'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.

this link for previous years QSO.

John Curbishley
Web Manager

December 2013 Entries

Christmas Greetings

On behalf of the HMAS MELBOURNE Communications Department, may I wish all RANCBA members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Melbourne is currently deployed in the MEAO and will be spending the festive season at sea which will be a bit difficult for the younger ones not used to being apart from their loved ones at this time of the year. They are however taking up all of the challenges placed before them and are doing their upmost to further the reputation that Navy Communicators who served before them have handed down.

The attached links detail some of our operations thus far this deployment.


CPOCIS Rohan Jennings
CIS Manager

Thanks Rohan, that is a good note to finish the year on.  All the very best to you and your crew.


Xmas Messages

From: Karen and Bob Vonarx

Hello to all ,
Wishing you all a healthy wealthy and Joyous Xmas season and may you all have a happy new year, and boy are they going past quickly.

Ciao from
Bob and Kate

From: Fred Harper and Jan

To all RANCBA members and families, A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

From Fred Harper and Jan.


Ken Swain sends:

I received a call from Shorty Moffatt last Sunday saying that Les Church had called him and sounded VERY CROOK. Also that Les was in Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick. I called Les's partner Faye and advised her I would like to visit Les ASAP.

I saw Les yesterday. He advised me the Doctors gave him max 48 hours to live and better get the relo's together. His brother came up from Melbourne on the weekend. Les then went into the operating theatre on Friday for doctors/surgeons to have a good look inside prior to giving him "the last rites".

Fortunately they discovered that Les had a hiatus hernia which had wrapped around his bowel. Luckily the bowel had not been perforated so they cut away the hernia from the (bruised bowel) and sewed Les back up. Very pleased to advise you ALL that Les is now resting comfortably and expects to be discharged from the POW Hospital this Wednesday. Had doctors left the exploration surgery any longer it might have been a different story. Myself and the "Vampire Assn Members" can rest easy.

Great news, all the best to Les for a speedy recovery!

Fm Dave Jeffrey:
Typical of Les - couldn't kill him with an axe!!! Just get well mate, I can't afford to fly home from the UK just yet.


Ex CRS Bill Joyce in Sickbay

Visited Ex CRS Bill Joyce in Greenslopes Hospital on Sunday 15 December. Bill has been in and out of hospital for a while now with “Fluid on the Lung”. Bill has lost weight and is down to 45kg’s, I was very surprised on my first sighting. His mind is still sharp but the body tells unfortunately another story.

Bill and Beth visited Darwin in June and returned via the Ghan to Adelaide and that is when Bill stopped eating. Beth said she could not get him to have a meal and had to eat on her own. Bill has attended four hospitals since his return but no one will tell Beth what Bill’s real problem is and tomorrow intends to have it out with the hospital staff. I will be going in to see Bill again on Thursday, if anyone would like to pass on a message to Bill, please forward to me and I will be only too happy to take them in on my visits.

Send to

Kev Ruwoldt

'Storm' Grey to become 'Haze' Grey

The following signal was sent by CN on 05 December 2013:









Vale John Balcomb OAM R94368 (ex WORS/CMDR)

Sadly, John Balcomb passed away in his sleep at 5.30pm this afternoon, 08 December 2013.

Funeral details will be provided as soon as they are known. If you can’t make it and would like to pass on your condolences by phone you may wish to ring John’s wife Ricki on 0400 912 288.

The Balcomb’s home address is: 13 Livistona Crescent, Currimundi, QLD 4551.

John’s funeral will be held at 1pm on Tuesday 17 December at Gregson and Weight, 5 Gregson Place, Caloundra QLD 4551.

In lieu of flowers John’s family have asked that donations be made to the Cure for Life Foundation at (Please stipulate on behalf of John Balcomb).

After the funeral, tea and coffee will be provided at the funeral home. Later, friends are invited to join John’s family at the Caloundra RSL.

If you would like to leave a formal tribute to John Balcomb, his family have set up a site for you to do so. It is a nice touch and the link is below.

Doug Conn

Very sad news, our thoughts are with Ricki & Denise, may John rest in peace.
Lest we forget.

Fm Jim Quick:
Very sad to read of the passing of Johnny Balcomb. A good bloke who I shared a few convivials with over the years. RIP John.

Fm Terry 'Red' Ryder"
I am on facebook and there are a number of ex navy sites on there such as RANCBA, Bonshaw, Harman, Radio Operators etc. I posted the news of John Balcomb’s passing on them and there are a lot of tributes coming in. Obviously he was very highly thought of during his Navy career. Can you let Ricky know that there are many people out there who are offering condolences to his family.

Fm Laurie Pegler:
Very sad to hear about John Balcomb. John and I served together on the Perth and became very good friends. John was a workaholic and we spent long hours working together. We also spent long hours on runs ashore together. Sadly over the years we lost touch. Rest in Peace JB.


HMAS ARROW and Pier Head Jumps

Kev Ruwoldt advises that he "received the following article on HMAS ARROW from a former Greenie Ron Rowe who was in my intake Moran 40 in 1958.  Might be of interest to former Communicators....... "


Yes Ron, I joined up with Les Catton in Adelaide.  We did the same swearing in ceremony at the Navy Recruiting Office and headed for FND that night on the Overlander.  Les was a good bloke with a great sense of humour.  Only ever saw him again once in the rest of my service life.


I saw the remains of the PB’s lying near the rock wall below NHQ which was also completely demolished.  They did rebuild NHQ from the rubble, looks the same as before.


The bar at the HMAS Coonawarra now is called the “Arrow Bar” which I visited whilst HMAS Geelong was being lowered into the water after a refit in 2002.  This was the time I actually heard a sailor call an officer by his first name.  Things have sure changed today, not for the better I might add.





HMAS Arrow was commissioned into naval service at Hervey Bay in Queensland on 3 July 1968. She was one of twenty Attack class patrol boats ordered for the RAN in November 1965. The Attack class was equipped with high-definition navigation radar, magnetic compasses, an echo sounder and air conditioning for service in northern Australian waters. Their primary role was to conduct patrol work in Australian territorial waters.

Arrow sailed south to Sydney with a temporary crew arriving there on 11 July 1968. Following a period of defect rectification, a predominantly RAN Reserve (RANR) crew joined the ship on 15 July putting to sea three days later for work-ups. She then departed Sydney for her first homeport of Melbourne on 25 July, her departure having been delayed due to inclement weather. She arrived in Port Phillip Bay on 27 July where she became the training vessel for the Melbourne Port Division of the RANR.

Arrow served in that capacity for the next six years providing training to rotating RANR crews for two weeks at a time, primarily along the Australian east coast, and in Victorian and Tasmanian waters. This was in addition to regular weekend training and ‘day-runs’. She participated in Exercises RED NED and RECOUP in February and November 1969 respectively, and underwent a refit at Cockatoo Island Dockyard from April to June 1970. On 27 February 1971, Arrow visited Devonport in Tasmania to act as flagship for the annual Devonport Regatta on 1 March. Three years later she attended the Launceston Regatta in February 1974 before sailing to Sydney for a major refit.

On 30 July 1974, Arrow’s time as a RANR training vessel came to an end and she resumed duties with the RAN fleet based at HMAS Waterhen in Sydney. Following a busy period of work-up and trials, she departed Sydney on 21 August for her new homeport of Darwin where she joined the Third Australian Patrol Boat Squadron. She arrived in Darwin on 2 September.

Her first operational tasking was to conduct a hydrographic survey of Cone Bay and Collier Bay in north-eastern Western Australia. She arrived back in Darwin on 9 October. She sailed again for her first Fishery Surveillance Patrol off the Western Australian coast on 23 October and maintained a regular patrol and maintenance program up until what would prove to be a fateful Christmas period.

On December 21 1974 the United States weather satellite SR8 detected a brewing storm over the Timor Sea. By 10.00 that evening the storm had officially been upgraded to a cyclone and assigned the name ‘Tracy’. Over the course of the next three days, Tracy wound its way south-west and around the west coast of Melville Island, ravaging Melville and Bathurst Islands in the process. She then wound back to the south-east and headed straight for Darwin.

Tracy struck the Northern Territory capital in the early hours of Christmas Day with winds reaching nearly 260 kph, the highest wind speed ever recorded at ground level on the Australian mainland at that time. Tracy claimed the lives of 49 people ashore and a further 16 at sea.

Arrow and her sister ship, HMAS Attack, attempted to sail from Darwin and ride out the storm at sea, but neither made it out of the harbour. Attack was driven ashore at Doctor’s Gully without casualties. Arrow, however, was not so lucky; Tracy drove the boat back toward Stokes Hill Wharf where crewmembers jumped from the doomed vessel’s deck on to the wharf. They took refuge where they could, trying to avoid flying debris. Arrow sunk under the wharf in some 15 feet of water. Two crewmembers, Petty Officer Leslie Catton and Able Seaman Ian Rennie, lost their lives as Arrow was wrecked under the wharf. Able Seaman Robert McLeod was awarded the Australian Bravery Medal on 16 September 1977 for assisting injured shipmates.

Clearance Diving Team 1 successfully re-floated Arrow on 13 January 1975 by attaching pontoons to her hull and using tugs to pull her clear of the wharf at high tide. She was towed underwater to shallow water at Frances Bay where she was surveyed, written off and later sold to a local businessman whose intention was to rebuild her as a museum piece. The restoration process proved too expensive and Arrow was eventually broken up where she lay.

PO Catton and AB Rennie are memorialised at HMAS Coonawarra with a plaque and the inclusion of their names in a stained glass window at the base’s chapel, and the Arrow Bar at the base is named in the vessel’s honour. Arrow Drive, Catton Court and Rennie Road are all also named in their honour.

Fm Shorty Moffatt:
I certainly remember HMAS ARROW !!

I did one of the first PCTs for PB's and after HMAS CERBERUS and about 2 weeks at HMAS WATERHEN, headed North via the good old overnight train to Brisbane and then along with about 3 others, driven to Maryborough. We lived in the Post Office Hotel, and did the trials etc and the rest of the temporary crew arrived to take it south - about a few days before Commissioning.

I received 2 messages after leaving Hervey Bay, divert to Brisbane and along with the CO & XO went to NHQ. We had to be "guard vessel" for the Prime Minister, John Gorton, they didn't want another mystery like Harold Holt which had happened about 6 months earlier. Along with Alan "Shags" Hellier who was at NHQ work out my complan to tell State Police and authorities in Canberra that the PM was safe etc. Anyway all went well, and eventually arrived at HMAS WATERHEN. I was told, go home, you have been away for about 4 weeks or more.

Arrived back 2 days later and told "get home and pack a bag", your relief RO is now in HMAS PENGUIN with chronic sea sickness - It didn't come as a surprise, as this RO had been one of mine on HMAS SNIPE 18 months before and between Subic Bay and Hong Kong we got hit by nasty weather. I thought we would be having a "viking funeral".

Anyway ended up taking it all the way to Melbourne and on arrival, big group there from NOIC VIC, HMAS LONSDALE and all the parents, friends, NOK of the Reserves who had come North to Sydney to bring it back. I was given a thank you and a rail warrant for a overnight trip back to Sydney.

Arrived back at HMAS WATERHEN and a week later back on the night train to Brisbane and then train to Maryborough and did work up, trials and commission of HMAS BARBETTE (Senior Patrol Boat for 1st Patrol Boat Squadron) and remained on board 19 months.

Went to HMAS KUTTABUL, and about 5 months later, the Chief Yeoman Reg (Sid James) caught me in the locker room and said "I have bad news for you". Report to MAA Office and collect air warrant and be at Mascot at 5.30am tomorrow morning for first flight. I had to relieve the RO on another boat who had gone "feral" and was dismissed ship and I think the RAN. Told it would be only a quick trip. Someone forgot to tell CO as it was about 6 weeks later when we sailed into Sydney Harbour.

Anyway how's that for time on Patrol Boats and especially HMAS ARROW!

This following might interest Communicators (RO's). On the first night out after leaving Hervey Bay, had to send the PIM. At that stage we had not been allocated or carried Confidential Books or Crypto equipment so the PIM was in P/L. Anyway I couldn't raise VHK (HARMAN) on 8 mc/s but CKN Naval Radio Station Vancouver, Canada, was QRK/QSA5, so worked them, good operators.

Well they came back the c/sign for HMAS ARROW not known - they hadn't amended their books!!!, So I just spelt out the ships name in P/L, and they accepted (Rogered it). When we arrived at HMAS WATERHEN, RS Zeke Moller was OIC, along with the late ex Chief Yeoman Fred Hollister who always took the CO's log in every morning to the CO at HMAS WATERHEN, the late Cmdr Ferguson DSC RAN. When he saw the PIM with all the Routing Indicators of going around the world, Vancouver to Halifax, then to Whitehall W/T England then to HARMAN, on to KUTTABUL and finally to WATERHEN, he couldn't believe it and made me a an unofficial "expert" on the tuning of a AN URC58, the new transceivers that the Patrol Boats carried as their main communications. They were a great set, providing you tuned up on half power etc, with all the modes available. CW (Morse) R/T (Voice).

A bit more of the life on the "boats".

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt

Update on John Balcomb

Regrettably, John Balcomb’s treatment for his cancer may not have worked as hoped. He is now in palliative care and indications are that he may not survive much longer.

John’s family advise that if anyone would like to see him, then now would be a good time. John is a little confused and RIcki (John’s wife) asks that visitors be limited to one or two at a time.

John is staying at the Caloundra Hospital “Dove cottages” in the palliative care section at the rear of the hospital (opposite the Caloundra RSL).

Please ring Ricki on 0400 912 288 to organise a time. Alternatively, ring John’s daughter Denise on 0435 055 104.

Doug Conn

(My apologies if this is the first you have heard of John’s illness).

Thanks Doug, sad news.  Our thoughts are with Ricki and Denise at this difficult time.

November 2013 Entries

Charles and Julia

Former TO Charlie Rigg aka El Supremo with former friend. I think it was a short-lived relationship!

Swampy Marsh.

Well done Charlie, never one to miss an opportunity!

Re the photo of Charles and Julia, I have it on good authority that Charlie has this photo on his bedside table!!!
Regards, Ollie Lewis.

Does anyone know what the number plate says on the vehicle behind Charlie & Julia. The mind boggles!
Regards, Bill Aylott.

RANCBA (ACT) Christmas Barbecue

Our annual Christmas BBQ will be held next Sunday, 1st December, details as follows:

Where: John Cardiff Place – Black Mountain Peninsula Map 18 L6 – same place as last year.

When: Sunday 1st December – 1100 onwards.

The Association will provide sausages, bread, nibbles etc – BYO drinks.

Members relatives and friends very welcome.

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

Peter Guy
02 6288 0828
0417 462 407

72nd Anniversary HMAS PARRAMATTA II Memorial Service.

This Service was held on Sunday 24th November, being the closest to the sinking of HMAS PARRAMATTA II. It was held on a nice sunny day at the Memorial situated on the banks of the Parramatta River where the stern section of PARRAMATTA I is now part of the Memorial there. The RANCBA and FNSA were both invited to participate along with other Associations.

It commenced at 2pm with a small march. Officiated by Mr Rus Jardine of the NAA, and by Chaplain G. Ludlow RAN, with accompanying music by the Sydney Detachment of the RAN Band which also included the beautiful singing of AB Musician Tracey Kennedy (she also Laid a Wreath).
The Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Mr John Chedid , Federal Member for Parramatta Ms, Julie Owens and State MP for Parramatta Dr. Geoff Lee in attendance.

Commander Michael McConnell , Director Personnel Support Unit Australia represented the current Commander of HMAS PARRAMATTA IV which was at sea.

Ms. Diana Avent represented the RANCBA here and Allan Moffatt represented the Federation of Naval Ships Association. Both Laid Books in lieu of Wreaths and they will be presented to local schools within the area. On completion of the Service all were invited back to Parramatta RSL Club for refreshments.

History of Ships bearing the name HMAS PARRAMATTA

HMAS Parramatta I Commissioned 10th September 1910 and was the foundation ship of the Royal Australian Navy on which our Navy has been built as we know it today.

HMAS Parramatta II Commissioned 8th April 1940 , this is the ship for which we set aside this special day to pay tribute and homage to the men lost when sunk by the German submarine U559 on 27th November 1941.

HMAS Parramatta III Commissioned on 4th July 1961 and Decommissioned on 11th January 1991.

HMAS Parramatta IV ANZAC Class Frigate Commissioned on 4th October 2003 . She bears the oldest ship name in the Royal Australian Navy.

Allan 'Shorty": Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Tank Evans - Sick Bay Report

I will be going into hospital on Monday 25th November for the replacement of my left hip. It was to be done sometime next year but I found this morning they are bringing it forward. So a short spell in the rest home for practicing butchers AKA Redcliffe hospital, and then more R&R at home to do what I do now, which is not much I can assure you. Will let you know how I am going in a couple weeks.

Tank Evans
All the best for your operation Tank, look forward to hearing from you in a couple of weeks.

All the very best for a successful outcome Tank. Best 73.
Jim Anderson.

Tank, I wish you all the best mate, and hope all those you used to help back onboard patrol boats after a hard night out, will come forward to carry you now that you need it !!!!
Shorty Moffatt


I received this letter from Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral R.J. Griggs AO, CSC RAN who asked if I could distribute and promote this scheme.  They have launched this scheme to help needy personnel who are having financial problems.

a.  Essential living expenses after a family crisis such as a house fire, unexpected death, or serious illness of a loved one.
b.  Medical treatment for situations not fully covered by Medicare or private health insurance.
c.  Child care costs when the usual at-home support is not able to look after their young family during an unexpected family crisis.

Now, he has asked and would be very grateful if I could advertise to the wider Membership of the RAN Communications Association. Donations will be tax deductible etc.

There is a website which will provide all information.

I invite the RAN Communications Association , either as an organisation or an individual member to make a one-off or ongoing contribution to Keeping Watch. I recommend Keeping Watch to you and seek your personal support in making it a programme that will operate in perpetuity and become a legacy for the future benefits of the Navy's broader community.

This is a small precis version of the letter I received, but should you wish to know more, please either see the new website or email me direct.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Vale Robert Owen 'Bob' Gibbs R50387

Robert 'Bob' Gibbs crossed the bar on 15 November 2013 in Tasmania. He was ex Communications Branch (1955-1961) I do not have all the details for Bob at present but I am hoping you might have a photo of him in rig if possible please. It does not matter if he is in a group photo.

I have collected his service records so have some information on him but do prefer to include a bust image in the forum "Crossed the Bar" section of the FESR website.

I am currently in the process of adding the information to the Vale pages of the Website and Forum.

If you are able to help I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks and regards

Les Sheehan

Bob Gibbs

If anyone has a service photo of Bob could you please contact Les Sheehan at one of the websites above.

From the Archives
Robert Owen Gibbs R50387, born 19 April 1937, joined RAN 19 April 1955.  Postings, QUICKMATCH (56-57), HARMAN 57-58, MELVILLE 58-60.  DEE from HARMAN in 1961.  Initially a TEL, transferred to RO (S) in 1958 when the (S) category was established.

Fm Shorty Moffatt:
I remember Bob, he was one of the first to volunteer when they asked for general service Tels to transfer to the new branch (S).  You had to have completed a general service as a Telegraphist and then be recommended to transfer to the new branch.  I first met him at HARMAN when I drafted off HMAS ANZAC 57-58.  If my memory is correct, on leaving the RAN, he went into the RAAF and became a Officer.  Bob was very instrumental in those that served in the FESR during the Malayan Emergency getting full recognition. He did so much for all Services during that period.  I think he moved to Tasmania.  That's about all I can help at present.

Fm Laurie Pegler (Webmaster
Sad news that the Sydney Association's Welfare rep in Tasmania, Bob Gibbs passed away on 15th November 2013.

His funeral is to be held at Graeme Family Funerals, Risdon Road, Newtown, Tas. at 1300 on Monday 25th November.

Bob joined in 1955 as an Ord Tel, O/N R50387. He transferred to RO(S) in 1958, then went back to RO in 1959. He paid off in 1961 and transferred to the RAAF and became a FLT LT, O/N O221472, 1961-1973.

From all reports he was a thorough gentleman and spent his life helping others.

Fm Keghead Weaver:
Knew Bobby rather well and had the odd beer or three with him and Maurie Schoer when in Coonawarra, prior to my 'big' draft to "Emu". Also had quite a lot to do with him when he and "Wacca" Payne when they were lobbying for our (forgotten) 'entitlements' re the FESR. They did great work getting us all what the 'powers to be' had conveniently forgotten!! One 'hell-of-a-great-bloke, who would give you the shirt of his back. He will be sadly missed.
Lest we Forget.

‘Poorer For His Passing’
We have all heard of Simpson and his donkey at Gallipoli and how he helped many wonderful diggers. Sometimes present day Simpsons are missed in the hustle and bustle. Many modern-day diggers have been helped by Bob Gibbs who died last week.

Tributes in the paper from Legacy and the Masonic people salute him. That the Governor attended his memorial service spoke volumes for the service of this fine man. Sometimes it is the silence that is the most profound tribute to our best people. He helped so many, quietly and effectively. The world is poorer for his passing.
CDRE R M Baird


To All RANCBA Members,

Applications for the ballot for places to the Gallipoli centenary celebrations visit 2015 . Information may be found on the website

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Plaque Dedication Service - Chapel of Remembrance - Garden Island

This very unique Service was held at the Chapel on Sunday, 17th November commencing at 10.00am to a very packed congregation.

The Service was Officiated by Chaplain Anthon Crook and ably assisted by LS. Lindsay Russell and music by a Detachment from the RAN Band.

It was pleasing so see so many there which included our Patron (NSW) Rear Admiral Tony Horton AO RAN Rtd accompanied by his wife Margaret, and for those that can remember, Rev. Dr. Gareth Clayton MA who started the Plaque Dedication Service when he was Chaplain there.

When NOK, friends or people who have served with those having a Plaque are asked to come forward and say something about their relationship or his/her career within the RAN, they are all different and it is a pity that they were not recorded. ie. Yesterday the son of the late Lieutenant John Francis Beaumont spoke on behalf of the family how his father who was lost aboard HMAS CANBERRA but then another man spoke of his father Bandsman Frank Ward who was in the RAN Band aboard HMAS CANBERRA during the same time when it was sunk by enemy fire, but he survived and went on to Commission HMAS SHROPSHIRE.

The son of the late Rear Admiral David Holthouse AO RAN Rtd , who is a Captain in the RAN spoke highly of his father and to which his career from the time as a 14 year old Cadet Midshipman, he certainly had a very great career.

Unfortunately due to a previous commitment, we were unable to use the Historical Building for morning tea which the FNSA and RANCBA have now carried out for all in attendance, so this would have been the only downside.

Communicators in attendance, Ken & June Swain, Ray & Sharon Mundy, Don Ferguson, Liz Watts and self.

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

One for the Buntings

Found this link to a site re signal flags in history - might be of interest?

Ray Davis

Coonawarra WRANS Water Polo Team 1968

Please find a photo for your WRANS Photos section of the RANCBA site, of the Coonawarra WRANS water polo team of 1968.

Thank you
Sue Hackett


Loss of Naval Midshipmen 1963

It seems strange to me that we remember that 50 years ago on the 10 February 1964, the Melbourne and the Voyager collided and we remember the Officers and Sailors, especially the Communicators that were lost in that tragic accident.

There is one other anniversary that we seems to have glossed over and I never hear any mention of it in the newspapers or in the Navy News (The Voice of the Navy).  What I am writing about is the loss of Midshipmen on a sailing exercise off Hayman Island. This was 50 years ago October 1963.

I remember it well as I answered the call from HMAS Sydney and I took the message (I can't remember whether it was Z or Y, but it was about 900 groups).  The reason I remember it so well was that It was coming to the end of the watch and the rule was that if you took a call you continued to the end of the signal.

That night I only got two hours sleep before I had to come on watch again.

Anybody have any ideas why it is never spoken about? Is it commemorated at all?

Graham Bence

Fm Nullarbor Baker:
Re the article on the loss of HMAS Sydney's midshipmen....I was a member of the ship's company. I was always in trouble for one thing or another, and had done more 'chooks' than Steggles Poultry. Had I not been cooling my heels in 1MCE Holsworthy at the time of the tragedy, I probably would have been blamed for that as well. I don't know why it isn't commemorated...perhaps one of our members might want to chase it up with Navy.  Cheers.

Sandy McNab is ahead of Nullarbor on the issue, having asked the Naval Historical Section to comment.

Frank Hicks passes on the following links for those who would like to read more on this tragic loss.  - we acknowledge the great work of the Gun Plot website.

Fm Ian Hogarth: Yes Graham it “was” commemorated with the annual award of an officers sword to the Midshipman who received the highest marks in Seamanship each year - from a fund that was put together by the parents of the midshipmen that were lost, with the first sword awarded to N.F.H. Hammond of Frankston Victoria. Further I remember discussing this with a LCDR who name eludes me at the moment (married to a very well known journalist in Sydney from memory) who unfortunately has died, who was discussing the tidal issues that may very well have impacted them severely and one to which I can attest too having been adrift off Hayman Island in the ships boat which simply ran out of fuel (something that the midshipman should have checked when he came to collect us from a nights frivolity on Hayman Island when I was a member of HMAS Ibis! Luckily for us a passing fisherman came embarrassingly to our rescue!

Fm Dave Jeffrey: I was on watch as an ORO with Gazbo O'Keefe and he was a RO from subs (later WORS) the night the grouper went off to Graham Bence. He is right it was a long one. I think Gazbo and I sent half each!!. There are a number of things I remember about that night, some of which are probably slanderous about a certain officer - but we wont go there!!!!

What I do remember is the press being onboard for the search and the number of press releases that we sent by hand over the next couple of weeks. They were medium size books and the morse txing skills certainly improved as each watch passed. We had someone on S/S fulltime for most of that period.

It was a time we would all rather forget. Other sparkers on board were Errol Hedges, Sandy Meares, (Nullabor - in slot), Bluey Ireland, Blue McLoughlin (I think), perhaps Doc Livingston, perhaps Zeke Moller, Dinny Reeves (as CRS) and others that the sands of time have buried. I am sure there are others that remember the names well.

Fm Bruce Spender:

Re : The loss of the Midshipmen and Sub Leut. during a sailing expedition from HMAS Sydney in October 1963. That particular class of midshipmen was a tragic one as they were the same class as the midshipmen who were lost in the Voyager tragedy. I understand the commemorative sword was funded by the parents of those midshipmen lost in both tragedies. I was in HMAS Yarra (Commander N.A. Boase) at the time and we were ordered to sail from Sydney as soon as we could raise steam, which we did and proceeded at 30 knots all the way. We therefore had to refuel at Mackay before we could commence the search proper. Yarra deployed both her cutter and the whaler (with a TO in each, armed with a 635 radio, a set of semaphore flags and a Aldis Lamp. Once the boats were deployed, Yarra went off to search another area. The search area was considerable as the tides and winds in the Hayman Island were variable. I further understand that it was the parents of those midshipmen lost, who requested that an annual Memorial Service not be held, although one was offered. Up until 1979 when I left the Naval College they were invited to the annual Passing Out Parade and one of them would present the Ceremonial Sword to the winning Midshipman – thus perpetuating their sons memory. This was all they wanted.

Fm Errol Hedges:

My memories of that fateful time was that it was my very first posting after signal-school to the Sydney (which had just come out of recommissioning refit - after being in 'moth-balls' at Bradley's Head.) We were on work-up trials.

I was working morning shift and just after sunrise went to get some freshers with a walk on the flight-deck. Saw the Whaler with the Midshipmen being lowered. Was a perfect morning; a typical beautiful day in the Whitsundays, with calm seas. Saw them row off to round Hayman Island. When they were overdue, the search-and-rescue started. We commenced a search-pattern. Yarra and (Anzac?) were ordered to help.

The Shippies built various beacons of different shapes and colours which were dropped at various positions to be carried by the prevailing currents in the area. A 'CQ' was sent to all commercial shipping to be on lookout for the beacons and to report position and time of sighting them. Of course, once the media had the story, it became very hectic for us communicators, as they came onboard.  Pretty sure that we then worked two shifts of four-hours-on and four-hours-off.

Remember when the whaler was found - submerged about one-metre underwater; the body of one of the midshipmen was wedged under the thwarts of the boat. His body was bloated from being in the water and infested with sea-lice.

A memorial service was held onboard - relatives and friends of those lost attended - a flyover dropping rose petals onto the sea and wreaths also.

A sad memorial time for all... then the loss of our fellow communicators on the Voyager (1964). I was in Penguin hospital at that time (hernia op. - from carrying B-40's to wireless office!) and saw survivors being brought in. Some had to be packed in ice. Heard some shocking stories of lifeboats with officers onboard stopping ratings from getting into their boats - swimming in a sea of thick oil. A cook sitting in the messdeck, as she was sinking, singing, as he knew he could not escape through the scuttle because he was too large.

Lost/Declared Missing: DENHAM, R.A., Radio Operator; HARRIS, P.L., Tactical Operator; HENDY, R.W. Ordinary Tactical Operator; MACFARLANE, D.E., Leading Radio Operator; OWEN, E.R., Ordinary Radio Operator; TEAPE, A.W., Leading Tactical Operator; TRAUTMAN, J.B., Ordinary Radio Operator.

R.I.P. to all our Naval Comrades who gave their lives in time of service to our country.


Follow this link for more information on the Midshipmen Graduation Class of 63 - published in the South Coast Register on Tuesday 21 January 2014.

History of HMAS HARMAN 1943-2013

Royce Bell sends:

The attached article appeared on page nine of the latest Navy News . Perhaps some ex-HARMAN members may be interested in obtaining a copy.

Copies can be request at no cost from the CO’s Sec, PO Andrea Kerr at HARMAN at or by phoning (02) 6266 6602


LCDR Annette Nelson launched her third book on the history of HMAS Harman on October 19.  The book, HMAS Harman 1943-2013 -- A history of HMAS Harman and its people was launched after the memorial service for the WRANS.

LCDR Nelson said focusing on the human and personal aspects was an important part of the book.  "I love reading the stories about real people doing their jobs," LCDR Nelson said. "This project has given me that opportunity; it really brought Harman alive for me and I hope it does that for other people."

Many of those present at the service contributed to the stories within the book.

"Out of the blue I get emails and letters with stories from the past and I never know what they will contain -- many of the older ex-members of the RAN and WRANS send me their photos as their family aren't interested," LCDR Nelson said. "I pass these to the Seapower Centre to add to their collection."

LCDR Nelson wrote her first book in 1993 for the 50th anniversary of Harman. In 2003, she published her second book commemorating Harman's 70th anniversary.

LCDR Nelson believes it is important to record the history of ships and establishments.  "Unless the history is recorded in a durable way, it will be forgotten," LCDR Nelson said.


Unit Citation for Gallantry (UCG) - HMAS YARRA (II)

Please follow the link below for information on the HMAS Yarra (II) Unit Citation for Gallantry Investiture Ceremony.  Should you know of any person or family member who was involved with HMAS YARRA II, could you please point them to the link.

"Families of the crew of HMAS YARRA (II) are invited to apply to receive an individual UCG insignia or dress embellishment (a gilt rectangular frame surrounding a deep green ribbon) on behalf of their qualifying family member. There will be one badge made available for each of HMAS YARRA (II)'s crew and it will be awarded to the most appropriate relative according to Defence Honours and Awards established procedures."

Follow this link for more information.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW


Seeking ex LRO Trevor James Harriss R62115

The Army History Unit would like to make contact with a Trevor James Harriss in relation to an extended member of his family.

Trevor's details are:

Leading Radio Operator Trevor James HARRISS

Service No: R62115

Service between 20/03/1969 and 8/11/1971

Served on HMAS Brisbane and Derwent

Please contact:

Trevor joined on 6 May 1963 and served in HMAS BRISBANE from 1967 to 1969. His archived Record of Service card was closed off on 1 February 1970 when records were transferred to EDP.  If he paid off after 9 years his discharge date would have been 6 May 1972.

Monday 04 November
Trevor has made contact with the Army History Unit - he lives in the ACT but is currently travelling in WA.

Australia's Secret Submarines

A number of communicators may be interested in an article from the Australian newspaper titled “Cold war exploits of Australia’s secret submarines”.

The article is lengthy and surprisingly descriptive of the communication and electronic signal interception that was carried out in the 80’s and early 90’s by submarines and vessels like HMAS Canberra.

Many would remember the Gollies behind curtains on the ships, submarines and establishments such as Harman. Dutchy Holland, Scotty Whitfield, Henry Lawson and I did one such stint at Harman in the mid 80’s. I remember the PO of the shift being Vic Ford who looked after me well (as best he could). Behind the curtain was patched a Transmitter/Receiver, Crypto and a Teletype printer to communicate with those submarines and our counterparts on those patrols. I remember the sceptics and ribbing at the time but for the most part the sense of humour enjoyed by the shifts of that time and the many beers at the Harman bar after a day shift and early openers after the night shifts.

A Gollies reunion was just held in Adelaide on the weekend 25-27 October and the article brought about some good war stories. The guest speaker was Henry Lawson (now a Commander) and just back from Afghanistan and he spoke of a number of gollies from that era that are still in or have re-joined and have carried out similar roles in Iraq and Afghanistan. A good time was had by all.

So for all those Sparkers out there that thought equipment such as the B40 was just used for picking up the football and the races – Think again! That was only 90 per cent of the time.

Kym Parry

Fm Royce Bell:
In case anyone would like more reading about the “Mystery Boats” this link is to an article that appeared in the Aust Financial Times in November 2003.

October 2013 Entries:

Can You Help?

Here's an unusual request for help.

I'm trying to source a meat/brawn press of reasonable size and I'm not having a lot of success.

Wondering if someone in our network could put me onto one?

Our younger members who were not around before the 1950s may not be familiar with the item hi hi.

Jim Anderson
Innisfail FNQ

Dave McCann Sick Bay Report

Received an email from Willy Williamson saying that Dave McCann is in Adelaide Hospital after suffering a heart attack last night. Whilst in hospital he also suffered a stroke which caused him to lose the use of his right arm. I rang Dave earlier today and he thinks the heart attack may have been brought on by a bit of food poisoning as his mate who was with him felt sick as well. Dave says he will be working with an exercise physiologist to hopefully get the use of his arm back to normal. He was in Adelaide for a National Meeting of the Vietnam Veterans Association and on his way home when this all happened. No sign as to when he will be heading home from Adelaide as yet.

He is in good spirits but cognisant of the fact that this may be a warning that the body is telling him to slow down. He has been on the National Committee for about 7 years now and thinks it might be time to hand over to a younger person. I am sure he won't mind me passing on his mobile number (0413 968 985) to anyone who wants to give him a call and help lift his spirits.

Terry 'Red' Ryder

Thanks Red, I'm sure Dave will in the thoughts of all Communicators as he gets his body back on track.  I join with others to send best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Fm Keghead Weaver:
Sorry to hear about Dave.  Just rang that number you gave but I think he has it diverted to Voice-mail. Left ‘cheerful’ message and hope he gets it.

Fm Bernie Brooks:
Have just been in touch with Dave McCann and he has asked me to convey his appreciation and thanks for all the well wishes he is receiving.  He is hearing from people who he has not been in contact with for years. Dave reports that he is doing well but admits he has a hard slog ahead of him. Work and perseverance in his words. He said to tell everyone that he will be the first cab off the rank at the next RANCBA reunion.



Yesterday the QLD RANCBA had its AGM/BBQ at the Queensland Maritime Museum. A great setting and many names and faces from the past were present.

Kev Ruwoldt found some of his sparkers from Bonshaw D Watch circa 1969 (photo 1).  If you didn’t know we were renowned for our march (dance) going onto watch. It became so popular that it even enticed CRS Bill McMah to arrive at Bonshaw early one day just to see us come on watch. Bill’s only comment as he rasped between his teeth was; “Be better if it had some of our girls in it!”

Also at the BBQ was a good representation from the Perth. Present were Nev Kruck, Art (Speed) Rowley, Doug Conn, Glenn (Chopper) Holmes, Terry (Red) Ryder and John (Bill) Blinkhorn.

A good time was had by all and yes, the tales told were as bold, saucy and funny as ever. Great stuff.

Terry 'Red' Ryder


RAN CIW Mess Dinner

Due to significant work loads at Navy Comms Branch this year, this is a rather late call for members who might be interested in attending the RAN CIW Mess Dinner and Dining out for CDRE Boyce, 28 Nov 2013, HMAS HARMAN.

Also, if there are any members who would like to send their best wishes etc, more than happy to collate them for the evening.

If you could forward this to your members, with me as a POC, it would be most appreciated. I would prefer an answer by 04 November if possible.


Andrew Montgomery

Work: (02) 6127 0147
Mob: 0405446234


Moran Division Final Graduation - 28 November 2013

The latest edition of the 'Navy News' advises that "Moran Division will be written into the history books on November 28 when the final class of Moran recruits graduate from Recruit School at HMAS CERBERUS."

All ex-Moran division recruit intakes are invited to attend the last Moran named division graduation.

Sandy McNab advises:

"I know my intake Moran 37 was in July 1958 and it was predominantly R/LB and the last of the R/TEL R/SIG ratings, they changed to R/CO in August to reflect the new RO and TO rating.  Tony Sullivan, Doug Manners and the late John Rosewarne were some others. Don Spencer, Rocky Lusk, Brian Hobson, George Smith also spring to mind.

Just wondering if the likes of Graham Bence, Doug Boydle and any other local ML domiciled Communicator lads from Moran intakes might like to take a drive down to Recruit School for the day, or any one else you can think of from your decadent era or since !

I think you would be welcomed warmly and there is a contact name and email address page 16.

Perhaps a quick email re-dist to all your Victorian newsletter recipients and or a entry on the Communicators QSO Forum would suffice to elicit a response from other ex-Communicators, not necessarily of our vintage. A mini re-union if ever."

For further information, contact LEUT Melissa Cowling on (03) 5931 5808 or email


New Defence Discount program - Exclusive to Defence members and their family [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

1st October 2013, Canberra: Australian Partners of Defence launched a nationwide discount website to all serving and retired military personnel (including reservists and APS employees), and their families.

These discounts are available through a membership program called APOD � Defence Discounts Online available at

Products discounted include attractions, dining, accommodation, fashion, jewellery, alcohol and more come on each week.

Check out their browse page for latest offers online, national, local and in the UK through an affiliate program called Rewards For Forces.

To become a member for 2013, membership is free, simply go to and sign up to have immediate access.

'Like' their Facebook page and follow to keep up to date with new discount offers as they come on board.

Please tell all your friends in Defence including ex serving members as they are all entitled to become members in their own right.

APOD is a private organisation run by partners of Defence, for the whole defence community, so any help you can offer to get this message distributed will benefit us all. APOD is not a charity nor is it supported in any way by the Commonwealth Government.

For any further information or should you have any queries about the program please contact



As earlier mentioned in a Newsletter, Rachel Russell had been planning a 2014 Reunion in the Bowral/Mittagong area for the 45th anniversary of the collision between HMAS Melbourne and USS Frank E Evans in June 1969. 74 sailors from Frank E Evans lost their lives.

Rachel and her husband William are not in good health, and cannot proceed with the planned reunion and the associated activities. Accordingly, I have assumed responsibility for the planning and conduct of the 2014 Reunion.

With the unavailability of Rachel, the proposed venues at Bowral/Mittagong are not feasible and the Reunion will take place in Sydney, to be closely associated with the availability and activities of the Royal Australian Navy history and facilities.

Current planning envisages a memorial service in the Naval Chapel at Garden Island Dockyard (Fleet Base East) on Sunday 1 June. This date has been selected as minimising logistic inconvenience given the Chapel is in a secure area within a working dockyard. The planned two/three days (1 - 3 June) should also include tours of the dockyard and a fleet unit, and visits to the RAN Heritage Centre and possibly the historic Spectacle island, a visit to the Australian National Maritime Museum, and a lunch or dinner. In due course, a detailed plan will be promulgated. Sydney also provides great flexibility for visitors to enjoy the many attractions additional to the scheduled reunion events and attendees should also consider informal visits to such significant attractions as Sydney Harbour, the Opera House, the National Maritime Museum and other Museums and the Blue Mountains. In due course some detail of travel options and costs - which generally would be relatively small - will be promulgated. As for accommodation, this will be a matter for individuals.

Some personnel who were serving onboard Melbourne at the time have indicated their intention to attend the Reunion, some with wife or partner. A few Frank E Evans personnel are also expected to attend. I welcome responses from other personnel who were onboard Melbourne at the time. As I progress planning - and here I am being ably assisted by Mike Breakspear - I will be seeking confirmation of intention to attend, numbers involved, and any particular suggestions or considerations.

To assist in your consideration, I expect Captain J P Stevenson, Commanding Officer of HMAS Melbourne, to be in attendance at the 2014 reunion.

My email address is

Tony Horton

Forwarded by Shorty Moffatt, President RANCBA NSW, who advises that "Tony Horton is our Patron here in NSW and was the Navigator on Melbourne at that time".

Fm Phil Butler:

I was reading that story about the Melbourne/Evans reunion and I am positive that I was on duty that night in ACNB at Russell Offices Canberra. What we even did there escapes me (old age).

A bunch of us used to get the small bus into the offices. If I remember correctly, a couple of WRANS used to go in with us and they would go and work somewhere else in Russell while we went to the ACNB offices. I think the WRANS worked with the Army, can't be positive.

I am now wondering who else was in there that night. I can't for the life of me even remember who the boss of our shift was.

If anyone can recall that night, I would be interested to know about it.
Phil Butler

Fm Trevor Pike:

Re Phil Butler's comment of being on duty the night of the Melbourne Evans collision.  I was in charge of the midnight watch at Navy Office MSO that night being the senior TO at the time along with Phil and WRAN Kerryn Porter (I think her name was) when all hell broke loose in the early hours of the morning with the bells on the teletype never stopping with flash messages, and of course these flashes were not coming in any order which made it a little hard to initially establish actually what had happened as there was no indication that this was for exercise only.

The sailors were also responsible outside normal working to make a call to the person in charge of the MSO if anything untoward happened overnight and he was then responsible to make further call outs to Navy Office personnel, so before I made a call I had to have all of the facts.

To clue Phil in, we at Navy Office MSO initially worked at JCC (Joint Communications Centre) which was a tri service centre and we (Navy) broke away from the JCC to give the MSO a direct line from Harman CTRC instead of using the tube system from JCC to the MSO which was run by civilian personnel.

Hope that clears up Phil's question - I didn't want to say seniors moment.
Trevor Pike

Fm Des Byrne:

Interesting to read Trev Pike's comments re early days at NOMSO. I had the day watch following Trev and it was mayhem with all sorts of 'interesting' signals being exchanged. In the period thereafter we always had a PO in charge of the shift (possibly also due to Charlie Rigg and I rolling up shickered once!) and Ron Baguley, Trev, Barney Lutton and I had a watch for some time. We played cards when quiet and Trev and I always won as I worked out 'cheating signals' to indicate preferred suite - still hate myself for this??!! Barney was always cold and wore a burberry and smoked incessantly til he dropped one down the sleeve trying to learn semaphore! Great days - and heck only 44 years ago!



Good afternoon everyone,

Due to the disastrous circumstances created by the current bushfires, NSW State Branch has activated the RSL Disaster Fund. All current serving and ex-serving members of the ADF, RSL NSW members and their immediate families who require assistance can phone (02) 8088 0388.

Help is available 24/7 on this number.

At this time State Branch are assessing the need for immediate aid which may be required by the RSL/defence family, such as food, clothing and accommodation etc. Donations from RSL sub-Branches are not being sought at present.

Don Rowe
NSW RSL State President

Forwarded by:
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Plaque Dedication - Chapel of Remembrance - GI Chapel & Federation of Naval Ships Assn Service.

The following shall have Plaques Dedicated on Sunday, 17th November commencing at the Chapel at 10.00am

31575 Leiutenant John Francis Beaumont - Served 1940 - 46 Died 7/12/2012 Aged 97
R36539 Naval Airman Ronald Noel Breaden - Served 1948 - 60 Died 12/9/2002 Aged 71
R45985 Petty Officer James Edward Downey - Served 1951 - 61 Died 30/9/2013 Aged 79
R55195 Chief Petty Officer James Eagle - Served 1959 - 79. Died 30/6/2013 Aged 72
Leiutenant Douglas Grenfel Hazelton - Served 1940 - 42 Died 9/8/1942 Aged 35
O561 Rear Admiral David Guy Holthouse - Served 1950 -93 Died 31/5/2013 Aged 77
R37796 Petty Officer Robert Edmund Jacobson - Served 1949 - 67 Died 29/7/2013 Aged 82
R35733 Stoker/Mechanic William John Lanigan - Served 1947 -53 Died 14/8/2013 Aged 84
S6173 Stoker Leonard Sills - Served 1942-46 Died 4/9/2013 Aged 89
Petty Officer Robert John Stewart - Served 1962 - 82 Died 22/3/2055 Aged 61
R23689 Bandsman Frank Ewart Ward - Served 1939 - 46 - Died 24/8/1996 Died 85
Commander Peter James Wright - Served 1968 - 85 Died 1/10/2012 Aged 77

If attending, please advise me and also if using private vehicle, I shall need your car type/rego and passengers for Security.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA

RANCBA Victoria Spring Newsletter

Would appreciate if you would load the attached RANCBA Victoria Spring Newsletter Parts 1 and 2 into their usual place and post a comment in the QSO Forums that its available together with a hyperlink to that!

Ian Hogarth
Hon Sec RANCBA Vic

Follow this link for part 1 of the Spring newsletter
Follow this link for part 2 of the Spring newsletter

The BASEGRAM is also available by following the 'RANCBA Contacts' 'RANCBA Chapters' 'Vic Chapter' link.


The RANCBA ACT Annual General Meeting was held in Canberra on Friday 11 October 2013.  The President, Ken 'Keghead' Weaver presented his report for the past year and then, with the help of our Patron Artie Wyatt,  had the pleasant duty of presenting members Sam Hughes and Peter Guy with their Honorary Life Member certificates and lapel badges.  Sam and Peter have given distinguished service as Treasurer and Secretary for  a number of years and their awards were welcomed unanimously by all present.  BZ to Sam and Peter.

Sam Hughes accepting his award of Honorary Life
Membership from Artie Wyatt.

Peter Guy accepting his award of Honorary Life
Membership from Artie Wyatt.

The RANCBA ACT now has five members who have been awarded Honorary Life Membership.
Peter Guy, Dave Jeffrey, John Curbishley & Sam Hughes are pictured above. Due to the tyranny
of distance Rodney Beckinsale was unfortunately unable to attend but sent his best wishes.

International Fleet Review (IFR)

Well what more can I say, than this was an outstanding success and full credit must go to the Navy who made this happen. Some of those that I know where heavily involved included Captain Nick Bramwell RAN, Commander Phillip Anderson OAM, (Director of IFR Ceremonial Events), Lieut.Commander Desmond Woods RAN. CPO Dollimore, and also one person in particular who can now relax, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO CSC RAN - Chief of Navy. There were so many more but I do apologise for not mentioning them but unfortunately it would be too lengthy and this also includes Members from the RANCBA & FNSA . But to all Bravo Zulu.

Friday 4th
My first item that I attended was at Garden Island and was accompanied with my wife Helen. We received an Invitation from CN's Office and we were required to be at the Main Gate at Garden Island at about 8.15am.We would be, along with other attendees taken by coach to the area near the Heritage Centre as no public/private vehicle would be allowed there. On alighting from the coach, we were all welcome and then issued with ear plugs, which later on was to be quite obvious why. Seating had been arranged for all and in the back ground was the RAN Band. At the given time, the ships starting to come into view, and when passing, the ceremonial saluting cannons just near where we were seated were fired when each ship past (re the ear plugs). What a sight it was and with all the other small craft allowed near the area, it just looked spectacular. The RAAF Roulettes certainly put on a great display for all to witness their flying skills. On completion, refreshments were available and it was a time to meet and greet with others.

Saturday 5th Forenoon
Along with other Communicators we made our way to Australian Cruise Lines , Wharf 5 and also many from other Associations who were joining other vessels. It was so pleasing to see many from WRENS, RN, SYDNEY, CORVETTES R, ROYAL MARINES and other Associations. But the Communicators that had come from other States, was overwhelming, the only State not represented was NT.

Here full credit must go and I sincerely mean this for 2 people who I knew did so much behind the scene from day one for all to have a great day and other outings on a cruise vessel. These are Brian Gray and Ken Swain. Brian's expertise in this is well known and more so with the colour coding of boarding passes and then on the last cruise (Sunday) the coloured wrist band.

We all joined the Showboat and on time, we slipped and headed out to join many on the waters of Sydney Harbour. Sydney had certainly turned on a beautiful day and the weather was just perfect. The cruise vessel joined into its allotted circuit and here those on board, now settled down with a cold ale, a nice wine or some other beverage to meet with old friends. The arrival of RAAF F118's were a sight to behold and also one by itself who did a great climb skywards till he disappeared into the sky. A flight past by helicopters of the RAN .larger aircraft of maritime recon etc and then arrival of the ships. HMAS LEEUWIN, flying the Royal Standard as it was carrying HRH Prince Harry and the Governor General of Australia, Ms Quentin Bryce AC aboard sailed past and escorted by an Attack Class Patrol Boat HMAS ADVANCE.

The cruise did a few circuits so that all had a good look at what the people had put on to show off Sydney Harbour. I could not believe the area around the harbour which had been taken up by the public from early in the morning to witness of all that was to happen today and in the evening. Also the boats and vessels that people had moved into the area allocated for them to anchor to view the proceedings.

Unfortunately a lady onboard (not one of the RANCBA group) appears had suffered a heart attack or some similar medical problem. A Maritime patrol vessel came alongside with ambulance people and it was decided to "land her", so we were escorted into Wharf 2 at Circular Quay where other ambulance personnel were there and she was stretched off and taken to hospital for further assessment.

Once again we all gathered at Wharf 5 to join our cruise vessel to see the Fireworks and Light Display. This cruise many brought their families which was so pleasing. Here the 3 course meal was great, along with a nice wine, cold ale or someone refreshment, it made for a nice evening. The vessel made its way to its allotted space to see the fireworks etc. Prior to this we had entertainment onboard, so our selection of a cruise vessel was a good choice. The fireworks were a brilliant display and once again the Navy did themselves proud. On completion of the display, once again we were entertained on the stage by some very nice cabaret dancers. Then it was back alongside and another part had now been completed.

Sunday 6th
The following morning (which was the start of Daylight Saving Time - DST) so it was a loss of an hours sleep, but I dont think anyone worried about this. Here the RANCBA contingent were issued with wristbands which advised crew we were entitled to full refreshments etc. The vessel made its way to the area off the HMAS SYDNEY Mast on Bradley's Head and a Ceremony was held there. Sadly it is too far to see what was happening. On completion, the vessel made its way back to Wharf 5 and others onboard (not RANCBA) departed but we remained onboard for a great sausage sizzle and more drinks and time for talking etc. A couple of small speeches were made and this included I asked people to raise their glasses to thank the late L/Tel Keith Best who made this possible with his bequeath, a thank you to Brian Gray and Ken Swain for all their work etc. Speeches were kept to a minimum and except announcement to look out for things that some had misplaced etc and a ex WRAN Eleanor who asked if she could sing the song "Auld Lang Syne" as she had such a great time. Then sadly another day had finished and it was time to leave again.

Tuesday 8th
Our next commitment was at the Navy Memorial Service held at the Cenotaph commencing at 12 noon. It was to 'Remember those who have Died in Service". The Guest of Honour was the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO who was wearing the uniform of a Honorary Commodore RAN which was bestowed on her at the 75th Anniversary. Here the Director General of Chaplaincy- Navy - Navy, Principal Chaplain Stuart Hall RAN Officiated. The MC was Commander Phillip Anderson OAM RAN who had done so much in the general organisation of the IFR . The Naval Psalm was Read by Fleet Command Chaplain . Senior Chaplain Colin Acton RAN , the Commemorative Address was given by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO CSC RAN. Prayers for those who have Died in Service was Read by Commander Surface Forces Commodore Jonathon Mead AM RAN. Prayers for the Australian Defence Force,, Read by Warrant Officer of the Navy, Warrant Officer Martin Holzberger CSC , Prayer for the Navy Read by Navy's Strategic Adviser on Indigenous Cultural Affairs CPO Ray Rosendale.

All were asked to stand and the singing of the Naval Hymn & Wreath Laying Ceremony.. There were many and it was so pleasing to see Officers of the visiting Navies coming forward to Lay a Wreath. Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN Rtd who is President of the National RSL , Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd and Mr. John Haines AM State Vice President of the RSL NSW Laid Wreaths on behalf of Veterans. The Naval Ode was Read by the Maritime Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Tim Barret AM CSC RAN , The Last Post, One Minutes Silence, Rouse played . followed by the Australian National Anthem (it was pleasing to hear it say sang with full praise and also the general public who were walking by, stopped and showed full respect). The RAN Band was conducted by Lieutenant Steven Stanke RAN and the Sydney Male Choir conducted by Dr. Houston Dunleavy.

Wednesday 9th
The next day was to be the final , which was the Combined Parade by about 5000 sailors from the RAN, visiting Navies. ANC and the march by contingent of 20 behind the Banners of the original Magnificent Seven who had sailed into Sydney back in 1913. This included HMAS AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY, MELBOURNE, YARRA, PARRAMATTA, ENCOUNTER, WARREGO. Here to make up the 20 and with age, unavailability etc, we asked for volunteers from different groups and this included the RANCBA. To each that came forwarded, I would like to take this opportunity to say Thank You. When we wheeled into George Street, I believe there was more people from the public lining the route than I had ever seen I did have one worry," if all these people are here, whose working and paying my pension?". It was unbelievable and the applaud we were given. On passing the Sydney Town Hall where all the VIPS were standing, a Eyes Right was given and it couldn't have been faulted as it was so well done. Then at the completion of the March, we broke down Banners etc and the end of a very successful IFR had come to an end. It had been a privilege to be part of, witness one of the best Reviews and which the Royal Australian Navy, can be proud of what it achieved.

Following received - Quote President FNSA Ken Swain, and all the Ship's Company March Coordinators
Commander Phillip Anderson OAM, the Director of IFR Ceremonial events, and all the planning staff of the IFR wish you to pass on to all Members who marched so well under your Banners that you were the emotional high point of the Parade. Having you there with the young Members of the ANC, representing the Navy past, present and future, added a sense of history and continuity to the day. That emotion was picked up by all the crowd all the way up George Street and where I was at the Town Hall the applause for you all was heartfelt and prolonged. Many Veterans who could not be marching with you watched you swing by with a visible emotion and pride.  Congratulations and thank you all.
Regards LCDR Desmond Woods RAN Unquote

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW
Vice President FNSA


State Funeral - Godfrey "Rusty" Priest AM

On Wednesday, 2nd October I represented the Federation of Naval Ships Assn (which the RANCBA is affiliated here in NSW) at the State Funeral for the late "Rusty" Priest AM who was the former and very popular, hard working President of the NSW Returned Services League.

The State Funeral was held at the St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney commencing at 11.00am. Never having been to a Funeral of such proportion, I was rather taken back. and more so, never also having been to this Cathedral.  It was a very full Congregation from all, Federal, State MP's, RSL's , and those that had known him. We were all asked to stand for the arrival of the Governor of NSW, the Premier and Opposition Leader of the NSW Government and the family of Rusty. 

The Service commenced with a acknowledgment by Mr Vic Simon, Indigenous Vietnam Veteran (Army) and the then the Hymn Lord of Earth and all Creation. Father Graeme Malone, Hon. Chaplain Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway welcomed all.

Tributes were then given by Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW, Mr. Jason Morrison who many would not know but is a Radio personality of 2UE. He had first Rusty when he came to his school and gave a talk to all pupils on ANZAC Day and what it means. Jason was at that time 15 years old and made contact with Rusty and from then on, became very good and lasting friends.

The First Reading was carried out by Mayor Angtelo Tsirekas , City of Canada Bay  and he also spoke of his friendship with Rusty. Second Reading was carried out by Major-General Gordon Maitland AO OBE ED (Rtd)

Prayers of Intercession was read by Mr. Sumasy Singin OBE - Consul General of Papua New Guinea and Mr Gary Juffa MP , Governor of the Oro Province, PNG who had flown down the previous day to attend this Service, both having known Rusty and what he had done for the Kokoda Track.

Tribute was then given by the Hon. Charlie Lynn MLC, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans Affairs and who himself is also a Vietnam Veteran. When he was one of the first advised of Rusty's passing, he contacted the Prime Minister, The Hon. Mr. Tony Abbott and the Premier of NSW, the Hon. Barry O'Farrell advising that a State Funeral would be fitting for Rusty for what he has done for all within the RSL, Veterans Association etc.

A Poem was then Read by Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie AC DSC CSM Rtd who I thought was so fitting.

It is the Soldier

It is the Soldier - not the Minister

Who has given us the freedom of religion

It is the Soldier, not the reporter

Who has given us the freedom of press

It is the Soldier, not the poet

Who has given us the freedom of speech

It is the Soldier, not the campus organiser

Who has given us the freedom to protest


It is the Soldier, not the lawyer

Who has given us the right to a fair trial

It is the Soldier, not the politician

Who has given us the right to vote

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag

Who serves beneath the flag

And whose coffin is draped by the flag

Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.

This was followed by the Laying of a Wreath at the Tomb of the Fallen Soldier - Cathedral Memorial. Mr. Don Rowe OAM President of the NSW RSL carried out this Service and he was escorted by two guards from the Hyde Park Memorial. The Ode was then Recited  and The Last Post , One Minutes Silence and then Rouse.


All were then asked to remain standing as a Platoon from the RAR slowed marched in to a beat from of a Army Bandman's and a Corporal carrying a red cushion bearing his Awards and Medals.

The Casket was then borne outside where Gun Carriage was awaiting, NSW Mounted Police Horse contingent, a Platoon of 30 RAR personnel in front and behind the Gun Carriage a platoon of 12 RAR personnel with weapons, all the VIP's and Family vehicles and a then NSW Police Motor Bikes .

We all made our way to the RSL Memorial at Hyde Park, within a easy walking distance. When the Gun Carriage arrived a Piper played the Lament , then a Prayer for the Fallen was Recited , The Ode was then given by Mr John Haines AM , State Vice President of the NSW RSL and also the Chairman of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway.  The Last Post , One Minutes Silence, Rouse and then the 12 RAR personnel fired a volley of 3 shots over the coffin. Prayers were then Read by Father Malone and then the Song of Farewell which then completed the Service

Having met Rusty on a few occasions, I felt very proud to have been invited to attend.

Lest We Forget

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM

President RANCBA - NSW



The Basin Revisited

I was watching the ships sail into the harbour this morning and it reminded me of another smaller event in Singapore in the 70's. I found this great photo and thought it would look good on the MSO or QSO site.

"Pick the year. I was there, were you"?

Phil Butler

PS. Is that the flavoured milk man front left? Oh, I loved those milks in the morning.


Fm Phil Roy:
Phil Butler's item of 4 Oct 13 asks us to 'pick the year' of the great photo of the Basin in Singapore.  I wasn't there when this photo was taken, but I would make a guess of 1975.  My guess is based on the RN frigate on the right and the 3 station wagons together on the wharf.  The Leander class frigate is an Ikara conversion and they did not come off the line until 1973/74.  I think the station wagons are Holden HQs which would put my guess of 1975 close to the mark.

Fm Trevor Dickinson:
Just read Phil Roy's correct pick of the year of Phil Butlers photo of Sembawang Basin.  It was my first posting to Vamps. We had previously sailed at full speed from Freo to Darwin to await Government instructions following the first East Timor invasion. (was it really 38 years ago?).

Fm Fred Goddard:
Here's another photo to go next to Phil Butler's Taken from a different position, you can see Diamantina or Gascoyne being moved into place by the Tug. Phil Roy is correct. I joined Vendetta in Darwin. Vendetta and Vampire were on standby for the problems they were having in Timor. Nothing happened and we joined the other ships when the exercise was over. Noel Ellis was the CRS on Vendetta, there's an Aussie Oberon in the foreground.

Fm Dick Treasure:
I suggest the photo is 1974 as I took the very same photo while based at Kranji. I left 9 Sigs Regt (ANZUK FORCE) late 74, to LEEUWIN dee Mar 75.  3 of my old ships are in the photo, that's why I had so much interest (Diamantina, Vendetta and Swan), also an interest in the O boat in the foreground, as I spent time at Platypus and watchkept with the submariners there. (the late Dennis Money and I shared a flat in N.Sydney in those days).

ABC TV to broadcast Fleet Review Spectacular live

In a major television event, ABC TV will broadcast the FLEET REVIEW SPECTACULAR, the finale event of the Royal Australian Navy International Fleet Review, live-to-air* on Saturday October 5 at 7.30pm on ABC1, ABCNews24 and online via ABC iview.

The Royal Australian Navy International Fleet Review is one of the largest and most exciting public events held on Sydney Harbour since the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

The jewel in the crown is a fireworks and lightshow spectacular – the most complex, highly choreographed fireworks, projection, lighting and live action show ever seen in Australia, and centres around Sydney’s famous Harbour and Opera House.

The ABC will capture all the action from the best vantage points on land, sea and air, including from the deck of HMAS Sydney, and from two helicopters above the harbour.

Hosted by Stephanie Brantz, you’ll see Sydney Harbour come alive as never before in a 30-minute show that celebrates over 100 years of proud history of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and in particular, commemorates the original seven warships that entered Sydney Harbour in 1913.

Fireworks will be launched from city rooftops, barge positions from Cockatoo Island to Fort Denison, the Harbour Bridge, and for the first time ever, from the decks of RAN warships. This will all be joined by a lightshow from land, warships and Harbour Bridge positions, and a full projection show on the Opera House sails, Harbour Bridge pylons and National Maritime Museum roof telling the history of the Royal Australian Navy.

Live action scenes will also take place on and off ships and support boats, plus choreographed fly-overs from Navy and Air Force aircraft. The entire show will be choreographed to a soundtrack created in collaboration with the Royal Australian Navy’s Director of Music, Lieutenant Commander Paul Cottier.

The fireworks and lightshow spectacular will be a show that Sydney and the world will never forget.

“We are delighted that ABC television will broadcast the International Fleet Review Spectacular enabling millions of Australians across the country to be a part of this historic national event which commemorates 100 years since the arrival of the first Royal Australian Navy ships into Sydney Harbour,” said Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Ray Griggs.

*ABC1 broadcast live-to-air in eastern states only. Live nationally on ABCNews24 and iview. Also available for catch-up on iveiw.

Published on ABC website 29/09 - forwarded by Ray Davis.


September 2013 Entries:

Change to Daylight Saving

A reminder for all those attending the IFR.

Daylight saving will begin again in NSW on Sunday, 6 October 2013, when clocks will go forward one hour at 2:00 am.

Daylight saving ends in NSW on Sunday, 6 April 2014, when clocks go back one hour at 3:00 am.


50th Anniversary Embarkation Commemoration

To all that served in the FESR during the Indonesian - Borneo Confrontation.  Please consider if you wish to attend the Service.

Follow this link for more information.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

IFR Update

The following received for all who will be attending the IFR in Sydney.

Allan Moffatt
President RANCBA NSW

Subject: International Fleet Review Update [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]


Hello Friends of the Royal Australian Navy Band,

It is just over two weeks to go now before approximately 40 warships and 16 tall ships arrive for one of the biggest commemorative events Navy has put on since the first Royal Australian Navy Fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour in 1913.

We are excited to announce that we are expecting to feature four visiting international bands, as well as all six detachments of our own Royal Australian Navy Band, the TS HOBART Naval Cadet Band and the Royal Australian Navy Band Veterans Band. Visiting from overseas will be Her Majesty's Royal Marines Band from Plymouth, UK, the Royal New Zealand Navy Band, the Indian Navy Band and a Nigerian Navy Band. Whatever your tastes - ceremonial, classical, jazz, rock, or dixie - there will be something for everyone at all the top locations around Sydney Harbour and beyond.

We have put together a massive program of Band performances at all the major events and locations of the International Fleet Review, and a copy is attached for your information. However, things are still changing by the minute and the most up to date details (as well as lots of other information) can be found on the International Fleet Review website or by downloading the IFR app .

For those who prefer something in hard copy, an Information Pack can be obtained by completing and returning the attached Mailing List form.

Other ways to find out all about what is going on are by calling the IFR Hotline (8.30am - 4.00pm, Monday to Friday), on 1800 815 652, or pick up an Event Guide available from this week in all the major tourist outlets around the City area.

Bring your family, friends, your cameras, hats and sunscreen for some great days out, but plan to use public transport, as parking at all the venues is virtually non-existent and there will be road closures.

Looking forward to catching up with you all somewhere during this fantastic week of celebrations.

Cathy Wainwright
Leading Seaman Musician
National Public Relations Manager
Royal Australian Navy Band

Tel: (02) 9359 2618; Fax: (02) 9359 2609


IFR Memorial Coffee Cruise & BBQ 6th October 2013

As you have all been waiting for a final decision of this particular function of the IFR, I now have glad news.  Before I go any further, I would like to thank Brian Gray and Ken Swain for their great help and expertise in making this happen.

As previously advised, suggest you all pay outstanding money if necessary for the Memorial Coffee cruise which is $20, and the cruise will now be extended for another 2 hours, and the cost will covered by the NSW Chapter and for this also will be with sausage salad rolls etc incl beer, wine and soft drinks.

We had intended to use the BBQ facilities on GI at the base of the old Signal Station, but the Navy had advised us, they would prefer us to find another facility as the Island will be open for Ship's Visitors and with the expected numbers of the public, and no private vehicle traffic this is quite understandable.

I also did note that the NWPS (State Govt) were advising about the facilities on Goat Island, Shark Island etc but there was a cost involved and would not suit our needs.

Therefore as we had committed to Hosting this function, we have been able to do it this way with the help from Brian Gray.

Those that had advised that will be taking part on this cruise , please make your payment if necessary for this cruise and any queries, please don't hesitate to contact me ASAP.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt
President RANCBA NSW


At 11.30 on Wed 9th October 2013 there is a Parade through Sydney CBD from contingents of all RAN and visiting warships. As this is the IFR Parade to commemorate the arrival of the first ships of the Royal Australian Navy, they will also have contingents from Associations of the "Magnificent Seven", HMAS Australia, Sydney, Melbourne, Yarra, Parramatta, Warrego and Encounter.

To bolster the numbers they will require approx 40 Navy Vets (older) type to make up the numbers. White/grey/no hair would be a great credential !!!!

This is not a ANZAC Day March, and only 20 in each contingent.  Also no wheel chairs or carers, it wont be a long march but you have to be able to complete the march by yourself at normal pace, so no help.

All those that are in Sydney on that particular day, could you contact me ASAP and I will send all details.  Also as females were not part of the RAN at that period, unfortunately we cannot let you participate.

Therefore I have been asked if any Communicator would like to fill up a few “blanks” in the mostly WWII participating Assns... Again.. Names of volunteers to me asap.

Dress as per ANZAC Day – Jacket, tie and medals.
Allan Moffatt
President RANCBA NSW

Seeking Alan 'Bluey' Phillips - ex CY

Can You Help. I have received the following email and hoping that someone maybe able to assist. I do remember Blue Phillips as a Yeoman, but I had not seen or heard from him for many, many years. Therefore if anyone can help.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt
President RANCBA NSW

G’day Shorty,

Les Thurgood suggested I contact you as you may have some info about my old boyhood friend Alan (Bluey) Phillips. He did 9 years and paid off as a Yeoman in 1969. His ON was R57513. I remember that because we joined together and his was 10 more than mine. I always reckoned he was an OD because of that.

He went to Antarctica for a while after he paid off and then joined the Commonwealth cops. I know he served with them, in Darwin and Canberra. I lost track of him many years ago and wonder if you have any knowledge of him.

Allen Lyne

Author of Lost—The Stories of All Ships Lost by the RAN


International Fleet Review - Additional Payment

I have received two messages regarding the harbour will be in "lock down" and unfortunately the Cruise company have to cover costs.
There is nothing that we can do regarding this.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW  -----

Subject: Royal Australian Navy Centenary Lunch Cruise - 1 hour cruise extension l $15 additional payment required.

Dear Sir / Madam,


You would be aware from the message in your most recent association newsletter that the Navy & Waterway’s Authorities, conscious of security and vessel movement, intend to ‘lock down’ the harbour for a certain period of time for the International Fleet Review.  


No vessels will be permitted to transit east of the Harbour Bridge after 1030 nor can vessels leave their viewing point, which has been allocated by the Navy Command until 1430. 

When your association first became aware of this event the information promulgated for the Fleet Review was from 1100 until 1400. Using experience from the Navy’s 75th anniversary they felt a cruise duration  departing 1030 returning 1430 would be ample time, the cruise was then costed on this basis, a 4 hour cruise inclusive of beverages (beer, wine, soft drink) for the duration of the cruise. 

Representatives of your associations have been negotiating intensively with both the Navy and Waterways to have the vessels with association members excluded from this ruling so that the cruise remains a 4 hour cruise with no requirement to extend the cruise. However, we have now been advised that the final decision is that we have to comply with the lockdown, no exception will be granted and the cruise will need to be extended by an hour (now 5 hour cruise). This cruise extension and additional charge, is for no other reason than to comply with those  orders issued by the Navy Command.


We sincerely regret, due to this cruise extension and our inability to absorb this additional cost we must now increase the price of this cruise by $15 per guest for the additional hour of cruise and the beverages. 


Your invoice will be adjusted for the additional $15 per guest. We would greatly appreciate it if you would call our reservation office and bring your accounts up to date (including any guests who have already paid in full).


Revised itinerary as follows:

Saturday 5th October – International Fleet Review Luncheon Cruise

Boarding: 0945

Departs: 1000

Returns: 1500

Please exchange your confirmation for a boarding pass (1 per booking) at our Australian Cruise group office located opposite King Street Wharf 5, Sydney. Full payment is required prior to the cruise and issue of boarding pass.


We look forward to welcoming you on board.


Kind regards,

Sarah Bennett 

Dear Sir / Madam,


You would be aware from the message in your most recent association newsletter that the Navy & Waterway’s Authorities, conscious of security and vessel movement, intend to ‘lock down’ the harbour for a certain period of time (for day and night activities) for the International Fleet Review.  


All vessels must be stationary in position in the designated exclusion zone by 1830. The exclusion zone is in the vicinity of Shark Island which will require the vessels to depart King Street Wharf at 1730 due to the speed restrictions and the expected congestion. The exclusion zone will be lifted at 2100 with a respected return at King Street Wharf at 2130.


This has necessitated us to extend the cruise by 30 minutes at each end of the cruise. The new cruise duration will be 4 hours.


We sincerely regret, due to this unforeseen cruise extension and our inability to absorb this additional cost we must now increase the price of this cruise by $15 per guest for the additional hour of cruise and the beverages for the duration.


Your invoice will be adjusted for the additional $15 per guest. We would greatly appreciate it if you would call our reservation office and bring your accounts up to date (including any guests who have already paid in full).


Revised itinerary as follows:

Saturday 5th October – International Fleet Review Dinner Cruise

Boarding: 1730

Departs: 1745

Returns: 2130

Please exchange your confirmation for a boarding pass (1 per booking) at our Australian Cruise group office located opposite King Street Wharf 5, Sydney. Full payment is required prior to the cruise and issue of boarding pass.


We look forward to welcoming you on board.


Kind regards,

Sarah Bennett 

Sarah Bennett

Executive Manager – Domestic Sales

P: 02 8296 7202 | M: 0421 393 896

32 The Promenade | King Street Wharf 5

Sydney | NSW, 2000 | Australia


Mystery Photo - HMAS VOYAGER

The caption on the back of the mystery photo reads “Angie, Ruth and Shirley looking over HMAS Voyager at the Melbourne Wharf”.

The Voyager commissioned 12.2.1957, the girls joined in January 1957 and Angie now has her ORD TEL rating suggesting the photo may have been late 1957, Melbourne Cup long weekend with visiting R.A.N. ships perhaps. Angela Vincent and Shirley Higgs both joined from W.A. and Ruth’s surname is sought. It looks like Shin (Sp!) but have not been able to find it in the archives. (Later confirmed as Shinn).

If he is a SIG and not just a stand in for the navy publicity photo shoot, who is the lad showing them the intricacies of operating a 10” light ?

Sandy McNab


Vale Douglas Quentin "Jungles" Ryan R57608 - (ex CY)

Ray Davis advises the sad news that Doug "Jungle Jim" Ryan crossed the bar on Monday 09 September in the West.  The information was posted on the HMAS HOBART website.  May he rest in peace.

From the Archives:
Douglas Quentin Ryan, DOB 9.12.1942.  Joined RAN 16.01.1961 DEE 15.01.1973 after 12 years service.
Postings:  CERBERUS 61-62, VENDETTA 62-64, HARMAN (LTO) 64-65, CERBERUS 65-66, MELBOURNE (A/CY) 66-67, HOBART (CY) 67-68, CERBERUS 69-70, TORRENS 71-72, DEE 1973.

Jungles Ryan between Bill Huggins & John Rowe

Lest We Forget

Fm Dave Sutherland:

Sad to read the news of Yeo's passing. He was my first at sea Yeoman, on the HOBART on the 2nd Vietnam deployment in 1968.

Always hard to wake him when we (the TOs) went to shake him. In hindsight, given the hours he put in, it was no surprise he was hard to wake up.

Whilst much fact, fable, and, fiction, has been written of Yeomen of Signals, and, the obligation to wait upon the CO, the hours he put in, along with late CO Ken Shands, was horrific, even in that environment.

Most of the Yeo's time was spent in the Ops Room, coming "outside" for the many RAS's we did - from memory, we had one every 72 hours - night and day.

Linking the above duties and hours to a lengthy period at sea (the longest being around 40 days - late July, all of August, and early September), Jungle, along with the rest of that crew, more than earned their tax free dollars.

RIP Yeo - we will all see in safe harbour.

Tactical Operator HMAS HOBART (SEP 1967 to OCT 1968)

Fm Nev Phillips:

Funeral arrangements for Doug Ryan

Funeral will be held Tuesday 17th Sept, 1100, Bethany Chapel, Prior Street, Albany WA.

I first met Doug when HMAS Hobart returned from second deployment, he was only onboard for a short time but in that time he impressed this little "wet behind the ears" TO, and I had the pleasure of catching up with him during one to two reunions. One of nature's gentlemen, and will be sorely missed.  Smooth seas.

Fm Kevin Luke:

Had some great times with Jungle during his service.

I was serving in Vampire in 1975 and whilst alongside in Hong Kong, I had a call from the QM to say there was a bloke enquiring if there were any old communicators onboard? Not sure why I got the call.

I went to the brow to find Jungle looking like a lost soul. He embraced me like the prodigal son so I had no choice but to rescue him from civvy street and take him to the Chief's Mess for some light entertainment. Of course I turned off the tap when it became evident that further indulgence would have limited his ability to exit in a businesslike manner. Besides stocks were running low and he only came to say G'day if he found someone he knew.

It was a wonderful unscheduled and unexpected meeting and one I remember fondly. He never did thank me for the hospitality; though he was a bit speechless towards the end.

Jim was a great bloke, a friend; and I can only but wish his family sincere best wishes.


FNSA - IFR Update

Would all attending the International Fleet Review (IFR) or if you are still making up your mind, please read the link below as this is very important with the time factor of the cruises.  More information will be following.

Follow this link for the latest information.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW


Royal Marine Band Concert in Sydney

I have received the following and for information if anyone is interested.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW.


I am hoping that you will by now have a had a copy of my earlier e mail to Jim Hutton and others advertising the Royal Marine Band Concert in Sydney on Wed 9th Oct 

The concert has been arranged by the High Commission, with sponsorship from British Airways (without whom we would have been unable to afford to fly the Band over from UK). Tickets seem to be selling reasonably well, over 300 so far, and we have not yet started advertising – so it’s all word of mouth. I will be there in my official capacity hosting senior guests, so I hope to see you there. Can you pass this on as widely as possible on the Royal Marine Assn net?

Brigadier W J Taylor OBE RM
Defence and Naval Adviser


RANCBA Regional Reunion

Could you please post the following link which is to a 14min video diary of the recent RANCBA Regional Reunion that was held at Anglesea Victoria.

Gary Swanton

Subject: Press Comment on proposal to move Navy out of Fleet Base East at Garden Island

From: RSL National President

Good afternoon colleagues,

I have given a TV interview to Channel 7 in which I have said that the RSL does not support the proposal by the PM made today at the Lowy Institute to establish a high level review into moving Navy out of Garden Island Dockyard Sydney.

I tried to get the point across that there were much higher priorities for Defence funding than this proposal.

Mention was also made of the intention to release our Defence Paper this coming Friday.

As this was a recorded interview it will likely be edited.



Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (Retd)
National President
The Returned and Services League of Australia Ltd
GPO Box 303
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

IFR-October - Accommodation in the CBD.

This concerns accommodation in Sydney CBD during the International Fleet Review. It would be a good idea for those coming to contact these hotels.

Noticed on page 7 of the latest Seniors paper that Metro Hotels are offering days or packages for accommodation. Locations are Metro Sydney Central and Metro Apartments Darling Harbour.

Accommodation will be tight.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Dave Down (ex RS) at work on the key as VK5BUG

8 members from the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society recently made the pilgrimage to Kangaroo Island for the 2013 Remembrance Day contest (as VK5BAR, the club callsign) and International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (as VK5CWL, special event callsign).

Dave (Doc/VK5BUG) operated both events all day Sunday 18th August & is shown in the video clip ''at work'' with his ex-carving knife Cootie Key (sidewanker) - posted for nostalgia. Bless the good old hacksaw blades from yesteryear!

Here is the You Tube link…..



Kev Ruwoldt sends:

The attachment was recently published in the Redcliffe Bayside Herald which I thought was very interesting but also ties in with the recent National Reunion held in Brisbane (9th April 2013). Also the smaller photos indicate the first RSL building on the Redcliffe Peninsular. The Palace Hotel was where the Bee Gees started out playing for drinks.

There is an elderly gentleman recently passed away who made a model of the HMQS Gayundah and apparently donated to the Redcliffe Museum. Will endeavour to visit the museum and take a photo and forward later.

Regards to you all,


August 2013 Entries:

Vale - Ex Chief Yeoman Raymond John Hartam R34447

Sadly I have to advise of the passing of Ex Chief Yeoman Ray "Lofty" Hartam.

I have just arrived home from a meeting and there was a message on phone recorder from his wife Pat. Unfortunately it is pretty broken up as she is very upset and quite understandable.  Appears he passed away suddenly on Tuesday 27 August.

Ray was doing his Yeoman's course when I was at HMAS CERBERUS and he was one of the Leading Hands when all the Communicators lived in the big C Block , top floor. He was quite a character when he was duty L/hand, at 'wakey wakey' he would stand beside your bed (there were 23 of us in the one room) and would say, ARE YOU GETTING OUT, or DO I HAVE TO JOIN YOU IN BED??

Have you ever heard 23 pair of legs hitting the wooden floor at the same time.!!!

The Funeral Service for Ray Hartam will be held at the Bowden Family Funeral Chapel, 365 Pacific Highway, Wyong, on Tuesday, 3rd September, commencing at 11.00am.

Sadly another one has left us
"Rest in Peace"
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW
Lest We Forget. 

Fm the Archives:

Raymond John Hartam R34447, DOB 9.1.1930.  Joined RAN 10.3.1947, Discharged 27.8.1963.  Postings, CERBERUS, WARRAMUNGA, ALBATROSS, ANZAC (L/SIG 1952), TOBRUK, CERBERUS, BARCOO, SYDNEY (A/YEO SIG 1955),  QUADRANT, CERBERUS, HUON, MELBOURNE (CCY 1959), KUTTABUL.


John Balcomb - Sick Bay Report

Today Doug Conn, Pedro Franklin and Bob Cody went to visit JB in the Wesley Hospital. Earlier this week JB was diagnosed with a Glioma (Tumor) on the brain. It is worse case scenario with prognosis months rather than years. He starts a 7 week course of radiation and chemo on Monday but whether this does any good is yet to be seen.

He's in relatively good spirits given the news to both him and his family.

Please pass this on to anyone that you think should be made aware.

Sad news, our thoughts and best wishes are with John & his family.

Fm Rod Beckinsale:

John was a WORS and was commissioned into the LD stream. He definitely made it to Commander and did a fair bit of reserve time in that rank. Whether he got any higher than that I'm not sure, but I don't think so.

John spent a lot of time trying to keep his body fit and healthy, but the “dirty dancer” clearly has no respect for his efforts. I’ve only seen John a couple of times since I paid off; last was a few years ago for a cup of coffee in Caloundra where we came across him and Ricky at the shops.

He will be well remembered as a good guy who was totally dedicated to the job and achieved a great deal. Sad news, but it hasn’t got him yet; I know he will put up a great fight and we can only hope he wins.

Fm Trev Dickinson:

I'm very sorry to read that John Balcomb is not well and with a 'dodgy' prognosis. JB may not have been a bloke with whom I saw 'eye to eye' often but he is certainly a bloke whose knowledge and professionalism I always admired and respected. He deserves to win.

Fm Bob York:

Very sad news about John. I only served with John once, when he was my killick on HMAS Vendetta for her last up top deployment prior to her half-life modernisation refit.  John was always full of humour, but kept his boys on the straight and narrow with a fair hand. I followed his career through Navy News and other RAN sources and have always been proud to have been mentored by him in my days as an RO on Vendetta. I wish John and his family all the best wishes in this, his most important battle. I am sure he will tackle this episode in life with all the spirit and courage with which he has conducted his life up until the present. Take care John.

Fm Tony Froome:

Very sorry to hear about JB's condition. I spoke briefly to Ricky about a week ago when I first heard about him. We went through some very good times and not so good times professionally and personally. I served with John on and off from around 1980-2000 in every rank from LSRO to WORS. He was my RS when I was a killick on Swan, my CPO and later WO when I was a PO and CPO at Harman and as Deputy Director Maritime Communications when I was FWORS at MHQ in the 90's. I have many fond memories of good times and laughs with him. It wasn't always plain sailing as he was a stickler for getting things right. His motto for signals was draftit, check it, check the thing again and then re-check it, then send it. Eventually I got to the stage where I could just about draft a signal in "Balcomb speak". I remember at Navcommsta Canberra when I managed to get about 10 out of 200 odd signals released without any changes by JB. Barry Dau and Sonny OHara couldn't believe it!! I think Bob York hit it on the head. He was not just a boss or a mate but a real mentor. Work hard but play harder. At one stage at Harman I started ringing him at 0300 from the Ship Room just to tell him that everything was going well. Did this two night watches in a row. Next cycle I rang again and Ricky answered the phone "John knew you were on watch so he switched the phone to my side of the bed"...That was end of that!!  I'm hoping to get up to Brisbane once JBs well enough for visitors after his initial chemo. Good Luck John Boy, I'll know you'll give this your best shot.

Fm Meg Haensel-Fuss:

Can you please pass on my very best to John and Ricky Balcomb, and I am sure that John will do his utmost best to come out in front.

My first posting to Coonawarra, for Navcommsta Darwin was OCT77-NOV79, (as a SWRROT), and we were still out at Shoal Bay down in the back corner behind the ‘S’ rates and John was my PORS for most of that period. John was certainly a good and fair boss to work for, I learnt a lot from him and we even had some laughs on watch, so thank you John and all the very best.

Fm Kevin Rollins:

I just read the sad news about John and wish him and Ricky all the best. This is the first time i have been on the RANCBA website for years and may be the last if I am greeted with terrible news. I was fortunate to work for John on more than one occasion the last time at NCS Darwin back in 1995. John was a wealth of knowledge and you couldn't help learn so much from him. Fortunate for me a lot of that time learning was with a cold VB in our hands. I never in my 20 years met a man that was so dedicated to the comms world and if he shows half the dedication to getting through this current illness then he is bound to pull out the other side. John managed to piss some people of over the years but he knew that and even better "he just didn't care" John all the best. Keep fighting - its worth it.

Fm Keith 'Tug' Wilson:

Very sobering to hear of John Balcomb's plight with the tumour. Was fortunate to serve with John on the Supply in late 60's and enjoyed many runs ashore with him and Bomber to the Brooklyn and other haunts around that part of Sydney. Fitness wasn't his big thing then but it wasn't with any of us, more important things to do. Saw him at Harman many years later when he was a in charge of Comms out there. Always great company and a good laugh, a gentleman at a very young age. As I have not seen an update I assume that the prognosis may be a better one. I sincerely hope so. Best wishes to John and the family.

Update from Wayne Roots - 27 October:

JB has just completed a 6 week course of Chemo and Radiation. He's not feeling too flash at present. At this stage it's unknown as to whether his status is as a result of coming off the treatment or it hasn't had much success. The next step is some further tests on 11 Nov where it's hoped the situation may be a little clearer. John is aware, and very much appreciative, of the kind thoughts and wishes of his shipmates.


Vale Neville Philp F2923 (ex Tel)

Sandy McNab sends…..

I wish to advise the recent passing of Neville Philp as reported in this morning’s The West Australian (August 22nd).

Neville and his late wife Trixie attended the ’99 National Reunion along with a large group of local West Aussie ex-Communicators at the Anzac Day luncheon after the City march.

Neville enlisted as an ORD TEL in 1939 for duration of hostilities and was de-mobilised here at HMAS Leeuwin in 1945.

In conversation with Neville before the reunion I was quite interested in some of his photographic memorabilia to perhaps display, and in viewing same I learnt that one of his postings was with the second group to man the lesser known Stony Hill Signal Station south of Albany overlooking the great Southern ocean. There is now a memorial plaque at the original W/T Aerial mast site with the names of the original group depicted and I believe he was instrumental with some other lads in arranging its dedication.

From the Archives…..

Neville Philp F2923 dob 16/9/1921

Enlisted 7.12.1939 and demobilised 18.12.1945

His six years of war service postings included Cerberus, Leeuwin, Melville, Torrens, Penguin, and finally back to Leeuwin. An apparent small ships Communicator, his sea drafts included the HMAS Bonthorpe, HMAS Olive Cam, HMAS King Bay, HMAS Heros and HMAS Mercedes on repeated occasions. Smoother seas now Nev. RIP.


Regional Reunion #2 (16-18Aug13) & Vietnam Veterans Day Service

Some 35 members and their partners made their way to the Big4 Anglesea Holiday Park ( for the 2nd of our regional reunions, the 1st being held in Echuca last year. The Holiday Park is managed by member, ex CPORS John Nokka White and his partner Rachel and they both did a stirling job in making us all welcome. The caravaners among the group included, Ray and Sharon Mundy, Karen and Kel Nagle, Ian Broadsmith and Gayle and Reg Robins all set up their sites for the weekend and others found themselves utilising excellent cabin accommodation. Friday evening saw a meet and greet held at the Holiday Park and some members going into Anglesea for dinner while the remainder stayed at the park for a few beverages and to swap some warries.

Saturday morning arrived and a coach tour of Lorne and surrounding areas had been arranged. The day was spent walking around Lorne, visiting a nature park where some members made some bird friends and it was also where Rod Withers thanked Nokka for arranging the sound activated Koalas that were seen in up in the trees - they didn't move unless there was some sound.

Another highlight of the weekend was the group lunch at Paul Freestones 60's style Diner. Here you will find some replica cars from the American 60's restored to pristine condition, the food was excellent, with the Wurlitzer jukebox blaring out some Elvis tunes, the only thing missing was the girls on the roller skates, but I think they weren't too far away. If you ever find yourself in the area, you have to check this place out - website is

Saturday evening saw a roast dinner beautifully prepared and presented by the owners of the Holiday Park, however, prior to the meal, Nokka screen a video about the Battle of Australia, of course this told the story of when Japan bombed Darwin. The video was well received by all that attended and was timely noting that Gary Swanton will shortly be participating in a ceremony in Melbourne to remember this occasion.

Vietnam Veterans Day Service

As part of the weekends activities, the RANCBA (Vic) committee had contacted Anglesea RSL to see if they had anything planned for to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day, as it turned out nothing had been arranged. Rod Withers took the lead and with the assistance of the RSL a service was conducted. All RANCBA (Vic) members in attendance were fallen in outside the Holiday Park and marched the short distance to the RSL where around 20 or so locals including a couple of local veterans were waiting for us.

The wind was howling as the service began and rain threatened a number of times throughout the service. Ray Mundy, Nokka White and Ian Broadsmith battled on to contain the colours. Rod conducted the service and member Ex CPORS Graham Bence placed a wreath on behalf of the RANCBA. Rod also told those gathered about Operation Sea Dragon an in particular the RAN's involvement in the Vietnam conflict.

On completion of the service, a brunch was held in the RSL and this also served as a wrap-up of the regional reunion. All-in-all it was a fantastic weekend with many friends catching up over a few drinks. Another Regional reunion is planned early next year so stay tuned for details.

Don't forget that any interested members can still join in on the inaugural RANCBA Cruise to be held in March 2014, 125 have signed on to date but there still plenty of room for more. Cruise details can be found on

Gary Swanton
Beautiful Lorne along the Great Ocean Road
Ray Mundy can still get the birds.

The group having lunch at the 60's Diner
Rod and Jan Withers enjoying lunch.
The group having dinner on Saturday night
at the Big4 Anglesea Holiday Park.
RANCBA (Vic) President, CMDR Rod Withers, PO Gary Swanton and Leut Kel Nagle at the Vietnams Veterans day service at Anglesea RSL.

 Ex CPORS Graham Bence prepares to lay
the wreath on behalf of the RANCBA at the
Vietnam Veterans Day Service at Anglesea RSL.
RANCBA (Vic) members marching towards Anglesea RSL for the Vietnam Veterans Day Service.
RANCBA (Vic) Colour Party
L-R, John White, Ray Mundy and Ian Broadsmith.
CMDR Rod Withers conducted the service.

Ex CPORS Graham Bence, lays a wreath
at the service on behalf of the RANCBA.
Post service brunch at the RSL.
Group pic at Anglesea RSL
post Vietnam Veterans Day Service.
Local Vietnam Veteran presenting a book
to CMDR Rod Withers.


Vale Coralie Anne McKinnon W85206 (ex WRRO (S))

Sadly, Coralie McKinnon (nee Stephens) passed away on Thursday, 15th August.

The Service will be held at the Faulconbridge, Lower Blue Mountains Salvation Church on Friday 23rd August, Francis Street, commencing at 12 noon.

There will be a RSL Tribute and also a Tribute from the Order of St John for the work that Coralie had done for raising money for charity, at the St Vincents Hospital Charity shop.

Lest we Forget
Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Fm the Archives:
Coralie Anne Stephens, DOB 11.07.42, joined WRANS 7.11.60 for 4 years.  Discharged on marriage 9.2.63.  Postings to Cerberus, Harman (61-63).  

Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Memorial Day 2013

This Service was held at Springwood on Sunday, 11th August  which also was the 47th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - 18th August 1966. It also incorporates BCOF, Korea, Malaya, Borneo_Indonesian Confrontation, Vietnam, International Coalition Against Terrorism, Peace Keeping & Peace Keeping Operations, and the Skippy Squadron (these were QANTAS personnel who carried troops to Vietnam and then brought home medivac personnel).  The RANCBA, as in previous years, were invited to participate.

Springwood put on a great day weather-wise , but saying that the following day, unfortunately strong winds caused some damage in that area.

Those participating started arriving to form in on Macquarie Road, adjacent to the Fire Station. There were many from different Associations and all well turned out. The March was led by NSW Police Motor Bikes, followed by the NSW Police Mounted Horse with music supplied by differing Bands. Springwood Salvation Army Band, Lithgow Highland Pipe Band to name a couple.

On passing the Dais, the Guest of Honour Lieut. Colonel Gary McKay MC (Rtd) took the Salute, here he was accompanied by different VIP's, and from there, with all contingents making their way to the area for the Wreath/Book Laying Service.  Here the Master of Ceremonies Major Richard Adams APM RFD Rtd took over, and all were asked to stand whilst the Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies supplied by the Federation Guard took post etc. The MC introduced the GOH, Lt.Col Gary McKay who addressed all. He had been a National Service Officer who had been Awarded the Military Cross whilst serving with 4RAR in Vietnam and stayed on in the Army, attaining the rank of Lt.Col and became Commanding Officer of the 8th/9th RAR.

We were then addressed by the new Patron of the BMVV & Associated Forces, Lt.Col Nerolie McDonald, a very young person who is a Operational Veteran of East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. She is certainly a very young and highly talented person. On completion of her address, she spoke in Vietnamese. I was seated in front of approximately 35 Vietnamese Nationals and they were amazed and cheered her. They couldn't believe that she spoke so fluently in their native language.

Chaplain Lt Col Colin Aiken OAM RFD, Senior Chaplain AACHQ Canberra, Australian Army led all in Prayers.  From there the Laying of Wreaths/Books took place followed by the Lament, Nash's Lament played by Mr John Cambridge, Lithgow Highland Pipe Band .  Followed by the ODE Recited by the President of the BMVV, the Last Post, a Minutes Silence then following Rouse, the Hymn, Amazing Grace sung by Winmalee High School Vocal Group. I might add that the 2 Buglers/Trumpeters from Winmalee High School played the Last Post & Rouse and were very good.  Benediction by Chaplain Aiken, and the National Anthem of Australia sung by all with gusto.

All were requested to remain standing whilst the Catafalque Party dismounted.  The President then invited all to attend The Beating of Retreat to be held later that afternoon preformed by the Lithgow Highland Pipe Band, also were invited to a Reception being held at the Royal Hotel.

Some in attendance, Mrs Roza Sage , who many may remember as the Parliamentary Host at the FNSA Luncheon 2 years ago, Mrs Louise Markus MP , Member for Macquarie, Communicators, Ray & Sharon Mundy, Tony Froome, Rick & Jan Easom, Andy & Jan Mills, Don Ferguson, Diana Avent, Liz Watts, Dave & Di Kelleher, Frank Lawton, Shorty. Our Mini Banner was carried by 2 Air Training Cadets, Michael Stubbins, & Ben Moussa.

It is a very well conducted and attended Memorial Service and I would recommend, if possible you attend. The Reception was excellent, with food, beverages and entertainment!!

Allan " Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW


On what could only be called a beautiful day, with its sweeping view of Sydney Harbour looking towards Watson, a Reception was held at Government House, Sydney, on Sunday 18th August 2013 for Vietnam Veterans, which is also the 47th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

Here Members from the 3 Services, people who had been part of the Entertainment in Vietnam, Members of the Skippy Squadron (they were QANTAS people who flew troops to Vietnam and Medivaced wounded home), plus some Parliamentary Hosts all met.

The Premier of NSW, The Hon. Barry O'Farrell welcomed all and gave a nice speech for all and this was responded to by Dave McCann who is the current President Vietnam Veterans Association NSW. Speeches were kept to a minimum as it was a day to meet old friends, partake of an ale or other refreshments.

Many had the pleasure of meeting Mrs Roza Sage, MP who was our Parliamentary Host at a Federation of Naval Ships Assn Luncheon a couple of years ago, but she had also joined with ex Communicators at the Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans & Associated Service at Springwood the previous Sunday. Also The Hon. Victor Dominello MP who has a lot of contact with ex Service people.

A great day and which I believe, was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Communicators in attendance RADM Guy Griffiths, Ken Swain, Rick Easom, John (Dinny) Reeves, RADM Rothesay Swan, Allan (Shorty) Moffatt, Frank Lawton, Dave McCann, Ron Tuckwell.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


Vale Robert William 'Bill' McGeorge R53999 (ex LRO) DOB 12.05.1939

Regret to advise that RO Bill McGeorge passed away from a series of heart seizures at 0355 last Friday morning 9 August 13.

Bill joined the RAN on Feb 2 1958 and completed his 9 years, paying off on 1 Feb 67. After completing his Ord's Course for RO with Ken Swain, Bas Cleary, Cliff Taylor, Mal Prosser and Kevin Davis they were ALL posted to HMAS Albatross in early 59 to await the Commissioning of HMAS VAMPIRE. Along with Signalmen, Les Church, Bob Simpson, Ron Robinson etc they all commissioned the Vampire on 23 June 1959.

Bill's funeral will be held at the WYOMING Chapel, 470 Pacific Highway, Wyoming (Just past Gosford) at 1100 on Wed 14 Aug.

The RSL Tribute has been arranged and the White Ensign will cover Bill's Casket.

Another sad loss....Lest We Forget.

Ken Swain

International Fleet Review (IFR) - Arrangements for Naval Veterans in Three Key Events.

Ken Swain has received the following document which outlines arrangements for Naval Veterans at the IFR. To assist members to better understand this information, Ken has included his own remarks where necessary.

Follow this link to access the document.




I have received a couple of very long messages from Brian Selby (ex ARMY) regarding the forthcoming Service and Roll of Honour, and due to the length, I have somewhat cut them down a bit, but to keep all who served there during that period of what is happening.

Roll of Honour. After 47 years has passed and the Declaration of the end of Borneo-Indonesian Confrontation with Malaysia, and about 10 years of submissions, that the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in Canberra would be mounting a Roll of Honour to included those soldiers from 111 LAA Bty RAA and 3 Btn RAR who were KIA , Died of Wounds or Died of Injuries during the "undeclared war “ between June 1962 and August 1966 on the Peninsula and in Sarawak.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from the AWM advising that the new “Indonesian Confrontation Roll” is being mounted without an Official Unveiling Ceremony. Previously, an idea had also being expressed that we arrange a group trip to meet up in Canberra for the unveiling, so therefore there has been a proposal that a Reunion is held over the long weekend in October. It would be hoped that widows and families of those men listed on the Roll would be able to attend.

Service at Garden Island. The Meeting at HMAS KUTTABUL with LCDR Joyner went well, but it is unlikely to be in the “chair” when the time comes around, however their were representatives from the Chaplain’s Office, RAN Sydney Band Detachment, and RAN Heritage present. The Catafalque Party is being provided by TS SIRIUS Cadets and the immediate contact for organisational details has been handed to HMAS KUTTABUL’s Warrant Officer, Robert Van Eldik. The Commemoration site is in Garden Island in the Heritage area and will be conducted where the bows of the original HMAS PARRAMATTA are mounted.

Now, this is only a brief outline and I have brought to their attention it was not only HMAS SYDNEY (carrying the Army) to Borneo, escorted by HMAS YARRA and HMAS PARRAMATTA to Borneo, as the 16th Minesweeping Squadron were heavily involved and all committed as part of their 9 -10 month deployments, we would do 30 day patrols in the rivers of Borneo, and to make sure if we ran into trouble, HMAS VENDETTA and HMAS DUCHESS cruising outside just in case. The sweepers were known as the "work horses" and included sweepers from Australian, United Kingdom,New Zealand and Malaya and we came under the operational control of Captain Inshore Flotillas, flying his flag onboard HMS MANXMAN with HMS MULL of KINTYRE giving maintenance support.

Further information will be passed when received.

Allan ‘Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


Vale Graham Alexander 'Bear' Linton R95596 (ex LSSIG)

Sadly Bear passed away quietly on Tuesday afternoon 30 July 2013. His passing was without pain following a long battle with Cancer. Bear will be sadly missed as a shipmate and a great inspiration following his naval career. He joined the navy in 1966 and served approximately 12 years, paying off as a LSSIG. He served in Leeuwin, Sydney, Parramatta, Cerberus and Sydney. As part of his career he also served in Vietnam.

Following his naval career Bear joined DSD and worked alongside many of his shipmates who took a similar path. In his latter years he was totally dedicated to RANCBA Victoria serving as the Secretary for many, many years. His recollection of  RANCBA history and things of the past were very valuable insights into how the organisation began and how it prospered during his tenure. Of his own accord he took it upon himself to visit the various States to attend their AGMs, thus maintaining strong links between Victoria and the other State organisations, as well as having a beer or two with his mates, who were extensive and widely dispersed.

His dedication and insight will be sorely missed. He is survived by Vicky.

Bear's funeral will be held at the Le Pine Funerals, 513 Greensborough Road, Greensborough, Melbourne, on Monday 05 August commencing at 10.00 am. His family have asked that no flowers be provided but donations to Cancer research are preferred.  As there will be an RSL component to the service, those attending are requested to wear medals (normal size).

Bear - REST IN PEACE. Lest We Forget.

Rod Withers
(03) 9772 7775
0421 045 382

Fm the Archives
Graham Alexander Linton R95596
DOB 02/08/1950
Joined 10.07.1966 for 12 years
Postings - Leeuwin, Sydney, Parramatta, Cerberus, Sydney, Harman.

Herald Sun Friday 01 August
LINTON - Graham Alexander
2.8.1950 - 30.7.2013
Much loved partner to VickyAnne Malcolm and Grammy to Che, Seren, Thomas, Freya, Hannah and Callum. Father figure to Julie, Richard, Jennifer, Janathon, Jessica and Zane.
'Choks Away' to a wonderful man, mentor, guide and friend. Thank you for being an integral part of our family.
We will miss you always.

LINTON - Graham
2.8.1950 - 30.7.2013
Loved brother of Stuart, brother-in-law to Heather and Uncle to Danielle, Natalie and Shane. You are no longer suffering, and finally reunited with Mum and Dad.
Rest in Peace
Forever in our hearts.

Fm John Curbishley:
Farewell to a true friend, workmate and organiser.  We had many vested interests in both the RANCBA, ESO and DSD world and spent many long and happy hours discussing better ways to do things.  Bear was always the first to throw his hat in the ring when things needed doing and was passionate in ensuring his shipmates were well looked after.  May you rest in peace old mate, your work is done. 

Fm Alan Murgatroyd:
Saddened to hear that Graham “Bear” Linton has passed away. He was a great bloke , I served with him in Sydney (ship), and got to know him really well after this. He was one of nature’s gentlemen and a great stalwart of the RANCBA......sometimes the things that happen around us don’t seem fair.  Please pass on to his family from myself and Dot our sincerest sympathies.

Fm Des Byrne:
So sad to lose the Big Man - played footy at Harman with him - he was too gentle for the game - What a wonderful guy who was so universally loved.  Seeya Bear man.

Fm Terry 'Nugget' Nugent:
Today I learnt of the passing of a great friend and mentor. Graham "Bear" Linton. I meet Bear initially at Harman, I was President of Harman Rugby League and Bear served as a loyal and dedicated member of my committee. (Not bad for a Victorian). We remained good friends, always exchanging Xmas Cards and promises to catch up. We did at a number of RANCBA ANZAC functions as he would often come to Sydney for these events. He would bring some old WW2 Communicator veterans from DSD, and after the events I would take them all to my 5 star hotels where I was Head of Security.

Graham was a gentle giant, whilst younger than me, he guided me through my time at DSD during my 12 months with the outfit after my Navy days. His continued battles with DVA to recognise his service disabilities never once changed his attitude to life or his commitment to the Comms Branch through his service to RANCBA (Vic).

A great mate and life long friend. To Vicky and "Bear's" extended family, Graham will forever remain a loyal and forever mate....RIP

Fm Rod Beckinsale:
I’m saddened to hear of Graham “Bear” Linton’s passing and at the same time oddly cheered in a melancholy way by memories of the times I served with him, and worked with him within the RANCBA post navy. Bear was a larger than life character in many ways. His commitment to any cause he became involved with could never be questioned, and the RANCBA is a major beneficiary of that. Over a beer or two he was the most companionable of company and would debate his point of view with both passion and good humour. I assume that his departure from this life must mean that the almighty needs a good man on the committee running heaven. He couldn’t do better. Farewell Bear…RIP.

Fm Des Vizzard:
Just a note to pass on my sympathy on the passing of "Bear" Linton. It is frightening to remember back all the shit that he and I got up to when we were in HMAS Sydney, and at Harman.. we also did our course together as T3/68. He was like a second member of my family when the ship was in Sydney, spending lots of weekends with us at DeeWhy.. almost to the point of being a local at the Time and Tide hotel. We also joined the Phantom Club together and had Phantom Rings and autographed photos of the Phantom. we were pretty put out when we could not get pics of Hero and Devil !!! I could go on and on, but as everyone knows, he was just a great guy and a good shipmate. Rest in Peace Bear.

Fm Jennifer Barrett (Kool Barrett):
May you rest in peace big Bear.
My condolences to Vicky & Family.

Fm Frog & Lyn McCoy:
We couldn’t believe it when Des V rang to let us know about the Bear passing.

Like Des, I was in T3/68 with Bear and have great memories of him and all the troops in our class. Bear was one of a kind, always willing to help but also happy to take the piss out of you whenever needed – and god forbid, never get in an argument with him about Aussie rules.

Des’ mention of the “Phantom Club” would have Bear laughing. We all knew about Diana, Devil, Dart the Hooded Falcon, Simon and Nefertiti (the dolphins), and when we all finally received our very own ‘Phantom’ rings, we knew they were genuine ‘Phantom Gold’ by the distinctive green ring it left on the finger. With the Phantom badges hidden under collars of our foul weather jackets, off we marched to the Communications school only to get sprung and score a kit muster. Luckily the “Ords Bar” was there so we could drown our sorrows.

One of the best, a fantastic bloke who we are both proud to call a good friend.  You will be missed old mate.

Fm Phil Butler:
It is always a sad day when people leave us but doubly sad when the really nice ones go.

Bear and I knew each other for most of our navy life and always had a beer when we met up. We even shared a cabin at Harman at one stage with a couple of other reprobates, Mr. Timson being one of them. If I remember correctly, Kim Kearney was the other. What a bunch we were. If visitors to our cabin didn’t have at least one badge, Bear wouldn’t let them in. They had to stand at the door. He even wanted to get a sign made up for the door. It was a laugh a minute and probably some of the happiest times I spent in the navy.

I visited his house in Preston on a couple of occasions way back when we were youngsters and met his family. This is where I found out that he had a passion for model railways. Don’t think that secret was supposed to get out. Not then anyway. I can’t remember how many times he said, “model railways Bucket, not toy trains”.

A great guy with a big heart and he will be sorely missed by all.

Marion, Brett and myself would like to express our most sincere condolences to his family.

Vale Bear -  05 August 2013

It was an honour and a privilege to attend Bear's funeral yesterday.  The chapel was full and he was very fondly farewelled by both sides of his family and by former shipmates and work colleagues.  The service was true to his Scottish ancestry and was accompanied by an extensive photographic display of his life.  CMDR Rod Withers conducted the RAN side of the ceremony with a warm account of Bear's RAN career and his post Navy career with DSD.  Rod also conducted the RSL poppy ceremony.  Strong emphasis was placed on Bear's diligent and extensive work with the RAN Communications Branch Association.  A great service and a fitting farewell to a man who will be missed by so many.  He may be gone in a physical sense but his memory will stay with us for a long time to come.  Vale Bear.

Some of the Communicators present were Rod Withers, Ian Broadsmith, Graham Bence, Ian Hogarth, John 'Nokka' White, Alan Sullivan, Pete Brimacombe, James Robinson, John & Sarah Curbishley.  My apologies if I have missed you from the list.

John Curbishley


Fm Margy Barwood:

John & I are very saddened to learn that Bear is no longer with us! A wonderful, generous man who was fun to be around. From my bag full of wonderful memories of Graham I think he’d prefer I share this one! I had the pleasure of seeing OL’55 with Bear in Canberra (and Gail Billing, Waldo & a couple of others.) The club was packed out! As we walked inside Bear screamed out “There’s Frankie” He was just besotted with Ol’55! He was like a little kid in a lollie shop! I have some lovely photos of Bear as a sailor and a Civvie. Aside all the fun & laughter which he would create, Bear was quite a wordsmith! He was a very proud, intelligent man whom I respected and admired. Taken to soon!

July 2013 Entries:

RANCBA Cruise 2014

Would you mind posting the following link somewhere online:

It's a small website that I have put together for those RANCBA members who may not be on Facebook but would like to see what the cruise is all about. It contains photos and videos of the ports, an up to date list of confirmed cruisers and contact details for those interested in coming along. At last count there is close to 120 attending so its sure to be great fun.

Gary Swanton
President 2012/13/14
Ph: 0430 339 921

Vale Anne Lorraine Briggs AM - W85182 (ex POWR Linguist/CHFO - OIC Comms School 1978-80)

Judy Eagles reports via the Guestbook:

I have been informed of the passing of Anne Briggs. Anne passed away on Thursday (25 July) from cancer which she recently found out that she had. She was living in Melbourne with her sister. There is to be a private funeral and apparently a reading but I do not have any details at this stage. I will pass them on when I find out something more. Anne joined the WRANS in my intake November 1960.

Hazel Grant advises that the Memorial service is this Wednesday at South Dandenong, Hazel missed the name of the venue, so we presume that this will be the Bunurong Memorial Park* on the Frankston-Dandenong Rd NW of the Sandhurst Golf Club complex. If you go to  I believe some time and venue details may already be posted for the Wednesday service.

* This has now been confirmed - Weroona Chapel at 1030 on Wednesday 31 July 2013.

Sandy McNab has noted some Naval service details from the National Archives which include:

Briggs, Anne Lorraine WR85182 b 16.2.1941
Initial engagement for 4 years 7/11/1960
WRRO 6/61, L/WRRO 8/1963, POWR Linguist 6/1965, and promoted 3RDO 8/1966, 2NDO 31/12/1968, CHFO ?
As a Chief Officer (Commander), Anne was OIC of the Communications School from 1978 to 1980.
CMDR Briggs was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 1981 Queen's Birthday Honours List for recognition of service to the RAN.

Lest We Forget

Fm Jim Anderson:
Very sad to hear of Ann Briggs passing. She was OIC the Sig School when I was the Books Officer there in 79-80 and a lovely person to work for. We had our “paying off” drinks at the Cerberus Golf Club when she told me she was thinking about writing a book when she paid off. I wonder if it ever eventuated?


Korean War Veterans Recognition

On Saturday 27 July, wearing my other "cap" as Vice President of the Federation of Naval Ships Association, I attended the Korean Veterans Recognition function at Government House here in Sydney, hosted by the Premier of NSW , Mr Barry O'Farrell MP.

A good and well conducted function, but sadly the numbers are the Korean War was 1950-53 and from what I heard most had joined the ADF just after 1946-47, but they all advised they would be back again next year. Included in the Service there were many widows, and also the carers for the Veterans.

The speeches were kept at a minimum and well received. More than ample refreshments available and served by Government House Staff who were only too happy to ensure you were well looked after.

I knew a few there from other Ship's Associations but the only Communicator there was ex CRS Ron Tuckwell, accompanied by his wife Norah.

It was a pleasure and a privilege to have been invited.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Vale Raymond Arthur Norton R57688 (ex CPO Linguist)

Have been advised that Ray Norton ex CPO Linguist died at about 0130 Saturday morning (27 July). He had been recently diagnosed with Lung Cancer.

Ray started his career as a Writer and married into the Comms family (Tina Brewer ex WRROG) after a posting to Coonawarra in 1965/66. In later life he was commissioned in the RANR as an Intelligence specialist and rose to the rank of LCDR.

Lest We Forget
Dave Jeffrey

Fm the Archives:
Norton, Raymond Arthur R57688 b 6.10.1939
Joined initially 12.2.1961 for 9 years
Drafts included Harman as a WTR 61/62, Melbourne 62/63, Yarra/Sydney 65, and thence Melville 65/66 as a L/WTR.   Promoted L/Ling. 1967 and PO Ling. 12/1968.

Fm Rob & Lucy Dix:
Brilliant linguist. Superb chef and very dear friend for 48 years. Our condolences to Tina and family.


Vale Neil Edwards R53171 (ex SIG)

Born 03.08.1939, Joined RAN 31.08.1957 - DEE 30.08.1963.

It is my sad duty to advise of the passing of Neil Edwards on Sunday 28 July 2013.  I am writing to advise that Neil's funeral will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday the 1st August at 2 pm
Address: Ann Wilson Chapel Cnr Barrenjoey Rd and Darley St Mona Vale. Parking onsite.

I am not sure about what to do for the wake at this stage. I am open to suggestions. If you would like to speak at the funeral please let me know.

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

Fm Kevin Eastley,
Although I won't be there please tell the family my deepest sympathy from myself and Lyn. He was a legend.
Lest we forget

Fm Graham Bence:
Sorry to hear about Neil. We served in the 1950s and 60s. Numerous runs ashore during that time.
My deepest sympathy to his family. Fair sailing cobber.


Naval Centenary Memorial - Brisbane

Since our last update in December, we have for a number of reasons had to change our plans to complete the Memorial in two stages.

Stage one was dedicated on 9th April 2013, and we will continue on to complete the project when more funding becomes available.

This is a Navy Memorial in the church grounds of what has long been referred to as the Navy Church and is easily accessible to the public via Kangaroo Point Park, which is fast becoming a tourist must in Brisbane. Refer photos in update.

It would be appreciated if you could pass on the attached update to your members, some of whom may not have received previous updates or our thanks for their generous donations made via D/T without leaving their name for inclusion in the list.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks for your continued support

Sonja Hellier
Hon Secretary
Naval Centenary Memorial Committee
PO Box 119 Holland Park 4121
07 3397 0561

Follow this link for the July 2013 update.

Vietnam Veterans' Commemorative Walk - Seymour

A couple of weeks ago I visited the recently opened Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk in Seymour, Victoria. I think we all remember travelling through Seymour at some stage through our time in pussers.

The walk is very impressive with the names of over 60,000 personnel who served in Vietnam.

With all the photos I took, I created a slide show and have uploaded it to YouTube.

All your members may want to view the video and the Walk is well worth the stopover if anyone is travelling down the Hume Hwy.

The link is: 

Laurie Pegler


A recent foto of my "BWO" as it is these days.

I don't do much RT work and stick mainly to high speed CW these days, from 5 am to 6.30 am each morning with a couple of ex PMG tels and a self taught ex-CPO Hydrographer. Probably eight of us on a really good morning.

I think the only other RANCBers who may be Amateur Operators are Ted B, Murgy and Wayne R that I am aware of.

Appreciate an email from any others please.

It's not quite so hard getting into the hobby these days with a Foundation Licence on offer - and CW is no longer a requirement for the licence but that wouldn't have been an issue for ex RAN Communicators, either WT or VS.

Jim Anderson VK4AQ
Innisfail FNQ

  Jim & Kev Ruwoldt in 2007.

Fm Tank Evans:
Thought that I would remind Jim Anderson he was the RS on the Stuart in 1967-8 whilst I was a sparker and we keep in touch now and again. Fancy forgetting I was a Ham operator also. I also remember once, I remarked how slow Queenslanders spoke and Jim being a Queenslander of course, said, .........Listen Tank, you may be built like an elephant but I have the memory of an elephant...... well, when we met up a couple of years ago, I asked him if he remembered that statement and he did not. Perhaps , I was not really built like an elephant. I am, sorry to say, not as proficient at the high speed morse, that Jim, known as Rossco in the amateur world, uses in the early morning skeds.

Anyway this is a photo of me and my radio shack and the old sign from Brisbane Radio / VIB from the GMDSS room. I pinched it whilst working there and just prior to closing the radio section down. The silk painting and plaque on the wall is of the Stuart I got whilst in Honkas in 66 I also worked with Ted Bastow at OTC whilst I was at Sydney Radio/VIS in 1977/78/79 and we keep in touch regularly.

Best Regards
Tank Evans VK4EGE

Fm Jim Anderson:
Bloody hell! How did I overlook you Tank??? My most humble apologies. And you my best sparker to boot hi hi.


Vale Eric Sydney Moore PM 4345 - ex Convoy Sig

Advice has been received from Les Roberts (retired Supply Officer) of the death of Eric Sydney Moore PM 4345 - WWII Convoy Signalman.


I believe that Eric Sydney Moore (Syd), a WWII Convoy Signalman, may have been a member of the RANCBA.

If so and working on the assumption you have not been told, I wish to advise that he died last Friday 12 July 2013.

His funeral will be held on Friday 19 July 2013 at 1500 at St Ninian's Uniting Church, cnr Mouat and Brigalow Streets, Lyneham.

Les Roberts


Lest we Forget

Fm the Archives:
Eric Sydney Moore, PM 4345, DOB 14 May 1923, Mobilised as Ord Signalman 14 Mar 1942, Demobilised 14 Apr 1946.  Convoy duties (various) out of Moreton and Melville.

Fm Shorty Moffatt:
Just rang and informed his best mate , Don Ferguson another WWII Convoy Sig.  Les, he wishes to thank you for the information.  Lest we Forget.


RANCBA Pacific Island Cruise - March 2014 – Update 5


1.  This update is to advise everybody that the Qantas special airfares have been released up until the end of March 2014.  We advise in Update No 4 that we would forward this advise.


Bookings for these specials end at midnight on the 4th of July or earlier if sold out.


Example fares are Melbourne to Sydney return - $99 pp each way.  Adelaide to Sydney return - $129 each way.  They are from all states.  Full baggage and all other Qantas benefits apply.  The main thing is the reliability!!


Those that are not confident enough to do their own bookings can contact Kath's office and for a small fee they will do the booking for you.  Please note that Kath will be overseas from 28th June until 10th July but the girls in the office - Kelly, Rebecca, Prue and the others will take care of you


You will need to be quick off the mark (Bit like a Sparker heading to his bunk) to not miss out on these low fares.


2.  Attached to this update is a full list of all those Seafarers booked to date.  Kath is still talking to a number of others.


3.  As you can see from the list it is a great bunch and I have no doubt that we will have an enormous time.  What about getting on to others that you know and advise them to get aboard to make this first occasion a really huge Smokie.










David (Dinga)








































Susan Kallmeyer








































Ali Hoon Sim































Kelly Marie















Simon Wolfe
























































Leanne and Maddie




































If you see someone on this list you want to be with on the cruise and have not yet booked your berth then now is the time to get on with it!!  Contact Kath at Jetset Travel Rowville and it will all happen after that.  This is shaping up to be a great adventure so get onboard.  If you know of any omissions please advise me and I will add them to the list.






Rod Withers

President RANCBA Victoria

(03) 9772 7775

0421 045 382


Plaque Dedication - GI Chapel  - Sunday 14th July 2013.

Another very successful Dedication Service was held today, and it would be far the best that I have attended. Approximately 16 people who had served in the RAN had Plaques Dedicated and here approximately 180 ex shipmates, NOK and friends came today to remember.

It was Officiated by Chaplain Max Walker RAN, who is the Chaplain at HMAS Watson, and ably assisted by LS Lindsay Russell, unfortunately the ANC from TS Sirius, were unable to attend due to another commitment.


Among them were ex Communicators that you may have known or served with. This included Telegraphist John Date, Chief Yeoman John (Jack) Monks, Commodore Alan Robertson and WR PO/Tel Suzane Timbury - nee Rodgers.

When people are asked to come forward and speak on behalf of a certain person, some of the speeches are spell binding. I was contacted 2 weeks ago, could I speak on behalf of the Monks family for the late Ch. Yeoman Jack Monks and I was more than honoured to do so.

The son of WR PO/Tel Suzane Timbury, who spoke on how his mother had served from 1941-46 and probably one of the first WRAN Telegraphists, but his mother used to even in  late life, on hearing morse code,  she said it was music to her ears and he spoke about her service at Molonglo which was the RAN Communications Centre during WW II.


After the Service all were invited to morning tea which was provided by the FNSA and RANCBA. Here 4 ex WRAN RO's showed their MKR expertise in cooking and all had worked yesterday cooking cakes/slices etc. Believe me, when speaking to some of those there, they had nothing but praise of how this Service and then the  morning tea to follow. Sydney Harbour could not have looked better and along with a nice day, it really made it special and the morning tea sitting outside was very much appreciated and more so by many that have never been to Garden Island.


Now I hope I dont embarrass these people who worked so hard doing the cooking, Sharon Mundy, Diana Avent, Liz Watts and Helen Moffatt.  Ken Swain, Ray Mundy and myself, being mere males did the other work, putting out tables, chairs and we showed our mess deck dodger experience in cleaning up after.  But saying all that, I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all. Without your help these things don't just happen.


Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM

President RANCBA (NSW)

Seeking Monique Buckley

It was suggested to me that I email you in regard to finding an old friend from school. Her name is/was Monique Buckley. I have found a photo of her on your site titled, DEFCOMMARS Day Staff 1988, she was listed as ASLT Monique Buckley. I am looking for her because it has been a very long time since I have last seen her and would love to be in touch again, and also our cohort from school has a 'get together' each year now and we try to invite as many people as we can. I've been trying to find Monique for a few years now. I understand that you can't pass on details to me but if anyone has her details maybe you could pass mine on to her.

My name is Alison Ward. Monique knew me as Alison Hall. We attended Jesmond High School from 1978 to 1983 although Monique's family moved away to Canberra I believe in 1982. If you can pass on details then she can contact me on this email or else on

Thank you for you time in reading this

Alison Ward

Vale Commodore I W Broben RAN Retd

Forwarding the sad news of the passing of Commodore Ian Broben RAN Retd on Monday 1stJuly at Mollymook. Ian was a Life Member of the NOC and well-known to many.

The funeral service will be held at 1100 on Friday 12th July at the Chapel of the Milton/Ulladulla Funeral Services at 2 Camden St., Ulladulla, a short walk from the Golf Club House, where the wake will be held after the service.

Ian joined the RAN on 31 Jan 1940 as a 13 y/o Cadet Midshipman. He graduated as a Seaman Officer and later specialised as a communicator. Postings of note included: XO HMAS Vendetta and HMAS Melbourne and CO HMA Ships Anzac, Watson, Stalwart and Creswell.

CDRE Broben separated from the RAN on 1 Feb 1980 and moved to Mollymook, NSW.

Mike Taylor

Lest we Forget


Combined Navies Parade - Intl Fleet Review - Sydney

Wearing my other cap, I have attended a couple of Meetings re the IFR to be held in Sydney between 5-9th October.

Now on the Wednesday 9th, there will be Combined Navies Parade in Sydney CBD between 1200 - 1430. This will be led by COMAUSFLT who will Lead the Queen's Colour and Guard, CO's of visiting ships, approximately 300 Australian Navy Cadets and Representatives of the Naval Association representing the 7 ORIGINAL ships to enter Sydney in 1913.

HE the Governor General of Australia will be the Reviewing Officer and will be accompanied by other VIP's.

THIS WILL NOT BE A ANZAC DAY MARCH, so total number of each Association will be 20.

Now, they need people who have served on HMAS Warrego and Parramatta III.
Contact for Warrego: 02 9642 1910
Parramatta: 02 9638 3853
or you can contact me and I ZOV/QSO, -T- etc.

All other Ships Association, Sydney, Melbourne, Yarrra, Australia are okay. The Encounter Association will advise.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
Vice President Federation of Naval Ships Assn
President RANCBA (NSW)

Bonshaw Milk Fanny

Found this photo from about 1966 of the Bonshaw Milk Fanny.

Modelled by: WRROS's Jan Sharpe, Pat Thurston & Wendy Wilson.
(Mrs "Stretch" Beck, Mrs Fred Goddard & Ex Mrs Ron Baker.)

Fred Goddard


Commemoration Service - 72nd Anniversary of the "W" Class Destroyer HMAS WATERHEN

To mark the 72nd Anniversary of the sinking of the "W" Class HMAS Waterhen on the 30th June 1941, a Service was held at the base, HMAS Waterhen on the 28th June 2013 and along with Veterans from the Rats of Tobruk Assn, the Scrap Iron Flotilla, President of Belfield RSL, Mr. Gordon Steel OAM, Combined Services Sub- Branch and Campsie RSL, Belfield Womens Auxiliary, John Hammond's daughter Brodie-Hammond-Lockyer and her family who later on presented the Happy Hammond Award.  Tthe LAC NSW Police, and Ken Swain and myself were both invited, as having served on minesweepers at different times.

Due to the weather, as everyone in the Sydney area would know, it was persistent and heavy rain for a week, so the Service and BBQ had to be held inside.

On arrival of Commodore A.S. Partridge RAN representing the Maritime Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett the Service commenced with and Introduction and the Lord's Prayer by Chaplain Darren Hinle RANR, Scripture Reading by AB Theresa DeBritt . This was followed by the Address from the Commanding Officer of HMAS Waterhen , Commander David Jones RAN, a Fanfare, The Scrap Iron Flotilla March (here a group from the RAN Band - Sydney Detachment carried out this).

Prayers For Those Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice was Read by Lieutenant Kellie Brown RAN and then the Naval Prayer by AB Jamie Jones. The Naval Hymn sung by all in attendance (with the help of LS Mscn Tracey Kennedy) the ODE by Chief Petty Officer Wayne Smith , and then a Bugler from the RAN Band played the Last Post, a Minutes Silence and the Reveille , and then the National Anthem sung by all.

On completion of the Service, Commander Jones advised that whilst all were in attendance, there would be a small presentation to some of those in attendance. This included a young Sub Lieutenant who was Awarded his Commission with a Certificate from the Governor General of Australia, the best sailor of both the base and ships, 2 who were Awarded their ADFM , and then for the Chief Coxswain, a small presentation after 40 years in the RAN, this would be his last day of Service , and he could now relax and help/try to get his golf handicap down.

We were all then invited to join with all at HMAS Waterhen, relax and partake of a BBQ which sailors had being preparing whilst the Service was being held, and I might add, was very well prepared. The staff from HMAS Waterhen, not only did they all make us more than welcome, but were always asking if they could assist us with anything.

A very good Service and enjoyed by all in attendance

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Plaque Dedication - 14th July 2013 - Chapel of Remembrance, Garden Island

If attending I will need your vehicle registration and numbers for GI Security by the 11th July. Also morning tea will be supplied by the FNSA & RANCBA on completion.

Served 1944—1947
Died 29/01/2013 Aged 86

Served 1942—1945
Died 21/11/2012 Aged 88

Served 1943—1956
Died 18/09/2012 Aged 86

Served 1951—1957
Died 17/07/1959 Aged 26

Served 1953—1965
Died 19/11/2012 Aged 76

Served 1939—1951
Died 18/08/1976 Aged 57

Served 1956—1996
Died 30/03/2013 Aged 74

Served 1963—1983
Died 14/08/2011 Aged 64

Served 1946—1959
Died 27/02/2013 Aged 84

Served 1950—1966
Died 16/04/2013 Aged 77

Served 1934—1970
Died 15/04/2012 Aged 96

Served 1954—1985
Died 10/03/2013 Aged 74

Served 1941—1946
Died 20/06/2012 Aged 85

Served 1948—1963
Died 20/02/2013 Aged 82

Served 1967—1969
Died 06//09/2010 Aged 59

Served 1941—1946
Died 16/03/2012 Aged 88

Many may have know some of the above. Cmdre Alan Robertson ex Communications Officer, LCDR Roger Moag was the XO of HMAS HARMAN and also BGO in Sydney, Chief Yeoman Jack Monks, LCDR Gus Murray for those who served on the sweepers during the Borneo Confrontation

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Memorial Parade & Service.

Once again the RANCBA has been invited to attend their Annual Parade & Memorial Service. It will be held on Sunday, 11th August 2013 ,this will allow ESO to conduct and attend the actual Vietnam Veterans Day, Sunday 18th August.
The Parade will be assembling at 11.00am Macquarie Road Springwood, this will be followed by a social function at the Royal Hotel which your Members are welcome to join with us.

The Guest of Honour is LtCol Gary McKay MC . He was a National Service Officer and Awarded the MC with 4RAR in Vietnam and then stayed on in the Army, obtaining the rank of LtCol and is CO of 8th/9th RAR.

All are invited to join with us. We will be using our mini-banner on this occasion and we shall be Laying a Book to be be presented to a local school.

As in previous years. we would be granted free rail travel for those attending and wearing Medal/s.

If you could advise either the Secretary, Ray Mundy or myself it attending.

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

RAN BAND CONCERT - Celebrating the Centenary of the Royal Australian Navy Band

Sunday, 23 June 2013
Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith

This Concert was held last Sunday and to use the flag hoist Bravo Zulu it was an outstanding concert and full praise must go to all that made it happen.

Never having been to this venue, I was surprised to find that it suited the Navy Band perfectly, and there was hardly a spare seat in the house. Not only ex-Naval people, but many members of the public had taken advantage of this opportunity to see the Navy Band, and to find out what to expect later on in the year during the International Fleet Review (IFR).

The concert commenced with a fanfare based on Waltzing Matilda, and the National Anthem (it was so pleasing to see all stand without being asked). This was followed by some of the musical highlights of the Band’s first 100 years. Here two members of the Band came onto the stage dressed in the Band uniform as worn before 1960, based on the Royal Marines uniform, and post 1960 when the Band adopted the traditional sailor’s uniform including bell bottoms and white gaiters. The music selections included A Life on the Ocean Wave, the traditional Heart of Oak, the march Royal Australian Navy, Warship, Navy Bugle Boy Blues, Blue Water Men and The Maritime Symphony.

Then there was an interval and many availed themselves of refreshments, and the chance to meet friends and former shipmates. Many also had the opportunity to speak to the Chief of Navy and Captain Nick Bramwell, RAN,Director of the IFR.

On returning, a Video Presentation and Address was given by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO CSC, RAN, who came to the stage and addressed the audience.

This was then followed by The Admiral's Own Big Band, a very modern band who played St Louis Blues, Too Close for Comfort and On Green Dolphin Street. This was followed by The Admiral's Own Rock Group who played This is Australia with vocalist LS Tracy Kennedy, and then Whatta Man with vocalist AB Leigh Robke.

Then came the traditional Ceremonial Parade Band with a new march Serving in Harmony, the Drum Ruffle, Evening Hymn and Sunset. To finish the concert I Am Australian and Waltzing Matilda was sung by LS Tracy Kennedy and AB Leigh Robke. This was ‘the icing on the cake’ and on leaving the venue and in the foyer, I heard nothing but praise, and people asking “why does it have to finish?”

I believe those that have served in the RAN, and the Australian nation as a whole, can be very proud of this Band and what they do, not only in Australia but also on deployment overseas.

Unfortunately it is impossible to mention all in the Band, but I take this opportunity to thank LCDR Paul Cottier, RAN Director of Music – Navy and LS Cathy Wainwright who carries out all the Public Relations duties for the Band.

Communicators in attendance were John & Pam Short, Liz Watts, Andy & Jan Mills, Ken & June Swain, Lieutenant Nathan Cole ,Shorty & Helen Moffatt

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)



June 2013 Entries:



Expressions of Interest are now being sought for a National Reunion in Canberra to include the Remembrance Day Ceremony held at the Australian War Memorial.

The RAN Communications Branch (ACT) has decided to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our National Reunion to coincide with the Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial held on Remembrance Day. 

You are cordially invited to submit your interest in attending this event.

Note:  The program for this Reunion is yet to be finalised with costs, venues and bookings to be confirmed.

Yes:  I am interested in attending the Reunion in November 2016.  I understand that this is an Expression of Interest only. 

Your name/s and numbers attending would be appreciated.

Email to:  

Snail Mail: The Secretary RANCBA  (ACT)

30 Woollum Cres. RIVETT ACT 2611 

(email address –

(Phone no. 02 6288 0828 – M 0417 462 407)  


Expressions of interest close 30th November 2014.

Seeking George Wall (ex WORS)

I was wondering if anyone had any information regarding WORS George Wall? I served with George over in the USA at the Embassy of Australia, Washington DC, between 1993-1996, and have lost contact since.

Geoff Barcham
Last I heard, George was still living in Canberra, but he may have moved on?


Vale Ronald William 'Gunner' King R51321 (ex L/Tel)

Shorty Moffatt reports that he has been advised by Ron King's daughter that her father passed away this morning (17 June 2013).

Since February this year Graham Bence has been following Gunner's progress in hospital and has been providing regular updates.  Follow this link to read these reports.

Shorty also advises that the Funeral Service for the late Ron "Gunner" King will be held on Tuesday 25th June at 11am at the East Keilor RSL, 12 -22 Hoffmans Road, Essendon.  East Keilor RSL will carrying out a full RSL Tribute.  Medals to be worn.

'Lest we Forget"
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM

Fm the Archives:
Ronald William King R51321, born 22.11.1937, served RAN 1955-65, postings Cerberus, Quickmatch, Sydney, Melbourne, Harman, Kimbla, Whitehall W/T (exchange service).

Fm Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt:
I don't really know how to explain this. When I read of the passing of Ron Baguley who had been one of the 2 RO's that Ron "Gunner" King and myself relieved at Whitehall W/T Admiralty in 1961-63, I thought I would ring Elaine King just in case Gunner remembers Ron Baguley.

Ron King's daughter answered the phone and was about to ring me, to inform me her father, Ron King had passed away this morning.

I couldn't believe this, it seemed so bizarre!  Anyway funeral details are as advised above.
Lest we Forget.

Fm Graham Bence:

Ronald William King, LRO, R51321.
East Keilor RSL Tuesday 25th June 2013.

Today 'Gunner' (22 November 1937-17 June 2013) was laid to rest. The service was held at the East Keilor RSL, and it was all under the command of Celebrant Lynton Round. Opening music was taken from “The Pearl Fishers” followed by Words of Welcome. His words were very eloquent and a delight to the mourners who were approximately 100. They came from the Royal Australian Navy, Air Traffic Control, Air Training Corps, members of the RSL and friends.

After leaving the Navy he joined DCA and gravitated to Air Traffic control, had numerous other appointments such as Vice president of the East Keilor RSL, University Lecturer in Aerodynamics at a Melbourne University and finally an officer in the Air Training Corps. Gunner was one of the lucky ones in 1961 who was picked to go to Whitehall on an exchange programme, and he had numerous drafts to ships and shore establishments during his time in the Navy. There were two hymns sang at the service “Jerusalem” and then Navy hymn “For those at Sea” both ably led by Amanda Stevenson, Gunner’s daughter.

The eulogy was read, with quite a few humorous remembrances, by his other daughter Brenda Davis. Steve ”Jooock” Stephens (Air Traffic Control) led the Tributes with John McCrystal (Air Training Corps) next and Shorty Moffatt (RANCBA and friend) last. They all had numerous tales to tell about their meetings with Gunner and there were quite a few laughs during the tributes. The ceremony finished with ‘God Save The Queen.’

The president of East Keilor RSL followed with some information to the mourners about his history with the RSL, AT Control and AT Corps and finally
Gunner was led away to the hearse and we all filed outside to form a guard of Honour on his final journey. Gunner was cremated and his final resting place will be the HMAS Shropshire Memorial Ulverston Tasmania.

Some of the tributes in the Sun-Herald were from the Retired pilots and mates at the former Ansett Airlines, Keilor Pony Club and the Pony Club Association of Victoria , Exacto Express.

The RAN contingent at the funeral were Graham Bence, Shorty Moffat, Doug Boydle, Rob Joicey, Brian Peek, Ian Hogarth and LEUT Steve Ackernan. We will miss our meetings with Gunner on the first Tuesday of the month.

Smooth Sailing Old Comrade.

Gunner King at 1999 RANCBA Reunion

Vale Ronald Noel Baguley R47353 - ex WORS

Following received from Sth West SS Naval Association of Australia

Good Evening Everyone,

It is my sad duty to advise you of the passing of our esteemed member WO Ron Baguley RAN (Ret). Ron crossed the bar this afternoon (16 June 2013) at approximately 1300.

Ron, we wish you a safe voyage and firm anchorage in that final harbour where storms and tempest are no more.

The South West Sub Section of the Naval Association of Australia together with the wider Naval Community pass on their condolences to Ron's loving wife Brenda.


Sth West SS Naval Association of Australia

Sad news, Ron was born on 25/12/1934 and joined the RAN on his 18th birthday in late 1952.  He paid off as a WORS sometime in the late 70's/early 80's (to be confirmed).  More details will be posted when known.
Lest We Forget.

Fm the Archives:
Postings - Arunta, Sydney, Vengeance, Melbourne, Albatross, Cerberus, Creswell, Whitehall W/T (Exchange Service), Melbourne, Harman, Stuart, Yarra.



The following 3 messages have been sent should you wish to attend any. The Service functions at NSW Government House for the Korean & Vietnam Veterans is limited to 30. The HMAS SYDNEY Service is open to all, and all are welcome.

Commissioning Anniversary (100 Years) HMAS SYDNEY1
Vietnam Veteran's Day Government House
Korean Veteran's Reception Government House

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

RANCBA NSW Chapter AGM Saturday 3rd August

IAW our Constitution all positions will be declared vacant, Parramatta RSL has confirmed we can use the facilities for our AGM 10.30 for 11.00. All financial Members of the NSW RANCBA Chapter can nominate for positions.

Any visiting Communicators are more than welcome to attend as a visitor and join with us at our Get Together on completion of AGM. Parking for those coming via PMV is in the RSL car park opposite the club, if you use the Parking Station don’t forget to get your ticket stamped when leaving. Food at own choice/cost at either Bistro or Café and Drinks at Club prices. Club located in Macquarie Street, about 10 minutes’ walk from Parramatta Rail Station.

Ray Mundy
Hon. Secretary RANCBA NSW

Royal Australian Navy 100 year Anniversary

Brian 'Dolly' Gray sends:

As most would be aware, having received information in their newsletter etc. this event is being held in Sydney in October this year. The purpose of this mail is to give a jog along to any of you who may be contemplating taking part. All the cruises are listed on at very favorable prices.

The three main cruises we are hoping to run with a vessel allocated exclusively for the RANCBA are, (1) Fleet Review lunch Cruise (2) Evening Dinner Cruise with fireworks (3) Sydney/Emden memorial service morning coffee cruise. The NSW Chapter is going to host a BBQ on GI (below the signal station) following the Memorial Service.

There is one difference to the evening cruise itinerary in that we are hoping to have the numbers to book the Sydney Showboat Cabaret Dinner cruise. This is not listed in the list published on the website above however RANCBA'ers will be automatically upgraded for an additional $20.

Now the reason for the jog along!!!! The Fleet Review lunch cruise is almost fully booked having been promulgated to all members of associations under the Federation of Naval Ships, next month it will all be released to the general public and it is anticipated that just about anything that floats will be fully booked.

My suggestion is if you are thinking about it – get on the website and book NOW! It can always be cancelled. Most importantly as requested when you book make sure you put RANCBA after your name if not you may well end up on a boat with all the Ords various!


Plaque Dedication

The next Plaque Dedication shall be held at the Chapel, Garden Island on Sunday 14th July commencing at 10.00am. It is far better if you arrive by 09.30am.  For those with a mobility problem, the new lift is now operating for access to the top floor of the Chapel.

Now those who will be attending and using their own private vehicle, for Security, I will need your car registration, and number in that particular vehicle. I shall require this by COB on Thursday, 11th July. Contact either via phone 02 9631 8068 or email

The following departed Communicators will be having a Plaque Dedicated.

Telegraphist John Date;
Chief Yeoman John (Jack) Monks
WR PO/Tel Suzanne Timbury - nee Rogers

Morning tea is in the process of being organised. As one lady told me at a previous Dedication at the morning tea, I can now understand what it meant when my father said quote we are all part of the Navy family unquote.

Hoping to see you there

Yours Aye
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM'
President RANCBA NSW

Go to Sea Under Sail

Forwarded by Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM

Melbourne Tall Ships Festival

I would be very grateful if you could circulate the attached information as far and wide as you can within your network as we are needing to fill the voyage berths for when The Lord Nelson is in Australasian waters as soon as we can. The main reason that we have only been able to release the voyage dates within the last 2 weeks is that we have only just got confirmation as to when The Lord Nelson is expected to be in Sydney!

Of particular help would be to get your contacts in Perth worded up in order to help fill the berths from Fremantle to Adelaide/Melbourne. If you have any contacts in NZ then please can you alert them too.

For any budding naval cadet this is an opportunity of a lifetime given that The Lord Nelson is one of the larger tall ships in operation and is unique in her ability to accommodate both able and disable bodied trainees. Any family members are of course more than welcome to join the voyage as well.

If anyone needs more information please ask them to contact me directly as I am handling the bookings for The Lord Nelson for the Australasian legs of her round the world journey. For other international legs, these are available on

Jeff Paull
Lieutenant ANC
Commanding Officer
TS Voyager - Australian Navy Cadets
Ph (Unit):03 9399 9924
Mob: 0419 116 155

A Birdie in Commsland

Please excuse my intrusion but I probably spent more time on various ships with the Comms guys than with anyone else.

My name is Dave Rees. I joined in 1964 (Moran division), was a Birdie MET and payed off in 75.  I served on Melbourne, Stalwart, Perth (twice, Vietnam and USA update), Hobart, Moresby, Diamantina, Albatross, FHQ/Kuttabul, Penguin and Leeuwin.

I spent lots of time hanging around the bridges and flagdecks of those ships and befriended many of the Comms guys.  My memory is not what it used to be these days but some of those that I do remember are Geoff Wasley, Vic Purvey, Dave Pluck, Barry Jackson, Max Hasson, Des Vizzard, Sid Sweeney.

I, like many in Pussers of that era, have been battling for years with lymphoma, and was recently told by the doc that he can't treat me anymore even though scans show that I still have two sites. I just have to wait and see if and when the cancers I do have get worse.

My daughter Myffy has followed in her dads footsteps and is a ABCIS based at Waterhen with a posting to the Canberra in the new year.  If anyone remembers me and would like to drop me a line my email is
I'd love to hear from you.

We wish you all the best with your battle Dave, I hope some of your old shipmates make contact.  Good to see your daughter carrying on the tradition as a Communicator!

Dave and Myffy

Tank Evans Shares an Email

E-mail from the CO, HMS Excellent, which is a stone frigate sited on Whale Island at Portsmouth Harbour and Headquarters, Commander-in-Chief Fleet. Like it ....


All uniformed personnel are to note that standing to attention (plus saluting if the mainmast is in view) when colours or sunset is piped is not an optional choice - and please remind others if you see that this requirement is not being met.

Top CO's tip - if you are an officer who has decided to ignore this requirement and you are picked up by an individual in civilian clothes who sounds like a retired Vice Admiral and looks like a retired Vice Admiral then my top tip is that you make a calculated assumption that he probably is a retired Vice Admiral (and a response along the lines of "what's it to you old man?" is not recommended as was the case last week).

Thanks Tank


1962 Revisited

For those who can't remember that far back, the subjects are:
Sam Hughes, Roger O'Donnell, Kev Luke, Dave Jeffrey & Terry Feltham.

All attended the Signal School as OD's in 1962, and all went on to make either Warrant Officer (Roger in the Work Study branch) or became SD Communicators.

As an aside it was 51 years to the day for Roger & Kev's anniversary of joining the RAN, with Sam & Terry having served a bit longer. I am of course the OD of the group!!!!

Dave Jeffrey

A fine bunch of gentlemen!

Fm Des Byrne:
With all the recent notices re lost mates and illnesses it is great to see some aging Communicators looking well. All appear to be eating well though Sammy could trim his wig and the big fella perhaps get one!!

Fm Ray Powell:
Dave - the photo of the old boys is great, wish I was there looks like there was a bit of a smokey happening. May be able to catch up early July will be back in CBR for a couple of days.


May 2013 Entries:

Battle of the Coral Sea.

The RANCBA was invited to attend and Lay a Wreath at this Memorial Service. Previously this had been held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place, but due to the illness of Ms, Jan Cunningham who has co-ordinated this Service, so at a last moment Mr. Michael Baume AO arranged for an alternate and less formal ceremony.

This Service then took place on Wednesday 8th May at 11.30am at the Memorial Plaque commemorating this battle which stands within the local War Memorial opposite the Maroubra RSL Sub Branch, located in the Juniors at the corner of Anzac Parade and Haig Streets, Maroubra Junction, Sydney.

The Plaque commemorating the Coral Sea Battle stands close by an area where all the streets are named after the Australian and American ships involved in this decisive battle that halted the Japanese thrust south towards Australia.
It was indeed a very well attended and conducted Service and many from different Ships and Associations Laying Wreaths. Prior to the Wreath Laying, a message was read out by the Secretary, US Consul-General's from the President of the USA, this was followed by messages from the Prime Minister of Australia and the Leader of the Opposition, the Premier of NSW's Office, the NSW Opposition Leader and then local Government Offices.
Music was supplied by Members of the RAN Band, they also played during the Luncheon.
Wreath Laying commenced with Representatives of the Veterans of the Battle, then Australian and American Officials, 3 High Servicing Officers of the ADF, Mr Bob Auston President of the FNSA, Ken Swain AM VAMPIRE Association, Mr John Withers OAM ex LRO and Secretary of the HOBART Association (also in attendance ex CCY, Mr. Dave Sutherland HOBART Association), Mrs Rosemary Stockley and Ms Liz Watts Ex WRANS Association and I had the privilege of Laying a Wreath on behalf of all Communicators and there were many more.

On completion of the Service all were invited to attend a Luncheon in the Club opposite the Plaque Memorial which was hosted by the American-Australian Association, and full credit must go to them, a very enjoyable meal with a tab bar for drinks available .

Boer War.

I also received a Invited to attend the Boer War Service to be held at the ANZAC Memorial, Hyde Park Sydney on Sunday 26th May 2013 . (Not too sure how this came about, but glad that I did). This was the 111th Anniversary of the Signing of the Boer War Peace Treaty and was conducted by the MC, Lieutenant Colonel David Deasey, with the Prologue by Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW.

The Prayer of Remembrance by Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel Colin Aithen OAM RFD (Rtd) with the Poem Elands River read by a Student of St. Aloysius College.

General Peter Cosgrove AC MC Rtd - Chair of the NSW Centenary of ANZAC Advisory Council read the Commemorative Address. His speech was a delight to listen to, and he seemed so relaxed doing it but spoke with full sincerity of what this particular day means, what happened during and after the Boer War.

This was followed by the Wreath Laying Ceremony , Captain Colin Dagg RAN represented the Fleet Maritime Commander, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett RAN and the Last Post and Rouse played by a Bugler Musician from the 1st/15th Royal NSW Lancers and the Ode Recited by a Student from Sydney Girls High School. On completion the National Anthem, Prayer and Blessing and the Epilogue by Lieutenant Colonel Tony Larnach-Jones.  On completion of the Service all were invited to morning tea.

Another very conducted Service and full credit must go to the organising Committee , It was pleasing to see many of the general public walking through the Park on this beautiful day, stop and listen.

"Today we remember those 23,000 Australian men and women who served but sadly where 1,000 Australians died , which other than the two World Wars, it remains the most costly for casualties. and especially the epic siege at Elands River 4-16 August 1900"

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Kev Ruwoldt in Sick Bay

Just thought I would say hi and let you know about my latest little episode.

Friday Morning I whacked my elbow into the tall dressing table in our bedroom while doing my “carer duties” helping Anne, ooh that hurt the old funny bone and I began rubbing it madly to try and ease the pain. Friday evening it became very sore and painful whenever I moved it in certain directions. Saturday morning it began to swell and by the evening I became worried as the swelling was getting large. Peta took me down to see a Doctor at one of our late night Medical Centres and I saw the most attractive Doc I have ever seen. Unfortunately her cold hands did not do much for me and she told me go home and continue to take Panadeine/Paracetemol and to wait for the swelling to go down. Told my daughter on the way home “think I will change Doctors, give my old one the flick jokingly”.

Anyway Sunday morning the elbow was very red and painful. By evening I gave in and asked Peta to take me up to the hospital here in Redcliffe at 7.10pm and seek treatment. Sunday night rather was busy with the days sporting injuries, so I did not see a Doctor until 1.15am. They did give me a couple of pain killers. The Doctor said after inspecting my arm it appeared that I had Olecranon Bursitis and Celulitus, he would confirm it with a senior Doctor and he was arranging for an x-ray. The Radiologist had a busy night also and it was 2.45am by the time the x-ray was carried out. The Senior Doctor confirmed the problem and drew a line in biro around the red swelling line and told me if the redness goes outside the biro line to come back for further treatment. Next I was wheeled around to another ward at 4am and placed on a drip of antibiotic fluid. At 4.40am I was given the all clear and told I could go home. Not bad, 9 and half hours in emergency, glad it wasn’t anything real serious.

In the afternoon (Monday) 3pm I saw a GP as my bloke was on holidays for 2 weeks. The Lady Doc I saw in lieu read the hospital report, took one look at the biro line on my arm and said “go back to the hospital and tell them to fix it using a Penicilin mix” (she wrote a letter for me to present on my arrival). The redness was about 2 inches outside the biro line at this stage. At 3.15pm I gave the woman at the counter the letter from the GP and was told to take a seat. Nearly four hours later I saw another lady doctor (my luck was good this week) and she arranged for me to stay overnight and receive 3 drips during the night to reduce the inflammation. Another female doctor administered the first drip then and when it was completed the orderly wheeled me around to a bed in the emergency ward. Hit the sack at nine and died. 10.45 I was administered another drip and again at 5.30. On completion another Doctor checked me out and told me I was free to go home. Peta picked me up from hospital at 7am.

Well so far things have been good, the redness is slowly deteriorating and the swelling should be all gone in the next 48 hours (I hope). Peta administers my tablets so at least I don’t have to worry about that.

I have seen more doctors and hospitals in my 72nd year than the previous 71 years. So for me the saying of “funny bone” is no longer in my vocabulary.

Hope you all out there are fit and well, take care and kind regards,

The joys of old age Ruwie, get well soon.

Fm Fred Harper
Ruwie, that drip at 1045 must have been a beauty considering “died” at 9.
Why haven’t we heard about this before?


Another Dear John Letter

I proudly fly the ANF from a flag pole at the front of my house. This allows me to still rattle the halyards which I have done so in an email to my local MP. I have sent this on behalf of all of us five badge men who did not receive a OAM.  You may wish to put this on the web page.

Barry 'Jacko' Jackson

From: Leejacko
Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 11:16 PM

Subject: letters after name/post nominals

Dear Luke, further to our conversation on Anzac day at the Malaga markets, it seems to me, that service to your community in the capacity of a Police Officer is placed on a higher echelon of recognition than service to your country as a member of the Defence Force, in that you are entitled to the Post Nominal PM after your name if you receive the Police Medal, yet I am of the belief you do not have to perform extraordinary acts of bravery to receive this medal, but after 20 years of service to your country you may receive the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (LSGCM), BUT YOU are not entitled to the Post Nominal LSGCM after your name.  WHY ?

Yours aye
B.C. 'Jacko' Jackson

John Curbishley in Sick Bay

Some weeks ago I was diagnosed by a Canberra neurologist as having Parkinson's Disease.   Many of you will know that Parkinson’s Disease is a progressively degenerative neurological disorder that affects the control of body movements.  It is primarily related to the loss of dopamine producing cells within the brain. There is no known cause of the disease and no known cure, although medication helps control the symptoms.  I am currently taking the drug Azilect which inhibits the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of dopamine within the brain.


My neurologist assures me that this is not an early death prognosis and that I have many good years ahead while drugs manage the problem, so I am thinking positively.  I have been told that quality of life is the key to the management of this disease, which means that I will be doing everything in my power to stay fit and healthy for as long as is humanly possible.


As she has done for the past 34 years, my beautiful wife Sarah is looking after me and I know I have the full support of family and friends.  There will be both good and bad days ahead, but it is what it is, I’m just thankful that the doctors have finally diagnosed the problem.  I now intend to get on with life, stay positive and enjoy the journey.


I know there are many others who are battling through various operations, illness and disease, most more severe than mine.  I wish you all well and hope that the road to recovery is a speedy one.


I will continue to manage the RANCBA website for the near future, but inevitably there will need to be changes made.  I will keep you posted.



John Curbishley
Many thanks for the flood of well-wishes I have received.  I won't run them here but I have replied to each of you by email. It is heartening in the extreme to receive such responses.  Regards to you all. 


Additions to Vale list

After reading the 'RANCBA News' and the RSL Newsletter 'Reveille' I have added the following to the Vale list:

William 'Bill' McKenzie R27627 (ex PO Tel)
Marie Nitschke (ex WRAN Tel)
J.H. 'Tassie' Hanson R37467 (ex RS)
A.J. McClymont R38301 (ex L/Tel)
A.G. 'Abbie' Kyd S3365 (ex L/Tel)

Shorty Moffatt advises that Abbie Kyd was instrumental in the forming of the RANCBA back in 1946.

Lest We Forget


Seeking Junior Blythman

I am looking for Peter (Junior) BLYTHMAN who was a LSSIG who commissioned HMAS Darwin in 1984 with us. I am the database coordinator for DARCOMM 1984, a Facebook group.

Last time I saw him was in the late 1990's he was a Yeoman on HMAS Westralia. I have searched everywhere I can including the Australian Electoral Commission to no avail. Could you ask your members if they can help please?

John Hogg
If anyone can assist please contact John direct.
(With the help of Tony Froome, John found that Junior now resides in Alice Springs.  He has made contact).


Garry George Pyke (ex LTO)

It is my sad duty to report ex LTO Garry George Pyke is in Epsworth Hospital Box Hill Vic gravely ill with cancer. He has only a few weeks to live.

Garry, ex JR 1963, served on Yarra, Sydney (Vietnam ), Melbourne (Admirals staff) and 9 Sigs Regt Singapore (ANZUK force).

He hopes to spend his final days at home with his wife Lea, daughter Nicole and granddaughter Dakota.

Dick Treasure

Subsequent contact with Garry's daughter (via Dick) reveals that Garry is fading fast and may only have days left.  Nicole has given permission for me to put this on the QSO page.  If anyone wishes to pay respects now is the time to do it.

VALE Garry George Pyke R94102 (ex LTO) 19.2.1947 to 15.5.2013

Dick Treasure (via Kerry Eustance) has passed on the sad news that Garry Pyke passed away at about 8pm last night in Melbourne, succumbing to bowel cancer. Richard Treasure has asked that the RANCBA community be informed. Funeral details will be published when known.

Sad news, another good Tasmanian shipmate down before his time.  May Garry rest in peace.

Fm Trevor Pike:
Another one of natures gentlemen struck down too early by this insidious disease.

I had the pleasure of first meeting Garry when I joined HMAS Yarra as an ORDCO in September 1964 straight out of Recruit School, Garry had joined Yarra a few months earlier after completing his JR time at Leeuwin. After about 12 months as ORDs on Yarra we went to do our TO's course at Cerberus. On completion of the course Garry went to HMAS Sydney and I went to HMAS Melbourne, we never crossed paths until later on in life at one of the RANCBA reunions and then kept in contact until his passing, I cant believe he has gone after just seeing him in hospital last Saturday.

My thoughts go out to the rocks of his life his wife Lea, daughter Nicole and granddaughter Dakota and family.
Garry was a very private person who loved his family, his friends and his time in the Navy correcting me on many occasions when I made a faux pas relating to Navy matters.

I will miss you mate, fair winds and smooth seas. RIP.

Fm Secretary, H.M.A.S. SYDNEY & VLSV Association (Vic)

Member of over 20 years Garry Pyke, ex LTO, R94102, passed away aged 66, Wednesday 15/5/13, in the Box Hospital Melbourne, after a long battle with cancer.

Garry served in H.M.A.S. YARRA & SYDNEY, Vietnam, Borneo Malay Peninsular and also with ANZUK Force, 9 Sig Regt, Singapore. FHQ 1970-1972 and other postings..

The funeral will be held 1000 Thursday 23rd May 2013, at the Heritage Funerals Chapel, 733 Boronia Road, Wantirna, close to the East link off & on ramps.

Medals to be worn please.

David (Speed) Dwyer

Fm Bruce Spender:
I served with Garry in HMAS Yarra when he joined the ship as an OCO and I was a TO. I was courting a girl in Geelong whilst Yarra was in refit at Willy Town and he generously lent me his car to drive down to Geelong to see her. He was one of nature's gentlemen who quietly went about his business. Nothing was too much trouble. My condolences to Lea and family. He will be missed. May he rest in peace. When those younger than you pass on it drives home the message of our own mortality.

Fm John Pummell:
I am sad to read of the passing of a fellow communicator Garry Pyke who I first met some 42 years ago during our posting to HMAS Terror in Singapore 1970/72 and later in 1977/78 in Hobart whilst serving at HMAS Huon although several years later and a lot of water had flowed under the bridge - talking to him was just like time had stood still - a quiet and down-to-earth friend.

He was a well respected member of the RAN Communicators in Anzuk Forces Singapore, not only by his fellow RAN Communicators but by members of the Tri Services of the British and New Zealand Forces.

I have fond memories of Garry and his wife being one of the first to see if we needed any assistance after the birth of our first child in Singapore - a great family man who saw fellow communicators serving in Singapore as a part of his extended family.

Thank you for being the gentleman and friend I got to know all those years ago.

My deepest sympathy goes to his wife Lea and the family. Fair winds and following seas old shipmate, Rest in Peace.



The Long Wait


I remember her as the ship pulled in

Hair blowing freely in the wind

Eyes searching the flag deck in expectation

For her signalman returning from the Far East station


The last long year she'd remained so true

To her sailor over the sea so blue

This time apart made their love grow stronger

It would last forever or even longer


She knew so well when she married that man

For them their lives the Navy would plan

But what kept her strong were moments like this

When at last he returned with a hug and a kiss


The crowd pushed forward, the gangway came down

As the wives and girlfriends, their loved one they found

She stood there .... with those tearful eyes

The happiness she felt you could only surmise


As they walked hand in hand through the dockyard gate

The silence unbroken, just time to relate

For they knew this would become just a passage in time

To be recreated once more - their hearts to pine


Now they would be together for such a short time

Before he returned to the Grey Funnel Line

How lucky he was to have in his life

A woman with courage, to be a Navy wife.


(Dedicated to my wife, Lea)

G. Pyke

Signalman ex RAN

(This very moving tribute to his wife Lea was on the back page of the Order of Service for Garry's funeral)


Subject: Royal Australian Navy Band - Concert Invitation [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]


Hello friends of the Royal Australian Navy Band!

It's our birthday - our 100th birthday in fact! Yes, the Royal Australian Navy Band has been 'serving Australia with pride' for 100 years, and we are inviting you to celebrate this momentous occasion with us. We have planned a wonderful concert showcasing music that the Band has played throughout its first one hundred years, reviving memories of times past, and looking ahead with pride and confidence to our future.

The concert will be held on Sunday, 23 June 2013 at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, 597 High Street, Penrith, NSW between 2.00pm and 4.00pm.

Detailed venue information can be found at

On 24th June 1913, 18 bandsmen under Chief Bandmaster Joshua Ventry were drafted aboard the flagship of the new Australian fleet HMAS AUSTRALIA in Portsmouth, England. As the first Royal Australian Navy fleet of seven ships sailed into Sydney Harbour on the 4th October that same year, stirring military music could be heard emanating from the flagship by the thousands of citizens lining the foreshores. This was the first performance in Australia by the newly formed Royal Australian Navy Band.

The Navy will also be celebrating the centenary of the arrival of that new Australian fleet over the October long weekend with an International Fleet Review.

The Ceremonial Review will take place on Saturday, 05 October 2013. The Review will include a moving line of seven RAN ships symbolising the 1913 entry. The day's events are also likely to feature formation fly-pasts by fixed and rotary wing aircraft, naval displays and demonstrations, naval gun salutes, dragon boat races, Royal Australian Navy Band performances, and visiting overseas band performances, and will culminate in a spectacular fireworks and light show over Sydney Harbour.

For more information about the full range of activities and events visit

I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming concert. To confirm your attendance please phone me on (02) 9359 2618 or email

Attached is an electronic flyer advertising the concert. Please feel free to forward the flyer and/or this email to any of your family, friends or contacts that you think may be interested.


Cathy Wainwright
Leading Seaman Musician
National Public Relations Manager
Royal Australian Navy Band

Tel: (02) 9359 2618; Fax: (02) 9359 2609


Directorate of Music - Navy
First Floor, Building 32
14-18 Wylde Street

Forwarded by Shorty Moffatt who says "If possible it would be nice if Members of the RANCBA, families and friends could attend and show our support."

Ron Tanner sends:

Had a weekend in Fremantle – JR 43rd intake reunion(40th) in April 2013.

Here are some photos:

First one- at Bruce and Margaret house in Secret Harbour - Rosco and Carol Tanner with Bruce and Margaret Willoughby – had a great afternoon reminiscing – mainly listening to how good Bruce is at golf.

Second one is from the reunion.

From the Left – Steve Ware, Rosco Tanner, Rob Morris and Paul Delaney

Third one is from the reunion.

Pete Fumburger, Rosco Tanner and Graham McIntyre

Regards Ron


Terry Gleeson revisits Subic Bay:

The attached photo should bring back memories to most - the "Main Gate" or "Magsaysay Gate" leading from the US Naval Base at Subic Bay accross the bridge to the 'delights' of Olongapo City - as it is today. The US base is now no longer of course, developed into a trade free zone, but some of the old buildings still remain (PX was easily recognisable). This shot looking from the base side to Olongapo City, with new SM supermarket on the right. Quick recon could not locate the New Jollo, Top Three or Paulines,

The Marines finally lost the gate.

This visit a side trip during a diving holiday (scuba that is......) to the Subic and Coron Bay (Palawan) wrecks, brilliant stuff



Vale Peter Davy R47396 (ex Tel)

Regret to record the passing of Peter (Big Dickie) Davy early on Thursday 2nd May aged 79, after a battle with cancer. Peter was a Flying Tel on Gannets. His post RAN career took him into DCA Air Traffic Control, he retired from Perth as an Approach Controller. No funeral details published yet.

Lest We Forget.
David MacLean

Fm the Archives:
Born 26/08/1934, joined RAN 26/08/1952 - served until 25/08/1958. Posted to QUADRANT, KUTTABUL, ALBATROSS, MELBOURNE, LEEUWIN, CERBERUS.

Fm David MacLean 15/05:
Good afternoon,
56 family members, sailing friends & former work colleagues saw Peter off in Midland yesterday, Tuesday 14th May. Peter was born in Midland in 1934, joined the RAN at 17 in 1952. Trained as a Telegraphist, he served as a fleet sparker before being selected to train on Gannets in the UK. Perter served as a Flying Tel until replaced by technology. Peter paid off in 1958 and entered the Department of Civil aviation as an Air Traffic Control Trainee. After graduating, Peter served in Tamworth, Canberra, Sydney & Perth. Peter was a rated Approach Controller in Sydney, then said to be the busiest air traffic control position in Australia. After retiring, Peter "went sailing" and spent the next 20 years around the islands & SE Asia. Peter suffered from cancer & passed away at the Kalamunda Hospice, he survived by his two children & four grandchildren. Following the formal service, an eclectic group mounted their Zimmer Frames & gathered at the Woodbridge Tavern to share one final ale with Peter. Vale Peter Davy (1934 - 2013) Lest We Forget.

Kindest regards
David MacLean

Vale LCDR Gus Murray DSC RAN Rtd

Service at GI Chapel

Even though this Officer was not a Communicator, he was well known especially within the 16th Minesweeping Squadron during the Indonesian Confrontation as he was the Commanding Officer of HMAS TEAL and I would like to submit this item.

Yesterday I attended the Service at GI Chapel for the late LCDR K "Gus" Murray DSC RAN . Full credit must go to the RAN. It was very well conducted by Chaplain Colin Tett RAN. It was a full congregation and I have never seen so many ex Naval Officers. Except for 4 of us lower deck who were on sweepers during the Confrontation, the remainder I would say were ex Naval Officers.

HMAS KUTTABUL had young serving sailors in their Nr 1s to meet us at the Gate at GI, then about 6-8 young sailors to escort people into the Chapel.

For a young Cadet Midshipman, Gus till his last working years flying 747's for QANTAS he certainly had a colourful career. He was Awarded the DSC during the Confrontation, some Indonesians open up with small arms fire, he responded and sadly they didnt live to collect their old age pension.

They had a Piper there and he played Gus's favourites. "Highland Gathering" the Lament "Flowers of the Forest" and after the Benediction " Black Bear". I have been informed by another Piper, Black Bear is played as it symbolizes the end of a soldiers life. How appropriate.

Also with me was ex L/Sig Len " Buck" Rodgers who onboard HMAS TEAL at that time, Myself from HMAS SNIPE.

"Les we Forget".
Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW.

Subject: LtCdr Keith (Gus) Murray

On Friday 3rd May 2013, I attended the remembrance service for LtCdr Keith (Gus) Murray at Garden Island Chapel. It was a hugh rollout of people from his life but unfortunately only two of us from H.M.A.S. Teal, Len Rodgers and partner Annette, Russ Slattery. Allan (Shorty) Moffatt representing H.M.A.S Snipe and Rod Clarey and his wife Jackie representing 16th. Minesweeping Squadron.

A special thanks must go to Chaplain Colin Tett, RAN and his staff in particular, LS Linday Russell who was most helpful over the phone in arranging parking and passes to get into GI.

My reason for attending this memorial was to say thanks to Gus Murray for looking out for us all during Confrontation and ensuring we all came home safely.

Gus was awarded the DSC for operations during Confrontation and he wrote to all the crew saying we all deserved a small piece of his DSC. Some years later I was in H.M.A.S. Hobart doing workups for deployment to Vietnam sitting at anchor in JB and this little civvie plane kept flying over doing calibrations. Harry Daish the ops officer came out of the ops room of Hobart and said it was Gus Murray flying the civvie plane. I went into the ops room and spoke to Gus and reminded him he owed me that piece of his DSC. Quick as a flash Gus said "come up and get it"

At the going down of the sun And in the morning, we will remember them.

Smooth Seas
Len (Buck) Rodgers

Fm Peter Archibald
Was very sad to read Shorty's post advising of the passing of Gus Murray. Gus was captain of HMAS Teal during Confrontation, and I was on HMAS Snipe in Borneo at the same time. I had the good fortune to meet with him again at the Yamba re-union, and at the plaque dedication to the 16th minesweeper squadron in Canberra, where we had a few beers and shared stories about Confrontation. A great guy gone too soon.

Fm Mike Fogarty
I saw your site and can add a comment. Gus Murray may have been designated as a ship's communications officer early in his career. Though not qualified as a specialist. As to that ex-RO who transferred to EDP – was it LDO McFarlane? He was at Harman c. 1970-1972 and I may have a photo of him. I served at Harman in the same period so I knew many communicator types – including those I served with who went on to DFAT. Sincerely.
Mike Fogarty
ex Supply Branch


NEWS RELEASE ~ Royal Canadian Navy Adopts New Naval Ensign

May 2, 2013

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today announced the adoption of a new Canadian Naval Ensign to be worn by Her Majesty's Canadian Ships, naval vessels, Naval Reserve Divisions, and other designated units starting on Sunday, May 5.

Canadian warships have unique roles, responsibilities, and powers compared to other Canadian flagged vessels, said Minister MacKay. The adoption of a new Canadian Naval Ensign demonstrates our deep attachment to a widespread tradition among navies of the world. The new Canadian Naval Ensign will become the flag under which our Navy will defend Canada's interests at home and abroad.

The men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy can be proud to serve their country under this new Canadian Naval Ensign, said Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, Commander Royal Canadian Navy. We are restoring the use of a standard Commonwealth practice, and an important symbol recognizing our rich naval heritage and the historical roots of the modern Royal Canadian Navy.

This is an historic moment for the Royal Canadian Navy, which flew the White Ensign from 1911 until the adoption of the National Flag in 1965. From that point onward, the National Flag was adopted as both the Ensign and the Jack. In 1968, as part of efforts to emphasize the importance of military ensigns and flags, while also reflecting the new National Flag, a distinctive Naval Jack was adopted by the Canadian Armed Forces. The Naval Jack incorporated the Maple Leaf in the canton with a badge in the fly of the flag.

Today, the flag previously known as the Naval Jack is adopted as the new Canadian Naval Ensign, and the National Flag becomes the new Naval Jack, which mirrors a standard practice amongst Commonwealth nations. The change will most importantly distinguish Canadian warships from other Canadian flagged vessels. It will also promote and strengthen the Canadian naval identity, while underscoring the unique commitment of our men and women at sea who serve as members of the Canadian Armed Forces in Royal Canadian Navy ships and vessels. The new Canadian Naval Ensign will now take rightful prominence as a significant national symbol for years to come.

Follow this link to see the evolution of the Canadian Naval 'Suit of Colours'.

With thanks to Nullarbor Baker for passing this on.


April 2013 Entries:

Anzac Day Brisbane - Photos by Daryl Cross

Attached are two pics from Brisbane Anzac Day March where the RANCB led the March. This was in front of one of the biggest crowds I can remember in Brisbane.



Update on Ron Baker

Ron has forwarded an update of his condition, last reported in October 2012.

Saw the oncologist yesterday (Tuesday 23rd). He immediately suspended my chemotherapy treatment, as he couldn't determine whether or not the chemo drugs were responsible for my symptoms. The results of the CT brain scan appeared normal, blood tests were fine, ECG normal. He said there was a possibility I had suffered a minor stroke, but he would like me to be seen by an Ear, Nose, Throat Specialist, a Cardiologist and a Neurologist, and to have an MRI. Because my trip to London is fast approaching (Friday 10 May), he has ordered more blood tests for this Friday, followed by another consultation on Tuesday. However, I have been told that if any of the symptoms present again in that period of time, I am to report to the hospital for further tests over a couple of days.  I am not overly concerned, and am fairly confident that all will be well and that I will be able to fly to London on the 10th of next month. Will keep you informed of any major changes.

Ron (aka Nullarbor)

Royal Australian Navy Band

Yesterday received a letter from LCDR P. Cottier RAN, Director Music RAN .

I am writing to invite you to an exciting concert being given by the RAN Band to mark the occasion of the Band's centenary. The program will include music perfromed by the Band throughout its first one hundred years.

The concert will be held on Sunday 23rd June 2013 at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre 597 High Street PENRITH between 2.00pm and 4.00pm.

On 24th June 1913, 18 Bandsmen under Chief Bandmaster Joshua Ventry were drafted aboard the flagship of the new Australian Fleet, HMAS Australia in Portsmouth England. As the first RAN Fleet of seven ships sailed into Sydney Harbour on the 4th October that same year, stirling music could be heard emanating from the flagship by the thousands of citizens lining the foreshores. This was the first performance in Australia by the new formed RAN Band.

The Band and I look forward to sharing our musical celebration with you, your family and friends and the Australian public who have consistently supported and encouraged us over our first hundred years of service.

The concert will also be a special celebration for former and current RAN Band members, reviving memories of times past and looking ahead with ;ride and confidence to our future.

I look forward to seeing you at this important event.

To reserve your seats please contact Leading Seaman Cathy Wainwright on 02 9259 2618 or email  Bookings open on Monday 6th May 2013.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW
Now, if it is as good as the one held a couple of years ago, it will be well worth the effort to attend. It would be good if as many Communicators as possible could attend and show their support.  21/04/13.


ANZAC Day - Sydney NSW

Wreath Laying Service. Our first function is the Wreath Laying which is held at the Cenotaph. Our allocated time is 0740am, but we muster at 0730am. CPOCIS Andrew Stuht will be I/C and it is hoped that a serving CIS in uniform will be our dedicated Wreath Layer.

On completion most make their way to the Combined Services Club for breakfast.

ANZAC Day March. This year the Navy Contingents will be led by Rear Admiral Rothesay Swan AO CBA RAN Rtd. The RANCBA fall in area is in Castlereagh Street south . The Banner will be set up at 0830am. WO Tony Froome will be I/C and will give all orders.  RANCBA is number 18 in the the Naval Units and between Hospital Ships/Navy Medics and in front of the WRANS Assn.  Should you get lost, there will be RSL Marshalls to direct you.

Reunion. We shall be using the facilities offered to us by the Royal Exhibition Hotel, . cnr Devonshire and Sussex Streets, just off Central Station. We have exclusive use of the 2nd floor.  All partners, are more than welcome to attend the Reunion and also all serving CIS Sailors who may have been required to march with their own ship., as you are the people who will carry on the traditions of the Communications Branch.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Photos of Memorial Dedication

Some photos of the Dedication of the Memorial – part of the 2013 Reunion.


As promised here is a link to the images from the Navy Centenary Memorial. 

All these images have been cleared for public release.

Kind Regards

Kylie Gibson
Air Force Imagery Detachment - AMB

Ship/Shore Dedication and Reunion Brisbane

On behalf of my wife and self, I can only re-iterate the sentiments sent by others in congratulating Sonja and her ‘helper’ “Shags” plus all their committee on a brilliant four day ‘Dedication Event’. I don’t think the “swimmers” event at the Finale Dinner was planned, but it was rather unique. I hope the Jack Daniels I donated over the bar went to a ‘good cause’.

Well done

Keghead Weaver
President RANCBA (ACT)

Bonshaw Lives On

I thought RANCBA members would be interested to learn of the new name given to the HMAS HARMAN combined Officers/Senior Sailors Mess, which will now be known as the Bonshaw Mess. There were enough communicators present at the recent Combined Mess AGM to ensure that Bonshaw Mess was selected from the other four names that were listed as possible options, and this will now ensure that this important link with our history will be retained for all to see.

CMDR Warwick Potter RAN
BZ to those Communicators who had the insight to keep the name alive.  Bonshaw lives on!

Queensland Memorial Dedication & Reunion.

From the first function, the Church Service to the last function the Formal Dinner, my heartiest congratulations to Sonja and Alan (Shags) Hellier. Everything went so well and even with some threatening weather, the rain held off.

To you both and your full Committee, all the accolades that I am sure you will receive, they are more than fully justified.

Bravo Zulu

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

RANCBA Reunion - Brisbane, April 2013

John Pummell sends:

Ann and I had the pleasure of attending the National Reunion and the Dedication of the Naval Centenary Memorial. It was very successful and all had a great time - although I have sent the message below direct to Shags and Sonja - if you concur I believe it would be appropriate to post it on you RANCBA web site and hopefully if I not the first many more will follow to thank the organizers.

RANCBA 2013 National Reunion Committee

Just a short note to congratulate you and your committee on the wonderful job you all did in making the National Reunion such a success. The combining of the National Reunion and the Dedication of the Naval Centenary Memorial was an outstanding concept.

From a personal point of view we had a great time meeting old and new friends, and we are sure all who attended did as well. The events organised were excellent and from dialogue with fellow members they were enjoyed by all.

Take a minute to put your feet up and see you on Anzac Day.

Bravo Zulu

John and Ann Pummell
Thanks John, it certainly is appropriate to congratulate the organising committee, I am more than happy to publish any plaudits members may have.  10/04/13.

March 2013 Entries:

Sandy McNab sends an updated list of Ship Names & Callsigns

Attached latest update of both work sheets, generally to reflect the decommissioning of the 3 LCH's and tidying up some WWII Auxiliary vessel details that I have read of and noted.

I have drawn a frustrating blank despite an in depth research assist from Graham Bence in Melbourne, pertaining to the allocated signal letters for the WWII AMS/Corvettes HMAS Armidale sunk 1.12.1942 and the HMAS Wallaroo sunk 10.6.1943. Admiralty ordered 20 of these ships crewed by Aussie matelots, another 36 were also built for the RAN in their own right and 4 for the Indian navy.

The wartime Government and the Navy HO in Melbourne would have had to raise contracts to be let to the various ship building yards, associated machinery supply contracts for each vessel, and after launching and pre commissioning trials organise ships company drafts etc. Thus in some department someone must have had to also raise prior paperwork to coordinate the naming of the ships, their allocation of pennant numbers and of course their allocated signal letters. It is these files if still archived and accessible that will provide the answers. All the current Naval archived CNO's of the day only have the signal letter amendments to mercantile ships, and not the navy. Even after 60 years from cessation of hostilities I believe you cannot access these CCNO's (or their equivalent) where I believe this navy information may have been promulgated.

In trying to see if there was a time sequence or pattern of block allocations, I have researched the contract allocations dates, to whom and which shipyard their keel laying dates, their launching dates and commissioning dates for all 60 ships. Co-incidentally there were 20 British Callsigns allocated, and I thought bingo, that possibly narrows the search down to either a VJ VL VM series for the Armidale and the Wallaroo. WRONG, there were some Admiralty ordered ships which had V series allocations. Back to square one. So in a nutshell if there are any current or ex-serving personnel familiar with naval archival research that can access same and assist, or point me in the right direction it would be appreciated.


Follow this link to access the updated lists.

An addendum to Sandy's previous (above):

Further to my previous mentioning if I could perhaps see a pattern in order date, builder, pennant number, Callsigns allocated etc. these 5 short files authenticate my research of the Armidale and Wallaroo's allocated signal letters. I have sorted them from everywhichway to no avail. Those highlighted in red are the 20 ordered by Admiralty in 1939 built here in Australia and yes the missing two Callsigns could quite well have been a G or B series or a VJ VK VL VM series. Back to the drawing board.


Follow this link for BATHURST Class sorted by Callsign.
Follow this link for BATHURST Class sorted by Ordered Dates.
Follow this link for BATHURST Class sorted by Pennant Numbers.
Follow this link for BATHURST Class sorted by Significant Dates.
Follow this link for BATHURST Class sorted by Builder.

Vale Kevin John McFarlane R65796 (ex LRO)

Denis Preece sends:

It is my melancholy duty to inform the membership that former LRO Kevin ‘Macca’ McFarlane (born 26 August 1944) passed peacefully in Westmead Hospital, Sydney, on the 20th, surrounded by his beautiful and devoted wife, Leslie, and their loving adult children, Glen and Tracey, and their respective grandchildren.

For some time now, Macca had been on the circuitous route between recuperating at home following long and frequent hospital admittances. Details of Macca’s service will be broadcast via this medium when known. Macca touched many lives and, from my own personal experiences, it was a privilege and honour to have known and shipped with him. Om, R.I.P. Darken ship has been piped far too early.

Sad news - I will post details as they come to hand.  Lest we Forget.

Fm Archives
Kevin John McFarlane, R65796, born 26 August 1944, Joined RAN 22 October 1966.  RO's course at CERBERUS in 1967/68. Served in QUEENBOROUGH (67), DUCHESS (68/69) & STALWART (69/70) when records were transferred to EDP.

Fm Ollie Lewis:
Very sad news to hear of the passing of Kevin McFarlane. I did a trip up top with Macca in the 60's on Duchess, I remember him as quiet and easy going. He was a well respected member of the comms crew, in short, he was a top bloke. My deepest sympathy goes to his wife Leslie and the family. Fair winds and following seas old mate, RIP.

Funeral Details:
Kevin ‘Macca’ McFarlane’s family advises the service will take place on Thursday the 28th at Northern Suburbs Crematoria, South Chapel, 199 Delhi Road, North Ryde, at 1300. Medals are to be worn. Further, attendees are invited to partake in light refreshments in the Skyline Lounge (1430 -1600), which is also located within the precincts of Northern Suburbs Crematoria.
Lest we forget.
D J Preece
Warrant Officer RAN (Rtd)

Fm Neville Lipman:
Fair winds smooth sailing Macca from Nifty.


Terry 'Red' Ryder sends:

I thought this might be of interest for the website.

I was going through some old photos recently and found one of a group of sparkers on board the Perth as we left Subic Bay for the Gunline in Vietnam in 1967. The guy on the extreme right is Lou Perez the ships photographer. 4 of the others in the photo attended my wedding in September last year so I thought it might be interesting to see if anyone can match them up between the original photo (below) and how they now look 46 years later.

Terry Red Ryder



Bob Simpson sends:

I had to borrow my older brother's kit and software to convert some old 35mm slides to digital photos. Among the few I found which were from my brief service in the RAN, I found this one. I sent a copy off to Ken Swain and obtained his permission to print. Swampy King, may he rest in peace, is no longer with us and I don't know how to contact Cliff Raatz, so I hope he doesn't mind.

The pic was taken probably in 1960 somewhere in the South China Sea in 1960, on the flagdeck of HMAS Vampire during the first commission and first trip 'up top'. Ken (now CMDR Ret'd) was an RO trying to rid himself of the Wireless Office suntan and trying to look really professional with the binoculars (nothing to perv on out there!). Swampy was one of our TOs, and Cliff was our 'resident ABRP and honorary TO', seconded to assist the V/S Dept with the general maintenance of our part of ship.

It may bring back a few memories for some.


Fm Fred Harper:
Bob Simpson's article and photo certainly bring back memories for me. John King was the best man at my wedding in 1963.

We travelled to Brisbane from Sydney by train and had a ripper bucks night. He always reckoned I owed him a pair of shoes as he bought a new pair for the wedding.


Blast from the past - Them were the good old days.

Photo 1- 1967 or 1968??. DMZ line Korea

Back L to R:  Brian ''Tarsh'' Trewhella , Rick Mays, Reg Heaney(dec.), Rick Easom,
Front:  Frank Lawton

Photo 2 - 1966 HMAS "Bognor"

L to R:  Steve Sachse, Bob Lyndsay, Lady of the Night, "Tarsh" Trewhella, Sam Jennings, Trevor Bichel, Bruce Ellis, "Lofty" Baird, Alan Johnstone.

I hope the names are correct.

Tarsh Trewhella


Fm Dave Jeffrey:
The photo on the DMZ Gunline was December 1968. What a bunch of ratbags. I was kellick of the 3F mess in Derwent with them and many others. A good trip especially the runs ashore in Chinae and Inchon.



20 July 1946 10 March 2013

Cherished wife of Kevin.
Loving mother of Monica and Janette.
Much loved mother-in-law of Gerry and Dean.

Eileen touched the lives of all who knew her and will be sadly missed by all her family and friends.

The Funeral Service for Eileen will be held in the St John the Apostle, Catholic Church, Blackham St, Kippax on TUESDAY, 19 March 2013 commencing at 10.30am.

Private Cremation.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Leukaemia Foundation.

Envelopes will be available at the service.

Extract from The Canberra Times Saturday 16 March 2013.
Kevin, please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss.  Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Plaque Dedication Service 10th March

It was an outstanding success and 12 Plaque's were Dedicated. I had been asked by the families of the late ex LRO Jim Carey and ex Chief Yeoman Syd Gellatly if I would say a few words on behalf of the families. Somehow I made it through!!!

After many years, they have now been given permission to have a lift attached to the Chapel for people with mobility problems. As the Chapel is a Heritage building, it took a lot of work to get permission, and it is a credit to all concerned.  Photo showing how they "married" it into the existing building.

Other photos, ex Communicators there and those who were part of the Commissioning crew of HMAS VAMPIRE in 1959, Tony Miles (Qld), Ken Swain and Les Church.  Some of the ex Communicators, Pat Nuss (Qld), John Short, Tony Miles (Qld), Shorty, Jenni Rathbone (Qld), Ken Swain.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW


Vale John Thomas 'Jack' Monks R28880 (Ex Chief Yeoman of Signals)

It is with much sadness I have to advise of the passing of Ex Chief Yeoman Jack Monks who passed away on the 27th February 2013.

Jack joined the RAN in 1946 at the age of 17 years and served on HMAS Bataan, HMAS Hobart, HMAS Australia , HMAS Tarakan ,HMAS Vengeance then HMAS Melbourne and was part of the Commissioning crew of HMAS Melbourne in 1955 in the UK .  He took his discharge in 1959 and joined the Naval Reserves.

He had been a member of the RANCBA for 40 years and as long as I can remember had never missed an ANZAC Day March here in Sydney till last year, where due to illness he was unable to attend.

The Funeral Service will be held at the South Chapel Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Leppington at 1.30pm on the 6th March.
All RANCBA members are invited to attend.

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

Australian White Ensign

Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

It occurs to me that, 46 years ago today, 01 March 1967, we raised the Australian White Ensign for the first time. I remember being at Harman for the event, and was wondering how many of the 'old and bold' from those days still recall the ceremony. 'Bungy Williams' was the skipper, and Ron Reavley ran the show for us guys (both were involved in our Rugby Club, with Bungy the Patron). George Bell was king at Bonshaw, Smokies were smokies, we fished for yabbies during the morning watch at Bonshaw, the Tourist Hotel was the place to be on days off, if there wasn't a smokie going on somewhere. Some of us newly-marrieds worked at second jobs in Canberra to supplement our Navy pay. I remember loading ice-creams into the back of a bloody big truck, and brown-built shelving into another. Some of the smarter operators (no names, no pack-drill) got paid so much a head for any sailors they recruited, and didn't have to do any of the manual labour. We got paid cash and had to sign a receipt book. Some of the aliases I used were N.Ticing, M.Fatik, B.Mused and other ridiculous names. They were great days to be in the Navy, and have sadly disappeared forever. I remember many faces and names from back then, too many to list here, but indelibly etched in my grey cells (or what's left of them).

Thanks for the memories Nullarbor.  I was a young TO on ANZAC, undergoing refit at Williamstown, so it was a pretty low key affair for us.  If others wish to share their experiences with the changeover please do. 

Fm Keghead Weaver:
Nullarbor, I wasn’t there for that occasion, as I had already paid off (unfortunately), but I certainly remember the names. George (Ainslie Rex) Bell and Ron Reavley and a couple of others that may jolt some grey matter, like, Rigga Mortis, Red Ryder, Kakky Burrows, Jughead the dog and Cuphead the pup and who could forget Charlie (half-inch pencil) Cross (Xray) and those smokies down by the Molonglo??? Certainly a ‘good’ Navy that one and you were even ‘game’ to wear a uniform ashore without worrying about ‘terrorists’!! We have some wonderful memories.

Fm Garry Evans (Ecceles):
Australian White Ensign at Harman,
Remember it well Nullarbor, they were great days in a young man's naval life, keep the flag flying mate.

Fm Dave Jeffrey:
The best thing abt the new white ensign, was that we "Spliced the mainbrace" - at least we did at Cerberus where I was doing my RS's course with John Scanlon, Des McKee, Bob Hawke & Don Mathewson. Bob & I were the only Killicks as the other three were provisional PO's because they missed out on a course while swanning around the USA commissioning DDG's!!!

Fm Sandy McNab:
Inside a rare book I purchased two years ago on eBay, Genesis of the RAN by G L Macandie, Sec of the Australian Naval Board from 1914 to 1946, the previous owner has collected quite a few old newspaper clippings of the day including this one. Being a current Forum topic, and with both flags displayed I thought I’d scan and forward same. I assume they may have been R21’s Signalmen in the photo assigned to the Ceremonial lowering and raising. I can’t recall if there was anything official on out at Coonawarra / DARNAVRADSTA at 0800 on the day.

Looking forward to the Brisbane ‘chin-wag’. Cheers. Sandy

Fm Barry Appleby
Was stationed at HMAS Huon when the new AWE was raised for the first time. It was mainly my duty to raise the flag at eight each week morning, I am sure there was no pomp or ceremony that day, just another day in life at Huon.  Barry Appleby aka Apples.

Fm Dave McCann
Re the Aust White Ensign and Nullarbor .  I worked for George Bell at the time over at the Ainslie Rex , barman and Waiter for private functions etc, after the function was over we all sat around having a well earned beer and played “Riki Tiki “with George.


February 2013 Entries:

The Battle of the Java Sea and Area

On Friday 22nd February commencing at 1100am, this Memorial Service took place and the RANCBA was invited to participate.

This was the 71st Anniversary of the heavy loss of ships, including HMAS Perth and Yarra, but also from the Royal Navy, the Royal Netherlands Navy and the United States Navy. During these 3 months of almost uninterrupted naval battles, skirmishes and engagements, the Allied Force losses constituted one of the most grievous naval encounters of the 6 years of WW II. With no "capital" ships left in the Java Sea, the defence of the Malay Peninsula and the Netherlands East Indies (now known as Indonesia) and the Allied lines of communications rested upon the hastily assembled Fleet of Australian, Dutch, British and American cruisers and destroyers of a very mixed vintage. There were 3 Australian ships who were part of the Allied group who encountered significant opposition during the Battle of the Java Sea , the cruisers HMAS Hobart, Perth and the sloop HMAS Yarra.

Fate saw HMAS Hobart make an escape after an abortive search of the enemy, but sadly within 36 hours of the battle opening phases all Allied ships, with the exception of 4 US destroyers were and to be sunk and all senior Officers were either killed or captured.

HMAS Perth 692 crew onboard. 362 were killed in action or perished after abandoning ship. 330 were survivors, but 106 died in captivity as POW's.  HMAS Yarra. 151 crew onboard, only 13 survived and were rescued by a Dutch submarine.  Today is about remembering those sailors who fought heroically to defend our Nation and our values, those who lost their life at sea and to those who lost their lives as Prisoners of War.

This Service was held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place and with threatening weather and the warning which had been issued by the Bureau of Met. it would appear it maybe under damp conditions. Fortunately the weather held off and the Service commenced on time. (it was to come later).

The MC CMDR Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd, the Chaplain Colin Tett RAN Officiated , Music provided by the Sydney Detachment of the RAN Band under the baton of Bandmaster CPO Muscn Mark Ham, with the Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies by personnel from HMAS Kuttabul.

After the Commemoration by Chaplain Colin Tett, the Address was given by Commodore Geoffrey Geraghty AM RANR , who was representing the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO CSM RAN, and his Address was very well presented, and by many that were in attendance, were greatly appreciative of his speech.

After this the Wreath Laying by Official Guests, Ships Associations, Relatives and Friends. This included Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd Patron of the Java Sea Memorial Service and Representing the HMS Prince of Wales & HMS Repulse Survivors Association, CDRE Geoffrey Gerathy , Mr Jaap Frederiks Consul General of the Netherlands, Mr, Neil Marquardt Consul General of the United States of America, LCDR John Northcote RN, Representing the British High Commissioner, Mr John Hodges Representing Mr Don Rowe OAM, President RSL NSW, Mr. Peter Ashpole NAA, Mrs Jennifer Collins NSW Commissioner for Veterans Affairs, CMDR Todd Willson CO HMAS Kuttabul, Superintendent Mark Walton Commander City Central LAC NSW Police, Mr Bob Auston President of the Federation of Naval Ships Association and I represented the RANCBA. There were many many more, which no doubt their Association shall write about.

After the Naval Ode had been recited by Ms Didi von Wiederhold ex RNN, , the Last Post, a Minutes Silence and then Reveille, followed by the Naval Hymn and Benediction, the singing of the National Anthems of Australia, the Great Britain and United States and the Netherlands.  The singing of the Nation Anthems of Australia, United Kingdom, USA were sung by LS Muscn Tracey Kennedy . She absolutely superb and normally many people just walk through Martin Place as it as main walk way through between George and Pitt Streets in the CBD, and sadly many nowadays have no mark of respect for National Anthems being played or sung, but today, people just stopped, and it was so pleasing to see this. She is a credit to the Royal Australian Navy.

It was a very well conducted Service and also more importantly , well attended and full credit must go to the very small Committee who made this happen. Patron, Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd, Chairman CMDR Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd, Secretary/Treasurer Ms Didi von Winderhold ex Royal Netherland Navy.

Communicators in attendance, John "Dinny" Reeves & Phyllis, Ric Easom, Ms Liz Watts also Ex WRANS Assn, Ray & Sharon Mundy. Max Miller & Cheryl Murphy, Howard Halsted ex Corvettes, Dick Thompson ex Fairmiles and self, (Shorty).

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Sam Hughes & Len Hulme are on the high seas:

A photograph of the pair rounding Cape Horn. The boys are cruising South America with Judy and Suzanne onboard the Grand Princess. Great to be back at sea.

The Cape Horners

Good to see you both enjoying the cruise - looks a tad cold to me!


FNSA Luncheon & IFR Cruise Update

Shorty Moffatt has asked that the following flyers be published for information of members.  They concern the Federation of Naval Ship Associations (FNSA) Luncheon on 4 April and an International Fleet Review (IFR) cruise update which has important information should you wish to partake in a harbour cruise when the IFR is on in early October 2013. 

Please follow the links below to access the information.  Please note, there is an error in the Flyer re FNSA Luncheon, the account number should have a zero in front.  It should read 062002 0080 2428.

FNSA Luncheon

IFR Cruise Update

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt
President RANCBA NSW

Vale Robert Selwyn 'Bill' Huggins BEM F24477 (ex CCY) - 24 April 1922 to 13 February 2013

Have received advice from several sources that there is a notice in this morning's Melbourne Herald Sun which notes the passing of Robert Selwyn (Bill) Huggins at Geelong on 13 Feb, age 90.

Funeral will be at St. Peter's Anglican Church, Draper St, Ocean Grove at 2pm Thursday 21 Feb.

Bill needs no introduction to communicators, particularly those from the Tactical sub-branch.  He joined the RAN in 1940 and completed 25 years continuous full time service before transferring to the RAFR.  His record of service up to 1970 is quite detailed and it will take me a little while to put an article together, in the meantime I'm sure there will be many reflections and recollections forthcoming.

A great Chief Yeoman and Fleetwork Instructor without peer who taught many of us important lessons about the job and about life in general.  He will be sadly missed.

Bill Huggins with RADM Bill Dovers circa 1971
Lest We Forget

Fm John Rowe 22 Feb 13:

I'm just back from Bill's memorial service held in Ocean Grove yesterday, with an attendance of several hundreds. Myself, John Keenan and Pete Archibald (all ex-T2/61) went down, and had a great day. His family was very welcoming, and among the many photos on display was this one enclosed, as well as another taken onboard Vendetta in 1962 which I have given you previously.

Bill was lauded as a local icon from his many years in the district, and his nickname among the locals was "Sailor Bill". He really was dearly loved, and the memorial service went well over an hour, mostly filled with stories about Bill by locals, and his family. Just for the record, Bill left the RAN in 1973 after serving for 33 years, and the RSL speaker said he had over 60 "ship movements" (I'm guessing drafts), and I can remember Bill telling me once that he served in 32 different ships. After his time at Point Lonsdale lighthouse he became Queenscliffe Harbourmaster.

Bill Huggins - HMAS VENDETTA  Back: Woof Collie, Bill Huggins, Jungle Ryan, John Rowe, Front: Alfie Wicks, Mitch Mitchell, Trog Keenan.

Fm John Curbishley (from the Archives):
Bill Huggins was born in Eaglehawk Victoria (near Bendigo) on 24 April 1922 and joined the RAN as an 18 year old in July 1940. He signed initially for 12 years but subsequent resignings took this service to 1965 when he transferred to the RAFR but continued serving.

Bill's record of service is extensive and the following is but a brief history. After being rated Signalman in 1941 Bill served the remaining war years on various sea postings (WESTRALIA, ADELAIDE, BATHURST and GERALDTON) before heading to New Guinea post WWII. He was rated A/Ldg Sig in 1946 while serving at TARANGAU. He was posted to AUSTRALIA in 1947/49, then SYDNEY 1950/51 where he was rated A/Yeo SIG's, being confirmed in that rank when he was posted to CERBERUS 1951/53. He continued his love affair with New Guinea when he was posted back to TARANGAU from 1954 to 1956. He was rated Chief Yeoman of Signals at TARANGAU in 1956 (this title was subsequently changed to CCY in 1964) and was posted back to CERBERUS as an Instructor in 1957/58. His next sea draft was as Chief Yeoman on the Flagship (HMAS MELBOURNE) in 1960/61, then it was back to CERBERUS Signal School as an Instructor in 1962/63 before serving in VENDETTA 1963/64 and then heading back to CERBERUS to give others the wealth of his experience. Bill's last sea draft as a CCY (RAFR) was in HMAS SYDNEY 1969/70 when the ship was carrying out troop transport duties to Vietnam and back.

Unfortunately his record of service card was closed off on 1st February 1970 when Naval Personnel Records were transferred to EDP. I am unable to access Bill's postings after 1970 but given that he signed on for 12 months full time service in the RAFR in 1966, 67,68 and 69 he probably continued in that vein. He certainly ran the Fleetwork Trainer at CERBERUS in 1970/71 and I have it in the back of my mind that he went back to HMAS SYDNEY as the CCY in the early 70's, but I may be wrong, he may have finally paid off from CERBERUS. If anyone can shed light on this it would be welcome. 

After leaving full time service, Bill worked for the Port of Melbourne as the head lighthouse keeper at Point Lonsdale Signal station, thus continuing his love of the sea.

Bill was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 1969, a well deserved award. I have absolutely no doubt that had he been serving on full time service in the RAN (not RAFR) in 1972 when the Warrant Officer rank was reintroduced he would have been first cab off the rank for WOSY.

A great bloke, a man with an aura and the best Fleetwork Instructor of his era. He will be missed but never forgotten.  May he rest in peace.

Fm Keith (Curley) Lenton:
Vale Bill Huggins. Bill was an instructor when I did a L/Sig course at Flinders in 1955. I was living at Frankston at the time as was Bill, he invited my wife and I around to his house for dinner and while the girls chatted Bill had me in the kitchen going through some of the subjects for the final exams. I failed the exams (not Bill's fault) I failed the 'oral' by 2 points, passed every other subject. Bill was a total gentleman and I'm very sad to hear of his passing.

Fm Bill Aylott:
Sad to see that Bill Huggins has passed away. Another great gone. Lest We Forget.

Fm Trevor (Percy) Percival:
I had the pleasure of working under Bill in the 1960s on the Melbourne, I think it was, and found him a gentleman and very fair in his discipline. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends.

Fm Frank Lawton:
Very sad news on the passing of 'Bunting Bill Huggins'. I was fortunate to have worked for Bill as a young TO in the Fleetwork Trainer (1970-1972) just after it was built. Many fond memories of an absolute legend in his own time. As mentioned earlier Bill, you taught many things to a great many of us. Rest in Peace Chief.

Fm Carol Davey:
This pic was taken last April when John Rowe took me down to Ocean Grove to see Bill. We had lunch at the RSL there. My George thought the world of Bill and often spoke of him. He was a special friend and a thorough gentleman. Rest in Peace Bill.

John Rowe, Bill Huggins and Carol Davey - April 2012

Fm Rod McLaurin:
It’s very sad news to hear of the Bill’s passing. I agree with the comments; he was a real gentleman, but a very scary one at times!!!

My memories of Bill go back to October 1969 when, as a young TO2, I posted onto Sydney and he was my Chief Yeoman. The very day I posted on, in Cockatoo Dock, I was directed to the Coxswains Office by the QM. From there I was directed, by the Coxswain, to go to the MSO and introduce myself to the CCY who would find someone to show me around the ship and help me with my post in.

The coxswain obviously noticed the look of fright on my face…”don’t worry son it’s easy to find, it’s in the same section as this office, you just need to go up about 8 decks. Just go as high as you can and you will find it”.

With a little more confidence I started climbing. After 8 decks I thought I was close but noticed one more ladder. Just as I reached the top of this ladder a door, sorry hatch, on the deck below me opened and out stepped a chief…I knew he was a chief because he had crossed flags on the chest of his ADW shirt…..

“Where do you think you’re going son” bellowed the CCY….”I’m looking for the MSO chief” I meekly replied….

“Take another step son and you will fall into the funnel, you idiot” he bellowed again.

He never let me forget our interesting introduction.

One of many great memories I have of the Chief….

Fm Alan Murgatroyd:
Sorry I am a little late with this eulogy but I too wanted to pass on my thoughts about Bill Huggins. Bill was the CCY in Sydney 69/70 and I was serving on the ship as an RS. The ship was billeted for a CRS but Bill had some confidence in me and convinced the Captain, DAH Clarke, that I was competent to handle the senior job. It was a great compliment to me and I tried as hard as I could to live up to Bills confidence. I was in awe of Bills overall knowledge and always regarded him as without peer . I am deeply saddened at his passing. Bill was the only lower deck person I ever saw who was given a scotch and water each midday, from the Captains steward. I always remember it being served to Bill on the bridge on a gleaming silver tray . He richly deserved it . Even Nobby (our Captain) acknowledged his greatness.


Checkers Aldridge in Sick Bay

Just letting you know that “Checkers” Aldridge (Ex LRO) is in Bankstown Hospital having had a Stroke. It appears that there is a lot of problems associated with this stroke. I talked to Phillis (his wife) last tonight and she will not know the extent of the damage until later in the week.

I went to see him on Sunday and he wasn’t in good shape. It seems that the stroke has affected his right side and speech. There may be other internal problems associated with his Diabetes that need to be looked at as well.

Will keep you posted when I hear more

Keith (Gympie) Inall
Thanks Gympie, we wish Checkers all the best and hope that he is able to bounce back from these problems..

Fm Gympie 05/03:
Just a quick update on Checkers Aldridge.

Went to see him last Monday and he seemed a lot better. Doctors were talking about sending him home on Wednesday. It seems that the stroke was a “mild” one. They were not looking into his internal problems as that was not what he was in for??

He will have to see a GP and get a referral to a specialist I assume.

Rang Phyllis last night (Friday) and sure enough they sent him home to his place on Wednesday.

I have not been in touch since then. Will try and get to see him through the week.



SITREP on Lance “Suds” Sutherland.

Suds underwent prostate surgery on Monday.  Keghead Weaver advises he received the following news from Lance's good wife Chris after the operation..

“Lance is out of surgery. It took longer than expected due to complications. Apparently he lost a lot of blood, but all is OK now.”

Will keep you updated as necessary.

Our thoughts are with Lance & Chris and we wish Lance a speedy recovery.

SITREP “Suds” Sutherland. He is at home and rehabilitating comfortably under the eye of his ‘carer’ Chris. Will advise of anything further…. Keghead Weaver


Subject: RANCBA Cruise - P411 11th March 2014

Dear Fellow Communicators,

The purpose of this email is to update you on the latest information regarding the planned cruise in March 2014 and to open up the bookings for this cruise. Please read the information carefully and make your bookings as soon as possible to take advantage of the savings currently on offer.

You can book your cruise requirements by either filling in and returning the attached form, or you can email Kath Williams (email address below) directly or you can ring Kath to discuss or book over the phone.

All you need to pay now is a deposit of $200. Kath Williams (Jetset Travel Rowville) will then advise us in due course when we have to pay the final instalment.

Currently there are 66 expressions of interest (people) for the cruise.

Presidents are requested to forward this email to their state membership so that those members within their State who are interested can join in.

The details of the cruise are - RANCBA Pacific Island cruise P411 Melanesian discovery - 10 nights departing Sydney on 11th March 2014. The cruise returns to Sydney 21st March 2014. For those travelling from outside Sydney you will have to make your own arrangements to get yourself to Sydney and then home again.


1. We recommend that wherever possible everybody should visit a travel agency and obtain a copy of P & O cruise brochure 2013/14. This has a wealth of information on cruising in general, conditions of cruising and other general information re ships layout etc. Keep in mind our ship is Pacific Pearl. Alternatively you can go to the P&O website, select your cruise number (P411) and you can see details of the cruise including costs for the various cabin options.


Jetset Travel Rowville Victoria are in charge of all RANCBA cruise bookings. Kath Williams, the agency owner is the person responsible for us and her contact details are - phone 03 9764 8487, email is Her husband John was a Shipwright in the RAN. Both Kath and John will be taking care of any queries and will be cruising with us to ensure we are all well looked after. Please feel free to contact Kath at any time.


As many of you will be aware from our previous cruise information, Twin share both Interior and Outside and Quad share interior and outside cabins have all received a substantial price reduction. As well as these options there is also SINGLE inside and outside cabins. Triple inside and outside cabins, Balcony cabins and Suite/mini suite cabins. Prices for all of these options should be obtained from our Travel Agent kath Williams,



181 days or more Full refund

180 to 76 days Deposit amount

75 to 43 days 25 percent of total fare

42 to 15 days 50 percent of total fare

14 days or less 100 percent of total fare

There is also an option to transfer some P and O cruise bookings to a later cruise, please ask Kath regarding this option.

5. Bookings are now open. There is a link (  that takes you to information on our ship Pacific Pearl. On booking a deposit of $200 per person is required and may be made direct by phoning Kath Williams on 03 9764 8487 or Online. A number of bookings have already been placed and the numbers interested in the cruise is excellent. It is recommended that where possible bookings should be made early to enable further bargaining power. Also keep in mind P & O cruises are generally fully booked, therefore it would be very disappointing if some of our people miss out on the cruise.


We are still awaiting further information on such things as extra onboard credits to our ex or serving defence onboard credit. Also the number of free berths which are to be amortised over all bookings. It is important that at this early stage

A. It is important to book early; and

B. When booking you should only pay the $200 deposit per person. this will make it easier to amortise the free berths discount across everybody’s bookings, when bookings are finalised.

7. We are working on a number of other interesting activities during the cruise, both in the two ports visited and whilst onboard. This will be advised once numbers are clear and we are closer to cruise time.

Rod Withers
(03) 9772 7775
0421 045 382


I have had a request (legitimate), if I could supply the names of the TOs/ROs who served on HOBART 1979/80.
If you could let me know at your convenience.


Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Gunner King in Sick Bay

Just thought you would like to know that Ron (Gunner) King is in the John Fawkner hospital, Moreland Road,Brunswick. He was low in sodium and had to be admitted on Saturday 02 Feb.

He seems to be a bit weak on his legs and is a bit pissed off that he can't find out what's wrong with him. Don't know how long he will be in there.

He is on the 2nd floor room 25 and visiting hours are 2 to 8 everyday. Telephone number 9385 2500. I'm sure he would be glad for a visit or a call on the phone.

Graham Bence
Here's hoping they put him on the road to recovery quickly.

Fm Graham Bence 11/2:
Visited Gunner again today. Last week Friday I think it was, he was found half in and half out of bed and after seeing a Doctor was transferred to ICU. He came out of there and went to a recovery ward today. He is very weak and it's very hard to talk to him as he was drifting off to sleep. I don't know what is wrong with him and I don't think that he knows himself. Could be there for a while. Will keep in touch with his wife Elaine and forward any news I get.

Fm Graham 28/2:
I visited Gunner in Hospital today. He is much more lively and talkative than the last two visits.  He has a nurse beside him 24 hours a day because he gets a bit violent when he can't get his own way. He is still as cantankerous as ever. He had to go to the heads and with the nurse off he goes. When he finished the nurse tried to guide him to the bed he came out. Gunner was having nothing of that. This wasn't his bed so they went for a walk and as I left they were still trying to get him back to his original bed. Tomorrow he travels to the Royal Melbourne for a brain scan to find out if there anything wrong in that department. Just had a talk to Elaine and we thought that the reason he was more talkative was that they had reduced his tranquillisers. Let's hope this is the start of better health for Gunner.

Fm Graham 22/3:
Just had a talk with Gunner. He seems more lucid and is able to have a good conversation except that it is hard to talk to him as he has trouble with hearing what you say because of the phone he has in the room.  He is up and about and reading the newspaper so he has improved quite a lot.  Will be going into rehab as soon as a bed is available.

Fm Graham 02/04:
Visited Gunner yesterday. He is now in Moreland private hospital. It appears that when I visited him the last time he was recovering from a bout of Chemo and that was probably why he was confused. He is building up his strength and next week he will go in for another dose of Chemo again. Lets hope that everything turns our for the best. I will visit him again after the Brisbane Reunion.  Anybody have anything they want me to pass on?

Fm Graham 30/04:
Saw Gunner last Friday and he was looking much better. Had to shout so he could hear me because he was having drops in his ears to help him her better, so his hearing aids had to come out.  DVA is doing a wonderful job. His house had to have additional items attached so he would be able to go home. On Friday the plan was that he would come home today. Stay at home for about a week and then he will go back in for more chemo. Will keep in touch to let you know how he is.

Fm Graham 05/06:
Gunner has been transferred to the Freemasons hospital for radium treatment on his mouth. The oncologist could not find the primary cancer even though he knew that he could or would not eat. The throat was inspected to find out whether there was something there to stop him eating and that was when they found that he had a tumour in the mouth and it was the primary. I rang this morning to talk to him but he was in GaGa land again due we think to the morphine he is getting. He asked me about somebody that was baseball player and about how they went to America and that they were flying down somebody to fix him (Gunner).

Couldn't get any sense out of him at all. That's when I ran Elaine and had a good talk for about 10 minutes. I found out then about the cancer in his mouth. Was thinking to go in and see him but when he is like this it a no go job. Anyway Elaine has a sore back and won't be going to see him until tomorrow. She has promised to keep in touch with me and if I find out anything I will let you know. I hope this makes sense.


Peter Hoy R62019

Hi my name is Chontelle. I am engaged to Christopher Hoy. His late father was Peter Hoy.  Peter was there for the commissioning of the HMAS swan on the 20th of Jan 1970 in Melbourne with his wife Mary Hoy.  A photo was taken of the pair at the stern of the ship and published (by memory) in the Ringwood mail.

Recently Mary has been distressed as her only copy of this photo has been misplaced. I would love to put her mind at ease by tracking down a copy of this photo.  If anyone can help in anyway please don't hesitate to contact me at   Thank you for your time.

Sorry I should also mention that Chris (Peter's son) believes Peter served on the HMAS Hobart, HMAS lonsdale, HMAS Watson and on the HMAS Cerberus base (due to ribbons he owns) also he was wondering if there is a correct way to iron/ preserve his fathers whites as years of storage have taken their toll and he is at loathe to wash them lest we would be unable to iron as they were correctly.

Thank you again

At the time of SWAN's commissioning Peter was a POEWR (Greenie).  He was born on 31 July 1939 and joined the RAN ON 08 April 1963.  His early career saw postings to VOYAGER (he posted off in Jan 64, about a month before the collision) and YARRA (64/65) before posting to HOBART (65/66) and then commencing shore-time at WATSON & CERBERUS before commissioning SWAN in January 1970.  I have advised Chontelle to contact the Pussers Greenies website to see what they can come up with.  If anyone can help with more information or with the question on the upkeep of kit please do.


January 2013 Entries:


I have received the full list of names of ex RAN personnel who will have a Plaque Dedicated at the Chapel of Remembrance on 10th March.
There are 3 ex Communicators listed, so please make the effort to attend.

AB John Betts.
L/S (QMG) Robert Black
AB William Blaydonb
Stoker Arnold Bruce
LRO James Carey
Commander Lionel Dalton DSO
Chief Yeoman Sydney Gellatly
AB Robert Gillam
Lieutenant Max Marsh
Commander John McAlister
PO/Telegraphist Jack Standbridge
AB Geoffrey Waugh

AS previously mentioned, if attending I will need your names and if private vehicle, the car registration for ADI Security by the 6th March.

Dress is as for ANZAC Day, medals if applicable.

Service commences at 10.00am, but if you could arrive at 0930am, this would be appreciated.

Yours Aye
Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Gunline Destroyers Vietnam

Following received, and if anyone has any knowledge, could you let me know:

G’day ‘Short One’

As you always have your finger on ‘the pulse’ I was just wondering if you know of any group that marches (anywhere in Aust) under a banner called “Gunline Destroyers – Vietnam” ? For some years now, quite a large group of guys who served on the 3 DDGs and Vendetta, have been thinking of designing a banner, and marching in Adelaide under that designation (Gunline Destroyers). What I am trying to do is initially come up with a banner design, and then approaching RSL HQ to see if its appropriate.

All the Best

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Vale Burkhard Horst Gerhard 'Von' Klimpel R95586 - 23.10.1950 to 27.01.2013

Bobbie Bacon sends the following sad news:

On behalf of the Klimpel family, I am sending you the information of the passing of Burkhard "Von" Klimpel, on the 27th January 2013 in the Greenslopes Hospital, Brisbane, at 10.30pm. He had been suffering from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer.

We are experiencing blackouts since 6pm last night, so will update on any news, as it comes to hand, on funeral arrangements.

Thank You
Bobbie Bacon

Very sad news, Von joined in July 1966 at Leeuwin and I'm pretty sure he paid off after 20 years as a CPOSY.  Can someone confirm this please.  I have fond memories of catching up with Von when he was Manager of the Moruya Woolworths a few years ago.  Our thoughts and condolences go to his family.  May he rest in peace.
Lest We Forget.

See entry below for recent update on Von's condition as well as contact details.

Fm JJ (Jenny) Duscher
I am so sad to read of the passing of a very dear fellow communicator who I have known for over 40 plus years. I first met Von in 1969/1970 when we served on watch at Harman.  He was like a big brother to me and when he and Di visited Norm and I in Port Hedland approx. 8/9 years ago I was over the moon that he would take the time to call in for a catch up and bbq. Von you were one of the nicest guys I met in my time in the Navy. Thank you for being the gentleman and friend I got to know all those years ago. May you rest in peace now. Lots of love and sympathy to Di and Von’s family and friends.

Fm Sonja Hellier
Alan and I will keep everyone informed as to funeral arrangements, we have put the family in touch with a  friendly undertaker, and  are arranging for a Navy Chaplain to do the service. Looks like it will be on Friday 8th February at this stage.

Fm Dave Sutherland
Sad to see Von has crossed the bar all too early. Like JJ, I remember Von from HARMAN circa 69/70 - his infectious smile, and always unruly hair.

I understand Von paid off as a Chief, and, he may have done a year or two more than 20, as I did (22 years). I think we share the same promotion date (30NOV86) – how this came about is a story for another day.

Fair winds and following seas, mate.
Dave Sutherland
1965 - 1987

Fm Rod Withers - President RANCBA VIC
President and members of RANCBA Victoria were saddened to hear of the passing of Von. He was a very popular signalman and well liked by many. We would like to express our deep sympathy to Von’s family for their loss and to let them know that we are all thinking of them during this difficult period.

Fm Stacey Klimpel 30/01
My family and I would just like to let all those who know my father Von Klimpel know that sadly he lost his fight with cancer and passed away on Sunday 27th January 2013. The reason I have posted this on Facebook is that many people have asked for Mum's address to send flowers. We would like to ask that small donations be made to the medical research foundation at the hospital he was treated at, instead of sending flowers. The link below is for their website where those that want to can make an anonymous tax deductible donation to the foundation with "Burkhard Klimpel" as the reference. Many thanks x

Funeral Arrangements: -

RSL Poppy service
Friday 8th February, at 10am
Mt. Gravatt Crematorium
Mains Road
Tea, & Coffee with morning tea provided
No flowers please, as the family would like donations for the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (see above).

Alan Hellier will conduct the Poppy Service.

Condolences have been sent to Dianne and family from Executive and members of RANCBA (Q).

Condolences may be forwarded to Dianne at 39 Dunstable Street Macgregor 4109.

Sonja Hellier

Fm Sonja 9/2/13:
Von had a good send off – a number of former shipmates and communicators attended his funeral yesterday morning – he will be sadly missed.

See photo below for a record of Von's life, courtesy of his family, with their permission to circulate. The black and white ones of him with his parents and brothers, the coloured ones are of Von and his family

Sonja Hellier


Australia Day 2013 Honours List

Congratulations to WOCIS Timothy Joseph 'Doc' Holliday & WOCIS William James 'Bill' Welman for their awards in the Australia Day Honours List:

Warrant Officer Timothy Joseph Holliday - Medal (OAM) in the Military Division

For meritorious service to the Royal Australian Navy in the area of workforce and personnel career development within the Communications and Information Systems category.

Warrant Officer William James Welman - Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM)

For meritorious achievement as the Communications Information Systems Category Manager in the Directorate of Navy Category Management.

Great to see Communicators being honoured for outstanding careers.  BZ to you both.


Barry 'Jacko' Jackson Sends a Progress Report

In response to many emails I receive regarding my health I THOUGHT I would send you a letter for the comms page as I am only typing one handed it is very frustrating, I am currently undergoing intensive rehabilitation with the aim of me being able to live independently hence I am now able to shower myself, dress myself, and I am practicing my culinary skills, I would also hope to be walking without the aid of a walking stick soon. But I don't think I will regain the use of my left arm/hand in the foreseeable future.

Yours Aye
Jacko LSGCM+ bar

Vale Bill Collins (ex POTEL)

Denny Gorton sends:

It was sad to hear of ex POTEL Bill Collin's passing last week.  Another fine communicator has crossed the bar. The President and members of RANCBA Victoria extend their deepest sympathies to Bill's family and friends for their loss.

A search of Record of Service cards at Archives turned up quite a few Collin/Collins.  I hope I have the right man in William Denis Collins R29532, born 20 Feb 1926.  Joined RAN in 1946, took free discharge in 1957.  Major postings of Harman, Tarangau and Albatross as well as being attached to Penguin for various ships such as Koala and Kangaroo.

Lest We Forget


Update on Von Klimpel

Some of you may be aware that Von has been ill for some time, and mid last year, seemed to have been on the road to recovery.   However during the latter half of last year, he picked up an infection and at the moment is not travelling very well at all.  We have spoken with his work and family this morning, and they will keep us informed as to his progress.

Von is understandably depressed and a message or two from some old mates may help.

Von's home address is 39 Dunstable Street MACGREGOR QLD 4109.

if sending email, send to his business email: and his family will see that they are passed on.

Sonja Hellier
Hon Sec

Brisbane Get Together

Kev Ruwoldt sends:

Our appeal for some “Younger” ex Communicators to join us at the Grand Central Anne Street worked. I am pleased to announce the two younger Communicators today were David “Doc”Martin and Fred Harper. Welcome fellows.

L to R:- Kev Ruwoldt, Fred Harper, Bas Cleary, Doc Watson, Bob Simpson (back), Trev Percival, John Horton, Tackers Miles, Gus “C.O.C” Dodds, Jim Eagles.

Also Tackers, the next get together will be on the 11th Feb due to the mob that gathers at the Grand to watch the American NFL. Ex Wrans are welcome to join us too!!!!!

Plaque Dedication - Sunday 10 March

A Dedication Service will be held at the Chapel, GI on the 10th March, commencing at 1000.  This will include a Plaque for the late ex LRO James (Jim) Carey.  It is hoped that many who knew him both in the RAN and also in DCA/CAA can attend.

Dress is as for ANZAC Day, Medals if applicable.

If attending, Service commences at 1000am, but if you could arrive by 0930am, also I will need your name/s and if coming via private vehicle, car rego for Security.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Jim Anderson sends:

Wishing all serving and ex-communicators a bright, prosperous and in the case of us old(er) buggers, a healthful 2013.


Jim Anderson

Kevin 'Beast' Eastley kicks off the New Year

Well the website is up and running for another year. Good to be the first one, so to one and all, and all those good Signalmen who remember me, Happy New Year. Beast ( And Sparkers).