Wood, it was taken during the mid 60's and shows the Comms Athletic Team on the Flagship, HMAS MELBOURNE.  Frank is at left, second row.  He has supplied some of the names (for example, the late Ted Pretty at bottom right) but it would be good to name them all.  Over to you - I will post your replies on Wednesday 05 August.

Jack Lindridge, Barry Appleby, Don Salmon, Ned Kelly, Dave Short, Noel Bowe, Frank Wood, Bob Argent, Kevin Duffy, Trevor Mander & Ted Pretty.


Woof Collie (the gentle giant) was the most recognisable among the group - Dave Sutherland, Dennis Preece, Barry Sherriff, Sandy McNab, Barry Appleby, Trevor Percival & Bronco Lane all picked Woof.  Dave Sutherland also picked Jack Lindridge and adds the following:

"...seeing Woof in this photo recalls the time he was CYOW at CTRC (circa '68/69) and was coaching a rugby side.  Prior to presenting a new game plan to the team, he decided to "workshop" said game plan at work.  So he got everyone on watch out the back near the incinerator, using the Metho tin from the MSO as the ball. Given that this occurred around 0300 hours, the occupants of the Wardroom were NOT impressed."

Barry Appleby is in the photo (middle top), so he is probably best placed to add some names:

"Top left Jack Lindridge, ?, Bob (Woof) Collie, Myself, Dave Short, LTO ?, Noel Bowe, Frank Wood, Bob Argent, Kevin (Moses) Duffy, Trevor Mander and Ted Pretty. You would know better than I but I think Jack has passed away, Noel Bowe passed away last year, Bob Argent also has gone and Kevin Duffy was killed in a car accident in 1966. I hope someone comes up with those other names."

Thanks Apples, the sailor at top left (with beard) is identified by Frank as Ned Kelly.  We now only need to identify the sailor at top right - Barry suggests he may have been an LTO. 

Barry is correct is saying Jack Lindridge has passed away.  Jack was one of nature's gentlemen and made a valiant effort to beat cancer in the 80's but unfortunately was not successful.  We therefore know that five of those pictured have crossed the bar, Jack, Noel, Bob, Kevin and Ted.  Lest we forget.

Thanks to all who participated.

Fm Dennis Preece 10/08:
You are quite correct in your assessment of Jack – ‘Karate’ Jack, as he was affectionately known, was a gentleman and gentle man! If my memory serves me well – and there is no guarantee of this! - he passed on in the early eighties from hip cancer. Geez, the ‘the jack dancer’ has a lot to answer for! I also recall a moving dual commemorative service being conducted in Harman’s Chapel between 1983 – 1985 for both Jack and ‘Steve’ McQueen, who was tragically lost at sea, somewhere off Darwin.

Fm Sandy McNab 11/08:
This is a long shot, the missing name, right hand rear, blond haired, round faced and I am wondering if any others may recognise him perhaps as LTO Don Salmon ex-R.N. who also had a brother on the Melbourne Leading Patrolman Salmon. Not sure if Don did a CY(Q)'s course along with Peter Gerry late 61 early 62, and perhaps drafted back to the Melbourne again. Does anybody have Peter's email address these days?

These mystery photo's sure stir the grey cells, and I have been noting some other ex-VKLP 60/61 names. TO's Jack Aitken, Graham Ogg, Gordon Hollier, Arther Teape (lost on the Voyager), Col Barnett, Col Bruce (Picken), Beaton Spinks, (?) Pedersen, Pete Fisher, 'Prairie' Meadows, 'Tony 'Squatter' Thompson. LTO's (?) Schofield, Don Salmon, Peter Gerry, (?) Gallagher, 'Bob' McDonald (not sure). RO's George Smith, 'Frenchy' Legrand, Trevor Percival, Gordon Bremner, 'Pancho' Robson, 'Knuckles' Richards, Clive 'the Duke' Norfolk, 'Blue' Leis, R.C. 'Shorty' Fraser, Peter Barton, Norm Old, F.T. 'Terry' Morris, Rod Nipper, Graham Long, Pat Tierney, Gary 'Tiny' Kopp, 'Skeeta' Stanton, LRO's Mark Rick, George Jones, Bill Clemson, Noel Ellis, Pat 'Blue' Mooney. Chiefs'n PO's included 'Zuggy' Crase, Bryce Diggle, Chris Keune, 'Cocky' Roach, Dinny O'Brien, Bill Lowe, Norm Harraway, 'Blue' McIvor. SCO LtCdr Joe Melzer (Melser?) and SubLt. Stan Hall are recalled but not the FCO. No doubt I shall have missed many but thought I'd share these with you. Cheers.

Fm Charlie Wheeler 11/08:
The mystery photo with Woof Collie (fleet boxing Champ), I wish to confirm the person top right is LTO Don Salmon..  Regards Ken (Charlie) Wheeler VKLP 1963/64.

Many thanks to Sandy and Charlie for completing the picture.  They are now all accounted for.

Ross 'Jim' Anderson sends:

During a number of trips to Japan years ago I found I developed a bit of a taste for an Asahi beer - or two.  Long forgotten but pleasant memories.

During a visit to get a couple of bottles of table wine at Dan Murphys in Cairns the other day I saw Asahi beer for sale in the overseas beer section. So, on impulse, I picked up a 6 pack of stubs to see if it was still as good as it used to be. Believe me it is. I had planned that it would last me 6 days but it cut out at three days.

I won't mention the cost per stub but you probably heard Bev from down there anyway, when she yelled out "You paid $xxx for 6 stubbies - you're mad !!!!!"

It was a great treat but one I won't be repeating in a hurry.

Jim Anderson VK4AQ
Tks Jim - I'll stick to the home brew!  29/07/09.

Peter Cook (ex CPOSY) sends:

I noticed a signal this morning from CN Australia (ZAD 270310z JUL 09) which advised of a new RAN/RNZN Rugby Union Challenge Trophy - THE SHELFORD-STOKES TRANS-TASMAN Shield.

"Together with CN New Zealand, RADM Tony Parr, I am delighted to announce the introduction of a new trophy for international Rugby Union matches between the RAN and RNZN - The Shelford-Stokes Trans-Tasman Shield. The trophy has been named after two icons of RAN and RNZN Rugby - WO Geoff Stokes - the current coach of the RAN Senior Mens team and stalwart of RAN and Australian Services Rugby, and Wayne Shelford - a former sailor, ex All Black Captain and lifetime Patron of RNZN Rugby"

Is this WOSY Stokes of my era, if it is, he must be pushing 60 by now coz he was a whole bunch older than me way back when.

It certainly is the WOSY Stokes of your era Peter, I imagine he is still fit and well even if he is pushing 60.

Fm Ross (Rossco) Gibb:
I read with interest the article on "Blue Stokes", however Peter is a fair way off on his age. Geoff was at HMAS Leeeuwin in 1971 and having served with him at Harman both as kellicks and friends I can assure you that he is 54/55 years of age at worst. As correctly pointed out he is very fit for his age. I also note that his name is missing from the Comms honours awards board, I think you will find he was awarded an order of Australia or such like. Whilst he was a very fine communicator I think it was awarded for services to Navy sport.
Cheers and Best Wishes

Vale David 'Mulga' Hansen (ex LTO)

It is my sad duty to inform you that Mulga passed away 8PM Monday 27th July 2009.

I have very few details, but I am sure that all our thoughts are with Wendy and Family at this very sad time.

John Dolly Gray
Lest we forget

Fm Frank Lawton:

It is my sad duty to inform the communications family of the passing of David ‘Mulga’ Hanson from a sudden and massive heart attack last evening, Monday 27th July.

His wife Wendy was with him at the time and paramedics were unable to revive him.

A funeral service will be held this Friday 31st July at Centennial Park, Heysen Chapel, Goodwood Road, Adelaide at 1545.

Fair winds and a following sea old mate. Rest in Peace.

His son Chris can be contacted at Mulga’s home, 14A Osborne Street, Goolwa, SA 5214. Mobile 0407 263 372

Fm Dixie Barron:

Served with Mulga Hansen and Dolly Gray (mid 60's and 70's), sad news indeed, makes me feel old but lucky.
RIP Mulga

Follow this link for a class photo (with Mulga) from the late 60's.

ACTVAN Office sends:

Attached is a media release on a new ACT government website for concessions that may be of interest to you or some of your membership.  The web address is:



Navy CIS Officer and WO Mess Dinner - 08 October 2009

I am writing on behalf of DGNCIW, CAPT Mchardie, RAN, to advise the Navy CIS Officer and WO community of the intent for this years Mess Dinner. We have secured the HMAS HARMAN Wardroom for the evening of Thursday 08 Oct 09 and an invitation has been extended to RADM Peter Jones, DSC, AM, RAN to attend as both guest of honour and guest speaker. In order to establish approximate numbers for catering and cost purposes, expressions of interest in attending are requested NLT 31 Aug 09. Further details, and a final call for RSVP, will be sent closer to the time.

Please feel free to forward this email to any members of the community that you are aware of who may not be on the distribution lists, and if they can advise me of their current email details I will ensure that they are added for future updates.

Yours Aye,

Lieutenant Glenn Williams, RAN
DD Capability Requirements - C4
NCIW Branch

Ph: (02) 626 63127
Mob: 0412 624 603
Fax: (02) 626 64371

Vale Martin William McGurgan - ex-RO R54688

Sandy McNab passes on the following sad news:

A couple of weeks back I was not having any success in contacting Martin with a 'surprise birthday greeting' and I did wonder then of his welfare. Not satisfied, I searched for and this week contacted his younger brother ex-M(E) Brian 'Titch' R56623 to learn that Martin survived his 74th birthday on the 1st July O.K. but sadly passed away peacefully on Friday 10th at the Lemmington Hospital, Southport, QLD.

Brian drove up from Melbourne and as requested previously by Mac, arranged for him to be buried at the Southport Lawn Cemetery which took place on the 16th July. His final hospitalisation was after a protracted skull bone and brain cancer scenario, a painful illness, and was preceded by a stroke some years ago which left him partially blinded. Mac at that time had to turn in his drivers licence, as he was still part-time cabbying down Southport way.

Great memories in the photos below, one of Mac in our R class, another of us going ashore driving up from FND, no electric fuel pumps in those days just gravity fed from the top fuel tank. Great times.  Another with George Featherstone Wilson in their regalia, and a much later one of Mac crossing the Daintree on his way to Cape Tribulation and Cooktown in his old Tojo and caravan.

Rest finally in peace Martin, we will see you anon.


Lest we forget.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:


The BMVV Memorial Day will be held this year and will also be the 43rd Commemoration of the Battle of Long Tan. The date will be Sunday 16th August, and the Guest of Honour will their own, WOII Keith Payne VC, OAM (Awarded the Victoria Cross for his Gallantry in Vietnam 1969).

Now the RANCBA has been once again invited to attend, but this year it will be on a smaller scale with a reduced March. The Memorial Service is to start at 12.00 hrs and we are requested to be in our place no later than 11.45 hrs, with our Unit/Association Banner. Fall In area is at the Memorial Park. The Lithgow Highland Pipe Band will provide the music suitable for occasion prior to the commencement of the Service. In previous years the Sea Cadets from TS NEPEAN had assisted with Banner Bearers, but this year they will not be carrying out this function..

The proposed march will commence immediately after the Service at the the Memorial and then proceed east along Macquarie Road, turning left into the Springwood Sports Club car park.

Unfortunately they have not advised about whether Wreaths will be Laid, or as in previous years, the State Rail Authority have granted those wearing Medals would be given free travel to Springwood. I shall be corresponding with the BMVV Secretary today on both matters.

In the meantime, could you advise either Frank Lawton or myself if you are attending and subject to numbers, I will take our RANCBA Mini Banner and we will march in our own right.

Hoping to see as many as possible there and promote the RANCBA.on this very special day.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt
Hon. Secretary RANCBA (NSW)

Additional Information from Shorty 30/07:

Blue Mntns Vietnam and Associated Memorial Day, 16th August 2009.

Following is extract of the joining instructions that I received today. Should anyway from across this Nation happens to in Sydney or in the immediate area you are more than welcome to join with us on this day. Also if you require more info, please don't hesitate to contact me on shortym@mpx.com.au

1. FREE RAIL, BUS and FERRY TRAVEL (though don't know about the Ferry to the Blue Mntns!!!) Mr. David Campbell MP, NSW Minister for Transport in conjunction with Rail Corp, City Rail . Sydney Buses and Sydney Ferries has kindly agreed to allow all personnel in uniform or wearing AWARDED Service Decorations free rail, Govt Bus and Ferry Travel to and from Springwood on August 16th 2009
This will allow you to enjoy yourself without the worry of having to drive!!!

2. DRESS. All Serving personnel on parade are requested to wear full ceremonial parade dress (winter uniform)  Ex Serving personnel as per ANZAC Day. Full Medals.

3. ASSEMBLY Dignitaries, Guests & Associations (including Banner Parties) are to assemble at the Memorial by 11.45 hrs.  During the Memorial Service ALL Associations /Unit/Organisation Banners shall be laid down during the Service so as not to interfere with the vision of all standing behind them.

4. LAYING of WREATHS, FLOWERS. The MC will announce the order of Wreaths/Flowers etc shall be Laid. Due to the large number of tributes to be laid, most will be in groups.

Now I shall take our RANCBA Mini Banner and also a Wreath to be Laid on behalf of ALL RANCBA Members.

Allan " Shorty" Moffatt
Hon Secretary RANCBA NSW.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:


IAW the RANCBA (NSW),Constitution, the AGM will be held on the 8th August, 2009, taking place at the Parramatta RSL Club, commencing at 11.30 am sharp. The Treasurer, Secretary and President will give their reports for the 2008-2009 period, after which all positions on the Committee shall be declared vacant, and all financial Members of the NSW Chapter can be nominated for any position on the Committee.

Other than the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Asst. Secretary, Treasurer, Minuter and Editor there is no restrictions on the number of Member who wish to nominate to become a Committee person, bearing in mind, you will be asked at different times could you attend a function on behalf of the RANCBA. We only have 4 (four) Committee Meeting a year should not cause any problems with your own family commitments.

Should any person who cannot attend, and will be tending their apologies, but wish to be nominated for any position, I shall require a written nomination either by mail or email shortym@mpx.com.au no later than the 7th August 2009 as their names will be noted in the Minutes of the Meeting, so no phone messages regarding this, this will also be for those who are on the current Committee and who do not wish to be re elected for the 2009-2010 period..

For all other apologies and unable to attend due to other commitments etc, a phone call will be acceptable. (02 9631 8068)

All visitors from other State Chapters are more than welcome to attend.


On completion of the AGM, our bi-annual Get Together will be held. All are invited and this also includes partners etc. Re new friendships, make new ones and have a good time. As normal the cost will be $20 in the kitty, food is at your own choice and expense. You can call it stumps when ever.

The venue of Parramatta RSL Club is located in Macquarie Street, Parramatta CBD within 8-10 minutes walking of the Parramatta City Rail and Bus Interchange, but should you wish to drive, there is ample parking within the Club's car park opposite the Club. Now, they have installed boom gates at both Entry/Exit and on entering a Parking ticket will be given a parking ticket, bring it with you and don’t loose it as you shall have to have it validated on leaving the Club so that you can operate the Exit boom gate. (see me and I will advise where to get it validated.)

Anyway hoping that as many as possible can attend both functions, especially Serving personnel as this is your Association which we hope will continue and grow.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt
Hon. Secretary RANCBA (NSW)

Vale Keith Brown R50091 (ex Tel)

Sandy McNab reports a single notice in this weeks West Australian of the passing of Keith Brown R50091 ex-RAN/DCA/CAA Telegraphist/RO/Flight Service Officer.  Keith joined the RAN in March 1955 and served on the Sydney, Quadrant, Tobruk and at Harman, DEE March 1961.

In noting and respecting his private wishes, some of his ex-ship and work mates may now learn of his passing.

Lest we forget

Fm Keghead Weaver:
Sad to hear of Keith (Edward) “Bomber” Brown’s passing. Served with him in Quadrant along with “Smouge Smith, Ronald John “Devil Doone” Eastman, Jack Dempsey and who could forget Bill (“Heppie”) Hepplewhite, J G (“Guy”) Fawlkes and too many more to mention. RIP “Bomber”.

Richard Bridge - ex Chief Yeoman

Some may remember the QSO entry last November (follow this link) which was forwarded by Frank Brown (ex WOWTR) regarding the appalling way the Bridges were being treated by Wynyard Council in North West Tasmania.  The story has since been run on "A Current Affair" and as far as I know the buck is still being passed like a hot potato around political circles in Tasmania.  Frank Brown continues the story:

John, Greetings. Much has happened since my last general update on the Bridges. I hope to get out an update over the weekend, in conjunction with a newspaper report on the goings on. Before all that happens though I have a special request of you. If you can help, please do but if you do not wish to for any reason, no harm is done.

The Bridges as you know are in their eighties, Richard being a 23 year veteran of the RN and RAN. (Chief Yeoman). They celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this month, and a very small number of us (there are only a very few of us up here), are having a small dinner at the home of the lady who has befriended them. I already have a good number of other vets from all over Australia who have sent them a card for this event, keeping in mind they have no family to call on. I would be most pleased if you could put the call out as I am sure every card received would help make their lives a little better and give the feeling that someone out there cares.
Address is:-

Richard and Joan Bridge
Care/- Kim Taylor
124 Marshalls Rd,
Flowerdale, TAS, 7325

Very best wishes,
Frank and Lan Brown

The Bridges have been through a lot in the past 12 months and I'm sure would appreciate a kind word of support from other Communicators.  I will be sending a card, I hope many others do the same.  20/07/09.

Sandy McNab sends:

Recruit Telegraphist Class 1942

This is the mother of all recent mystery photo's. It was retrieved from a discarded box of things at a garage sale by a third party.

I saw the photo for sale on eBay and contacted the seller to inquire of its origins (found in a box of goodies at a garage sale) and upon learning of my genuine interest, he scanned a copy for me. It later sold to a S.A. bidder. I thought there must be a story to it, and wondered if the successful bidder had recognised one of the signatures and is a descendant of one of the matelots pictured. I would like to try and identify them all, perhaps for the CIS / Sig School memorabilia photo gallery and also for the Communicators website, and or even for the successful bidder.

I am hoping some readers may recognise an ex-Communicator surname of our vintage, as there may be navy descendants of those in the photo. Some late WWII or early 1946 entries readers may also identify the Chief Telegraphist. It would be great to successfully identify them all.

I have included a studio photo also found discarded and I assume this same matelot may also be in the class photo, left hand end rear row.

Those pictured in the class photo have now been identified by Sandy & Jim Eagles (see below).  It would be good to put the names and faces in the proper order, but this may prove to be a more difficult task.  If anyone can help please contact Sandy.  13/07/09.

Recruit Tel Class WW II  Unknown Matelot

Sandy McNab sends:

After a check of the WW II Nominal Roll (with thanks to a magnificent effort from Jim Eagles) these are the names as signed down the side of the photo:

Francis Andrew Walker o/n 12787 dob 8 Jul 1905, at St Kilda Vic, enlisted 24 Jan 1921, Chief Tel
Stanley Drury F/V66 dob 14 Jan 1909, at Yorkshire Eng, enlisted 7 Jan 1942, Tel
Bruce Sydney Dyker PM/V98 dob 4 Jun 1920, at Richmond Vic, enlisted 14 Jan 1942, Tel
Neil Murray PM/V96 dob 27 Oct 1921, at Hurlstone NSW, enlisted 14 Jan 1942, Tel
John Sutherland B/V64 dob 25 Jul 1916, born Brisbane, enlisted 9 Jan 1942, Tel
Donald Albert Crowley o/n 26896, dob 6 Feb 1923, at Quorn SA, enlisted 13 Jan 1942, Tel
Jack Cromwell Fairweather PA/V48, dob 24 Sept 1918, at Malvern SA, enlisted 13 Jan 1942, Tel
Richard John Mayes F/V67 dob 18 May 1915, at Beverley WA, enlisted 7 Jan 1942, Tel
George Denham Delfs F/V65 dob 12 Nov 1913, at Gascoyne WA, enlisted 7 Jan 1942, Tel
Jack Clive Griffith B/V63 dob 9 Jul 1913, at Maryborough Qld, enlisted 9 Jan 1942, Tel
Eric John Ablett F/V64 dob 19 Sept 1922, at East Fremantle, enlisted 6 Jan 1942, Tel
Ernest John Wood B/V60 dob 12 Oct 1923, at Brisbane Qld, enlisted 10 Jan 1942, Tel
Ian Leighton Mcrae B/V65 dob 29 Aug 1921, at Cairns Qld, enlisted 10 Jan 1942, Tel
Maurice Baker Wills PA/V46 dob 10 Feb 1918, at Adelaide SA, enlisted 13 Jan 1942, Tel

Vale Jeff Berridge R94579 (ex-LSRO)

PJ Davey passes on the following sad news:

Jeff Berridge (ex LSRO), ex Hobart, Harman, etc. died on Saturday 4th July. He had a heart attack sitting by his fire in his garage listening to the football. His funeral is to be held in Mudgee at 1100 on Monday 13th July (see below).  Give me (PJ) a call on 0413132209 if you need more information.

"Lawson Room",
Eastaugh & Carroll,
Funeral Directors,
Corner Horatio & Lawson Streets,
Monday 13/7/09 at 11am.

Lest we forget.

Dave Sutherland sends:

You find the attached of interest. Not so much of a mystery photograph as it has been widely promulgated.

No doubt a number of you would have already seen it on page 2 of the latest DFRDB Pension Update (Issue-July09).  There may be some red faces at DFRDB office out there at Belconnen, given that it is not an Aussie warrie.

The ship is a Chinese PLA Navy Luhu-class Multi-role Destroyer (Type 052) - PLA-N Ship HARBIN (Pennant No. 112).

Perhaps next time, they (DFRDB Authority) should check out "Janes" to validate their choice of warship photographs.

Dave S.

Whoops!  Thanks Dave.  06/07/09.

Bill Aylott sent ComSuper an email and got the following reply:

Dear Mr Aylott,

Thank you for your e-mail of 7 July 2009 in regards to the photograph of a Naval ship on page 2 of DFRDB Pension Update Issue 14.

You are correct, the photograph is of a Chinese Luhu Class Destroyer (DDG112). It was in Sydney to take part in a trilateral Search and Rescue Exercise with Royal Australian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy in September 2007. The photo was taken by a Royal Australian Navy photographer.

For most publications used by ComSuper the images are checked by an officer within Defence. On this occasion the photographs for the publication were not checked.

ComSuper does endeavour, where possible, to only display images of Australian Defence Force personnel and equipment.

Your observation has been passed on to ComSuper's communication and marketing team.

The pensioner update available on the DFRDB website has been amended to include the following under the photograph:

Pictured: People's Republic of China Navy visited Sydney, docking at Fleet Base East at Garden Island. The ship: Chines Luhu Class Destroyer (DDG112)

Judith Hagan
Ministerial and Complaint Officer
Ph 1300 033 732

Fm Nugget Nugent:
In reply to Dave Sutherland's comments on the DFRDB pic of the chinese warship. Agree they should have checked with Defence (shades of Utegate) lol. Otherwise it is a great shot and indicates how far the Chinese have come in the last 20-30 years from a coastal navy to a oceangoing fleet. Would have loved to come up against them (exercise wise) electronically. How would Dave have handled the flags or lights I wonder in Mandarin!!! lol

Vale Colin J 'Benzo' Watson R29925

Denny Gorton advises the passing of Colin (Benzo) Watson, who died last week in Western Australia.  His family had an unadvertised private funeral.  Colin had not enjoyed good health since his wife died some 3 years ago. He gradually weakened and he was placed in a full care home. They had been feeding him through a tube for sometime now. I did not go to see him as he didn't recognise any of us. However, having said this, he did, on occasions, remember Ray (Padre) Thompson, albeit briefly. A sad but dare I say it, a welcome relief.

Colin J Watson R29925 joined 1.3.46 (under 18) and commenced his 12 years service from 20.10.46

Confirmed L/TEL 1.7.52 Rated A/PO/TEL 9.5.58 at Albatross. DEE 19/10/58

Denny Gorton
Lest we forget.  06/07/09.

Mystery Photo for July 2009

Half the year gone already, where do the months go!

Here's another one from the mid-60's, shouldn't be hard to put names to the people pictured.  The bloke at the bottom right doesn't look much different these days.  Taken about the time St Kilda won their last Grand Final, perhaps that will be rectified this year.

I'm low on mystery photos for the coming months.  If you have anything you think may be suitable please pass it on.

Mystery Photo for July 2009

Back L to R: Andy Devine, Fran Lawsen, Brian Taylor
Seated:  Alex Webster (POCK/Canteen Manager), Scoops Cooper


Gayle Brady, Laurie Scutts and Dave Jeffrey all correctly identified Scoops Cooper.  Gayle also identified Fran Lawsen (now Watson) while Dave picked Brian Taylor (MOBI) at top right and Andy Devine at top left.  That just about accounts for them all - the other was Alex Webster (see names above).  Judging by the photo it must be difficult to remember all that occurred at Coonawarra in the 60's, many thanks to those who contributed.

Keghead Weaver sends:

Could you put out a “feeler” for a QTH on Ted and Hazel Hunt. I use to regularly see them at our “Reunions” but they have disappeared “off the face of the earth” and I don’t mean that disrespectfully in any way.

If anyone can help with news of Ted & Hazel please let us know.  01/07/09.

Online Petition - Restore Service Pension

An Online petition has been started to show support for a pension after 20 years of service in the ADF.  This was available under the old Super scheme, but was scrapped by Hawke/Keating in 1991. In light of the tempo the ADF now operates, the 20 year pension should be introduced.  Show your support by signing the online petition at the following link.  It will only take a minute.


Please foward this to everyone you know in the ADF, whether it by Army, Navy or Air Force, friends and family as well.  We hope to get 1000's of signatures which will then be forwarded to the Defence Minister.


Sandy McNab sends:

Some memories of good times on the small boats, 4 two hourly skeds a day, an evening PIM, a few weathers, and several 150lb lines out the stern at 9 kts (9.2 with a tail wind) trawling for spanish mackerel.

For any ex-Banks (or the sister ship Bass) communicators, it is great to see her still doing what she was built for way back in 1960.

It is listed for sale at http://www.boatsonline.com.au/boats-for-sale/used/power-boats.php?de=40962

I haven't checked my Oz Lotto tickets yet.


Picture courtesy www.boatsonline.com.au

Fm Len Rodgers:
The article on HMAS Banks. She is tied up alongside the Ulladulla fishing wharves and is used for fishing charters and ocean going parties.  She has been there for more than 7 years that I know of as that is as long as I have been down this way.

Len Rodgers R55958 ex LTO

Sandy McNab sends...
I guess some of the lads with a canny eye for detail may have noted the different uppers detail of the MV Banks. Whilst undergoing a refit it had a disastrous on board fire which burnt out the old wheelhouse, skippers cabin and everything above and around. It was sold to tender as is, and the new owners refitted and trimmed its uppers somewhat, removed the wardroom cabin over what was the sailors sleeping accommodation below in the rear half of what was the original hold, and placed the new wheelhouse lower down and further forward as is today. Photo's of its early build navy history is at http://www.mvbanks.com/history.html  I think they were the first modular designed and built ships for the RAN.

Returning to Sydney after the Canberra 2002 reunion and driving through coastal Ulladulla I recognised a familiar hull shape across in the harbour, and drove around to where it was berthed to double check. I noted it as the MV Banks with a green hull, and learnt of its new career availability for daily trips and overnight fishing charters.

A couple of years back Shorty Moffatt alerted me to seeing my old ship the Bass/VKDG, with a blue hull on Sydney harbour. As I believed the Bass was sold across the Tasman to NZ, initially I thought to myself, 'Shorty must going colour blind or had been sipping too much red on his harbour cruise' as I reasonably suspected he may have sighted a visiting MV Banks. Attached is a photo of a blue hulled Bass, with an AJE aerial on top of the main mast. I had to take it all back, there was nothing wrong with Shorty's eyesight after all. Great to see them both afloat.

The photo of the Bass was taken down at Hobart in 1963, yes we were the 'Flagship' for the annual Sandy Bay Regatta, and the other is at Thursday Island on the slips for a 'hull scrape and paint'. Cheers

BASS in 2004  HMAS BASS Hobart 1963  HMAS BASS Thursday Island 1963

To all former HMAS Canberra Crew members


Apologies as I still do not have a firm date of the scuttling, the latest information indicates the ship will be scuttled mid August 2009, this makes it a little difficult to plan the Reunion, however a event will be organised.

I have teamed up with a old shipmate Brian Brennan who will be helping to organise the events in Geelong, which will probably take place at the Naval Association, I am sure it will be Second to None.

Stuart Holm is also assisting with the organisation of Charter vessels to view the scuttling of the ship.

When a date is finalised for the scuttling a Schedule of events will be promulgated, In the short term please email your expressions of interest in attending the Reunion - Scuttling to caroleew79@dodo.com.au

For further information please go to www.hmascanberra.com  or www.hmascanberra.com.au

Please forward this email to any former HMAS Canberra Crew members who may be interested in the Scuttling and Reunion.

Yours Aye,
Lee Bickies Webster

Terry Gleeson (Master Mariner) sends:

Oberon Sighted!

One for the submariners and all who remember the O-boats. This photo taken on approaches to Owen Channel, Flinders / Stanley Island NQ; double take on which O-boat is was?

But back to reality, it is King Island looking like a ‘gazunder’.

Cheers to all,
Terry G & Accalia Crew

Oberon or Island?

Bridge, Starboard lookout.  Submarine bearing Green 90!

Gary Swanton sends:

This is the most recent gathering of both ex and serving communications sailors here in Melbourne. The attached photograph was taken at the Frankston Naval and Memorial Club in Baxter, Victoria on Friday 19 June 09.

Faces in the picture from left to right as you look at it are:

Bob Cody, Ian Broadsmith, Harry Kime, Ron Brown, Greg Goodwin, Gary Swanton, Trevor Abell, Peter Harper.

These catch ups are becoming a regular occurrence now so if any other naval personnel living nearby or passing through wish to pop in on a Friday evening from 19:30 please drop in and say hello.

The club’s address is 36 Barretts Road, Langwarrin South, Victoria. Exact location is viewable by clicking on this link  http://www.whereis.com/vic/langwarrin-south/36-barretts-rd?id=83AA48B719FF92

Full contact details for the club can be found here  http://directory.frankston.vic.gov.au/eMem/Pub/EMemProfile.asp?lngMemID=-1106942


Bronco Lane sends:

Does anybody out there know the whereabouts of ABSIG Tracey "Bomber" Brown - he attended Wayne White's wedding (with myself while serving at Harman about 1984) and am trying to contact him re the night out for Knokker. Thanks for any help.

John Bronco Lane ex LSSIG

Fm Bronco 26/06:  I was wondering if u could ask the troops out there if any of them have any old photos of Knokker during his service days if the could email them to his daughter Tiffany at tiffany.white@defence.gov.au thanks Regards Bronco

Fm Ted & Tracey Cummins 26/06:
We recently caught up with Tracey Brown in FNQ. He is currently with QLD Police, stationed at Atherton. Sorry we don't have any contact details.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

It is with sadness that I have to advise the unfortunate passing of Bradley, son of Max and Beverly Miller, on Tuesday 9th June.

Many would have known Max both in the RAN Communications Branch, and later on in Flight Service and Communications in the Civil Aviation Department. Max is the current Treasurer of the RANCBA NSW Chapter, but also was the Treasurer of the 2005 National Reunion here in Sydney.

For those wishing to attend a Memorial Service, it will be held at Olson's Funeral Home, corner of the River and Doyle's Road (83 The River Road) Revesby on Monday, 22nd June at 11am.

All are invited to attend this Service and support Max, Bev and Family at this very sad time.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
Hon. Secretary
Tks Shorty, our thoughts and best wishes are with Max and Bev at this very sad time.  16/06/09.

Communicators Catch Up in Cairns!

Three young fella’s enjoying a get together (and farewell) beer on the good ship M.V. Accalia in Cairns.

Alan Murgatroyd, Terry Gleeson and Bob (Shorty) Turner taking turns in stretching the truth on adventures past.

M.V. Accalia ETD Cairns Friday 12th June, for passage ‘over the top’ to Darwin, ETA early August – Crew Terry & Chris G and Shorty,

Cheers to All,

Murgy, Terry & Shorty - Cairns June 2009

Rub it in you lot, the fog hasn't lifted in Canberra today, max temp 4 degrees C.

(04.06.1914 to 04.06.2009)

WOWTR Marty Grogan has advised that we lost a real treasure from the Branch last Thursday 04 June 2009.
Eric Clyde MORAN passed away on his 95th birthday.

Marty very kindly attached the Eulogy he will be delivering at Eric's Service in Williamstown on Friday 12 June.

Follow this link for Marty's eulogy.

Follow this link to the HMAS SYDNEY & VLSVA (VIC) website for a photo of Eric.

Lest we forget.

Sandy McNab sends:

I copied the following items of interest out of yesterday's 'The West Australian'.

Tom Jarrett is also in the Moran recruit class 42 of 1958 photo, and thought I'd let some of his other ex-Submariner Communicator friends read the write-up on the HMAS Ovens and some of its crew forty years ago.



Sandy McNab sends:

Of interest, a photo received per favour Godfrey (Jeff) Dykes. Thought it would bring back a few memories for some. I guess the Fleet broadcast wasn't too busy either. Can see about 25 naval ships, 3 sailing ships including perhaps Nelson's Victory, what appears to be a large Incat Fastcat type vessel in the basin, and a civvy car passenger ferry in one of the dry docks. With one carrier in the basin, one in dry dock and another secured alongside, there can't be too many R.N. surface ships left at sea.

Pompey at her best Sandy, should bring back memories for some.  09/06/09.

Fm Rohan Jennings:
I note the photo of Portsmouth submitted by Sandy McNab. Was there last week onboard HMAS BALLARAT as part of the Northern Trident 09 deployment in company with HMAS SYDNEY. A fantastic place, we were berthed in between Nelson's Victory and HMS Warrior. Previous to this we spent a couple of weeks running out of Plymouth doing an RN workup in their SCXAs.

We are now on our way towards Canada and North America for some R&R and promotional work. I hope the Australian winter is treating you all well

CPOCIS Rohan Jennings
CIS Manager
HMAS Ballarat

BZ CMDR Steve Beckmann CSC RAN

Our congratulations go to CMDR Steve Beckmann for the award of a Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in the 2009 Queens Birthday Honours List.  Steve received the award "for outstanding achievement as Director Navy Command, Control, Communications and Computers within the Royal Australian Navy's Communication and Intelligence Branch".

Conspicuous Service Cross  - front

I'm sure all serving and ex-serving Communicators will join with me in passing heartiest congratulations to Steve for this well-deserved honour.  09/06/09.

Bill Blinkhorn sends:

Have heard from Leslie Beare (Ted's wife) who told me Ted underwent his operation on Friday 5th for a brain tumour. The operation lasted 7 hours and evidently Ted was lucky to get through it. It was a very aggressive tumour and had grown 20 percent in about 2 weeks. He is in intensive care but as of this morning (Saturday) was coherent and had a cuppa and some toast. He will probably remain there for a while and then line up for chemo. I intend to go and catch up with him at some stage, he is in Brisbane but I just can't remember which hospital. I will check with Leslie and if anyone is wanting to catch up with Ted just email me and I let you know where he is. As you know Ted was with us on our last little get together in Redcliffe and you would never had picked him to have anything as serious as that, he was in good humour and had a great time. Lets hope he can attend another one in the not too distant future.

Bill Blinkhorn
Tks Bill, please pass our best regards to Ted for a speedy recovery.  09/06/09.

Fm Bill 09/06:
I heard from Leslie yesterday (Monday 8/6) and Ted is recovering ok and the surgeon is confident he has removed all the tumour during the 7 hour operation. If Ted had ignored the symptoms he probably had about 6 weeks left. I called him and he is in good spirits and expects to be out of hospital by the end of the week.

Fm Bill 26/06:
Just got back from a visit to see how Ted is getting along after his brain op. He is well and truly up and about with a positive outlook. He is preparing himself for a dose of radio therapy pretty soon but I think overall things are looking good for him. I met Ted's lovely wife Leslie for the first time, she is preparing herself for a breast cancer op. They appear to have got the cancer early so hopefully all will be well with her.
The whole thing with Ted is a little worrying for those of us who served on the Perth on the Vietnam deployments. Ted's problems could be related to exposure to Agent Orange which we could have been exposed to through the on board water treatment systems. I think the best thing is not to ignore any unusual happenings in the body, see a doctor immediately if in any doubt. We have probably all seen too many mates healthy one moment and crook the next. Ted is looking forward to a get together in Brisbane to coincide with Bazza's one day visit in December.
Regards to all

Fm Bill 03/09:
Had a call from Lesley Beare last night telling me Ted was in Noosa hospital and not going too well. For those who don't know Ted had a brain tumour which, had it not been treated, would have finished Ted off. He was undergoing post operative treatment etc which included radio therapy. Ted became pretty crook and the doctor was unable to say what the problem was. He had a scan which indicated the tumour had been removed from his brain. They are assuming that Ted has had a bad reaction from the therapy. I went to the hospital and expected the worst but he had made some recovery overnight due to Lesley insisting on some different medication. Hopefully he may be home in a few days if things keep going the way they are. With any luck he may be able to join us for our next lunch gathering. Will keep you posted.

John (Bill) Blinkhorn

P.S. Ted still has a tumour on the lung but quote, 'we will worry about that later'

Vale Barry Lambert ex RO

David MacLean sends:

Noted on the ex DCA/ASA website www.listeningwatch.org the passing of ex R/O Barry Lambert, on 20 April 2009, following a massive stroke. Barry joined about 1957 & I think he did some time on the Battles (VLMD/VLMG) & some time on coastal common (VHD) in the early 1960's. He later joined DCA, spending some time in PNG, where I last saw him. He was a quiet & unassuming bloke, fond of a lager on a warm day, an all round "good hand."

Kind regards
David MacLean
Lest we forget

ANZAC Day 2009 - Sydney

Well another Anzac Day has passed and here in Sydney, you could not have asked for a better day, weather beautiful, a huge cheering crowd, and the Sydney City Council had lined the streets with these big banners proudly saluting the Service given by all ADF personnel, both past and present..

We commenced our day with the Wreath Laying Service at 0740am at the Cenotaph, Martin Place and the honour to carry out this function on behalf of all Communicators, was given to a serving person, ABCIS Melissa Grundoff.

The March at 0900am was an overall success, probably beyond my wildest dreams. When a couple of us were putting up the Banner, I could not believe all those making their way to fall in, both serving and ex serving . The Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir, AC, CVO led the full Anzac Day March, with the full Navy contingent being led by Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO, DSO,. DSC RAN Rtd, , and the RANCBA contingent by our very stalwart Committee person, Harry Firth. (Here in Sydney, we select some one who has given good service and commitment to the Association over the past 12 months) The cadence and the orders of the March was carried out by our President Andy Mills. Banners Bearers were John Napier and Trevor Pike with John Short and (self) Shorty on the ANF Banners. (I had a another reason for doing this, as I attend the Anzac Day March Committee meetings, so by being in the front, I could observe and make any recommendations and report back on any problems that had occurred.)

In the RANCBA contingent, we had 28 serving personnel and 72 ex serving and proudly behind the Banner but more importantly was 3 of our Members, who unfortunately now in wheel chairs in these functions, Cec Black, Arthur Shiplee and Dave Wheeler. It was so pleasing to see them join and still being part of the RANCBA for this very important day.

Our Reunion was held again at the Royal Exhibition Hotel also know as "Swampy's" were Mine Host is ex L/Sig Nigel Marsh. This venue situated just off Central Station is so successful, handy to all public transport both rail and bus. Refreshments and food is at your own choice and call it stumps when you wish. We were joined by many serving personnel who had marched with their current ship or establishment on the day and then made their way down to join with us.

Names of some of our visitors or apologies received that I managed to remember or jot down. Dick Cantwell (WA) Reg Swanbough (SA) Jack Bawden (VIC) Mick Millson (VIC), Dave Stoker from the Far North NSW. Apologies received from Jan & Ric Easom (Jan attending the Ex WRANS Reunion in SA, but Ric joining with the SA RANCBA for the day), Terry Nugent (O/S attending a Service at the Somme in Europe) Peter Davey sailing a yacht somewhere in the Pacific, Brian Duff, Alby Kydd, Rowan Paine, John Jenkins, Fred Bartlett, Liz Watts also attending the Ex WRANS Reunion in Adelaide

Serving personnel POCIS Maurice Anlezark, POCIS Luke Ryan, POCIS Andrew Spencer, WOCIS Tim Holliday, WOCIS Merv Beeragah, CPOCIS Stephen Lyons, POCIS Steven Sorenson, WOCIS Andy Dennis, Lieutenant Emma Spencer, SMN CIS Naomi Rumble, SMNCIS Terry Adams, but many others ex L/Sig Paul Doddridge, Paul McCartney, Lionel Barr, Peter Barton, John Reeves, Jack May, Les Church, Nigel Marsh, Jack Monks, Don Ferguson, Tony Froome, Ms Lesley Lalor, Jan Mills, Ken Swain, Helen Moffatt, Jan Ferguson, Max Miller, Brian Gray to name just a few. Also caught up with Ex LRO Tony Biscoe before the March as he was joining the PERTH Assn for the day and wished to be remembered to all. For those that worked at Civil Aviation Flight Service & Communications at Mascot Airport, would remember Dudley Reynolds, also said to say hullo, he was joining up with the Merchant Navy for the day as he ex M.N Radio Officer.

Two of our RANCBA Committee here in Sydney were missing due to other commitments to make this a successful day, Cmdr Ken Swain AM, RAN Rtd who is now “head” Marshal for the RAN contingents and Ken Street is now the NAVY spokesman for the ABC on the March here in Sydney.

It was a great and very successful day all over in each function, and I would like to take this opportunity of behalf of the Committee, Andy Mills, Ken Swain, Max Miller, Tony Froome, Trevor Pike, Don Ferguson, Ken Street, Harry Firth, Frank Lawton, Liz Watts, Sharon Mundy, Ric Easom, John Short and self to thank all that attended and hope to see you all again next year.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
Hon. Secretary RANCBA (NSW)

ABCIS Tiffany White sends:

Hi everyone I am ABCIS Tiffany White, ex-PORSS Wayne 'Knocker' White's oldest daughter.  First I would like to thank everyone for their support.   'Knocker' Dad is still trying to remain positive but I know seeing some of his old friends would brighten his day a little as I think he is starting to get cabin fever.  Also I am organising a gala night to help raise some money to help support my family and would love to hear from you if you would like to attend.

My email address is tiffany.white@defence.gov.au or you can reach me on my mobile 043 163 9848. The night in question is the 11th of July at the Erindale Vikings Club in Canberra.  Again thank you to all.

Follow this link for Tiffany's flyer about this event.

Sounds like a good opportunity to show support to a sick shipmate.  If you would like to support this event and join a table with other Communicators please contact Ray Powell or John Curbishley.

Fm Nugget Nugent:
Just returned from Gallipoli and the Western Front. Quite a moving experience to be there for ANZAC Day, managed to get in a rather fine cruise down the Danube and Rhine and then into Paris. Shocked to here about Knocker and would be honoured to visit Canberra for that special night. Knocker was one of my RSS at Harman and we shared duties as Best Man for one of Steve Drake's weddings of which I have a wonderful pic. Could you please add me to a table for the night.

Fm Cindy-Lee Francis:
Tickets are now available for purchase for the Trivia Night 11 Jul 09. Just see me or Deb Galwey. (Follow this link for more information).

We have been advised that the event is open age, so Children are welcome as long as they are under adult supervision at all times.  For those who have already booked in for the night, thank you. We are looking forward to many more of you coming along.  Thanks and Regards

Fm Tiffany White 13/07:
Hey everyone, Tiffany here (Wayne's daughter). I would just like to thank everyone for the love and support on the 11th of July at Dad's gala night. In particular I would like to thank all Dad's old friends for coming, it was wonderful to meet you all and it meant a lot to Dad and Mum as I have not seen them as happy as they were in a while which meant a lot to all us kids.

I would like to also thank Daryle Coventry for his MCing of the night and our entertainment family friends Gemma and Hayley Nolen, especially Hayley who was sick on the night but still got up there and sang and our news friends circusxtreme.

I hope you all enjoyed the night and I will have photos soon. Thank you again to all for coming.

Mystery Photo for June 2009

I know I ran a photo very similar to this for the March mystery photo, but these are such good photos that need documenting.  This one is from around 1961 and was probably taken at a Cerberus Mess Dinner.  From the March mystery photo we know that CWR Stores Ella Geisler is seated on the arm of the chair at left and I think that back right is a young Lennie Maiden, with perhaps First Officer Barbara McLeod at centre stage.  I don't know how many Communicators are in the group, but if anyone can supply more names it would be appreciated.

The photo was supplied by WR Steward Heather Greer (nee Owens) by way of Marg Beckinsale.  Heather is not in the photo and can't remember why she had it.


Fm Penny Seib 01/06:
In relation to your June mystery photo, I recognise a few of the faces. Judy Melocco is second from left at back, Lennie Maiden is far right at back, not sure but back left may be Pat Redmond, and front right the name McNab comes to mind. I may be completely off track with these last 2 as the memory is fading somewhat.
Penny Seib
(ex L/Wran Broadbent)

Fm Joan Henstock 01/06:
The photo was taken early 1962 in the WRANS Chiefs and Petty Officers Mess at FND when the members held their first mess dinner.

Standing: L to R: WRRS Anne Kelly, POWRREG Judith Melocco, WRRS Janet Mears, POWRMTD Joan Baker, POWRCK Val Hyde, POWRSTD Lennie Maiden.

Sitting: L to R: CWRSA(S) Ella Geisler, POWRSA(S) Mercia Kaczmarowski, First Officer Barbara MacLeod, WRRS Debbie Robertson, POWRMTD Taunton.

Redcliffe RSL - Red Ryder sends:

Myself, Arthur Rowley, Bill Blinkhorn and Doug Conn had another one of our regular get togethers this week and were joined at the Redcliffe RSL by Kev Ruwoldt, Ian "Timmo" Timson and Ted Beare who was on the Perth with the 4 of us for the first two Vietnam Deployments.

A great time (as usual) was had by all and with all the "warries" flying around, we might have to make flak jackets and helmets optional dress of the day for the next gathering. Ruwie held court as the elder statesman (we actually changed the day of the lunch to fit in with his lawn bowls commitments!!) and kept telling us about all these ships he served on that started with the letter "Q" We had to remind him that the rest of us were from the "missile age navy!!"

It was also good to have Timmo there too who may have stayed off the radar but for a chance meeting with him at Brisbane airport a couple of years ago. We made him an honorary "RO" for the day!!!

Ted informed us that he is going in for surgery for, as he put it, a "brain drain" at the Holy Spirit Hospital on Wednesday 3rd June. We will keep this site informed as to his progress but anyone wanting to find out details of how he is going can also phone his wife Lesley on 0754499629.

Arthur Francis's wife Patricia is also in sick bay after a fall which broke her femur, a bone in her hand, one in her foot and cracked a couple of ribs. She was discharged from the Gold Coast Hospital yesterday and is now at home with Nurse Arthur in attendance.

All in all it was another great get together and we would welcome anyone else who is interested in coming along. We alternate between Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine Coasts and the Redcliffe peninsular so anyone from any of those areas who would like to join us can contact me at traventer@optusnet.com.au and I will keep them in the loop as to where and when the next one will be.

Photo from left to right is Ruwie, Bill Blinks, Doug Conn, Red Ryder, Timmo Timson, Arthur Rowley and Ted Beare

Terry "Red" Ryder

Ruwie, Bill Blinkhorn, Doug Conn, Red Ryder, Timmo Timson, Arthur Rowley & Ted Beare.

Tks Red, a great looking group - good to see Timmo there to keep you Sparkers honest!  All the best to Ted for his surgery and best wishes to Pat from us all.

Frankston Naval Memorial Club - Greg Goodwin sends:

Just in case you thought QLD has a mortgage on get togethers, here's a recent shot send by Greg Goodwin of a get together at Frankston Naval Memorial Club.  Conversely, Greg was the odd man out among a group of very distinguished Signalmen!

Greg says:  "The photo was taken at the Frankston Naval Memorial Club on Friday 15 May after the odd man out (the only Sparker) organised this communications get together. Once again the stories only got better as the night went on. A good night had by all, so if anyone is down Frankston way and you have nothing to do on a Friday night between 1900-2300 and would like a cool drink and a friendly chat drop in to the FNMC, 36 Barretts Road Langwarrin South."

Greg Goodwin
The odd man out

Photo from left to right is Harry Kime, Peter Harper, Steve Kime, Graham (Daffy) Doyle, Greg Goodwin, Ron Brown and Gary Swanton.

Harry Kime, Peter Harper, Steve Kime, Graham 'Daffy' Doyle, Greg Goodwin, Ron Brown & Gary Swanton.

Let's have more photos of get togethers around the country - I'm sure others are interested in what is going on in your neck of the woods!

Fm Barry Kane:
There has to be well over 100 years of fine V/S blood in that photo, good to see, Greg would have been in awe being in that company.

Signal Address N.O.C.S. circa WW II:

The messages below show a signal address of N.O.C.S. that was in use at the time of the disappearance of HMAS SYDNEY II.  We have been asked if we can supply the full breakdown of this acronym.  If anyone can shed any light on this, or on any other aspects of the headers below (FJTK etc) please email admin@rancba.org.au.



Fm Dave Sutherland:

1. It would appear NOCS = Naval Officer Commanding Sydney - being the signal address for "The Commodore-in-Charge, H.M.A. Naval Establishments, Sydney".

2. Guessed and googled "Naval Officer Commanding Sydney", which led me to the link http://www.defence.gov.au/sydneyii/Index%20to%20EXH_0187.htm.

This index, makes reference to NOCS full spelling, and, also links to related signals bearing the signal address (NOCS). The last "signal" referred to, appears to be an internal memo, which, provides the full plain language title (The Commodore etc.).

3. Also did a search on the then NOCS (Commodore Muirhead-Gould) posting record at www.naa.gov.au. It would appear that position ceased to exist in March 1942, and, became FOIC Sydney (pre-cursor to FOCEA, COMNAVSUP etc.etc.). Muirhead-Gould was promoted to RADML on that basis.

4. Message heading stuff.
a. "FJTKO" = initial rotor setting (for what ever passed as a KL7 at the time) ?.
b. Method of Transmission:
TPR = teleprinter ?.
W/T = W/T
L/T = Landline/Telephone ?.

BZ Dave, my googling of NOCS took me nowhere - I wasn't clever enough to guess the acronym.

Red Ryder sends:

I came across this photo when going through the ones I took in Hong Kong on a recent trip. As you can see, whilst a lot has changed in Hong Kong over the years, some things - like some hotels charging an "hourly" rate - have not.

Terry Red Ryder
You want short time or lonnng time John. 27/05/09.

Sandy McNab sends:

I know this happened back in 1999 and many images have been promulgated. Having recently received these images again I thought if any ex-Torrens Communicators wondered or were not aware about it being used as a target in a SinkEx, they might like to see for themselves.

Follow this link for the PowerPoint display of the sinking.


Keghead Weaver & COPD

Keghead Weaver was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in 2007.  With the able assistance of Dave Jeffrey, Keghead was eventually successful with a DVA claim for this disease.  He would like to share his story with fellow Communicators, should any of you be similarly afflicted.

Follow this link for Keghead's summary on COPD.

Keghead has been laid low with COPD since marching on Anzac Day.  We wish him well and look forward to seeing him back to full health in the near future.

Frank Aldred sends:

Reading navy News on Monday, I noted that RADM Tony Parr has been appointed Chief of RNZN. Tony is a Communications Warfare Officer who completed RAN Comms Officers Course in 1987 at Cerberus with, amongst others, Doug Conn and myself. I am sure that Tony will be remembered by course participants and the then Comms School staff, as he is one of nature's gentlemen. It is great to see a communicator recognised.


Rear Admiral Tony Parr poses for a photo after being handed the role as Chief of Navy by Rear Admiral David Ledson at the Change of Command ceremony, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand, Thursday, April 30, 2009.
Credit: NZPA / Wayne Drought.

Queensland Chapter of RANCBA

The Queensland Chapter of the RANCBA wishes to obtain the current email contact details of our members in order to provide information of interest via email rather than incurring rising postage costs. This is especially important when a quick response is required in regard to numbers (for catering purposes) attending our two major social occasions each year. Please send your details to gaylejim@iprimus.com.au

Jim Carey
Jim also points out that a number of the email contacts listed on this website are out of date.  This provides a good opportunity to check yours at http://www.rancba.org.au/email_contact_list.htm  and send updates as required.


Bernie Brooks sends:

I have just been informed by Sharon White that her husband, ex-PORSS Wayne (Knocker) White, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. I spoke to Knocker today.  He informs me that he is commencing chemo treatment and has a very positive outlook. I obtained his permission to post this notice on QSO so as to get the message to his friends. I dare say this will come as a shock to all who know 'Big Knock' and am sure they will join with me in wishing him and the family best wishes and success with the treatment.
Bernie Brooks
Sad news, our thoughts and best wishes are with Knocker and Sharon while they fight this battle.  It's great to see that Knocker has a positive outlook.

LCDR Mike Hardwick passes on the following:

Des Byrne and I are planning Navy involvement in the Eden Whale Festival that is being held on weekend 30 Oct - 01 Nov 09 . I note in the festival draft program that a morse code competition will be held. I have scant information at the moment; however, I pass this early information to you and propose that you flag this event to the RANCBA. I will provide more information as it becomes available.

I made a pilgrimage to DIAMANTINA recently in Brisbane. The duty tour guide, Max Ferguson, told me about an occasional morse code event that happens between decommissioned/museum ships. As you might know, DIAMANTINA has an operational wireless office and it is used in the morse code events. I have been referred to a Col Whale (!) who is an operator in DIAMANTINA and will facilitate a connection between him and the Eden Whale Festival so that they may build on the festival morse code event if so interested.

Many thanks Mike, if there are any old Sparkers around the area I'm sure they will be interested.

Mystery Photo for May 2009

Just for a change, here is a ship photo sent by Ron Baker.  The photo was sent to Ron (among other Frank E Evans Assn members) by VADM Emmett Tidd, USN Retired. His son, RADM Kurt Tidd, USN, is Commander of Carrier Strike Group 8.

What are the names of the ships pictured and what is unique about the photo.  03/05/09.

The photo is unique in that the three ships all bear the same side or pendant number (69).

The carrier, USS Eisenhower (CVN69) is from Norfolk, Va;
USS Vicksburg (CG69) is from Mayport, Fl.
USS Milius (DDG69) is from San Diego.

There were quick responses to this mystery photo. Dave Sutherland was first cab off the rank and right on the money with names and side numbers. Ken Street took advantage of working at Fleet Headquarters and was also right on the money.

Royce Bell, Bill Blinkhorn, Fred Lloyd and Graham Linton all picked the uniqueness of the same side (pendant) number. Royce threw USS Kauffman (FFG-69) into the mix, so it appears that the same side numbers are common over different USN classes of ship.

Sandy McNab sent thanks to Ron (Nullabor) for the opportunity to participate. Sandy says "Material sourced include the USS Stockdale DDG-106 website to ascertain what a current USN DDG physically looks like, single bow anchor, the different uppers between the two warries etc and the ACP113AF Callsign Book for Ships to try and work out the subtle differences between CG, DDG, CV(N) etc. So my guess at the mystery three ships for May are the Nuclear powered USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CV(N)69/NIKE, the USS Vickburg CG-69/NVMS and in the foreground USS Millius DDG-69/NPLM (sister ship to the USS Cole), and yes common hull numbers 69 are unique."

Sandy also noted that the International Callsign for CV(N)69 contains the nickname "IKE". Thank you all for participating, more next month.


ANZAC Day in Cummins
(Meg Haensel-Fuss, formerly Duggan, nee Haensel sends:

Thought I might send in a couple of photos of our ANZAC Day here in Cummins - a small farming community in the middle of Eyre Peninsula about 75kms northwest of Port Lincoln.

The local RSL was once very large, but now our numbers are down, but we are still active and the Community knows we are here. We have four WWII veterans, three in their 80's and one in his 90's. All are pretty fit, stubborn, independent, and still living at home. The three "younger boys" still attend our monthly meetings. We have four Vietnam "boys", and I recently "recruited" four Natos from the 1950's.

Then there is myself (76-87) plus three others from the 86-2000 era and a handful of Affiliate Members. They are all Army except for Matt (POMTP1986-2000) and myself. Actually I had better not include Cor as Army - he won't be pleased - he was in the Dutch Resistance until he was old enough in 1945 to join the Dutch Marines, so he always "sides" with Matt & I. Cor also did service in Indonesia for three years after the war and said it was not pleasant. He and his wife and two young girls migrated out here 51 or 52 years ago, and says it was the best thing they ever did. As you can imagine, he has some amazing stories, he is 83 today.

Back to ANZAC Day - we hold a Dawn Service, which is followed by our March from the Garden of Remembrance down to the RSL Hall about 550metres and breakfast (toast/eggs/bacon/tea/coffee/rum) which is provided by our sub-branch and cooked by the local CFS Brigade. Our local SES Unit provides traffic control (not that there is much at that time of the morning, but both the Garden and the RSL are on the main roads into/out of town), and we now have a Police presence back in town, so John kindly escorts the March and participates in the Service too.

I am "Chief" of Ceremonies, organising the whole day (from the 'Order of Service', to wreaths, to participants, music etc) and usually writing and delivering the ANZAC Requiem. This year we had about 250 people attend, which was great given the weather and our aging population. What is more amazing and something this community can be very proud of, is that on the Friday for ANZAC Appeal Badge day, our small, financially struggling community raised $1053-81. The one cent came from the tin we had at our aged care hostel - the old dears there always love to contribute to ANZAC, Legacy & Poppy appeals.

The photos are:
1.  Taken at the Dawn Service, with our President, Geoff Holman (Vietnam vet) laying the first of 8 wreaths, Matt on the flag, our RC chaplain Father Sharji and myself - yep in rig - though I must admit a bit of a tight squeeze this year, but considering I turned 50 (Oct last year) and it was issued to me when I was 17, I don't think I am doing too badly.

2.  Taken after the end of the A grade footy and netball matches (I organised with the league for our two home teams to play each other) where I presented, ably assisted by Geoff, an ANZAC Medallion for "best player", from the A grade netball and football matches.


Meg Haensel-Fuss
Cummins-Yeelanna RSL Sub-branch
PO Box 91
Ph: 08 8676 2741
Mob: 0428 365 470
Email: coolangattaf@bigpond.com
Thanks Meg, it's good to see a different aspect to Anzac Day, away from the major centres.  Keep up the good work.  30/04/09

Federation of Naval Ships Association Luncheon - Parliament House Sydney

The FNSA held its inaugural Luncheon today, 23rd April at Parliament House, which is located in Macquarie Street and overlooking some of the most beautiful scenery that you could imagine, the parks and harbour of Sydney, and with a superb luncheon, you could not have wished a a better day. . Now you may not be aware but here in NSW the RANCBA is affiliated within the FNSA along with many other Naval Associations and herewith some of those that attended today, SYDNEY, CONDAMINE, CULGOA, WRAN, WRNS, RN , MARINES, WARRAMUNGA, BATAAN, ARUNTA, MERCHANT NAVY, VOYAGER Survivors Assn and many more. 

The two Guests were The Hon. Graham West MP, Minister Assisting the Premier on Veterans Affairs and Rear Admiral Steve Gilmour AM RAN, System Commander of the RAN (representing the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Rus Crane AO RAN who is in China for the Chinese Naval Review). Also many others including, Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO, DSO, DSC RAN Rtd, and Rear Admiral Tony Horton AO, RAN Rtd , who is Patron of the RANCBA (NSW), Cmdr Ted Breukel RAN were in attendance, but there were many others, who unfortunately I did not get their names. It was so pleasing to see 200 plus from so many Naval Associations, who had a great time and will be back again.

The RANCBA was well represented by the following , Dick & Jean Cantwell from WA, Ken & June Swain, Trevor a Joan Pike, Andy & Jan Mills,Max & Bev Miller, Dave Turner, Don & Jan Ferguson, Laurie Scutts, Brian & Dawn Gray, Ken Street and daughter Bonnie, Coral Cullen wife of the late Yeo Kev Cullen lost on VOYAGER, John & Pam Short, Dick Thompson who is also with the FAIRMILES, Howard Halsted who is also with the CORVETTES Assn, Allan & Helen Moffatt.

All I can say it was an outstanding success and full credit must go to two ex Communicators, Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd and Ken Street who are President and Secretary of the FNSA respectively but worked so very hard over the last few months to get this up and running and make this a success and which I believe will be the start of many more to follow.

To use the flag hoist BRAVO ZULU

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
Hon Sec. RANCBA (NSW) 

ANZAC Day Adelaide 2009

All partners of those attending the WRAN's reunion in Adelaide, who wish to march, regardless of branch category, are welcome to join and march behind the RANCBA SA banner.

The RANCBA will march in GROUP 2 - NAVY - WORLD WAR II. (We are able to march in this position as we help out the WWII chaps with the banner).

The banner will be in position on the southern side of North Terrace at approx 0830 (walk east along North Terrace from Gawler Place until you see it).

The march commences at 0930 (see attached for details). For further information contact Barry (Tex) Sherriff at bsherriff@adam.com.au  or 0413 601 612

Barry Sherriff


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

Battle of Kapyong (Korea) Memorial Service

I had the pleasure of being invited to attend the Kapyong (Korean War Memorial Service) today, Saturday 18th April on behalf of the RANCBA and Lay a Wreath. What a incredible Service, well conducted and as it is now held at the 113TH AGH Memorial Chapel, Concord Hospital, it was a completely full Chapel.

The Guest of Honour, was the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency , Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO who gave a beautiful Commemoration Speech, and prior to that a Mr Gus Breen , who had graduated from Duntroon Military College and was sent to Korea gave the opening speech - brilliant.

Also some of those in attendance, The Hon. Laurie Ferguson. MP representing the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, Graham West representing Premier of NSW , Mr. Barry Farrell Leader of the Opposition in NSW, Mr. John Haines, V.Pres NSW RSL. Rusty Priest ex RSL President but now President of the Kokoda Track Assn, Reps from the USA Consul, NZ and Turkey, Asst Police Commissioner, State Member for that area, Mayor of the area, Jessie James Sydney Assn, Peter Smith, Culgoa Assn, Mrs Amy Taylor, and many others, but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to write their name down. Also 3 survivors who were Members of 3 RAR and heavily involved in this battle and who were Awarded the US Citation were among the congregation, and they were given the honour of Laying the Wreath after the Governor of NSW.

It was a privilege once again to represent the RANCBA at this Service and also to catch up with their President of the Korean- SE Association, and some may remember him, Ex Chief Yeoman Syd Gellatly who was at one stage and for many years, President of the RANCBA here in NSW.

He can be very proud of his achievement at today's Service

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
Hon. Secretary RANCBA (NSW)

Australian Military Superannuation

Dear friends and veterans/ ex servicemen/women,

I have constructed a new website relating exclusively to Australian Military information. I must admit I have included a paper on pharmaceuticals by Sheldon Maher, a subject I feel very strongly about.

I have tried to assemble papers on the problems we face. Hopefully this will enable all to understand the arguments put up by various individuals and ESOs and provide a proper understanding for individuals who may wish to make individual submissions. Of course these mainly differ from the Governments. My name appears as the author of the papers, but plainly this is not so. This is a thing in the programme that I cannot eliminate. I will work to nominate the real author as I have done for Sheldon's document. I have tried to keep the site simple with the able assistance of my son.

I hope you like it, and if you do you might consider this letter on to your contacts. I would ask that ESOs consider passing it on to any affiliated associations, if you feel the site is of use. I hope the former National Servicemen in my addressees will also pass this letter on to your 'Regular' contacts.

I have not finished uploading documents, this being a continuing process for a while. The URL is given below:


Warm regards
John Graham

The website is dedicated to "Providing past & current information related to Military Superannuation, our mission is to reverse the damage done by successive Governments over the years to our retirement funds. This site provides a means of keeping superannuants up to date with matters that affect / have affected their entitlements." 

This site is a very worthy addition and should be viewed regularly by those interested in equity for our funds.


Bill Storer sends:

Just wondering if there are any of the W/T gang from BRANDT (Pt Moresby) station still around. I was drafted to HMAS Basilisk in 1943 and spent an enjoyable 15 months at the station (VHZ) with the Americans who started/closed this station. There were about ten or 12 of us and the PO Tel was Johnson at the time. I know that Butch Kennedy and Curly Rowe were later transferred to Milne Bay and think the rest of us are no longer around. If anyone still around please tell them I am on email at storer@ozemail.com.au

Regards ... Bill Storer
Naval Historical Society of Australia
Website: www.navyhistory.org.au
Thanks Bill, if anyone remembers you I'm sure they will make contact.  The NHS website is well worth a look also.  15/04/09.

Anthony Rush sends:

On behalf of my father, Vince Rush (LRO R52809), I am hoping to locate "John Rosewarne" who joined in 1958. They served on the Vendetta together and Vince is quite keen to catch up if at all possible. If anyone is able to assist it will be greatly appreciated.

Any replies may be sent to Xetw3@aol.com

Last I heard of Rosie he was in Hobart?  If anyone can assist please contact Anthony.  15/09/09.

ANZAC DAY 2009 - Perth

For those wishing to participate in this years march, we request that you muster in the usual position in Barrack Street, at the corner of St George’s Terrace. Look for our Banner.

This year we will be falling in within the Naval Section – “B” N0. 35.
This will be behind the Ex WRANS Association and in front of the “N” Class Destroyers.

Because of the completion of the Perth Mandurah train line we will be marching in the original direction down St George’s Tce., then into William Street and the Esplanade.

Following the march, speeches, and Service we have a table booked at the Grosvenor Hotel Pier Street in East Perth. Everyone is most welcome.

Alan Rodgers

Vale ex-TO John O'Connor (aka Bones) R62781

Good Afternoon, I recently attended John's funeral. He suffered a brain tumour and passed away on 1st April. We became mates through our mutual love for riding motorbikes. I knew him as Big John. We both served on HMAS HOBART (DDG) but not at the same time. He was a TO and did his time on the Gun Line in 1967.

He was laid to rest at Allambie Gardens on the Gold Coast on 6th April.


Rocky Rankin (ex POME)
Welfare Officer
Lest we forget

Fm Nokka White - I joined with Bones O'Connor in Jan 64 and I am very saddened by the news of his passing. I have started contacting others who joined with us to advise them of this sad news. It is over 35 years since I have seen Bones but I remember him very well as we served together on Sydney then did our Comms course together.
R.I.P Bones

Bill Blinkhorn sends:

Received an email from Arthur 'Speed' Rowley reminding me that today (10th April) is the day Perth returned from its first deployment to Vietnam waters.

I need not remind all those who served in this great ship how eventful our deployment was, coming under North Vietnamese shore battery fire and being hit by one of several hundred shells fired at us. I think we all appreciate what a great crew we had, many of us still keeping in contact.

I wonder how many would remember this date, I certainly wouldn't have unless reminded by our Arthur.

John 'Bill' Blinkhorn
Sorry for the delay in posting this Bill, I took a break over Easter.  15/04/09.

Jim Anderson sends:

I know we track behind everyone else up here in bananaland paradise with the emails that currently do the rounds.

However; Gus Dodds sent me a .wmv file of an 11 year old lass playing Il Silenzio, under the baton of Andre Rieu and his orchestra.

If our members have not heard this fine piece of music I'm sure I'm safe in saying that Gus would forward it as will I if anyone requests it.

Bloody beautiful.

Cheers and thanks

Jim Anderson, VK4AQ


The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support, the Hon. Dr Mike Kelly AM MP, today announced that Her Majesty The Queen had given her in-principle approval to the award of the Australian General Service Medal for Korea (AGSM).

"The AGSM will be issued to those former Defence Force personnel who completed 30 days in South Korea during the ost-Armistice period from 28 July 1953 to 19 April 1956", Dr Kelly said.

"The 30-day eligibility criterion for the AGSM is consistent with the recommendations of the Post-Armistice Korean Service Review Report, which was released in December 2005.

Although the AGSM has now received in-principle approval, it still needs to be formally established through the development of Letters Patent and Regulations which again require approval by Her Majesty The Queen. This, together with the process of finalising medal design and the manufacturing aspect can take some time, but Defence has made implementation of this new
medal a priority so that it should begin being issued in early 2010".

Applications are now being accepted from former Defence Force personnel who served in South Korea during the above mentioned period. However, those persons who have already made application for the Returned from Active Service Badge which was announced on 21 November 2008, need not reapply. Applications should be made to the following address:

Directorate of Honours and Awards
Department of Defence

If an applicant changes their address before they receive the AGSM, they should advise the Directorate of Honours and Awards of their new address as soon as possible to ensure they receive it.

Media contacts:
Mark Sjolander (Dr Mike Kelly):
02 6277 4840 or 0407 102 220
Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664



The RANCBA(ACT) will be marching in Canberra on Anzac Day.

Your march leader will be CMDR Steve Beckmann RAN.

Members usually meet at the Navy Memorial - Form up between 0945-1015 - the march commences at 1030. Look for our banner.

We are holding an after-march function at the Canberra Bowling Club, Hobart Ave. Forrest. Kick off at 1300 approx.

Please pass this email onto other communicators/ex-communicators, they will be very welcome at the after-march function.

Peter Guy


To all serving and ex serving Communicators, and should you be visiting Sydney over the Anzac Day period, you are more than welcome to join with us for this special day.


Our Services for the day, commences with a Wreath Laying at the Cenotaph, Martin Place at 0740am which is our normal time. (This is outside the Dawn Service held by the RSL at 0430).  We fall-in at the corner of Martin Place and Pitt Street at 0730am so that we can march on at our allotted time.

Then most adjourn to the Combined Services Club in Barrack Street, just off Martin Place for breakfast, usual cost is about $5 - 6, but should you wish for anything stronger than tea or coffee, this is also available at normal Club prices.


This commences at 0900am and our place is in position number 17, Castlereagh Street (North), and the RANCBA Banner will be set up and visible to all from 0830am. Our RANCBA (NSW) March Leader for 2009 is our very dedicated Committee person, Harry Firth. The March Leader for the overall Naval contingent will be Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths, AO, DSO, DSC, RAN Rtd


On completion of the March, we adjourn to the Royal Exhibition Hotel where mine host is Ex L/Sig Nigel "Swampy" Marsh.  It is situated at the corner of Sussex and Devonshire Streets, opposite Central Railway Station, so it is handy for transport and also for buses/coaches, near Eddy Avenue. All drinks and food from the bistro is at your own cost and choice. Call it stumps whenever you wish.

Anyway hoping to see as many as possible and more importantly, partners are more than welcome to join us at the Reunion and we encourage you to invite them.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
Hon. Sec. RANCBA( NSW)

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

MERCHANT NAVY Memorial Service 2009.

Today, 5th April 2009, the M.N. held their Annual Memorial Service at the Chapel, Rookwood. The RANCBA was invited and to Lay a Wreath, also the Federation of Naval Ships Assn (FNSA) were invited to do the same.

The following attended. Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd accompanied by his wife June, and representing the FNSA. Shorty accompanied by his wife Helen, along with WW II Convoy Sig. Don Ferguson accompanied by his wife Jan represented the RANCBA.

It was indeed a well organised Service and full credit to those responsible and also to the NSW Detachment of the RAN Band, especially their Bugler for the Last Post & Reveille.

Captain Nick Bramwell RAN represented the Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Nigel Coates, AM RAN. Also in attendance the Federal Member for Veterans Affairs, The Hon. Alan Griffin MP. and a delightful lady, the US Consul General here in NSW. (unfortunately I didn't record her name), but there many others from a different Associations, RSL and RSL Sub Branches, Legacy etc.

Once again on behalf of all from both the RANCBA (NSW) and the FNSA, it was a privilege to represent not only NSW, but all Communicators across this Nation.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
Hon Sec. RANCBA (NSW).

Bobbie Bacon sends thanks:

Before I forget, I would like to thank Tex Sherriff, Mick Delaney, & Cheryl Fittock, for all the help they gave to Bill & myself in Adelaide throughout Bill's health issues. They gave me the strength to "keep on, keeping on" after Bill had passed.

I would also like to thank the many, many emails, cards, flowers, phone calls, that the family have received by many of Bill's shipmates, & friends. There are so many, & over time, will make contact with you.

The Eulogy, written by our three children has been forwarded to RANCBA Website & newsletter to be shared for all friends. His service, which Bill requested, was a very passionate moment, for all that knew him, & a tribute ending to his 62 years of a great & wonderful life.

Once again, thank you & God Bless
Bobbie, Billy, Danny, Bindi & their families.

Many thanks Bobbie, please follow the link above for a wonderful eulogy. Lest we forget.

From Dennis Preece 07/04:
Rasher’s Eulogy was magnificently presented by his beautiful children during his naval service on the 3rd April. The Uniting Church in Smith Street was over-flowing to capacity. Those unable to find seating were lined deeply on either side of the church or simply occupied the churches’ exterior wings. On the conclusion of the service, Rasher’s former shipmates and friends paid him a befitting complement by forming two facing columns and saluted him as he left the church to begin his final journey. The vast majority of those in attendance, including me, openly and unashamedly wept. On the 23 March 2009, Rasher’s loving and close family, wide circle of friends and former navy colleagues lost an irreplaceable husband, father, grand father, son, brother and champion bloke. As I said to a former navy colleague at Rasher’s wake in Humpty Doo’s Golf Club later that day, “we are all much the poorer for Rasher’s departure, but also deeply enriched for having met and known the great man”.
Yours Aye

From Bobbie Bacon 09/04:
I thought this was lovely & unexpected, but has made my day....

"Bill and I joined the navy together in 1963 and also served in Vampire for a while. I had not seen him for many many years and lost contact after I left Vampire. I amongst many others was saddened by his passing. I understand that Ron Giveen who also joined the navy with Bill is arranging a plaque with Bill's name on it to be placed in the Garden Island chapel. If Ron has not contacted you about this please let me know by return email and I will have him ring you at home

Cheers for now
Ken Dobbie"

Perhaps we can keep an eye on this and get a few Communicators to Garden Island when the plaque is dedicated.  15/04/09.

Mystery Photo for April 2009 - sent by Sandy McNab

New Years Eve 1966, Junior Rates at Coonawarra.  Who are they??

Norm Avent, Paula Dawes, Phil Chappel and Peter Shields - Junior Rates Coonawarra NYE 1966..


Dusty Millar started the ball rolling on this with a tongue-in-cheek email - "Looks like Clint Eastwood (very young), next one a cross between George Kennedy and Adam Gilchrist and the third bloke is Sal Mineo. The lady could be Annette Funicello (?) or her sister!"

Bill Blinkhorn correctly identified the bloke on the far right of the photo as Pete Shields.  Paul Boase reckoned he looked like a young Johnny (Hong Kong) Harlock.

Sandy McNab received a few emails direct - Dave Wescombe-Down almost got the lot by saying "Norm 'Sambo' Avent, Jackie ??, LEMC Phil ??, and Peter 'Great White Hunter' Shields."

Sandy's second response was from Diana Avent:  "I forwarded your posted "mystery photo" to my son, daughter and step daughters who were delighted to see their father as a handsome young man, with a request that if there are any more of that time, they would be very grateful to receive a copy."

Scoops Cooper said he "had a look at the 'Sambo' and Pete show, but failed to recognise whether it was me or Tony Howard in the background getting a drink or glass out of the bar fridge."

As those pictured have nearly been correctly identified, Sandy has advised that they indeed are:
Norm Avent, Paula Dawes, Phil Chappel, Peter Shields.

Many thanks to all who contributed.  As requested by Diana above, if anyone has other photos of Norm from that period please pass them on.

Rod McLaurin sends:

I recently met a lady up here, Heather Ross, who is the wife of ex communicator the late Robbie Ross. I’m almost certain Robbie was a Signalman, about my vintage, I can clearly remember the name but can’t place a face to it. Robbie was born in 1950 and served on Vendetta in 1969/1970 in Vietnam. He paid off in 1979 to attend Teacher's College.

I told Heather about our web site and advised her that I would post a note on it to see if anyone remembers her or Robbie. She indicated that she would welcome contact with any of Robbie's old mates.

If anyone would like Heather's details they can contact me. email rmclaurin@optusnet.com.au  or phone 07 54710008 or 0412 064048

If anyone served with or remembers Robbie, please contact Heather via Rod as requested.

David 'Scarbs' Scarborough sends:

I am hoping that someone may have a HMAS DERWENT deployment book or 'Year Book' for the 1970 trip up top.  I served as a RO(S) from 1967-73 and now reside in Tasmania.  Would love to have a copy of the crew list from HMAS DERWENT in 1970 if someone has it.

I am also interested in assisting with the establishment of a RANCBA Chapter in Tassie, depending on what is involved.  If anyone else has similar thoughts please contact me on email scarbs1@bigpond.com.


Noel Muller is seeking Des McKee:

"I am a personal friend of Des McKee and would you mind passing my email address (deepblue42@ymail.com) along to him please as he has changed his email address since retirement also and I can no longer contact him."

If anyone has a retirement email address for Des please advise.

Jenny of Jenny's Side Party - Died in Hong Kong

I received this from a number of sources - it should be of interest to those who remember Jenny and her girls in Hong Kong.

Reported by AE(OL) on 20-Mar-09

Jenny BEM.

Generations of sailors who visited Hong Kong will mourn the death of Jenny. She was a much loved living legend who, for all the colony's constant change, remained the same incomparable institution for over half a century.

Much of her life was an enigma. However the authors of her twenty-seven Certificates of Service generally agreed that she was born in a sampan in Causeway Bay in 1917. Her mother, Jenny One, according to her one surviving Certificate of Service, which was copied in 1946 from an older, much battered and largely illegible document, 'provided serviceable sampans for the general use of the Royal Navy, obtained sand. and was useful for changing money’. She brought up her two daughters to help her.

Behind her perpetual great gold-toothed grin Jenny complained; “I veIIy chocker. All time work in sampan. N0 learn to lead or lite.” But what she lacked in education she made up more than a hundredfold with her immense and impressive experience in ship husbandry. her unfailing thoroughness and apparently inexhaustible energy. her unquestionable loyalty and integrity, her infectious enthusiasm and her innate cheerfulness.

Officially Jenny's Date of Volunteering was recorded as 1928. From then until 1997, when the colony became a Special Administrative Region of China and the Royal Navy moved out. she and her team of tireless girls. who at one time numbered nearly three dozen, unofficially served the Royal and Commonwealth Navies in Hong Kong by cleaning and painting their ships. attending their buoy jumpers, and, dressed in their best. waiting with grace and charm upon their guests at cocktail parties. Captains and Executive Officers would find fresh flowers in their cabins and newspapers delivered daily. And many a departing officer received a generous gift as a memento from Jenny. For all of this she steadfastly refused ever to take any payment. Instead she and her Side Party earned their keep selling soft drinks to the ships' companies and accepting any item of scrap which could be found on board.

Jenny's huge collection of photographs - too big. she said. to be put into books - she stored in a large envelope. They dated back to the mid 20th century and showed her in the ships she so faithfully served, with Buffers and Side Parties, and with grateful officers. many of whom became distinguished admirals. In two thick albums she proudly kept her letters of reference, all without exception filled with praise and affection for her. One was a commendation by the Duke of Edinburgh for her work in the Royal Yacht during her visit to Hong Kong in 1959. She has a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal presented to her in 1938 by the captain of HMS DEVONSHIRE, and a bar engraved 'HMS LEANDER 1975’.

Most treasured of all Jenny's distinctions was the British Empire Medal awarded her in the Hong Kong Civilian List of the Queen's Birthday Honours in 1980 and with which she, formally named Mrs. Ng Muk Kah, was invested by the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Murray MacLehose.

In later years Hong Kong was no longer visited by the great fleets of battleships and cruisers which gave Jenny and her Side Party their livelihood and she found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Yet she stayed fit and always willing to undertake any work available. To the end of the Royal Navy's presence in Hong Kong there could be seen in the shadow of the towering Prince of Wales building within the naval base, a small round figure in traditional baggy black trousers and high-collared smock, with a long pigtail and eternal smile who, regardless of time. remained it seemed for ever – just Jenny.

Jenny died peacefully in Hong Kong on Wednesday 18th February 2009. She was 92 years old.

Parramatta Ship's Company HK 1971 Jenny & Girls, with Parramatta Ship's Company HK 1971.

Vale Bill Bacon

Tex Sherriff sends very sad news:

Bill Bacon passed away in Adelaide at 0200 23/3/09, due to complications from an operation he had on Friday 20/3/09.

Do not know of any funeral arrangements as yet, but believe the family will take him back to Darwin, and the service will be held there.

Tex Sherriff

Bill Bacon, RANCBA Reunion 2008, Melbourne.  Bill Bacon 2009

Many thanks Tex, our thoughts are with Bobbie, Billy, Danny & Bindi and the rest of the family at this difficult time.  I went to Bill and Bobbie's wedding in 1968 and served with Bill a number of times after that.  This has hit particularly hard and I am saddened that he will not be able to fulfill the goals he set himself earlier in the year.  A great bloke who will be sadly missed by many in the Communications world.  Lest we forget.
John Curbishley

Gareth 'Tank' Evans 24/03:
Was extremely saddened when I read the QSO article about Billy Bacon's death in Adelaide. Phyllis and I are currently in Echuca on our caravan trip heading towards Adelaide and would have called in to see Bill if he and Bobbie were still there, and then we were meandering to Darwin to catch up with them also along with Perry Whitehouse. I am soon to catch up with an ex JR (ex Birdie), Derek Whyte here in Echuca and we are to travel together for the next 3-4 months. So to miss him is so disappointing. We of course pass our deepest condolences to Bobbie and all the extended family.

Fm Bobbie Bacon 24/03:

Just a quick e-mail to inform you of the date of Bill's Funeral;

Friday morning, 3rd April, 2009 - at 8.30am in the Uniting Church in Smith Street, next to the Woolworths complex.

It will be a Naval Service, with Padre John Marshall, the Naval Chaplain holding the service for us.
After the Eulogy, if anybody wishes to speak about the friendships with Bill, this will be the opportunity to do so.

The family (only) will be having a private cremation at Thorak Cemetery.

The Celebration of Bill's life, will continue at the Humpty Doo Golf Club, Pioneer Drive, Humpty Doo, at 2pm, with finger food & XXXX on tap.

We would like to thank all those who have make contact and passed on their wishes, it has meant a lot to the family to know that 'Bill' is loved and will be missed by many...

Love Bobbie, Billy, Danny and Bindi

Jim Anderson sends:

Further to my QSO entry below,  I had the brachytherapy seed implant done in Townsville last Saturday and home following a CT Scan on Sunday. The old "you know whats" are very black and blue and I'm suffering a bit of incontinence but all seems to have gone off well. See the oncologist in a couple of weeks and then six and twelve month visits should see the ordeal behind me.

I'll just urge our male members - one more time - of the importance of prostate checks. Two blood tests per year, that's all it takes or ask to have a PSA included on any regular blood tests you have done.

Jim Anderson VK4AQ

Terry 'Red' Ryder sends:

I have recently come back from a great trip through Vietnam, Thailand and Hong Kong and have attached a bit of a blurb about it, with accompanying photos.  It may be of interest to RANCBA members to revisit old haunts.

Many thanks Red, I have put it on a separate page of the website.  20/03/09.

Follow this link for Red's summary of what appears to have been an interesting trip.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:


On Friday, 13th March, the RAN held a very impressive Fleet Entry and Review at Sydney Harbour. It was a spectacular sight, with 17 warships at anchor and the climax of a fly past by the Fleet Air Arm. The inspection was carried out by the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO, accompanied by the Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Nigel Coates AM RAN. This was the culmination of the Fleet Concentration Period, one of the Navy's largest exercises.
Herewith some of the ex Communicators on the focsle who had the pleasure of being on the cruise ship, MAJESTIC to witness this spectacular display. This also included our Patron Rear Admiral Tony Horton AO RAN Rtd (right hand side of the photo) and also a full commentary was given about each ships by Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd (left hand side) and Brian Gray, and on passing each RAN ship, we all cheered each ship and those serving aboard
A day enjoyed by all.


On Saturday, 14th March, approximately 4,500 serving personnel of the RAN exercised their right, to the Freedom of the City. What an impressive sight. The RANCBA had their mini Banner displayed to show their support to those serving today by veterans of the past. ( Herewith WW II Convoy Sig Don Ferguson, Shorty Moffatt, John Short and Ex L/WRAN RO Liz Watts ) on display at the Saluting Dias, Sydney Town Hall where the Governor-General of Australia, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Brice was accompanied by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Rus Crane AO, RAN, the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO and the Lord Mayor of Sydney, the Hon Clover Moore at the steps of Sydney Town Hall. The RAN was led by the Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Nigel Coates, AM RAN . 
One of the highlights also was the crew of HMAS PARRAMATTA IV led by the Commanding Officer, Cmdr Sadlier RAN who had been Awarded the Gloucester Cup parading it through Sydney.
Many Communicators where in attendance, including our Patron Rear Admiral Tony Horton AO RAN Rtd, Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd as President of the FNSA. 
A brilliant day to finish off 2 very good days where the RAN had the chance to show to all the public of today's Navy.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
Hon. Secretary RANCBA (NSW)

fleetentry2009.jpg (84631 bytes)  fleetentry2.jpg (258390 bytes)

Alan Rodgers, who is coordinating the JR's reunion next year, sends:

We have now made another update to the website http://www.jrsreunion.org  with the inclusion of a brand new newsletter.  This will be published on a monthly basis and is included in the Newsletter Page.  We have recruited Mark Lee as the Editor and you will see he has done a great job.  The newsletter will download subject to your internet connection - it's 5mb in size.

As back ground.  Mark was a member of the 45th Intake [Howden Division] HMAS LEEUWIN 1973 We trust that you enjoy what he has to say on behalf of the Reunion Committee.

We have also placed the reunion Program on the website, final costing will be displayed when confirmed.

You will also notice that the caravan park - Big 4 Perth International Tourist Park has come onboard and is included on the Sponsors/Supporters page.  Details for booking this facility will also be up as soon as they organise prices etc.

We also asked for advice on placement of Internet Email address on the website.  Following many negative responses it has been decided NOT to include them for everyone in the world to see.  This will also reduce the amount of 'spam' in each of your letter boxes.

Thank you to you all.
Kind regards
Elaine & Alan Rodgers

Mystery Photo for March 2009 - Sent by Jackie Horton (nee Mullin)

Not all Communicators in this one, but it is such a good photo I thought we might be able to identify all present.  It was sent by Jackie Horton who served in the WRANS from 1956 to 1965, first as a Writer and them Commissioned in 1959.  Jackie has sent other photos I will publish shortly.

CPO's Mess Dinner CERBERUS 1963


Fm Sandy McNab 10/03:
From memory of the 1961 and 1963 Signal School Staff photo's on the web-site, I believe the March mystery photo includes the following.

Left front row is the late WRCRS Anne Kelly, the 2nd Officer N/K but am sure others will recall, and the right front row is a grand old lady then whom I recall as CWR(S) as in Stores Ella Geisler.  I was Tom Silverthornes Sig. School Storeman in 1962 taking over from Ambrose Palmer who was to do an RS(Q)'s course, and I recall her well when charged with the responsibility of returning those half destroyed Imperial typewriters from the typing hut for repair. I know the likes of OIC Frank Taunton use to despair at some of the heavy fisted trainees.

Middle row left, the WRRS I believe is Hazel Grant, whom we met a couple of years back at Maryborough. Hazel was Pat's instructor in her recruit Class 73 year of February 1964. The Chief in the centre also rings a bell, I think a Regulator but not sure.

Rear row left, I believe is WRRS Bev (Bix) Weate, and possibly on her left Marlene Sykes. The others I will leave for others input. Cheers.

Carolyn Davey is able to fill in some of the other names:
WRRS Bix Weate / Marlene Sykes / Unknown / Mary Harris
WRRS Hazel Grant / CWRMTD Joan Baker / CWRREG Judith Melocco / Janet Kennedy / Unknown
CWRRS Anne Kelly / 2/0 Jackie Mullins / CWRS Ella Geisler

Alan Murgatroyd sends:

'Oh the shame of it ! There it was, on page 3 of last Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald, for all the world to see...
A group of ex Signalmen (looking pretty spoofy with their shaved chests), practising Semaphore for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. That just confirms a long held suspicion by Sparkers about you lot!! '

Please note, no correspondence will be entered into and no cracks about MY feeble attempts at Semaphore either.

Alan Murgatroyd
Tks Murgy, I caught a glimpse of them on the TV news, from the flag-handling aspect they appeared to be a bunch of Sparkers attempting to impersonate Signalmen! 10/03/09.

Fm Jim Anderson 11/03:
Murgy is going to cop plenty when he gets back up here to his motor cruiser.

Fm Shorty Moffatt 13/03:
Reference the one and only Allan Murgatroyd article re the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gra held in Sydney last weekend.  Murgy, I thought I saw you in the "Dykes on Bikes" section of the Parade, but them again, they all look the same from the back!!!l  Shorty-san.

Fm Royce Tandy 19/03:
Murgy, I hope that was only a Freudian slip, are you sure you didn't mean SPIFFY?? However they were still pretty (bad choice of words) suss. Regards Royce Tandy

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

For all Serving and Ex Serving Members of the RANCBA, here in Sydney we will be having a some functions that all, regardless of which State Chapter, you are invited to attend and your attendance to show and support is not only for the RANCBA, but those that are now serving in the Fleet.

On the 13th March there is a Ceremonial Fleet Entry of 18- 20 warships steaming into Sydney Harbour which will be accompanied by a Fleet Air Arm Flypast. Bookings can be made direct to www.MagisticCruises.com.au or phone 02 8296 7222, group call 02 8296 7309. Dress is casual and also partners are more than welcome.

On the 14th March there is a Freedom of Entry by approximate 4-5000 RAN personnel through Sydney along George Street, and will be passing the Saluting Dais, Town Hall at approx 10.20 -25. and Associations have been allocated a area near the Town Hall where Banners maybe displayed and show our support to those serving today. The RANCBA (NSW) will have their Mini Banner displayed and all RANCBA Members regardless of which State Chapter are invited to join with us. Dress is as for Anzac Day and medals where applicable to be worn.

Also don't forget the FNSA Luncheon to be held on the 23rd April. See previous item in QSO.

Hoping to see as many as possible from the RANCBA across this Nation. 

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
Secretary, RANCBA (NSW)


The Service was held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place on Friday 27th February 2009 where the MC was CMDR Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd. It was a well conducted Service, attended by Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO, Governor of NSW, Rear Admiral Nigel Coates AM, RAN, Fleet Commander, the Patron Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO, DSO, DSC, RAN Rtd, Chaplain Ian McKendrick RAN, and the RAN Band under the Command of LCDR Anderson OAM RAN.

Also in attendance were representatives of Federal, State and Local Government, the NSW Police Commissioner, Federation of Naval Ships Association (FNSA), the Naval Association of Australia , Department of Veterans Affairs and more importantly the Chairman of the YARRA Association, Mr, Frank Glover OAM, who was serving aboard YARRA when sunk by the Japanese during this action. As previously stated a well conducted Service and attended by many from other Associations.

The Service concluded with the National Anthems of Australia, Great Britain, United States of America and the Netherlands, as these Nations lost many ships, including RNN HRMS DE RUYTER, HMAS PERTH & YARRA, USS HOUSTON, & HMS PRINCE OF WALES & REPULSE.

The RANCBA was well represented by the following, Ex CRS John 'Dinny" Reeves accompanied by his wife Phil, Trevor Pike, Ex WW II Convoy Sig, Don Ferguson, Ex WRAN Liz Watts, Ken Street and Allan Moffatt.

Wreaths were Laid by Ken Street on behalf of the FNSA and Allan Moffatt the RANCBA. 

Allan "Shorty Moffatt OAM
Secretary, RANCBA NSW.

Tex Sherriff sends:

A bit of an update on Billy Bacon.

I picked up Bill and his wife Bobbie at Adelaide Airport on Tuesday 17th Feb, and dropped them off at their accommodation, Flinders Lodge.

He rang me later that week to say that his treatment was not starting until Tuesday 24th Feb.

He seems to think that he may be in Adelaide for about a month, but that will depend on how things are going.

Seems to be in a very good frame of mind about what is going to happen and whatever the outcome will be.

He said he would try and keep me informed as how things were progressing so that I could pass it on.

Haven't heard from him this week, but will pass anything on when I do.

Thanks Tex, it's heartening to see the Communications Branch sticking together.  I hope others in Adelaide will contact Bill and pass on their support.  28/02/09.

Fm Tex 12/03:
Bill was admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital on Friday 6/3/09 with liver problems, has had a number of scans and tests.  He has improved a lot since Friday.  He is continuing radiation therapy.  Will be in hospital until at least 20/3/09.


Jack Cleary sends sad news:

For info ex PO Tel R B Adams ( Dick or Fanny) passed away this morning (Wednesday 25 February). His service stretched from December 1945 until Dec 1957, his drafts, like so many of us in those early days, were many and various from commissioning "Sydney" at Portsmouth in 1948 to the usual stints at Harman.

Dick's funeral will be on Monday March 2 at 1400 at Tobin Brothers Threads of Life Chapel 294 Burwood Highway East Burwood, VIC.

Dick, as a long term Ham operator VK3LN has gone "Silent Key"

Jack Cleary
Tks Jack, Lest we forget.  25/02/09.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

To all RANCBA Members

The FNSA has organised a Luncheon to be held at NSW Parliament House on the 23rd April 2009 commencing at 1200 for 1230. The cost is $60 per person which includes lunch, wines, ales, soft drink etc.

As the RANCBA is one of the biggest Associations, it would be most pleasing to see at least 2 or 3 tables (x 10) filled with Communicators.  Also and this is most important, partners are more than welcome.  There will Guest Speakers, The Hon Graham West, Minister for Veterans Affairs for NSW, and the Chief of Navy has advised that a 2 star will be presenting him as he will be unable to attend, as he will be in Beijing, China.   Already other Associations have started to fill tables.

I shall be coordinating on behalf of the RANCBA and then advising both Ken Swain and Ken Street who are President and Secretary of the FNSA respectively.  Please make a effort to attend and show other Associations how good we are.  Names to be forwarded by either email or by phoning of your intentions (WHICH I HOPE THAT YOU WILL BE ATTENDING!!!)

email shortym@mpx.com.au

Ph (02) 9631 8068 (if not in attendance, leave message on recorder and I will respond).

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
Hon. Secretary

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

VOYAGER Memorial Service 2009.

I was invited by the VOYAGER SURVIVORS Association to attend their Memorial Service held at the Royal Australian Navy College, HMAS CRESWELL Chapel today, 8th FEBRUARY 2009 to mark the 45th Anniversary of the fatal collision between HMAS VOYAGER & HMAS MELBOURNE on 10th February 1964.

It was a very solemn service conducted by Chaplain Ian Lindsay RAN of HMAS CRESWELL and the Address by Ex Cmdre Toz Dadswell who gave a beautiful account as he was flying just above both MELBOURNE & VOYAGER. As half of the Chapel was filled by young Midshipmen from the College, he gave it so that it would be shown that it is now part of our Naval History, even though it is a sad occasion, especially when the names and rates of the 82 sailors names were shown, Some I knew personally, RO Bob Denham, Yeo Kev Cullen , EM Paddy Conlon, S/Lieut Sandy Beavis (he had been one of my first Chief Tels and had just been Commissioned), LRO Don McFarlane and others. But I also remembered those who were survivors, LRO Alan Hellier, LRO George Smith , Sig Gary Evans (who was in attendance from Tasmania accompanied by his wife for this Service), and the late Ex CRS Dinny Tindall .

When we all arrived at the car park, my wife Helen and I were escorted to the Chapel by 2 very young female midshipmen and at the entrance a Guard was formed by other Midshipmen, who when all were seated, filed into the Chapel. The Reading from the Bible was carried out by one of the Midshipmen.

On completion of the Service, we then all made our way to the Memorial in the College were Wreaths were Laid. Even though I Laid a Wreath on behalf of all Communicators my thoughts were for all those who were part of that fatal night regardless of what rank or rate.

From there we were invited to the Wardroom for morning tea where the Commanding Officer (Captain Van Dyke - I maybe wrong on the spelling of his name) - and other Officers made us very welcome.  I feel very honoured to have been asked to participate and be part of this Memorial Service and also to represent the RANCBA.


Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM

Allan Moffatt - Voyager Service 2009

Jim Anderson sends:

It was with sadness that I read of Bill's unfortunate prognosis. It has been the catalyst for me to break my silence on issues in my life recently and urge all our members of the importance of regular prostate checks.

I too went through all the tests Bill mentioned and was diagnosed with an aggressive prostate cancer — 7/10 on the Gleason scale a couple of weeks ago. The cancer is still contained within the prostate and has not spread. Prostate removal is not an option for me because of my heart disease, type II diabetes and sleep apnoea issues so I have opted for a relatively new treatment called Brachytherapy where radioactive seeds are implanted directly into the prostate. Unlike Billy, my prognosis is pretty good for at least another 10 years.

I am to go to Townsville this weekend to commence the procedure and back there again in a month for the implants (an overnight stay in hospital).

However I reiterate and urge all our members to have regular prostate checks done by their GP's. It is a pretty straight forward blood test which I think should be done at least twice a year.

Regards to all
Jim Anderson
Innisfail NQ

Thanks Jim, all the best with the procedure.  I endorse your sentiments re prostate checks.

Fm Carol Davey 9/02:  I too wish to reiterate the need for cancer checks - George died eight years ago - admittedly he courageously helped himself - but it was bowel cancer that he had plus emphysema. He had lived for 5 years with the colostomy bag and he absolutely hated that!! Also he chose to not stop smoking - I was running round getting cylinders of oxygen so he could breath. Cancer is so indiscriminate - just reaps down the good, the bad and the indifferent!! So please, all of you out there, go have a checkup.

Fm Jack Caine 16/02:  G'day all - Re Jim Anderson and his prostate procedure - Brachytherapy - can recommend it. I had it done 31st March last year - I have sent a dit to Jim already, but thought that some other people may be in a quandry as to what procedure to have done if they have a prostate problem. There are a few options to be taken, dependant on the severity of the problem. 3 months after my procedure, my PSA went from 7 to 0.7 and at the last blood test was 0.2, so it works.  What I didn't tell Jim was, that if you have private health, and you have at least a white card with DVA, you will probably get out of it for zero dollars - Medicare, Private health, then DVA as the last rq for payment. My procedure was just short of $20,000, and have got away with it!!!!.  Hope this can help some others - get yourselves checked out. If you have a "digital" make sure the Dr only has one hand on yr shoulder!!
Jack Caine

From Trevor Harriss 19/02:
Re prostate checks. 16 months ago decided to have checkup, only symptom getting up 4/5 times a nite for no1s. Bloodtest revealed PSA of 37 and after biopsy I had a gleeson score of 8/10, very advanced prostate cancer. Cancer too advanced to be removed so specialist advised radiotherapy (33) sessions followed up by 3 month injections of Zolodex. As of last month PSA now down to 0.11. As others have said have that checkup and insist with your GP for a PSA test. All the best guys hope your recovery is as good as mine seems to be so far. Regards, Trevor.

Fm Dave Jeffrey 24/02:
Prostate cancer is acceptable for ALL treatment by DVA for all Naval Personnel who served in Vietnam waters during that war. The dioxin which was leeched from Agent Orange into the coastal waters, was unable to be distilled out by the ship's evaporators, and therefore those of us that drank ship's water were subjected to a level of dioxin that causes many cancers, prostate being one.

If you have any problems with your prostate and meet the above criteria, speak to an association Pensions Officer (RSL, Vietnam Vets, or any DVA trained RANCBA Pension Officer) about the problem. You are entitled to free treatment and in some circumstances, a DVA pension.

Billy Bacon:

Many of you will have heard, either directly or via the grapevine, that Billy Bacon has been dealt a tough hand in the game of life.  Many of you have forwarded me emails and asked me to post information about Billy's illness, but I was keen not to do so unless Bill and Bobbie agreed.  Bill has now very kindly supplied a full and frank assessment of how life can change in few short weeks.


1 days No 1's

As most of you have already been advised of my cancer problems this is the one and only sitrep of the battle thus far:-

Jan, commenced with lower back pain, no worries.
pain also began in prostrate area, down to Docs, blood, urine and finger job, alls still sweet.
pain increases, ultra sound Specialist appoint, u/s finds lesions in liver, liver function test OK.
specialist orders C/T scan of torso and box brownie up bum trick.
scans and biopsy show primary cancer site lower bowel with secondaries in liver
oncologist checks me out, passes me on to pain specialist .
Feb, pain doc press gangs me into Hospice.
5th visiting radiologist appoint, escape from hospice.

17th to Adelaide
18th ct/mri scans
19th commence radiation treatment, treatment could take up to 3 weeks, during this treatment a follow up chemo programme will be worked out. thankfully the chemo can be undertaken in Darwin.

Unfortunately my cancer is aggressive, inoperable and terminal the radiation/chemo is palliative and hopefully can shrink the tumour and give me a bit more pain free time.
If you were running a book you would find that the average lifespan for someone with my problem at this stage of development is 10 1/2 months from Jan which makes mid Nov "D" day.
The "experts" vary from less than 3 months out to 20 months.

Prepare for the worst.
The hospice has a check list of things that must be done to ensure a seamless changing of the guard, all boxes have been ticked.
Fight for the best.
Am questioning the pro's and following their recommended programmes, am also taking some chinese herbal mixture, that Bobbie has come up with, run it past the Docs and comments range from "it wont react to anything your on" to "it has been shown to have been a benefit to some"
I don't intend to cash in the crown jewels chasing a cure.

Am resigned to the fact that my kids wont have to consign me to an old peoples home.
Bobbie, of course was my main worry, but having her with me at all the consultations means that she is under no misconceptions about what is happening to me and the time frame.
After my time in the hospice I am pain free again and all systems are ok.
As we were unsure when treatment was to start, Bobbie cancelled her attendance at the WRANS reunion in Apr.
At the moment we hope to attend Vampire's 50th birthday bash at Darling Harbour end of Jun, visit Bribie Island (my mum) around the same time, Bribie again on Melb cup weekend (gathering of the Bacon clan) and have also pencilled in JR reunion mid 2010 ??

Regards to all


Billy Bacon - Canberra Reunion 2002

Many thanks Billy for a frank and forthright assessment.  Our thoughts and best wishes are with you and Bobbie and the rest of the family.  As you say, prepare for the worst, but fight for the best.  Specialists have been proven wrong in the past.  

Fm Royce Tandy 08/02: Whilst I have sent Billy a personal email I couldn't help but pass comment on a brave bloke such as he. Billy was always full of good humour (unless it was ashore and he was always full). Always totally the professional, and always with an attitude of fair play no matter what the rank or rate. I sincerely hope that with the mind set that he has always had he can beat this bloody disease, and I'm sure that anyone who has had the good fortune to serve with Bill will wish him the absolute best during this trying time. Keep fighting mate.

Carolyn Davey sends:

Am enclosing a photo which Bill Huggins sent me last week - John Rowe suggested I send it to you - its of the "Vendetta Sigs. Staff in the Far East during the 60's" - back row Woof Collie, Bill Huggins, Jungle Ryan, John Rowe. Front row Alfie Wilks, Mitch Mitchell, Trog Keenan - it is wonderful to see these pictures of the people as one remembers them!! They are all so young and handsome!!
Cheers Carol

Vendetta Sigs 60's

A great looking bunch of blokes Carol, it's a pleasure to post the photo.

Fm Jim Anderson:  Re Carol's foto of the Bill Huggins group. I wonder how many of them are still sporting as much hair as they had in those good old days??

Bill Blinkhorn asks:

Would anyone know the weight of a 5 inch 54 cal shell as used on DDG's. I and many other comms people carried enough of the bloody things during the Vietnam deployments. Many thanks.

Bill Blinkhorn

05/02/09: Gary Swanton asked on Gunplot and was told 32 kg which is about 70lbs.
Laurie Scutts asked a mate (CPOQMG Noel Brown) who served on Perth 68 and advised that the weight of the shell is 70 pounds excluding the cordite. Hope that helps Billy.

Fm Lance 'Suds' Sutherland:
Re the weight of the 5/54 projectiles, I seem to remember that they started off at around 70 pound but after carrying a couple of hundred they seemed to increase up to about half a ton. Here is a picture of one that I tried to knock off, regrettably I had to give it back. The dibbeys wanted to send it ashore.

David Kerr has forwarded photos of the latest RN Daring Class:

A tad bigger than the original Darings, she looks like she packs a punch.  Not too sure about the Flagdeck arrangements, but with this sort of modular setup I don't suppose they plan to use flags that much.



Ken Street sends:

Something maybe interest for the troops on QSO.

Sign up today and this is the latest rig. Navy Disruptive Pattern Uniform.
Not quite the Optional Shirts and Sandals we knew.


Ken Street sends:

Attached is a letter from the President Federation of Naval Ship Associations (FNSA), Ken Swain, to member Assn's. Much of the information is relevant to upcoming events in which RANCBA members may wish to participate. Please use the information as you see appropriate to QSO.

Please follow this link for the full list of events scheduled for March/April 2009


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

The following 4 Ex Communicators, Jan & Ric Easom, & Helen & Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt who caught up unexpectedly with each other aboard the cruise liner DAWN PRINCESS (77,000 tons) having a relaxing drink at one of the upper deck bars, after a hard day, lazing about at one of the 5 pools and other places, and now relaxing about on the upper deck. Ric had also just finished his golf game. Here they were making great decisions, which entertainment will they attend tonight after dinner, will they go to the live show or another theatre and watch a movie!!!
As one politician once stated "life was not meant to be easy" so they just suffered their fate and accepted every days trials and suffered in silence!!.

Both Ric and Shorty both served on Attack Class Patrol Boats , Ric (AWARE) and Shorty (ARROW, BARBETTE & BOMBARD) both agreed they know which type of vessel they would prefer to be at sea south in the Tasman Sea.



Shorty Moffatt and Ric Easom

Vale John Trott

Dick Cantwell sends the following sad news:

I entertained Buster Crabbe, Blue McLaughlin and Tom Jarrett last night and Buster told us that he had seen a mention in the local WAN death columns of - John Trott.  Did some checking this morning and found that John or 'Trotty' had indeed passed on.  The funeral service was held in Bunbury 30th Jan. Sad that we did not know as all of us would have paid our last respects.

John, Myself, Buster and Tom along with about 6 or 7 guys were the 1962-1964 Singapore RANCD.  I'm not sure of his navy service before that time.  Reckon John would have been around 74. He had a bad motorcycle accident in Singapore in late 1963 which saw him repatriated back to Australia and eventually medically discharged. John joined DSD in Melbourne and was there for many years, he was well known in the Victorian ex comm group and particularly friendly with Mike Rigby-Meth, Flippa Phillips, Offa Cambell and the like.

He also did one stint at Casey Antarctic Station probably round 1975/76. He was a heavy smoker and in later years suffered badly from lung disease. He returned to his home town of Bunbury early 80's I would say and that's where he departed the planet. He was a good guy and popular with all who knew him in RANCD 62/64. 
Rgds Dick Cantwell.

Tks Dick, Lest we forget.  02/02/09.

Dick Cantwell sends:

Following on from the above, here is the group catching up on old times. Seeing how he was absent our main roast focus was on Tug (Bill) Wilson, for those who know him we had a lot of material to work with.

L to R: Buster Crabbe, Blue McLaughlin, Tom Jarrett, Dick Cantwell.

Buster, Blue, Tom and Dick


Mystery Photo for February - Graham Imms sends:

Here's a classic from the 60's, many thanks to Graham Imms for sending same.  Many of the faces are recognisable, but we haven't been able to put names to all of them.  This will be quickly rectified I'm sure.

I'm enjoying these mystery photos so much that I've decided they should be preserved on their own page which I intend to start shortly.  If you have any other photos you think suitable, please don't hesitate to send them in.  In the meantime, let's clear up the missing names.

Back Row L to R:
Adrian Welbourne, Garry Mettam, Dave Turnbull, Robert Townsend, ?, Gabby Horan, ?, Dave Adams, Norm Harrison.
Middle Row L to R:
Graham Imms, Ron Fraser, ?, Mulga Hansen, Dolly Gray, Ken Holman, Ned Kelly.
Front Row L to R:
Rob McGregor, Dave Edwards, Billy McDermid, Stu Foster, Dixie Barron, Rick Easom, Geoff Haines.

(Dave Sutherland and Windy Gale both agree with Mulga Hansen (Middle row).  Dave thinks it is Trefor Thomas next to Graham Imms but I think that Trefor was a TO on ANZAC when this was taken.

Windy also identifies Dolly Gray, Billy McDermid, Stu Foster and Geoff Haines, but reckons first left back row is Adrian Welbourne and 6th along (back) is Dusty Millar.  I'm not sure about these two, can anyone clarify?).

Ollie Lewis also reckons first left at back is Adrian Welbourne so I am having a rethink.  Ollie also confirms Billy McDermid at front.

Mulga Hansen confirms it is him in the middle row and identifies Gabby Horan & Ron Fraser.

Norm Harrison says: Most have been identified and I will add RO Dave Adams as the person next to me; and Ken Holman (medically discharged not long after the photo) and TO Ned Kelly as the two people in front of me).

ORDCO's 1967

Graham has also provided a great photo of the Comms Rugby team which won a thrilling game against the 'Old and Bold' (Chiefs & PO's) in 1971.  All names have been provided (Graham Kong, Glenny Gilford, Bob Johnston and others).  It is a worthy addition to the sports team photos page.  01/02/09.

HMAS NEWCASTLE - A Ship in Distress?

I have received the following photos from a number of sources, which only goes to prove that everyone sees the bad things.  In any event, I would imagine someone got his (or her) bum kicked over it.  Unless of course it was a staged event - you can never be certain in these days of YouTube and MySpace.



David Down sends:

Just a memo to any ex-comms who live in the Geelong area & might be @ a loose end on Sat 21 Feb coming up: the 12th Australian Masters Games are being hosted by Geelong for about 10 days, and the Games weightlifting comp has been combined with the usual National Masters Weightlifting Championships as a ‘two-for-the-price-of-one’ grunt & groan affair.

Yours truly is competing in the 60-64yrs 105Kg bodyweight class Olympic Weightlifting @ the Belmont Recreation Centre during the late morning. This is the main warm-up event for we Master lifters who are training hard for the World Masters Weightlifting Championships being held in Sydney during October. Good fun, keeps us active (and also very handy for shifting the furniture when required!!).

If any old shipmates would like to say ‘Gidday’, I would be pleased to see them again.

Best regards
DWD (ex RS David DOWN R62846)

Follow this link for an article on Dave & other Masters Games weightlifters.

Good on you Dave, but I think I'll stick to weight training with a schooner glass.  28/01/09.

Fm Dave 23/02:
Just a note to endorse the smile currently being worn as Dress of the Day: was able to win both the National Title & the Masters Games gold in the Over-60yrs Super Heavyweight gig last Saturday in Geelong.

Mike 'Bomber' Brown sends:


I was going through some old Navy papers a couple of weeks ago and came across what I think is a very clever poem which was penned during my time at Bonshaw, about 1973.  I was an LRO of the watch and a Sparker by the name of Steve Haywood (I think that is the correct spelling) was on my watch and wrote it.  I’m sure there are many ex Sparkers who served at Harman during this era who will be able to relate to the change over from Morse to the introduction of the black phone and on-call ship shore.


Two copies attached, the first is the original that Steve would have typed on an old Hermes typewriter and the second is an updated copy which may be a little easier to read.


If you think it would be of interest to others, please promulgate as you see fit.


All the best


Mike (Bomber) Brown

(ex CPORS 1965-1980 R94584)


Tks Bomber, It's a great poem, I will also put it on the MSO page in due course.  8/01/09.

BZ Pete de Maskens & John Perryman

LCDR Peter de Maskens RAN was honoured with a Medal (OAM) in the Military Division of the Australia Day Honours List "For meritorious service in the field of maritime communications and information systems."

LEUT Duncan John Perryman RANR was honoured with a Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) "For meritorious achievement as the Royal Australian Navy Senior Naval Historical Officer".

It's always good to see Communicators honoured for the work they do.  I'm sure all RANCBA members will join me in extending heartiest congratulations to both recipients.
BZ to you both.


Vale Ken Hanley - ex WORSS

Dave Jeffrey passes on the following sad news:

I have just been informed that ex WORSS Ken Hanley died in Adelaide last night (Wednesday 21 January) as a result of kidney & heart failure. His funeral will be a private family occasion. Any messages of condolence may be passed to me at my email address and I will pass them on to Wendy & the family.

Sad news, another good man down.  Our thoughts are with Wendy and the family at this difficult time.  Lest we forget.

Slim Harley, Brian Northrope & Ken Hanley - RANCBA Reunion 1999

Fm Nugget Nugent 23/01:
Not the sort of news one wishes to wake up to today.

My memories of Ken are from our days at Harman in the 70. he was a straight up guy and exceptional in what we were committed to. Ken and Wendy were such a vibrant young couple. I still recall an event at Harman RLFC Presentation Ball when our star attraction was the first time Delaila performed in Australia. Ken and Wendy got up to dance during her performance, which brought the house down. Please convey to Wendy and the family my sincere thoughts are with them during this time. How true another of our dear friend and comrade has passed.

Fm Laurie Scutts 27/01:
Quite a shock to hear about Ken we were quite good mates having served with him at RANCD in Singapore in 69/71. I last saw him at the Canberra reunion in 2002 where we both had a good old yarn about the old days especially about our nights at Pops Keema curries in JK and our torrid encounters on the Squash Court at Changi etc.

I have enclosed pics from Singapore circa 1971 which bring back some happy memories. left to right 4 of us with my old Rover is Self,Doug Conn,Ken Hanley and Alan aka AG Field then Self with Ken after he had given me a whuppin and then Doug,Ken and a pommy mate of ours taken at Seletar Base. Thanks for the memories Ken - I'll miss you mate Cul Om.


Carolyn Davey sends:

I thought a few people may be interested to know that this week I flew to Melbourne and drove to Ocean Grove to see Bill Huggins - this all came about because of the QSO article John Rowe wrote about he and Trog going to see Bill - I then wrote to Bill. Anyway he is making a good recovery from his recent surgery - had to learn to walk again - he was walking unaided when I saw him! I only stayed 2 hours as I was worried it would tire him - we talked about stacks of old names/people - it was truly great to see him again.

I gave him a copy of "his" poem Abou Ben Adhem which I'd written on parchment and framed - he hardly needs the words as he recited the entire thing for me!  He had recited that poem in the lounge room of cottage 67 at Harman in the early 1970's when he bought a Yeomans Class through and stayed with George and I - I remember it so well!

Bill even said he would make a visit to A.C.T. when he is feeling better so I think there would be a few who would like to see him again. He is 86 and is the President of the Ocean Grove RSL.

Cheers Carol
Many thanks Carol, it's great to hear that Bill is making a good recovery.  I'm sure there are many Communicators in the ACT who would love to see him again if he makes a visit.

Mystery Photo for January - Sandy McNab sends:

Recently whilst Pat and I were visiting Jill and Mal Bound (nee Gordon) along with Lyn and Scoops and Fran and Jim, a photo of interest which caught my eye is forwarded as the months mystery photo. Have since learnt the happy occasion was taken at Rita Ryan's 22nd 'girls only' birthday dinner at the Fannie Bay Hotel, Darwin in 1964 and at its conclusion they made their way back to the Parap to meet up with some of their opposite number. A bevy of beauty for the occasion. They may have even graced the local Social Scene page that week in the N.T. News Darwin, as the photo was endorsed to that effect. Seeking some further names to those identified thus far, which I believe correctly include

Standing L to R:
Jill Gordon, Erica Taylor, Toni Evans, Del Coute-Smith, N/K, Veronica Glover, Rita Pond, Bev Smith, Anne Kane, N/K , Penny Cook, Cheryl ?, and Penny Gordon.

Seated L to R:
Pam Canney, Kay Hobden, Rita Ryan, Pat O'Sullivan, and Anne Wetherall

Tks Sandy, I certainly agree that the photo shows 'a bevy of beauty', let's hope we can fill in the missing names.

Stan McVey sends:

I would like to make an announcement on your web site to the effect that ex CPORS Fred Goddard will be retiring from the Department of Defence on the 17 Feb 2009. After retiring from the RAN he joined Defence working at Russell Offices.

There will be a farewell function held on at the Tuggeranong Vikings Club on the 17FEB09 further details to be finalised.

Thank you for your help

DCWO DCF-Canberra
Email:  stan.mcvey@defence.gov.au
Phone:  (02) 62651857

Thanks Stan, good to see. We hope Fred has a long and productive retirement.

As a follow up to my last request ex CPORS Fred Goddard will be retiring from Defence on the 17Feb09. The function has been confirmed to take place at 1400 on the 17Feb09 at the Tuggeranong Vikings Club Erindale. All who have served with Fred either in the Navy or Defence are welcome to attend. Will you be able to post this on the RANCBA notices. Thank you for assistance.  StanMcVey.

Jim Anderson sends:

I wonder if anyone from the readership would be able to supply me (by email) with some fotos of the old Quonset married quarters at HMAS Tarangau please. Particularly from the "village" (near the salt water pool) or along Wireless Road.

I lived in MQ's in both vicinities.

Unfortunately many of my fotos were lost as a result of Cyclone Larry and I'm only just getting those sorts of things reorganised again now, nearly three years down the track.

Many thanks

Jim Anderson VK4AQ
Thanks Jim, if anyone can assist please contact Jim direct.

Graham Bence sends photos of his recent travels:

Here is a photograph of (L to R) Tackers Miles, Gus Dodds, Graham Bence and Kev Ruwoldt taken on the 12/12/08 at the Sherwood Serviceman's Club Brisbane.

Also went up to Cairns and met up with Jim Anderson and his wife Bev. Jim and Bev showed my daughter and I around the Atherton Tablelands. Had a wonderful time.



Ken Street passes on the following official release from FHQ:

Fleet Divisions and Freedom of Entry – March 2009

Fleet Entry, Fleet Air Arm Flypast and Fleet Divisions – Friday, 13 March 2009

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) will conduct a ceremonial Fleet Entry with up to 20 warships steaming into Sydney Harbour accompanied by a Fleet Air Arm Flypast. This spectacular event will be the culmination of the Fleet Concentration Period, one of the Navy’s largest exercises, conducted on the East Coast of Australia during February and March 2009. This will be followed by a ceremonial inspection of the RAN ships by the Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Nigel Coates, AM, RAN, and his senior staff while the ships are at anchor in Sydney Harbour.

The ships will be anchored in the harbour between Kirribilli Point and Bradley’s Head, out of the way of the main shipping channels. This number of warships has not been seen in Sydney Harbour since the Bicentennial celebrations in 1988. The Fleet Entry coincides with other Sydney Harbour Week 2009 activities, and interest from a variety of yachting, boating and historical maritime clubs is expected.

Freedom of Entry to the City of Sydney – Saturday, 14 March 2009

For the first time in over 20 years, the Royal Australia Navy (RAN) will exercise its right to the Freedom of Entry to the City of Sydney on Saturday 14 March 2009. After a number of ceremonial activities, the parade will commence at 10:00am from The Rocks. The parade of Officers and Sailors will march along George Street, past the Sydney Town Hall, turn right into Liverpool Street and finish adjacent Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour at 11:30am.

The Queen's Colour will be paraded as part of this ceremony and will be the first time it has been paraded by the Royal Australian Navy in Sydney since it was presented by the Governor General in 1989.

It is expected that there will be up to 5000 RAN personnel marching along with Australian Naval Cadets from all over NSW and the ACT. This march will be the largest parade of naval personnel since the World War II Victory in Japan Day Parade in 1945. More than one third of the RAN will be participating and an event of this scale is unlikely to occur again in the near future.