ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY COMMUNICATIONS BRANCH ASSOCIATION
January/February/ March 2020
Vale Desmond Edward McKee R93067 (ex WORS)
Dave Jeffrey advises that Des 'Crossed the Bar' on Friday 27 March 2020. He was privately cremated at Goulburn Crematorium on Thursday 02 April.
From the Archives: Desmond
Edward McKee, born 02/09/1944, Joined RAN 07/07/1960 as part of the 1st
Intake of JR's at Leeuwin.
Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd
On Saturday , 7th March at the City of Sydney RSL Club, George Street Sydney a Meeting was held and the Guest Speaker was RADM Guy Griffiths.
Here I was seated with Mr. Mike Perrott (MELBOURNE/FAA Assn), Mr Bob Auston SYDNEY Assn) and Mr, Bruce Richens, President of the NAA (Parramatta sub section) – there were others that I had met or known . It commenced at 1400 but most had arrived by 1345, and a few minutes after the starting time , RADM Griffiths arrived. For a person who had celebrated his 97th birthday a week earlier, he is so immaculate in dress and his speech was brilliant – He was down to speak for 1 hour, but he concluded at 1545 which allowed for those who wished to ask a question
He commenced with his start of his Naval career, his early life began in the Hunter Valley region and at the age of 13 years, he entered the Royal Australian Naval College as a Cadet Midshipman in 1937. After graduation he was posted to the Royal Navy in 1940 and joined the Battle Cruiser HMS REPULSE . Sadly on the 10th December 1941 HMS REPULSE and the Battleship HMS PRINCE of WALES was sunk , he was one of the survivors. He saw service on HMAS SHROPSHIRE and saw action in the SW Pacific and the battle of Leyte Gulf , Lingayen Gulf etc .
After WWII he served on the aircraft carrier HMAS SYDNEY and then HMAS ANZAC and in both occasions saw service in the Korean War. Service on HMAS MELBOURNE was to follow and in 1961 was the Commissioning Commanding Officer of HMAS PARRAMATTA, and in 1965 the Commissioning of HMAS HOBART in the USA and then the first RAN ship to be deployed to the Vietnam War- he spoke so proud of all who had been part of the Commissioning and for those who remained and served in Vietnam.
Later on he was the Commanding Officer of HMAS MELBOURNE and here the ship participated in the Operation to assist and help Darwin after it had been destroyed by Cyclone Tracey on Christmas Day 1974.
This is only a small resume of his career, but as stated he is indeed a wonderful speaker, and he throws in little “one liners” .It was a pleasure to attend and I am glad that I did so.
Allan Moffatt OAM
Vale Nathaniel “Jack” Dempsey R50200 (ex LRO)
Born 09 March 1937, Joined RAN 09 March 1955 for 6 years. DEE 08 March 1961.
Jack passed away AT 1.15am this morning (25 March 2020).
Jack served on HMAS Quiberon with Keghead Weaver. Do not have any other info on Jack’s Navy career other than he was fond of the WRANS.
Jack worked for the Dept Civil Aviation up until his retirement, serving in Madang PNG, Cloncurry and Townsville. Retired to Bargara with his partner Irene.
Sad News, may Jack RIP.
HMAS PERTH Association & Plaque Dedication Service
This combined Service was held at the Chapel, Garden Island on Sunday 1st March 2020, but unfortunately due to the very limited parking available, I believe many cancelled out , even though they had submitted their names for entry to GI at the last moment
The Service was Officiated by Chaplain Andrew Watters RAN who did an outstanding Service and this was very evident during the Reflections on the research he had carried out.
After the Welcome by the Chaplain, all were asked to Stand as the Australian White Ensign was Paraded into the Chapel by a escort of Serving personnel – later on, some who had never seen this before , told me , it is so wonderfully carried out and reflects on well on the Navy.
The Opening Prayer and then the Hymn “O God Our Help In Ages Past” and then the Naval Psalm
Bible Reading from John 15 9-15 was Read by Anthony “Timber” Mills , President of the PERTH Assn
This was followed by Reflections and here as previously stated, Chaplain Watters had done some great re search and it was well received by all in attendance
The Hymn “Eternal Father Strong To Save” – the Naval Hymn was sung by all, and following the Naval Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer by all
The Plaque Dedication then followed for the Memory of former Shipmates
GWENDOLINE MARY CORNWALLIS
JOHN OLAF HENDRICKSON
DAVID JOHN McCANN
Here a family relative – friend – former ship mate are asked to come forward and speak on behalf of that person – brilliantly done
(For those that may not be aware, any former serving Member of the RAN , or WRANS , regardless of rank, rate or time served may have a Plaque Dedicated to them and is fixed in the Chapel of Remembrance)
Then followed a Poem, HMAS PERTH (by Vic Duncan – aboard during the Battle in the Sunda Strait and then a POW ) and here it was Recited by Ms Christine Stewart , the daughter of John Grant also a POW) She spoke so well and very proud of all those who had Served on the PERTH in WW II.
Also a man came forward and passed on the best wishes of Frank McGovern , also a Member of PERTH in WWII, a survivor of the infamous Thai – Burma Railway and then a POW in Japan, he had celebrated his 100th birthday last October , but has had a couple of falls of late, the last being last week and broke a rib, and could not be with us today.
The was followed by the Naval Ode and ODE, The Last Post – A Minutes Silence and Reveille – By a Bugler of the RAN BAND – Sydney Detachment
All to remain as the AWE Colour party marched down the Aisle and the Chaplain resented the AWE to the Banner Bearer, they about faced and faced the Congregation and here all were asked to join in the singing of the Australian National Anthem (both verses) . – and the Blessing by the Chaplain
Morning Tea was then supplied by volunteers – all Ex Communicators and this is carried out in the vicinity of the Historical Bldg, The following made, and brought in by Jan & Ric Easom, Liz Watts, Ken & June Swain, Andy & Jan Mills and Helen and self (Shorty) Moffatt . Due to prior commitments , a few of our normal volunteers could not be with us today , Philip & Mary Bell, Diana Avent and her sister Liz.
The setting where we carry this out, in my opinion is one of the best you could wish for , on the shores of Sydney Harbour looking at Rose Bay area and yesterday the number of yachts made it look more so spectacular – and thoroughly enjoyed by all .
To each and everyone many thanks and also to Chaplain Andrew Watters and to PO Digby Ingham for all his work in the back ground and to those at the Historical Society for the use of their facilities . BRAVO ZULU
Also on the way home , I diverted to see Mr Don Ferguson WWII Convoy Signalman who sadly now in a resident in a Nursing Home . He is aged 96 years , but is still sprightly and we had a good yarn and wished all the best that know him.
Allan ‘Shorty” Moffatt OAM
GUEST SPEAKER REAR ADMIRAL GUY GRIFFITHS AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd
REMINISCENCES OF MY NAVAL CAREER.
If anyone who will be in Sydney on Saturday 7th March and would like to attend this presentation, herewith all details.
You are invited to attend our next presentation on Saturday 7th March 2020 by Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths RAN Rtd.
Cost is FREE, but a gold coin donation is always appreciated !
Venue: City of Sydney RSL, 565 George Street, Sydney NSW. Take the lift to 4th Floor – Liverpool Room.
RSL is located right hand side of George St and a 5 minutes walk down towards Central from Town Hall City Rail Station.
Presentation is timed for 14:00 – 15:00. Refreshments are available pre or post from the third floor Sports mans bar.
Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
RANCBA NSW Chapter
Vale John Alfred Martyn R39481 (ex LRO)
It is my sad duty to inform of the passing of John “Pincher” Martyn . He passed away on the 16th February 2020 at the age of 92 years.
During his Navy career from 9th November 1950 till 8th November 1962 , and after training at HMAS CERBERUS , he served on HMAS ANZAC – Active Service in Korea, HMAS HARMAN, HMAS QUIBERON, HMAS KUTTABUL, HMAS ANZAC.
He was a keen cricketer
whilst in the Navy.
Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
All SHIP's Reunion November 2020
has advised he will probably be attending. Shorty is the only
Communicator still alive out of the 4 who Commissioned HMAS MORESBY in
February '64. 'He's getting worried, so better make the most of it now -
the last Reunion was great.'
HMAS MORESBY CREW
Anyone interested in having a get together
in November, Ballina Sub Section of the Naval Association is running a
ALL SHIPS REUNION in November. It is a great weekend. Expressions of
interest would be appreciated before I spend hours organising.
Vale Frederick Maxell 'Lofty' Burgin R49954 (ex CY/Const)
Hi from the Burgin Family.
Its with sad hearts that we wish to let you know that our beautiful Dad - Frederick Maxwell Burgin passed away last Sunday night, so for those who would like to attend Dad's funeral it will be held at the Norwood Crematorium Samford St Mitchell on Tuesday 18th February at 3.00pm and light refreshments after at 27 Follett St Scullin.
Lest We Forget
(Lofty's service details will follow shortly - he transferred to the Naval Police in 1966 and then took a free discharge in November 1969).
HMAS VOYAGER Memorial and Survivors Reunion
On this day, 56 years ago on the 10th February 1964 at approximate 2055 hrs , 19 nm from Point Perpendicular, Jervis Bay , the Daring Class Destroyer HMAS VOYAGER collided with the aircraft HMAS MELBOURNE (flagship of the RAN) with the fatal loss of 82 of the crew of VOYAGER. This was the worse peacetime Naval disaster of the RAN.
To Commemorate and remember those who were lost a Service was held at Jervis Bay from the 7th – 11th February . Sadly with age, health and the weather conditions that we have experienced in the last few months, the numbers were down. But , for those that attended and also NOK of departed shipmates, I believe were more than happy with what was arranged.
The first night, 7th a Meet & Greet was held , but for some of the Survivors, they were invited to the Senior Sailors Mess , RANC , HMAS CRESWELL for a Dining-In Night. Now, I have never served on VOYAGER, but due to the fact that I have been heavily involved in this Service for many years in different ways, I also received a very welcome Invite from the President of the Mess by WO Grant Leepere . We were driven to HMAS CRESWELL by Mrs Brenda Hannay, who I shall say more about later.
After the security checks were carried out at the Main Gate, we were then driven to the Mess – here we were met by the President and other Senior Sailors and made very very welcome.
After a welcoming drink, and 2 very important Guests had arrived, one being the Commanding Officer HMAS CRESWELL, Captain Bairstow CSC RAN and then the Warrant Officer of the Navy Deb Butterworth OAM , CSM and Bar who had arrived from Canberra. One of the Snr Sailors wearing Mess dress, but in lieu of trousers, wore his Scottish kilt, and with bag pipes, piped us into the Dining Room – it was beautifully laid ,out along with silver candle holders on each table . Seating was with a Snr Sailor on each side of you, and this worked well. The meal was glorious, and the red or white wine was very welcome and when it came to Toasts, decanters of port were passed on each table.
One of the Snr sailors rose and spoke of the Naval career of the WO of the Navy, her career in the Naval structure was nothing short of amazing , and then she rose and spoke – her communications skills and speech were well done, my only regret, it was not recorded.
After the meal and relaxing drinks and talks, we were asked to leave the Dining Room and after a short period to return – the tables had been cleared, but in front of each person was now placed a envelope. The President rose and asked each to open the envelope and in turn, we had to stand and read out the names (2) in each slip of paper, it was the name of a Officer or Sailor who had lost their life that night – the first time this has been done.
This brought to and end of the formal affairs, but all to remain, linger and talk to who ever you wish to do so. Here Captain Bairstow came up and said hullo to me, I had met him at the previous VOYAGER Reunion in 2019, and then the WO of the Navy came around and to the 6 Survivors and myself, presented us a Medallion and a case containing pens. It was a night I shall always remember.
The following evening, a Formal Dinner was held and there was nothing but praise for both the Dinner and the Venue – here I carried out the duty of MC for the evening. In my opening speech, I mentioned, 2 names John Withers and his email and just before leaving to drive down there, a phone call from ex LRO Alan Hellier and Survivor of the sinking and at present he is President of the RANCBA QLD Chapter.
On Sunday a Church Service was held at the Chapel, HMAS CRESWELL and Officiated by Chaplain James Sutherland RAN – he delivered a beautiful Service and this was more so when he explained how the Hymn “It is well with my Soul” came about – on completion Morning Tea was supplied and it taken up by all. A Luncheon was held at the Huskinsson Bowling Club , and here I caught up with Ex CYS Ian Schubert and his wife Marion – We spoke again on “old times”!!!
Monday, 10th February at the approx time that the fatal collision occurred, a Memorial Service was held in VOYAGER Park at the Memorial – it is a beautiful Memorial and on one of the walls that names of all those who lost their life that night. The Service was Officiated by Chaplain James Sutherland RAN and very well attended by all, plus members of the public.
On completion this brought to an end of 4 days of a mixture of both the Memorial and Survivors Reunion and I am glad that I attend and shall as long as I am invited.
This 4 days is the result of very hard work which is carried out by Mrs Brenda Hannay – Secretary – she resides down there, but sadly her husband a Survivor is now a resident of a Nursing Home and requires full ongoing assistance , plus many did not know, she drives to to Sydney each fortnight to check on and assist her mother (94 years old) – she is without a doubt a legend and should be awarded for all she does.
Some of the Communicators who were lost and I had served or knew. Bob Denham, we joined up together, did Rct School, sea training on HMAS GLADSTONE, School and this was his second posting to VOYAGER. LRO Don McPharlin great hand, Sub Lieut Errol “Sandy” Beavis, he had been my Regulating CRS at COONAWARRA in 1960 and had just returned from the UK after completing a SD Course, Yeoman of Sigs Kev Cullen, but also others Alex Hegarty, the only person to escape out of the wheelhouse and we served on HMAS MORESBY, Duncan Fletcher we served on the PB HMAS BARBETTE, Sig Gary Evans the only person to escape from the bridge, George Smith who came to MORESBY after survivors leave and time on QUIBERON This is just a few
It is hoped that this period of the RAN shall not be forgotten.
Lest We Forget
Allan Moffatt OAM
RANCBA NSW Chapter
Vale Marianne Eynon
It is with a sad heart that I am informing you of the passing off Marianne Eynon on Thursday 13 February 2020.
Marianne's Funeral notice appeared in today's Canberra Times (Saturday 15 Feb).
Marianne was the wife of our immediate past President, Ken Eynon.
A service for Marianne will be held in the chapel of Norwood Park Crematorium on Friday 21 February 2020 at 1.30 pm.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Brain Tumour Alliance Australia.
President RANCBA, Canberra
Sad news, our thoughts are with Ken and family.
Special thoughts from Robyn Rouse:
Taffy sorry to hear of the passing of your Marianne, it’s hard times when you lose your life long partner and I feel for you and your family. I do remember meeting her In your Canberra home quite a few years ago now.
Special thoughts to you. Robyn Rouse
RANCBA ACT - Australia Day 2020 - BBQ by Lake Burley Griffin.
FUNERAL SERVICE – VICE ADMIRAL DAVID LEACH AC LVO RAN Rtd – GARDEN ISLAND CHAPEL – FRIDAY 31st JANUARY 2020
In company with Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd and many others we arrived at the Main Gate, Garden Island at approx 10.30am here our names where checked on a very big list and then taken to the waiting coaches and driven to the Chapel . On arrival there, and going into the Chapel our names and seating was carried out by 4 sailors and a CPO , who did a sterling job and later when it was starting to get very hot, they made sure everyone and I mean everyone had ample bottles of water to drink - they were a credit to their Branch.
The Chapel was completely full and this included the family , Mrs Pamela Leach Mr Michael Leach, Mrs Nicola Leach, Malia Leach and some of the following – it would be too long, which included HE The Hon Margaret Beazley AC QC Governor of NSW, Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michel Noonan AO RAN, Rear Admiral Jonathon Mead AM RAN, Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tony Horton AO RAN Rtd (Patron the RANCBA NSW) Mrs Margaret Horton, Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd, Rear Admiral Rothesay Swan AO CBE RAN Rtd (Former Fleet Communications Officer) Mrs Margaret Swan, Mr Ray James Vice President RSL NSW, Mr Bob Auston .Mr Lee & Rosemary Stockley OAM, Rose Bay RSL Sub Branch, Mr Tony Mills& Mr Mike Kay , President & Secretary of the HMAS PERTH Association , Sister Mary Leahy OAM Chaplain Sydney Port (MN) , The Hon Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair RAN Rtd and also the 35th Governor of NSW, Mr Greg Reid MBE – this was just some -
The Service commenced with all being asked to Stand and then the Officiating Chaplain Rev. Colin Acton RAN in the front and followed by the coffin borne on the shoulders of 6 serving sailors immaculately dressed in full whites and the coffin draped in the Australian White Ensign and all his Australian Order and Medals carried on a black cushion . They slowed Marched down the aisle The Welcome was given by Chaplain Acton and the Opening Prayer and then all to join in a beautiful Hymn Jerusalem
Following was the Service Tribute given by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN , and a herewith a brief coverage of his Service.
David Leach was born July 1928 in Perth WA, and at the age of 13 years, Joined the RAN as a Cadet Midshipman in January 1942 during WWII - at the RAN College he was appointed Chief Cadet Captain and was Awarded the King’s Gold Medal. In 1946 – 47 served in the Royal Navy in the British Pacific Fleet before returning to Australia and here he served on HMA Ships AUSTRALIA , MURCHISON, and ARUNTA , After specialising in Gunnery he then was the Gunnery Officer of the new Destroyer HMA VAMPIRE (and here Ken Swain was one of the young Communicators who were part of the Commissioning) . He then served as Fleet Gunnery aboard HMAS MELBOURNE.
Command appointments followed HMAS VENDETTA II 1964-66 and HMAS PERTH II during her second deployment in the Vietnam War 1968-69 . HMAS PERTH was effective in providing accurate fire on enemy positions , thereby earning a US Meritorious Unit Citation - He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1969.
Following as Director of Naval PlaNS 1969-70 and then the RAN Representative in the United Kingdom 1971-74 . Appointed a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO) for his Services as Liaison Officer during a Royal Visit to Australia.
As Commodore served as Director of Naval Plans , Director General of Naval Operational Requirements 1975-76 before returning to Britain to complete the Senior Staff Course at the Royal College of Defence Studies
Promotion to Rear Admiral he was Asst. Chief of Naval Staff 1978-79 and then Flag Officer Commanding Australian Fleet 1979-80 and Asst Chief of Naval Staff Personnel 1980-81 . he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his Service as Commander of the Australian Fleet Advanced to Vice Admiral in April 1982 and became Chief of Naval Staff and was elevated to Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).
He retired from the RAN in 1985 but continued as a Member of the Australian War Memorial, a Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Life Patron the HMAS PERTH Association , Commissioner in the NSW Crime Commission and also served a Mayor of Woollahra Sydney where he lived with his wife Pamela.
The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN then Presented Mrs Pamela Leach with a Australian White Ensign.
Eulogies were given by Mr John Leach and Mr Peter Leach, Ms Nicola Leach and Mr Michael Leach.
A Musical Tribute, AN IRISH BLESSING by the Choir of the Australian Club – May the road rise to meet you May the wind be always on your back – beautiful and sang so well.
Prayers followed and the Lord’s Prayer
The Naval Prayer by Commodore Ivan Ingham AM RAN , and all to join in the singing of the Naval Hymn (music by a Detachment of the RAN Band).
The ODE by Captain Matthew Shand RAN –Commanding Officer HMAS KUTTABUL
Then outside from the Chapel , a Volley of Rifle Fire by an Honour Guard.
The Last Post – A Minutes Silence – Reveille ( RAN Bugler ).
The Committal and then all to remain standing as the Coffin was then borne by 6 serving sailors and Petty Officer in Charge and they all Slowed Marched down the Chapel aisle.
The Recessional Hymn – I Vow to Thee My Country.
On making your way down outside was the full Band of the RAN, a Honour Guard and then approx 2-300 sailors in full whites who marched behind the hearse.
This brought to end of what I would term – a beautiful service and a fitting end for some one who served their country.
We then joined coaches and at a very slow pace, made our way to the Main Gate, Garden Island.
Allan Moffatt OAM
RANCBA Member NSW Chapter
RANCBA ACT Australia Day BBQ
The Association will be holding a BBQ on Australia Day again this year – details as follows:
Where : Weston Park Yarralumla – the second parking area on the right – next to BBQ’s and toilets – look for our banner.
When : Australia Day, Sunday 26th January 2020 – from 1000 onwards.
The Association will provide eggs, bacon, sausages, bread etc – BYO drinks and chairs.
The area is a ‘Dogs on Leash’ designated area – kangaroos frequent the area.
For catering purposes, please advise me if you are joining us.
0499 991 421
Those Sparkers out there may be interested in the attached, which I have recently built. (Described as a Side Swiper for the PC brigade).
The two adjustable contact units, (the two black bits either side of the blade) I have had in the shed for around 30 years – thought it about time I put them to good use.
Key is functional – I’ll probably donate it to the HMAS Stirling museum.
Cheers and best wishes to all in 2020.