'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

This is not an on-line forum, if you would like something published on this page please send me an email.

I update regularly and will publish your article (with accompanying photo/s if you wish) as soon as I am able.

Follow this link for previous years QSO.

John Curbishley
Web Manager

December 2012 Entries:


Royal Australian Navy Centenary of First Fleet Entry.


Australia’s Chief of Navy has extended an invitation to over 50 of his foreign counterparts to send a ship (including tall ships)  to participate in an International Fleet Review to be held in Sydney from 4-11 October 2013. This review is being held to commemorate the centenary of the first fleet entry of the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet into Sydney  on 4 October 1913.

The Federation of Naval Ships Assns (including the RANCBA) has negotiated with the Australian Cruise Group for various cruise categories, coffee, lunch & dinner to give you the greatest coverage of events during the International Fleet Review at very affordable prices Please note, all cruise times are subject to official naval confirmation of event start times. Children prices , Under 4 Free, 5-15 50% discount.

The Australian Cruise Group via their website www.australiancruisegroup.com.au/royal-australian-navy.php have included a separate page on THEIR website stating “Official Cruises for Federation of Navy Ships Fleet  Review  Cruises” or similar. We implore you to make your booking on this website. Families including Children and even grand children are welcome. Booking details are at the end of this Newsletter.

                                CRUISE DETAILS FOR PERIOD 3 – 6 OCT 2013

Thursday 3rd October 2013

Tall Ships Arrival.

Coffee Cruise departing                  1000 – 1200                       $20.00/$14.00 (Adult/Child)

Lunch Cruise                                      1200 -  1400                      $69.00/$48.00 Incl drinks package.

PM Coffee cruise                               1400  - 1600                       $20.00/$14.00

The invited Tall Ships from various countries will be arriving throughout the day. It is expected some will anchor in the harbour or berth at Bangaroo (Darling Harbour north) Also (time to be advised) will be the “Battle of the Boats” race by participants of the Australian Surf Rowers League.

Friday  4th October 2013

Fleet Entry (for most of the day)

Coffee Cruise                                    10.00 – 12.00                     $20.00/$14.00 (Adult/Child)

Lunch Cruise                                      12.00 -  14.00                   $69.00/$48.00 Incl drinks package.

Coffee Cruise                                    14.00 -   16.00                    $20.00/$14.00

Ships will depart Jervis Bay PM 3rd Oct. and commence entering Sydney Harbour AM Friday 4th. On this two hour coffee cruise will see the vessels arrive, anchor and or berth at various locations.  Gun salutes/piping requirements. During the day, at a time to be advised, there will be a flyover of Civil/Service helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

Saturday 5th October 2013

Official Fleet Review

View the ships in position in readiness for the official Fleet Review by Governor General

Review Lunch Cruise                   1030 – 1430 (4 hours)                                   $88.00 incl drinks package.                                                                                                                                                                                     Child  5 -15 $62.00

Enjoy a sumptuous seafood buffet Lunch, including beer wine and soft drinks,  prior to the Ceremonial Fleet Review by Her Excellency The Governor General of Australia. Her Excellency will be embarked in HMAS Leeuwin.  The day will be “Sydney Harbour Dress Ship” with all ships and the boating and yachting fraternity of Sydney taking part.There will also be a formation fly past by Service fixed and rotary wing aircraft (time to be advised). Departure King Street Wharf only. 

Dinner & Fireworks Cruise   1830 – 2100                       $76.00 incl drinks package.

                                                                                                    Child 5-15   $52.00 

Sumptuous seafood buffet  incl beer, wine and soft drinks followed by the evening fireworks and lightshow. Fireworks will be choreographed with a lightshow showcasing past and present vessels of the RAN.  Departure King Street Wharf only. 

Sunday 6th October 2013

Sydney/Emden memorial service.

Coffee Cruise                                    09.30 - 1130                       $20.00/$14.00                   2  hours 

During the coffee cruise we will position ourselves off Bradleys Head where the Sydney/Emden Memorial Service will be held at the HMAS Sydney Naval memorial (1000-1100). Ships Company from HMAS  Sydney IV and the German Navy warship FGS Emden will participate. (subject to confirmation).

On completion of this cruise RANCBA NSW intends to host a FREE BBQ at the end of GI. Our Cruise ship will drop off, those participating at GI, and remainder back to Darling Harbour. When you wish to depart  GI you can catch a normal Harbour Ferry (every 30 minutes) back to Circular Quay. 

·        How to book for your Royal Australian Navy Centenary Fleet Review Programme.

·        Click on the link below:

·        http://www.australiancruisegroup.com.au/royal-australian-navy.php 

·        Select the cruise you wish to join from the menu options “click here to book online now”

·        If you have selected a sightseeing cruise or a lunch cruise you will then have an option of selecting a cruise on a particular day, i.e. Tall Ships 3rd Oct or Fleet Entry 4th Oct etc.

·        At the bottom of the booking page under CHECK AVAILABILITY you then select the date for the particular cruise you wish to book. If you want multiple cruises over different days you will have to repeat the process for each day. 

·        When booking ensure you include your association after your surname. We can then ensure that association members all travel together.
i.e. Bill Smith/HMAS Sydney or A Moffatt/RANCBA etc.

·        You can pay a deposit or payment in full, those who pay a deposit will receive an email closer to their departure date for full payment.

·        On payment a voucher for your cruise will be issued, on the date of travel this voucher is to be exchanged for a boarding pass which will indicate the vessel you will be travelling on. 

IMPORTANT - When booking, ensure you include your Association after your surname i.e. A Moffatt/RANCBA. This will identify your Assn and ensure you are on the CORRECT VESSEL

All Cruises -  children under 4 free, aged 4 - 15 less 30% of listed price. Family, friends, children and grandchildren welcome BUT MUST be booked by a Naval Veteran to gain these prices.

Allan”Shorty” Moffatt OAM

President RANCBA (NSW)


Follow this link for a printable .pdf version of the above.

HMAS Manoora WW11

Our HMAS Manoora Association is still operating, we meet on ANZAC Day, Christmas in July and AGM in October.

Our President is Les Kennedy OAM, Treasurer is Jack Willson, Vice President Ken Baldwin, Secretary Anne Heath, Committee is Murray Bird, Noel Grant, Graham Robinson, Phillip Thompson, John Wall, Bryan Wearne.

The Committee meet 4 Times per year. We have a mailing list of 58. Our meetings are held at Legacy House, Swanston Street Melbourne. I neglected to mention our book, 'Taken By Storm' of which there are a few copies still available at the bargain price of $15.00 each. An excellent read!

Graham Robinson.

Get Together Brisbane

Some Brisbane Ex Comms at the last monthly “Get Together” for 2012 held on 10th Dec at the Grand Central – Anne Street, Brisbane. We would love to see more “ex Communicators” join us in the New Year on the 14th January from1030 onwards and the first Monday of every month following, commencing at 1030. It’s time for some of you younger blokes to join us and spin us some new “Yarns”.

Photo L to R:- Basil “Baz” Cleary, John “Stinky” Horton, Tony “Tackers” Miles, Jim “The Ham” Anderson, Greg “Pedlar” Palmer, Trevor “Perce” Percival, Jim “Big Bird” Eagles, Kev “Ruwie” Ruwoldt, Bob “Buckethead” Simpson, Gus “COC” Dodds, Noel “Chidge” Chidgey.

A good looking gathering - Merry Christmas to you all.  Those in Brisbane should mark 14 Jan in their 2013 diaries.


RANCBA Ship Cruise - March 2014

On behalf of all communicators we are offering the opportunity of joining us for a Ship Cruise to the South Pacific Islands in March 2014. There seems to be a lot of interest for this event. I now have details that I hope you will promote within your own local communicator’s community. If possible we would like to see as wide a distribution as possible for this opportunity, as the more that attend the more discounts that may be on offer.

I am happy to accept expressions of interest at any time and will continue to negotiate with the travel agency on behalf of all those who wish to attend. I have drafted a flyer for inclusion in your local newsletter or for distribution as you consider appropriate.

We appreciate that there may be many questions and am happy to collate those and onforward for resolution for those interested. We are also aware that it is early days for getting the final cost of the cruise and therefore have included in the flyer the cost as promulgated now. We think that the final cost may be cheaper as we get closer to the date. Obviously I cannot guarantee that at this stage.


Rod Withers

Please follow this link for the cruise flyer.

RANCBA (NSW) Xmas Get Together

On an extremely hot day, ex Communicators started to muster at Parramatta RSL Club about midday on Saturday 01 December for their Xmas Get Together. It was planned to hold this function outside on the verandah, but due to the weather (heat) all agreed to move inside for the air conditioning, and believe it was a very welcome relief.

This certainly didn't dampen the function, and then with a hearty Ho, Ho Ho we were visited by Santa Claus. He just arrived without notice and detailed of two Members to be his helpers. Then asking if all if they had been good in the last year, they were given a goodie bag. He even had bags of lollies for other ladies and children in the Club. We were all told to be very good during the next 12 months and he will visit us again. Then after emptying his bags of goodies, he was away. Who this person is, no one knows.

After being on good behaviour whilst Santa was there, we could now settle down for some good fun, drinks and spinning of yarns

It was a great day and thoroughly enjoyed by all RANCBA Members, plus Members of the RSL Club.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Some of the Communicators in attendance..  Santa's helpers...

Frank Hicks sends:

Just though I would send you a copy of a photo taken yesterday at Forster Gardens, Forster, NSW. You might want to post it in the QSO pages of RANCBA.

Jim Berridge was down for a bit of R & R, so the locals got together to talk about old times.

Left to right. Back row: TV 'Doc' Watson, Sonny O'Hara, Michelle Powell, Frank Hicks, Chris Powell, Jim Berridge
Front row: Steve Power and Ray Powell.

As an endnote. Steve Power (ex CRS) is the Manager of Forster Gardens.

Thanks Frank, great photo.  Could be the start of a Northern NSW Chapter??


November 2012 Entries:

Vale Clement Gordon Reedy R38239 (ex Tel)

Shorty Moffatt sends:

I had a telephone call from Mrs. Rhonda Reedy this afternoon (Thursday 29 November) advising that her husband Clem passed away 12 weeks ago. Clem was a Sparker who joined in the early 50’s and completed 6 years before joining DCA and its many successors He was stationed at Wagga Wagga for many years.

From the Archives:

Clement Gordon Reedy R38239 (ex TEL)
Born 16.04.1932
Joined RAN 30.03.50
DEE 15.04.56

Postings: Australia, Sydney, Albatross, Kuttabul (for Koala)

Lest We Forget

Fm Garry McCabe:
Thanks for news on Clem. He was a gentleman of the true sense of the word and a pleasure to work with.
Rgds Garry

Fm Rob O'Hara:
Sad to hear about Clem Reedy - having been at Albury for many years we knew him quite well - a nice bloke
Jennifer and Rob


RANCBA NSW Christmas Party

The NSW Chapter will be holding their Xmas Get Together on the 1st December, commencing from midday till you wish to call it stumps.

The venue will be once again at Parramatta RSL Club, on the verandah overlooking Parramatta Park.

If coming via public transport, the Interchange (Rail & Bus) is about 10 minutes walking to the Club via the Mall. Should you be using your own vehicle, the Club has plenty of undercover and secure parking - (remember to keep you ticket when you enter and it has to be used on the way out).

We usually put in $20 in the kitty for drinks, food can be obtained at the cafe' or bistro but this is at your own choice and cost - all at Club prices.

ALL ARE WELCOME along with partners, girl friends/boy friends etc, so hoping you can make it.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt
President RANCBA (NSW)

Remembrance Day Service.

On the 11th November many started to arrive at The Cenotaph, Prince Alfred Park for this Service which was conducted by the Parramatta RSL Sub Branch, (Mr Ron Grace - President and Mr Bryan West Secretary) , with ADF personnel from Recruiting in Parramatta carrying out the duties of Cataflaque Party.

The Service commenced at approximately 10.55am,thereby allowing for the Minutes Silence to be at 11 am. The Last Post was sounded, then at precisely 11am a Minutes Silence. The Ode was recited by the Sub Branch President, followed by The Lament by Mr. Philip Bell from the Parramatta RSL Caledonian Pipe Band, and following The Rouse. Both the Last Post & Rouse was played by a young person, Thomas Pegler. On completion a Welcome Speech was given by Father John Boyle - Chaplain and a Prayer of Thanksgiving.

It was pleasing to see so many school children invited to participate from local schools and they all spoke beautifully. The Commemoration Address was given by LCDR Adrian Lister CSC RAN, and having heard many addresses, his would have been one of the best. He spoke of Australian men & women who had served from WW I through to the last ADF person killed in Afghanistan. Then came the Wreath Laying and this was carried out by many, which included the Lord Mayor of Parramatta, the State Member for Parramatta, a presentative of the Federal Member for Parramatta, the NSW Police LAC, representatives of DVA, Legacy, War Widows, Commander Simon Cannell current Commanding Officer of HMAS PARRAMATTA IV, LCDR Wendy Duffy OIC Australian Defence Force Recruiting, many schools and I was given the privilege to Lay a Wreath to represent the RANCBA on behalf of all Communicators.

Communicators in attendance John Short, Helen and myself.

On completion of this, the National Anthem was sung, followed by the RSL Sub Branch Closing Remark and the Closing Prayer and Benedicition by Father John Boyle. All were then invited by to the Parramatta RSL Club for refreshments.

John Short, Mary Bell (Secretary FNSA, Helen Moffatt, Shorty.


HMAS PARRAMATTA II Memorial Service.

On an extremely hot day (approx 36-37 des C,) people started to muster at the Parramatta I Memorial I which is situated at the Queens Wharf Reserve on the banks of the Parramatta River and was conducted by the the Parramatta Memorial Sub Section of the Naval Association of Australian and this would be the 71st Anniversary of the sinking of HMAS PARRAMATTA II.

The Service commenced with a small march and on completion, the Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies was mounted and this was carried out by Cadets from TS NEPEAN.Mr Rus Jardine President of the Sub Section of the NAA Officiated and then requested Cnlr Paul Garard, representing the Lord Mayor of Parramatta to give the Welcome. On completion Chaplain D. Luck RAN (currently serving aboard HMAS MELBOURNE) to give the Reading and following the Naval Prayer, the Address. The Oration was given by Commander M. McConnell RAN, Director Personnel Support Unit Australia and representing the Commander HMAS PARRAMATTA IV which was due to sail from Sydney this afternoon in preparation for ORE's prior to its deployment early in the new year.

The Wreath and Book Laying Service was then carried out. Many Services and RSL Sub Branches within the area participated.  LCDR Ray Mundy (Secretary NSW Chapter) and myself both each Laid a Book and these will be represented to two schools next month. One by Frank Lawton and Ric Easom, the second John Short and myself at another school.

I also had to then Lay a Wreath on behalf of the President of the Federation of Naval Ships Association Mr. Bob Auston who unfortunately due to a late family commitment was unable to attend.

The Last Post was played by a Member of the Navy Band, the Naval Ode and the Ode were recited by Mr Ron Smith OAM from Castle Hill RSL Sub Branch, and then Reveille by a Member of the RAN Band. On completion of the singing Eternal Father, the Blessing by Chaplain D. Luck the National Anthem was sung.

It was pleasing to see many there which included Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd who had been the Commanding Officer HMAS PARRAMATTA III at its Commissioning, Federal Member for Parramatta, Ms Julie Owens, State Member for Parramatta Dr. Geoff Lee. Communicators were Sharon & Ray Mundy, Helen and Allan Moffatt.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Just for info, on completion of the Remembrance Service and a quick refreshment, we had to quickly depart as we were joining the cruise liner Rhapsody of the Sea that afternoon for a 7 day cruise!

Sharon and Ray Mundy, Shorty, RADM Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd

Vale David Keyser R46614 (ex Tel)

Note the passing of David Osmond Keyser on Thursday 22 November 2012. Oldies may remember David as a Tel, Think he was in ANRE prior to joining DCA about 1960. A memorial celebration will be held at his home in Northam on 29 November, prior to a private cremation. Another Sparker gone to the BWO in the sky.
David MacLean

From the Archives:

David Osmond Keyser, born 17 June 1934, joined RAN 17 June 1952 for 6 years.  DEE 16 June 1958.  Served in HMAS AUSTRALIA, TARANGAU, HARMAN, ALBATROSS, KUTTABUL & MELVILLE.

Fm David MacLean:
Some further info on David Keyser. Succumbed to a brain tumour. Diagnosed September, passed away in November aged 78. Remained positive to the last, generally in a good condition until the last weeks. Lest We Forget.



As was foreshadowed at the AGM our annual Christmas barbecue will be held on Sunday 25th November 2012, details as follows:

Where: John Cardiff Place – Black Mountain Peninsula Map 18 L6 – same place as last year – area has been refurbished!!

When: Sunday 25th November 2012 – 1100 onwards.

The Association will provide sausages, bread, soft drinks – beer will be available $2 - BYO wine and beer.

Members relatives and friends very welcome.

Peter Guy
02 6288 0828
0417 462 407

Ian Hogarth reports that Mike Connor is in Sick Bay

The Angry Ant aka Mike Connor ex Sparker and Civil Aviation has been admitted to the Pallative Care Unit at http://www.nh.org.au/locations/broadmeadows-health-service

When I walked in to visit he had a Crown Larger open on his table and a bottle of scotch in the third draw (Obviously he's not fussed with getting sprung during Rounds)

Whilst he’s not happy with his posting papers I’m sure he wouldn’t mind a word with a few of his shipmates before stepping for the last time.


The Chapel Funeral of Mike Connor will be held at Tobin Brothers Chapel, cnr Brook and Barkly Sts, Sunbury on THURSDAY (Nov. 22, 2012) at 10.00 a.m. A private Burial will follow In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kidney Health Australia. Envelopes will be available at the Chapel.

Sandy McNab sends….

VALE RO Mike ‘Shorty’ Connor R52170

I have received the sad news from Steve Aiberti, a very good friend and ex-shipmate of Mike from their navy day’s and our subsequent employment with DCA/CAA.

Steve and Joan have kept in contact with Mike’s family all these years and thus I became aware of his health prognosis quite some time back.

From the archives…

Michael Edward Connor, b 3.12.38, joined 30.7.56 for six years, Melbourne 3.3.58, Harman 27.7.59, Melville/Coonawarra 6.12.60, Cerberus 20.1.62, DEE 2.12.62

I myself first met up with Mike when he drafted from Melville/Coonawarra back to Cerberus/Sig School staff in 1962, and we did many trips as the RO on the SAR boats to West Head wharf on standby whence they had aircraft streaming a target for live firings, and of course miles out to sea on the navy tug often in quite disturbed waters target towing for the 4.5’s to have a crack at. Many a late return trip back to the ‘scran hall’ after recovering whatever was left of the target and the towing lines if I recall correctly. Mike’s parents lived at Ringwood and so we often had a weekend in my FJ up to Melbourne town, and convivial Sunday sessions at the White Ensign club. In learning first hand of Mikes Darwin/Melville/Coonawarra VHM experiences (escapades!) it whetted my appetite and so a subsequent Commodores request for a remote draft to those shores resulted in a Melville for Banks draft later amended to read Kuttabul for Bass in early 63 as the Banks was coming south to be relieved by the Bass. Met up again with Mike at Port Moresby when we visited on the Moresby/VKPM in 1964 after his civil DCA/CAA posting there from the Launceston FSU/FSC. Smooth seas Mike, till we are QSO again. RIP

Shorty Moffatt sends...

Sad news again. I knew Mike very well in Coonawarra back in 1960, along with some other great hands (both on watch or in the wets).  Met up with him in '64 when MORESBY went to Port Moresby , but I would probably say that was the last time we did meet, though thru our duties at the DCA Comm Centres at both Melb and Syd, we did speak to each other (naturally it was only on work related duties)!!!

He will be sadly missed by all those that knew him.

Graham Bence sends, Thursday 22 Nov...

Today Mike (Shorty) Connor's funeral was celebrated in Sunbury. The ceremony was held at Tobin Bros Funeral parlour and the attendance was so large that about thirty people could not fit into the parlour, which itself held about sixty people, had to stand outside and watch the celebration on TV Screens.  The celebration of life was quite moving and when the moment came to reflect on Shorty's life the pictures shown on the TV screen certainly showed him in all his glory.

Doug Boydle and Graham Bence represented RANCBA Victoria. Graham Don Secretary of the NAA, President of the NAA, President and Secretary of the Footscray NAA represented that association. There were a lot of members of the Sunbury Bowling club and former members of the old Department of Civil Aviation also present. In all it was an excellent turnout for an old shipmate and citizen of Sunbury But I still think that Shorty was looking over the proceedings and pointing out to those around him what we were doing wrong.


RAN CIW Mess Dinner - 22 November 2012

I have been looking to reach out to the RANCBA to inform members that the RAN's annual Mess Dinner is occurring 22 Nov 12, but until now did not realise the website existed.

Could you please add a short note for members to contact me via email (andrew.montgomery2@defence.gov.au) if they wish to attend?

Further details are at http://www.amiando.com/PLBIYVD 


Andrew Montgomery


From: Bob Trotter OAM FIEAust

G’day Men,

Wes Olson is gathering data for a second book about HMAS Sydney II and he has noted that the following men all have letters or diaries in the AWM which he wants to quote, but there are no contact details for the donors. So, he needs to make contact with descendants of the following men to gain permission.

16069 Eric Charles Evans, RAN. Enlisted in Victoria. Posted off ship before it was sunk.
13585 Jack Sheather, RAN. Enlisted in NSW. Posted off ship before it was sunk.
R21906 Phillip Reginald Herington, RAN. Enlisted in NSW. Posted off ship before it was sunk.
S3383 Ronald William Boorman, RAN. Enlisted in NSW. Posted off ship before it was sunk.
21715 William George McCartney, RAN. Enlisted in NSW. Posted off ship before it was sunk.

3863 John Keene, RAAF. Enlisted in NSW. Part of Seagull/Walrus maintenance team. Posted off ship before it was sunk.

I have a database of all those who sought a copy of the FSF DVD of wreck photos, which includes some relatives of shipmates who left the ship before her loss, but none are connected to the above. The Navy database of relatives was held by the Sea Power Centre but the last time I asked the IT Manager there, it was no longer theirs and no longer maintained; regardless, it was primarily concerned with relatives of men lost with Sydney.

Do any of your Associations have relatives of any of the above men on the books? Is it possible for you to send out an “All Ship  All Shore” to your members to see if you can locate them?

Here’s hoping!

Yours aye

Bob Trotter OAM FIEAust
0418 487 158
If you are able to assist with the following please reply to Bob Trotter direct at email address: btrotter@bigpond.net.au.


Vale CMDR R. A. Rose, RAN (Rtd)

Sadly, Commander Rosalind (Roz) Rose (nee Keysell) passed away on Monday 05 November 2012.

Commander Rose joined the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) in February 1967 as a WRAN Radio Operator Teletype. After completing her initial four year enlistment, she transferred to the WRANS Reserves in the rank of Petty Officer WRAN Radio Supervisor Teletype. After serving on two years Continuous Full Time Service, during which time she transferred to the Regulating category, Commander Rose re-entered permanent service in November 1975.

Commander Rose was promoted to Chief WRAN in August 1977 while undertaking WRANS Officer training and was commissioned as a WRANS Officer in February 1978.

During 1978 and 1979, Commander Rose completed postings in HMA Ships Kuttabul as the Fleet Registered Publications Officer and Lonsdale as Unit Officer WRANS.

In June 1980 Commander Rose was posted to HMAS Creswell to the training staff of the Royal Australian Naval College. This posting also included a seven week training cruise in HMAS Jervis Bay; a highlight of Commander Rose's career as women were not employed at sea at that time.

In February 1983 Commander Rose was posted to a staff officer position in Naval Support Command. On promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in December 1984, CMDR Rose was posted to the RAN Staff College in HMAS Penquin to undertake the RAN Staff Course in January 1985.

Follow on postings included Command Housing Officer in Personnel Services Organisation. Naval Support Command in July 1985 and a staff position in Management Improvement and Manpower Management in the Department of Defence in 1986.

On disbandment of the WRANS in July 1987, Commander Rose was transferred to the RAN.

She was promoted to the rank of Commander in June 1988 and completed a further staff officer posting in Canberra before transferring to the Naval Reserve in August 1991.

She was married to Commodore Geoffrey Rose, AM, RAN (Rtd).

The funeral service for Commander Rose will be held at the Chapel of the Broulee Memorial Gardens Crematorium, 195 Broulee Road, Broulee, NSW commencing at 1400 on Wednesday 14 November 2012.



Peter E Button


Sad news - Lest We Forget.

Fm Sue Hackett:
Roz Keysall joined the WRANS in Class 92, Feb 1967 – she was a funny, talented, cheerful friend to those of us in Class 92 and to anyone else lucky enough to count her as a friend. Condolences to her husband.


October 2012 Entries:

HMAS Waterhen Cocktail Party

Following received from the Commanding Officer at HMAS WATERHEN for anyone who served there or ships attached.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)
Ex sweeper HMAS SNIPE & Patrol Boat HMAS BARBETTE based at HMAS WATERHEN

Subject: HMAS Waterhen Cocktail Party [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]


Dear All,

I hope you are all well.

Please find attached a flyer concerning the HMAS Waterhen Cocktail Party to be held on the evening of 6 December 2012. All personnel (both serving and ex-serving), with an attachment to Waterhen and ships alongside, are invited to attend. The costs have been kept as low as possible and it should be a great night. Please feel free to pass this flyer among your members.

I am still waiting on official approval concerning the Freedom of Entry for earlier in the day. I will advise as soon as possible.


David Jones
Commander, RAN
Commanding Officer
HMAS Waterhen

Please follow this link for the flyer on the Cocktail Party.

Malaya and Borneo Veterans Day

It may be of interest to those who served on HMAS Sydney to Jesselton in 1964 and on other ships that served in FESR during the Malayan Emergency and Confrontation with Indonesia that 31st of August is now officially in the Military Calendar as Malaya and Borneo Veteran's Day. A nominal roll of those who served, similar to the Korean and Veitnam Rolls, is being prepared. Don't know when it will come about as it took a few years and a lot of hard work by those (mainly Army and Air Force) in the NMVBAA Office Bearers to get agreement from Defence for the day to be recognised.

Ian Miller

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

Dear family, shipmates and friends,

My visit to the Oncologist yesterday confirmed that I have been re-visited with secondary cancers in my lungs and liver (or what's left of my liver). Accordingly, I will re-commence a 6-month course of chemotherapy, beginning this coming Tuesday. Because I still have residual neuropathy in my hands and feet from my 2010 foray into the world of chemotherapy, I will be on a different regimen this time, substituting the poison that caused the neuropathy with another poison. I will undergo 12 cycles, each cycle beginning with 3 days of constant chemotherapy, followed by 11 days off. By my calculations, that should take me through to the end of March 2013, unless there are further complications. I don't feel unwell at this time, but I'm assured that I won't be feeling too chipper over the coming months. A supplementary drug that I will be treated with, has the potential of causing some pretty ugly side-effects, but is supposed to enhance the effect of the chemotherapy drugs (poisons?). So, we'll give it a shot and see how it goes. I will try to give you updates from time to time over the coming months.

I apologise for not contacting each of you individually, but time does not permit that option. However, I'm sure that I will be talking to some of you at some time during the process.

Until then,
Stay well
Ron (aka Nullarbor)

Nullarbor, I know I speak for all in saying that our thoughts are with you as are our hopes of a successful outcome.  I was going to say I will be praying for you but I as I am not particularly into that form of expression I will just say I will be thinking about you over the next 6 months as you fight this insidious disease.  I hope  that the chemo does not knock you around too much and that the process gives you the result we all hope for.  All the best old mate.
John Curbishley

Nullarbor, my thoughts are with you mate.
Very best wishes
Jim Anderson

Please pass on to Nullarbor that my thoughts are with him, and I hope things improve. Damn words can’t express it properly, but I hope he pulls through.
Lynn Gill

Pse pass onto Nullarbor. Your known fighting spirit will see you through this temporary setback.
Best wishes
Keith Gorsuch

Nullarbor, I agree and support everything that our John C. has said. Look after yourself as best as you can, which I know is a silly statement, but I’m sure you know what I mean.
‘Til we meet again, Cheers
Keghead Weaver

Nullarbor, sad to hear about the relapse. Here’s hoping the new round of Chemo will do the trick. The treatments are certainly getting better and better (I can attest to that). Anyway mate, good luck with the treatment and don’t give in to it (which I know you won’t).
Rod Withers

Nullarbor. Gee mate. What can I say that others haven't already expressed. My thoughts are with you and I know the next 6 months are going to be bloody rough, but I know you can handle it.
Remember our sweepers motto
Ships of wood, but men of steel.
All the best
Shorty Moffatt

Gidday old neighbour - we've 'belted' a few things in our time and sure that you will belt this one Nullas - keep punchin'
Des Byrne


Jim Anderson sends:

My latest blood rush is gold fossicking with a metal detector. If any of our readership is experienced in this hobby I'd like to hear from them.

I do a lot of camping and I'm well set up in that regard and thought I could do better than just sitting around under a shady tree reading a book or doing exotic stews and curries in the camp oven. The places I go are pretty much in old gold mining districts and I'm sure much of the area has been worked over in the past - but the metal detectors are also getting much more grunt these days as well.

Jim Anderson

Good for you Jim, hope you turn up another Welcome Stranger.

Trevor Percival sends:

My old mate George Standen sends his regards to all his old shipmates. Photo taken this year at Laurieton NSW and George is hoping to move to Port McQuarie.

Best wishes
Trevor Percival

I know you won’t remember me George (ha ha), but when you get settled, look up my email on this site and see if you can QSO.
Your ‘Ugle dial’ hasn’t changed very much – still ‘Ugly’!!
Cheers Keghead Weaver


RANCBA VIC Basegram – Spring 2012 Edition

RANCBA Vic 2012 Autumn Edition Newsletter available for viewing online by following this link - See 'Vic Chapter' via main menu.

Note Correction to the Newsletter!

The Victorian AGM will be held on the 9th of November at the PumpHouse Hotel, this being the Friday following the running of the Melbourne Cup and not the 2nd as provided in the Newsletter.

Editor has duly lost his make and mend!

Ian Hogarth
Hon Secretary
RANCBA (Victoria)

Terry 'Red' Ryder sends:

Just a quick note. I married a lovely lady by the name of JoAnne Hook on 16th September at Emerald Lakes on the Gold Coast. Among the invitees were a contingent of ex HMAS Perth Radio Operators from the first two Vietnam trips. Most of them stayed at the Royal Pines Hotel for the weekend and on the Saturday night, we all got together for a few drinks and a meal. It was the first time Bill Blinkhorn and Ron Tuckwell had caught up since 1969 and it was a great get together. Arthur “Speed” Rowley was my best man and all in all, it was a great day which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone especially JoAnne and myself.

I have attached some great shots for the website.

Terry Red Ryder


1st Photo Left to Right: Ron Tuckwell, Bill Blinkhorn, Arthur Rowley, Dave McCann, Barry “Bones” Lehmann, Bob “Willy” Williamson, Bob Westhorp and Doug Conn
2nd Photo:  JoAnne & Red.

Fm Des Byrne:
Just noted the photos on Red's wedding message (he appears to have married his granddaughter lucky sparker bludger!!) - whilst Bones and Doug are obviously still dying their hair, Speed seems to have eaten several SMNROs!!


September 2012 Entries:

Vale Kerry (Kel) Mesecke R66667 – ex LSRO (27 March 1949 – 22 September 2012).

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you of the passing of Kel Mesecke (ex LSRO R66667) who served between 1967 – 1989.

Taken from us suddenly, without warning, Kel passed away peacefully sitting in front of the TV eating dinner on Saturday 22 Sep 2012.

Funeral/service details are still to be organised. He is survived by his wife Jenny, children Scott and Kelly.

From memory, Kel served on the following ships and establishments:

HMAS Duchess, Vampire, Yarra, Hobart, Torrens, Harman, Kuttabul, & Navcommsta Harold E Holt.

Anyone wanting an update on funeral/service details can contact Scott Mesecke on: 0438 846 703 or magoo.mesecke@gmail.com or Paul Harvey on either of the following: 0410 459 832, harvey.paul1970@gmail.com or paul.harvey@corrs.com.au

Kind regards,
Paul Harvey (ex LSRO: 1989 – 2002)
PS: Kel was my uncle (one of mum’s four brothers).


The Funeral Service will be held at 2.00pm Friday 28th September, in the Peterborough Town Hall, Main Street, Peterborough, S.A.

Reception afterwards will be held at the Junction Hotel, Peterborough.


Sad news, Kel was a great bloke, a hard runner and a good footballer.  May he rest in peace.
Lest We Forget

Fm Rod McLaurin:

Vale Kel Mesecke

It is very sad to hear the news of Kel's passing. I served with Kel a couple of times and like many others, shared the odd beer or two with him. 
He was a good mate from the past and unfortunately, like most of us, we lose contact with each other when we leave the service. My condolences to Jenny, Scott and Kelly.

Rest in peace mate.

Fm Ian Picone:

Very sad to hear of Kel's passing. Shared a lot of time with Kel at Kuttabul, Rockers and the SCG hill when it was still grass. World series cricket, polystyrene foam eskies and on special nights gins handbags were all the rage. A top bloke, real lovable rogue. I'm sure he will be missed
by all in Peterborough.

Fm Dusty Millar:

Sad to hear of Kel's passing. It was just last week when we were in San Francisco that I was reminded of Kel and the last time I was there. It was whilst on Vampire in 76. Kel and some other players( Mick Cross - LSROS, Trev Dickinson, Woof Wootton, John O'Malley and myself did some serious 'running' which sometimes attracted some periods of stoppages of various things. Thanks be to big Kevin (Luke) for that. Kel's love of the nags - he was a huuuuge fan of Bart Cummins, was his other passion. Kel was the sort of bloke who would never let you down. Never met his family but I am sure they will miss him.

Fm Phil Butler:

Kel Ma-Zecky (he hated me calling him that but I got away with it) and I joined together in 67, (same division, same cabin) and for the first year or so, when we met up, we knocked around quite a bit together. I even remember one long weekend when we drove to his house in Peterborough SA. There weren’t any horses, so it wasn’t exactly a one horse town but it did have a couple of pubs. I let him convince me that weekend, that West End and/or Southwark were great drinks. I still remember the next morning getting rid of that terrible stuff all over his front yard. What a great weekend – except for the part where he worded me in most strenuously for looking at his sister. J

One afternoon, Kel and I decided we would have a night out in Melbourne. I borrowed the brother’s mini and off we went. We drank all the way into town, so my “fully experienced” driving became more erratic the closer we got. Kel was laughing one minute and abusing me for my cr*ppy driving the next. He hated being in the car with me at the best of times. We stopped at a few pubs in town and then ended up at the London (who doesn’t remember that place). We had a few more but then decided to try Screamers. Back to the car and off we went. Couple of left turns, couple of right turns, lots of abuse and stalling at lights, then next thing you know, I’ve turned too soon and we are driving down those island tram tracks that are set between grass banks. Kel was screaming abuse at me and telling me to stop all the while looking for the emergency exit. The car was bouncing all over the place as I was trying to find a way off and out. I was trying really hard not to laugh at this point because I knew that would crack him even more. All of a sudden there is this terrible grating sound and the mini came to a sudden stop. The minis wheels could no longer touch the ground and it would appear that we were stuck up on the tracks. I looked at Kell and he was so angry, I swear his freckles got bigger. He was just about to explode. I got out, had a look at the car and burst out laughing, moving away from the car all the time so he couldn’t get to me. Kel got out wanting to kill someone or something, looked around trying to find me (I was hiding behind a tree laughing my head off) then looked at the bloody mini stuck up in the air, froze for a second and fell down on the grass bank wetting himself with laughter. That started me off again.

Last thing I remember was me standing next to a tram trying to explain to the driver, the conductor, several passengers and a couple of coppers, how we got the mini so far down these tracks and in the background was Ma-Zecky cackling with laughter, screaming out, “lock the bastard up, he can’t drive”. What a hoot.

Silly thing was, they helped us get the car off the tracks and then let us go, still giggling and carrying on.

If I saw him after that (at sea or on land), I would just put my hands up as though I was steering a car and off he would go.

A lovely guy and a great loss.


PLAQUE DEDICATION - 14th October 2012

Herewith the list of all departed shipmates who will have a Plaque Dedicated at the Chapel of Remembrance, GI on the 14th October. It will be combined with the Navy Week Service.

Some may have known CPOSY Stephen John Summers. Also AB William Harold Pitt is the late uncle of our Patron, Rear Admiral Tony Horton. AB William Pitt who was lost onboard HMAS SYDNEY in action with the German Raider KORMORAN.

Now if you are attending, shall need names, and if attending via private vehicle, car registration for Security by the 10th October.

Service commences at 10.00am

Dress is as for ANZAC Day , full Medals if applicable.

20385 Petty Officer George Edward Anderson
22158 Able Seaman Lionel Neil Cooper
34692 Able Seaman Ian David Eaton
S5024 Wireman Henry George Baden Goodhew
R94227 CPOATWO Norman James Hill
R33011 WOETC Patrick Francis Lawford
Commodore Robin Angus Harvey Miller
19758 PO Charles Francis Richard Nelson
R44711 ME(1) Leonard George O'Loughlin
S4219 Able Seaman William Harold Pitt
S7174 Able Seaman Lachlan James Pitts
S4257 Able Seaman Norman Leslie Rathbone
R42047 Chief Shipwright Colin James Robbins
R95785 CPOSY Stephen John Summers

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Seeking Information on Cancer Clusters - High Powered Transmitters

I wonder if any one who worked in Defence Sigs anywhere knows of any cluster of cancers, I have recently been diagnosed with leukaemia and I have heard of others, we are suspicious of the high powered transmitters we used for many years having something to do with this disease.

If you know of any others who have had problems like cancers, please let me know.

Adrian Steen
RA Sigs
1973 - 1985
If anyone can assist please contact Adrian direct.


Vale Lionel Frederick Barr R36898 (ex PO/Tel)

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you of the passing of ex PO/Tel Lionel Barr. His wife rang me this morning to advise he had succumbed to cancer.

Lionel was a Member of the RANCBA long before me and up till about 2 years ago when he became ill, never missed an ANZAC Day.
I know he served on HMAS AUSTRALIA, ANZAC (during the Korean War), either QUICKMATCH or QUEENBOROUGH during the FESR/Malayan Emergency.

I will also remember his claim to fame. During the Whitlam Years, he was the ABC person who pulled the plug on Whitlam's speech during a Nationwide Broadcast. Appears he was ordered by his Union.

He would have been one of the best people to have been on watch with, knew his job, easy going, and as long as you knew your job, didn't annoy you.

The Funeral Service will be held at the Guardian, First Avenue Blacktown at 10.00am on Thursday 13th September.  His request was for a White Ensign under which he served and I have managed to obtain one.

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

From the Archives:
Born 27.12.1929, Joined RAN 30.12.1948.  Served as Shorty has indicated above, AUSTRALIA, ANZAC, QUICKMATCH, MELBOURNE.  Paid off at HARMAN on 29.12.1960 after 12 years service.

Lionel Barr front left, the late Yockie Shaw (left) and the late Harry Watson (middle) back row.
Comms Reunion - ANZAC Day Perth 1999.


John 'Nokka' White Shares some Memories

Thought I would share this wonderful clip.

For those who spent time in Honkers, this was sent by one of the musicians that I and Bert Able knocked around with between 1968 & 70. The Big Rubber band and Roman and the Four steps from the Purple Onion Disco. Some of you may of heard them between drinks, Crown & Anchor or whatever in some of the other Bars and Clubs.

Cheers and enjoy.

Sunda Strait Dive - HMAS PERTH I

Terry Gleeson (ex WORSS) has recently been on a dive trip to Sunda Strait.  He would like to share some thoughts and images with ex RAN Communicators and anyone else interested in the 1942 Sunda Strait battle.  Terry served in HMAS Perth II as young sailor in Vietnam (67-68) so the diving trip he undertook to the Sunda Strait in August this year to dive HMAS Perth I had special significance for him.

Follow this link for a very interesting written and photographic account of the trip.  We thank Terry for sharing it with us.

John Curbishley
Web Manager

August 2012 Entries:

Don Barker & John Von Stein - Manus 67/68.

Check out the muscle definition on what must be the advance crew Julia has sent to Manus to set up for the illegals!!!!!

Some serious stuff going on here!

Struth John - that last QSO photo on Manus had to be two sparkers - radio shack tan, butlers builds and drinking watery chardonnay!!
Des Byrne


Seeking Information on Bryant Attwood

I have been contacted by Peter Attwood, son of Brian/Bryant Attwood ex CCY. Peter lost contact with his Dad and is trying to fill in the gaps.

Would you please put a message on the website asking any of Brian/Bryant's old ship mates if they could contact Peter direct with any information about his Dad that may help Peter. He can be contacted at pattwood@cbh.net.au

I only knew Brian for a short period 59/60 so could offer very limited information but have suggested that he try the Comms school, I thought you may have a contact number for him.

Tony (Tackers) Miles

Follow this link for the Vale notice for Bryant.

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

Dave Jeffrey sent the following photo of the the HMAS Cerberus AFL team of 1962. Dave is 5th from the left, back row, with Brian Attwood on his left and Bill Clemson on his right. Three communicators together. Bill was a CRS, Dave was a RCO, Brian was a CY at the time.  Russ 'Snoopy' Hooper is also at the end of the back row.

Bill Aylott sends - re query from Peter Attwood. I served with Bryant at Recruit & Signal School (we were in the same class) & both drafted to Bataan in 1951. Will have a talk with his son. Did you Odes note the year we were drafted to our first ship. A warship, not Harman, Coonawarra etc.

VALE Les Errol Sheppard R53221 ex RS

The death notice for Les Sheppard was in Monday's West Australian. He passed away on 12/8/12.

The Funeral Cortege for Mr Les Sheppard of Mandurah will arrive at the main entrance of PINNAROO Valley Memorial Park, Whitfords Avenue, Padbury at 11am on FRIDAY 24.08.2012 for a Cremation Service.

Fm the Archives:

b Casino NSW 16.4.1940, joined 21.06.1957, rated RO Tobruk 59, LRO Albatross 62, RS Leeuwin 67.

Drafts included Tobruk, Terror (Kranji W/T), Kuttabul, Melville, Albatross, Cerberus, Diamantina, Creswell, Leeuwin DEE 15.04.67. RIP.

Lest We Forget

Nokka White sends:

Thought everybody might be interested in this one.  As a matter of interest, the Spanish navy have a branch for Ship builders.  There are a few over here and when there job is finished in Melbourne they and their  families are moving to Adelaide to complete the next contract.


Last Saturday, 4 August 2012, the BLUE MARLIN - the largest semi-submersible heavy-transport vessel (HTV) to date, commenced the loading operation of the Navantia manufactured hull, measuring 230 meters in length, for the amphibious ALHD flagship CANBERRA to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy. 

Transporting colossal cargo onboard the BLUE MARLIN is business as usual. With the ALHD CANBERRA, however, a complex technical challenge surfaced: the aircraft carrier will protrude 55 meters at the aft of the Blue Marlin. Dockwise marine engineers have been working closely with the Navantia team to develop a new grillage and sea-fastening design to safeguard the hull against forces that may be encountered.
Dockwise was awarded to transport two ALHD hulls from Punta Langosteira , Spain to Melbourne , Australia . The ALHD Canberra is the first of two cargoes to commence the 12,000 nautical mile voyage around Cape of Good Hope estimated to be completed in 45 days. The second, the ALHD ADELAIDE, will be transported in early 2014. Both hulls are built along the lines of the Juan Carlos 1 of the Spanish Navy by the renowned naval shipyard in Ferrol that is now managed by Navantia.

The Voyage
The BLUE MARLIN will be the very first vessel to enter Punta Langosteira, a new large port just south of La Coruna . Loading the ALDH CANBERRA hull was executed as planned. She is currently preparing for her 12,000 nautical mile voyage around Cape of Good Hope . On August 15, the vessel-equipped with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment-is expected to safely embark the charted voyage in the most efficient way.

The Blue Marlin
The Heavy Marine Transport vessel BLUE MARLIN was built in 2000. She is the largest semi-submersible vessel measuring 224 meters by 63 meters and capable to transport cargo up to 76,000 tons. The BLUE MARLIN has transported the heaviest cargo ever: BP's semi-submersible oil production rig THUNDER HORSE, weighing 60.000 tons. In her lifetime, the vessel has performed more than 50 unique transports of unusually large size. The BLUE MARLIN will be superseded later this year by the new build DOCKWISE VANGUARD, a bowless semi-submersible vessel capable of transporting over 110.000 tons.

Navantia, the Spanish shipbuilder, is a world reference in the design, construction and integration of state-of-the-art war ships, including new generation submarines, as well as ship repairs & modernizations. It is also engaged in the design and manufacture of Combat Systems, Integrated Platform Management Systems, Fire Control Systems, Command and Control systems, Propulsion Plants and through life support for all its products. Even though its main line of activity is in the naval field, Navantia designs and manufactures systems for the Army and the Air Force.

ALHD Project
The Australian Government has commenced a program to increase its Amphibious Deployment and Sustainment (ADAS) capability to support a land force. This program includes the acquisition of two Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships which are intended to replace their existing amphibious ships.

And what a good Flagship she will be!


Vale LCDR Rick Patten RAN Rtd

Dave Jeffrey & Royce Bell advise that the following funeral notice appeared in The Canberra Times today 6/8.

RICK PATTEN 18 February 1935 2 August 2012 Died peacefully at home.
Much loved Curmudgeon, Father and Grandfather of Fiona, Kirsty, Ian,
Saskia and Bonnie. "He was one of the good guys and will be missed by
all who knew him". The family would like friends to join them for a
celebration of his life to be held in the Chapel of the Norwood Park
Crematorium, Sandford Street, Mitchell on THURSDAY, 9 August 2012,
commencing at 3pm.In lieu of flowers, chilled champagne.

Dave advises that Rick was a General List Communicator who was FCO in the early 70's. Should be well know by a lot of the old & bolds. Not sure of his problems, believe he died suddenly. Last saw him late 2011 and he was in good spirits. A regular writer to Letters to the Editors where he put it up most dimwits!!

Lest We Forget


New Association - RAN Minor War Vessels Association (RAN MWVA)

Please read this as I would like to get feed back as to your response, whether it is feasible to start such an Association. I also appreciate that you may belong to other Ship's Association, but with the work that Patrol Boats are now doing, we should consider this.

On Thursday 19th July 2012 I attended the Federation of Naval Ships Assn (FNSA) to which they held their AGM today at Combined Services Club, Sydney attended by many from different Ships and Associations

CMDR Ian Gibson RFD RAN Rtd attended and was invited to address the Meeting, in regard to the formation of a Association to cover Minor War Vessels, ie, Ton Class Sweepers, Patrol Boats, LCH's etc. As these were very much a part of the Navy Family, I personally would like to see this happen so that they do not disappear without a murmur. I realise that the ex personnel of all these vessels are spread out across Australia since taking their discharge and other employment, and probably do not know of the FNSA. But it is possible that they belong to other Associations and with good communication, website, newsletter, Vet Affairs News we can change this and make this new Association become a reality.
. .
I shall be be attending the 16th MSS Reunion (Ton Class sweepers) in Tweed Heads in September this year and would like to speak on this subject to all in attendance . During our last Reunion in Noosa, this was some what mentioned and some asked about "why don't we do something about becoming an Association as such" but nothing really came of it and as each year goes by, we lose more who could have been Members.
Sadly the age of us all is where we could be active is passing us by, so NOW is the time to do something about this.

We were the ones that went before in both groups, and with the Patrol Boats and the "Illegal boat people" and what they are doing for this Nation now in Border Protection, it makes that much more, that we should become an Association and get behind them, so that they know that there are people who know and understand what it is like to serve on these small vessels. It can be no pleasure cruise on them (believe me as I had many years of personal experience).
Therefore I would welcome any comments, either in the affirmative or negative from all and if this could be passed on to others that you have known who were part of these vessels.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
Vice President FNSA & President RANCBA (NSW)
HMAS SNIPE 1965-66 16th MSS
HMAS BARBETTE 1968 -70 1st Patrol Boat Sqdrn


Following has been received and it is hoped that many may take the opportunity to enjoy a good day of golf.  Herewith the programme:

"Long Reef Golf Club is hosting a Veterans Day in October.  The golf day will be known as “Combined Services Day – Services Cup”

Monday 17th October – 0830 Shotgun Start, lunch at conclusion inclusive wine/beer, usually around 1pm

We have 5 Categories;


Cat2 Post WWII

Cat3 Long Reef club members

Cat4 National Service

Cat5 Visitors with military service.

In totaling the scores, we have prizes for all categories Plus overall winner. Other prizes, nearest the pin etc will also be on the card.

Cost was $55 for visitors last year – hoping to hold it the same this year will have a confirmed price in about a week.

So if you want to play on one of the best courses in NSW – Google it up then send an email to brian@mycollaroy.com

Regards Dolly"

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

July 2012 Entries:

Gary Kenny Seeks Info on Barry Lomulder


I am seeking some help with any information on the above.

Barry Lomulder died recently and was predeceased only weeks before by his wife therefore info is difficult. The president of the local RSL has asked for details so that a plaque can be erected at the local “Cockscomb retreat”.

Barry was ex-Navy and most certainly served in FESR as I helped him apply for his PJM which he received. I don’t however have any other info I can offer such as ships, when, where etc. He was not a member of the FESR association to my knowledge.

Barry suffered cruelly over past 20 years with throat and neck cancer which finally got him. So fellas if anybody knew him or can forward this on to anyone who may recall him and may supply some info I would appreciate it and I will forward it on to the Yeppoon RSL.

Gary Kenny
Barry was not a Communicator but we are helping out where we can.  I will check Archives for his Record of Service and advise Gary.



I have received the details of all upcoming appearances by the Royal Australian Navy Band for the next few months, across the Nation.
Should you wish to know more details regarding their appearance in your State, please contact and I will forward.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

The band programme is fairly extensive with appearances in most States and Territories - Shorty will advise if you are interested or you can visit http://www.navy.gov.au/Navy_Band


Oncology Update from Ron Baker

Friends and Shipmates,

On Thursday, my Oncologist confirmed that a recent PET CT scan revealed secondary cancer in my lungs and a suspicious 'spot' on my liver. We discussed the options and decided that I would still travel to Dallas, Texas in September to attend the USS Frank E Evans reunion and, on my return in the first week of October, we would look at commencing chemotherapy. The polyps in my lungs are fairly insignificant at this stage, an a CT scan when I return from the reunion will allow the oncologist to determine how quickly (or slowly) they are growing.

I've attached an illustration of a t-shirt that I designed, which is being printed by friends of mine in the States, that I'll start wearing when I catch up with them in Dallas.

I would have informed you earlier, but I needed to ensure that all of my family members were notified first, and I only completed that task last night, when Jenne and I had our kids over for dinner.

I don't feel unwell, and I am still attending the gym 3 days a week.

Hopefully, we can get on top of it again.
Ron (aka Nullarbor)

Nullarbor's Cancer Shirt 

Nullarbor has been on the road since the last report ....

Recently completed a road trip, and caught up with some of the 'old and bold'. Pulled into Forster (NSW) and was met at the local Bowls Club by Frank Hicks, Vicki and the twins (lovely young people and a credit to their parents). Shortly afterwards, Ray Powell, Sonny O'Hara and their ladies arrived, so we had some pre-dinner drinks before adjourning to the bistro, where we were joined by Doc Watson. In deference to the ladies, not many 'dits' were spun, but we had a good time.

Two days later, I pulled into Cessnock and spend a day/night with my old mate Les Bush (ex Chief Mech), and sampled some of his Grandfather Port. Next evening, it was Fairfield RSL and dinner with Ken (Fatty) McMiles (ex WOUC and ASRU coach). Ken and I were mates in Cabramatta, before both joining pussers in 1962. Ken's wife, Laurel, my brother and his wife, and my sister and her husband joined us, in sampling some beer and wine.

Next day, I drove to Queanbeyan and called on Kevin (Kev the Rev) Flynn and had morning tea with him, recalling some of the legends from the past. Then it was off to Jerrabomberra, and a couple of days with my eldest son, Jamie, his wife Penny and granddaughter, Raven. While there, we went and rescued Fred Goddard from his wife, Pat, and forced him to accompany us to the Vikings Rugby Club, where we donated some money to the pokies and ponies.

I then drove up to Burradoo (in the Southern Highlands) and visited Captain John Stevenson (he was the Skipper on the Melbourne, when we collided with USS Frank E Evans on 3 June 1969). The Skipper is in his 80's now, and lost his wife a few weeks back. He is still very alert, but his eyesight is failing. We had a good chat about things for about half an hour, before I headed off towards Lithgow with the intention of visiting Max Hemmy. However, with all the roadworks going on in the Blue Mountains, I had gone past the Lithgow turn-off before I realised it. So, I drove to Dubbo, where I stayed the night, before heading home to North Ipswich.

Off to Dallas, TX on 8th September for 3 weeks with the USS Frank E Evans guys and gals. One of my mates over there is trying to organise a trip for me down to Galveston, to attend the commissioning of USS Fort Worth (LCS3), Littoral Combat Ship, on Saturday 22 Sept. Looking forward to that.

A warning to other communicators.......Beware! The Nullarbor Road Show may just arrive, unannounced, in a town near you! You have been warned!


DFRB/DFRDB Issues/Abuse Allegations

As President, Federation of Naval Ship Associations, I recently wrote a letter to the Prime Minister relating to DFRB/DFRDB Superannuants. As many communicators are DFRDB recipients I thought it worth a "run" on QSO the World...Something different.

Also I have received a letter written by Bob Trotter (Ex Commodore) about the current Abuse allegations. I think it is a well written and very interesting letter. Also worth a run on QSO the world. Bob has no objection to his letter being reproduced. Neither do I re my own letter.

Commander Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd

Follow this link to read Ken's letter.    Follow this link to read Bob's letter.

I have also taken the opportunity to publish the latest email/letter from Brigadier Neil Weekes AM MC on DFRB/DFRDB Indexation

Follow this link to read Neil's letter.

Follow this link to read more about Operation Aware

Fm Jim Anderson:

Great letter to Ms Gillard on the inequalities of the DFRB/DFRDB Scheme Ken. We have a very strong movement in FNQ under the leadership of (Col) Kel Ryan. I feel as though I've written a 'million words' to the PM and her minions myself but, as you infer, only the same old standard - and very boring - response from Snowdon.

Paul Threlfall is also doing a great job in this area as well.


Names of those who Expressed Interest in the 2013 Reunion

Sonja Hellier advises that "a couple more people have asked who is going, so we decided that publishing names only could not hurt.

Attached list of names received thus far. Expect a few more now that the Vetaffairs Newspaper is out."

Many thanks

Follow this link for the names list (it is also linked on the 'RANCBA Reunions' menu).

Vale Warren Francis 'Curley' Knapp R58501 (ex RO changed over to Chippy)

Tony Miles sends: 

I don't know if anybody remembers Curley Knapp, correct name Warren, who was a Sparker in the 60's and later changed to Chippy. For those who do Curley passed away on the 8/7/12.

His funeral will be held on Friday 11:30 at the traditional funeral chapel 636 Morayfield Rd Burpengary.

Unfortunately my memory cannot supply his date of joining and I lost track of him about 64.

Tony Miles

Fm the Archives:
Warren Francis Knapp R58501.  DOB 02.03.1937.  Joined 17.01.1961.  Promoted RO 1963, served in Yarra 1963/64.  Changed to NS2 in February 1965 and promoted to NS1 in July 1968.  Various postings as a Naval Shipwright, mainly Stalwart and Melbourne.  Would have served at least 20 years.

Fm John Curbishley
When I was the Chief Yeoman in Melbourne in 80/81 Curley was a Chief Chippy.  We were in the same Mess - 2D Centreline.  He was a pretty quiet sort of bloke who kept very much to himself.  It wasn't until we had served together for some time that he revealed he had originally joined as Sparker.  May he rest in peace.

Fm Sam Hughes
As a member of the HMAS Yarra communications department during 1963/64, I am saddened to hear of the loss of an old shipmate, he was a good bloke. Vale Curley.

Fm Bruce Spender
I served in Yarra with Curly and stepped ashore many times with him. He was a good running mate and had a really dry sense of humour – once he had a couple of drinks. I also served with him in Melbourne and prevailed upon a few times to by-pass the system to get thing done. he was always co-operative.
So sorry to hear of his passing. May he rest in peace and our thoughts are with his family.

Seeking Ted & Hazel Hunt

Could you please put out a ‘feeler’ on the QSO for me. Am looking for a ‘communications channel’ with Ted and Hazel Hunt. Used to live in Victoria (last known) but appear to have vanished. Phone no. or email would be appreciated.

Keghead Weaver
Dunlop ACT


Sunday 1st July at 10.00am, the Plaque Dedication Service was held at the GI Chapel of Remembrance. At one stage it looked like only a few people would be there, then a huge turnout, filling most of the Chapel.

I was contacted on Thursday with an apology for short notice, but could I consider Reading the Naval Psalm (Psalms 107 verses 23 - 31) . As I was attending, as there would be one Ex Communicator, Signalman Ray Barker having a Plaque Dedicated and also an Ex WRAN Coder, Nellie Wilson, I acknowledged in the affirmative.

The reflections given by their NOK / former ship mates are really so good to hear and as I have said before, it is indeed a very unique service and should anyone have the chance to attend - do so. It is a pity that they have never been recorded.

There was one for a LCDR Henry Somerville Paterson who I believe his history of his Naval career should be spread about more, he was certainly a man our Nation should be proud of, and his son is sending me a copy (I hope).

It was very sad when Mrs Coates spoke on her late husband Rear Admiral Nigel Coates AM, who had just been Fleet Maritime Commander and I would say been destined for high things i.e. Chief of Navy, but at the age of 51, cancer does not discriminate.

Also the son of ex WRAN Coder Nellie Wilson nee Berwick was someone the Nation and the Ex WRANS could be proud of. He mentioned that one of her brothers had served in the RAN during WW II and was aboard one of the Allied Chinese Ships, (which I think the late Ex CRS Don Brindley served on).

Anyway the RANCBA was attended by Sharon and Ray Mundy, Liz Watts, Helen and myself

Their Name Liveth Forever More

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


June 2012 Entries:

Voice Pipe Newsletter

Hello fellow ex Junior Recruits

The purpose of this email is to advise the latest edition of the Voice Pipe is now up on the website.

Go the home page www.tingira.org and click on the Voice Pipe photograph on the lower right hand side of the page to be down load the pdf. The rest of the site is worth a look if you haven’t been there for a while.

You will also notice there are some of the “Tinny Boys” photographs located on a special page for them.

You will also notice that we are nearing the end of the extended time for you to join as a Foundation Member or to upgrade from a Member to a Foundation Member.

Thank you
Alan Rodgers



The following Plaques will be Dedicated at the Chapel of Remembrance n Sunday 1st, July 2012 at 1000am.

CDRE I.R Jones
Sig. R Barker
LCDR H Paterson
AB E Simpson
Coder N Wilson (nee Berwick)
AB W Pitt
RADM N Coates
Painter 2nd Class E Smart

Should anyone wish to attend, unless they have ID Access to GI, I will need your vehicle registration by Thursday to inform Security at Garden Island.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


The NSW RANCBA Chapter Annual General Meeting and get together will be held at the Parramatta RSL Club on the 4th August 2012 commencing at 10:30 for 11:00am. Also for those that have never been to Parramatta RSL Club, it is situated at the cnr of Macquarie and O’Connell Streets. There is ample parking in the RSL Parking station opposite the Club and for those coming via public transport, about 10 minutes’ walk from the Parramatta Rail & Bus Inter change.

All financial Members are invited to nominate and stand for all positions of the Committee; this includes those serving CIS sailors who have just come aboard the Association.

Kind Regards
Ray Mundy,
Secretary RANCBA NSW

Vale Keith Charles Best R23676 (ex Leading Tel)

On Friday I received a correspondence from a Law Firm advising of the passing of Keith on the 2nd June 2012. Unfortunately no other details were given, so on behalf of all the RANCBA I have send a Sympathy Card to known relatives.

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

From the Archives:
Keith Charles Best R23676
Born 30.09.1922 - Died 02.06.2012 (age 89)
Served from 30.09.1940 to 26.09.1952
Paid off as a Leading Telegraphist

War Postings:
Quickmatch, Napier, Nizam, Bathurst, Adelaide, Magnetic.

Post War Service:
Harman, Melville (for Coonawarra), Cerberus, Australia, Paid off at Lonsdale in 1952 after 12 years service.

Fm Gayle Brady
I always enjoyed the company of Keith and his late wife, Claire. He was a gentle man and a perfect foil for Claire who was a bit of an bohemian and very good fun. They were particular friends of Rusty Keenan (WRAN) especially after she paid off in Darwin. A truly nice gentleman - may he rest in peace.

Fm Trevor Percival
I was saddened to read of Keith's passing. While I was stationed at Coonawarra I was fortunate to become very friendly with the Bests and the following is a part taken from my life story. If you think it interesting enough and not too long you have my permission to use it. Many sailors of my era that were stationed at Coonawarra would remember the Bests as they used to visit Coonawarra to have an ale with serving friends. I decided to write my life story on request from my children as dementia can hit people out of the blue and thought I would write my life experience while I could remember some of it so it could be passed down within our family.

Best wishes
Trevor Percival

Clare and Keith Best were ex-communicators from the RAN. Clare was born in the Grampian Mountain country of Victoria and in 1941 was one of the first twelve women to be enlisted as WRANS into the Royal Australian Navy. Clare became a very skilled telegraphist and became highly qualified in intercepting and decoding Japanese cryptic messages during World War II. In 1945 Clare married Keith who was a fellow telegraphist and then they moved to the Northern Territory where Keith had been posted to Coonawarra. Later, they bought a block of virgin land in 1952 on the Elizabeth River. This was an area where some of the farmers were starting dairy herds. My mate Brendan Moffat and I clicked in a harmonious friendship with both Clare and Keith. The Best couple sold their block on the Elizabeth River and they moved to acreage down the highway to a place called Noonimah, 46 kilometres south of Darwin where they concentrated on growing top quality pineapples. They had been south on a holiday where they were first introduced to pineapple crush as a drink so they decided to try that when they returned north. The Bests started a roadside stall selling their pineapple crush made from their very sweet tasting pineapples. The drink was new to most of the Territorians and was an instant success. Every time Brendan Moffat and I drove south we would stop at their stall to buy one of their thirst quenching cold 'pineapple crush' drinks.

As the years passed Darwin expanded and saw more travelling tourists heading north past Noonimah for Darwin. Clare and Keith saw that there was enough passing trade to start a Tavern and were granted a liquor licence. The Tavern became a resounding success. Clare became to be known as 'The Pineapple Lady'. They sold the tavern and retired in the late 1960's and travelled around Australia looking for a place to settle down. They just couldn't find any place to equal their beloved Territory so they ended up settling on a farm down on the Daly River. They then retired to Hervey Bay in Queensland where we were saddened to learn of Clare's death in 1999.

RIP Clare and Keith. Two of the nicest people I have ever met.


Whizza Wise needs to urgently get in touch with Bill Aylott

Wanted urgently...Bill AYLOTT mobile phone number. He called me and left voicemail his mobile number and I wrote the bloody thing down wrong and deleted. If you can get in contact with him let him know I am in town (Cunnamulla) and if he is out at the Yowah or going out there soonest I will go out and clean up the palace for them to use while there. If they are still to arrive in Cunnamulla I am at 6 Murray Street (closest to the end of the railway platform).

All the best

Bill Aylott sends:

Call Off The Dogs & Posse!
I have surfaced at both Cunnamulla & Yowah & have been in contact with Whizza. Will see him at the Qld AGM in October


Von Klimpel is in Sick Bay

Von Klimpel has been very sick after being diagnosed with advanced lymphoma in February. The good news is that after 6 bouts of chemo things are looking much better. Von advises that they have found no lymph nodes in the neck, abdomen or groin for the past 6 weeks and that's a great sign. He has dropped a lot of weight but is remaining confident and positive about things.

Von has another PET scan on 10th July and the doctors will restage according to the result. Things are looking good at the moment but it all depends on the PET scan. I am sure Von's many Communicator mates will want to wish him all the best for the remaining treatment.

Stay positive Von and fight the good fight.  We are all thinking of you and wishing you well for the treatment to come.  We look forward to hearing your are in remission. 

Messages of support should be sent to vonklimpel@bigpond.com.

John Curbishley
Web Manager


What a difference in size, many thanks to Tank Evans for passing the photo on.  It is a pretty tight fit, let's hope they can float her out!

Fm Mike Vaughan:
Just saw the picture of the HMS Queen Elizabeth. If anyone is interested the following is a link to the facts and figures relating to the QE Class vessel http://www.aircraftcarrieralliance.co.uk/the-ships/the-queen-elizabeth-class.aspx
Fm Doug Marsh:
Unless other people are better informed, I believe the new RN Carrier's two islands are the Navigation Bridge and the Air Traffic Control Bridge.



I received in today's mail an invite from the Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans Assn inviting the RANCBA to participate again this year.  The RSVP is by 30th June, so any RANCBA Members regardless of State Chapter who wishes, may attend, They also wished to know:

a. Whether we will Lay a Tribute/Wreath (in past years we have Laid a Wreath)
b. Will we be attending the Social Gathering at the Hotel on completion.
c. One of the Special Guests will be Ms. Sandra Lee author of the book Saving Private Sarbi - Explosive Detection Dog and her Handler Sergeant "D" !!!!!! (have no idea who D is).
d. Also a contingent of Explosive Detection Dogs and Handlers will Lead the Parade as a tribute to the valuable and dangerous role the handlers and dogs play in Operations.
e. To acknowledge this the role of the RAAF in Vietnam era, a Caribou aircraft will do a low level fly over during the Parade
f. The Service will be held on Sunday, 19th August commencing at 11.00am at Springwood.

This Service includes all ex Service personnel, and not only for Vietnam Veterans but for all, regardless of where you served in Post World War II Conflicts, other Operational areas or were part of a Peace Keeping Force.

We encourage invitees, especially Ex Service Organisations to provide a large contingent of Marchers on the day. Also for Service specific organisations ( RAN, ARMY, RAAF) advise if your require Navy, Army or Air Cadets to carry your Association Banner so that we can advise the Cadet Units.  We normally use our mini Banner for this Service and request for 2 Sea Cadets to be Banner Bearers.

Therefore should anyone showing an expression of interest or will be attending, could you let me know no later than the 28th June.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Vale Raymond John 'Buck' Buchanan R57292 (ex RO)

Gayle Brady advises that she has received news from Buck's daughter Brook that Buck passed away suddenly last night (13 June).  He came from Warwick for Jim Carey's funeral (along with his wife Sue, Brook and his little Grandson), so Gayle is in a bit of shock.  Gayle will pass on funeral details when known.

The funeral for Ray "Buck" Buchanan will be at 10.30 a.m. Tuesday 19th June at the Uniting Church, Gay Street, Warwick, Qld.

This information is from his daughter, Brook Hunter.

From the Archives:
Raymond John Buchanan R57292.  DOB 12.1.1941.  Joined 26.8.1960 DEE 25.8.1969.  Served in Quickmatch, Queenborough and Vampire as well as Harman.

Fm Allan "Shorty" Moffatt:
Once again sad news, Buck Buchanan was a long standing Member of the RANCBA, and I first met him and the late Jim Carey at HARMAN when they drafted in off QUICKMATCH many years ago.  Buck was a good Sparker, played great football and with his size when running on the field , he looked awesome.

Fm Tony (Tackers) Miles:
Was saddened to read of the passing of Buck. Had the pleasure of serving with him in Harman, he was the stuff of legends. It was always a pleasure to be in his company and wherever his final journey takes him there will be many waiting to greet him and have another beer.

Fm Graham Bence:
I was the LRO on the Quickmatch when Buck was posted from Cerberus.  A nicer bloke you couldn't meet. It was a pleasure to know him. A great worker. We had some good runs in the Far East.  The last time I saw him was at the Canberra reunion and I was looking forward to seeing him again at another reunion so I could have a chat with him and reminisce with him about our time on the Quickie Maru. Sadly that won't happen now. Rest in Peace Buck

Fm Paul Boase:
Was on the Vampire with Buck and he was my Guardian angel on many a run, a kinder bloke I never met, he “looked after me” on many occasions and it is sad to hear of his passing, there are many Sparkers I remember from my time but Buck was special, I had no contact with him after Vampire but I can fully relate to the many generous things that have been said about him by his contemporaries on his passing, rest in peace big fella, I'm sure you are in a good place.

Lest we Forget



JRTE HMAS Leeuwin 2nd intake, Jan 1961.

"First ever reunion" - To be held in the Shellharbour area of NSW approx 110km south of Sydney.

Date yet to be set, but assume around Feb 2014.

23 registrations of interest already received.

Please register your interest and for further information, contact Dave Turner davkat@bigpond.net.au or phone 02 9520 2810

Creswell and Huskisson Reunion

I have arranged a reunion at Creswell and Huskisson for the weekend of 22, 23 & 24 June. Unfortunately I have been unable to contact Ray Pigdon, Ray Johnson and Blue Harper, the communicators that I can think of who were here with me in the 80s. If you guys read this please contact me at roderick.mclaurin@defence.gov.au.  Any other old Creswell Crew, or anyone else who wants to party that weekend, please contact me.

Rod McLaurin

Warrant Officer
2IC NR Initial Entry Training Team
HMAS Creswell

Bus: 02 44297141
Mob: 0412 064048
Fax: 02 44297184


May 2012 Entries:

Vale Donald John Brindley R44404 (ex CRS)

Dave Jeffrey advises that there was a funeral notice for Don in the Canberra Times of Wednesday 23 May.  Brindo crossed the bar on 17 May aged 86 (born 05 May 1926).  He was buried privately.

Another good man crosses the bar.

Lest We Forget

Don's Record of Service (ROS) cards up to 1970 shows he served in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1947.  His Reserve card is in poor condition and it is difficult to put together his war service.  It appears he left the RANR in 1947 and then joined the RAN in January 1951.  His RAN ROS card shows that he signed on progressively until one day short of his 50th birthday in 1976 - 25 years full time service.  Don may have made Warrant Officer before paying off - if anyone has more information please let me know.

Fm Bob Simpson 23/05 (Replying to Keghead Weaver):
I just wanted to thank you for passing on the news about ‘Brindo from Indo’, as I last knew him, in 1965/66. I would not have known until it appeared in the ‘Vale’ notices on our website. I was an instructor at the Sig School as was he. He was offered and accepted a posting to Djakarta as assistant to the Naval Attache there. He had only 24 hours to put his affairs in order and be on the plane the next day – christened himself ‘Brindo from Indo’. I don’t know if he sobered up before he boarded.

He was a true gentleman, nevertheless, even if he and Ray Stuart (Yeo as I was), as barmen in the POs Mess, did wipe me out on my birthday. (They laced my ‘dry’ bottle for my scotch and dry, with double whiskies, then blamed me for spiking my own drink!). But I eventually forgave them.

Another of my favourite memories of Brindo was his indubitable power of command which, whilst it would never gain him a pass in the CRS Fleet Board, often challenged the concentration of the current squad he was marching. His favourite was the right/left wheel, whereby his order to the squad/class of "Round the corner, Go!", left nobody in any doubt as to what was to be done at his command. Perplexed passers-by were often left wondering.

Fm Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt:
When I first went to HARMAN, Don was the LHOW in 1RS and at that time, Divisions were held every month on a Friday forenoon. The afternoon watch would for 2 days prior (in their own time) have to muster, draw webbing, 303's and bayonets and do parade drills and on the Friday forenoon, be inspected at the Captain's Divisions.

Now, should you be off watch, you had to get off the Depot by 0700am, or muster for Division's along with all the day hands etc. Don and his wife would invite the whole watch to his place in the married patch. Someone would drop all the leave cards at the QM's lobby (all the QM's knew what was happening and I am pretty sure the MAA and the LPM also knew), and all those wishing to get out of Divisions would make your way over to his house.

We would all "kick in" and his wife and Don would go into Queanbeyan the day before and purchase eggs, bacon and bread etc. She would work hard in the kitchen making our breakfast and then most would get their heads down on the lounge room floor or some played cards. During the winter months, they made certain the fire was going, so we wouldn't freeze.

Then at midday, as Divisions would be over, make your way back to your hut, with leave cards being collected by someone knowing that the MAA would be at lunch in the Seniors Sailors Mess
Don and his wife were 2 great people, (unfortunately I cannot remember her name) and it was a pleasure to be on watch with him Some of his yarns (all true!!!) he would spin, he certainly made life there good.

He will be sadly missed by all that knew him, and another great hand has gone to the big BWO in the sky
Rest in Peace mate

Fm Ray Stuart (ex CY 1958-1967):
Just like to post my sadness at the passing of Don Brindley. Don was one of nature's gentlemen and it was indeed a pleasure to have known him. We worked voluntarily behind the bar in the P.O.'s mess at Cerbrus and he always had me in stitches with his humour and good natured bantering. I remember well the day we laced up Bob Simpson on his birthday. Anyone who didn't stand within reach of the beer gun didn't get served unless he moved closer, according to Brindo. A great man and this world is lesser with his departure. Have a scotch on me in heaven "Brindo".

Fm Nokka White:
Sad to hear about Don Brindley passing on. I'm sure he got the most out of life. He certainly used to get the most out of the Cerberus Comms School Aussie rules team on a Wednesday. Out would come the hip flask giving someone he wanted more from a quick swig, usually Jimmy Quick. A great bloke who loved sport at the school.
RIP old fella.

Fm Graham Bence:
I was very sorry to hear about "Brindo from Indo". I served on Quickmatch with him when he was a Kellick and Kevin Taylor was the RS.  Many's the time the whole mess would go off with Don.  We always ended up in the Cross and a quick visit to the King's Cross chemists for the old medicinal wine to keep us going into the early hours of the morning.

I also served with him in Coonawarra , Harman,and Cerberus. He paid off in Harman I think and then went to Parliament House as an Usher. I heard he made good use of the Visitors bar. There was story going round (and this is when they were building the new Parliament House) that Don used the Visitors bar this night and got quite confused. He got in his car and was driving home and must have taken a wrong turn and ended up at the bottom of the pit of the new house. I think it was still there the following morning but Don wasn't. Whether its true or not I don't know but it was a good story that provided quite a few laughs.

I'm sad to say I don't know whether he was a Warrant Officer when he paid off or what his wife's name was. He was a character who will be sadly missed. R.I.P Brindo.

Fm Shorty Turner:
I worked with Don as a dayman at CTRC in 1975 before starting a programming course at Defcommars. He was one of the funniest men I have ever met. I well remember him making a command decision to clean out the vault. We shredded everything that he considered to be useless, which was just about everything. We weren't very popular for a while after that. He paid off as a CRS and went to work at Parliament House. I've often wondered over the years how he was doing. RIP.

Fm Alan Murgatroyd (very ex-CRS):
I was lucky enough to serve with Brindo on a couple of occasions and like everyone else who came in contact with Don his wit and drinking capacity (one Sunday I went up to the PO’s mess at Kuttabul with him and a mob from 3A mess in the Sydney and whilst we were having a few beers Don managed to drink a whole bottle of Vodka and a small tin of orange juice and believe it or not there was still orange juice left in the tin when we left the mess -- and Brindo was still in good nick when we wandered back onboard!) – was truly legendary.

The best yarn he ever spun me was the story of him leaving Indonesia after his service there. He was invited to the Indonesian Air force Officers mess for a few farewell drinks and he proceeded to tell the Officers, in jocular terms that if they ever wanted to invade Australia he would be standing at Cape York to fight them back, so be careful.

The President of the mess responded to this message by saying “ ahh Brindo , but we know how to defeat you , we will send our women first !” It was probably the first time he had been upstaged. Another of his sayings was “ There I was in my Skyhawk, upside down over Saigon, drinking scotch out of the bottle” etc etc .

One of the ships he served on during the second world war was, of all things , HMAS Ping Wo - fair dinkum.”

Wot a Bloke !!

Fm Rod Beckinsale:
Just wanted to correct the record of Brindo’s job after paying off. He didn’t go to Parliament House, but to the High Court of Australia as tipstaff to Sir Harry Gibb. He would drop into the mess at Harman from time to time and regale us with tales from the court. Out of curiosity I Googled Sir Harry to see if Brindo showed up in the search results, and I found the following.

“His relatively brief stint as a judge in bankruptcy was made famous by his tipstaff, a man fond of keeping track of his investments by sitting in court listening to the races on the radio through an ear plug. On one occasion this sterling fellow was rudely interrupted while plugged into a gripping finish of the third at Eagle Farm by His Honour's request for a law report. He leapt to his feet to attend to his master's request, dislodging the ear piece from the radio and, in the process, treating the court to a full-volume description of the final leg.”

No names mentioned, but I think we all know who the “sterling fellow” was.

RIP Brindo. It was a pleasure and privilege to have you in my life.

Fm Keith Gorsuch:
Have just read the sad news in respect to the passing of Don Brindley. Don paid off as a CRS. He was an RS on the Melbourne in 1969 when the collision occurred with Evans.  Don played a key role in the restoration of comms in the aftermath. Prior to joining HMAS Melbourne he was with the Naval Attache in Indonesia and was fluent in the local lingo.   Some of my fondest memories of Don was his larrikin nature, he always kept the 4K Comms mess supplied with his injected Vodka oranges and iceblocks.  I recall one day alongside in Sydney when he was returning onboard in blues, the dry cleaners had arrived and as he walked past them he dropped his trousers gave them to the cleaners and carried on up the gangway without breaking stride . RIP Brindo A true gentleman.


Sembewang 1967

Ben Franklin sends:

I wonder if you might include this in QSO...Taken in August 1967...Breakfast at the Melbourne Bar (Sembawang) at 0900 !!

Back..(some Kiwi,) Les Chapman, Butch Richmond
Front..Jim Quick, Freddie-horse, Dinga Bell, (another K1) and Ben Franklin....Rgds Ben


Vale Elaine Kane

David Kerr sends:

It is with great sadness that I inform you that I received a call tonight from ex Leut/WOSY Barry "Bloggs" Kane letting me me know that his wife Elaine passed away this afternoon (08 May) after a short battle with cancer. She was first diagnosed last year not long after the Adelaide RANCBA reunion and the family chose to keep it private. Elaine's funeral will be held in Murray Bridge and I will let you know the details once confirmed.

Such a bubbly beautiful lady taken before her time. Elaine, may you Rest in Peace. To Barry and daughter Heather - please accept our sincere and heartfelt condolences on your loss, and rest assured we are here to support you in your time of need.

Thanks David, our thoughts and condolences go out to Barry and Heather.  Elaine was a lovely lady with a great personality who will be sadly missed by her many friends from the Comms Branch.

I will publish funeral details when provided or you can follow the discussion on Facebook - RANCBA Group.

Elaine & Barry at John & Sarah Curbishley's wedding 1981.

The funeral for Elaine Kane will be held on Friday 11th May at 3pm at Rainforest Retreat, 19A Torrens Rd Murray Bridge, South Australia.

In lieu of flowers Barry and Heather have requested a donation be made to the Flinders Medical Centre Research Centre, Flinders Medical Centre, Sturt Rd Bedford Park SA 5042.

Fm Rob "Nifty" Newell:
It is with great sadness that I have just read the passing of Elaine Kane. Blogs and I served on Brisbane for the Spithead Trip in 77. I know he and of Elaine when we were at Comms School, both being from Adelaide, we always had something in common. I met Elaine for the first time last year at the Reunion in Adelaide. Blogs and his family certainly have my deepest sympathies.

Fm Marilyn and Owen (Polly) Perkins:
It was with great sadness I read of the passing of Elaine Kane. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Barry and Heather.  Our thoughts are with you...



On, Monday 7th May 2012 the Battle of the Coral Sea Memorial Service was held at the Cenotaph. After a glorious weekend, the weather had turned cold, and now in Martin Place with high rise buildings, it becomes a wind tunnel. Prior to the commencement I was asked to meet and escort the following , Rear Admiral Tim Barrett AM CSC RAN - Fleet Maritime Commander, then Major-General Mick Slater AO DSC CSC, Forces Commander of Australia and then Group Captain Geoff Shamrock , Representing Air Command when their vehicles arrived at the Pitt Street.

The Ceremony commenced with the MC, Mr. Geoff Gray welcoming all, and asking all to be upstanding for the arrival of the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO and to remain standing for the Catafalque Party and the Flag Orderlies to take their place at the Cenotaph. All from HMAS KUTTABUL and the RAN BAND.  On completion, Senior Chaplain Murray Lund RAN Officiated and the singing of the Hymn, Oh God, Our Help, and followed by the Lords Prayer and the Commemoration.

The MC then introduced the Prime Minister of Australia representative, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett AM CSC RAN and he gave the Address on behalf of PM Julia Gillard. This was followed by the introduction of Mr Neils Marquadrt , US Consul-General Sydney , and the United States representative. He then read the message from the White House and the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.  This was followed by the introduction of Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW. She gave the Address of the Battle of the Coral Sea and the friendship which was forged by both the Australian and United States Navies during this battle, and which has continued in other wars and conflicts.

Both spoke of the message that was read by Mr. John Curtin, the Prime Minister of Australia in Parliament during that time, of the big Naval Battle being fought off the coast of Australia in the Coral Sea, and had been issued by General Douglas McArthur US Army.

The Wreath Laying by Official Guests was then held. by the Rear Admiral Tim Barrett AM CSC representing the Prime Minister, the Governor of NSW, the Premier of NSW, Mr. Barry O'Farrell, Member of the Opposition of the NSW Government, and then Rear Admiral Tim Barrett AM CSC representing the RAN, Major-General Mick Slater AO DSC CSC Forces Commander and Group Captain Geoff Shambrook representing the Air Command.  There was many more including NSW Police, DVA, Legacy, Ex WRANS (Mrs Rosemary Stockley -President NSW) , Ex AWAAS (Mrs Amy Taylor AM) etc.

I had the privilege of representing the Federation of Naval Ships, and along with Mr. Peter Ashpole , President of the Naval Association of Australia (NSW) we both went up together to Lay a Wreath.

The Naval Ode was said by both Mr Bill Bowley, President HMAS HOBART Association and Mr. David Raymond Commander No 1 Post The American Legion.

The Last Post was played by a Bulger RAN Band and then Taps (USA Forces equivalent) 1 Minute Silence and the Reveille.

Chaplain Murray Lund invited all to sing Eternal Father -Strong to Save and this was then followed by the Naval Prayer and Benediction.  The National Anthems of the United States of America and Australia was then sung. Full credit must once again go to the RAN Band and the singing by AB Mscn Briony Dwyer - outstanding.

The organisation of this Service was carried out by Mrs. Jan Cunningham and all accolades for a good Service are well and truly worthy of them. Others that I spoke to. Vice Admiral David Leach AC CBE LVO RAN Rtd, Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd, Ex WRAN Liz Watts (Secretary), Ex LRO John Withers OAM, (HMAS HOBART Secretary), SMN CIS's Afton Mitchell, Ashleigh Dean, (HMAS KUTTABUL)

It is hoped that this Memorial Service will continue so that young Australians' will know how close the war came to Australian shores during those "dark days," and will not be forgotten.

Ken Swain AM (President of the FNSA) and myself have both received an Official Invitation to attend a function at the US Consul_General's residence on Wednesday evening (9th May) and to meet a Delegation of Veterans from the USS LEXINGTON (CV2) from the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


Interservice Golf 1968

Gavin Jensen "is not sure if this was late 68 or early 68, I posted Harman mid 68 and back Darwin mid 69.

Back row L - R:
No names for 1st three, 4th Simon Wynne (Cook), 5th Peter Heavey (TO), 6th N/k, 7th Ray Donnelly (was the Dockie Copper on the main gate at Harman),  8th N/k (e)???, far right Paul Feltham (S)

Front Row L - R:
1 and 2 N/k, 3rd myself,  4 I think was Cliff Morey (a 2 and half ringer), 5 Dental Officer Kidd, 6 7 8 N/k.

Maybe someone out there might know.  The photo was taken at Windsor and we were billeted at Richmond RAAF Base.

I have a couple of other golf photos, the late Ted Pretty and myself at Yokohama Country Club mid 60's.  Hope you receive this ok and it adds to the collection.
Regards Gavin"

If anyone can assist with the missing names please let me know.


16th MSS Reunion.

Calling all Communicators who have served on the Ton Class sweepers during their period of commission which includes from when they were commissioned in the UK till decommission many years later.

The Reunion will take place at the Coolangatta at the Twin Towns Services Club, from 14th, 15th , 16th September 2012. Should you know of any ex sweeper person, seaman, greenie, stoker, chef, stoker etc regardless of rank/rate let them know about it. Also should any ex Communicator be in the Gold Coast area over that time, I am sure if you came along, no doubt you will meet a ex shipmate from way back and you will be made more than welcome to join with us.

Anyway if you require further details, I can be contacted on email shortym@optusnet.com.au or phone 02 9631 8068

Remember our motto
"Wooden ships but men of steel"

Allan 'Shorty"Moffatt OAM
Ex HMAS SNIPE 1965 - 66
President RANCBA (NSW)

Panoramic View of Hong Kong

Thought you might like to put this out on the site so that everyone can see just how much Honkers has changed over the years.
I am back there for a week in July.

Nokka White

I was in Honkers about this time last year and was amazed at the changes, particularly the new airport and the island-hopping freeway connecting it to the city.


CMDR Anne Briggs

I wonder if anyone knows what may have become of Cmdr Anne Briggs, OIC Comms School in the late 70s please.


Jim Anderson


April 2012 Entries:


Vale Barry Alfred 'Horse' Dun - ex TO R52381 (19.07.38 - 19.04.12)

On behalf of his partner Charlene, I wish to advise ex T.O. Barry “Horse” Dun passed away at 11.25 am today Thursday 19th April 2012 in Ipswich Hospice.  Funeral will probably be mid next week, see below.  It would be appreciated if you could pass on to all.

Barry was a member of the commissioning crew HMAS Quiberon. He was also in the first crew of HMAS Duchess in 1964.

For those wishing to send condolences, contact details are below.

Charlene Cudby
192 Rose Ave
MINDEN Qld 4311

Phone: 07 5426 8949
email: bozza02@dodo.com.au

Stuart “Nobby” Clark
02 6665 1488
Sad news.  Lest we forget.  Funeral details have now been published below.

Barry Dun’s funeral will be held at 2.30 pm on Tuesday 24th April at Goodna Crematorium.

Daryl Cross will represent RANCBA (QLD).  Anyone else wishing to attend, please email Daryl for time and place.


Cheer Squad for Mons Cup 1981

Sheena Connelly sends:

I've been going through my storage stuff looking for specific photos. I haven't found the ones I was looking for but I did find this one. It was taken during the Mons Cup at HMAS Nirimba in 1981. We were posted to Coonawarra at the time and flew down with our Mons Cup team to act as their cheer squad. We were the only cheer squad there (and the only females for miles) and had a fantastic 2 weeks. We only had to cheer for one match from memory as Coonawarra got knocked out early.. The names are:

Back Row L to R:
(Self) Sheena Connelly, Cheryl Watson, Kerry Sutton.
Kneeling L to R:
Debbie Taylor & Wendy Thompson.

I was a SWR Beagle at the time (later changed over to EWP - plus a variety of other branch titles). The rest of the girls were all comms.

Looking forward to a growing library of photos.
Sheena Connelly

Coonawarra Cheer Squad Mons Cup 1981

A great photo Sheena, thanks for sending it.  If anyone can complete the names it would be appreciated.




The bumper sticker's purpose is to promote to the public the unfair indexation of our military superannuation pensions and in so doing raise funds for the Campaign.

The stickers are now available for sale at $5 each, on line at www.standto.org and at various points of sale through the ADSO Member networks (DFWA, NAA, RARA, ASASRA and RAAFA), ADSO Partner networks (APPVA, VVAA, VVFA) and other ESO's networks.

Please buy a sticker and display it on your vehicle.

You can also help by joining our sales force to sell them to family and friends. Just email me, Ted Chitham, at fairgocampaign@gmail.com your postal address and other contact details and the number of stickers required. I will send that quantity to you on consignment. A good sales opportunity exists at your Anzac Day reunions.

If everyone who stands to benefit from the Campaign's success buys one then we would raise over $200,000: an amount that would be of great help in promoting the Campaign into the national media.

The Fair Go Campaign is funded solely from donations received from our supporters and our own fund raising activities like this one. All money received is used to pay for all Campaign costs such as; advertising, promotions, communications, research and legal costs. We have no paid staff: all work is performed by volunteers who give generously their time and use of their own resources.

Donations can be made at www.standto.org by clicking on the Donate box.

Thanks for your support.

All for one and one for all.

From the "Fair Go!" Team

Campaign Directors: Ted Chitham , Ray Gibson
Campaign National Spokesperson: David Jamison

Stay current with the Campaign at www.standto.org



The Annual MN Memorial Service was held at the Chapel, Rookwood commencing at 11.00am, and here the MC, Mr. Vic Totman welcomed all and then welcome their new President, Mr Geoffrey Walls to address the gathering and here all were requested to stand for God Save The Queen.
The Address was given by Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson AO DSC RAN Rtd who gave a very good speech which was enjoyed by all. He certainly has had a very interesting life and career within the Navy.

On completion, the Rev. Ian Porter - Senior Chaplain to the Mission to Seaman spoke and it was a fitting day as this was the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of TITANIC.  Then the Hymn "Nearer my God to Thee" was sung and it was the Hymn played by the Band on the TITANIC during that fatal period of time before it disappeared below the waves.

After a Bible Reading by Mr Frank O'Dwyer MN Association a Address by the Rev Ian Porter, and the Hymn Eternal Father Strong to Save which I believe most who have been to sea, which I always believe has real significance to those at sea.

Then it became a Time of Remembrance and the Names of Those Who have Crossed the Bar since their last Service, and this was carried out by Mr. Geoffrey Walls.

On completion, Wreaths were then Laid by many, Ms. Jennifer Collins, Commissioner for DVA (NSW & ACT). Representatives for the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Phillipines, the United States of America, etc Commander Shane Moore CSC RAN Laid a Wreath on behalf of the Maritime Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett AM CSC RAN. I had the privilege on Laying a Wreath on behalf of the FNSA, but there were many more which included one Laid by Don Ferguson on behalf of the RANCBA SW and who had served as a Convoy Signalman during WW II.

The Last Post was sounded and then the Ode recited by Mr, Ken Ryder, followed by a Minutes Silence and then Reveille.  Sister Mary Leahy OAM, Mission to Seaman and the Stella Maris said a Prayer and this was followed by the National Anthem, and here AB Muscn Brioyn Dwyer RAN who had led all the singing was once again a pleasure to listen to.

It was a very good Service and full credit must be given to all concerned and to the Sea Cadets who also helped and formed a Guard of Honour into the Chapel.

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



On Thursday the 12th April, Members of different Naval Associations gathered at Parliament House. Macquarie Street, Sydney and started to arrive at 1200 for pre luncheon drinks. This included from the following in no particular order, BATAAN, CORVETTES, FAIRMILES, MERCHANT NAVY, HOBART, MELBOURNE, CLEARANCE DIVERS, PERTH, Ex WRENS, ROYAL MARINES, Ex WRANS, VAMPIRE, SYDNEY US ARMY SMALL SHIPS and today, Members from the Mosman Council as they were to make a presentation. Then last but not least, the "elite" COMMUNICATORS!!!!!! Also present were, Vice Admiral David Leach, AC CBE, LVO RAN Rtd, Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd, Rear Admirals Fred Lynam AO, Ian Crawford, AO Tony Horton AO RAN Rtd. Commodore Adam Grunsell CSC RAN, Commander Michael Hicking RAN. and representing the Premier of NSW, Mrs Roza Sage MP, Member for the Blue Mountains.

With short notice, as not only the President of the RANCBA (NSW), I am also the Vice President of the FNSA and could I carry out the role and functions of the MC on this day. I accepted, but saying that I was very nervous on how it would go. From the "feed back" both there and via emails and phone calls, it must not have been too bad!!!!

Prior to entering the "Strangers Room" at Parliament House, there was a small ceremony held in the foyer by Mr. Cornelius Smit of track plans of HMAS SYDNEY II that had been found under his house at Seaforth (North Sydney) and they would be taken to Canberra and presented to the Australian War Memorial. The was carried out by Mr Bob Auston, current President of the SYDNEY Association. At 12.30 all were invited to make their way into the Luncheon Room, which is a superb setting, overlooking Hyde Park and at this time of the year, with the rain we have had was in great picture. All were requested to stand for the entry of the Official Guests , including the President of the FNSA , Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN RTD, and then to remain standing for the National Anthem and on completion I recited the Naval Ode.

On completion, all were requested to be seated and here I asked Sister Mary Leahy OAM from the Mission to Seaman to come to the stage and say Grace, also, I congratulated her on being Awarded the Order of Australia since our Luncheon in 2011. She is a very delightful person, and having met her on many occasions a very worthy recipient of the OAM. I am not sure how long she has been here in Australia, but she still has the most beautiful Irish accent, and I for one, hope she never looses..

Entree was then served and then became my other hard part. Advise all in attendance who was sitting at the "Top Table" including our 2 Guests, Commodore Grunsell RAN and Mrs Roza Sage MP, and that I would invite them to come to the stage and address the Members. Also it was great to introduce Commander Michael Hicking RAN who is currently involved with the International Fleet Review that shall place on Sydney Harbour in October 2013. He had come to our Meeting in February where he gave a good insight as to what will happen, and I believe it will be massive , and a credit to our Nation and for those that have served in the Navy will be extremely proud. I

I then asked all present to take the time to go and personally thank our President Ken sitting on the 'Top Table" and the very hard working and I really mean hard working Secretary, Mrs Mary Bell sitting on Table 4 for making this Luncheon happen. They didn't wait and a very good round of applause took place by all in attendance. Many did later on, go and personally say "thank you". Whilst most were enjoying the Easter break, they were busy doing all the hard behind the scene work,

I then invited ,Mrs Roza Sage MP, Member for the Blue Mountains to come to the stage. She definitely was a plus. On graduating from Queensland University with a Bachelor of Dental Science, she joined the Australian Defence Force and served as a Dental Officer with the RAAF from 1979 till 1986 (here she received a good hearted joking from those present - all Navy). She then entered private Dental practice for over 23 years. In March 2011 was elected the Member of the NSW Government for the seat of the Blue Mountains, and made her maiden speech in Parliament on the 11th May 2011 , and at present she hold many positions . She was indeed a very worthy guest and all enjoyed her talk and her quick wit. I told all in attendance, as most have the DVA Gold Card, maybe she will give a quick check of the teeth and a floss during the lunch break!!!!

She was then asked her to remain on the stage and invited Mr. Jim Reid from the Mosman Council to come forward and make the presentation of the print of a painting of HMAS SYDNEY by the well know Naval Artist, Ian Hansen. to Mrs Roza Sage MP, representing the Premier. Along with being a Mayor of Mosman 1997, 1998 and 2001, he is involved in many Committees, ie, the National Naval Memorial at Bradleys Head , the Committee for restoration of the HMAS SYDNEY 1 mast at Bradley's Head, the installation of flood lighting of the SYDNEY Mast in 2001. He also was indeed another worthy guest and the print was viewed by many, and it is indeed a credit and I believe will be displayed in the NSW Parliament House for all to see.

Prior to the Luncheon, I managed to give two little items, one my first meeting with Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths who was then only a Commander and Fleet Operations Officer onboard HMAS MELBOURNE 1957 and whilst anchored in Hong Kong harbour. Definitely not the way to meet an Officer!!!
Then I mentioned a item about Rear Admiral Tony Horton, Patron of the RANCBA here in NSW and this was whilst he was Commanding Officer HMAS VAMPIRE 1967-68.  All the old sailors including the Admirals got a good laugh out of them.

A supberb luncheon was then served and many took the opportunity to stroll and meet with old friends over a wine or an ale.

On completion, I then asked our Naval Guest to come to the stage, Commodore Adam Grunsell CSC RAN and whilst he was making his way there, I read out his BIO, very impressive. He has certainly has made sure that he did not let the grass did not grow under his feet and I can understand why he was Awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2007 Australian Day Honours List, and was promoted to Commodore on the 14th October 2011. His speech was good to listen to, but some of the terms now used in the modern Navy are not we were used to. A new Navy with a new language.

It was then time to conclude all the speeches and then tea and coffee was served and last drinks etc and I took the time to say thank you to the Catering and Administration Staff at Parliament House, who really did make our day enjoyable, and to use the old saying, "did us right proud"

Communicators that were in attendance and in no particular order, Cmdr Ken Swain AM, Don Ferguson, Ray & Sharon Mundy, Laurie Scutts, Liz Watts (with the Ex WRANS). Howard Halsted OAM (with the Corvettes), Terry Nugent , Max Miller, Dick Thompson (with the Fairmiles), John & Pam Short, Trevor & Joan Pike, Les & Fay Church, Andy & Jan Mills, our Patron Rear Admiral Tony Horton AO and his wife Margaret and Allan (Shorty) & Helen Moffatt

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President of the RANCBA NSW.
& Vice President of the Federation of Naval Ships Association

Calculate your Personal Loss due to Unfair Indexation

It behoves every DFRB/DFRDB/MSBS superannuant to go to this website and then do the math - and then weep.
(Have your fortnightly DFRDB pension figure with you when you open it).

And then start ringing/writing your federal member and giving them heaps.

You are being dudded to buggery and back!


Erosion of Military Super

Cheers mate
Jim Anderson

Vale Graham Gardner - ex WWII Sparker

Sonja Hellier hast been advised by the Corvettes Association of the passing of Graham Gardner - WWII Sparker.

Graham always supported the various functions commemorating Navy events over the years. Last time we saw him was at Seafarers Service at St John's Cathedral last September, when he had recently moved into a retirement village at Sandgate.

Graham's funeral will be at:

Albany Creek Crematorium,
Lakeview Chapel,
Albany Creek Road
Bridgeman Downs
Wednesday 18th April commencing 11 am.

Tony Miles will be representing the RANCBA at Graham's funeral.

Lest we forget.


Ex-Communicators in Ghana

For those of you who remember John 'Bumper' Farrell ex Sparker, he is currently in Ghana Africa working with another old mate, Ron McGrath ex signalman. They have just started an Institute to train locals in the oil and gas industry. This is the initial stage of the project which includes building a Supply Base providing infrastructure to the industry. Ron is the driving force behind the project and has been here for nearly 3 years. Bumper and Wayne 'Bangers' Bancroft (another Signalman)  also have a financial interest.

The Ghanaian Government places great importance on the project.

Bumper sends: "These days I am married to a Colombian lady (Maria). We live in Manizales Colombia when I am not here in Ghana. I learned to speak Spanish a few years ago which is handy as Maria does not speak English. Not too long ago I did some volunteer work in Honduras, Colombia and Guatamala while I studied Spanish.

Ron McGrath, John Farrell & Wayne Bancroft in Ghana..

Great to see things going well with the 3 Amigos.  We wish you well.


Red Ryder Trip 2012

I’ve just come back from a fantastic trip which included visiting some of the old haunts from my Navy days as well as hiking in the jungle in Borneo and spending time in Brunei and Kuala Lumpur. I took some photos when I was in Subic and Olongapo and have written a dit about that stage of my trip. It may be of interest to readers on the RANCBA website.

Terry “Red” Ryder
I have now culled photos from past trips of Red and posted the new photos with Red's dit.


Sweet Memories from Trevor Percival

Memories are sweet. Taken while we were on the Melbourne early 1960's.  Tiny Kopp in the middle of the first photo, from memory Clive Norfolk, Pat (Blue Moonie) and Tiny (Gary) Kopp at Trincomalee in the second.


It's great to look back to see how young, fit and carefree we once were.  If anyone can help identify those in the photos please send me an email.

Fm Sandy McNab:
After ‘Exercise Jet’ Trincomalee March 1961

Clive ‘the Duke’ Norfolk and Pat ‘Blue’ Moonie never looked that young ! ! I don’t recognise all five leaning on the railing as being 5DeltaPort Communicators residing on the Melbourne, however yes along with RO Tiny Kopp in the middle I believe it is TO Gordon ‘Stroppy’ Prove on the right, and only guessing possibly TO ‘Barney’ Barnett on the left. After the ‘Family Day’ at Fremantle 20th Feb 61 we sailed north and I think it was in company with the Voyager and one of the Q’s may have been the Queenborough, and we also linked up with the Royalist.

The other lads may have been mates ashore off the accompanying Aussie ships as the second from the left, a clone if not, possibly of a very young RO John Betts.


Pedro Franklin has been released from Sick Bay.

After doing all my tests last week, the good news is that I am now in remission. I have to see the haematologist again in six months and every six months thereafter for the next five years. He is confident that there should not be any more problems. Sue and I should now be OK to go away on holidays in September. I tried to convince the haematologist that my home brew may have contributed towards my recovery, but he just looked at me as if I was a stupid and confused ordinary seaman.

Thanks to everyone who gave me support an good wishes during the last four months and don’t forget if you are up this way give me a bell.

Great news, couldn't have asked for a more positive result.  You both deserve a long chilled out holiday.

Fm Keghead & Ruth Weaver:
Pedro, Well done and Ruth says “Welcome to the Remission Club’” of which she was once a member and came out the other end with flying colours. Knowing you, you probably will too, especially with the aid of the Home Brew. Cheers.


Men's Health

Alan Rodgers feels strongly about this issue:

Given the recent notifications on the Vale list, one just does not know when your life is about to take a dive. 

Guess that is one of our problems if you could see that one of us has a missing arm or similar you can at least say he has a problem.  That is men’s health at its worst and I think that is what I was trying to say previously is that it is our fault that some of us do not know when our shipmates are sick in any way.

At least because of my problems I visit my doctor on a very regular basis but others need to go there too.  We need not feel that because of our military service we might be badly labeled - “Sick Bay Jockey” comes to mind.  In this day and age there is no reason to not have regular checkups.

John I think we necessarily need to place something on the website to encourage the males of our association to continue to have themselves checked up.  None of us are getting any younger, with many of us in our late sixties and with many more older than that.  This is the time that is most important for action by us all.


I would suggest that not too many of our people have had a look at the above website or worse still know of that site.  Maybe a small article directing our people to that site would be a really good start and have them think of themselves and not say 'shit another of us has fallen or passed away', then go on their own merry way.

This is a serious issue and I feel strongly about it.  We need to look after each other and we need to encourage each other to have health checks on a regular basis.  Even if we just lend a sympathetic ear occasionally it all helps.

Alan Rodgers

I endorse Alan's comments, we need to look after ourselves and also encourage others to do the same.  In this day and age we have more chance of early detection of illness if we are checked out on a regular basis.  I have made too many entries on the Vale page for shipmates in their 50's, 60's and seventies not to be affected by this issue.  Read it to yourself in a quiet moment - it is hard not to be moved by the memories of those who went far too early.



March 2012 Entries:

Norman Hutchings R93380 - 3rd intake Junior Recruits HMAS LEEUWIN 1961

We have another very sick boy on our hands in the West - Norman Hutchings.

He has a slow grown cancer of the Liver and his Kidneys failed but have now come back on line.

They tried to have him breathe on his own today but failed the test, hence the tracheotomy today.

Poor young bugger still has an open wound [not sealed] with it covered up.

Would be most appreciated if you could place this on the QSO page please.

I would not like his mates and others to pester the family, I will take on that responsibility.

Alan Rodgers

Update from Alan Rodgers 05 April:

Norm is still in the intensive care unit but has now had most of his leads/tubes taken off The Tracheotomy tube has also been removed and breathing on his own - but it remains open in case of emergencies and in case anything has to be drained out. He is still being fed intravenously via a tube in his nose. He is not allowed to drink fluid but must may have jelly/ice cream and the like because of his throat soreness.

Has speech therapy in mornings With physio in morning/afternoon.

Because he had been in a coma (out now and can recognise people and can speak briefly) for so long he forgot how to use his arms and legs.  The arms are being used but legs are still in stockings with pressure machines on legs to keep the blood pumping.

I have been told he will be in hospital for a long time, probably months. The Fremantle Hospital is now awaiting a single room suitable for Norm to become available and he will be moved from Intensive care to that room. He will still need constant care.

Yvonne makes the 1.5 hour journey each way daily to see him even if he is sleeping. She is a "rock" and needs lots of support and when I am off the sick bay list I can handle that.

Another update on Norm 17 April:

Norm has been relocated out of Intensive Care and into a single ward, which between two of these ward is located a Nurse to look after the two in these wards.

Norm still have his stomach opened with a drainage in an endeavour to keep out the infections.  He has been told that the Liver which has a “slow growing cancer” will be looked at “Later”.

It is such a difficult situation at the moment when he is almost saying it’s all too hard.

I will provide a further sitrep on Wednesday evening


ANZAC Day Arrangements - SYDNEY

Wreath Laying Service. Here in Sydney we commence our ANZAC Day with a Wreath Laying Service which will be held at our allotted time, 0740am.  Ex WO RS(T) Sharon Mundy CSM will call the cadence and the Wreath Layer will be selected on the day (a serving CIS) will be asked to carry out this function. If attending, please muster at the corner of Pitt Street & Martin Place at 0730am.

On completion. Most adjourn to the Combined Services Club in Barrack Street, virtually just opposite Martin Place for breakfast, tea coffee etc. You can if you wish indulge something heavier!!!.

March. The March commences at 0900am and the RANCBA allotted area is no. 18 in Castlereagh Street South (between Hospital Ships/Navy Medics and Ex WRANS). The Banner will be displayed from 0830am onwards, so you should have no problems finding our contingent. There will March Marshals in attendance, so they will direct you to our area. The RANCBA March Leader will be LCDR Ray Mundy RAN Rtd, who is also our Secretary here in NSW.

The March Leader will be the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO.  The March Commander will be Rear Admiral Tim Barrett AM CSC RAN, Fleet Maritime Commander. The RAN Commander of all RAN & Merchant Navy will be Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO, DSO, DSC RAN Rtd

Reunion. Once again this will be held at the Royal Exhibition Hotel (Swampies), cnr Devonshire & Sussex Streets, opposite Central Railway Station and close to buses.  We have full use of the second floor. Food & drinks at your own choice and costs.  This has been a very popular venue for some years and all have left enjoying the end of the day.

All serving personnel (m/f) if they are required to march with their ship or establishment, are more than welcome to join with us for the Reunion . Also partners are more than welcome.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


Vale Anthony Meehan R93711 (ex WORSEW) 5.12.1946 to 22.3.2012

Norma Dix, Secretary RANCBA WA, had a telephone call from Tony's daughter Kathy last evening advising that her Dad had suddenly died from a heart attack on Thursday afternoon (22/3).

No funeral arrangements as yet but Norma will forward information as it is received.

Tony Meehan (Courtesy of gollies.net.au)

Another good man down far too early.  Our thought and best wishes are with Tony's family.  Lest we forget.

Fm Alan Rodgers:

Members of the Communications Family

It is my sad duty to advise of Tony’s passing and his funeral arrangements.

Tony Meehan 5/12/1946 - 22/3/2012 - [65] Vietnam Service on Vendetta and Yarra

Ex-Navy Warrant Officer.  Ex-President of Riverton R&SL.  Ex-President of RANCBA WA

Tony passed away on Thursday 22 March at 12.30pm.

Cause not determined whether it may have been a blood clot or heart attack.

Funeral date has been arranged as follows:

WEDNESDAY 4th April commencing at 1500 [3.00PM]

Four Seasons Funerals Canning Vale
08 9436 7688
Corner of Tulloch Way & Nicholson Road
Canning Vale WA

Please wear your medals.

Alan Rodgers


Fm Dick Waldie:

I have received a few enquiries from individuals and associations who are unable to attend Tony's funeral, but would like to send a card to the family.
I have just spoken to Tony Meehan's daughter Kathy about this, and she would love to receive cards from those who can't attend.

Kathy has told me that cards can be sent to her at the following address.

Kathy Brotherton
33 Saunders St

Could you please post this information in the QSO page of the RANCBA website.

Dick Waldie


Fm Max Hasson:

Served with Tony in RANCD Singapore in 1966-68 and many good memories, definitely far too early.


Fm Sandy McNab:

Both Pat and I just back from her Melbourne reunion attended the funeral service of Tony Meehan on Wednesday 04 April. Upon making our way across to the venue it was obvious by the early numbers noted that this was going to be a grand gathering to say a final farewell, and it was indeed. With his immediate family and relatives supported by his RSL Riverton members, his Golf Club ‘whackers’ and RANCBA attendees, I think Tony would have been a bit chuffed about it all and perhaps tell us to “just get on with it” in his own personable way.

The service was MC’d by the President of the Riverton RSL, Tony was the vice-Pres. for 9 years and President for 5 years before handing over the baton. A very proud Tony was shown in the reflection video clip holding up a State RSL trophy awarded to the best RSL branch in W.A. to which they successfully defended it the following year. Sadly with Tony’s passing we will not now see him in his new role as President of the RANCBA W.A. Some Communicator attendees sighted included Dave Maclean, Peter Hilton, Max Hasson, Eddie Pearson, Arthur Large, Mike Brown, Kev Rowland and Les Bushell. As the many attendees standing spilled out into the front entrance and foyer I may have missed some others.

The service concluded with the coffin being escorted outside to the awaiting hearse. Pausing before slowly driving off behind the lone piper and between the guard of honour of all the attendee’s, Tony just had to have his last say, bringing a smile to the faces of all as we relaxed and enjoyed and listened to the theme song of his ‘mighty West Coast Eagles’ as it was thumped out with gusto. Smooth seas Tony and we will see you anon. RIP



Updated History of HMAS HARMAN

This was passed to me via the WRANS network:

Some of you may recall that LCDR Annette Nelson published a booklet on the history or HMAS HARMAN during Harman's 60th Anniversary celebrations (same time as our first memorial dedication service). She has now been asked to update the book and is being given a grant from the Welfare Fund to carry out the work and publish it.

In order for the book to cover all the eras of Harman history, Annette is looking for more individual stories of life at HMAS HARMAN in the 1950s & 60s and has asked whether any WRANS who served at HARMAN during that period would be willing to pass on any stories, and photos if possible, from their time at the base.

I agreed to forward on her request to the WRANS ACT association, in the hope that our members may have such stories and/or photos that could be included in the book. Also, could her request be forwarded to the other associations to allow their members to provide input as well as I am sure there are many stories out there to be told.

For anyone interested in contributing to the update of the book, could they please forward their stories and scanned photos to annette.nelson@defence.gov.au or, if people are willing to lend her photos she scan then here at work and she promises to return them.

Her postal address is:

LCDR Annette Nelson
R1-4-C077 Russell Offices
Department of Defence

Annette has requested that if possible, she would appreciate any stories and/or photos by 30 Jun 12 so that she can start editing to ensure the book is published to coincide with the anniversary next year.

I have a copy of Annette's booklet and it is a valuable contribution to the history of HARMAN.  I look forward to seeing the updated version.  If you are able to contribute please send your stories and photos to Annette direct.


Operation Aware - Anzac Day Flyer

I will be starting a new 'Anzac Day' page shortly, in the meantime here is an awareness flyer put out by the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations.  To find out more visit http://www.standto.org.  Please spread the word to your family and friends.

Follow this link for the Anzac Day flyer.



RANCBA VIC Basegram - Autumn 2012 Edition

Could you please upload our newsletter to its usual place and put a little dit on the QSO forum for us; eg

RANCBA Vic 2012 Autumn Edition Newsletter available for viewing by following this link or accessing 'Vic Chapter' via main menu.

Ian Hogarth
Hon Secretary

A Thought for Anzac Day

Some of you may have seen this before, but it is just as relevant today to our Communications Branch Association members, as it is to the author's Army service.   Speedie Sahariv penned this in 2008, but it is worthy of further promulgation within the RANCBA group.  Given the growing list on our Vale page, it is a timely reminder that we are all mortal and we need to make an effort to stay in touch with each other.  


Its nearing the end of March and soon April the 25th will be upon us.

It will no doubt be a day of remembrance and celebration with mates whose friendships were cemented in time of conflict and war, or, just by the service to our nation in its Armed Forces.

There will also be many of us who will have let slide over the years, for one reason or another, friendships and mates.

I know because sadly, I have let it happen, and when the remorse sets in after finding that mate is no longer with us, it can be painful.

The following has been published before in written form, so some of you may already have read it, could be worth reading again. It is attached to this mail.

The link below will take you direct to the UTUBE presentation which I hope you will enjoy, you may even see some faces that you know; close your eyes and remember them as they were all that time ago!


Wish you all a great and memorable day on the 25th April.

Kindest regards,
Speedie Sahariv

I Look Around My Friends to See

I look around my friends to see
Oh those memories bring some glee
We're no longer brash and young
Although we still are, to some

I look around my friends to see
Read the newsletter, how do I feel?
Saddened to read some no longer here
Makes me wonder is my time near

I look around my friends to see
Close my eyes to shed a tear
And wished like hell I hadn't let go
That contact we had so long ago

You look around your friends to see
No longer should you let them be
The Reaper comes all too soon
And all you'll have left is an empty room.

Speedie Sahariv
13 March 2008

Trevor Percival recently advised that after seeing the QSO article on Barry 'Horse' Dun he jumped on a train for a two hour journey to visit him:

"Went down and saw Barry Dun. Daryl was right about Horse hardly recognising anyone. Poor beggar hasn't much time left. I had to sit and wait for about half an hour until he came to as they had given him a strong tablet for pain. Later I had to help him into the toilet and wait another 20 minutes and then help him back into bed. So sad. At least I made the effort even though not much was said. I took down a photo of him on one of our hunting trips at Harman and that was some small joy to him and I got a weak smile from him.

John, those of us who are left are blessed to be able to still get around in reasonably good health compared to many others."

That's what it is all about.  Friendships forged in the Service last a lifetime.  Trevor had not seen Barry for many years but he made the effort.  I'm sure Barry appreciated it more than Trevor will ever know.

World's Greatest Shave - In Support of Pedro Franklin

Please pass to as many as possible, all support will be gratefully received.

I'm being brave and doing the World’s Greatest Shave!  Please sponsor me now!

As the Secretary of the Mudgeeraba RSL Sub-Branch I have decided to shave my head for this fundraising event. Our current President, who you may know, "Pedro" Franklin ex Communicator in the RAN, is currently undergoing treatment for Lymphoma, the fundraising is in support of him and others undergoing treatment.



The money you give will help fund important research into leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood disorders.

Today, 31 Australians will get the news they have blood cancer. Your donation will support them from the moment they are diagnosed. All the Leukaemia Foundation's services are free. Let's keep them that way.

A very worthy cause, please support Shakey if you can.

Fm Shakey 17 March:

Hi all, Well the deed has been done! It started with a reverse mohawk, then to a hot-cross bun then all off and onto the razor. Doesn't look as bad as I thought it would. All up $3350.00 was raised by my sponsors. Thank you all very much Pedro and myself are extremely happy with the result.

Thank you very much for sponsoring me in the World's Greatest Shave.  Your donation will help the Leukaemia Foundation provide free, practical support to people with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders.

Plus it will boost research into better treatments and hopefully cures for blood cancers.

Thanks again for your support, I really appreciate it!


Barry Dun in Sick Bay

Daryl Cross (ex LTO) advises:

Just had a phone call from Stuart "Knobby" Clark letting me know that Barry "Horse" Dun (ex TO from Quiberon/Duchess/Harman days in the 50's/60's) is in Ipswich hospital and not expected to come out. He apparently has lost a lot of weight and has trouble recognising people. Will keep you informed over the next few days.

Tks Daryl, we will be thinking of Horse and hoping for a good outcome.

Seeking Vendetta RO on loan to USS Buck circa 1962

Shorty Moffatt has been asked if we can help with the following:

Clive Smith (a LSRP) is seeking a RO who was on the HMAS Vendetta in 1962 who was with him and an AB Des smith and was on loan to the USS Buck. They were involved in an enemy action and Clive has been awarded the US National Defence Medal and  the Expeditionary Medal with clasp Vietnam.

Clive can be contacted on (03)94350338 or evilc@optusnet.com.au

Ian Mc Donald
If anyone can assist please contact Clive direct.


Funeral Service - the late Chief Yeoman Syd Gellatly

Yesterday I attended the Funeral Service for the late Ex Chief Yeoman Syd Gellatly at the Chapel, RSL Retirement Homes Narrabeen. It was fully packed with many from ex Ships or Associations Members there and with Paddington RSL Sub Branch doing the RSL Tribute. It was also pleasing to see a few of the Staff there in their own time attend the Service as one told me, it was a pleasure to have known him. The RANCBA got a good mention.

It was a surprise to see the Consul Delegate from the South Korean Consul there along with his wife, but when Syd resigned as President of the RANCBA (NSW) he became President of the Korean Veterans Association and made many approaches to the Federal Government for full recognition for all Korean Veterans from the "Forgotten War". Syd had served in HMAS WARRAMUNGA during the Korean War, but he would also invite the RANCBA to attend the Battle for Kapyong Memorial Service and Lay a Wreath.

Bob Durbin who many may remember when he was Secretary of Parramatta RSL Sub Branch is now the Pastor there and does a beautiful Service. Syd has a great career in the Navy and along with the late Lieutenant "Spider" Currie SD (C) RAN Rtd they were seconded to the First Inquiry of the HMAS VOYAGER - HMAS MELBOURNE fatal collision as they maybe required to give an explanation of all Fleetwork and Communications that may have been given or taken place.

Syd on taking his Discharge, was employed at HMAS KUTTABUL as CB and Crypto Officer so many in the late 60s - early 70's would have no doubt met him.

Communicators in attendance Ken Swain (Ken was a LRO then at KUTTABUL when he knew Syd), Ted Bastow (ex Committee Member RANCBA NSW), ex PO/Tel Lionel Barr and his wife Margaret ex WRAN RO, my wife Helen and myself (Helen was at that time a WRAN RO and knew Syd from KUTTABUL in 1964).

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

ANZAC Day Arrangements for RANCBA QLD

Brisbane Anzac Day March Commences 10 am. Usual format with WWII Veterans up front behind Banners, Taxi's and Buggies, then the rest as follows Army, RAAF, Navy, and other allied units and descendents of etc.

Following the march, RANCBA will be getting together at the Marque Hotel on George Street - not far from the form up area for the March.  A number of the old watering holes in the city have disappeared, and as we are last off, the others will be crowded and rowdy by the time we get there and also more expensive.

The Marque Hotel has offered us a special price for drinks and meals, which should suit everyone. They also provide accommodation at reasonable rates for any out-of-towners who would like to come to the city for the March.

We will accept membership fees on the day as well as Expressions of Interest for 2013.

Should be a great day for anyone wishing to join us.

For further information contact Alan or Sonja 07 3397 2663 0412 750 372 or alsonhellier@bigpond.com

Plaque Dedication Service

The Plaque Dedication Service was held at the GI Chapel on the 4th March commencing at 2pm. Unfortunately I had a phone call from Mrs Sheila Perryman yesterday early that several of her party who live on a property outside of Canberra could not make it due to flooding. Also had a belated phone call from John Short he was a late cancellation and could not make it, and Liz Watts sent me a email she may not be there. It was a once again a very good Service conducted by Snr Chaplain Murray Lund RAN, and the AWE was paraded into the Chapel by personnel from HMAS WATSON. Once again the singer was ABSMN Briony Dwyer, what an asset she is.

Telegraphist Brian "Red" Ryder's daughter spoke on his behalf. Was a 6 year man, after CERBERUS, HMAS SYDNEY, HMAS BARCOO, HMAS HARMAN then HMAS QUIBERON.. Then many trips to the Antartic and I think if my memory is correct he was Awarded the coveted Polar Medal. After many trip down there decided to settle down but was on the oil rigs in Bass Strait.

Commander Richard Perryman's AM RAN Rtd wife Sheila spoke on his behalf. Some may remember him when he was Fleet Communications Officer, HMAS MELBOURNE then Commanding Officer HMAS HARMAN.

L/Telegraphist Keith " Blue" McDonald a friend , ex LRO Peter Baggot down from Brisbane spoke on his behalf. Another great character, served from Corvettes to Carriers, and when the Navy was into Boxing, he was the heavy weight champion and normally ran the "book" on board the ship. A big man but had a bigger heart . He also served in the Antartic, then DCA and sadly passed away whilst on oil rigs in the South China seas.

AB Jack Strudwick even though this man was not a Communicator, Ken Swain who knew him very well spoke on his behalf. What a life he had, joined in WWII , served aboard HMAS STUART (Scrap Iron Flotilla) then the new HMAS ARUNTA , and finally HMAS PIRIE and was at the signing of the end of war in Japan.

There were others and all had great stories. Commander George Halley, Stoker Ray Raymond, LCDR Robert Nicholls, AB Terrance Wise, Wran Officers Cook Sheila Briggs (nee Hauenstein)

On completion of the Service, all were invited to the Boat Shed to partake of refreshments. Another good Service and credit to all concerned.

Communicators in attendance, Ian Pfennigwerth, Ken & June Swain, Ken Wiggins, Brian Jackson (Qld) , Peter Baggot (Qld) , Don Ferguson, Brian Gray, Helen and Self. Also included in the photo , Mrs Sheila Perryman and Red's daughter Robyn.

It was good to catch up with Ken Wiggins, Brian Jackson and Peter Baggott as we all had served together and had known both Red Ryder and Blue McDonald.

Should you know of any ex RAN (m/f) who has passed away, let them know about this unique Service. It is a lasting Memory to their Service to this Nation and the RAN.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)




The Fair Go Campaign asks for your support by attending our assembly at the National Press Club Canberra where Wayne Swan will be speaking on the Labor Government’s determination to advance the concept of the fair go. He says that “Labor has always been the Party of the fair go and the primary guardian of Australia’s egalitarian tradition”.

Our assembly’s purpose is twofold: firstly, to remind the Treasurer that the Government’s application of a Fair Go has been denied to military superannuation pension indexation and DVA disability payments, and secondly to increase the public and media awareness through flyer handouts and possible TV/radio coverage of the event.

To that end we will stand at the entrance to the NPC prior to, during and after the Lunch. We will carry placards and hand out both the Why? and Cyclone Yasi flyers (see them at www.standto.org) to all persons entering the NPC.

Our MO is to be peaceful, neither threatening nor abusive. We will not interfere with pedestrian or road movement and will comply with the law. Rain is no barrier to our activity.

1. Be in the Assembly Area (see below) by 11.15 am for briefing and distribution of hand out flyers and authorised placards.
2. Be in position by 11.30 am
3. NPC Lunch (12.00 – 1.30 pm)
4. Depart after lunch
5. Post activity/brew/debrief/report

Dress. Smart casual: no offensive clothing or slogans. No medals. Please wear some military apparel such as a lapel badge, cap etc.

Placards. We will provide the authorised placards.

Coordinator. Les Bienkiewicz and his Assistant Bill Murray (0433524493). Please call Bill if required.

This is a great opportunity to promote the Campaign. If you live in the ACT or nearby please join us on Monday.

If you do not live in the ACT or nearby, please distribute this Notice to your network of family and friends who do live there.

Thanks for your continuing support

Campaign Directors: Ted Chitham tchitham@bigpond.com 
Ray Gibson storyweaver@internode.on.net

Stay current with the Campaign at www.standto.org



Vale Sydney Phillip Gellatly R36119- ex CCY (05 October 1928 - 01 March 2012)

I have just received a phone call, and it is my sad duty to inform you that Ex Chief Yeoman Syd Gellatly passed away this morning.   I first came to know him back in Comms School when he was doing his Yeomans course back in 1956.

Syd was President of the RANCBA NSW when I first came onto the Committee in 1976 and after many years he resigned and became President of the Korean Veterans Assn and did a lot for this Association and trying to get full recognition for those that served in the "Forgotten War" as he had served on board HMAS WARRAMUNGA during this War.

No further details know at present, but I shall keep you informed.
Lest We Forget.

Funeral details:
The service will be held at the Memorial Chapel, Endeavour Drive, The War Vets Village Narrabeen on Tuesday 6th March at 2.30.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Fm Bruce Spender:
Sorry to hear of Syd Gellatly's passing. He was the reason I became a Signalman. I initially had visions (maybe delusions) of becoming a sparker, but with such words of encouragement as "Do you want to have a 60 watt suntan all your life, or do you want to be where the decisions are made and be paid to get a suntan" "Signalmen tell the command what to do and when to to do it – sparkers just do what the command tells them to do" I quickly changed my mind. He was a great bloke with a quick mind and and even quicker wit. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Fm Gayle Brady:
Jim Carey admired Syd and regarded him as a good friend. I am sure they'll be keeping each other company if there is a heaven, along with so many other good operators gone before us.

Fm Bill Aylott:
Very saddened to see Syd Gallatly has passed away. He was on Warramunga whilst I was on Bataan during the Korean War and served with him later during our various naval careers. Another damn nice bloke and VS rating gone to the last Flagdeck. Lest We Forget, Syd.


RAN Communicators (Vietnam) - Anzac Day March Adelaide

Allan Moffatt has received a few emails asking for information and he has asked for help from members.

Allan (Shorty) I write the Unit commentary notes for the ABC TV coverage of the Adelaide Anzac Day March each year. This year, the RAN Communicators (Vietnam) are marching and I don't have any background information. Can you advise who I contact in Adelaide to give me some dot points on the RAN Comms tasks. Maybe you are in a position to provide them yourself. I need about 8 dot points of the main role and tasks. eg Did the RAN have a shore comms centre in Viet. eg Vung Tau or elsewhere??? By the way I got your details vide the Association newsletter on the net.

I forwarded this to Dave Kerr and Barry Sherriff in RANCBA (SA).
Herewith response from Dave Kerr.

Allan, I've spoken to the March coordinator and there is NO RAN Communicators (Vietnam) group marching. Ian Gully has confused it with a HMAS ADELAIDE Commissioning Crew contingent who are marching in Adelaide this year.

Now today.
Allan, don't know who the "coordinator" is but I have the Order of March as prepared by the Chief Marshall and in Group 9B "Vietnam War Veterans" behind the RAN Clearance Divers (Vietnam) are RAN Communicators (Vietnam). The HMAS ADELAIDE Commissioning Crew and other crew members along with WW2 HMAS ADELAIDE are marching in Group 12A.

Now does anyone who served in Vietnam know anything about this. Was this brought up at the Vietnam Veterans Reunion held in Tasmania last year??? Let me know.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

February 2012 Entries:


Battle for the Java Sea 70th Anniversary Memorial Service - 24th February 2012


The Battle for the Java Sea Service was held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place Sydney on a very warm day and was attended by many, including the general public.

At approximately 11am the MC, CMDR Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd commenced the Service with all being asked to stand whilst the Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies provided by HMAS WATSON mounted the guard around the Cenotaph and they were accompanied by the Sydney Detachment of the RAN Band under the baton of Lieutenant Steven Stanke, and then to remaining standing whilst the Guest of Honour, The Governor of NSW, Her Excellency , Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO arrived accompanied by her ADC.

The Service was Officiated by Chaplain Rendall Walker RAN, and the Address was given by Commodore Andrew Smith RAN representing the Fleet Commander Rear Admiral T Barrett AM CSC RAN. A very good speech explaining the Battle of the Java Sea and events leading up to it.   Chaplain Rendall  Walker then gave the Commemoration and this was followed by the Address by the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir and she spoke of the heavy loss of ships and men during this period, to name a few HMS REPULSE and HMS PRINCE OF WALES, HMAS PERTH , HMAS YARRA , the USS HOUSTON , the RNN DE RUYTER, but sadly there were many more and for some it was the end of the war as they were now POW's of the Japanese.  It was a very moving Address which it is hoped will always be remembered in memory of those that Paid the Supreme Sacrifice.

Wreaths were then Laid by Official Guests, Ship Associations , Relatives and Friends. Some of the included RADM Robyn Walker AM RAN representing the CN, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AM CSC RAN. She is the first woman in the RAN history to attain the rank of Rear Admiral. Cmdre A Smith RAN, Cmdr T. Willson RAN HMAS KUTTABUL, RADM Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd (Patron and also a survivor of the sinking of HMS REPULSE_) RADM Ian Crawford AVADSC, RADM Ken Doolan National President of the RSL, Netherlands Consul General Jaap Frederiks, and Mil Attache W/O Olaf van Loon, Brigadier R Taylor, British Military Attache, Mr. A, Ball US Consulate, Mr. M Baume American-Australian Assn. Mr. Boyd Buffett DVA, Cnlr Phillip Black Sydney City Council, Supt. Mark Walton NSW Police, Mr. David Waller . grandson of the Captain Hec Waller HMAS PERTH fame, Howard Halsted Corvettes Assn, Kinsey McDonald ABC TV, Mr. Bob Bain representing Mr Don Rowe NSW President NSW RSL, Mr.John Satchwell & Pat Shields Royal Marines Assn, Dick Thompson Fairmiles Assn, Les Church VAMPIRE Assn, Key Ryder Merchant Navy  Assn, Ms Joan Evans Ex WRENS Assn , Ms Liz Watts Ex WRANS Assn, Mr. Bob Auston SYDNEY Assn, Mrs Mary Bell Secretary FNSA,  Mr. John King  PERTH Assn &  Mr. Tony Miles Pres.  PERTH Assn( NSW), Mr. Don Kennedy, American Legion, and I had the privilege of Laying a Wreath on behalf of all Communicators. There were many many more but unfortunately  I do apologise for not putting your name down and this is due to space.

On completion of the Wreath Laying, the Naval Ode was said by Mc Didi von Wiederhold,  Royal Netherlands Navy , the Last Post was sounded and after One Minutes Silence the ODE by Mr. Frank Glover OAM who is Chairman of the Java Sea Service,  and had been the Captain's Secretary aboard HMAS YARRA and left it just prior to its last voyage.

This was then followed by the Naval Prayer, and the National Anthems of AUSTRALIA, GREAT BRITAIN, UNITED STATES of AMERICA and the NETHERLANDS and these were sung by AB SMN  Briony Dwyer, Sydney Detachment RAN Band she was absolutely brilliant, with many of the general public there commenting on how good she was.

Communicators in attendance Ray & Sharon Mundy, Don Ferguson, John & Phylis Reeves, Les Church, Liz Watts, Max Miller, Don Thompson, Howard Halsted. Captain Ian Pfennigwerth RAN Rtd  and self (Shorty). Special mention must go to Frank Glover, Didi von Wiederhold, Ken Swain for all there work in organising this Service and then,on the day by Bill Bowley (HOBART Assn) Dick Thompson (FAIRMILES Assn), Liz Watts (Ex WRANS Assn)  and even got myself got a bit involved. It is these people who without their help would not have made this Service run smooth.

It was also pleasing to see Sub/Leut. Chris Hartley and 2 Sea Cadets (TS SIRIUS)  at this Service also, also had the very great pleausre of meeting up with ex Sig John Wilks visiting from WA. and who I had not seen since our time aboard HMAS SNIPE in 1965-66 and on this particular day he had been a member of the public.

Book Launch

From here many made there way to Occidental Hotel where a Book Launch and refreshments would be available. After the very hot weather experienced today, the refreshments were a very welcome sight. After all those invited had arrived, the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir arrived and then the MC Ken Swain again welcomed all and asked Professor Marie Bashir to say a few words. Here her speech was on a more informal nature and very well received by all in the room, and then Ken invited Ian Pfennigwerth to address the room and the reason for the book launch.

Many may have known Ian in the Navy, but he then became a Naval Historian and has written many books and this one is called IN GOOD HANDS the life of Dr. Sam Stening  DSC who was the Surgeon Lieutenant Commander  RANR onboard HMAS PERTH when it was sunk by the Japanese on its final deployment and then became a POW for 3 1/2 years of captivity during which he was in 8 POW camps and with a few medical supplies, his ingenuity, he was able to help his fellow prisoners during this time. It was not the first time he had been sunk, when he joined the RAN as a Reserve Officer he served in the Indian Ocean and then in the famous Scap Iron Flotilla" in the Mediterranean and here his ship, HMAS WATERHEN was also sunk.  On release from captivity he returned to medicine and re established himself in paediatrics and rose to be top of his profession until his death in 1983.

Here this concluded all the speeches but many, purchased the book and I think from what I have read, will be glad that they have done so.


Anyway after a few drinks and eats, it was time to call it quits after a long and what I would term a very successful day. So to all that made it so, BRAVO ZULU


Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


At the Book Launch
1. Ken Swain, Her Excellency, Governor of NSW ,Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, RADM Robyn Walker AM RAN, Cmdr T. Willson RAN, CO HMAS KUTTABUL
2. Les Church, Max Miller, Shorty, Liz Watts (holding the book), Ken Swain, Ian Pfennigwerth

If anyone wishes to purchase Ian's latest book they can order via his website at http://www.nautilushistory.com.au/

Women In The Navy

Hi, thought this video worth passing on for interest, particularly to those that served in the ‘50’s.

Bev Weate (ex C.W.R.S.)


Thanks Bev, lots of good stuff on YouTube.


Vale Jim Carey R58033

Jim's illness was discovered very shortly before Christmas and until his last week we, and his Oncology team, truly thought that with chemo and radium he would eventually be O.K. and Jim, being the quiet person he was, didn't want there to be any fuss. He only managed one chemo treatment and four of radium when he became so seriously ill. Five days later he passed away - no pain and no discomfort and with his family at his bedside. I am sorry that there was simply no time to inform everyone of his condition. Six weeks from diagnosis to death.
His family and mine are having to cope with our sudden loss.


RAN Ship's Callsigns/Names Lists

Further updates to include the HMAS Choules. I am still chasing any callsign info on the WWII AMS/Corvettes HMAS Armidale and the HMAS Wallaroo.

As an aside, in researching some names of the Communicators who served on the WWII Scrap Iron Flotilla ships, including the late Ean MacDonald I recognised a Jack Mahney on the Stuart crew list. Some of the Communicators may remember two special plaque presentations made at the Anzac Day luncheon to two Life Members of the RANCBA WA, on the occasion of the National '99 Reunion being held in W.A. The late Charles Cole an original Tingira lad, and Jack 'Mucka' Mahney who was on the original W.A. committee back in the 1950's.

I had a look at Jack's service cards and noted coincidentally that he was indeed the L/TEL on the Wallaroo the night it was involved in a collision west of Rottnest Island and sunk. Bingo I thought, one of the two missing ships callsigns possibly and so I tracked Jack down here in the West and at 93 years young and 'looking forward to one or two or three more', it was really great to have a chat. I steered him around to the Wallaroo and the collision and his rescue, and questioned his memory of its allocated signal letters. Amazing what he could recall but alas not its W/T callsign. If I can get along to the National archives when I visit Melbourne for a week with Pat next month, I'll keep researching.

Sandy McNab

Follow this link for the latest lists from Sandy.

Donations for Naval Memorial in Queensland

The Naval Centenary Memorial Committee in Queensland is seeking your support. 

A significant Navy Memorial is to be constructed in the gardens at St Mary's, the 'Navy Church' at Kangaroo Point to recognise the contribution of the men, and more recently the women, who have served in the Queensland Navy, the Commonwealth Naval Forces, the Royal Australian Navy, and those who paid the supreme sacrifice.

The memorial will be be dedicated on 9th April 2013, the 110th anniversary of the first Australian Naval ship-to-shore radio communications between HMQS GAYUNDAH off Moreton Island and a receiving station in what is now the gardens of St Mary's. This site was chosen because of the many historical links with the Navy, its commanding position overlooking the first shore base of the Queensland Navy, the Brisbane River and across to the City.

This event is significant for RANCBA members not only for its historical ties but also for the fact that the next RANCBA Reunion is being planned to incorporate the dedication next year. 

Follow this link for more details on how to contribute to this very worthy cause.


Dive Trip to Sunda Strait

I would like to share the attached information with RANCBA members and possible opportunity to take part in a diving trip that will visit the site of one of the RAN’s most tragic and heroic actions, when HMAS Perth and USS Houston were both sunk in the Sunda Strait battle, on the night of Feb 28th – Mar 1st, 1942. (70th anniversary this year).

I have attached the flyer that provides all details of the dive trip, and although the advertised trip in Sept 2012 is fully booked, another trip is being considered for the period 23rd – 28th August 2012. I will be a starter for the August trip – anyone who is interested, please feel free to contact me, or dive company direct (details on flyer). Note that I have no association with the dive company and only share this information on the chance that some shipmate would like to share in this adventure.

Having served on Perth II (67/68), this trip will be of great significance to me and I look forward to sharing my experience on the RANCBA site later this year.

Follow this link for flyer on the dive trip.

Terry Gleeson


RANCBA Expressions of Interest - Reunion April 2013

Hi all - We are finally getting this function under way and look forward to your support.

Could you please circulate this information to your members as soon as possible either by email, or with an item in your next newsletter for those on snail mail.

Updates will be forwarded as soon as possible following closing of Expressions of Interest.

Many thanks for your support

Follow this link for the 'Expression of Interest' document.

Sonja Hellier
Hon Secretary
07 3397 2663
0412 750 372

Vale Jim Carey (ex LRO) R58033

It is my very sad duty and with deep regret that I have to inform you of the passing of Jim Carey. He passed away this morning at 11.35, after suffering from cancer.

Many would have known Jim, he was indeed a great person, and I had the privilege of being with him at HMAS HARMAN, then a few years later at HMAS KUTTABUL.

When we took our discharge we both joined DCA and we were stationed at the Communications Centre, Mascot Airport for about 20 years before Jim transferred to Brisbane Airport.

Jim was a very dedicated RANCBA Member and was on the NSW Committee before leaving for Brisbane. Nothing was too hard for him, and he would always help wherever possible.

He will be sadly missed by all that knew him.  Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming when known.

Rest in Peace Jim.

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

Jims funeral notice is in today's Courier Mail (Thursday 16 Feb).
It will take place tomorrow (Friday 17th) at 2pm at the Lakeview Chapel Albany Creek Crematorium

Fm Dave (Wescombe-)Down in Adelaide
Sad tidings indeed. We have all lost another oppo & are worse off for that. Jim & I shared a real passion for CW operation & 'plundered' many a ship together @ VHM in 67-8. We lost contact for too many years then had been in regular email contact since 2009 & he came to visit me during the CWealth Games trials & Masters weightlifting Nationals @ Chandler Sports Complex in June 2010. I will miss him & so will many others - a real character with a dry wit. Vale James.

Fm Dave Dixon
We have lost one of our “Great Characters” with the passing of Jim Carey. I have so many great memories from my time, and Jim’s grinning mug is in so many of them – Vale Jim, He broke the mould after he made you.

Fm Sandy & Pat McNab
On checking the Archives and reflecting on Jim's draft dates, it appears our paths may have crossed initially at Cerberus late 1961, C block Top floor, and again when Jim was my relief on the Bass in early 1964, although I had already flown south on leave to commission the Moresby in March 1964. Actually recognised Jim again when the Bass came alongside the Moresby in northern QLD waters. We both then found ourselves back at Harman in March 1965, D watch myself driving BL/BLR and Jim out at Bonshaw with LHOW ‘Shags’, and Fred Harper and Bert Abel.

In looking back over our DCA/CAA career paths, his at the Sydney COMC and thence after 1995 at the Brisbane COMC and mine up until 1995 at the Perth COMC, Jim has been a stalwart in his communication with all that have known him. At all the National reunions and get-togethers since 1993 and when we have privately visited Brisbane and met up with Gayle and Jim it has been a warm pleasure to meet and greet and to have known the man. Yes after all these years we really have mellowed.

In his final months, as a friend it would have been comforting to have known of Jim’s circumstance and to perhaps to have had the opportunity to say ‘g’day Jim’ again, but for me and possibly many others of the Communicator family, sadly it was not to be.

Farewell James, smooth seas and we will see you anon. RIP.

Fred Harper, Jim Carey,
Sandy McNab, Alan Hellier

Fm Sue Hackett (nee Halpin)
I have many really good memories of Jim, particularly of our first draft to Coonawarra in '67/'68 - Jim was part of our "gang" and a nicer guy would be hard to find.  Always with that big grin on his face and a kind heart. Condolences to his family and I am only one of hundreds, if not more, who mourn his passing today.

Fm Alan Murgatroyd
Jim epitomised what life was about in the navy of the 50’s , 60’s and 70’s ,a good sparker and a good sailor. For those reading this dit I urge you to find a copy of the great poem “The demise of Jack Tar”, it says it all

The best of Jims efforts must be the story of the ducks. Jim was on one of the Q’s and Fifi Pringle was the CRS. They were alongside in Hong Kong and Jim had to return onboard at midnight or thereabouts to man the “Flag” circuit we all remember (there is excessive pressing of the pressel switch !- and every ship in harbour pressed the damned switch , driving the RN operator crazy), anyhow Jim returns onboard somewhat the worse for wear and for some God knows reason brought two ducks back to the ship and put them in the wireless office to be company for him in the wee quiet hours. Settling down , Jim lapsed into quiet reverie ,and fell off the perch (as they say).

Cometh the morning and Fifi is anxious to read the log and see that’s all well in his domain, but unfortunately the wireless office door is locked (Jim was very security conscious). Anyhow , after much yelling down the voice pipe and banging on the door ,to no avail , the Chippie is called upon to drill out the lock and gain access. After much drilling and cursing the wireless door was opened and what a sight to behold! Jim was asleep ,no doubt reliving past dreams and old glories, and the wireless office was covered in reams and reams of teleprinter paper and also muchos Duck shit , it was everywhere ,on the TP’s on the receivers ,every –bloody where- and of course there were the ducks , looking a bit bemused at what all the fuss was about !

What happened afterwards is shrouded in mystery, but Jim was always keen to tell everyone about his prowess with a paint brush.

PS. This story is second hand , I wasn’t on the ship but Jim spun me the dit one Anzac day , maybe there is someone out there who can elaborate.

Fm Frank Hoy
Just catching up on the sad news. Read Murg's article re the ducks. It was on the Yarra on the way up top, it was in Darwin. The Chief was Noel Ellis who was not amused as we had to get the chief chippy down to gain entry. Noel was the butt of the Chief's mess banter for some time. The 'ducks' were magpie geese & were the victims of a ward room shoot. To top if off, Jim had missed a couple of signals which he blamed on the 'ducks'. Jim was one of the senior sparkers teaching us young blokes what it was all about. That incident cost Jim much stoppage of leave.  Regards.

Fm Shorty Moffatt
I knew about the story with the ducks, as both Jim and Noel Ellis had told but Jim was always involved with other events and yesterday at a Naval Meeting I happened to speak to the ex Coxn of HMAS BASS when Jim was aboard. He said Jim was a great hand, easy to work with and well liked by all. You name it, and Jim would be there - but didnt elaborate!!!

He always remember this event.
A 10' shark caught on to a heavy shark line they had trailing and was really putting a great performance. Anyway appears the XO decided to shoot the shark and then recover the line as they had make up time.. One of the crew went below and got a short barrel .303 with a anti flash muzzle provided. Jim then took charge of the multi globed fog lamp. Well a shot rang out and the following took place:
1. the shark line parted and so did the shark, last seen swimming away and then diving
2. it blew all the globe lights in the fog lamp
3. deafened Jim for 3 days so BASS had no communications as such which made it very difficult.
4. the XO was not very impressed at such a simple recovery of a line and I believe also the CO was not impressed , "where's my communicator, can't he hear anything??"
He didn't put names to the story and especially the hot shot with the rifle.
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt


RANCBA Vic - Adhoc Reunion at Echuca - May 2012

In order to de-centralise gatherings of RANCBA members and ex RAN Communicators from just the Melbourne Metropolitan area, RANCBA Victoria is planning on an adhoc regional communicators’ reunion in the Echuca area over the weekend 4 to 6 May 2012 inclusive. RANCBA members from other states are also welcome to join us, particularly those living along the Murray River. Most of the planned reunion activities will occur in the vicinity of the Echuca Port area and at the Moama RSL, which is a short distance across the Murray River from Echuca.

This email sets out the proposed agenda, indicative costs and seeks expressions of interest (attached document). All recipients are requested to complete the attached Expression of Interest and return it to one of the named contacts before 24th February. We need this info early so that we can ensure that travel & accommodation bookings tentatively made will still be available to us.

The only costs likely to be incurred by those wishing to attend are the cost of travel to Echuca, accommodation, meals and any other expenses you may wish to occur privately. For those travelling from the Melbourne area we are planning on sourcing funds to offset the cost of some of the weekend costs. Whilst not yet confirmed this may cover some travel. RANCBA Vic will also cover some of the costs for the Sunday Brunch BBQ. Unlike national reunions RANCBA Vic is not planning on incurring any additional costs. What does this mean?? This means not charging a start up cost or deposit used for any other purpose as with the national reunions. This reunion is being planned as a low cost gathering. We will be attempting to solicit local transport arrangements to move people around the various activities. This transport, if required, will be at no cost to the attendees.

Proposed Programme:

Friday 4th May – Travel to Echuca area. PM drinks in venue yet to be decided at own expense.

Saturday 5th May – Dinner at the Echuca/Moama RSL. Once again this will be at own expense but is likely to cost approx $30-$40 per person for a multi course meal. Drinks extra.

Sunday 6th May – Brunch (subsidised by RANCBA Vic) but may require a small contribution from those attending, depending on numbers. On completion of BBQ attendees are free to return home.

Transport Options:

Transport options from Metropolitan Melbourne are – Return train travel from Southern Cross (Spencer Street) – Approx $27 per person (3.5 hour trip departing approx 3pm Friday and leaving Echuca approx 4pm on Sunday). Bus travel likely to be approx $60 per person depending on how many wish to attend from Melbourne. Other option is self drive/car pooling. We will be seeking external funding to attempt to offset this travel but this has not yet been confirmed.

Accommodation Options:Motels, cabins in caravan parks, and hotels are in the approximate range of $90 to $100 per night per couple. Cabins in caravan parks offer the opportunity to pool and thus reduce the costs even more. Those wishing to attend will be advised of more details once numbers are known and possible deals are negotiated with the preferred option. Whilst some assistance may be possible in making block bookings, those attending will be responsible for settling their own accounts. Other options are for people to arrange their own accommodation requirements, such as own caravan, stay with friends etc. We would expect that you would make these arrangements yourself, but please indicate your intentions in the Expression of Interest.

During the planned activities, we also plan to pass on details of the emerging programme for the next National Reunion, and any other details that may be of interest to the wider ex-communicator community. Let us know what you are interested in so we can prepare to pass on the information.

If you know of anyone else (ex communicator) who you think may be interested in attending, please pass on these details to them. All are welcome to attend and join in on this planned adhoc reunion!

We look forward to seeing as many as possible at this event.

Rod Withers
President, RANCBA Vic

Follow this link for the Echuca 'Expression of Interest' document.


Vale Brenda Joy Pratt (ex WRROS) W109426

Noticed in today's NT News (Saturday February 11) a funeral notice for an ex-WRAN Brenda Joy Pratt (WRROS  W109426).  Her married name, but someone may remember her.

Brian Nichols
Lest We Forget


DFRB/DFRDB Indexation Newsletter FNQ

I am cobbling together a small newsletter, mainly for former long-term members of the Defence Family up here in the Far North which looks at the gradual but steady erosion of the various schemes and benefits we once enjoyed.

Input also comes from great campaigners in the form of Brig Neil Weekes, Kel Ryan and Ted Chittham.

If there are any Communicators who would like to receive a copy, in .pdf format, maybe they would like to email me at vk4aq@bigpond.net.au

Jim Anderson

HMAS VOYAGER Remembrance Service WA

VLSVA will hold a Voyager remembrance service at 10.00am at the Voyager seat, Saw Avenue, Kings Park on Friday 10 February. An informal social gathering will follow, bring a picnic & chairs.

For further information please contact VLSVA WA president Paddy Peard 94486441, Tom McLaren 94443140 or David MacLean 92933604.

David Maclean

Pedro Franklin - Update Feb 2012

Herewith an update and thanks to those of you who have rung or emailed your support during the recent period. Today is significant in that today is exactly half way for the chemo treatment. I have another dose tomorrow followed by another two at fortnightly intervals, and then the haematologist sends me off to do all the tests similar to those I did prior to chemo. After that he makes an decision as to whether I am in remission or if I need more chemo. He says that he is confident that I will be in remission by June/July.

Things are going OK in that the side effects are lethargy and metallic taste. I’m still eating OK, and have not lost any weight. That is not too bad when you think some of the other poor buggers who are going through much worse than I am. Also I am more sympathetic towards the child bride when she has hot flushes as I also have them. Some during the day but mostly at night.

On the positive side, I don’t have to pay for haircuts or razor blades for some time to come. I have attached a photo that some of you may have seen before, and I now realise that I am on par with some of you who may be discrepant of cover of the pate. It is a photo taken on my grand daughter’s first day of school, which just happens to be at the same school that I also started school 59 years ago.

Wine taste like crap, but homeys are still OK.. Just goes to show that it is in the brewing..


Great to hear things are going so well, roll on remission.

Fm Jim Anderson:
Fine business mate and we've got our fingers crossed for you.



As many would know the RANCBA here in NSW is affiliated within the FNSA and as such, arrangements are being made to hold our Annual FNSA Luncheon in the NSW Parliament House.

Venue.  Strangers Room, NSW Parliament House, Macquarie Street, SYDNEY.
When.  Thursday 12th April 2012 - 12.00 for 12.30
Guest of Honour.  Vice Admiral Peter Jones AM CSC (representing CN)
Cost.  The reduced cost is $70.00 per person.
Dress.  Men - Tie and Jacket - Medals
Women - Day Dress - Medals where applicable
Partners. More than welcome.

As in the previous 2 years the RANCBA has been very well presented, in fact , I believe the biggest group from all associated ships/ associations, so lets try to make this achievement again for 2012. Also more importantly, from all that have attended there has not been any complaints and all have enjoyed the day with meeting Communicators and others from Branches that they have served with.

I shall start an Expression of Interest, so let me know if are considering attending.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

RANCBA Commitments


The 70th Anniversary of the Battle for the Java Sea Memorial Service will be held at the Cenotaph on Friday 24th commencing at 10.45 for 11am , Guests will be the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO and the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO CSC RAN.
The RANCBA has been invited so ALL are more than welcome to attend.
Dress is as for ANZAC Day, Full Medals


A Plaque Dedication Service will take place at the GI Chapel on Sunday 4th March commencing at 1400.
Dress is as for ANZAC Day, Full Medals.
Names . D. Bowden, J, Strudwick, R. Raymond, W. Pitt. L O'Loughlin, F, Keighley, S, Briggs, T. Wise, E. Smart, F. Walker, B. Ryder. K. McDonald, G. Halley, R, Perryman, R. Barker. R. Jones. C. Lawrence, .C. Laycock.
Now at least 4,are Ex Communicators.
R. Perryman ex Director Navy Communications
B. Ryder. Telegraphist. K. McDonald Telegraphist ,D. Bowden ex CPO Tel/Air Gunner Mentioned in Dispatches.
Also the R Barker is not the Ex Chief Yeoman Bob" Yogi" Barker.
Anyway if attending could you please advise and if coming by private vehicle will need your car rego for Security.


The NAA Central Coast is holding a Commemorative Service to remember the fatal loss of HMAS VOYAGER II after the collision with HMAS MELBOURNE on 10th February 1964.
Also to increase public awareness of CPO Jonathon Rogers GC, DSM and the Park which this Service will be held Saturday 11th February 2012, commencing at 12 noon. Parade will step off from the Everglades Country Club Car Park (15 Dunban Road( and proceeds to the Rogers Park, cnr Dunban Road & Ocean Beach Road WOY WOY.
The Sydney Detachment of the RAN Band will be in attendance.
Dress is as for ANZAC Day, Full Medals

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Thanks Shorty, great to see you back on deck after your operation.


Just a Fair Go Website

“Just a Fair Go” was developed to provide information that would help veterans in their fight for fair indexation of their “self funded superannuation” and to have it protected against the ever increasing cost of living. Whilst this is the biggest issue on the website currently, there are other issues that will be addressed in the near future.

This site was developed to provide a voice for members of the Defence family of our great Nation. The aim is to collate the evidence and present it logically, to assist everyone gain a better understanding of the complexities and issues surrounding military superannuation. You are encouraged to take an active role, by placing real pressure on all politicians to support the fight for fair indexation for military superannuants.

Regular Sitreps are published by the Fair Go team, urging members to send letters or emails direct to politicians at Parliament House and to your local Member.

If you have not registered to receive the latest copies of these Sitreps you can do so by logging on to http://www.justafairgo.net/  to register your name and email address.

There will be an urgent meeting of Caucus, plus all the Government's backbenchers, to attend a meeting this coming Sunday, 5 February 2012.  At this meeting they are apparently going to list their concerns on "butcher's paper".  The Fair Go team are urging members to send a letter or email to their local MP or Senator to ensure that our concerns are listed.

If you haven't already received them, follow the Sitreps and read more details of this very worthy cause by logging on to the website address above.


Royal Navy CIS Branch Review

Posted for information - is this the way of the future?

RNTM 311/11 




Sponsor:            FLEET DNPERS NPT(X) REQM SO1


Reference:         RNTM 001/10




1.         The purpose of this RNTM is to inform all relevant authorities of the decision by the Naval Board Personnel Change Programme (NBPCP) to transfer the responsibility for Communications and Information Systems afloat, including the management and administration of the CIS and CISSM personnel, to the Weapon Engineering Department.




2.         The role, functions and systems support that the CIS/CISSM branch provides is far removed from that which were delivered at inception and whilst a shift has been evident in all branches of Warfare none has been as dramatic as that of CIS. Individual roles within CIS/CISSM have been recognised as being fundamentally different to the roles of equivalent Warfare Branch Operators and it can be argued that CIS/CISSM personnel are often regarded as “somewhat different” by their fellow Warfare ratings with senior management increasingly less familiar of the roles and responsibilities required to deliver the current communications information systems. An information orientated Navy continues the drive towards a capability based delivery function and has required a shift of working practices away from operator to such an extent that in assurance and administrative terms, it sits more closely with the WE department and requires a technical head. Indeed, the roles and responsibilities have increasingly converged over the past few years that in many instances the core professional requirements are very similar.


Trial Outcome


3.         To prove the concept a number of trials have taken place. Initial SSN trials completed in Jan 10 and were subsequently extended under RNTM 001/10. Similarly, HMS ASTUTE adopted the Communications and Information Systems Engineer (CISE) concept at build and this is also being trialled in SSBNs, commencing with HMS VIGILANT post refit. HMS LIVERPOOL and HMS MANCHESTER have also trialled the concept of the management and administration of the CIS sub-branch under the WE Department.  The formal Fleet trial in HMS DAUNTLESS will complete in Dec 11 and the ship has already submitted an interim, post BOST, report which was highly encouraging.


5.         Units that have taken part in trials have reported unequivocal success, with the WE and IS working together in a unified structure and whilst promoting a feeling of ‘belonging’ amongst CIS ratings it has also enabled a more technical oversight of the delivery of information to the Command.  It has been recognised that we are able to maximise operational capability of the communication systems and services through this approach and it is also coherent with the other areas where the WEs provide an assured service to the command (in this case assured information delivery and transmission).




6.         Units operating under trial programmes will permanently adopt this way of working, informing the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) on recommendations to assist further implementation across the Fleet. An MDT will convene in the New Year to collate the feedback from surface and sub-surface units in order to:


·         Review recommendations from previous and current trials.

·         Implement a rolling programme to bring into effect WE responsibility of the CIS branch at sea.

·         Produce a Fleetwide implementation plan, under NBPCP governance, linked to the change in

·         Identify and discuss future training objectives and career path options.

·         Address downstream issues including the provision of a headmark for the future of the CIS branch.



7.         This RNTM will be reviewed on 1 Jul ‘12


Fm Frank Aldred:
Ref the RNTM on management of the RN CIS Branch:
This is typical of Information Technologists not understanding the broader implications of information management. As an ICT Project Director, I am often clearing up the mess of the technical people to ensure that ICT capability is implemented and managed as a business enabler. It will be interesting to see how the trial goes!


January 2012 Entries:


Seeking Jimmy Evans - ex RO/LRO

Ken Swain sends:

Just had a call from Cliff Taylor (Class No 1 of 58) asking if I knew the whereabouts of Ex RO/LRO? Jimmy Evans. Jim joined in late 1957 with Bas Cleary, Jim Anderson and Leo Grimmond etc. Jim served with Cliff in commissioning crew of HMAS Gull and was onboard for the trip from UK to Sydney in 1962.

If anyone knows where Jim is now living (or passed away ??) could they please advise Cliff Taylor via email at annbuzz@bigpond.com or Phone: 07 5494 0080.



Gary Swanton sends:

I recently returned from a cruise around New Zealand, and in one of the bars I noticed a crest attached to the wall, upon closer investigation, I found it to be the crest of the W.R.A.N.S. (see photo below) and asked the question how would it have got there.

The following response from Ray Mundy was received: "it was presented to the Captain by the Ex President of the Ex WRANS Association NSW during the 2010 World Cruise. Not positive but think her name was Mariam Jones?"

It also got me wondering, does our association have a plaque available for purchase? I also still think an RANCBA cruise would be a great deal of fun too.


Thanks Gary, Shorty Moffatt had some RANCBA Crests for sale a while back, but I'm not sure how many he has left or whether he is commissioning another run.  The crest is mounted on a timber shield and has an engraving plate below it for service details.  I have attached a photo of the RANCBA pocket badge, the crest is the same.  Perhaps Shorty can give us more information when he is back on deck after surgery.

WRANS Crest  RANCBA Pocket Badge


Vale LCDR Rodney Nott MBE RFD RAN Rtd

Sandy McNab sends:

LCDR Rodney Nott MBE RFD RAN Rtd has crossed the bar.

Assuming some Communicator members are also Members of the VLSVA, and if you concur, an item per medium of the QSO Forum to further promulgate to the wider Veteran community his passing.

Rodney was a co-author with Noel Payne of "The Vung Tau Ferry".  I have scanned the book cover and a page on the man himself. An interesting read as I know it would bring back many memories for all those that crewed the escort ships, and for the lads at Coonawarra re-radiating BLR as they completed their many return trips to South Vietnam.

Rodney's funeral will be held at The Uniting Church. Broadwater Road (Rev Louise Edwards) at 2pm Thursday 12th January. (481 Broadwater Rd, Mansfield, Queensland, 4122, AUSTRALIA).

Respected and well liked Navy man.

A loved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather who will be sadly missed by all.

Medals to be worn.

The Vung Tau Ferry (back cover)   Rodney Nott

Lest We Forget


Bob York sends:

I have just come across the following website which has literally thousands of ship photographs, including warships.  I thought this site may be of interest to members who are looking for photographs of "old ships" they have served on.

From what I can gather, the site does not include photos of ships still in commission, otherwise, every ship I searched for was there.


Bob York

Bill Blinkhorn sends an update on Pedro:

Called in to see Pedro Franklin just after Christmas after reading about his cancer problem. It was great to catch up with Pedro and Sue along with Pedro's mum and son who I hadn't seen for quite a few years. Pedro is certainly in good hands with Sue, she keeps him under control. Had a few laughs especially when Pedro related his encounter with a 'Doc Martin' type doctor while they were out travelling.

It appears they have caught the cancer in its early stages and after treatment should get a good result. Pedro and Sue are very upbeat and have booked a trip in Europe for later this year. Pedro did have a number 1 haircut which I drew his attention to. He told me he is getting ready for the possibility of losing the lot for a while after his next chemo session. Lets all hope for a speedy recovery.

'Bill' Blinkhorn
Many thanks Bill, we echo your sentiments.


Barry Appleby sends:

John if you are able to put this on the website for the boys and gals to watch, very interesting and the RAAF are acquiring the F35's and the RAN are acquiring two new ships similar to the USS WASP from Spain, marry the both together and it would replicate this footage.


Barry Appleby

Fm Phil Roy:
Barry's comment/suggestion (10/01/12) has too much common sense attached to it for an Australian Government.

Yes the RAAF are supposed to be getting the F35 - the conventional take off type, not the VSTOL variety. Besides putting RAAF aircraft on the RANs new flat tops would take the air force personnel away from their bases for too long.  Cheers.


HAPPY NEW YEAR - Hold all emails to Shorty Moffatt who will be Off The Air.

Just to advise could you hold all emails to me from the 10th January, I have a pre operation check that day and on the 16th January go on the table under the knife to remove my prostate which has 4 small cancers.  Luckily I picked up early that something ws not right down below and even though my PSA was still low, they did a biopsy and found 4 cancers, and 2 scans have been carried out, and it would appear they have not gone into the bones or the body as yet - I HOPE!!!!

Anyway Ken Swain Vice President and Ray Mundy Secretary will be available for any queries/problems till I am back on the air.


Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)
We wish you all the best Shorty for a successful operation and recovery.

Fm Helen Moffatt 16/1:
Allan (Shorty's) prostate cancer op went well. Bit sore. Also to thank all those that sent messages via phone or email wishing him the best.
Helen Moffatt


Vale Keith Young

It is with great sadness that I have to advise the passing of a long time member of RANCBA.  Keith Young passed away on Wednesday 28th December 2011.

Keith served on Corvettes during WWII and joined the RANCB soon after the war and became involved again following its rebirth in the 90's and was also a member of RAN Corvettes Association (Q).

Funeral will be at Metropolitan Funeral Parlor, 57 Bay Terrace Wynnum , 2 pm (B'ne time) Wednesday 4th January 2012.

Condolences can be forwarded to wife Rita Young, 12/7A Copernicus Street, Wynnum West 4178.

Both Alan and I will be attending the funeral and Alan will do the Poppy Service as requested by the family.

Sonja and Alan Hellier