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  2009


Peter Cook sends:


In July this year, I applied for and was successful in gaining employment at the Port Hedland Port Authority. I left the ANZAC SPO in Rockingham where the HR Manager was none other than Shane Kneale (ex CCY). On arrival at Port Hedland, I was greeted by none other than Gary (Norm) Duscher (ex CCY) and his wife JJ, (ex LWRROT nee Morrow). I am wondering if the following article and attached photo could be included in the RANCBA website.

“The attached photograph of Norm and Jenny Duscher with Captain Lindsay Copeman (CEO Port Hedland Port Authority/Harbour Master) was snapped moments after Norm was presented with a wonderful gift to commemorate his 10 years at the Port. Norm joined the Port as a Port Marine Officer in July 2000 and has worked his way up to the position that he now holds as the Acting Marine Operations Manager. Since leaving the Navy, Norm has spent 10 years with the Australian Protective Service and two years as the Airport Manager Port Hedland.

Since Norm joined the Port Authority, things have changed dramatically, for example, in 2000 the Port exported 50 million tonnes of ore, in 2010 the Port will export 200 million tonnes. In the 10 years that Norm has been here, 1 BILLION tonnes of Iron Ore have been exported out of Port Hedland and Port Hedland is now known as the “Largest Bulk Export Port in the World”. In his speech, the CEO spoke of the outstanding work that Norm has directly contributed towards the stunning achievements that the Port has made.”


Peter Cook
Senior Operations Officer (East)
Port Hedland Port Authority
Website: www.phpa.com.au



Passing of GIB COMCEN

Lynton Michael passes on the following item of interest from Navy News in the UK:


Signal station signs off after 140 years - 02 December 2010

AND so another treasured slice of Naval history is no more.

With the signal CM1 Desig All – ‘I am closing down on all circuits’ – 140 years of signalling from the Rock came to an end and Gibraltar’s communications centre closed down.  It fell to Gibraltar’s Chief-of-Staff, Col Jim Mitchell, to issue the final signal, and AB Luke Gough – the youngest member of the five-strong RN team – to transmit it around the globe.

The comms centre traces its routes back to 1870 when the Falmouth, Gibraltar and Malta Telegraph Company laid a submarine cable to the Rock and beyond.  That established a permanent link with the mother country... And the Admiralty quickly utilised that link, sending communications specialists to Gib to man the new centre. By WW1 cable was complemented by wireless and ‘aerial farms’ sprouted on the upper Rock while a formal Naval Communications Centre was established in Admiralty Tunnel beneath the mountain.

A generation later and another global conflagration saw Gibraltar become the eye of the Mediterranean hurricane for much of the war. It also became ‘tri-Service’ (before the phrase was in common usage) as RN, RAF and Army personnel manned circuits round the clock to deal with operations in North Africa and the Western Mediterranean.

That joint nature of the base (reflected in the Joint Operational Communications Centre title) persisted post-war. In the new world order, Gibraltar maintained its strategic position as the gateway to the Med. At the peak of operations 150 servicemen and women served at Commcen Gibraltar, as it had become known.  Technology and automation saw personnel numbers tail off, such that by 2008 it had relocated to the Tower, the headquarters of British Forces in Gib.  Two years later, with a team of just five RN comms staff operating it, the decision was taken to close down the centre and relocate to Faslane.

Aside from an historic final signal, the rum barrel was hauled out to mark the centre’s passing with former Officer in Charge Lt Cdr Geoff Alexander raising a toast to communicators past and present.

“From submarine telegraph, through wireless and radio to computer-controlled automated digital systems, Royal Naval communications staff have maintained a constant watch,” said Col Mitchell.  “They have provided the Admiralty, Flag Officers and commanders with the highest standard of military communications. We salute the passing of the Communications Centre, Gibraltar.”






Follow this link for a YouTube presentation of the HMAS CERBERUS museum.  Many of you will know the current Curator, WOWTR Marty Grogan.




Certainly worth a visit if you are around the area at any time.





Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt Sea Time.


Please follow this link for a report from Shorty Moffatt about his recent sea time and the memorial services he attended.




Naval Memorial Brisbane 2011

Please follow this link for more information on the proposed Naval Memorial in Brisbane.


It would be appreciated if you could pass this on to others who may be interested in assisting with this significant project for the 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy 10th July 2011.

Many thanks for your support and best wishes to you and yours for a Happy and Healthy Xmas and all good things in the year to come.

Sonja and Alan Hellier


Katrina May Owens of Springsure QLD sends:


Hi my Dad Gordon "Jesse" Owens was a Radio Operator in the Navy until around 1983 or 4.  Am interested in getting in contact with anyone that may have known him as he passed away in 1987 when I was not quite 9 so would love to talk and find out different stories about him that he never got the chance to tell.  My email address is katrinamayowens@bigpond.com 


I remember Jesse but didn't know him all that well.  I'm sure there are many Sparkers out there who have stories to tell about Jesse.  Please contact Katrina direct.




Sandy McNab sends:


In my research (or unrelenting quest, obsession, mania ! ! !) if that is the right word, in seeking more allocated Signal letters answers I have recently registered as a user (forum member) on the World Naval Ships website www.worldnavalships.com  and in my user profile registration I have taken the liberty to include www.rancba.org.au/Ships_Callsigns.htm  to let all other visitors to the forum know the URL of the RANCBA website to take them direct to my current worksheets.

Not sure if this address http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8552  will take you to the thread and posts that I opened, but it seems to be working as the first response suggested that because they were not in the 1915 edition of SLOBs, that AE1 and AE2 may not have allocated signal letters, so I replied with a newspaper photo clipping of the AE1's aerial array believed to be for wireless equipment carried on board, suggesting that they may have had letters for signaling to other ships and shore stations.

Early days...

I have hit a brick wall with the Naval Historical Society, the ANMM, the NAA, the ANU, the ANL, Lloyds register (am chasing a 1940/1941 issue) which I believe the ANU may also hold.

Somewhere in some office, Navy Office was in Melbourne, and as the Federal war government was approving naval shipping to be built, ship builders nominated, keels laid, hulls floated, ships final fitting out, ships companies drafted in, pre-commissioning trials effected and final commissioning, someone previously must have raised the paperwork for signal letter and hull number allocations to be accorded. It is those files I am after.

This is a reply I received thinking I may have been on to the AE1 AE2 J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 and J7 submarine callsigns after doing a NAA search for possible files under the broad heading of 'wireless telegraphy callsigns' for that era.


To: Graham McNab

Dear Mr. McNab,

I have had a quick look at the file described below –

Item details for: A11804, 1926/413

Wireless telegraphy - call signals

Contents date range
1919 - 1926

Series number


Access status

It contains correspondence between the Governor General, the Department of the Navy, the Prime Minister’s Department, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Post-Master General’s Department in regard to proposals to move from a three-letter wireless call signals to a four-letter system. Some folios relate to the cancellation of distress calls.

The file contains no list of naval call signs for particular ships.

If this file is of interest to you, a copy can be purchased via our online RecordSearch database.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further queries. I work part-time, and can be contacted on the number below from Tuesday to Thursday.

Bill Edwards
Reference Officer
National Archives of Australia
PO Box 7425
Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610
T (02) 6212 3961 F (02) 6212 3999


If anyone can help Sandy with possible file titles or locations please do.



RANCBA ACT Christmas Barbecue


As was foreshadowed at the AGM our annual Christmas barbecue will be held on Sunday 12th December 2010, details as follows:

Where: Greenway – adjacent to the Sea Scouts boatshed – access via Mortimer Lewis Drive – same venue as last year.

Date: Sunday 12th December 2010 – 1130 for a 1200 start.

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

Members relatives and friends very welcome.

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

Peter Guy
6288 0828
0417 462 407


Fm Ray Powell 7/12:
ACT XMAS BBQ - If the weather is inclement on Sunday we have a Plan B. I have secured the use of the WO/SS Mess & BBQ area at HMAS HARMAN. The BBQ area is available from 1230. The committee will make a decision around 1100 if it's raining/inclement. I can be contacted on 0417 229694 if you are unsure on the day. CYA all on Sunday either at Greenway or at Harman.



Vale CMDR Ted Lesh RAN Rtd


This is to let you know that a stalwart of the Communications Branch, Commander Ted Lesh, has died. Ted was a long serving Communicator with WW2 service and had much to do with HARMAN and was the Director of Naval Communications for many years. Funeral details should be in the papers in the next few days. Would you please pass this information on to RANCBA members.

Regards, Alan Brecht


Lest we forget.



DFWA Letter re Service Records


The linked letter from the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) is currently doing the rounds of ESO's.  It is in relation to the privacy of Service Records of Australian Defence Force and former ADF members, held in the Australian Archives.  The 'open access period' for release of these records will apparently be progressively reduced from 30 years to 20 years, over a 10 year period commencing next year.  This will mean an increase in the proportion of ADF and former ADF members who will still be living at the time their records enter the open access period.


If you are concerned about your service history being available to all and sundry it is well worth a read.


I'm sure more information on the above is available at the DFWA website at http://www.dfwa.org.au/



Vale Lieutenant Jack Duffey R.A.N.

It is my sad duty to inform you that Jack (John Roger) Duffey has crossed the bar for the final time.

Many will remember him from both his active service in Korea and his later role at the Communications School at HMAS Cerberus where he was one of the best and most trusted officers ensuring Australia’s next generation of Naval Communicators were ready to serve the nation.

Funeral Mass will be offered at St Francis Xavier Church Davey St, Frankston on Friday Nov 26, 2010 at 10.30am.

The funeral will leave at the conclusion of the mass for burial at Frankston Memorial Park Cranbourne Rd, Frankston.

Rosary will be recited in the above Church on Thursday Nov 25, at 7.30pm

Messages of condolence may be passed to me ianwhogarth@optusnet.com.au and I will pass them on to his family.

Yours in communicating

Ian Hogarth
Hon Sec RANCBA (Vic)

Sad news, a doyen of the Comms Branch.  Lest we forget.

Fm John Rowe 23/11:
It should perhaps be mentioned that before he became an officer, Jack was an extremely good Yeoman. He was the CY when I first went to sea in HMAS Vendetta in 1962. He was a real gentleman with a very good knowledge of visual signalling. He was followed in Vendetta by Artie Wyatt then Bill Huggins, and we were a "sure thing" beaten for the Gloucester Cup in '62 and '63.

Fm Jim Anderson 24/11:
Another of nature's true gentlemen lost to us all.


Fm Sam Hughes 24/11:
Jack was the A/SCO on Melbourne when I joined as a young immature, stroppy LTO. I was having a little trouble with the CCY and his gang of CYs until Jack took me aside and said "me boy - what is the problem and what are you going to do to solve it." I never forgot that and I was so pleased to see him again at the Melbourne reunion - he was a good bloke.

Fm Bruce Spender 24/11:
Sorry to read That Jack Duffey had crossed the Bar. For those of us who have served on the Comms School staff during the 60's & 70's he was a calming influence and often a mediator in staff disputes. He will be remembered with affection.  Our condolences to his family.

Fm Graham Bence 24/11:
I served with many times in my 20 years in the navy and I am sorry to hear he has crossed the bar. A great Officer and alway a gentleman.


Fm Dave Bowditch (ex R35623) Canberra:
Sadly I note another of our class of January 1948 has crossed the bar. Naturally had a lot to do with Jack in the early days, but after training our paths didn't cross much and I last saw him in 1999. The guy hadn't changed at all, still the same old Jack. He will be remembered with affection by a lot of communicators that is for certain.

Fm Andy Cowley 29/11:
I would like to agree with the sentiments of John Rowe and further add that he was one of the most respected instructors at Sig School during late 1957 /58, I had the privilege of having his tutelage for Part II recruit school, as well as Sigs Course in ships company, plus as John indicated shipping with him on Vendetta where he was the major influence in me getting my hook.



Vale ex WORSSM Brian Coultas


Following advice was received from the Submariners:

It is with much sadness that I report Brian Coultas died mid morning today (16 November 2010).

ACT President Andy Galley visited Brian Coultas in Canberra Hospital yesterday but he was fully sedated. Brian was being given palliative care in the renal unit.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Brian's family.

Brian was not a SAA Member so I have little information on him to post online, if you have any details I would appreciate hearing from you.

Norm Williams OAM
Acting National Secretary & Web Manager
Submarines Association Australia

SubmarinesAustralia.com http://submarinesaustralia.com
Web Manager - Up Periscope http://upperiscope.com.au

Sad news. Lest we forget.


Sandy McNab sends:


An update on the WWII recruit Telegraphist class photo. 9 down and 5 to go. I learnt that Bruce Sydney DYKER PM/V98 passed away in February 2007.  White pages Melbourne revealed a Mr Ronald Dyker of Pakenham and he was able to confirm that he is related to the late Bruce Sydney Dyker ex-RAN.  I conveyed the story of the mystery photo and those thus identified and provided him with a copy. He replied:

"Hi Sandy, a good photo, I picked Bruce out easily, Bruce is in the bottom row, 3rd on the right.
Bruce was my cousin [a bit older than me] he was a very caring man, had 3 daughters, all still living, one sister,still living.  Bruce was always helping somebody and was very popular. Hope that this information helps you out.  Kind regards, keep in touch Ron.."



Sandy McNab sends:

HMSO - London use to print an annual book called Signal Letters of British Ships (SLOBs) (BR70) for the use of ships at sea and signal stations ashore. Its content also included "ships belonging to the Royal Navy to which international code signals for visual signaling purposes have been allocated". Very earlier editions used to read "ships belonging to the British royal navy and the Naval services of the Dominion governments" to which distinguishing signals have been allocated. It was from those earlier editions I have successfully traced many ships of the R.A.N since 1911.

The ANMM hold the following editions: 1906, 1908 - 1910, 1912, 1914 - 1921, 1923 - 1936, 1938 - 1939, 1941, 1943, 1947 - 1948, 1951 - 1964, 1966 - 1967. Visiting Sydney last March, I came home with about 120 digital photos of pages from from the 1906, 1912, 1918, 1921, 1924, 1927, 1930, 1941, 1947, 1948 , 1963 and 1967 books in my continuing research of RAN ships callsigns.

I personally own a 1925 copy, a 1946 copy and a 1959 copy. Some of them also included the quarterly update supplements.  I also hold a 1919 digital copy and RAN extracts from a 1930 or 1932 edition.

I recently sighted the signal letters as they were known in those days of the original 1884 gunboat /Paluma//GSWW in an 1890 copy of Lloyds Warships of the World. Additionally the original signals letters for the /Pioneer//GTDB and the /Psysche//GTJF have been noted and are included in this update.

I am searching for the signal letters of the WW1 submarines AE1 and AE2, the six J class submarines gifted to the RAN in 1919, the J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 and the J7, and also the WWII AMS/corvettes HMAS Armidale and the HMAS Wallaroo.  The HMAS Armidale was commissioned on the 11.06.1942 and was sunk by the Japanese 1.12.1942 in the Java Sea.  The HMAS Wallaroo was commissioned on the 15.07.1942 and was sunk in a collision on the 10.06.1943.

I am getting desperate with the latter two and am even seeking some ex-Corvette telegraphists that may be still with us today, to assist. That is another story.

Any input from your readers assisting in tracking the callsigns down will be greatly appreciated. Kind regards all. /Sandy/

Please follow this link for the latest Callsign and Ship Name Lists.


Sandy McNab sends:

Jim Carey kindly organised a get-together luncheon at the Kedron RSL and it was really great to catch up with them all.  Generally around the table (various photo's) include Trevor Percival, Sue Palmer, Brenda and Eubie, Tacker's, Jim, Dawdee and Col Dicker, John Horton, Noel Chidgey, Gareth 'Tank' and Mrs Gareth, Ron, Pat, Jenni Rathbone and Pat Nuss.  Apols from Shags, Guss, Ruwie, Jim Eagles. /Sandy and Pat/




Request from Vietnam Veterans Federation


We are trying to locate navy veteran - RO James Patrick Darrington, R104329.

If you know of his whereabouts would you please ask him to contact Iris Cargill of our Victorian Branch at email address: bestav17@bigpond.com

Tim McCombe
National President



Great News from Ron "Nullarbor" Baker

Dear Family/Friends,

This morning I visited my Oncologist to get the results of my CT Scan and blood tests from last week. Everything is positive. The scan doesn't show anything that shouldn't be there, my platelet level is back up to where it was and everything is normal. I also have my sense of taste back (can't wait for those chili-dogs).

I leave for the States 2 weeks from today (23 Nov) and am really looking forward to the break.

Ron (aka Nullarbor)
Great news Ron, enjoy the trip.



New RAN EW Category


What goes around comes around!


A new sailor category of Electronic Warfare specialists will stand up on July 7 next year. The new category will provide the Navy with highly skilled operators, who, as an essential part of the RAN's core warfighting capability, will use the latest technologies to exploit, defend and attack the electromagnetic spectrum.

See Navy News Vol 53, No 21 (page 2) http://digital.realviewtechnologies.com/?xml=defencenews_navy.xml  for more information plus a graphic of the new EW badge.






Allan "Shorty" Moffatt sends:

I was given a invite by Mrs. Joan Evans, President of the WRENS Assn and also with the Royal Navy Association asking if I could attend their Service being held at St, Andrews Cathedral, Sunday 7th November 2010 as part of Remembrance Day, 11th November 2010.

It was indeed and I mean full packed Cathedral, though not all belonging to the Royal Navy Assn or, Special Air Services, the Royal Parachute Regiment etc. At 10.30am we were asked to make our way inside the Cathedral, and here there was a small Guard from the Sea Cadets and when all had taken their place in the seating arrangements, we were asked to stand as the Banners of the SAS and the Royal Parras as they are known, paraded in, and the full Cathedral Choir.

The Welcome was given by the Rev. Christopher Allan, and the First Reading by Mrs. Joan Evans, President of the WRENS Assn, the Second Reading by Mr. Richard Morris, British Consul General, and the Sermon by the Dean of Sydney, Phillip Jensen.  The ODE was recited by Mr. Paul Graham, Chairman, Royal Navy Association, and the Last Post and Reveille by one of the Cathedral Band. His rendition of both was second to none and I would probably say, I have never, ever heard better.

The Cathedral Choir, Organist and the accompanying Band was first class and a pleasure to listen to. On completion of the Service, refreshments were served by the Cathedral volunteers and whilst having a coffee, the Dean of Sydney came up and spoke to me and said it was good to see the RAN represented.

Anyway, I am glad that I attended and represented both the RANCBA & FNSA on this particular Service.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW) &
Vice President FNSA.

Note: No emails as of the 7th November, I shall be off the air and QRX till 10th December, taking a cruise for 28 days around Australia - got to get some sea time in and claim my hard layers!!!!!



Carol Davey sends:


Have attached a picture of Iris Roediger who was in Class 57/61 and paid off as a LWRROT in 1965 - she was a very colourful figure known to many in the comms branch.

I tracked her down through Lance Sutherland/Gus Dodds - she lives in Toowoomba with her husband John Fletcher. She came to the WRANS Memorial Service in October - we hadn't seen each other for 45 years.


Iris Roediger & Carolyn Davey


Noel Selway sends:

Reserve Forces Day 2011 - Wondai

I would be happy if you would be able to notify all Members of the Communications Branch as may be able, or interested, they are all very welcome to participate in the forthcoming RFD to be celebrated at Wondai in the South Burnett Region of Queensland over the weekend of Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd of July 2011. As the occasion draws closer more details will be made available.

For 2011 the theme is the centenary of the prefix 'Royal' being added to the title of the Australian Navy by King George the Fifth and should be a great naval occasion. There will be very few community events to mark the occasion in 2011 which makes RFD so important.

The Committee undertakes to rotate annually through each of the Service Arms which doesn't apply in other centres which celebrate RFD. This also marks Wondai as a special place.

We look forward to welcoming the Communications Branch to our part of the world at a time when the South Burnett is looking its best.


Noel Selway
South Burnett Reserve Forces Day Committee
Wondai Qld 4606
07 4169 0448



Vale Ronald "Wally" Watham


It is with great sadness that I pass this information that I received today from Mrs Florence Watham that her husband Ronald "Wally" WATHAM passed away on the 22 October, 2010 at the Melbourne Private Hospital after a long battle with Cancer. Ron was 82 years of age. He served as a Naval Telegraphist, the HMAS Sydney being only one of his postings.

A decision is to be made today on his burial details which will appear in the Melbourne newspapers shortly.

Florence wishes to inform the RANCBA Melbourne Chapter of Ron's demise but does not have any contacts - perhaps you can help me with this information.

I had know Wally since 1953 when I joined the HMAS Sydney on its 2nd tour in Korea. He was allocated to me as my "Sea-daddy" and I could not have wished for a better mentor and friend. He was to the end very much navy-orientated and a great friend to many others.

Sadly I do not have sufficient information on his life to record his exploits but I know that many aspects were very interesting - maybe someone from Melbourne branch could do a better job than me.

He has now crossed the bar and I wish him safe passage.

I would appreciate your advice when convenient.

My sincere wishes,
Brian Shoobert


Ian Hogarth RANCBA (Vic) Sec advises that a service to commemorate Wally will be held on Thursday October 28 at 2pm at Tobin Bros Chapel, 65 Waverley Street, Moonee Ponds.

All welcome.

Wally Wathen, Doug Elliot & Harry Watson - RANCBA Reunion 1999

Wally Wathen, Doug Elliott & Harry Watson - RANCBA Reunion 1999.

Lest we forget



WRANS QLD ANNUAL REUNION LUNCHEON - Saturday November 6th 2010

I am the secretary of WRANS Qld, a former LWRROT and a current member of the RANR (unattached list). WRANs Qld is at the moment undertaking to contact as many ex WRANs and ladies of the RAN past and present who may live in Queensland. It has occurred to me that maybe it would be possible to present ourselves to these ladies through your organization.

I have attached the information that I would like to be disseminated and wonder if you could send it out to your membership ASAP. You will see that it is time sensitive. I wish I had thought of this a few weeks ago so that everyone had time to think about it and fit it into their busy calendars, but my busy calendar scrambled my brain more than a little.

I look forward to hearing from you and of any suggestions you have of other ways to spread the word.

Thanks very much

Wendy Griggs (nee Pedersen)
Naval Association of Australia
WRANS Sub Section Qld

Please follow this link for information on the luncheon.


A Service of Remembrance of the late Vice Admiral Sir Richard Peek KBE, CB, DSC, RAN RTD & the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War.

I was attending a Reunion of the "Battle Class" destroyers, HMA ANZAC & TOBRUK being held in Canberra from the 21st til the 24th October, but it became some what a very hectic time.

On arrival at Canberra, I was asked as I had served on ANZAC 1957- 58, the RAN are holding a Memorial Service at HMAS HARMAN for the late Vice Admiral Sir Richard Peek the next day and as he had been the Commanding Officer of HMAS TOBRUK, also D10 during this period, could I attend??? But this one I really didn't know, the "Battle Class" will be holding a small service on Sunday at the Navy Memorial, ANZAC Parade as Vice Admiral Peek had been Patron of the Association, and as they had already printed the Order of Service, that I had been selected and named to read the Naval Psalm. It certainly came as a shock on both requests, but I could only say yes to both !!!! Most of the attendees were committed to another function which included a tour and to see the Changi Chapel at the Duntroon Military College.

Memorial Service Friday 22nd.

There was 10 in the group who attended the Service at HARMAN, and on the commencement, a Welcome to all was given by Rear Admiral James Goldrick, AM CSC, RAN and he made a very special mention and welcome to the :"Battle Class" veterans.

The Service Tribute was given by Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane AO, CSM RAN and Family Tributes by his siblings, Jane Peek, Matthew Peek and Catherine Peek with the Naval Prayer by Principal Chaplain Eric Burton CSC RANR and during the Naval Hymn supported by the RAN Band.

As a living tribute , a Oak Tree was planted just near the Service by the Peek Family and Chief of Navy. During this function the RAN Band played “Heart of Oak”

On completion refreshments were made available, tea, coffee, orange juice etc. During this time, Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane came over and spoke to about 3-4 of us "oldies" and had a very good yarn with us and he wished to thank us and all who have served before, his sincere thanks for giving support to the Navy today and those who now serve.

Vice Admiral Peek during his Naval Career had a very, very interesting life. He joined the RAN as a 13 year old Cadet Midshipman in 1928 and after graduating in very hard times, he was promoted to Midshipman and served in HMAS CANBERRA, HMS ROYAL SOVEREIGN, HMS ACTIVE. He returned to the UK for various courses including HMS EXCELLENT, the very hard Gunnery School, and HMS DRYAD. In 1936 he was then promoted to Lieutenant and served in HMAS CANBERRA, HMAS ALBATROSS (the aircraft carrier) back to HMS EXCELLENT for another Gunnery course, HMAS HOBART as Gunnery Officer. In 1944 promoted to LCDR and served in HMAS AUSTRALIA as Gunnery Officer, Awarded OBE , for operations and gunnery in the Leyte Gulf, Awarded DSC for operations in the Lingayen Gulf and Luzon Island, then Navy Office, back to sea HMAS SHROPSHIRE, another course, then HMAS HOBART as Squadron Gunnery Officer, then HMAS AUSTRALIA as Gunnery Officer.

1948 Promoted to Commander , Navy Office, then HMAS SHOALHAVEN in Command, then HMAS BATAAN in Command, then HMAS TOBRUK in Command during the Korean War and Awarded the US Legion of Merit for operations in Korea. On return HMAS CERBERUS as Executive Officer. Promoted to Caption in 1954, Navy Officer , then HMAS TOBRUK as Captain and Captain (D) 10th Destroyer Squadron, RAN Observer at US Atomic Test , back to Navy Office, then exchange with the Royal Navy in Operations, another course, then HMAS SYDNEY in Command, then followed by HMAS MELBOURNE in Command.  1964 Promoted to Rear Admiral , 4th Naval Member, then Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, then Flag Officer Commanding HMA Fleet (FOCAF).

1970 Promoted to Vice Admiral and First Naval Member. Appointed CB in 1974 and Knighted (KBE) in 1972
1973 Completed his term as Chief of Navy and retired from Active Service.

60th Anniversary of the Korean War.

I am not too sure how this came about as I was only attending a Reunion, but received a Invitation from the Australian Government , Dept of Veterans Affairs, Commemoration Group to attend the Official Service and then I had already received an invitation from the Korean Ambassador, to attend along with one guest a function at the Korean Embassy at Yarralumla.

During my time aboard ANZAC we did deploy in 1957 to Korea as part of a small UN Force and all I can remember it was very cold (we were issued with RN duffel coats, heavy gloves and jumpers and sox before sailing from Hong Kong), a big Union Jack painted over the top of “B" gun turret so the many times we could be indentified by maritime patrol aircraft, and when we went to Seoul, issued with scrip dollars (US Military Currency) to stop the blackmarket with the American Dollar, and I thought the country looked so so poor, very bare and could not understand as to why they had fought over it.

The Service was held at the Korean War Memorial, ANZAC Parade, with the MC being Major Robert Morrison RFD, who asked us all to stand for the Mounting of the Cataflaque Party and the March on by the Full Federation Guard, accompanied by the Royal Military College Duntroon Band. The following VIP arrival, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie AO, DSC CSM, Chief of Army, His Excellency Dr Woo Sang Kim , Korean Ambassador, The Honourable Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Veterans Affairs and representing the Prime Minister, and then Her Excellency, MS, Quentin Bryce. AC, Governor General of Australia.

The Welcome was by Brigadier Colin Kahn DSO, AM (Rtd) a Korean Vet, with the Address by The Honourable Warren Snowdon MP and the Address by the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie, plus an Address by the Korean Ambassador, this was followed by the music of a song "ARIRANG" a traditional Korean folk song.  Calls to Worship was by Deputy Principal Chaplain (Army) Chaplain Geoff Webb and Chaplain John Bownhill RFD KSJ, a Korean Vet. At the completion of one verse of the Air Force Hymn (sung to the Dambusters theme), 3 F118 Hornet jets flew over and one peeled off and headed straight up till he disappeared in the clouds - very impressive.

Wreaths were Laid by the High Commissioner of New Zealand who represented all Diplomatic Missions, The Chief of Army, the Chief of Navy Russ Crane AM CSM RAN and Air Vice Marshal Geoff Brown AM ,Deputy Chief of Air Force. with Mr. Hugh Davey representing all those who served with the RAN during the Korean War
The ODE was said by Mr. Keith Payne VC, OAM , who along with his Active Service in the Malayan Emergency, the Borneo Confrontation, Vietnam War where he was Awarded the Victoria Cross he had served with 1 RAR in Korea. This was followed by the Last Post, One Minutes Silence, and then Rouse (Reveille) and Benediction, and the National Anthem ( It would be hard to think where I have been when I have heard it sung with so much gusto/strength and proud to be an Australian).

On completion of this Service, those who had received an invite where bused to the Korean Embassy. Very well done and it was doing this function I met up with or he came and grabbed me, Ex LCDR Harry Watson who I always remember when I was at Sig School and he was a L/Sig doing his Yeomans course. He certainly had a varied career after going to the UK to do a SD Course. If my memory was correct he was a Sig aboard BATAAN during the Korean War. We caught up with about 40 plus years of what ever or what became of so and so. Now also, a very young LCDR Michael Doncaster CSM RAN who is a Member of the RANCBA came up and we had a good talk also.  It was a great afternoon with nice nibbles and refreshments and followed by a meal. I could talk a lot about it, but shall finish, but on the way out, the Ambassador and Staff, shook our hands and we were presented with a bag containing a Plaque showing the two flags of Australian and Korea with the words, 60 years of Friendship and Commitment, a CD of Thank You and a present for the ladies. Then we were bused back to our accommodation.

I know this is a very long item, but I felt very proud to have been invited to attend both of these Services and represent the Communications Branch, and more so especially those Communicators who had served under the late Vice Admiral Richard Peek and to those who had served in Korea and the conditions under which they served.

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Memorial Tree for VADM Peek - CN VADM Russ Crane..  Governor General inspecting Federation Guard..  Harry Watson and Shorty Moffatt..

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt sends:

Vale CMDR J.D. Foster OAM RAN Retired

I received the following and to pass on to all that served in the 16th Minesweeping Squadron, especially during the Borneo-Indonesian Confrontation. It is hoped that as many as possible can attend.

Many in that era would remember when HMAS HAWK under the command of Lieut. John Foster was brought under fire by an Indonesian shore battery even though the minesweeper was inside Singapore territorial water , with 2 salvoes totalling 11 high explosive shells being fired at HAWK.

Allan "Shorty Moffatt OAM
HMAS SNIPE 1965- 66

To: 16th Minesweeping Squadron

The memorial service for Commander John Foster OAM RAN Retired will be held at HMAS Watson Naval Chapel on Saturday 27th November 2010 at 11.30am.

For entry purposes please RSVP to:

Mike Foster
0437 155 392

Sad news, JD will be long remembered by those who served with him...

From Rod Beckinsale 24/10:

I was one of the three RO’s who served on HMAS HAWK under John Foster’s command. He was a colourful character, but also a firm and fair CO who is remembered with affection as “JD” by a ship’s company who to this day maintain contact with each other, and until recently, with JD himself. Yes, I remember the Indonesian shore battery bombardment (that turned out to be the Malaysian’s overshooting the Indonesians and almost getting us), but the most memorable event in HAWK’s history under JD’s command would be the Semporna incident when one of our own went berserk and unleashed 350 odd 9mm rounds from an Owen machine gun within the confines of the ship. I well remember the sound they make coming through the deckhead when sitting within a foot or two of a 691 UHF set taking a few hits. But enough of waries, I would like (and I’m sure my shipmates would join me) to pay respect to John Douglas Foster; our “Skipper”, and a man who went on to achieve great accolades for his efforts to find the Australian submarine AE1. Rest In Peace JD.

USS New Jersey

Tim Mills sends:

My wife, Diana and I travel to many dog shows in different countries, Diana is an International All Breeds Dog Judge. On a recent trip to the US we stayed in Langhorne about 50 miles from Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, where, apart from attending shows I made the trip to Philadelphia and crossed the Delaware River to Camden, New Jersey.

One of the major attractions in this area is the USS New Jersey and it is open to visitors with well escorted and self guided tours, they even have overnight stays if anyone is THAT desperate for a fix, I was happy to wander around on a self guided tour, had scran in the mess deck, used a head (how nautical was that).

Unfortunately the old girl is a little worse for wear the teak decks are in a bad state, it is estimated to cost around $4 million to replace the wood work, and the dib dabs need some help to remove the rust, I believe that its well worth the diversion if you are in that area its only about 100 miles from New York

Ms Diana Norman & Mr Tim Mills
Griffons of Tzani

USS New Jersey

Vale Albert "Mike" Mitchell - ex L/Sig

Ex L/Sig Albert "Mike" Mitchell aged 90 passed away on 10th October 2010. He was one of those who "kick started" the RANCBA back in Sydney 1946 and instead of marching with their ships, decided to march as Communicators.

I attended and represented the RANCBA at the Woronora Chapel for his Service on the 14th October.

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

Jim Anderson sends:

If there are any Sigs who would like to travel down memory land and do a bit of VS by Light, there is a good free download called Super Aldis 3 to be found at:


I will be using it with the Scouts and Guides (from the laptop) up at Malanda on Friday and Saturday nights during the annual Jamboree of the Air.

The settings I use with the kids are Speed 3 and Spacing 1. We are expecting over 150 scouts and guides to be camped on the grounds over the course of the weekend. Mike Patterson, VK4MIK, an ex CPO Hydrographer is the organiser of it all from the Amateur Radio side of things and he has put a tremendous amount of effort into making the weekend a success. Mike is a self-taught morsie and is up around a good 20 wpm now.

Super Aldis 3 may bring back a few fond memories.

Jim Anderson VK4AQ

Voyager Survivors' Reunion 2011 - Communicators

In February 2011 the Voyager Survivors’ reunion will be held in Jervis Bay from 10-13 February 2011. On this occasion the crews from the two SARs (AIR NYMPH and AIR SPRITE), who rescued 70 survivors from the water and life rafts, have been invited to attend. I have managed to locate 2 former crew members from AIR NYMPH, ex-RO Les Thurgood and ex-LME Ken Peterson, who will be attending. I am trying to find former crew members from AIR SPRITE but without success to date. Does anyone on this web site know who was the RO in AIR SPRITE that night, or any of the other crew members so that invitations can be issued to them.

I know that one of the communicators in the Marine Section at that time was ABRO Harris but don’t know if he was out in the rescue operations. The two coxswains, PO “Snorker” Wylie and PO Ron Budd, and the CO of AIR SPRITE, Leut Tony Vodic, have since passed away, but it would be good if others from the crews could be contacted so they can attend. Any assistance from this forum would be most appreciated as it is hoped that the efforts by the SAR in the rescue operations would be acknowledged at last. I can be contacted by email at kerry_s@tpg.com.au or the linked address below.

Kerry Stephen


This Service in celebration the Federation Naval Ships Association's (FNSA), 56th Anniversary was held at the Naval Chapel, Garden island on Sunday 10th October 2010 and was Officiated by Chaplain Patrick Sykes RAN, with the Welcome by Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN RTD. Music by the Sydney Detachment of the RAN Band with the Colour Party by the serving personnel of HMAS PENGUIN.

It was indeed a very good Service and thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance, this included, SYDNEY, HOBART, N Class Destroyers, FAIRMILES, CORVETTES, Merchant Navy, WRANS, Royal Marines, QUIBERON, Communications, ASDIC, WRENS, Royal Navy to name a few. Also when Ken was making his Welcome speech, he said down below in the Chapel Entrance as he was making his appearance, he thought it was a ex Gunnery Get Together, with Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths, Vice Admiral David Leach, and Rear Admiral Andrew Robinson having a yarn. Our Patron Rear Admiral Tony Horton has tended his apologies as he is currently overseas.

The Naval Psalm was Read by ex L/Sig. Dick Thompson, Secretary of the FAIRMILES Assn, with the First Reading by Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths, AO, DSO, DSC, RAN Rtd and due to the sudden hospilization of the Commanding Officer of HMAS KUTTABUL, Commander Christine Clarke RAN, Allan "Shorty" Moffatt as President of the RANCBA (NSW) and Vice President of the FNSA was asked to carry out the Second Reading.

Special mention must go to the singing by AB Muscn Bryony Dwyer and to the Serving Personnel of HMAS PENGUIN, especially when they had to slow march both in and out of the Chapel, and the Petty Officer had to present the Australian White Ensign to the Chaplain to be Laid on the Altar.

Ex Communicators in attendance, Ken & June Swain, John & Pam Short, Don Ferguson, Ray Sharon Mundy, Dick Thompson, Ron Tuckwell from WA, John Withers who is also Secretary of the HOBART Assn.plus yours truly, Shorty.

Many on completion, walked to the Heritage Centre Cafe and partook of a coffee/tea etc also for the normal yarn and spinning of dits.

All in all a very good and well conducted Service, and as the Chaplain advised, this will be held now twice a year, so all will be welcome.

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Don Ferguson, Shorty, Ken Swain, Ron Tuckwell  John Short, Shorty, Don Ferguson

RANCBA QLD AGM/BBQ - 30 October 2010

11.30 Maritime Museum, Southbank, Brisbane Saturday 30th October 2010

This is a Catered function $20 per person, names and money to be fwd to Jim Carey, PO Box 78 Alderley 4051.
Contingency plans are in place to cope with the dreadful run of wet weather we are having.
Late comers need to confirm intentions prior to the event. 07 3397 2663 or 0412 750 372

Sonja Hellier

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

I finished my 6 months of chemo yesterday, and things are looking pretty good. I have a 6-week post-chemo scan in November, to make sure that there's no nasties still floating around in there but, regardless of the outcome, I'm off to the States for 3 weeks of R&R on 23 November. Had no hair loss, ulcers, nausea etc during the whole exercise....have put a lot of weight back on due to the steroids in some of the drugs, and hope to get rid of that before too long. All in all, I have nothing to complain about.

Can I take this opportunity to thank (once again) all those who have contacted me with best wishes.

Today, I turned 66, which is a bit of an achievement in itself, given what some may describe as a "colourful" lifestyle in my much younger days.

Great outcome Nullarbor, enjoy the States.

Vale POCIS Mark Baker

Gary Swanton sends:


Can you please advise the Communications fraternity  the sad news that POCIS Mark Baker lost his 10 month battle with cancer and passed away on Wednesday 06Oct10. 


Funeral details will be passed on once known.


Gary Swanton
Sad news, Lest we forget.


Greg 'Stretch' Beck sends:

The 'boss' and I have recently arrived back from a trip to UK and Honkers.  During this time we had a look at the 'Britannia' at Leith near Edinburgh.

Took some shots of the bridge, signalmans desk, flag deck plus a few others including the royal barge.

These photos may be of interest to anyone viewing the RANCBA site.

Interesting thing is that the Bridge is not for six foot plus sailors. Not much headroom.  Dont know how Wacka Payne (big Wacka not John Payne) managed when he did time on the Royal Yacht. He is as tall and ugly as I.

The signalmens desk (as usual) does not have much space either.

Flag Deck has typical RN pidgeonholes for the flags. No wonder we always use to give them a hiding during navcomexes.

Many thanks Stretch, great photos.

HMRY Britannia - Bridge  HMRY Britannia - Signalmans Desk  HMRY Britannia - Flagdeck

Graham Linton has also recently returned from a visit to UK and has forward additional photos for the interest of members:

HMRY Britannia - Crowns  HMRY Britannia - Branch Structure  HMRY Britannia - Rum  HMRY Britannia - Watchbill

Plaque Dedication Service

On Sunday 3rd October, 2010, the Plaque Dedication Service was held for departed shipmates and even with the heavy rain, there was a very good attendance.

Chaplain Patrick Sykes RAN Officiated and he made everyone more than welcome. There was a small change to the Service, in previous years, it has commenced upstairs in the Chapel, but this year, the complete Service was held below in the Chapel of Remembrance.

The following Plaques were Dedicated. Lieutenant William James Brown, Served 1939 -1945, Signalman Eric Norman Kugler Served 1939 - 1946, Telegraphist James Gilford (Guy) Faulks Served 1946 - 1959 and POSY Warren William Bacon 1962 - 1982.

A family friend or partner from each was asked to say a few words on the above people.  Bobbie Bacon spoke about Bill and as there was no family there for Guy, I spoke on their behalf, having known him for many years.

For those that have never attended one of these Services, I would say if you get the opportunity, attend and you will go away very impressed, also should you know of any departed person that served in the RAN & WRANS, let them know about this unique Service and I am sure the Chaplains Office will be only too happy to help you with the procedure etc. If you are unable to contact them, let me know and I will pass on all details to the Chaplain.

"The Chapel of Remembrance, together with the Memorial Plaques to families, are a fitting addition to the Naval Chapel at Garden Island in memory of those who have served in the Royal Australian Navy, and ensures their Service and devotion are not forgotten"

Their Names Liveth Forever

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)
Lest we forget.

Vale Jan Barrett (ex WRROT)

Would you please post the following info for those who remember Jan Barrett WRRO(T) 1962-66.

Jan passed away last Thursday morning (30 September) after a long illness. Her funeral will be held at the North Katoomba Lighthouse Church, cnr Victoria and South Streets North Katoomba at 1100 next Thursday October 7th.

With thanks and kind regards

Diana Avent
Sad news, Lest we forget.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

CIS Annual Function

I have received an invitation from CPOCIS4 Emma Procopis CSM, advising that the RANCBA has been invited to attend the CIS Annual Function to be held at the Royal Exhibition Hotel (Swampy's) commencing at 2 pm on the 29th October.

It will be held upstairs the same as last year and also where here in Sydney we have our Reunion after the Anzac Day March.

Names of those attending is not requested, but hoping that as many as possible can attend and meet the serving Communicators of today's Navy.

Hoping to see you there

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA NSW

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

I have contacted the Chaplains Office about who the other departed Communicators will be for the Plaque Dedication on 03 October.  Unfortunately it would appear some do not wish to do it now, as they cannot get all the family together at this time. This is their thing and we cannot complain.

Some would appear have asked if the Plaque could be Dedicated at the Ships Association Service, ie SHROPSHIRE/HOBART etc. Once again their thing.

Therefore it would appear it may only be Bill Bacon and Guy Faulks.

John Curbishley has suggested that maybe on completion we all go to Swampy's Hotel for a ale and say our good byes etc there. Not a big wake etc.  Some are coming via rail so this maybe a good idea.

Anyway just a reminder, Dress as for Anzac Day. Full Medals. Arrival. Be at the Main Gate about 11.40 am as the Service will be at 1200.  For all those that have not advised, I need names of all attending and pvt car rego for those driving there.  I have to send to Chaplains Office for Security people no later than the 29th.

Please help in this.

Fm Doug Brown:
In addition to Shorty's comments regarding communicators dedications, Jim Dansey's (ex LSROSM and ex JR 7th intake) dedication is at 1400 on the same day.
Doug Brown

Dave Jeffrey sends:

Given all the mis - info being touted about the Rugby Union comp, I started to think about the Aussie Rules comp. I know it was named after Father MacDonald, but what was the name of the comp??

I think the Father McDonald Cup was an annual one-day knock-out competition, can't remember if there was a mid-week comp or not.  Can anyone help?

Terry 'Red' Ryder sends:

A number of us were having a conversation about our sporting prowess during our (younger) Navy days at our last get together up here. One of the things we were trying to remember was the name of the Rugby competition that was held annually in Sydney and consisted of teams such as DDG’s, Small Ships, the Melbourne, Penguin, Kuttabul and I think even the likes of Albatross, Watson etc.

Maybe either yourself or someone on RANCBA can enlighten us with the name.

Terry Red Ryder
Was it Mons Cup??

Fm Frank Aldred 17/09:

In response to Red Ryder’s question on the Rugby competition, the annual competition was the Mons Cup, named after Monsignor Lyons. Generally won by the bigger shore establishments like the ‘Tross and Kuttabul. There used to be a mid-week competition called the Dempster Cup. I think out of my 14 years in the Navy when I played rugby I had 3 seasons because of the sea time!

Fm Buck Rodgers 17/09:

Re: Red Ryders post about the Navy Rugby competition, I think you will find the name was "The Dempster Cup"
Len (Buck) Rodgers

Fm Ted Cummins 17/09:

With great thanks to former Communicators, and now current serving PTIs, WOPT Mark Klopper and CPOPT Jim Lawless, the following information is provided in response to Terry Ryder’s post about Navy Rugby.

The inaugural Mons Trophy, or as it is more commonly known “The Mons Cup”, was presented by Senior Chaplain G.S. Lake RAN OBE in 1960 for the annual Eastern Australian Rugby Union Competition. The comp subsequently started that year with only three teams entering. Traditionally matches were played at Balmoral Oval, on Sydney’s North Shore in late summer. At half-time, a swim would help revitalise the players before facing a gruelling second half in the summer heat. As participation and interest in Rugby grew, the competition moved to HMAS Nirimba where it stayed for many years, until it was finally moved closer to Sydney at the old RAN Avoca St complex and then again in more recent years to David Phillips Field and Warringah Rugby Park.

The other rugby competition was the Dempster Cup. It was first contested in 1922 and sadly has not been contested since 1996. It was the midweek Rugby Competition and then became a challenge trophy in the later years.

The PTIs also provided me a list of past winners of both competitions should anyone be interested. You may also be interested to know that Navy Old Boys Rugby has a large membership and continues to grow.
Ted Cummins

HMAS PERTH ex-Communicators Get Together - 24 August 2010

A group of ex Perth Sparkers from the Vietnam era got together again at the Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane on August 24th. Bones Lehmann couldn’t make it this time due to bronchitis which was troubling him when I visited him in Perth in July and it still hadn’t cleared up and Bill Blinkhorn was overseas. However there were some new faces to replace them this time. Dave McCann came up with Bob “Willy” Williamson and stayed at my place (I was in charge of making sure each of us took our medication each morning!!!) Allan “Sully” Sullivan, Pete Bramley and John Nielsen were also there and I hadn’t seen any of them or Dave McCann for over 40 years so it was good to catch up with them again. Ron Tuckwell was recognized by Sue the barmaid from last year so he got the honor of cracking open the wooden keg again this year. All in all it was a good day and great to catch up with everyone.

Dave and Willy were due to leave early Friday morning but their plane was cancelled due to some wild weather in Newcastle so we spent a good few hours getting some “sea time” in on the city cat on the Brisbane River.

In another development, Bones Lehmann has managed to track down Brigham Young another ex Perth sparker who is living in Launceston and we are hoping to catch up with him sometime too.

Terry Red Ryder


The group photo is Pete Bramley, John Nielsen and myself at the rear, Dave McCann, Allan Sullivan, Arthur Rowley and Doug Conn in the middle and Ron Tuckwell, Willy Williamson, and Bob Westhorp at the front.

The old group photo is from left to right:
Willy Williamson, Nev Renfrey, Greg Benbow, ? Dark and Dag Williams.

The next one is Perth communicators:
Rear Bruce Maughan, Middle Barney Lutton, Skip Burns, Red Ryder.
Front Dinga Bell, Doug Conn, Rod Withers, John Nielsen.

Vale Brian Paul 'Red' Ryder (ex RO)

It is with a heavy heart that I have been advised by his daughter Robyn, of the passing of one of nature’s gentleman, Brian Paul “Red” Ryder R/O, who used to live in Narooma.

“Red” was in Canberra Hospital having one of his ‘many’ cancers removed and, in the words of his doctor, was doing well, but, due to complications from a virus he passed away last night.

There will be an autopsy next Wednesday, after which we will find out his funeral arrangements.

I, along with all who knew him, will miss him dearly.

RIP “Red”
Keghead Weaver
Thanks Keghead, sad news.  Lest we forget.

Fm Keghead 07/09:
Have been advised by his daughter Julie that the funeral for “Red” Ryder will be held in Narooma (NSW) at the cemetery at 1400, Wednesday 15 Sept 2010. The wake will be held at the Dalmeny Bowling Club following the funeral. Medals should be worn as a mark of respect to this wonderful ‘gentleman’.

Follow this link to read the Eulogy presented by Peter Baggot, accompanied by photographs taken by Keghead Weaver.

Keghead Weaver and Red Ryder

Fm Shorty Moffatt 06/09:
The passing of "Red" Ryder was the end of another era. He was without a doubt one of the funniest person that I have known. I first met him at HARMAN in 1959, and nothing worried him or phased him. Always willing to help and love to meet in the wets after a watch and have an ale (or two). I know he served on SYDNEY, BARCOO, HARMAN and QUIBERON a he was only a 6 year man, and then spent many years down in the Antartica along with many ex sparkers, Russ Willey, Brian Jackson, Peter Baggott etc. About 18 months ago I received a phone call, along with Russ Willey they were in Parramatta and waiting for me at the RSL. We tied one on!!!!!,
Anyway mate, you were there with the best of them,
Shorty Moffatt

Fm Edwin Reid 06/09:
Sad news on the passing of Red Ryder, I have many fond memories from SYDNEY, BARCOO, HARMAN, ANTARCTICA and my wedding.
Edwin Reid.

Fm Bill Aylott 06/09:
Very sad to hear of Red Ryder's demise. We served together in Mc Hales Navy (Barcoo). Can recall us being turfed off the train at Goulburn whilst coming up on draft to Sydney from Melbourne (town) for being a bit "Adrian Quist". Spent the night in the slot.  Joined Barcoo a day late, told the Swain some seamen were fighting so the law threw all the Jolly Jack Tars off the train. Didn’t get trooped.
Privileged to have known you "Red".
Lest We Forget
Bill Aylott

Fm Kevin Eastley 07/09:
I am proud to say that I served with "Red" at Harman in '59. He was one of natures gentlemen, nothing was any trouble to him. He was there with (and this is 50 years ago), some of the other legends of their time, namely, Shorty, Keghead, Elvis, Beast, Huff Duff, The Duke, Bill Avery, Bebbington, Fifi, Shags, Jughead, Alfie Bridges, Zugneck, a host of WRANS whose names I have misplaced, and although I haven't seen Red since I still remember him. Would anyone who goes to his funeral please pass on my condolences.
Regards, Kevin Eastley.
P.S. Another who I remember at that time. Gino Cooper, the hairy one.

Fm Brian Jackson 09/09:
So very sad news of reds passing. Spent quite a bit of time with red after our navy days, we went to Antartica then spent a year travelling around Europe and England ending up working in Canada, great times and lots of fond memories. Will pass on your condolences beastly as will be at funeral. You will be sorely missed Red. RIP. mate..Jacko.

Fm Ray "Knuckles" Richards 09/09:
Sympathy to Red's family, sorry to hear of Red's passing regret I am not able to make the funeral will be in transit from holiday in WA. Many happy memories of service days and our continued friendship in since then.
Regards Ray

Legacy Week - "Keep the promise campaign"

Sunday 29 August to Saturday 4 September 2010

Badge Day - Friday 3 September

Legacy week - Australia’s iconic fundraising campaign since 1942. It is also known for its Badge Day and the iconic badges offered as a token of appreciation for the donation made by the public.

Australians can help Legacy ‘Keep the Promise’ by buying a badge during Legacy Week and wearing it with pride. The pivotal day is Badge Day – Friday 3 September. Show the families left behind your gratitude for their sacrifice.

For the first time badges will be sold at all Commonwealth Bank branches, and following their lead, they will also available at Telstra stores and Thales offices, (Legacy’s national partners) as well at Dan Murphy’s stores, BWS stores, Australia Post Offices and Invocare.

In another first, Australians will be able to text their support to Legacy to receive a Virtual Legacy Badge, thanks to Telstra. For every person that sends an SMS by texting ‘LEGACY’ to 044 SUPPORT (044 7877 678), Telstra will donate $1 to Legacy.

I donated by SMS and it works.  You will receive a 'virtual' badge by return mail.  Please make the effort to give to a great cause.

Terry Feltham sends:

One of our members (Lithgow RSL Sub Branch where, for my sins, I am the Treasurer) served as a QMG aboard HMAS CANBERRA (Commander Simon Harrington - now retired Admiral) in 1988.

Just prior to HMAS CANBERRA sailing for Rimpac - our member recalls a Navy Phot taking a photo of the ships crew - assembled on the forecastle. Our member is keen to get a copy of that photo.

Navy Archives and other Defence sources, regrettably, have been unable to help.

Admiral Harrington (who does not think he has a copy) is assisting me in my search.

If there is anyone out there who can help - I'd be most grateful.

Terry Feltham

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

To All Flag Marshals; Action Australia-wide

Day of National Celebration

Australian National Flag Day

3 September 2010

All Australians are encouraged to fly or display the Australian National Flag to celebrate Australian National Flag Day for 2010. Australian National Flag Day marks the occasion in 1901 when the flag that became the Australian National Flag was first flown.

Australian National Flag Day is an opportunity for all Australians to celebrate the anniversary of the Australian National Flag by flying or displaying the Australian National Flag proudly in their homes, their schools and communities.

In accordance with flag protocol, Australian Government departments and associated portfolio agencies should fly or display the Australian National Flag on 3 September 2010 to join in the celebration of the Australian National Flag.

As 3 September is also Merchant Navy Day, organisations and individuals commemorating Merchant Navy Day are free to fly the Australian Red Ensign. The Australian Red Ensign is the official flag flown at sea by Australian registered merchant ships but may be flown on land for ceremonial purposes such as Merchant Navy Day. When the Australian Red Ensign is flown along with the Australian National Flag, the Australian National Flag should be flown in the position of honour.

Additional information on the Australian National Flag, information on how to celebrate Australian National Flag Day and the protocols for flying the flag can be found on the website www.itsanhonour.gov.au.

Commonwealth Flag Officer
30 August 2010

Battle for Australia Service 2010

As the RANCBA is very much a part of the Ex Service Organisation (ESO) we were invited to attend this Service held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place on Wednesday, 1st September at 11am.  This Service is held to Commemorate and Honour those that served on land, sea and in the air repulsing the direct threat to Australia in 1942 -1945.

The MC was LtCol David Cooper OAM Rtd and the Welcome by LtCol Brian Nebensahl OAM RFD Rtd. Unfortunately the Guest of Honour, Her Excellency, Professor Maria Bashir, AC, CVO, Governor of NSW, was unavailable as she had been invited to attend the celebrations of Governor Lachlan Macquarie being held in Edingburgh, Scotland on the 2nd September, so she was represented by her Aide de Comp, LCDR Stone RAN. The music was supplied by the Band of the RAR, with the Army also carrying out the duties of Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies.

On completion of the singing of the Hymn sung to the music of “The Dambusters” at 11.15am, a F118 Hornet flew low over the Service as part of the Commemoration.  Wreaths were not Laid, but sprigs of wattle, which is our National Emblem, and this was carried out by many which included Senior Officers representing the Fleet Maritime Commander, Commander Army Land Forces, State Government, Local Government, 11 Representatives from Consuls including the USA, UK, NZ, Greece, PNG, etc,

The Address was given by Ms. Angela Catterns, a ABC Newsreader but whose father had joined the AIF in the early days of WW11, serving in Egypt, Palestine, Middle East areas, and on return promoted to a Field Officer and served on the Kokoda Track where he was Awarded the Military Cross for Bravery.

Also in attendance, Fuzzy Wussys’ from PNG, one who was only a 15 year when he helped Australian wounded and himself was shot in the leg.

It was pleasing to see one of our own at the Service, Ex Convoy Signalman Don Ferguson. For those that don't know, Don was mobilised in 1939 and quickly trained as a Convoy Signalman using the same procedure that the Royal Navy had brought in for the safe passage of merchant shipping to ports still open to us, Port Moresby, Milne Bay etc.  Don served on 28 merchant navy ships and it was during the period from May 1942 to June 1943 where we suffered our heaviest losses, 36 ships attacked and 21 sunk.  Don’s luck rang out on the 12th May when the ship he was aboard, ORMISTON returning from troop carrying duties was torpedoed.  He is one of our very stalwart Committee Members and along with attending many Services, his knowledge of the RANCBA would be second to none.

Attendees Don Ferguson, Trevor Pike, Andy Mills, John Short, Ken Swain, Liz Watts and self (Shorty).
Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Dave McCann sends:

Would anyone have any photos from the 40th reunion of the HMAS Perth that took place in Hervey Bay in 2005?  I would appreciate if a DVD could be made and I will pay any costs incurred, please contact on 02 4390 8613 or dmac45@bigpond.com
Many Thanks

Services attended by RANCBA -  August 2010

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day.

The RANCBA was invited to attend and participate in the Annual Memorial Service held on the 15th August 2010 at Springwood, NSW.  This year it also included the Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of its founding, the 40th Anniversary of the Awarding of the US Presidential Citation to the Australian Army Training Team (AATV) and the 44th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, as a result of which D Company of the 6th Battalion of the RAR was Awarded the US Presidential Citation.

We met and fell in at the Fire Station, just down from the Rail Station and all were getting a bit hesitant of the weather and rain was threatening, but been good Communicators were not going to be deterred. Actually it started to rain, followed by light hail, then sunshine and strong winds, and then sun shine again. Don't ever tell me about Melbourne's weather!!!!

We were allocated 2 nice young Air Cadets, Lewis Dobson and Rachael Peters, as Banner bearers, and they did a great job, especially when the wind decided to join us and get a bit rough. They were a credit to their Unit.
On completion of the March, we entered the Memorial Park for the Wreath Laying Ceremony and a speech from the Official Guest of Honour, Miss Patricia Amplett OAM , but many from the 50/60 and 70s era would have known her by her stage name from BandStand, 'Little Pattie. I thought she gave one of the greatest speeches that it has been my pleasure to hear and she concluded with the song made famous by Louis Armstrong and was the them song from the movie "Good Morning Vietnam". What a Wonderful World. Little Pattie was reforming at Nui Dat just a few miles at the tender age of 17 years old when the sirens started to sound and Senior Officers were starting to make their way to briefings and the Battle of Long Tan was in progress.

Ric Easom was the Wreath Layer on behalf of all Communicators across this Nation.

On completion we adjourned to venues for nice refreshments. Attendees Col & James McCarthy, Bev & Max Miller, Jan Ric Easom, Shorty Moffatt, Frank Lawton, John Short, Don Ferguson, Sharon & Ray Mundy, 2 Honorary Communicators Marion & Ron Smith (Ron is an Ex Ch Electrician), then later on we were joined by Jim Hoppitt and his wife.

All in all a great day regardless of the weather!!!! It is hoped that we are invited to participate again next year.

National Launch of Legacy

I had received an invitation to attend and represent the RANCBA at the National Launch of Legacy at the Cenotaph, Martin Place on Monday, 30th August 2010. It was a full Ceremony with many in attendance, both from the Official Party and the Public.

It commenced with a selection of music from the Sydney Detachment of the Royal Australian Navy Band, and with the Welcome by the Master of Ceremonies, Mr Gordon Bray AM.

On completion of the mounting of the Cataflaque Party and Flag Orderlies by personnel from HMAS WATSON, the arrival of the Guest of Honour, Lieutenant General David Hurley AC, DSC, Vice Chief of Defence Forces who was representing Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC, AFC, Chief of Defence of Australia who was unavailable .

This was more significant today as we have lost 21 Australian Defence personnel in Afghanistan many with very young families and Legacy shall be helping them where every necessary, and as a Nation we have many on Active Duty across the world who like those who have gone before them, Legacy was always there at their side when needed.

One of the Addresses was given by Mr Tristan Moylan, who had been a young Legatee, he had been only 13 years old when his father was killed whilst on Active Duty in Vietnam. When it came to the Wreath Laying, one of the first was the wife of a young soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2009 with a very young child, who will never have known her father.

Wreaths were also Laid by the Guest of Honour, the 3 Senior Serving Officers of the ADF, Legacy, Federal, State and Local Governments.

On completion of the Ode, The Last Post , One Minutes Silence and Reveille, the National Anthem was prefromed by a young Bethany Whitaker, herself a Junior Legatee .

Once again I was very proud and also humble to have been given the honour to represent the RANCBA.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Vale - Ex LTO Daryl Archibald

It is my very sad duty to inform you of the passsing of Ex LTO Daryl Archibald on Sunday 29th August after a long battle with cancer.

Daryl joined the Navy in 1958 and after training at HMAS CERBERUS, he Commissoned HMAS VENDETTA. After a time on VENDETTA, he was posted back to CERBERUS where he worked in the old MSO. He then went to Commission HMAS YARRA. He also served for short periods on HMAS ANZAC and QUICKMATCH, finally finishing his engagement at HMAS HARMAN.

He is survived by his wife Danuta, daughter Karen, son Paul and grandchildren Mitchell and Sydney.
Karen and children live in the United States and son Paul lives in Melbourne and along with Danuta were by his side.

Should anyone wish to contact the NOK, details as follows
5 The Cove, Forster Keys, Forster NSW 2428.
Ph. 02 6555 4292.

Many will know his brother Peter who along with his wife Marion has attended many Reunions.

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

The Funeral Service for the late Ex LTO Daryl Archibald shall take place at the Catholic Church, commencing at 11am, Friday, 3rd September.
33 - 33 Lake Street,
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt

Planning for the Future - Project Mercury

Ted Cummins sends:

Regular visitors to the RANCBA website will recall the restructure of the Communications category following the RANCIS Review of 1997. RANCIS was the most detailed and wide ranging review of it type for many years and resulted in significant changes to the Communications branch, not the least of which was the amalgamation of the Radio Operator and Signals categories into the Communications and Information Systems (CIS) category, and the allocation of Local Area Network (LAN) responsibility to this new category.

Since RANCIS, computing power and communications capabilities have continued to increase at a rapid rate, as has the number of networked systems onboard our ships. In order to take full advantage of modern technology and networked capabilities, it is critical that Navy balances its technological capabilities with a well trained, well motivated and well led workforce.

In June of this year the Deputy Chief of Navy established Project MERCURY to conduct an in depth analysis of the Communications Officer and CIS sailor workgroups to meet Navy's capability requirements now and into the future. It will examine the Communications workforce requirements of the RAN out to 2030 and develop options to transition from the 2010 baseline to a sustainable future model.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to make the ex-communicators aware of current events affecting the serving communicators. Attached is a recent Navy News article explaining the details of the project.

Ted Cummins

Adrian Steen CPL Tech RA SIGS:

Adrian Steen has made contact and advised his email address is revsteeen@bigpond.com . Adrian is part of the K83 crew shown at http://www.rancba.org.au/K83_B_Watch.htm  he is in the back row as listed.

Adrian says "Sorry guys, first time I have noticed this site, I would love to connect with you all if possible, I remember you all fondly and actually am back so to speak in the Aus Army as a welfare rep with the EWS.
Kind regards"

Adrian Steen CPL Tech RA SIGS

Jim Carey sends:

I was contacted this afternoon by an ex-RN sparker who worked with DCA for many years in Perth and Brisbane, Roger Bower, in regard to an ex-RAN communicator submariner who is in quite a bad way at present in the Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital as a result of recent epileptic episodes and strokes. I believe he is able to communicate verbally with visitors.

His name is David Murray, a person in his early sixties.  The chap who phoned me put my name to him and he said he knows me but unfortunately I have no recollection of him. He worked with Civil Aviation as a Flight Service Officer for many years and as far as I can ascertain spent quite a bit of time at Bundaberg airport in the Flight Service Unit.

If any of our members knows him or knows people who may know him, it would be appreciated if you could list this on QSO in the hope that he may be able to receive visitors form those who may know him and reside in SE QLD or elsewhere.

Best wishes,
Jim Carey
Thanks Jim, I don't recall David at all.  Here's hoping someone does remember him or better still is able to pay him a visit.

Sandy McNab sends:

Instr. Lieut. Stan Riley OBE (Over Bloody Eighty)

After flying from Cairns to Horn Island with our 24 person APT tour group to commence the 8 night, 9 day Cape York 4WD coach road trip back to Cairns, opportunities soon arose to meet and greet and introduce ourselves to others. In conversation with a Stan Riley and his wife Jean, I learnt that he was also ex-RAN, as an Instructor Lieutenant at the Signal School under John Snow and Robert 'Bob' Brokenshire (OIC). As we still seek a missing Instr Lieut's name in the 1961 Sig School staff photo, and as Stan knew Instr Lieut 'Daffy' Siddons who is in the photo, I initially thought 'bingo' Stan Riley may be the missing person, but not to be.

Stan said he was a Radio Tech Instructor for the LRO's doing their RS(Q)'s course in 1959, and some names which immediately sprung to my mind included Tex Toohey, Bill Watts, Tiny Linning (and maybe Noel Ellis) to which Stan recalled Tex and Tiny. And then more names of that era were aired including Snow Harle, Tom Silverthorne, Spider Currie, Frank Densten, Reg Forward, Ian Nimmo, Harry Josephs, Jack Duffy, Frank Taunton, Reg Gardner, George Seares, Bill Lowe, George Bracken, and Bryce Diggle. What a character and when we bounced names off one another, many others were recalled. A voice recorder would have been very useful.

Co-incident with the recent 50th Anniversary of the first JRTE intakes which I am not sure if Stan was aware of it, I also learned that he was drafted to HMAS Leeuwin from Sep 1960 to Sep 1963 as an Instr Lieut and was there with all the new lads. I mentioned John Betts 93002 and Jim Duncan 93007 to which Stan recalled an ex-electrical Officer Jim Duncan approaching him many years later. Appears Jim recognised him over in S.A. when the Collins class submarines were being built.

Stan was also involved later in advancement training courses for those Officer selected and some names he recalled included Snow Brecht, Ken Swain, Paul Threlfall. There were many others, but I did not write them all down. His later naval career included two years on the Sydney as WEEO, back to Cerberus, thence to the Melbourne and finally as GOSI VIC.

With his concurrence I said I would post a ditty of our meeting and conversation on the Communicators website, and that I would forward him a copy of the 1961 photo of the missing Instr Lieut for possible identification. His photo was taken the day we visited 'the tip' of Cape York when he was having an OBE 'standeasy'. He is contactable sriley@alphalink.com.au should any wish to say hi again after all these years.

Kind regards.

Stan Riley

Fm Ken Swain 18/08:
Thanks Sandy re your meeting up with Stan Riley. Allan Brecht, myself and Stan were in a car club every Monday to Friday between Frankston and Cerberus throughout 68 and some of 69. A real good bloke and a delight to listen to his stories on our way to work. I have sent him an email and Stan has replied. Thanks again Sandy for an interesting story and "blast from the past".
Warm Regards
Ken Swain

Fm Paul Boase 22/08:
I was a JR at Leeuwin when Stan Riley was there, he was one of the few friendlies there for JR's at the time, so school time with Stan was usually a bit of lite relief in an otherwise "demanding" daily environment for us. It was good to hear he was still around and looking pretty fit too, truly a blast from my past. Tks to Sandy for getting the scoop.
Paul Boase

Dick Cantwell sends:

A 70th shot of Tom Jarrett and myself which may be of interest to old shipmates and friends.

Tom is forever the eternal optimist, the badge on his pullover reads "...18 years old with 52 years of experience..."

I know several of our Mates who would say - you're dreaming again Jarrett.

Regards to all.

Dick Cantwell and Tom Jarrett 2010


Red Ryder sends:

This photo was passed on by Bob Westhorp and features Sembawang Dockyard chock full of a variety of warries. As can be seen by the photo, there are two Daring Class Destroyers one has the side number of 11 which we have established as the Vampire but the other one looks like it has the side number of 05. We know Vendetta was 08 and a search of Daring Class destroyers on Google shows up Daring 05 as HMS Daring but I don’t every recall the Brits having their side numbers painted like the Yanks (and ours from the 60’s)

Can anyone shed any light on what ship it might be? Looks like it was some big exercise out of Singapore sometime but no one up here can think when.

Terry Red Ryder

I have informed Red that I believe it is Vendetta and Vampire alongside each other.  Part of Vendetta's side number (08) is obscured.  Both ships are identical with extensive modernisations completed at WND in the early 70's.  These mods (closed bridge, LWO2 etc) were unique to Australian Darings.   As Vendetta did not recommission after modernisation until mid 1973 I reckon the photo dates from the mid 70's, if anyone can put a closer date on it please do.

Fm Fred Goddard 17/08:
You are correct it is Vendetta and Vampire with either Gascoyne or Diamantina being pushed in by the tug. Note in the foreground HMAS OXLEY or one of the Oberons. To the rear of Gascoyne are a couple of DDG's can't remember if any of them were ours. I joined Vendetta in Darwin, Aug 75 after Vendetta/Vamps and Supply were deployed on standby because of the civil war emergency in Portugese East Timor being readied for an emergency evacution of refugees. The situation eased by mid Sep75 and we rejoined the Indian Ocean Task Force with visits to Singapore/Hong Kong in Sep/Oct 75 after which we went home and started a 9month refit in Dec 75 at Williamstown living at the Maribynong Migrant Hostel. Oh how times have changed.
Fred Goddard

Fm Les Church 17/08:
HMAS Vendetta with 2 Australian DDG's in the background.

Fm Peter Winch 17/08:
Remembered this photo well, as was a crew member of the "Diamantina" at the time. It is in the 28/11/1975, page 7 edition of the Navy News. These are archived, and can be found from your links to other sites section.
Peter Winch ex POSY

Tks Peter, the Navy News article identifies the ships in Sembawang Naval Basin in October 1975 as:

Esther Lodge Tathra - Lynton & Joyce Riddell.

I have recently finished my CFTS contract and myself and Joyce are now the resident managers of Esther Lodge in Tathra. Esther Lodge is an 8 unit complex (4 x 2 b/r & 4 x 1 b/r units). Further info is on our website at www.estherlodge.com.au


Joycelyn & Lynton Riddell
Esther Lodge Holiday Units
31-35 Esther Street
NSW 2550

Ph 02 6494 1404

Great part of the world Lynton, you've done well.

Bruce Willoughby in Sick Bay

Bruce's wife Marg rang to inform me that Bruce is off the golf course at the moment and spending a little time recuperating from a recent accident.

It appears that Bruce has found an easier way to "walk his dog".

Enjoying a pleasant afternoon cycling along the ocean foreshore near their new home in Secret Harbour, WA, Bruce apparently gave his dog a little too much lead and the hound decided to run in front of the wheel of his bike.

Mistaking the FRONT brake with rear brake, Bruce finished up over the handle bars. A broken elbow, and a couple of broken wrists has put Bruce on the side lines for a few weeks.

Marg informed me that he is recovering slowly but a couple of hours in their new hot tub, with a few beers each day, is keeping him in good spirits.

All the best old mate; I hope you are back on the course very soon.

Rod McLaurin

Wayne White (ex PORSS) in Sick Bay

I have been advised by Mrs Sharon White that Wayne is in intensive care in The Canberra Hospital following complications in his battle with cancer. The prognosis is not good. As more details come to hand I will keep you informed.

Bernie Brooks
Tks Bernie, our thoughts are with Wayne & Sharon and their family.

Vale Wayne 'Knocka' White ex PORSS

Was informed by Mrs Sharon White that Wayne (Big Knocka) White had crossed the bar this morning 13 August 2010 at around 1000 hours.

Arrangements are still being made and as details come to hand I will endeavour to keep RANCBA members informed.

Bernie Brooks
Sad news, Lest we forget.

Fm Bernie Brooks 13/08:

Have just been informed by the White family that the funeral for Wayne will take place at on Wednesday 18 August 2010 commencing at 1330 at the Holy Family Church, 167 Bugden Avenue, Gowrie ACT.

Bernie Brooks

Fm Nugget Nugent 16/08:

I returned home yesterday after laying a wreath on behalf of the RANCBA at the impressive service for VP Day at the Kokoda Track here located on my residence at Concord to learn of Knocka passing.. I had been in contact with Knocka’s wife Sharon when I became aware of the seriousness of Knocka’s condition last week. I was a honour to attend the special function last year in Canberra for Knocka and to see his and my many mates there to honour him. Most impressive of that night was the love of his extended family and of his co workers post Navy. I was my pleasure to have Wayne as a mate and friend along with those of the ROS conversion class including John Harris, Steve Drake, Dave Halloran and many others during the 80. Regretfully as much as I would like to attend Canberra on the Wednesday for Wayne’s Service I will be under the knife myself to remove a troublesome gall bladder. A laconic laid back guy who adored his mates and family, I wish him peace and rest in peace knowing mate a job well done.
Nugget Nugent

Vale Sean Nicholls (ex ABROSM)

It is my sad duty to inform you all of the passing last Sunday of Sean Nicholls. Sean paid off in 2001 as a ABROSM after service in HMAS Onslow and Dechaineux. He then did 12mths CFTS at HMAS Cairns.

His funeral will be this Friday 6th August at 1530 at the Albany Creek Crematorium Garden Chapel in Brisbane. There will also be a Memorial Service held in the vicinity of the Oxley Fin at the Submarine School HMAS Stirling commencing at 1000 this Friday.

Messages of condolence maybe passed to Sean's wife Sonia at  s-nicholls5@bigpond.com

Yours Aye


Email: darren.thompson2@defence.gov.au

Lest we forget.

JRTE 50th Anniversary

Gary Swanton recently attended the JRTE 50th Anniversary Memorial Dedication in the West.  He has kindly  forwarded the following photos for the interest of RANCBA members.

There is also an excellent washup of the event on the JR's Reunion website at http://www.jrsreunion.org/program.html



Fm Sandy McNab:
The page below from this fortnights Navy News has a few more photo's and write-up re the Leeuwin get-together which you may wish to add to the QSO Forum page, also an interesting article on Fleet Base West and the Submarine CIS group (not sure of the terminology) transferring to the West from the East coast to keep it all in house I guess.

I noticed John 'Knobby' Hall to the fore in one of the photo's with RADM Crane. Can't keep a good man down


Plaque Dedication at the Chapel of Remembrance, Garden Island.

Further to the original listing for this subject, Shorty now confirms the time and date:

The Plaques for the late POSY Bill Bacon and Telegraphist Jim "Guy Faulks has now been confirmed and will be taking place at the Chapel at 1200 , 3rd October. There will also be Plaques for other departed Communicators also on that day and the list shall be forwarded to me in the next day or so . Dress as appropriate for this Service and Medals where applicable to be worn.

Names of those attending and registration of cars will be required, so send to shortym@optusnet.com.au no later than 29th September.

It has been suggested that we adjourn to Swampy's Hotel on completion and I think this would be a fitting end for this Service.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President , RANCBA (NSW)


I have received the following message (below) from the Chaplain at GI Chapel regarding the Service to be held on the 3rd October, 2010, and having received a correspondence that the Plaque for the late POSY Bill Bacon will also be held on this day, so have asked the Chaplain could all Plaques if possible for departed Communicators be held in the same time frame. One that many would remember, ex Telegraphist "Guy" Faulks as his ex shipmates had donated for this.

When I have received further correspondence on this, I shall promote this so that I hope many and I mean many Communicators can attend.

This Service is very unique and having attended about 12, you will find it a very moving service and more so for ex shipmates that you would have served with, and is open to all from the RAN, be they be Officer, Senior or Junior sailor, (male or female), so please make the effort to attend.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)



We had the chapel reopen just in time for RADM Coates funeral. We had a postponed Plaque ceremony on Sun 11 July.

The plan is this. We currently have a backlog of 30 plaques. Because we can't have more than 7-10 families at a time in the chapel, I have proposed the following solution.

On Sun 3 Oct (long weekend) I plan to have 3 consecutive services: one at 1000, 1200 and 1400. Numbers at each service will be limited and first in best dressed. Letters will be going out to the families soon.

I would be very grateful if you could advertise this development so that we can get a maximum attendance.

Thank you for your patience.

Paddy Sykes
Command Chaplaincy Centre

Aldis or Intermediate SP required:

I don't suppose anyone has an old Aldis lantern or small signalling projector gathering dust in their sheds that I could use for Jamboree on the Air with our local Scout and Guide Groups in October???

Jim Anderson VK4AQ
Innisfail FNQ

Vietnam Veterans Day - Tasmania

Would it be possible to have the included article put on QSO the world, it would help our cause greatly.
Thanks much.

Dave McCann
VVAA National Vice President
RANCBA member




The Tasmania Branch of the VVAA will commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day 2011 with a special tribute to the roll of the RAN in Vietnam.  This will include acknowledgement of the Gun-line Operations Sea Dragon and Rolling Thunder, the Clearance Diving Teams, Fleet Air Arm (EMU’s), and Logistic Support Units.


Special Guest speaker will be VADM David Leach A.C., C.B.E., L.V.O., R.A.N. (Ret)


An invitation is extended to all veterans to attend this memorable occasion.  To assist in event planning logistics would those interested in attending please register an expression of interest ASAP by contacting either myself or the Branch Secretary to receive updates on special flight, transport and accommodation offers. Contact details may be found in the Tasmania Branch directory of DEBRIEF.


Warwick Luttrell

State President

Tasmania Branch

For further information on this event please follow this link


Battle for Australia.

The Battle for Australia Committee request the company of the RANCBA at the Annual Service of Commemoration at the Cenotaph , Martin Place, Sydney on Wednesday, 1st September 2010 commencing at 11.00am. The Guest Speaker will be Ms Angela Catterns, a Radio Personality and the daughter of a Kokoda Trail Hero.  RVSP by Friday 13th August 2010.  Dress is as for Anzac Day, full Medals.

Now I have attended this Service along with other RANCBA Members and it is well organised and conducted, therefore I shall be attending and would like as many as possible to join with me and promote the RANCBA. Please let me know your intentions.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)

Allan 'Shorty Moffatt sends:

The Korean War Veterans Memorial Reunion which is also the 60th Anniversary 1950 - 2010 shall be held in Canberra from Friday 22nd October till Sunday 24th October 2010. The Venue will be Rydges, Lakeside, London Circuit Canberra ACT 2600 .

If you wish to attend the Commemorative Service, the Reception at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea (to be confirmed) or the Dinner at Rydges Lakeside, they must register with Heather Wilson or Planning Committee for the National Commemoration in Canberra of the 60th Anniversary of the Commencement of the Korean War known as the KW60 Committee. The KW60 contact is Jan Properjohn.

The following is the email /postal/ phone contact numbers:

KW60. email jproperjohn@intermode.on.net (M) 0410 488 729. Postal. KW60 Committee Secretariat, PO Box 3500, WESTON CREEK ACT 2611

Planning Committee Secretary
Barry Morgan . email b.m126489@bigpond.com Fax 02 6255 4532, Ph 02 6255 4531

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Ken Swain has forwarded the following request for information:

Ord Tel Jim Robertson R49884

David Robertson, son of Ord Tel Jim Robertson R49884 is doing some research on his father's time in the RAN. Details are contained in David's email, attached.

If any of you out there have any information (no matter how small) would you please email this information to David Robertson at david00@ncable.net.au - Regretably Jim passed away last year.

As a possible starting point, Shorty Moffatt thinks that Jim would have probably done his course at around the similar time as Shags Hellier and Peter Baggott and perhaps Red Ryder and Rigor Mortis. Anyway hopefully we can assist David in his research.

Herewith David's email........Quote,

Hi Folks,

I am looking for additional information regarding my father's time as a "Ordinary Telegraphist" at the Flinders Naval Depot. My father passed just over a year ago and this period of his life was of much concern to him.

He spent only a year at the depot and was then discharged "free". The reason, based on what little is in the Naval Archives, suggest that the Navy wanted to relocate dad to the HMAS Vengeance to meet a need in this branch. He was to be transferred with the various ratings and recognition of his training etc that he he had received whilst at the depot.

He was given no other option other than to be discharged - this seems very odd and he received no further understanding of why this was done. He loved his short time in the Navy and never resolved this period.

Would there be any further information available at the depot - pictures - files - anything that would provide a better understanding of this period of my father's life.

I would appreciate any and all assistance you can provide.


David Robertson


Vale Gordon 'Shorty' Pritchard R63563 - (ex TO)

Harry Harris has advised that Shorty was listed in a recent Reveille as having crossed the bar.  No further information is to hand.

A check of Shorty's Record of Service card at NAA shows that he joined in June 1964 and served in HMA Ships Yarra (1964/65), Vampire (1966-68) and Perth (1969-70).  If anyone is able to provide more information it would be appreciated.

Lest we forget

Sonja Hellier sends the following sad news:

Vale Colin Mervin Davis

Regret to advise passing on Saturday 10th July 2010, of Ex Leading Sig Colin Mervin Davis, brother of Swannie Davis (West Aust).   Served 1949 - 1961 and served on HMAS Bataan in Korea, and later did FESR time on Warramunga and Melbourne.

Funeral will be conducted at:

Traditional Funerals
636 Morayfield Road
BURPENGARY 1.30 PM Thursday 15th July 2010.

No flowers by request of wife Betty, donations to Angel Flight.

Alan & I are unable to attend due to prior commitment.

Lest we forget

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt sends:

The following functions will be taking place here in NSW but all RANCBA Members are invited to attend.

Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day
I have received the joining instructions for the Blue Mountain Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Memorial day 2010. This includes QANTAS "Skippy" Squadron, BCOF, Korea, Malaya, Borneo-Indonesian Confrontation, Vietnam, Peace Enforcement & Peace Keeping Operations, United Nations, and International Coalition Against Terrorism.

Date - 15th August - commencing at 11.30 hrs. Venue Springwood

Travel - Free State Rail and Bus to all personnel travelling in uniform or wearing of "Official" Service decorations.

Dress - Serving personnel ceremonial parade winter dress, Ex Service dress as befitting this occasion. Full Medals.

Parking - For those going by own vehicle, there is two car parks adjacent to the Springwood Post Office, also a area adjacent to and near the Civic Centre.

Assembly area- in the vicinity of the Fire Station, Macquarie Road at 1100 hrs. Step Off at 1130hrs, Banner Parties will be provided by Members of 21 Air Cadet Unit.

Now I have to advise if we will displaying our Banner. If enough advise they will be attending I will take up our Mini Banner and send in a request for Banner Bearers.
Note Please advise me via shortym@optusnet.com.au or phone 02 9631 8068 asap.
Memorial Service will be conducted by Chaplain, Lieut Col. G. Aiken OAM , Snr Chaplain Canberra.
Cataflaque Party - Members of the Australian Defence Force Federation Guard.
Laying of Wreath, Flowers, Books - The RANCBA shall be Laying a Wreath, and this will be carried out by Ric Easom.
Post Memorial Service Function. The Springwood Rotary Club has agreed to provide free BBQ located in the vicinity of the Royal Hotel. It will be available to all after 1300hrs.
Beating of the Retreat - This ceremony will be performed by the Lithgow Highland Pipe Band and conducted at 1600 hrs.

NSW AGM & Get Together.

This will be held on August 21st at the Parramatta RSL Club commencing at midday. The Club is situated in Macquarie Street, and about 10 minutes walking from the Rail and Bus Inter Change. Should you decide to come via private vehicle, the Club has its own Parking Station opposite the Club.

AGM.  All positions of the current Committee shall be declared vacant and all financial Members can be nominated and seconded to any position.

Serving personnel are more than welcome as you are the people we hope will keep this great Association growing and well known within the Ex Service Organisation.

Get Together.  On completion of the AGM, we normally move out to the outside verandah overlooking Parramatta Park for our Get Together. As normal all put in $20 for beverages, with food which can be obtained at the Club's Bistro or Tree Tops Cafe at your own choice/expense.

Partners/Visitors.  More than welcome to the Get Together. Come along and have a "Meet & Greet".
End of Days Events. Call it "stumps" whenever your wish to depart.

As in the above item, if you advise me if attending, as I would like to let the RSL Club Management of possible numbers attending.

Allan " Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)

Cruiser: The Life and Loss of HMAS Perth

Allan Moffatt sends:

Received following from Tony Biscoe ex LRO and if possible could it be put out on QSO and AIG network.
Tony is heavily involved with PERTH (DDG type - did a Vietnam tour onboard etc), but also a Member of the RANCBA.

Hi there Shorty,

I would like to advise that Mike Carlton the SMH writer/correspondent has just written a new book Cruiser:The Life and Loss of HMAS Perth and her Crew.  He is having a book launch, hosted by Dymocks/SMH Literary Events to take place at The Sheraton on the Park Hotel 161 Elizabeth Street at 12.30PM on Thursday July 29 at a cost of $85.00 per head which includes pre function drinks, a 2 course meal, wine and coffee.

If anybody is interested contact me on 0411153397 or Judy Benson on 02 94494366 or see http://www.dymocks.com.au/LiteraryEvents/Default.aspx?s=1#mikecarltonluncheonthsyd for details.  I regularly attend these book launches and the events are very interesting (and popular) - great speakers, interesting people and a good day out. Please pass this on to anybody that you think may be interested .

Plaque Dedication Ceremony for Bill Bacon

Bobbie Bacon sends:

I now have a date for the Plaque Dedication Ceremony, (POSY W. W. Bacon plaque) which will be held at the Garden Island Naval Chapel on Sunday 3rd October 2010 at 2pm.

If you are attending the service, please notify me with your intention of going & your vehicle registrations, for security purposes. The list is required to be in by 2 weeks prior to the ceremony.

As parking is limited, at the Garden Island Chapel, & there will be a number of people attending the service, it is requested this be taken into account, when arranging transport to the service. Preference will be given to elderly & mobility impaired guests, & Parking CANNOT be guaranteed. The current operational security arrangements mean that ALL vehicles entering Garden Island may be searched. Taxis are not permitted on the Island at present.

Please note that unfortunately there is no lift of disabled access at the Chapel & the main staircase is a significant test to less mobile people.

If arrangements are altered at short notice, the Office will notify me of any changes.


WWII Submarine Tour

DJ Preece sends:

The following web site link, referencing a ‘virtual tour’ of an old WW2 Submarine, has been forwarded for information. The original e-mail was transmitted to me by former CPORS(S) ‘Spider’ Bob Webb. It contains a wealth of historical photos on compartmentalised life onboard a sub during WW2. From an RANCB standpoint, the subs’ link also references its ‘Radio Room’ and the TX/RX equipment contained therein.

Yours aye,

Great tour on an old WW2 submarine. The link is at the bottom and once you have it up, you can rotate the view of every compartment to see it 360 degrees. And then click on next page to change " rooms" .  Use your scroll wheel to zoom in and out.  Check the index as there are many different objects to view.


Thanks DJ, a very interesting link.  Love the way you can navigate around the submarine.

Frank Aldred sends:

Tracey and I were in the red centre for the QB long weekend taking in the sights of Uluru and Kings Canyon. Our coach driver for most of the time turned out to be an ex bunting tosser, Tony Fox, who did a six year stint 88-94, with sea time in Adelaide. If any ex-comms are touring out there on an AAT Kings coach, there is a good chance Tony will be driving. I am sure he will be up for a chat. In the traditions of all communicators, he was very knowledgeable, polite and a credit to his organisation.


BZ Mick Doncaster and Emma Procopis

Our congratulations go to LCDR Mick Doncaster RAN and PO Emma Procopis who were both awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of June 2010.

Well done to you both.  I'll hazard a guess that Emma is the daughter of Marilyn (nee Howard) & Paul Procopis, both of whom served at Harman in the early 70's.

Lieutenant Commander Edward Michael DONCASTER RAN, ACT

For meritorious achievement as Staff Officer International Engagement in Navy Strategic Command.
Lieutenant Commander Doncaster has been a key contributor to the management of the Royal Australian Navy’s international engagement program, notably in support of the Chief and Deputy Chief of Navy. Through application of outstanding professional knowledge, initiative and exceptional commitment and dedication to his duties, Lieutenant Commander Doncaster’s considerable efforts have resulted in achievement of highly successful international engagement outcomes for the Royal Australian Navy. His personal influence and energy have enhanced the Royal Australian Navy’s reputation and earned the respect of various Defence agencies and senior foreign attachés, and have been a key factor in progressing the Royal Australian Navy’s established and emerging international engagement objectives and commitments.

Petty Officer Emma Dawn PROCOPIS, NSW

For meritorious achievement as the Communications Centre Manager at HMAS Waterhen.  Petty Officer Procopis’ performance as HMAS Waterhen Communications Centre Manager in direct support of the Her Majesty’s Australian Fleet units was outstanding. Her dedication and willingness in difficult circumstances ensured the maintenance of Fleet operational capability. She met all her challenges with fortitude, grace and finesse, displaying excellent personal and professional skills while keeping a superb sense of humour. Petty Officer Procopis’ performance is in the finest traditions of the Royal Australian Navy.

Vale Royce Tandy

Timba Mills sends:

I was sadly informed early this morning of Royce Tandy’s passing. He went peacefully in his sleep yesterday afternoon (Thursday 10 June).  He has been ill over the last 12 months however seemed to be on the improve.

Mary arrived home from work to find the house in darkness and unfortunately Royce in the chair. I will miss a great mate of over 40 years.

Royce’s funeral will be held on Wednesday 16th June at Gregson and Weight Funeral Directors, Wises Road Maroochydore commencing at 2pm, (Behind the old Sunco Motors).

Timba Mills
Many thanks Timba, very sad news.  Our thoughts are with Mary and the family.  Lest we forget. 12/06/10


Vale Royce Tandy - Geoff Worth

I served on HMAS SYDNEY with Royce and have fond memories of our time shared. Condolences to his family.

Geoff Worth

Vale Royce Tandy - Doug Conn

Today, I had the very sad but great privilege to attend Royce Tandy’s funeral. It was a moving but hilarious celebration of a great life. Cheeky to the very last, Royce had pre-written most of his own eulogy just to make sure he had the last laugh. The eulogy was delivered in great style by a lifelong mate of 55 years and included much love for Royce’s wife Mary and family. Royce even organised a raffle for us, and Chokie McLaughlin got a special mention because of their many years of RO/TO banter. Funnily enough, Royce said that we shouldn’t believe a word Chokie says – can you believe that? It is hard to imagine that Royce won’t be looking down and laughing along with all who attended his farewell. Well done Royce. Rest in peace.

Doug Conn

Vale Royce Tandy - Rod McLaurin

I was deeply saddened, and shocked when I received a phone call on Monday night from Royce’s son, Ryan, to advise me of Royce’s passing. I know Royce’s have been extremely ill over the past 12 month or so however, when I caught up with him a couple of months ago we enjoyed a few beers together and he seemed quite well, and as always very positive.

I first met Royce’s in 1969 when we were doing our RO/TO courses. I recall that he had previously worked for the PMG or a similar organisation and could type at somewhere in the vicinity of 90 words per minute. He used to take great pleasure in jamming up the teletype machines.

During my phone conversation with Ryan he mentioned that Royce had jokingly made mention of me in his eulogy but they didn’t quite understand what he was saying. I rang Ryan yesterday to apologise for not attending the funeral as I have just posted into Creswell this week and had my removal arriving yesterday. Ryan mentioned that in his eulogy Royce said that if I ever mention how I came up with my nick name for him, torch, I was not to be believed.

The name torch goes back to 1970 when we were both on the Sydney. We were required to stay back for watch keeping duties one night at FHQ Commcen, I think, and didn’t get ashore until about 8pm. By the time 10 o’clock came around we had not had enough to drink at the Chevron so Royce took me down to the Crazy Horse Bar. Courtesy of some Asian gentlemen at an adjoining table, a bottle of tequila arrived. I had never touched tequila before and the fact that you drank it with a little salt and fruit I though it must be good for you. I vaguely remember a second bottle arriving but that was it until I woke up the next morning in the mess battered and bruised. Royce told me the injuries were the result of me falling down the steps coming down from Victoria St to Cowper Wharf Road. He also told me that he carried me all the way back to the ship.

However; getting back to torch. I also vaguely remember wanting a pie when we got to Harry’s, unfortunately the van was closed. But in the mess the next morning there were pies everywhere, one for each member of the mess, plus the Quartermaster I expect. Another unfortunate event that occurred that night was that Harry’s was burnt to its wheels….and hence my nick name for Royce…TORCH….. To this day I still don’t know what occurred but I have been blaming my old mate Royce Tandy every since that eventful night. Royce and I were not very productive the next day, and I still don’t think I have thanked our PO’s, Harry James and Alan Murgatroyd for going so easy on us. Thanks guys, Royce thought very highly of you both also.

Royce, farewell old mate, I will miss you greatly.

Rod McLaurin

Anzac Day in London - Dave Jeffrey sends:

I was in London with my wife for Anzac Day this year. We were visiting our daughter who has now lived in the Greater London Area for over 14 years. I decided that I would like to participate in the Anzac commemoration in Whitehall and contacted the High Commission Events Officer through an old work colleague. Luckily - given the short notice - we were all able to get tickets to the ceremony and afterwards at a ticket only commemoration at Westminster Abbey. A ticket is also required to access the march.

The short march to the cenotaph was special as we were accompanied by the band of the Royal Household Guards. The ceremony was attend by senior officers of all Services both Australian & New Zealand and their High Commissioners. Afterwards at the Abbey, the Queen was represented by the Duke of Gloucester, and some 2500 Aus/NZ VIPS, expats and lucky tourists made up the congregation.

Westminster Abbey has held an Anzac Service on the actual day now for over 50 years, and it is extra special that any other service is cancelled. Anzac Day being on a Sunday this year saw the morning 1000 Eucharist put off!!

Afterwards we came back to earth, when we tried to get a drink to celebrate in the normal fashion. We had to wait until 1130 for the pubs to open as it was a Sunday. Nonetheless, Anzac day 2010 was special and will be remembered for many years to come.

Thanks Dave, great photos.

Anzac Day London 2010  Anzac Day London 2010  Dave Jeffrey - Anzac Day London 2010.  Dave & Maureen Jeffrey - Anzac Day London 2010.

David Wescombe-Downs sends:

As previously advised, I am restoring a 1960s A618 HF transmitter for amateur band use & would like to also acquire an A618 MF transmitter section (330-550Kc & 30Watts) for experimentation on the defunct 500Kc band, now allocated for amateur CW & digital use in a number of countries. Should any ex-comms be able to steer me to one, or any other ex-marine 500kc transmitter type, I would be grateful. Info to d.wd@bigpond.com please.

DWD (in Adelaide) aka VK5BUG

Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR) 55th Anniversary NSW/ACT 2nd/3rd and 4th July

The RANCBA has been invited to attend and participate in this Anniversary and I have received the following agenda.

Friday 2nd July (which is FESR Day) which is a self funded Meet & Greet commencing at 1900 at Gosford RSL Dress jacket & tie or neat casual.

Saturday 3rd July A March down the Main Street of Gosford, Assemble in the Park next to the Imperial Centre, Gosford no late than 0915am, the March commences at 10.00am Route is down Donnison Street, turning left into Mann where a Salute will be taken when it goes past the dias in front of the Gosford Council Chambers . Continue on past Gosford Police Station then ending back in Gosford Memorial Park where the FESR Plaque is situated On conclusion of the March a Plaque unveiling Ceremony will be held. Dress jacket & tie with full Medals.

Saturday 3rd July Official Dinner commencing at 1800 Dress jacket & tie (Association) with miniature Medals or neat casual.

Sunday no details so I assume it is a free day to visit the surrounding area.

A bus will be available to convey guests to and from the March on Saturday though it is only a short walk along the waterfront. The RSL Galaxy Motel is right next door to the RSL Club so there is no need to do any driving. They have booked all ground floor rooms for those attending this Service . Cost is $135 per double per night. Please send cheques made out to the Secretary FESR (NSW/ACT) PO Box 754 Wyong NSW 2259 ASAP. A cost of $50 is required as a deposit to secure your room or you may find ti easier to submit the full amount. Cost of the Dinner is $35.00 per head , also please advise if you have any special dietary requirements.

Approximately 26 ships of the RAN were part of the FESR so many would have served there and it would be good if the RANCBA could be well represented even just for the Saturday (March and Official Dinner). Should you are considering attending, if possible let me know and I will take up our Mini Banner and we will promote the RANCBA.

Either email shortym@optusnet.com.au or ph 02 9631 8068.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)
04 June 2010

Vale RADM Nigel Coates AM RAN

Not sure if you've been informed but RADM Nigel Coates passed away this morning in Canberra. Attached is CN's signal. Although he was not a Communicator he was very well known in ex service circles and I'm sure there will be many saddened by the passing of not only a fine Officer but a good hand as well. Anecdotal evidence indicates that his funeral will be in Sydney Tuesday 8Jun10. Will keep you updated as required.


A Service funeral for RADM Nigel Coates AM RAN will be held at the Naval Chapel, Garden Island, Sydney on Wed 9 Jun 2010 commencing at 1100.


Fm Frank Aldred 03/06:
I have just been advised that RADM Nigel Coates RAN, recently Fleet Commander, passed away this morning (2 June).

Nigel was a year mate of my brother, Capt Tony Aldred, and was one of nature’s gentlemen. A Queen’s sword recipient at RANC on his graduation, he was always destined to reach great heights in the RAN. Without a doubt he would have reached the pinnacle as CN, had he not been brought down by this illness.

Nigel would be well known to many communicators, who I expect , as I am, will be saddened by his passing. I understand a press release has been made and that his funeral, with full Naval honours, will be held next week.

Even though Nigel was a D, I wouldn’t mind a note of some description on our website.




I attended the Funeral Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance for Rear Admiral Nigel Coates AM RAN 9th June 2010 held at the Garden Island Chapel. It was indeed a full congregation and seating was allocated within the Chapel, but it was also played onto a screen outside for those that were unable to be allocated a seat and also to the Naval Heritage Centre GI for those attending there. Fortunately I had been allocated a seat in the Chapel. All Australian White Ensigns and Australian National Flags on ships alongside and HMAS KUTTABUL were at half mast.

Nigel Coates was borne on 8th March 1959 and passed away on the 2 June 2010, and having joined the Royal Australian Navy as Cadet Midshipman in 1975, graduating Dux of his training and Awarded the Queen's Gold Medal , he was subsequently Awarded the Jubilee Sword for Dux of Seamanship Training and then trained as Principal Warfare Officer (Direction). During his career as Commanding Officer of HMAS CANBERRA 1996-97 and then HMAS ANZAC 2001-02 was Awarded the Duke of Gloucester Cup for the most efficient ship in the RAN. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia whilst in Command of HMAS ANZAC.

On arrival at the Chapel, the casket was draped in a Full Breath Australian White Ensign, with a 6 serving sailors and a Petty Officer to bear the casket into the Chapel. Also in attendance a full Guard bearing arms.
The Service began with a vocalist from the RAN accompanied by the RAN Band and she sang "You Raise Me Up" and the Service was conducted by Principal Chaplain Garry Lock RAN and accompanied by Principal Chaplain Gareth Clayton OAM RANR, as this had been requested by Nigel Coates.

It would be hard to name all in attendance, but some I did see, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO, Governor of NSW, the 3 Senior Serving Officers of the Australian Defence Force and this included Vice Admiral Russ Crane AO, CSM RAN, Senior Serving Officers of all Service from the UK, New Zealand, Canada. Diplomats, both Federal and State, Australian Federal Police and NSW State Police.  VADM Russ Crane spoke on just 12 months ago, Rear Admiral Nigel Coates had been aboard a ship to lead the ships of the RAN into Sydney for a Fleet Entry and the following day had led 5,000 serving sailors through George Street, Sydney for a Freedom of Entry service.

Prior to the Last Post a volley of 3 shots was fired by the Armed contingent and then One Minutes Silence and then Reveille.  The casket was then borne down below and placed on a Gun Carriage to be pulled by 100 serving sailors, with the full RAN Band with drums muffled and draped in black, In front was the Armed contingent His Admiral's cap and sword was placed on the casket with a single Wreath. His Medals and Pennant flag were carried by two serving sailors.

It commenced with a final salute with the firing of a saluting gun firing 13 shots from HMAS TOBRUK, one at five second intervals as the cortege and gun carriage made its way to Fleet Headquarters where the casket was transferred to a hearse for a private cremation service, passing through FBE with sailors onboard ships in full blues manning the side.

It was a privilege to attend this Service for a person who has given so much to this Nation, Australia and the Royal Australian Navy.

Allan D. Moffatt OAM.
Vice President Federation of Naval Ships &
President Royal Australian Navy Communications Branch.

Vale Rodney 'Monty' Lamont ex RO (S) R94056

Ollie Lewis sends:

Regret to advise that another of the Comms family has crossed the bar, Rod Lamont R94056 ex brackets (s) passed away on the 30 May 2010. Rod's funeral service will be held at Latrobe Valley Funeral Services Chapel, 6 Ollerton Ave, Moe, Vic on Tuesday 8 June at 1400. All ex service personal are respectfully invited to attend. Vale Rod Lamont

I have a lot of memories of good times with Monty, I first met him when he was in Derwent, and I in Duchess on a trip "uptop" in the late 60's, needless to say we got into our fair share of strife together. Later we were both drafted to Harman, we did numerous fishing trips together mainly around the mountain streams, and it was never too cold to knock a tinnie over. The worst thing that happened to us was one night around 0200 at Bonshaw when we were sent back into Harman in the Landrover to pick up an individual who had missed the bus, someone (me) had to accompany Monty as he was the only one with a pussers licence and he had spent a bit of time at the rates before our watch, so had I. Talk about the blind leading the blind.....needless to say the whole thing ended up in a disaster, we found the individual at the other end and gave her the ride of her life, on coming back thru the gates at Bonshaw the brake pedal wasn't to be found, the Landrover ended up head first into the big (solid) verandah at the front door. No one was hurt, a few bruises, dented egos and a trashed 4WD.

You couldn't meet a nicer bloke - R.I.P. old mate.

Another good man down.  By my reckoning Monty would have been around 63 years of age.  Lest we forget

Fm Bob Westthorp 8/6/10:

Farewelled Monty today. Sad to see him go.
Many in attendance and it was obvious that he was well liked by those that knew him. Wished I could
have spent more time with you in the later years Monty. You leave us with many fond memories mate.
Rest in Peace


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

Wearing my other cap as Vice President of the Federation of Naval Ships Association, (FNSA) I was asked to represent the President, Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd at a few functions whilst he is overseas. and this is 2 of them. On all occasions it has been a pleasure to do this as not only I representing the FNSA, but also the RANCBA as here in NSW, we are affiliated within this Association, along with 46 other Ships Associations.

The RSL State Conference was held on the 25th and 26th May at Rooty Hill RSL Club. I believe this may have been the first time the FNSA has been invited, as we are not a part of the RSL etc, but as we are now well known within the Ex Service Organisation (ESO) we were invited, but I had no voting rights as such on any amendments etc. I was seated on the stage with the Committee of the RSL and other invited Guests, and also the pleasure of being invited and enjoying a very nice Luncheon with them. I was seated with the State President of the Naval Association of Australia (NSW) Mr. Noel Jackson and the Principal Chaplain, Monsignor Brian Rayner OAM RAN.

The Conference began at 10.00am and Officially opened by the State President Don Rowe OAM and commenced with the ODE, National Anthem and a Welcome speech. This was followed by speeches which included the National President of the RSL from the ACT, Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN Rtd, the Federal Minister for Veterans Affairs, The Hon. Alan Griffin MP. Before Luncheon, several amendments to the RSL Constitution were tabled and spoke on from Delegates across the State.

At Luncheon, I sat with Ms Elaine Wallace, President of Ex WRANS,(NSW) ,and Mr. Noel Jackson, On return from Luncheon, the Premier of NSW, Ms Kristina Kenneally was escorted onto the stage and spoke to all,(which was a fully packed auditorium), but on completion she had to leave due to other commitments. At this session there were more debates on amendments etc till close for the day, plus a speech from the President's of the RSL from Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania.  With the final item on the Agenda for the day was by the State Treasurer of the RSL who gave a very and I mean a very detailed report on all expenditure.

The following day, commenced early with a speech from the Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs Ms. Louise Markus, and what they Coalition would like to see happen. One of the Delegates spoke on "would be's". people impersonating Returned ADF personnel and wearing Medals they are not entitled to, and pertaining to be a former Service personnel. Appears one in one area turned up this year wearing a replica Victoria Cross - along with Vietnam Medals, I believe this has been handed to the Australian Federal Police for further investigation. I didn't think people could be so stupid and think they could get away with this!!!!!
There was a spokesman from the DVA , a Medical Professor who spoke about Health Shops and Repat and problems concerning not only Returned people but families, diseases, mental health, stresses, cancer (radiation) smoking & alcohol but also he slightly touched on the subjects of those that have served on submarines and took part in the British Atomic tests etc .He was followed by the National President of the RSL, on both Australian War Memorial and one of the best speeches that I have heard on the RSL - Now and the Future. (he did not use notes but spoke for a very lengthy time with great conviction). The National President Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN Rtd gave 3 speeches which were well received by all in attendance. This was only some of the very informative Conference speeches. Later that afternoon the 2 day Conference came to an end, but it was well worth the time to attend and I hope I have gleaned some information out it

This was held at the Memorial Hyde Park, Sydney and with the very bad weather that we have had in the last few days, I am happy to say the sun shone. It commenced at 11am and opened by the MC, Mr David Williams an Ex CPO M(E) Submariner and Officiated by Pastor Ivan Grant ARA, both Aboriginals. The Service commenced at with the arrival of the Official Party which included the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO and the President of the RSL (NSW) Mr. Don Rowe OAM. After the Cataflaque Party was mounted by serving personnel of the Australian Army, there was a welcome by Mr Allen Madden. The Address by Sqdn Leader, Prof. Lisa Jackson Pulver RAAF also a Aboriginal. It was a pleasure to listen to her life story, from her leaving school at 14 1/2 years and what she has managed to do and the achievements she has reached, a Professor at the University of NSW and a Sqdn Leader in the RAAF. Wreaths were then Laid , by Representatives from the Indigenous Community, Her Excellency, Proffessor Marie Bashir AC, CVO Governor of NSW, RSL State President Don Rowe, Minister for Vets Affairs, The Hon. Alan Griffin MP , other Representatives from Federal, State and Local Government. Also 3 Senior Serving Officers of the Australian Defence Forces and this included Captain Colin Dagg CSO (E) RAN, representing the Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore AM, CSC RAN.

On completion the ODE was read and the Last Post , One Minutes Silence and The Rouse carried out, with the music by the Band of the Royal Australian Army, with a Address by Her Excellency, Governor of NSW, Prof. Marie Bashir AC CVO and then the National Anthem.

I would recommend to all in the Sydney area and you have the chance, attend this very moving Ceremony next year.

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW) & Vice President FNSA



Sandy McNab sends:

As announced at the National '99 Reunion reception "let go for'ard let go aft, we are under way" and so we have moved off on another 16 to 18 weeks caravan trip. NW coastal Geraldton, Carnarvon, Karratha, Broome, Kununurra, Katherine (missing Darwin), Mt Isa, Normanton, Cairns, leaving the rig there, Cape York (flying up), Cairns via 4WD truck/bus type transport and accommodation 9 day trip back, pick up our rig and generally south via the hinterland after Townsville finally to Brisbane. Decisions, decisions, as our itinerary is pretty fluid after Cairns and Brisbane and into NSW, we may come back via Broken Hill, or maybe Wagga, Hay and or even via Albury and follow the mighty Murray along to Renmark/Berri, Mildura etc and could include a break at Adelaide and or its environs.


Have done all 3 routes before, and Pat really loved her picture window views each new morning progressing along the Murray. Have arranged a temporary Telstra broadband mobile connection and will be able to log on from time to time with our laptops, and if any other Communicators of the 'old farts in caravans' fraternity may wish to learn of our current experiences, we may be able to assist.


One on one emails very welcome, however a request that we be deleted from ALL your readers Bcc multi-redist emails till late at least late September.

Travelling with 0407 25 05 41. Stay healthy, stay happy, stay upright. Kind regards.

Sandy and Pat 28/05/2010




Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

Kerry Rorison R52637 ex LRO, served between 1957 and 1963. Thence DCA between 1963 and 1989 when he retired medically unfit with M.S.

Kerry is now resident in a nursing home, Address . Bethsalem. 2 Education Rd. Happy Valley. S.A. 5159. Phone 08 83210426.

Kerry served in HMAS Melbourne, Harman and Queenborough.

With DCA he served in Mascot, Cooma, Norfolk Is. Wewak, Pt. Moresby, Adelaide, Gove, Alice Springs, and Pt. Hedland. He retired as Procedural Supervisor. SA/NT Region.

Now confined to bed or wheelchair, Kerry is very much on the ball and , I am sure, would like to hear from his workmates from previous times.

PS. If anyone should call in and see him, give him regards from Shorty Moffatt. Long time mate between drinks!!!!!





Scholarships for Children of Veterans intending Tertiary Studies in 2011.

In 2011 the Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust (AVCAT) are expecting to give financial assistance for up to 65 students under many different scholarship schemes. All schemes help the selected children in need of the Australian veteran community with the costs of tertiary education. Applicants are considered for all schemes for which they are eligible.

Applications open on 18 August 2010. To apply you must be:

a. Within the means test. That is eligible on assets and income grounds for Youth Allowance benefits for full- time education.

b. Enrolled, or planning to enrol in a full-time course of tertiary education in Australia by attendance at a university, TAFE or college. The course must be of one or more academic years length and at undergraduate level.

c. The child or grandchild of a person who has operational service with the Australian Navy, Army or Air Force, or if not has three or more year’s continuous full-time service as a member of the Australian Defence Force.

d. Under the age of 25 when applying, unless exceptional circumstances related to veteran’s service exist.

The largest scheme is the Long Tan Bursary funded by the Australian Government. There are 50 new bursaries each year. They are valued at $9,000 each which is paid at $3,000 per year for three years. There are selection quotas for each State and Territory. To apply you must be the child of an Australian Vietnam Veteran, be resident in Australia, be entering any year of tertiary study, having not previously received a Long Tan Bursary.

The other national schemes are the AVCAT Bursary, the two RSL Scholarships, three Vietnam Veterans’ Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Scholarship and the Defence Force Welfare Association Scholarship. George Quinsey Scholarships directly pay tuition fees for economics, commerce and accountancy studies. There are also regional scholarships. In NSW, there are three from Brisbane Water Legacy covering Gosford/Wyong NSW and one from the NSW TPI Association. Some private donors offer two scholarships to resident NSW applicants. In SA, the VVAA also offers a scholarship.

Schemes vary between $3,000 and $5,000 per year each. Some are restricted to location of residence or studies. Most require veteran service in Vietnam but others are broader in eligibility criteria. Most schemes continue payments for later years of study. All scholarship schemes but one pays monthly instalments. That scheme helps with tuition costs for courses in commerce, economics and accountancy. In addition to the above there is one grant per year to assist a handicapped eligible veteran’s child or grandchild with special extra costs of transition to tertiary studies or employment

To receive an application form register interest on 1800 620 361. Children and grandchildren of Vietnam veterans should do so now, as should any others who believe that they are eligible. If not sure, ask:

Applications close on 31 October each year.

AVCAT PO Box K978, Haymarket, NSW 1240

FAX: 02 9213 7307, Email: avcat@dva.gov.au  Web: www.avcat.org.au

Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust Limited

ACN 008 609 032 / ABN 50 008 609 032

Mark Newell

Executive Officer
Australian Veterans' Children Assistance Trust
Tel (02) 9213 7988
Fax (02) 9213 7307

10 May 2010


Jim Carey sends:


It would be appreciated if you could post an article on QSO requesting Dave Short, ex of Colleen and previous resident of the Gold Coast, to contact me re RANCBA membership and current contact details. He paid me his subs on ANZAC Day at Berkleys Hotel in Brisbane. My email is gaylejim@iprimus.com.au

Thanks and best wishes,

Jim Carey
10 May 2010



Sandy McNab sends

The Ships callsign sheets now includes the two new LHD's Adelaide III L01, Canberra III L02, and the three new AWD's Brisbane III D41, Hobart III D39 and Sydney V D42 allocations.

Off interest perhaps to those who may recall working the Army 32 Squadron small ships on the Australia station, it now includes some familiar AV's names and their callsigns of that era up to and including the Vietnam years.

Re the mystery recruit Telegraphist Feb 1942 photo. Donald Albert Crowley PA/V49 R26896 at 87 years young, located residing at Bribie Island advises that he is in the back row on the right hand side. Don completed his Telegraphists course and transferred as a Radio Mechanic in late 1942. As a long shot I contacted the current National president of the Radio Mechanics Association, John Saywell from Adelaide S.A. who would you believe has known Don since 1946 and he was able to convey my interest in the photo, and Don's identity reply. 8 down 6 to go.

I trust all the lads pulled up full of running after Sunday. Looking forward to the Adelaide gathering next year. Kind regards from the West.




ANZAC DAY - 25th April 2010 - Sydney

WREATH LAYING SERVICE. The RANCBA's day started with the Wreath Laying Service, held at the Cenotaph at 0740am. Approximately 22 attended, with at least half being serving personnel and also our Wreath Layer, ABCIS Nicole Franklin. Nicole carried out this duty with all the procedure and protocol for this solemn occasion and as previously stated, a credit to the RAN and the Communications Branch. Unfortunately after weeks of beautiful autumn - late summer weather, it vanished and rain/drizzle was part of the day.

MARCH. The Banner was in place at 0830am, and by 0845 the numbers were coming in steady groups and by the time we march-off, our contingent I estimated at 16 rows at 8 abreast, with our Banner displayed in the front carried by Andy Mills and Harry Firth, on the two ANF's , John Short and self on the right hand side, the reason being I could give the order, when passing the Cenotaph, Eyes Right and then Eyes Front. Our two March Leaders were Don Ferguson and Frank Lawton.  We were joined by serving AUSCANNZUKUS Officers here for a C4C Communication Conference. It included. Captain Mchardie RAN, Captain Lee USN, Cmdr Glanzmann USN, Cmdr Annett RN, Cmdr Walker RNZN, Cmdr Prentice RN, LCDR Williams RAN, LCmdr Zatt USN and LCmdr Brosseau RCN. It was so pleasing to see so many serving CIS sailors which included Officers, Snr rate and AB's in full uniform in attendance.

REUNION. All were asked all to stand and the names of those Communicators of the Royal Australian Navy and Womens Royal Australian Naval Service had "Crossed the Bar" since our last Reunion. Sadly the numbers are growing. Apologies which I had received were read out, Rear Admiral Tony Horton, our Patron here in NSW, was in Hobart, Lionel Barr who was joining with the RANCBA in the ACT, Alistair McColl health, George Standen, Ted Bastow, Doriel Wailes attending the Anzac Day Service in Port Macquarie, Ray and Sharon Mundy as Sharon had been admitted to Nepean Hospital during the week. Ken Street was heavily involved with the ABC TV coverage and did not arrive till later. Some of the Interstaters and country visitors included, Brian Claxton (Qld), Rowan Paine over the mountains from Mudgee, John Napier Central Coast, Gary Bawden (Vic). It would be so hard to name all, but special mention most go to our Committee who make this possible, Ken Swain, Trevor Pike, Laurie Scutts, Tony Froome, Max Miller, Frank Lawton, John Short, Don Ferguson, Ken Street, Sharon Mundy, Liz Watts, Harry Firth.  Two others I would be remiss in not mentioning and thanking them all they do to help us, CPO CIS Andrew Stuht who has become heavily involved now with the RANCBA here in Sydney ,and Nigel "Swampy" Marsh, Mine Host at the Royal Exhibition Hotel.

The pleasing part of my duties that day with all the speeches was to tell all in attendance about one of our Committee who had carried the duty of March Leader and had been selected to be a recipient of Life Membership, Don Ferguson. Don had a very interesting life in the RAN, he had been mobilised in WWII and the Battle for Australia and when the Naval Board decided to implement the Convoy System for the safe passage of merchant ships to ports still open to us, ie Port Moresby, Milne Bay. This had been in use since 1940 by the Royal Navy. He was selected to do this "crash" course to be trained as a Convoy Signalman. He sailed on convoys on the east coast of Australia and it was from May 1942 to June 1943 that was period of heaviest losses to Japanese submarines with 36 attacked and 21 sunk.  Don's luck rang out on the 12th May when the ships he was on "ORMISTON" was returning from troop carrying duties when it was torpedoed.  He served on 28 ships and when the Battle for Australia was won and the war went north, Convoy Signalmen were transferred to General Service on destroyers, corvettes etc. For his sin's or bad luck as drafted to a Commando Beach Unit training for a landing in Labuan Borneo against the Japanese. He then contracted TB and was repatriated to the Naval Base, HMAS MAGENTIC at Townsville , from there to a Naval Hospital in Sydney and then to Bodington House, Blue Mntns for rehabilitation and discharged from the RAN in 1946.  He joined the RANCBA in 1964 and since then has given dedicated service to the Association and never declines in carrying out any thing asked of him, ie attending Services, ie  Merchant Naval Memorial Service, Java Sea Service, and last year with others, attended the Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans Memorial Service to name a few. It was a unanimous decision by the Committee and on the end of my speech, Ken Swain as Vice President presented Don with a Certificate of Recognition and his Life Members Badge. Then it was time for all to settle down, partake of beverage and yarns. Many were still in attendance when I departed and really enjoying themselves.

Another successful day and thank you for all those that attended.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM,

President, RANCBA (NSW)

VALE John Howe R53109 (ex LRO(S)).

It is with deepest sadness that we farewell John Howe R 53109, Quickmatch 61-62. John died peacefully in the Austin hospital. His funeral will be held Tues 27th 1PM at Ballara Receptions Chapel Main Rd Eltham Map 22 E2.

Condolences to Bea and family.
Fair winds and smooth seas mate.
Secretary Quickmatch Association.


Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station

The future of Bells, the buildings, transmitters, transmitter hall, support buildings and ancillary equipment has not yet been resolved by the Commonwealth Government. Its future use is uncertain. The decommissioned communications facility has been assessed as surplus by the Commonwealth and they intend to sell the buildings, the former area of the antenna farm, the former depot area including the accommodation blocks and the area which was once the married patch.

The ACT National Trust has been concerned about the future of Bells and has been active over many years, particularly in the last five years, to ensure the Commonwealth Government honours the terms of its Commonwealth Heritage Listing and takes steps to retain the building and transmitters etc and ensure their long-term conservation as indicated in the heritage statement. The Commonwealth have a statutory obligation to do this but their track record so far has been less than satisfactory. Even though the three masts which supported the aerial wires for the 44 khz transmitter were clearly indicated as part of the heritage fabric of the facility it did not stop the Commonwealth Government in 2006 of dismantling them in what many thought a clear violation of the heritage legislation.

The situation at the moment is that the National Capital Authority is preparing a document called a ‘Draft Development Control Plan’ which will be issued to guide the future planning and use for Bells. The document can be found at:

It does not take a genius to realize on reading this document that there is little understanding of the importance of Bells in our defence history.

While I will continue to argue and advocate for their future retention and proper use through the National Trust (eg we have suggested the buildings along with the transmitters be adapted for a communications museum) I need help from other quarters. It is easy for the Commonwealth Government to dismiss the claims I make through the ACT National Trust if we are the only ones arguing for the retention and conservation of Bells.

So, if any of you communicators out there in QSO land have ever tapped out a CW message from Bonshaw, have received one from Bells or tuned into the broadcast while at sea I ask you to have a think about the future of Bells. Write to your local Commonwealth member and tell them that Bells was a very important part of our defence communications network and deserves to be retained, conserved as a reminder to all for what it stood for.

If enough of you write or email individually then those who will make the final decisions (and none of them are former communicators or have served in any of the forces) will have to listen.

Peter (Skeet) Dowling

Dr Peter Dowling (Ex CPORSS)
5 Pasley Place
Wanniassa ACT 2903
(02) 6231 5521
0417 233 194

FNSA Luncheon - 15th April

The 2010 FNSA luncheon was an outstanding success - at the inaugural Luncheon held in 2009 I think the number was about 175 attending, but within a week or so, people were asking for their name to be included in the list for this year - this year 310 attended.

Special mention must go to two people who do so much for this and are responsible for its great success; President, Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd and Secretary Ken Street, their organisational expertise was second to none. Along with the Treasurer, Didi von Widenhold and myself and as Vice President we make up the Executive Committee and saw the work that both Ken’s do, with Ken Swain also carrying out the duties of MC throughout the function.

The Luncheon was held in the Strangers Room at Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney attended by 310 ex serving men and women. This included Members from the Warramunga, Bataan, N Class Destroyers, ASDIC, Corvettes, Fairmiles, Merchant Navy, US Army Small Ships, FESR, WRANS, Royal Navy , Divers, Voyager Survivors Assn, Brisbane, Naval Historical Society, Royal Marines, WRENS, Hobart, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and 40 from the Communicators.

It will be hard in such a short item to write all details but I hope that you can visualize how good it was.
The Guest of Honour was the Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore AM, CSC, RAN accompanied by is wife Kate, who I would say gave one of the best speeches I have every had the pleasure of hearing.

Our Parliamentary Host was Mr. Peter Primrose MLC, who along with other portfolios is the Minister Assisting the Premier on Veterans Affairs. His speech was also good and in his opening he stated quote, I feel so humble to be in the midst on so many ex serving men and women who have served their Nation unquote.

When Ken Swain was introducing those seated at the Top Table he gave small snippets of his encounters with these “big hitters” which most of those in attendance who had served with them recognised, from his first draft onboard Vampire - when Dave Leach was the Gunnery Officer onboard, and one day on the bridge had yelled out “Swain" to which Ken had replied "Sir" only to be told "Not you, I want the proper Swain"!!! He then had a story about each of the following Officers that many would have served with. Vice Admiral David Leach AC, CBE, LVO, RAN Rtd, Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths, AO, DSO, DSC RAN Rtd, Rear Admiral Ian Richards, AO RAN Rtd, Rear Admiral Tony Horton AO, RAN Rtd who is also the Patron of the RANCBA in NSW. Sitting also at that Table, Mr. Les Dwyer, National President from the Naval Association of Australia and Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd, accompanied by his wife June.
Ex Commodore "Red" Merson accompanied by his wife Sylvia was seated with his old shipmates from Warramunga.

Prior to entering the Dining Room, there was a Meet and Greet held in the room outside and here we caught up with so many that we had known for a small yarn and a refreshing beverage. We were then asked to take our place at the allocated tables, and the National Anthem was played and the Ode in memory of those who had "Crossed the Bar” since the last Luncheon. Grace was said by Sister Mary Leahy, Order of St. Josephs, Mission to Seaman.  Then a superb luncheon was served along with a good selection of wines and ales.

The Communicators had 4 tables and this included Dave & Jean McLean (WA), Max & Bev Miller, Ray & Sharon Mundy, Brian Claxton (Qld), Glen & Leonie Gilford, Dave & Kath Turner, Terry Nugent, Laurie & Helen Scutts, John & Pam Short, Trevor & Joan Pike, Dave Kerr (SA), Andy & Jan Mills, Ken & Bonnie Street, Les & Faye Church, Don Jan Ferguson, Brian Dawn Gray, Peter Davey, Paul Macklin, Nev Newell, Allan & Helen Moffatt.

To make this a great day, the Executive Committee approved that we invite a Guest of the RANCBA, and I suggested a serving CIS person and as ABCIS Nicole Franklin had volunteered to be our Wreath Layer at the Anzac Day, she was a natural selection. What a delightful person she is and a credit to the RAN and the Communication Branch.  She was advised by the MC not to believe all that I say and some of my stories but it is hoped that she will go back and spread the word about the RANCBA to the serving personnel.

There were other Communicators in attendance, Liz Watts with the Ex WRANS, John Withers as Secretary of the Hobart Assn, Howard Halsted as President of the Corvettes, Dick Thompson with the Fairmiles. to name a few.

When the whole function came to an end, I was approached by some from different Associations asking will there and when will the next one be held. I think that says it all. Bring on the next one.

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Footnote. The RANCBA (NSW) is affiliated with FNSA and there may have been a some confusion, as 3 of us hold dual positions, Ken Swain is President FNSA and Vice President RANCBA, Ken Street is Secretary of both the FNSA/RANCBA and I am Vice President FNSA and President RANCBA. We have a very good working relationship, and along with the RANCBA Committee we hope that we are able to do our best for all.

Sandy McNab sends.

Some recent update to the mystery recruit Telegraphist class of 1942 photo.

A short while back I received a surprise email from a Dr Linda Griffith who had internet searched Jack Clive Griffith and it directed her to the RANCBA QSO Forum page. She contacted me and identified Jack Clive Griffith, 3rd from left in the back row as her beloved father who passed away 17 April 2001 in Caloundra. I subsequently replied with some information as to how the photo came to be and of our hopes to put faces to names. Linda responded, how kind of you to reply at such length - thank you very much. I was so thrilled to see the photo - Dad did not tell so many stories about the War (like so many) but he did talk sometimes about being a morse-code operator. And he was very proud when, the Philippine Government had a ceremony in Brisbane. Dad and many others were finally permitted to accept a medal for their valour in the war, especially the Battle of Leyte Gulf. I cannot thank you enough for everything that you have sent me - it was so wonderful to receive it all. Please excuse the delay in replying. So many thanks again - kind regards, Linda Griffith

Whilst still researching all things Ships callsigns, yes I am still trying to track down the WWII AMS corvette Armidale and the Wallaroo's callsigns. I am even trying now to locate ex-Corvette Telegraphists and thus, I was reading an article in the HMAS Mildura Association website of a Telegraphist Eric Ablett who had penned a page of an experience aloft in adverse seas, whilst replacing or repairing the main TX roof aerial. Bingo, yes he was one of the 14 named in the mystery photo and I learnt he was still alive and well. Through White pages I made contact and forwarded him a copy of the photo, and listed all the names as identified. Noting that he was an ex-sandgroper, I cue'd his memory with the identities of the other 3 who would have shared the same WWII troop train from Perth across the Nullabor enroute to Melbourne and FND.

Eric replied, Many thanks for your wealth of info. Stan Drury, George Delfs, Dick Mayes and myself were all Post Office. Stan and George were Telegraphists in the GPO Perth. I think Dick Mayes was a postal Clerk and so was I. We were Post Office counter jumpers trained in Telegraphy. I made a longtime friend of Jack Woods who came from Caboolture in Queensland although, I haven't been in touch for some years. I am fairly certain of the id's in the photo as follows.

Back row centre Stan Drury. Back row second from left George Delfs. Back row sixth from left is Dick Mayes
Front row second and third from left, the two little blokes are myself and Jack Woods

As you are aware the three apart from myself were all mature adults and I can recall my father on the Perth railway station lecturing the three of them to see I did not get into any trouble.  He was a Postmaster who had done time with Stan and George in the GPO. If he only knew the boot was on the other foot as they really enjoyed every second weekend in Melbourne.  Again, Sandy many thanks for your interest and please don't hesitate if I can help further. With best regards, Eric

I don't know how I ended up on facebook, nor why anybody would contemplate wanting to look at my beak, however to respond to something received, I registered with facebook.  You guessed it, all and sundry now want to be 'my friend' which is a bit of a worry. I am going to learn how to unsubscribe from facebook. However in the meantime, nothing ventured, nothing gained so I typed in Donald Albert Crowley and bingo it comes up with a sprightly looking elderly gentleman I believe from S.A. The Donald Crowley we seek was born at Quorn, enlisted at Adelaide as a recruit Telegraphist, and was already a radio trained adult. Completed his Telegraphist course along with the 12 others, but then transferred as a Radio Mechanic. This ties in with a Wireless Mechanic Branch being established CNO 194/1942 for direct entries and transfers. Prior to that Wireless Telegraphists maintained their own equipment. I await a facebook reply to confirm if this indeed is the same WWII 1942 Donald Albert Crowley, and if I can get some contact details it would be great.

With the Chief Telegraphist identified, along with Jack Griffith, and now Stan Drury, George Delfs, Dick Mayes, Eric Ablett, Jack Woods and Don Crowley if confirmed, gives us 8 out of 14.

Not a bad result to date and a couple of real good stories to go with it. Cheers

Many thanks Sandy - have also posted the photo to Telegraphist_Class_1942.htm


Found this photo of Coonawarra amongst my old slides-some of the oldies may like it !!
Taken 1964.

Brian Nichols

Exmouth/North-West Cape

(From The West Australian can you help page Monday April 12 2010)

Historian Anthony J. (Tony) Barker, co-author of Fleeting Attraction, a book about American servicemen in WA in World War II, is now writing about a later period. He would like to hear from, and hopefully interview, Australians, Americans or any others willing to share their experiences of life in Exmouth and at the US Navy communications base North-West Cape (NWC), in the 1960s and 1970s.

Contact: Tony Barker, 4/20 Princess Road, Crawley 6009.
Tel 0408 649 648
Email tony.barker@uwa.edu.au

Many thanks to Sandy McNab for passing the above on.

A follow-up email was received from Tony Barker and forwarded by Sandy.  Good to see many Communicators taking the time to assist.

"This is a message to all who contacted me by email in response to my request for information about Exmouth and the USN Base at North-West Cape in the 1960s and 1970s. Unfortunately the response has been so great that I haven’t been able to follow up with individuals as quickly as I hoped.

Since I returned to Perth almost a week ago I’ve been dealing with letters that had arrived while I was in Albany and calling many of the people who had approached me by phone. I apologise for not fulfilling my promise to contact everybody as soon as I got back to Perth. By the end of this week I will have interviewed six people in the Perth area and hope to complete another interview in Albany next week. Over the next ten days I also expect to follow up email contacts with people interstate (in NSW, Victoria, Queensland) and in the United States (from where I’ve already received some excellent material).

There are many more interviews to do in and around Perth and Mandurah: I’ll gradually make arrangements for all of them in the coming weeks. I’ll contact people in Exmouth to make arrangements well ahead of my visit in early August.

I’m very grateful for everybody’s interest.

Best wishes,
Tony Barker"


Form up by 0930 am William and Elizabeth Streets Brisbane. Look for the distinctive RANCBA Banner.
Post March - muster at Berkleys 255 Ann Street Brisbane. This is a catered function (selection of 5 from Cocktail Menu) $16.50 per head to be paid to:

Jim Carey,
PO Box 78

by Monday 19th April 2010.

AGM & BBQ will be held at the Maritime Museum, Southbank Brisbane on Saturday 30th October. Full details will be posted closer to the time.

Merchant Navy Memorial Service

The RANCBA as part of the Ex Service Organisation (ESO) was invited to attend and Lay a Wreath at the Merchant Navy Memorial Service held on the 11th April, at the Chapel, Necroplis Drive Rookwood. It was a very packed Service and many attended. These included Commander Phillip Anderson OAM, RAN representing the Fleet Commander. Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore AM, CSC RAN, the US Consul, a Brigadier, Royal Marines representing the British High Commission, to name a few and many from various RSL's and RSL Sub Branchs.

Commander Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd, represented the Federation of Naval Ships Association, accompanied by his wife June, and he Laid a Wreath on behalf of the FNSA. I was accompanied by wife Helen, and had the honour to Lay a Wreath on behalf of all Communicators.

There were several guest speakers, and these included The Honourable Greg James QC, Mr Bernard O'Brien President of the MN Association and his stories of the perils of the MN during WW II were great to hear, and also Mr. Don Kennedy , President of the MN RSL Sub Branch.  The Service was conducted by The Rev. Ian Porter, Principal Chaplain to the Mission to Seafarers and accompanied by Sister Mary Leahy of the Stella Maris.  Special mention must go to the Detachment of the RAN Band under the baton of CPO Musn Steve Stanke, Bandmaster.

A very good Service and I was honoured to represent the RANCBA on this occasion.
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)

Keith Payne on ABC TV - Allan Moffatt sends:

For those that can remember, Keith Payne VC, joined the RANCBA at a Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans Memorial Service a couple of years ago and you may be interested in hearing him.
Allan Moffatt

"Just to let you all know that KEITH PAYNE VC will be the featured guest on the ABC’s TALKING HEADS program next Monday (April 12).  The program is on at 6.30pm just before the News.  Keith is telling his life story and it’s very moving. I thought your members might like to know that it’s coming up.

Jacquie Harvey
Talking Heads ABCTV
08 8343 4044"

Sandy McNab sends:

In recalling the mystery photo of LTO Don Salmon along with 'Woof' Collie taken on the Melbourne, I mentioned an LTO Peter Gerrey and asked if anybody knew of his present whereabouts. I subsequently learnt from Les Church that he indeed was still with us and could be found most Monday's at the ANMM on Darling Harbour having embarked on his third naval career now as a volunteer tour guide.

Pat and I recently visited Sydney for a family wedding. I was also planning a visit to the maritime museum's library in my continuing hobby research of all things 'RAN ships callsigns' and armed with my Pentax digital I made a determined effort if possible to also catch up with Peter. Upon inquiring and learning of my visit from the West, the rostering officer cancelled his 1200 lighthouse tour to facilitate a surprise nearly two hour chin-wag. A lot of water under the bridge since being on the Melbourne in 1961 when he was the 5DeltaPort messdeck kellick.

Attached are a couple of photo's of the museum visit and the man himself. I said I would convey his sincere regards to all per favour of the QSO forum, so keep Mondays at the museum in mind if any of you are planning a future visit to Sydney.

Cheers all.

ANMM  ANMM  ANMM  Daring class HMAS Vampire/VJZC/D11 later changed to  VKMC/11   Attack class PB HMAS Advance/VMGU/83  Oberon class HMAS Onslow/VKLF/SS60  Sandy McNab and Peter Gerrey

Fm Bill Aylott:
I served with Don Salmon on Voyager and Woof at some time but can't recall what ship. Good to see Peter is still with us and still has that great head of hair. Will keep his rostered day in mind for next visit to Sydney. Great detective work Sandy!


NAVTIMS was decommissioned on 26 March 2010.  This will be of interest to the many Naval Communicators who worked the system since its introduction in 1990.

As reported in the closure signal, NAVTIMS was a leap ahead of its time being installed prior to network computing, when a morse key was still a large part of a Naval Communicators life.  It was a messaging system that was designed, developed, installed, operated, supported and maintained by both past and current sailors.

BZ to all Communicators who worked hard to keep the system running during the past 20 years.


Fm Frank Aldred 8/4/10:
Sad to see the demise of NAVTIMS or, as written in 1987, NSR 1610. I was fortunate to be a co-author of the NSR with LEUT Dave Burnett RNZN. With the foresight and drive of CMDR Peter Mole, the NSR made its way through the maze of the Navy's approval processes for minor projects, competing with the warfare branch's love of weaponry. The work done by Paul Cass and others in DNCE (as it was at the time) was brilliant. I am very humbled and proud to be part of that team that put in place an ICT system that has lasted 20 years - a significant achievement for modern communications technology.

Best Regards

Terry 'Red' Ryder sends:

Myself, Doug Conn and Bill Blinkhorn paid a surprise visit to Pat Rowley at Robina Hospital on 31 March. On Anzac Day last year, Pat had a fall at home and broke her cheekbone, wrist and a couple of ribs. A week or so later, she was walking to their car in a carpark when her left leg gave way. She was taken to hospital where xrays showed that she had broken the femur in her left leg. Now anyone who knows anything about bones knows that the femur is the hardest one of all to break. Anyway, 10 months and 7 yes 7 operations later after having had the leg set and reset a couple of times, 2 or 3 rods inserted and taken out, 2 lots of staph infection, bone marrow grants and endless stays in hospital, they thought they were over the worst. However on the Sunday after her 7th operation on the Thursday the week before, she had been wheeled to xray and when they got her back in to her room, when she went to put a bit of weight on her good leg (the right one) the femur in that leg snapped too!! They have reset that leg and are hoping that both will now heal and she hopes to be home in a week or so. As you can imagine, it has been an extremely traumatic time for both of them and their family but I must say after visiting her today, we all felt that she was bearing up extremely well when you consider what she has gone through. The attached picture shows her and Arthur smiling but there have been many tears of frustration over the last 10 months.

Here's hoping the worst is over for them now and they can get back to some sort of normality in their lives.

Our best wishes go to Pat and Arthur - here's hoping that things improve from here.

Vale Brian John 'Fez' Parker ex POSY (Age 63 - 3.6.1946 to 26.3.2010)

Red Lipscombe passes on the sad news that an obituary notice in the Canberra Times of Saturday 27 March 2010 (confirmed by John Strickland and Greg Beck) advises that ex-CY Brian (Fez) John Parker (DOB 3 June 1946) passed away at Clare Holland House (Hospice) in Canberra on 26 March 2010.

Fez was an ex-RN Yeoman who post Navy service worked with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra and later with Customs. Funeral details to be advised.

Thanks Red, sad news.  Lest we forget.

Funeral Details:
The Canberra Times of Monday 29 March lists that Fez's funeral
will be held in the Chapel of the Norwood Park Crematorium, Sanford Street, Mitchell on Thursday, 1 April 2010, commencing at 12 noon.  

Vale Roger Gaydon - Ex WOSY R26909. (Age 84 - 4.2.1926 to 22.3.2010)

It my very sad duty to advise of the passing of Ex WOSY Roger Gaydon. Roger died last night (Monday 22 March) after a long battle with illness (cancer).  Funeral arrangements have not been advised as yet, but I shall endeavour to keep all informed..

Farewell old friend.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Sad news - Roger was a great bloke and will be fondly remembered by those who knew him.  I have never heard a bad word said about him.  Lest we forget.

Fm Bill Aylott:
Very sad to read that Roger has passed away. He was one damn fine communicator. First George Bracken & now Roger. God, I must be moving up the damn ladder. Regret, I will not be able to attend funeral due to touring in southern states. Sympathy to family.

Funeral Service for the late WOSY Roger Gaydon

The Service will be held at The Entrance/Long Jetty Uniting Church, 204 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty, opposite the RSL, on Thursday April 8, starting at 11.00am.

It is hoped that as many as possible can attend as Roger served for many years and was well known within the Communications Branch.  Medals should be worn.

Allan Moffatt
President RANCBA (NSW)

Warrant Officer Signals Yeoman Roger Thomas Gaydon
1926 - 2010 B4720 (his WWII Official Number) & R26909

It was a fitting Service for our departed shipmate, Roger Gaydon , and it was standing room only. As Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd said, a great final farewell to a great Chief/Warrant Officer. The Service was held at the The Entrance Uniting Church attended by so many ex RAN personnel from various ships and establishments. When it came time for the RSL Tribute, Laying of the Poppy on the Casket, they were queued outside to come forward to the Coffin covered with the White Ensign and then later on when we asked if anyone would like to form a Guard of Honour as his casket was taken from the Church, Trevor Pike and myself estimated that there was approximately 85, as there were places where they were 2 or 3 deep.

The Eulogy was carried out by Mr. Howard Halsted OAM who was a young Ord/Signalman under Roger (who was a Signalman) onboard HMAS STRAHAN during the later part of WW II and when they were minesweeping in Hong Kong Harbour so that big ships of the Pacific Fleet could enter and accept the signing of Declaration from the Japanese at the surrender, they struck a mine.

Roger enlisted on 14th June 1943 and served full time war service, discharged on 3rd February 1959 but he missed the Service and re-enlisted on 7th November 1961 and finally discharged 18th October 1974, a total of some 29 years. He had many drafts and some of these included, HMAS STRAHAN, SHROPSHIRE, SYDNEY (3 times) TOBRUK, HMS GLORY, QUIBERON, CRESWELL (RANC), MELBOURNE, VAMPIRE, DUCHESS and Fleet Command.

It was a pleasure to have known him from the mid 50's when I first went to sea. I had the honour to visit him in Hospital on the Central Coast earlier this year and presented him with his CIS Medallion, and his daughter Sandra , husband Tony where in attendance.

Communicators in attendance, Trevor Pike, Les Church, Ray Hartam, Howard Halsted, Danny Bowden, Ken & June Swain, John Napier, Clem Paine. Helen & self.

Also in attendance 2 Serving Officers and a Chief, which included Commander Alex Hawes RAN, Commander Sea Training Group, Minor War Vessels, who had flown down from Cairns to attend the Service as he had known Roger.

Farewell old shipmate
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)

RANCBA (NSW) ANZAC Day Arrangements - 25th April 2010 - SYDNEY

We commence with a Wreath Laying Service at the Cenotaph, Martin Place at our allotted time, 0740am. For those attending, we fall-in at 0730am at the southern end of Martin Place, cnr of Pitt Street.

On completion, we normally all go to the Combined Services Club, cnr Barrack and York Streets, just off Martin Place where for the outlay of $6 - 7 you can obtain a healthy breakfast, You can also have something stronger to wash it down with you desire!!!!

We start to muster in Castlereagh Street (north) at 0845am . Our Association Banner will have already been set up and is highly visible. Communications are number 18 of 53 Navy Contingents The overall Anzac Day March Leader is shared by the Senior Serving Officer of the 3 Services in the area, and this year it is the Navy's turn and the Leader will be Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore AM CSC RAN - Fleet Commander. Then the Leader of the Navy is Ex Vice Admiral David Leach AC, CVO RAN Rtd. RANCBA March leader will be shared this year, Ex WWII Convoy Signalman Don Ferguson, and Ex CYS, Frank Lawton.  We are dismissed near Hyde Park. It is a good March and all enjoy it.

All and I mean all I hope will make their way to the Royal Exhibition Hotel, Cnr Sussex & Devonshire Streets, just off the Central Station. We have the use of the verandah area, , small bar etc. The Bistro is will open for food, but like drinks it will be at your own choice and costs. We keep all costs to the bare minimum. Call it stumps when you like. Transport as we are adjacent to Central Stn, and near Eddy Avenue, bus inter change, there should be no reason for using private transport. Also all those wearing Medals ware given free transport by the STA, (bus, rail & ferry) within the CBD.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President .RANCBA (NSW)

RANCBA (ACT) - ANZAC Day Arrangements

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

Our march leader will be CMDR Matt Doornbos RAN.

Members usually meet at the Navy Memorial on Anzac Parade.  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.

All communicators and ex-communicators very welcome.

Peter Guy

Dick Waldie sends:

In the lead up to the Gollies reunion in October, I discovered that baseball caps with gold embroidered rate badges are available through the HMAS Sydney website at http://hmassydney.com/headwear.html

They have informed me that these caps can be made up within 10 working days.

There are images of the caps (with other rates) on the website to give you an idea of what they look like.
I have informed them that they can expect some orders in the near future, so he has quoted $18.00 each (normally $22.00) posted to anywhere in Aust if you quote order code SR2010 (That's for the RO's badge).  You can also get name etc. embroidered on the back for an extra $5.00.  There are other versions available eg. rank & rate, ships etc. prices may be different though.

For other rate badges, you had better check with them at davidgdwyer@hotmail.com

Dick Waldie
Ex Gollie

Ken Street advises that it is getting busy down at GI these days.

  This photo sent by Lyn & Dobbo Dobson...

Attached is photo taken recently by our daughter, Alana, who is SCO HMAS Parramatta - 154 in foreground.  We thought you might like this photo taken from the opposite direction to Ken Streets.
Lyn and Dobbo Dobson



On the weekend of the 2, 3 and 4th of July 2010, the NSW/ACT Division of the Far East Strategic Reserve (Navy) Association intends to hold the 55th Anniversary of Australia's longest and most successful campaign. The Malayan Emergency like Korea and Vietnam was a war. For political and economic reasons this campaign was not called a war, but an Emergency. The Emergency last 12 years and 35 days. It was a war that involved the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately it is little known and even less publicised. By the end of the campaign, some 26 Royal Australian Navy ships had served in the area, including 2 RAAF Squadrons and a Battalion of the Australian Army Regiment. Also Naval ships from Great Britain and New Zealand together with their respective Armed Forces.
Each year we hold celebrations throughout Australia, held by their respective State Divisions. The NSW/ACT Division would like to hold its 55th Anniversary at Gosford. It is envisaged that it would be a small mini Anzac Day with a March, led by bands and a Wreath and Plaque Laying Ceremony. A lunchtime BBQ with music in the park is to follow.

All ex Navy Ships Associations, Members of the Army and Air Force will be invited to attend, together with all RSL Sub Branches, War Widows and Nurses Associations. On behalf of the NSW/ACT Branch of the FESR, I cordially invite you and your Members to attend and March with us at this Anniversary function. Medals to be worn. A Dinner will be held at Gosford RSL on Saturday the 3rd July, which I hope you will be able to attend.

I would be obliged if you would indicate as soon as possible your acceptance of this, as much planning must be taken for such an event.

Maurice Kriss
State President FESR

As many of us served in the FESR during that period, it would be good if we could have as many as possible attend in recognition of this period of Service. We would participate and Lay a Wreath at this Service. Should you wish to show a Expression of Interest, could you let me know, as if we have sufficient numbers in attendance, I would take, display our Mini Banner and promote the RANCBA. This would be for ALL State Chapters, not just NSW.

Allan “Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW).

Info. The RSL has its own Motel right next to the Club.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

I received this message from a PTI and he asked if I knew of anyone having suffered cancer symptoms from radar, wireless aerials etc. If you do know of any of this happening could you reply to me.

"Allan, My mate a Chief Yeo in the RNZN "Harvey Graham" has had an ongoing battle with cancer and a few of his mates in the Comms branch have passed away with the "dancer". 

He has asked me to find out if there is an elevated risk of cancer in the Comms ranks here, from exposure to radar and wireless signals from the amount of time spent on the upperdeck. I would appreciate your help.

Tubby Davies

If anyone does know, could they let me know
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt
President RANCBA (NSW)

An Important Email from the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA)


Dear Colleagues

You will be aware of the efforts that the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) has been undertaking on your behalf regarding the unfair Indexation of Military Superannuation Pensions and our campaign to protect the purchasing power of them.

More recently, we have expressed some concern regarding prior associations between Senator Sherry (who commissioned the Matthews Report into ADF / APS Superannuation Indexation in June 2008) and Mr Trevor Matthews (who lead the Review) and also Mr David Harris (who played a prominent role in it). We have written to the Prime Minister asking him to release all documentation relating to the decision to engage Mr Matthews and Mr Harris (including those related to the financial arrangements) and for the Prime Minister to clarify the nature and extent of the reported associations between Senator Sherry and Mr Matthews and his review team members. Parliament is responsible to set ADF service conditions and it is important that all serving and former members have confidence that this responsibility is taken seriously by all MPs and not feel let down by the Government.

Your support remains fundamental to achieving ultimate success of our campaign. If you are able, we encourage you to make your views known to your federal MP and/or senator, the PM and other Ministers and Opposition Spokespeople (some email contact details are provided below). You could also consider approaching media outlets as well to give them your views (some email contact details are also provided below). Please also refer the issue to any of your acquaintances who have an interest in ADF Superannuation.

IMPORTANTLY … DFWA believes this campaign would get more consideration by our political representatives if those among us, who are sometimes emotional and at times even abusive over the lack of support by the Government, use more measured words. We do understand the frustration and we have no quarrel with forceful language but please avoid personal attacks because these can spoil the very well developed arguments that are now being put by other individuals and organisations, including the DFWA.

A simple consistent message without distractions is what is needed ..... the simple message that what we seek is to “protect the purchasing power of military superannuation pensions” is the key theme. Remember also that “all we want is a fair go” is a great slogan encapsulating our campaign for justice and equity.

We must ensure this is an election issue ..... so continued pressure, in a constructive but firm tone by email, phone, written correspondence or even personal representation to your local members and others, is important.

We have a wealth of information on our website to help you. Some email addresses are also provided at the end of this email.

Yours sincerely

Les Bienkiewicz
Executive Director
Defence Force Welfare Association
PO Box 4166
Kingston ACT 2604

Tel: 02 6265 9530
Fax: 02 6265 9776

E-mail: national@dfwa.org.au

Sandy McNab sends:

I was recently introduced by Godfrey Dykes www.godfreydkes.info to Dave Carroll Chairman of the RNZN Communicators re some RNZN callsigns I was seeking confirmation of. Dave has replied with some appreciated information from his members and with further expanded research this end, the RNZN ships callsign page has now expanded somewhat, particularly pre and post WWII activities.

Interesting to read of and note their experiences of requisitioning, refitting and mobilising anything that floated, not unlike the Australian situation during those very bleak years and arming it with whatever they could lay their hands on, allocating a pennant number and maybe some signal letters, and assigning them a multitude of coastal and off-shore defence tasks with their Reserve and Volunteer Reserve crews.

Attached are my latest work-in-progress callsign sheets.



This Service was held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place, Sydney of Friday 26th February 2010. The MC was Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd and Chaplain Patrick Sykes RAN officiated.

Precisely at 11am, the Cataflaque Party provided by HMAS KUTTABUL marched on to the "Slow Beat" of the music "PROUD ECHO" was was written by the RAN's Director of Music, Cmdr Phillip Anderson RAN to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the sinking of HMAS PERTH and USS HOUSTON in 1942. This Service also remembers the sinking of HMS REPULSE and HMS PRINCE OF WALES. More than 78 ships and submarines from 5 Allied Navies took part in the major conflict with enormous loss of ships and crews.

HMAS PERTH was sunk in the Sunda Straits off Java with the loss of 353 crew and HMAS YARRA was sunk off Java and there being only 13 survivors of a crew of 151.

The Guest of Honour, was the Federal Member for Veterans Affairs, Mr. Alan Griffin MP and Captain Neville Teague represented the Fleet Commander. There was also many representatives from Conuls and other Federal and State Departments.

W/O Sharon Mundy CSM Laid the Wreath on behalf of all Communicators and as Vice President of the Federation of Naval Ships Associations, I had the privilege of carrying out that function.  At the conclusion of the Service, the National Anthems of Australia, Great Britain, United States of America and the Netherlands were sung. What a stirring finale to this fine Service.

Communicators in attendance, Sharon Mundy, Peter Davey, Les Church, Ken Swain, John Short, Don Ferguson, John Reeves, Howard Halsted with the Corvettes, Dick Thompson with the Fairmiles, Dave Sutherland with the HOBART Assocation, Liz Watts ex Wrans Association, and yours truly.  All in all Communicators were very well represented.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Jim Carey recently received the following email and asked that it be published on QSO:
"My name is Jan Wills. Steve Singleton was the love of my life at the time of the Voyager collision. I had just turned 14 years old on the 5th Feb and Steve had just turned 18 on the 4th Feb 1964. As it is nearing the 50th Anniversary of Feb 10th my thoughts have been turning to that fateful night. We had kept in touch all these years (although not enough) and Steve and Jenny visited Steve's hometown of Ballarat not long before he passed away and we caught up. My parents always called him the "Admiral" as did so many of our friends. He was as you would know throwing the chest out whenever he heard this.  I would love to catch up with some of his mates from the Navy who came to Ballarat with him over the years we were together , 4 years in all until I was 18.

I remember Gary Perrin (Hippy) , Rufus , Kenny ? and no one else. As I have now turned 60 I have many stories to tell about him in those early days. I have a wonderful picture of him when he left HMAS Cerberus after his training. I also have a pic of Rufus , Steve, and Hippy. Can you put me in touch with these guys or advise me as to where I could find them. I had 10 shoeboxes of letters from all over the place from every ship he was posted to but sadly when I was married I threw them out.

Thanks and hoping to hear from you soon.

Jan Wills
0438 323690
03 53356155 work
03 53329014 H
Email: janianni@hotmail.com

I will contact Jan in reference to the photos, but I don't know any of the other sailors mentioned.  If anyone is able to assist please contact Jan.  10/03/10.

Fm Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt:
Ref the item on the late Steve Singleton, I think I know one of the people, Rufus. We commissioned and served on the Patrol Boat BARBETTE,but after a year he was medically discharged as a result of the VOYAGER collision and another incident whilst on VENDETTA.. His name was Duncan Fletcher, but known within the 1st Patrol Boat Squadron as Rufus or Roodog.  Great hand and I caught up with him last year the VOYAGER Memorial Service at HMAS CRESWELL.

Darwin Revisited - Sandy McNab sends:

Bit quiet on the home front, so thought I'd re-run these clippings of yester-year should you wish to post them with the weekly updates.

Cheers all
Sandy (and Patti)


Subject: FNSA - Annual Luncheon

Dear Members and Friends,

Just a reminder that the Federation of Naval Ship Associations (of which we are an affiliated Member Assn) are holding their Annual Luncheon on 15 April 10. Details are as follows:

What: FNSA Annual Luncheon
Where: Strangers Room NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney. (Perhaps the finest Dining Venue in NSW)
When: 12.00 for 12.30 on Thu 15 April
Dress: Jacket and Tie with Medals
Cost: $60.00 per person for arrival drink, 2 courses and beer,wine,softdrinks as required.
GOH: CN Vice Admiral Russ Crane AO CSM RAN and Mrs Crane will attend and CN will be Guest Speaker.
Other Distinguished Guests attending will be the Fleet Commander RADM Steve Gilmore, VADM David Leach Rtd, RADM's "Guy" Griffiths and Tony Horton Rtd.

Wives and/or Partners are encouraged to attend this "Grand Occasion.

Communicators wishing to attend should forward their cheque/s or money order made out to "FNSA Luncheon" to me at:
88 Bogalara Road
Ph 02 9631 8068 if you require more details.

It would be preferred NOW, but by 15 March at the latest. I will relay our total number and cheques to the event organisers.

As happened last year I certainly hope we can field a table or two by supporting the FNSA Luncheon."

Lets show all other Associations how good the Communicators are We had 26 last year, so lets make it more this year.

Allan Moffatt
President, RANCBA (NSW)

Navy News from 1958 thru 1990 Now Online

If you cant find yourself in one of these then you must have been in the RAAF


Ken Street
CCO Fleet Headquarters
(02) 9359 4976
0413 182 950

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker is in Sick Bay:

Following my annual medical checkup, I had a colonoscopy last week, which revealed a colorectal (bowel) cancer.  During further tests, a PET/CT scan showed another (smaller) cancer on my liver.

I will be undergoing surgery at the Greenslopes Private Hospital on Friday 26 February to remove the diseased part of my lower intestine.

Following recovery from that, I will have 3 months (may be extended to 6 months) chemotherapy, to combat the smaller cancer.


I'm sure many of you would like to pass on your thoughts and best wishes to Nullarbor.  I have told him I believe  he has the required positive attitude and strength of character to beat this.  I'm sure his many friends in the Comms world will be thinking of him as he fights this battle and we all look forward to a good result after surgery and chemo.

Fm Nullarbor 25/02/10:
Could I get you to -T- to all those ex-Comms who sent best wishes and words of encouragement (some whom I have never met, others that I haven't seen or heard from since the 60's), my sincere thanks.
I'll take their positive remarks, along with my own and Jenne's confidence into the operating theatre tomorrow morning.  I'll be going off the air (computer) this afternoon for a while, but I have asked Jenne to email you as soon as they have the results of the surgery.
Until then..........
AS AR dit dit

Fm Ron's Daughter Tiffany 27/02/10:
This is Tiffany, just a quick one to let you all know that Dad had his surgery last night and is doing well. Haven't had a chance to speak with the surgeon in depth yet but sounds like everything went to plan.
Mum and I saw him last night just after the operation and he was very sore but doing well according to the nurses. On our way in to see him this morning so will keep you all updated on how he is doing.
I'd imagine that Mum will be fairly busy for the next few days so if any of you can't get in contact with her please feel free to send emails to my address at t.baker-schaefer@hotmail.com
Thank you for all of your support and will talk to you soon.  Tiff.

Fm Nullarbor 05/03/10:
Left hospital yesterday (Thu 4/3) after what appears to be a fairly successful operation removing the cancerous part of the intestine.  The spots on my liver have been discussed, and I am to have an MRI next Tuesday to determine whether they need to be surgically removed, or bombarded with chemo. Whatever the case, that will happen in a month from now. I have some tenderness around the lower stomach area but, apart from that, am feeling fine. A small price to pay for having the cancer (and an umbilical hernia) removed.  I lost about 6-7Kg over a short period of time, but wouldn't recommend the diet.  Thanks again to all those "old salts" who sent emails of support. I can't repeat what some of the remarks were, but they certainly cheered me up.  I've got a month now to get myself as fit as possible before the next round.

Fm Nullarbor 20/03/10:
On Monday 29 March, I move back into Greenslopes for an operation on the morning of Tuesday 30, to remove the three "secondary" cancers on my liver. Tuesday night will be spent in the ICU, followed by another 7 nights in hospital. Sometime after that, the 3-6 of chemotherapy will commence.  My family will contact you following the operation to let you know the initial results, and I plan to be back on the air sometime after Easter.  Can I use this forum again to thank all who have sent me emails of encouragement? It is my intention to answer each of them individually....it just may take me some time.  I still intend to travel to the States with my wife in September for the USS Frank E Evans Reunion in San Diego.

Fm Nullarbor 11/04/10:
Got home from Greenslopes Hospital on Thursday after 10 days with the doctors and nurses.
The operation was, according to the surgeon, a success. He took 25% of my liver, but is confident that he got all the cancer(s).  I'm due to start chemo in about 3-4 weeks time, and that will go for 6 months. Feeling pretty good at present, all things considered. Lost 18kg between February and now, but should put some of that back on, I guess.

Ken Street sends:

A couple of snaps I took on 12 Feb 10, one from Harry's and the other from up near the NSW Art Gallery.
As you can see there are quite a number of ships alongside,1,2 and 3 abreast.  Also a couple out of view on the East and West wall near the dry dock.

Bit like the OL days.........

Ken Street

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:


To mark the special occasion of the Centenary of the Launch of Australian Navy's first Warship, HMAS PARRAMATTA, which was the first ship of the fledging Commonwealth Naval Forces, later to become the RAN. She was a River Class Torpedo Boat Destroyer, and was launched on the 9th February 1910 by Mrs Asquith, wife of the then British Prime Minister on the Clyde River, Glasgow, Scotland. Later on she was to be joined by HMAS YARRA & WARREGO. There is now, and has since the very beginning, a very good bonding of the ship's bearing that name, and the city of Parramatta. So for this, the Parramatta City Council held a Formal Dinner.

PARRAMATTA is the oldest name in Australia's Naval History, and there has been four ships to bear this very proud name. Parramatta was taken in recognition of the Barramattagal people, a clan of the Daruk people, who lived in the area. - Butta means "eels" and matta means "creek".

Ken Swain AM, accompanied by his wife June and myself (Allan Moffatt) accompanied by my wife Helen received invites and we are so glad that we attended.

It will be hard in a limited space to write all that took place, so I may have to abreviate or unfortunately miss some items for which I do apologise.

The evening commenced at 7pm at the Parramatta Town Hall function room which had been fully decorated in blue and white and on the stage was the City of Parramatta Band playing Their selection of music was greatly appreciated. The MC throughout the evening was Mr Maurice Green APM.

After a short period of refreshments and meeting other guests and friends, we were all invited to take our seats at the allocated table, and the Official Party arrived, and they were piped in by 4 Members of the Parramatta RSL Pipe Band. These included, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO , Governor of New South Wales. Incidentally, she was wearing the uniform of Honary Commodore of the RAN which was bestowed on her last year at the Freedom of Entry, Sydney Harbour by ships of the RAN and the Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Councillor Paul Garrard.

The Australian National Anthem was then played and Councillor Paul Barber then made a speech, an acknowledgement to our Country. On completion Principial Chaplain Brian Rayner OAM RANR said Grace, and a very superb Dinner was then served.

Speeches then commenced, with Captain Mike Noonan RAN, who was the Commanding Officer of HMAS PARRAMATTA IV in 2003. He read a message from the current Commander of HMAS PARRAMATTA IV advising of his regrets of not been able to attend, but the ship is at present at sea in "work up" condition in preparation of their subsequent deployment to the Gulf in March.

Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Chiang Lim Proposed the Loyal Toast, and then Lord Mayor, Councillor Paul Garrard Proposed a Toast to "Our Ship" PARRAMATTA .  This was followed by Commodore Michael Van Balen RAN who Addressed Guests and Proposed a Toast to the City of Parramatta.  Her Excellency, Professor Maria Bashir AC CVO gave an outstanding Address and it was very well received by all in attendance.

Mrs Jill Langford-Green, "Ship's Lady" was then invited to the stage. Mrs Langford-Green was the daughter of the XO of HMAS PARRAMATTA II which was torpedoed and sunk between Alexandra and Tobruk by U559 with the loss of 138 men and only 24 survivors. Sadly her father was one of those lost of that night.

Presentations were then made, followed by the Ceremonial cutting of the cake. Captain Mike Noonan was piped into the hall, and the Ceremonial Sword he carried was then handed to a young serving sailor from HMAS PARRAMATTA IV's previous crew, Councillor Paul Garrard and Mrs Langford-Green and this important part of the Dinner was carried out.

It would be hard to name and acknowledge all those in attendance, and also those that did so much for this special night to take place, but I take this opportunity to say BRAVO ZULU.

Allan Moffatt OAM,
President, RANCBA (NSW)


Len Eaton sends:

In 1962, whilst serving Aust army in Singapore, 3 of our unit boarded the Parramatta, 3 on the Yarra. At that time the Parra was skippered by Guy Griffiths, the Yarra by Tug Wilson. We worked out of Singapore, chased pirates towards Borneo, finally made our destination of Hong Kong. Whilst in port HK was hit by typhoon Wanda. We were away from Singapore for the term of our leave passes. Would there by any records of our presence on board (we worked the EWO).

I can be contacted on mobile 0400242077. Len Eaton 6/1195 ex 101 Wireless Regiment.

I have pointed Len towards the Ship's Victualling Registers held by NAA - if he was onboard as stated he would have been victualled and the Starvos would have kept a record.  If anyone else can assist please contact Len direct.

Fm Sonny Fay:
I can confirm that Parramatta in 1962 embarked 3 army lads from Singapore, for a short period of time. We enjoyed their company, and I hasten to say that they enjoyed their time onboard. However I believe the Captain of the Yarra at that time was Red Merson.

Fm Len 05/06/10:
My thanks for Sonny Fay's response, however the skipper of the Parramatta was Guy Griffiths, the skipper of the Yarra was most definitely Tug Wilson. We had 3 swatties (ourselves) on each ship, all working EWO. My memory recalls we sailed in June 1962 Singas-Hongkers-Singas. Len.

Bob Nicholls sends:

My name is Bob Nicholls and I am an ex-RN & RAN- er, joining the Andrew in May 1945. Since retiring I have been writing naval history. My current book is an account of the RAN between the Wars, that is from 1919 to 1939. As you will appreciate there are some gaps in the story and I'm having difficulty acquiring first-hand accounts from participants. As far as signalling (not called communications in them days) is concerned I had hoped to get in touch with Gordon Johnson but I fear I may be too late.

What I'm after is getting in touch with one of your members who might have joined before 1939 or, failing that, someone who has done some research into the Branch.

The kind of help I'm after includes as far as W/T is concerned an account of the use of wireless - the broadcast, ship-to-shore, ships in company, single operator periods.

As far as v/s is concerned, was mechanical semaphore in use or was it just another device on the flag deck. Masthead flashers as opposed to directional signal lamp.

Has anyone any idea where I might get a look at a Fleet Signal Book. What was the name of the CB/SP which contained a series of many thousand four-letter groups of geographic places, actions etc from which pre-machine classified messages could be constructed. What preceded Typex, was it the first machine coding machine. If so, what did it replace. I remember the dreaded stencil subtracter device.

I'm fairly certain that there was no voice in use before the War, and even then not until the US TBS was supplied some way into the War.

Were TAG's primarily Tels and gunners second.

Can someone confirm that Tels did all their maintenance until well into the War when the Radio Mechs came onto the scene.

Was anyone experienced in D/F-ing at sea?

That's a bit of an ask, but one never knows.

My address is 122 Merrigang Street BOWRAL 2576 and my phone number is 02 48622661.

If anyone is able to assist with the above please contact Bob direct.

John Perryman advises:
Bob Nicholls visited the Naval History Section last week in search of a Fleet Signal Book and other information in support of his project.

Regrettably we do not have an FSB in our collection mainly due to the practice in the communications world of 'amend/replace and destroy'. This has meant that many communications publications were destroyed when superseded and few examples survive.

I fear that Bob's project is going to rely heavily on oral history or on the archives of the United Kingdom.


First RANCBA ACT Walking Group Gathering for 2010:

Thursday 11th February - at 0930 - meet at Dunrossil Drive - park on grassed area at top of Dunrossil Drive on the left side.

Thanks and cheers, see you there.

Peter Guy

Geoff Chalk sends:

G’ay om can you paste a msg in the QSO asking anyone the details or known whereabouts of ex POWRRS Di Hokin and if so send me an e-mail. Tks om.

Replies direct to Geoff please.

Di Hokin!! You should try QSO Graeme Ogg or Pat Epton..
Jack Bawden


Vale Phil Skimmings (ex ROEW)

Mark Lavis sends the following sad news:

Phil Skimmings (ex ROEW) passed away after a battle with Cancer.

Funeral is Wednesday 1100 at Allambe Memorial Gardens Crematorium Nerang QLD.

Mark Lavis
Lest we forget. 02/02/10

FNSA Luncheon 15 April 2010

All RANCBA Members from any Chapter are more than welcome to attend this luncheon on Thursday 15 April 2010. If you are attending, please send your cheque/money order to Allan Moffatt, RANCBA Coordinator FNSA Luncheon, 88 Bogalara Road, TOONGABBIE NSW 2146.

At the inaugural Luncheon in 2009, 26 RANCBA Members attended including Dick & Jean Cantwell from WA. Lets make it more this year and show how good the Communicators are.

Follow this link for more details.

Allan " Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)
01 February 2010


For those ex Junior Recruits from JRTE's at LEEUWIN and CERBERUS, the link below to the 'Publication: Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs No 29 - HMAS LEEUWIN: The Story of the RAN'S Junior Recruits' provides insights into the training and life of Junior Recruits during the years 1960-84.

Written by RADM Rtd Brian Adams, the booklet includes a foreword from the current Chief of Navy, VADM Russ Crane.  Brian and Russ both started their Naval careers as Junior Recruits.

The booklet can also be downloaded as a .pdf version from the link below.



David Kerr sends:

Thought RANCBA members would be interested to get this update on the planned scuttling of ADELAIDE 2 off Terrigal on 27 March 2010 and ask if you could put it on the web site.



I am delighted to attach updated details for the scuttling of HMAS ADELAIDE off Terrigal, arranged for 27th March 2010 (weather permitting).  Also attached is the latest email received from Natalie Heise who is the Project Manger for the Crown Lands Division.

If anyone is planning to be in Terrigal for the 27th March, please contact me or Natalie direct, who is planning special VIP areas for HMAS Adelaide Association members or former Ships company.

With best wishes

Diana Hill
3 Faulkner Street
Adelaide S.A. 5092
Tel: (08) 8265-0937
Mob: 0408-690-038
Email: diana.hill@internode.on.net


As you know we are currently planning to scuttling the Ex-HMAS ADELAIDE on 27th March 2010 which is now less than ten weeks away. The scuttling event itself has been designated a 'Hallmark' event for NSW. This means it is being managed in the same way the State of NSW would approach the Sydney New Years Eve or Australia Day celebrations or events such as the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. We are expecting significant crowds on both land and water.

To make the day a celebration for the NSW Central Coast we are proposing a program of community attractions and events on the morning of the scuttling. Being so close to shore the best viewing location for the scuttling will be Avoca beach and this will be the focal point for activities.

We would like the members of the HMAS ADELAIDE Association to be a key part of these celebrations. As such we would like to arrange for members who want to view the scuttling to be located in a VIP area at one of the two surf clubs on Avoca Beach for the morning. At this stage, however, I am not sure of just how many people this would include and whether or not we have the capacity to do this.

I was wondering if you could assist in determining numbers of members wishing to attend the scuttling and possibly names so we can look at how we might best cater for them. Could you please let me know how we can best manage this?

Hope to hear from you soon,

Natalie Heise
Project Manager Ex-HMAS ADELAIDE Project
Special Projects Manager
Crown Lands Division
Land and Property Management Authority
T 4920 5058
F4925 3489
M 0448 101 047

David Wescombe-Down sends:


Original or copy of ABR5043 (Instruction manual for low power MF-HF radio equipment type A618/ACAS 1961). I have sourced a transmitter (serial number 57) to restore for use on ham radio bands & would really appreciate loan or purchase of the manual to help the project along. Had one of these aboard IBIS in '66 and it's come back to haunt me 44 years later !!!

Dave (Wescombe-)Down.

Many thanks to Rod Beckinsale, Jim Anderson & Jim Eagles for their heads up on sourcing the A618 TX instruction manual. The Diamantina museum sparkery is sending me the manual to photocopy, which means the restoration is not far away & I look forward to taking up Becky's idea of a 618/618 QSO on one of the amateur bands. Your input has been appreciated guys & consider a gratis beer issue unfolded !! Best regards de DWD/VK5BUG.

Vale George Thomas Bell ex CRSS (29.9.1926 - 17.1.1010)

Carolyn Davey sends:

Sadly Georgie passed away Sunday 17/1/10 at 1145am.

It was his wish and that of his family that he have a private funeral and his death not be promulgated until after his funeral. He was privately cremated today (19 January) . He had been in Claire Holland Hospice for several weeks.

His sons Geoffrey, Peter and David and daughter Karen have all been here supporting Ella. George was 83 - now no longer in pain.

RIP Georgie.
Thanks Carol.  Lest we forget.

Fm Laurie Scutts:
I will always remember George as my Chief at Harman and what a great bloke he was. When on the occasion he felt the need to give me some guidance there always seemed to be a wry smile on his face......Cheers mate from your sometimes recalcitrant RO (S).

Fm Dennis Preece:
I refer to the untimely departure of CRS(S) George Bell - I can neither begin to muster the appropriate words to describe the deep sadness and sorrow that I feel today or, in general terms, the entire comms family must be currently enduring. R.I.P George - an enormously influential CRS(S), a highly respected leader and mentor to the young, and a person greatly admired by all who had the pleasure to know and serve under. DJ.

Fm Dave McCann:
Fare thee well George and may you find a great " Riki Tiki' game in wherever you are, all the best mate
Dave McCann.

Fm Nugget Nugent:
George was the “S” Branch legend. Along with Ted Pretty, Ned Kelly, Tiny Kopp they were our mentors in the late 60 and 70. Like Laurie Scutts (what an evil person lol) you knew when you were in trouble with George as we all thought we were bullet proof then. Bonshaw West may be gone but the memories of this good kind man will remain. A leader of men, now sadly missed.

Fm Sue Hackett:
On behalf of all the young, vulnerable WRANS who arrived at Bonshaw and fell into the trap of buying Insurance cover from the wonderful Chief George Bell, I register my sadness at hearing of his death. Vale chief - you were one of the few remembered with fondness by so many - you 'got' almost every one of us!!
Sue (nee Halpin)

Fm Tarsh Trewhella:
Vale George Bell.
Sue, you weren't the only who George tried to sell insurance to. I'm sure Laurie Scutts was Georges insurance lacky. Great memories of a fun loving man. When working day shifts at Harman,Wednesdays were sports afternoons, George would say ''if you don't play golf at Queanbeyan Golf Club,you don't get to play sport on Wednesdays'', on hearing this me and my crazy sidekick Stan Hair took up golf and suffice to say we had every Wednesday arvo off. RIP old mentor.

Fm Bobbie Bacon:
When I took in a request to stay at "Harman" to George, he wanted to know why. I told him I was leaving shortly to be married, & needed to stay at Harman till I was discharged. He ask if it was a sailor, & when I replied yes, he said "never marry a sailor you never know where they have been". He signed it after I gave him a name.  R.I.P. George - a lovely man with a sense of humour.
Bobbie Bacon

Fm Carol Davey:
Hello John....Ella Bell has asked that a Thank you be sent to all those ex Navy people who sent cards/flowers/phone calls/emails for whom she has no addresses. She knows about all the tributes on QSO. George was a very "special" fellow and is greatly missed by all.
Many thanks

Fm Ray Horton:
Re passing of Geo Bell.

Due to illness within my own family, I have not kept up to date on communication events and

I have just read of the passing of George. I did so with great regret. We served together at Harman in the early to mid 50’s and I have foggy memories of being ‘christened’ under the billiard table which was then in the recreation hut, by George on my 21st.. I find it hard to recall meeting any better person than George. My deepest condolences to Ella and his children.

Ray Horton

Vale Graeme “Chips” Rafferty (ex LRO)

Terry Reid sends:

It is with great sadness that I wish to inform the members of the Communications Family that Chips crossed the bar in the early hours of this morning 19 January 2010. Those who knew Chips would remember a mate who was constantly laughing and enjoyed life to the fullest, he was very conscious of his fitness and to see him taken by that terrible disease Motor Neurons was a great injustice.

Farewell Old Mate
Terry Reid
Thanks Terry.  Lest we forget.

From 'The West' Fri 22/01/10
The Funeral Cortege for the late retired Sergeant Graeme John Rafferty 4792 of Cloverdale will arrive at KARRAKATTA Cemetery, Railway Rd, Karrakatta for a Service in the Crematorium Chapel to celebrate his life commencing from the main entrance at 09.30am on MONDAY (25.01.2010). Donations to the Motor Neuron Disease Foundation of Western Australia would be appreciated.

Fm Laurie Scutts:
I also remember ' Chips ' as a good mate in Singapore 69 - 71 ( RANCD ) he was already married at the time and we all had some good fun times at his place in the patch which I think was in Jalan Kayu just outside the Seletar gates, not unlike George, Chips had a great sense of humour and nearly always had a smile on his face.......Cheers to you mate
Laurie Scutts
RO (S)
RANCD Singapore

Vale Ex Sig. Cecil Audley Black OAM

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

It is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of Cec, one of nature's gentlemen. Unfortunately I was away at the time of his passing and only found out about it when I returned home and there was a message from his son Richard asking if I could advise all Members of the RANCBA that may have known him, by which time it was too late. So for the non advice I sincerely apologise.
Cec, aged 73 years, passed away on Monday, 4th January and his Service was held at the Macquarie Park Crematorium, Sydney on 7th January. From the item received from Len Rodgers, it was a packed congregation, and over a 100 attended the wake at the Gladesville RSL Club.  Along with being a very staunch Member of the RANCBA, he was a Life Member of the Gladesville RSL CLub Ltd (also a serving Director,) a Life Member of the Gladesville RSL Sub-Branch (and immediate past President) and a Life Member of the Gladesville RSL Youth Club .

Cec was one of the Committee of the 2005 National Reunion held here in Sydney and nothing was too hard for him. He worked ceaselessly on all tasks given to him and wanted nothing in return, just as long as all had a great Reunion.

He attended last Anzac Day 2009 and rang me to ask if he could take part in the March as he was now restricted to a wheel chair and required to carry a oxygen cylinder with him, but his son would be his carer. It was indeed a pleasure to have him join us, not knowing it would be for the last time. Cec had been diagnosed with asbestosis from his time in the Navy.

To also quote a message from ex President Andy Mills "I worked with him for many years at the Martime Services Board and in all that time, have never heard him say a bad word about anyone."

I also would have to say in all the time I knew Cec, both within the Navy and then on Committee's he never said a bad word about people he worked with.

You were without a doubt one of the world's gentlemen.
Smooth sailing old mate.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)
Lest we forget.

Kev Ruwoldt sends:

It has been decided that the Brisbane Monthly Communication Meet and Greet will take place on the 1st Monday of each month including Public Holidays (most of us are retired anyway).

We send an RPC to former OD Comms people to join Buckethead, Gus, Jim C, Chidge, Ruwie, Perce, Stinky, Tackers and Sprocket for a few quiet ales and a meal.

Meet at the Grand Central Hotel at Central Station (off Ann Street) between 1000-1030 hours adjourning to the ‘Berkeley on Ann’ for lunch.

Hope to see you on the 1st February 2010.

Kev Ruwoldt

After the event, Kev sent the following photograph of (L to R):-
Chidgie, Tackers, Doddsy, Buckethead, Sprockett, Stinky, Jimmy, Ruwie and Percie.

Chidgie, Tackers, Doddsy, Buckethead, Sprockett, Stinky, Jimmy, Ruwie and Percie.

Sandy McNab sends:

AHS Centaur

An interesting website link below with photo's of the search plans, its subsequent discovery and positive identification.


I recall years ago an ABC TV news interview at sea with people at an annual memorial service, and I recognised George Bracken placing a wreath overboard. I subsequently learnt the significance being that George had two Army brothers on board the AHS Centaur, a Private John Bracken and a Sergeant Paul Bracken who both perished with its sinking. Sadly with Georges passing last year, he did not learn of their final resting place. RIP


Jim Anderson sends:

In searching for stuff for the Scouts I came across this link which may be of interest to our members.



Thanks Jim, a great training aid for those who wish to improve their flashing light skills.  You can also network with another computer.

Vale Jim Griggs (ex CRSS & LCDR SDEX C)

Dave Jeffrey sends:

Further to my recent QSO advice regarding the health of Jim Griggs, I am sad to advise that Jim crossed the bar just before 6AM this morning 2 January 2010. His funeral will be in Adelaide probably Thursday 7 January 2010 but I will keep all advised.

Another long term communicator has signed off .-.-.

Tks Dave, Lest we forget.

Fm Dave 4/01:
Jim's funeral will be held at St Martin de Porres Catholic Church at Hallet Cove SA 1030 Wednesday 6 Jan 2010, with the committal following at Centennial Park Cemetery.