'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 contributor names listed below will be familiar to other shipmates who may visit this site.

We are now in direct contact around the globe via the Internet, email and social media, so we are truly  QSO the World”

This is not an on-line forum, if you would like Comms related articles published on this page please send me an email, I update this website regularly and will publish your article (with accompanying photo/s if you wish) as soon as I am able.

Follow this link for previous years QSO

John Curbishley
Web Yeoman


Vale Gregory John Mole R96073 (ex-TO)

If anyone has any info on TO Mole, could they please it on to Ray Sandford, President NAA(Q). TO Mole passed away over the weekend and the Ipswich RSL is short on information about him for the Poppy ceremony. 

Greg Mole was of the 1960’s vintage, having joined as a LEEUWIN Junior Recruit on 3 April 1967.  He did serve in HMAS SYDNEY during trip number 11 to Vung Tau, where 4RAR was disembarked and 2RAR embarked for the trip back to Brisbane.

His service after 1970 is not known, but may have included other trips In HMAS SYDNEY.

Sorry for the short notice – have just been advised that Gregory John Mole, TO who served on HMAS Sydney trips to Vietnam will be laid to rest at Centenary Memorial Gardens tomorrow, Tuesday 17 July, at 2 pm should any of you wish to attend.

Sonja Hellier
Lest We Forget

Vale Howard Halsted OAM Ex-SIG

I'm sorry to advise you that ex Sig. Howard Halsted OAM, passed away this morning. Howard was the past President of the Corvettes Assn and one of those who started the RANCBA here in Sydney in 1946. He was one of Nature's gentlemen.

Howard was serving aboard the Corvette, HMAS STACHAN and at the end of WW II they were sweeping the entrance to Hong Kong for the British Pacific Fleet to enter and accept the surrender of the Japanese when the stern hit an acoustic mine. When I would ask him about this, his answer would be INTERESTING!!!!)

Funeral details . The Service will be held at St. Josephs, Hunters Hill commencing at 1300pm on Tuesday 17th July..

Lest we Forget

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter,

Vale Ray Horton R29679 - ex LROS

Ray J Horton, ex LROS, R29679, H.M.A.S. SYDNEY 1951-1954, passed away peacefully today, with his children around him.  His son rang me this evening with the sad news..

Ray was a long time member of the Association, having joined in 1988.

The funeral is expected to be held next Monday 16 July, at 1100 in Williamstown.

Further details will be promulgated when known.

David Speed Dwyer
H.M.A.S. SYDNEY & VLSV Association

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter
Sad news, Lest We Forget

Ray J Horton`s Funeral are as follows:

10:00 am Monday 16th July

Nelson Bros. Funerals

81 Kororoit Creek Rd.,

Williamstown 3016

Prior to the service, there will be a viewing at 9:30am .

The White Ensign will be draped over his casket and the Naval Hymn will be played ,in honour of his service to Australia.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter


RANCBA Website

Hello John

Can I ask you to please remind all communicators posting on the website, to address items to all communicators ... not just "the chaps".

With thanks and kind regards.

Diana Avent


For all Communicators - herewith an item from Terry Feltham regarding Ian Pfennigwerth's books.

PLease open the attachment and read.

Morning Chaps

Please send this Blurb out on any sites you think would like it.

Comms of course - but there are many others and I don't have links.

As you know BZ mentions greenies, engineers, seamen, stokers, flyers etc.

Terry Feltham

Follow this link for more information.

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCbA NSW Chapter

MEMORIES – Can anyone put names to these Sparker photos?

I should know as I was serving on HMAS MORESBY in '64 and then to sweepers in '65.  Allan, we've met over the decades ..

Came across a couple of pics of a couple of Sparkers that I shipped with on the good ship 'Gascoyne' circa 64 / 65 ... time has fuzzed the memory bank re their names.

Think it's 'Bluey' Croese and 'Squizzy' Taylor -- not to sure about the latter as there were 2 Killick Sparkers during my time on board.

However, thought they might be added to your RANCBA site as lost souls for 'posterity' --- just might ignite some Sparkers memories of the good time.

Trust you are in fine fettle ...

Pete McGurk
 ex POEC 61-72 --- Quickmatch, Melbourne, Gascoyne, ( Watson ), Hobart, ( Harman / Bells ) , Yarra.
( also VP of the Hobart Association and Lakemba Sub Branch Hon Treasurer ).

Forwarded by:
Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM




HISTORY On 30th June 2018,it marks the 77th Anniversary of the sinking of the destroyer HMAS WATERHEN, which was originally built for the Royal Navy in 1918, but transferred to Australia in October 1933, along with 3 'V' Class Destroyers VAMPIRE, VENDETTA and VOYAGER and the Scott Class Destroyer STUART. December 1939, WATERHEN, STUART, VENDETTA, VOYAGER and VAMPIRE formed the 19th Australian Destroyer Squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet and in May 1940, became part of the 10th Destroyer Squadron.

WATERHEN operated in the Med, during the start of WW II and was involved in the evacuation of Australia and British troops from Greece and Crete, then in 1941 she became famous for part of the re-supply of the besieged Tobruk as a member of the famed 'Scrap Iron Flotilla'. On 29th June 1941, whilst on the 'Tobruk Ferry Run' she came under attack from German Stuka bombers and sadly on 30th June 1941, with no casualties became the first Royal Australian Navy warship sunk during the War.

To mark this very significant occasion a Commemorative Service was held at the Base, HMAS WATERHEN , which is now the home for Australian Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Squadron, Mine Warfare , Landing Craft Faculty, 6 Mine Hunters,  HMA DIAMANTINA, GASCOYNE, HAWKESBURY, HUON , NORMAN and YARRA.  Previously it had been the Base for the 6 Ton Class Minesweepers, HMA HAWK, GULL, TEAL, IBIS, SNIPE and CURLEW and then the Attack Class Patrol Boats, HMA ARDENT, AWARE, BARBETTE, BANDOLIER, BOMBARD, BUCCANEER , BAYONET and BARRICADE.

Both Ken Swain AM and myself , had received very nice Invites from the Commanding Officer of HMAS WATERHEN , Commander N J Watson RAN to attend this Service and also for our partners, and I also received a correspondence from the Executive Officer, LCDR David Hellier RAN that I could ask others if they wished to attend and also would I Recite the Ode's

Here I was then accompanied by Don Kennedy, Tony Froome, Liz Watts OAM, Ric Easom and Bill Ross. There was also other Guests who had been invited.

The XO (lCDR David Hellier) carried out the duty as the MC , and the Introduction and Lord's Prayer was given by Chaplain Jon Cox RAN , and the Scripture Reading – Pslam 107 (that many would know) by CWO Tim Badger. Following this was the Address by the Commanding Officer, CMDR NJ WATSON and on completion, the Fanfare 'The Scrap Iron Flotilla March', played by a Detachment of the RAN Band. The Naval Prayer by Chaplain Jon Cox RAN, then the Naval Hymn, and I was called on to Recite the Naval Ode and Ode. A Bugler from the RAN Band played the Last Post , a Minutes Silence Observed and then Reveille. Benediction by Chaplain Cox RAN and following, The Australian National Anthem .

An Award of the Happy Hammond Award and Medal was then carried out by CWO Tim Badger and also other Presentations of Awards to serving personnel was carried out, and here when their name was called out, they would proudly march forward, salute and their Award was presented by the Commanding Officer, CMDR NJ Watson RAN.

On completion, all were asked to make their way to where they Cooks had prepared, sausages, etc for a BBQ luncheon.

Then before we all left, LCDR David Hellier , took us on a guided tour of the Base and inside the Main Building where many item and memento's have been now been framed for all to see, this includes the White Ensign (or what was left) of HMAS WATERHEN when she came under attack.

A very enjoyable day and for me, it was not only the privilege of being asked to Recite the Naval Ode& Ode but my memories of serving there aboard HMAS SNIPE before we sailed for the Indonesian Confrontation in 1965-66 and then the first of the Attack Class Patrol Boats 1968- 70, HMA ATTACK and BARBETTE.

Alan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter


May/June 2018

Kev Leutton Contact details

Hope you can help, My name is Kim Nisbet ex-navy (R112276) and I’m trying to contact Kev Leutton who joined up with me in July 1972 at Leeuwin. I see his name on your communicators page, but can’t find any contact details for him. I was wondering if you pass my details onto him  onto him regarding a reunion.


Kim Nisbet


Hoping this is of interest to those of you that elected to Commute their DFRDB.  With the Budget just released, its timely to congratulate you all on the generous donations YOU are making to the wealth of the country through YOUR reimbursements to DFRDB of your Commutation repayments.

In my case I have contributed $10,000 in the past three years


You may be under the disillusion that since passing the Notional Life Expectancy point that your reimbursements are no longer payable – WRONG !


Case Study by SqnLdr Warwick Reading
I paid back my commutation of 1979 in full by 1996. But In 2018 the repayments continue reducing my pension benefit.
Even when I fall off the perch my widow will continue these payments even on her partial pension.

And from an ARMY Ex-Apprentice
Cut and Paste into your Browser and listen up!

Previously from ME to COLLEAGUES

Parallel to the DFRDB scheme was the Public Service Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme. The main differences were the exploitation of Defence Force personnel and the inequality in dealing with them, as opposed CSS Contributors.

CSS Recipients were eligible for a 100% REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL CONTRIBUTIONS PAID! This didn’t apply to DFRDB Recipients

CSS members on retirement (at 55 years) could opt for benefits to be paid as a lump sum or a whole of life pension.

A DFRDB Contributor could only opt for a commutation which was to be repaid, WE BELIEVED, until NOTIONAL life expectancy was reached. NOT FOR THE DURATION OF LIFE AS SUBSEQUENTLY APPLIED!


Every military recipient of the DFRDB system was under the SAME misconception as every other RECIPIENT of the DFRDB scheme.

That is, that COMMUTATION was essentially a limited loan against future superannuation benefits that would be fully cleared on reaching LIFE EXPECTANCY


Appeals to Government to right these issues have been ignored.

A Class Action would bring the matter into LEGAL ARBITRATION, not further bureaucratic manipulation. There are some 55,000 DFRDB superannuants that could join a Class Action.

Legal Firms Specialising in Class Action Cases advise they need MOTIVATION to take up these cases.

To achieve this, I intend to mount a future CHANGE.ORG petition, canvassing affected parties to support and sign the petition.


Ken Stone

VALE Signalman Max Hayles F5217 RANR

Following received from CMDR Bob Mummery ...

Our service links with the Navies of WWII are growing ever slim as we note the passing of Signalman Max Hayles.

Max joined the Navy as a 17 year old in 1943 and qualified soon after as a Signalman, actual rank details not known at this time. Max served in the HMAS QUICKMATCH attached to the British Eastern Fleet based in Trincomalee then with the British Pacific Fleet based in Sydney taking part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and being in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender.

Max passed away on Friday evening 1 June 2018. His funeral will be held in Western Australia at the Pinnaroo Lawn Cemetery on Tuesday 12 June at 1330.

David MacLean

Lest We Forget

From the Archives:
Signalman Maxwell George Hayles, F5217 RANR. DOB 04 March 1926, Mobilised for Reserve Service 24 September 1943.  Demobilised 23 December 1946 (Rated Sig on 23 March 19440).


Vale Garry Herbert 'Tiny' Kopp R55707 (ex WORS(S))

It is with sadness I report the passing of Garry Kopp (ex WORS(S) ) Late of Bribie Island.

Condolences to wife Maureen and family.

RIP Tiny.

Fred Harper
Bribie Island
Sad news, Lest We Forget.  Tiny was born on 20 March 1939 and joined the RAN in July 1959.  More to follow.

From Brian Nichols:
I remember Tiny very well as he was in the next intake after me in 1959.  I saw more of him after I left the Navy while based at Kowandi Radio station in the 70’s. Had some great memories of him at the PO’s mess at Coonawarra.
RIP Mate

From Trevor Percival:
So sad to hear of Tiny Kopp's Passing. We had plenty of good times ashore while serving on the Melbourne. RIP mate. Condolences to Maureen and the family.

From Jack Bawden:
Re Vale 'Tiny' Kopp.. Pse insert to QSO. Sad news.. Tiny and I were same intake Oct 1959. Tiny as our class leader in Comm Recruit School.. A born leader and a terrific fellow. RIP Tiny.


Pete De Maskens - 43 Years Service.

What happened of significance in 1975, apart from Pete De Maskens joining the Navy. 1975 saw the greatest political and constitutional crisis in Australian history, culminating in the dismissal from office of the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, by the Governor-General Sir John Kerr.

1975 was also the year of the Tasman Bridge disaster in Hobart, struck by the ore carrier Lake Illawarra, and the Kianga Mine disaster where 13 miners were lost in an underground coal mine explosion at the in Queensland, and the arson attack at the Savoy Hotel in Kings Cross.

Papua New Guinea gained its independence from Australia, the Australian Embassy in South Vietnam was closed and staff evacuated prior to the Fall of Saigon, the Government introduced Medibank, and Australia Post and Telecom were formed from the Postmaster-General's Department (PMG).

In Sport the Eastern Suburbs Roosters set a record NSWRL Grand Final winning margin, beating the St. George Dragons 38 points to nil. North Melbourne become the last of the then-extant VFL clubs to win a premiership, beating Hawthorn in the VFL Grand Final, Think Big won the Melbourne Cup with Harry White onboard, and Western Australia won the Sheffield Shield.

Internationally, Muhammad Ali took the world heavyweight boxing title after he TKO’d Joe Frazier in the 15th round in "The Thrilla in Manila", Israel formally signed the Sinai accord with Egypt, the 'Yorkshire Ripper' Peter Sutcliffe took the life of his first victim, Wilma McCann and the US Supreme Court ruled that teachers could spank their pupils but only after a warning.

As already indicated, probably the most significant of events to occur that year was a young Pete De Maskens joining the Royal Australian Navy in October.

And now 43 years later, Pete intends to retire this October. 43 years’ service to the RAN, and the Communications category, is quite an achievement. The fact that the Navy put up with him for that long is even more remarkable.

To mark the occasion, a farewell function will be held at the Zetland Hotel, 936 Bourke Street, Zetland, NSW on Friday 19 October 2018, from 1800h. An open invitation is extended to all those who have been associated with Pete throughout his career. To facilitate catering, anyone intending to attend are asked to RSVP LSCIS Daphne Schneider at by 20 September 2018. Those wishing to convey messages of farewell, or provide photographs of Pete taken over the years, are requested to email Daphne as well.

Cost of the function will be $40 per person, which will cover the cost of food and drinks and a small contribution towards a gift. Full payment should be made by cheque or direct deposit no later than 20 September 2018, to:

· Name: Australian Military Bank

· BSB: 642170

· Acc: 201013898

· Description: Your Surname and number of people attending

The organising committee are also looking for any available photographs and short stories of Pete’s escapades over the years that can be compiled and shared on the night, please ensure they remain suitable to be shared at all levels.

Ted Cummins


This Meeting will be held on Saturday 23rd June 2018 commencing at 11.00am with the venue, Parramatta RSL CLub

All financial Members and those wishing to join this Association are invited , so please make the effort to be there.

Serving CIS Sailors are more than welcome as you are the people that we hope will continue this Association.

Parramatta RSL Club is situated in Macquarie Street, just near the Parramatta Park entrance. If coming by private transport, ample parking across the road from the Club in the Club's Parking Station. For those using Public Transport, it is an easy 10 minutes walk from the Parramatta Inter Changer, rail & bus. Just walk through the Mall to Macquarie Street and do a turn left and it is on the right hand side.

Hoping to see you there.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

RANCBAVIC & Southern Region Regional Reunion Cowes/Phillip Island Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th August 2018 - Update No3.

Firstly we have great news - We have secured the Navy band for Vietnam Vets day Museum service, the march and to play in the afternoon after the march. It will further assist this weekend in being very enjoyable.

1. The purpose of this update is to provide further information on activities during this reunion. I shall also provide the accommodation venues again. To date we have 32 booked and I am aware of at least another 20 that intend to book.

2. I can provide further information re the programme of events. Firstly is the meet and great Thursday the 16th which commences at 6.30 pm at the Cowes RSL. We will be in a private area - The Anzac room which is to the rear once you are inside. The RSL is providing the finger food at no cost to us. You may also purchase meals during the evening.

3. Friday we feature a bus trip which has been finalised except we are still waiting to hear the price after our group discounts. Pick up is at the RSL and parking as per last night. We will depart around 9.45 AM. The first stop is the Vietnam Vets museum. Next is Churchill Island Heritage farm where we will also have lunch. (we may have a stopover at the chocolate factory - this depends on how long we spend at the Vets Museum). After lunch we will head to the Grand Prix tract for a 40 minute tour. If there is time we will visit the Nobbies Penguin nesting area for a short visit. The final visit is to the Penguin parade have a look around and then watch the penguins come home out of the ocean. Then its back to the RSL for dinner around 7.30 pm (or elsewhere if you prefer).

4. Saturday just got a lot bigger - we have the a Navy Bugler for the service at the Vets museum, then we head back into the township - the cultural centre for the march. Step off 12.30 pm. We have secured the Navy band to lead us in the march. We will also be led by our patron Commodore Greg Youk and a number of other navy personnel to be advised. PS dont forget your medals. Then its back to the RSL after the march where we will be entertained by part of the Navy band. Please park at the rear again. Finger food will be supplied during the afternoon.

5. On saturday we will have our usual reunion dinner in the Anzac room again. I shall ask our patron to give a quick summary of his role as the Senior Naval Officer Victoria. You all should sleep well after dinner.

6. There will be a further update at the end of next month after our Singapore cruise. This will be mainly to tidy up some of the minor things not finalised like tour costs etc. In the meantime please advise your friends about this reunion - the more the better to enhance a great weekend.

7. A reminder of our accommodation venues that are giving us a 10% discount.

Amaro park - 97 church st Cowes - phone - 035952 2548 - cabins and 3 remaining small camping sites.
Cowes caravan park 164 Church St Cowes - Phone 035952 2211 -Cabins and sites.
Anchor Belle holiday park 272 Church St Cowes - Phone 035952 2258 - Top tourist park - Cabins and Sites.

Cheers Nokka

Vale Ben Simons R29397 (ex PO Tel)

Have just been advised that former PO Tel Ben Simons passed away on 3rd September 2017. He was living at Biloela at the time.

Condolences can be sent via his email address

Sonja Hellier
Hon Secretary

Vale Jacqueline Rhondda Cooper (ex WRAN TEL)

Sad to relate the passing on Sunday 20th May, of Jacqueline Rhondda COOPER, following a long illness. ex-WRAN TEL (Harman circa 1956/7) and wife of John Cooper TEL/RO/DCA, they were married for 60 years.

Yours Aye

David MacLean


WA Chapter  will hold a Midwinter Lunch at the Bayswater Hotel at 12.00 Friday June 15th. All welcome. Numbers to Arthur, Brian or David by Friday 8th June please.

David MacLean
WA Chapter

Yours aye
David MacLean

Seeking Information On Ex RO Kevin Francis Harkin

I have just found out that friend and old shipmate Kev Harkin had passed in July 2017.  I have been in contact with other communicators, who also knew and served with Kev, and they also were unaware of his passing. Kevin’s passing has come as a huge shock to all I have recently spoken too. Since finding out this very sad news I have tried without success to find out the details of Kevin’s passing, and if anyone could assist me with any details as to the cause of his passing I would be very appreciated.

Kind Regards,
Paul Cashman

Update on George McRobb

Just an update on George McRobb. His operation was a success, a third of the lung removed and according to the surgeon, he has been healed.

He is back home and has to have some follow up therapy on his other lumps and bumps. He sounds very positive and even sounded as though he has a sense of humour!

All the best
Frank Hoy

RANCBAVIC & SOUTHERN REGION Regional Reunion Cowes/Phillip Island


1. Further to our previous update we can now provide further information regarding this regional reunion. The weekend commences Thursday evening with a meet and greet at the Cowes RSL kicking off at 6.30 pm. We have a private area - the Anzac room which is to the rear of the building. The RSL is providing finger food for this evening at no cost to us. You may also purchase meals later if you require. They also provide a shuttle service home if needed.

2. Friday we will have a bus or two for a tour of the local sights. The bus will depart the RSL around with the first stop being the Vietnam Vets museum for a tour. If you have been there previously you will be surprised at the growth and the increase in items on display. The cost of this is TBA and this will also be the same for the other venues that we visit as we are discussing discounts with each venues head office. Other visits will be the Chocolate factory and then the Churchill Is heritage farm where we will be having lunch. Following lunch we will visit the Grand Prix track - a real eye opener this one!! Then its off to the Nobbies which is a boardwalk where the penguins nest in the side of the hill. Then its down to the Penguin parade for their evening parade home. We will then return back to the RSL for dinner at approx 7.30 pm or elsewhere if you wish.

3. Saturday morning/afternoon commences with a service at the Vietnam Vets museum at 11 am - make your own way - probably some car pooling. On completion of this service we will drive into the Cowes township where the march will commence at 12.30 pm from the cultural centre to the Cenotaph which is two blocks. We must thank the Shire of Cowes for setting up the March with Barriers, road closures etc at no cost. The march will be led by Commodore Yorke our Patron, and we will have our barrier following him. On completion of the march we will head back to the RSL (park at the rear) for finger food provided by the RSL. We are hoping the band will play a few tunes for everybody to top off the event.

4. Our usual reunion dinner will also be held in the Anzac room - purchase own meals. We may also have a small raffle!! Our patron may have a short chat re his role as the Senior Naval officer Victoria and what he hopes to achieve.

5. There will be 1 or 2 further updates at the end of next month following the Singapore cruise. This will be mainly to tidy up some of the minor points not finalised like the tour costs and the full role of the navy band. In the meantime please tell your mates about this weekend so that we can have an impressive roll up.

6. A reminder of our accommodation venues that are giving us a 10% discount for the weekend.

1. Amaroo Park - 97 Church St Cowes - phone 0359522548 - cabins and 4 small sites available.

2. Cowes caravan park - 164 Church St Cowes - phone 0359522211 - cabins & sites available

3. Anchor Belle holiday park 272 Church St Cowes - phone 03 59522258 Top Tourist Park - Cabins & Sites.

Any other queries please ring me on 0418 524 067.

Cheers Nokka


On Friday, 11th May , accompanied by Vice President Ms Liz Watts OAM, we attended the Memorial Service for the torpedoing and sinking of the Hospital Ship CENTAUR on the 14th May, 1943 by the Japanese submarine I-177. There was 332 persons on board when it had sailed from Sydney, but sadly 265 lost their lives on that fatal day.

The Service was held at the 113 AGH Memorial Chapel, Concord Hospital and conducted by Mr. Dale Bailie, Anglican Chaplain and Fr Graeme Malone SSS, Catholic Chaplain and after the introduction all were invited to sing the Naval Hymn .
A Bible Reading by the Chaplain and then a Prayer for the Navy was given by myself (I had been invited to carry out this part of the Service), and this was followed by the Naval Psalm by Mr Allan Curry OAM, 5 Field Ambulance.

Then the CENTAUR Address by given by RADM Ken Doolan AO RAN Rtd – former National President of the RSL. His speech was outstanding, and something to see/hear – how he spoke for 20 minutes, and at no stage did he refer to notes , and this included names, dates – he was given a standing ovation and later one of the Chaplains referred to his speech and his 'homework' on the subject.

After the Reflections, the Wreath Laying Ceremony took part and this was directed by Ms Alice Kang. There were many and Captain Mike Spence RAN, represented the Australian Fleet Commander.  All were asked to remaining Standing and the ODE was Recited by Mr John Haines AM, Chairman of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway, The Last Post , 1 Minutes Silence and Reveille was carried out.

The Thanks Giving Prayer and then a Tribute to Sister Ellen Savage, this was given by Ms Heidi Morcombe A/Nursing Executive Officer, Concord Hospital. Sister Savage was one of the twelve Nursing Sisters who had sailed in CENTAUR and when it was torpedoed off the Queensland coast near Moreton Island , she was the only Nursing Sister to survive, and even though suffering from severe bruising, a fractured nose, burst ear drums, a broken palate and fractured ribs she managed to join the other survivors and gave assistance where ever she could. She raised their morale and supervised the rationing of their very scare water and food supplies. The survivors were eventually rescued by the US Destroyer USS MUGFORD. In 1944 - FOR CONSPICUOUS SERVICE and HIGH COURAGE- she was Awarded the GEORGE CROSS.

This was followed by a Service - Placement of the Memorial Candles – everyone was given a lighted candle in a small vase and all went forward and placed on the Alter – Very moving.

Then as it is International Nurses Day on 11th May, a Reading was carried out by the Director of Nursing, Concord Hospital – unfortunately I didn't write her name down.

Then the Lord's Prayer and Benediction and the National Anthem and here from a very packed congregation, sung with great pride.

All were then Invited to an adjoining room for refreshments , and here I was called over to join with RADM Ken Doolan AO, Mr Allan Curry OAM and 2 other ex Service personnel (1 male & 1 female) to be part of the Cake Cutting which had been made to mark the 75th Anniversary.

This brought to an end of a very well organised and conducted Service.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Vale Graeme 'Goldie' Barton (ex LSRO)

The following was posted on the RANCBA facebook page by Laurie Haines and forwarded to QSO by Ross Arklay.

Sadly I have to report the passing of Graeme 'Goldie' Barton ex-LSRO from a heart attack suffered whilst holidaying in NZ on Saturday 5th of May 2018. Goldie joined the RAN as a Junior Recruit, HMAS LEEUWIN in 1972 as a member of the Collins-Walton 40th intake and served for 10 years. Among his postings (years may not be correct or exact) are Leeuwin 72-73), Cerberus 73-74), Albatross (74), Torrens (74-75), Harman (76-77), HEH (78-81), Stirling (81-82).

Goldie was a great Aussie Rules player who thrived on taking speccies and kicking goals, generous to his mates of who he had many and generally an all-round good bloke. When funeral arrangements have been finalised (to be held in WA) they will be published. For those who knew Goldie's wife Beryl Barton, she is on Facebook if you wish to pass your regards.

Commiserations to Beryl Barton, daughters Sandra Lee & Samantha Sullivan and son, Michael Barton.

I served with Goldie at HEH, he was on my watch in the RANCOMMCEN and we had some great times together. We also played in the Navy aussie rules premiership side together in 1979. There is a photo of that team in the sports photo section of the RANCBA website.  Very sad to see him go.


March/April 2018


The Korean War Memorial Peace Concert

On Saturday 14th April, in company with my wife Helen and Vice President Ms Liz Watts OAM, we attended this Concert.  It was held at the Sydney Town Hall, with Reception from 3pm to 4pm, and here the Consul General for Korea had arrived from Canberra and also the Consul plus staff from Sydney . They were both called forward and the National Anthems of South Korea and Australia were played and with many Australians in attendance, our Anthem was sung with great pride.

Then Colonel Michael Miller , Representing the Governor of NSW , came forward and spoke and for those who attended the Battle of the Java & Coral Sea Service. just lately, he was the Guest Speaker He came up to me when he finished, and we had a nice chat, also Victor Domminello (he represented the Premier of NSW and he was at one time , the State Member for Veterans so have had the privilege of meeting him on many occasions). One of the organisers, RADM Ian Crawford AO RAN Rtd also spoke and later on I was to meet and speak with RADM Andrew Robinson AO RAN Rtd, During this part of the Reception, staff moved around and gave you very nice wine, cold ales, fruit drinks etc and also smallie eats brought around .

At 4pm, all were asked to make your way to the main hall, and sit where you wished . On leaving the reception and making our way to the main hall, all were given a present, beautiful wrapped and in it, a nice scarf. (Shall have to buy a new outfit to wear with it!!!). The Music was outstanding and it went till 6pm and on completion, a very big standing ovation, I could have stayed for more, but sadly it came to an end.

I could only say – WHAT A NIGHT and glad that I took up the offer when they sent me an Invite.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

ANZAC Day – 25th April 2018 Sydney – RANCBA

First off, I do have to apologise for delay in not getting all information out earlier, but along with other personnel from Army & Navy, ABC etc we were invited to a Meeting today, 16th April to go through the very lengthy listing for all Units and Contingents taking part.

Wreath Laying – The RANCBA will again Lay a Wreath at the Cenotaph, Martin Place at our allotted time of 07 40am. Please muster at the cnr of Pitt Street & Martin Place for the March On at 07 30am. Our Wreath Layer/s will be selected that day, and normally we select 2 serving CIS Sailors to carry out this Service.

ANZAC Day March – This year , all current serving Navy, Army and Air Force will lead the March with the ADF Band selected to lead was the RAAF and there will also be a fly-over by Air Force aircraft at 0900am. The March Leader for current Navy, will be RADM Jonathon Mead AM RAN current Australian Fleet Commander.

WW II Navy Veterans will be led by RADM Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd and will form in at the cnr of Philip and Hunter Streets with the approx time of start will be 0925am.

Post WWII which includes the RANCBA (nr 9) , will muster in Hunter Streets extending south on Castlereagh Street. The March Leader of Post WW II Navy will be Cmdre Brian Robertson AM RAN Rtd. I shall have the Banner up, and there will be March Marshals , so if in doubt, check with them as to where we are mustering . Approx time of step off – 09 50am
The RANCBA this year will have 2 March Leaders , myself and also Mr Don Ferguson, aged 94 1/2 years and one of few remaining WWII Convoy Signalman .Banner Bearers and 2 ANF carriers will be selected on the day.

There will be an 'Eyes Left' when marching in Elizabeth Street , adjacent to the Memorial in Hyde Park.  When we turn into Liverpool Street, the order Dismiss will be given, please clear the roadway as many many more are following. Dress accordingly, full Medals where applicable.

Reunion. Once again, on completion we will muster at the Green Square Hotel, Zetland, one stop from Central Station, and here 'Mine Host' is ex L/Sig Nigel 'Swampy' Marsh.  All family, friends are more than welcome and you can call it 'stumps' whenever you wish, so please come along and keep the name of the RANCBA as one of the best Associations.

See you there at both Services and then the Reunion.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Seeking Lofty Kerr

I served with Lofty in 1951 on board the HMAS Anzac II in Korea. I am trying to track him to make contact with him again, I do not know if he is still alive.

He served in the British Army and was highly decorated by the King, in WWII. Later he joined the RAN as a Signalman.

Went ashore with him on runs.

This is all the information I have.

Thank you,
Gordon Parker

If anyone can assist Gordon please do.


RANCBA-ACT Anzac Day Arrangements

Your march leader will be Dave Jeffrey.

Members usually meet at the Navy Memorial – form up between 1000-1030 – march commences at 1040 – we are number 37 in the march order. Look for our banner, please wear your name badge and don’t forget to turn your mobile off.

We are holding an after-march function at the Canberra Bowling Club, Hobart Ave Forrest. Kick off at 1230 approx.

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

Peter Guy

Information on Ancac day March Melbourne 2018

This years Anzac Day March in Melbourne sees RANCBAVIC up near the front and stepping off in front of Flinders St Station and a few groups back from the 950 sailors from HMAS Cerberus who are forming up in Swanton St. The Navy contingent is being led by Marty Grogan and his son Darren who I believe is a Commander now. As we are close to the front and this is the biggest navel contingent in my memory, it would be very nice if we could have as many ex Comms sailors and Wrans as possible join us for the March.

As usual, after completion of the March we will be bussing to the Maouri Chiefs Hotel in South Melbourne.

We look forward to a very good roll up for this large Navel flavour Anzac Day March.

Cheers Nokka

Brisbane Anzac Day Parade

Navy Communicators are advised to form up in William Street behind the RANCBA Qld Banner by 1030 am.

Post Parade: Victory Hotel ( Booked function room) Cnr Edward and Charlotte Streets $20 pp includes drinks and eats.

Please advise Sonja or Alan RANCBA Q on 07 3397 2663 or if you wish to join us after the parade and you will be given further information.

Sonja Hellier
Hon Secretary RANCBA Q

Dewey Parnell - Scattering of Ashes

I received this email and attachment from the daughter of recently departed Lester (Dewey) Parnell (ex TO) who wished his ashes be scattered in the ocean somewhere, I was most impressed with the treatment she and her family received and the certificate she was given (she did not know about it until the Captain presented it to them the next day) and I thought it may be worth sharing with the RANCBAers, through the newsletters and forums.

Andy Cowley (ex LTO)

Original Message
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2018 9:38 AM -
From: Carmel

Hi Andy & Cec

I hope you are both well. Our cruise was great the ship was so big but was really nice. I have attached the certificate that the ship presented to us after we scattered Dad's ashes. They were really helpful and respectful about the whole ceremony.



Vale Malcom Donald McKenzie R93237 (ex LTO)

It is with regret I am passing on the Vale of LTO Malcom Donald McKenzie R93237, DOB 31/07/44 passed away 21/03/2018.  Born Cobden Victoria passed away Condingup W/Aust.

Joined RAN 10/1/1961 2nd intake of Junior Recruits HMAS Leeuwin.

I rang Sue his wife yesterday afternoon having just returned from an O/S trip.  Mal came out of hospital last Friday having had treatment for a previous condition.  He passed away early yesterday morning (21/03/18).

Could you pse check to see if he is the first V/S person to pass away from the 2nd intake Leeuwin.

It is with Great Sorrow
Raymond (Bogey) Knights
Sad news, Lest We Forget.  Sorry Bogey, I can't help you with a breakdown of the 2nd intake - I don't have those sort of records.  May he rest in peace.


Vale Graham Thomas Bence R53073

Shorty Moffatt advises that he has just had a phone call from Doug 'Wop' Boyle that ex CRS Graham Bence passed away last night (7 March 2018).

A t present no further details known. More information will be posted as it comes to hand.  May he rest in peace.

Sad news, Lest We Forget.

I'm Pretty sure that Graham paid off as a WORS.  Can anyone confirm this?

Vale – Graham Bence CPORS (Ret) FESR (HMAS Quickmatch)

It is with deep regret I inform you that our shipmate Graham crossed the bar yesterday Wednesday 7.3.18, following a long illness.

Graham’s funeral will be held in the Joyce Chapel at 10.30am at Fawkner Memorial Park (1187 Sydney Road Fawkner Victoria 3060) on Friday 16th March 2018.

There is a port of no return, where ships
May ride at anchor for a little space

And then, some starless night, the cable slips,
Leaving an eddy at the mooring place…

Gulls, veer no longer. Sailor, rest your oar.
No tangled wreckage will be washed ashore.

Ian Hogarth Hon Sec

From the Archives:

Graham Thomas Bence R53073.  DOB 09 April 1934.  Date of entry 27 May 1957, renewed engagement until 26 May 1977.  Promoted ORD TEL November 57, RO May 1959, A/LRO August 1961, LRO August 1962, A/RS December 1966, RS December 1967 (not sure of promotion date to CPORS). Postings: CERBERUS 57/58 QUICKMATCH 58/60, HARMAN 60/61, YARRA 61, QUICKMATCH 61/62, WATSON 62/63, MELVILLE (COONAWARRA) 63/64, CERBERUS 64/66, MELBOURNE 66/67, CERBERUS 68/70.  (Postings after this not known).

From Kev Ruwoldt:

I was drafted to HMAS Quickmatch in October 1959 from HMAS Watson. The ship was in dry dock in Williamtown preparing for the next trip ‘Up Top” (Far East). Sent home to have 2 weeks leave prior to departure rejoining the ship in Fremantle enroute to Singapore. My first watch was with Graham and my life as a Radio Operator began under his instruction. Having joined from Alice Springs he quickly gave me the nick name “Marbuck” after the film Jedda. Thank god that name never stuck. For my remaining time in the Navy I never saw him again after he left the ship upon our return to Sydney but did follow him around different drafts a couple of times.

Graham contacted me on the Internet early 2000’s, my daughter noticed an email addressed to “Marbuck” and was going to delete it when Anne said don’t, its probably one of dad’s navy mates. Sure enough it was. He told me he had worked for Foreign Affairs and had been in Warsaw, Poland. He became friendly with a Polish woman Ewa and eventually married her before returning to Australia. His time with Foreign Affairs came to end because he had married a person from a Communist country.

His daughter Alex began a 5 year Vetinary degree at Queenlsand University and he visited me on one of his trips and stayed over. We caught up from our navy days to present day. His next trip he stated he would like to catch up with Tackers Miles and Gus Dodds. After some quick phone calls a Meet and Greet was made for the Sherwood RSL. It was so good we said this should happen every month so thus began our Grand Central meets on the first Monday of every month.

Graham had missed out on the 1996 and 1999 Nationals as he had no contact with anyone ex navy at that time. I rang him and gave him details to get in contact with Wop Boydle. Turned out Graham had been Wop’s best man at their wedding in Darwin. Now he was able to attend National Reunions and thoroughly enjoyed them all.

Graham’s one love in life was to sample every different beer he could get his hands on. He always carried a note book with to write down the beer, date drank and where. I found out there were a lot of Yuppie Beers here in Brisbane on his visits.

Graham was a solid mate and I will miss our chats and e-mails.

Wish you smooth sailing and calm seas mate,

Kev “Ruwie” Ruwoldt 8/03/2018

From Shorty Moffatt:

Graham was a 'man for all seasons' and in all the time I had known him, he never changed and took life as he saw it. It wasn't a great shock when Doug Boydle rang me, as Graham has sent me a corro ages ago advising he was having problems, but never elaborated but told me you have to expect problems in our age.

He will be sadly missed by all that knew him.

Smooth sailing mate, keep a good listening watch

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt

From Brian Nichols:

Sad to hear of Graham’s passing – condolences to all his family.
Fond memories of times past- Especially one memorable day
At the Noonamah Pub !!

RIP mate
Brian Nichols

From Tackers Miles:

Saddened to hear of the passing of Graham Bence. A good bloke , a friend a lovely wife and family. Sleep well old friend and rest assured tht you are missed.


From Bruce Spender:

So sorry to hear of the passing of Graham Bence. He was a good communicator and a good friend. He was one of those guys who always gave of his best as far as the job was concerned. However, he was one of those guys who could put on a brand new, tailor made uniform and within 5 minutes it looked as if it was years old. I think this counted against him in some ways. Condolences to his wife and family. RIP shipmate. Not sure if he made it to WORS.


From Paul Boase:

Farewell to fine person, another of the older of us old Sparkers who I have fond memories of and admired, rest in peace Graham.

WRANS-RAN Women - National Reunion 2020

The WA Association of ex WRANS-RAN Women, is hosting the next National Reunion of members, in 2020, here in Perth.

We are accepting Expressions of Interest now, with Registrations opening in February 2019.

Please email the following details to

Maiden name:
Years of 19xx-19xx, (not how many years served)
Contact details:
Name of Partner/friend attending:

Check out our new website for early details - it will be updated as things are finalised.

Sue Hackett,
Facilitator, Steering Committee, Reunion 2020.

Seeking Jim Kelly

I know I have asked you this before, but I have been hacked and lost everything. Once again, I am looking for a contact number or email for Jim Kelly (ex Yeoman).

Cheers om

Les White
If anyone can assist with Jim's whereabouts please let me know.


January/February 2018

DWD Radio Room VK5BUG

I am unsure if they will be of interest to ex-comms folk, but here are a couple of very recent pictures taken of me on air from my Radio Room.

Amateur radio per ICW mode has been a major activity in my life since RAN ship-shore days @ Coonawarra VHM in 1967-8, and I remain in regular email contact with Gareth “Tank” Evans, Jim “Rossco” Anderson & Mike “Drogey” Patterson, all ex-RAN.

Most of my station is “home-brewed” & I have never used a commercial aerial in 51 years! The large receiver is a classic AWA CR6B & the commercial transceiver is a Yaesu FT-990 from the late 1990s.

The Vibroplex bug key I purchased from Geoff Broomhall @ GI sometime in the sixties when I served in Ibis & I have used it ever since, including during my years of NATO “spook” Arctic/Antarctic sea-time service after paying off with a First Class ticket.

Best wishes to all.

Regards de DWD (Adelaide) ex-RS
Dr David “Doc” Wescombe-Down JP(Ret.) VK5BUG


Vale Gwenda Hatch

David MacLean advises:

"Mrs Hatch was the widow of ex-PO TEL Brian Hatch who served in various ships and establishments between 1945 and 1958. Some of the ‘Oldies” may remember Mrs Hatch from Harman."

Yours aye



On Sunday 25th February, this very unique Dedication of Memorial Plaques to departed comrades (m/f) who have served our Nation in the Royal Australian Navy and it was held in conjunction with the HMAS PERTH Assn Church Service at the GI Chapel and Officiated by Chaplain Simote Finau RAN , here he was accompanied with the singing by a Member of the RAN Band (Sydney Detachment) Tracey Kennedy (and for those who have not heard her sing , she is good) and with other Members of the RAN Band providing the music accompaniment.

The Congregation were all asked to stand as the Australian White Ensign was paraded into the Chapel, by serving personnel and the AWE was presented to the Chaplain, who draped it over the altar. After the Welcome by the Chaplain, all were invited to join in the Hymn, 'Oh God our help in Ages Past', this was followed by the Lords Prayer and the Naval Psalm, and Reflections.

The Dedication of Memorial Plaques then took place, and this included:

L/Seaman (LRO) Godfrey Aldridge
L/Seaman Adam Allcroft
Petty Officer Alan Keys
Chief Petty Officer Richard Lewin
Lieutenant Commander John Martin
Stoker Kenneth Partridge

Family Members or friends are then invited by the Chaplain to come forward and speak about that person. A friend of Godfrey 'Checkers' Aldridge came forward and spoke in 2 parts, how they had joined up as JR's in Brisbane, and their time at HMAS LEEUWIN and on completion, postings within the RAN and then their friendship that continued .

During this part of this Service , 5 came forward to address and speak on behalf of a person , and my only regret, with some of the talks given, that no record is kept, and they pass into history.

On completion of this part of the Service, the Commemoration of HMAS PERTH was then given.

'We remember those of HMAS PERTH who died in the waters of Sunda Strait and those of other ships for whom the sea is their final resting place.  We also remember those who died as POW's and those that have died since that time both in Service and after.'

This was followed by the poem HMAS PERTH, and then all were asked to stand and join in the singing of the Naval Hymn , and the ODE's was Recited by the Chaplain . The Last Post, a Minutes Silence and then Reveille was then played by a Bugler of the RAN Band , and then the AWE Parade Party marched down the Chapel aisle and the Chaplain gave the AWE to the Bearer and then they faced the Congregation and the National Anthem was then sung by all.

After all had then been seated, A Prayer for the Navy and the Blessing.

This brought to the end of another very well conducted Service and I would state, if you ever get the chance to attend this unique Service – do so.

On completion all were advised of the Morning Tea would be provided in the Naval Historical Bldg , provided by the RANCBA & FNSA – all volunteers, and today, due to other commitments, all was by the RANCBA.

Here I would like to say special thanks to all that showed their MKR expertise with cooking and then assisting in serving – for many of those families of departed shipmates, it is their first contact with the Navy outside of the Chaplain's Office regarding this Service.

Here in no set order, Ray & Sharon Mundy, Liz Watts, Diana Avent (and accompanied by her sister Liz) Ric & Jan Easom, Ken Swain , Andy & Jan Mills and myself, and with out their help this would not be possible and I had many from those of the public in attendance , to pass on their sincere thanks for what we do.

BZ to all concerned.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

HMAS VOYAGER Memorial Service

To commemorate the 54th fatal loss of HMAS VOYAGER II D04 and the loss of 82 RAN personnel during the collision with HMAS MELBOURNE on the 10th February 1964 at approx 2048, brg 10nm SE off the coast near Jervis Bay and was Australia's greatest peacetime Naval disaster, a Memorial Service was held , coordinated by the VOYAGER's Survivors Association.

It commenced with a 'Meet & Greet' on the Friday night at the Jervis Bay Club previously called the Jervis Bay RSL. Here I caught up with Duncan Fletcher a survivor and we served together for 18 months on a Patrol Boat (HMAS BARBETTE) , Alex Hegarty, President of the Survivors Association and only person to escape from the wheelhouse and after survivors leave , he was drafted to HMAS MORESBY .and over the next 12 months, I got to know quite well. Also met up with Sig Gary Evans, only person to make it off the bridge –this is just a few.

At the same time , ex JR Members were meeting down there and here I met up with Ian & Marion Schubert , Ian had been on board HMAS MELBOURNE at time of the collision.

I was contacted by the Secretary of the VOYAGER's Assn could I again be the MC at the Official Luncheon, having done so for the last 4 years, and to me it is a privilege and here I can remember and recall those who I had served and known and sadly lost their life that night, RO Bob Denham, we had joined up together, Rct School /Comms School and this was his 2nd posting to VOYAGER and it was to be his last posting in life, Sub Lieut Sandy Beavis the VOYAGER's SCO, he had been my CRS prior to going to UK for a SD Course, LRO Don McFarlane , L/Sig Teape , Yeo Kev Cullen to name a few.

On the Saturday there was to be a Official Luncheon, so I contacted the Chaplain at HMAS CRESWELL, Chaplain Rendall 'Max' Walker RAN if he could send me a Grace that would be appropriate for the Luncheon, to which he did , and I learnt it by heart. The Guest of Honour and Speaker was Commodore Chris Smallhorn RAN, Commander of the Fleet Air Arm, HMAS ALBATROSS, and here he was accompanied by his delightful and charming wife Kerina. I invited him to come forward and Address all in attendance, it was indeed a very good speech, and to put it mild, he had done his homework and this was appreciated by all

There were many survivors and partners/friends in attendance and some that I met and spoke with, Mrs Coral Cullen wife of the late Yeoman Kev Cullen who lost his life that night, the daughter of CPO Coxn Jonahton Rogers GC DSM , who when those trapped below and knew they could not escape had said 'sorry lads, we're done for' and then led them in the singing of 'Abide with Me' – he was Awarded the George Cross for his outstanding courage, dignity and honour that night.

That evening, at approx 2048 10th February (the time of the collision) a Memorial Service was held at the Memorial located at the back of the Club near the waterfront, and here Chaplain Rendall Walker RAN. HMAS CRESWELL, Officiated and on completion, Wreaths were laid.

On Sunday , a Service was held at the Holy Trinity Chapel, HMAS CRESWELL conducted by Chaplain Walker RAN and attended by many, this included Commodore Chris Smallhorn RAN, Captain Charles Huxtable RAN, Commanding Officer RANC, HMAS CRESWELL.

A BBQ was held later at the premise of John & Brenda Hannay , Secretary and Treasurer of the VOYAGER's Survivors Association, but here I had to tender my apologies and commence the drive back to Sydney. A special mention must be made of what John & Brenda do for this Association and its Members.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

RANCBAVIC & SOUTHERN REGION Regional Reunion Cowes/Phillip Island - 16th to 19th August 2018

1. It pleases us to advise that the next Regional reunion for our group is to be held in Cowes on Phillip Island from Thursday the 16th of August to Sunday the 19th of August. We have put together an interesting array of activities during the long weekend mainly centered around the magnificent RSL in Cowes. This hopefully will keep everybody out of the cold as much as possible. We have attempted to add a large Navel theme to try and kick start the old memories. Not everything is locked away as yet, therefore we will provide plenty of updates as we progress. However I would like everybody to notify ex Navy mates that may not see this notification to come and join us for this Regional reunion - especially the March and other Naval themes involving the reunion.

2. Accommodation - We have sourced 3 venues close to or in Cowes and all on the same road and all handy to the centre of the township and the RSL. The first is Amaroo Park 97 Church St Cowes. They have a number of cabins and a few Motorhome sites. They also have a five bedroom 3 Bathroom guest house with a very large lounge & kitchen area which would be perfect for singles. You can book this as singles. I am sure it will be booked out quickly. Contact details are phone 03 5952 2548.  The second is Cowes Caravan Park 164 Church St Cowes phone 03 5952 2211 -  They have plenty of cabins and sites. Some sites may be closed for grass regeneration. The third is Beach Park (A Top Tourist Park) 272 Church St Cowes Phone 03 5952 2258 -

All of these parks have offered a 10% discount for a minimum 3 night stay.

There is a huge amount of accommodation on the island as it is a massive holiday location in summer. Visit - Be aware that you need Cowes accomodation unless you have local area knowledge.

3. The meet and greet on Thursday evening will be in a private room at the RSL from around 6.30 pm. I will let you know in a later update if there will be a cost for the food. It will be purchase own drinks. This room will also be the venue for the dinner on Saturday night. time to be advised.

4. On Friday the 17th we will organise a bus tour of all the local attractions, culminating with the penguin parade. When we next visit we will organise this tour and which Penguin option we think appropriate. This will be advised in a further update. I anticipate most of us will visit the RSL for dinner after the penguins. Its handy that the penguins parade early at this time of the year. We will put aside the private room again for dinner At the RSL.

5. We are currently discussing a number of things with the RSL and the Vietnam Vets museum regarding the Saturday which is Vietnam Vets day. The museum may have a service At the museum at 11 am this day. This is still to be advised. There will definitely be a March (approx 1Km) in the main st of Cowes back towards the RSL. We have requested the full Navy band (our prospects are very good) to lead the March. Also Victoria has a newly reinstated Senior Naval Officer based at Victoria Barracks. It is Commodore Greg York RANR who will also become our Patron. He hopes to attend with his family for the weekend, but definitely for the day Saturday. The time of the March will be advised after we find out whether or not there will be a service at the museum. We have invited the Vets to March with us along with any ex service members from the RSL. Further information will be advised on these events when confirmed.

6. The Saturday night dinner will commence at 6 pm in the previously mentioned private room. The RSL can provide a shuttle service to get everybody back to their accommodation.

Some of us will be staying on for Sunday and the night - feel free to join us - we may then have a good look around the township.

7. There will be further updates following, in the meantime can I ask everybody to publish this event as much as possible. The March, the band and our new patron, plus the eagerness of the RSL to look after us will I'm sure make this our best Regional reunion to date. I am also inviting a lower deck legend to attend so that we can acknowledge his tales and give him a big pat on the back.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Regards RANCBAVic & Southern Region

Vale Peter Kingsley Bonser R29034 (ex POTEL)

The following sad news was received from Kath Bonser via Denny Gorton & David MacLean:

Just to let you know that Peter passed away on Tuesday the 6th February, at Epworth Hospital, Richmond. He died peacefully surrounded by his family.

The funeral will be next Tuesday, the 13th Feb at 11am at St. Kevins Catholic Church Herlihy’s Road, Lower Templestowe.

Kind Regards,

From Denny Gorton:
Sad news. Peter and Kath were special friends of ours. We shared accommodation in Sydney while awaiting our course at Penguin and have been friends ever since.
Sad loss.
Please circulate.
Denny G

From David MacLean:
Following received from ex-CPORS Dennis Gorton. Peter was an old shipmate from ‘time before’. Some Victorian members may wish to attend.
Yours Aye

From the Archives:
Peter Kingsley Bonser R29034, DOB 20 August 1928, Joined RAN 12.02.1946 for 12 Years.  DEE 19.08.1958.  Postings: CERBERUS 1946-47, HARMAN 1947-48 (rated TELEG), AUSTRALIA 1948, BARCOO 1948-49, HARMAN 1949, LONSDALE 1949-50, HARMAN 1950-51, CERBERUS 1951, CULGOA 1951-52 (as A/L/TELEG), ANZAC 1952-53 (confirmed L/TELEG), CERBERUS 1954 (A/POTEL), CERBERUS II (UK) 1954-55. VENGEANCE 1955 (as POTEL), MELBOURNE 1955-57, CERBERUS 1957-58, Discharge Engagement Expired (DEE) 19.08.1958.


Vale Margaret Ann Scanlon (nee Thorpe) W86620 (ex WRROM)

Now that I have spoken to Margie's daughter who lives in Gympie , could you please post this notice regarding one of our ex Wrans.

W86620 Margaret Ann Scanlon nee Thorpe WRROM.  I knew Margie when stationed at Coonawarra in the mid and late sixties/seventies. I don't think she was a member of the RANCBA website. I know there are lots of members who would remember Margie from that era, she remained in Darwin after completing her service.

She passed away on the 28th November 2017 in Darwin Hospital. I know you will be able to obtain more information about Margie from service records, tks for doing this John hope you are all well, all the best for 2018.

Gavin Jensen
Thanks Gav, sad news.  I will see what I can come up with in Archives.


Rodney George 'Jim' Quick OAM

Congratulations to Jim Quick (ex CPORS) for his award of an OAM in the Australia Day 2018 Honours List.  A well deserved award "For service to Veterans and their families".

Jim and Pat are currently on a short cruise in Australian waters and should be arriving in Adelaide today, we wish them well.

BZ Jim.

John Curbishley
Web Yeoman

A bloody big BZ to Jim and Pat. Jim is an outstanding member of Canberra Legacy and is involved in other community help groups. He is also our long serving President of the ACT Chapter of the HMAS Sydney, Escorts and VLSVA.
Sam Hughes.

I endorse Sam Hughes’ comments re Jim Quick…. Both he and Pat deserve the congratulations and accolades that come with this Honour…..Never thought this would happen back in the days of the Vines Hotel and the Comm School in the early seventies
Bones Lehmann

Dear Jim,

On behalf of the members of the RANCBA (ACT) Chapter, I would like to offer our congratulations to you on being awarded an OAM. From what I have seen, heard and know about you and the tasks and work that you have and still are performing both within the ACT Community and with the various ex RAN you are associated with, the award is most well deserved.

I must apologize for being late, but unfortunately due to my family circumstances I have not able to undertake the duties I was elected to do.  I hope you have been able celebrate with your family and enjoy this long weekend.

Cheers and best wishes,

Ken (Taffy) Eynon
President RANCBA (ACT).
28th Jan 2018


Vale Francis Roger 'Rody' HANRAHAN R49990 (ex SIG)

Just received a phone call from Yvonne Hanrahan advising that 'Rody' passed away 12.35 Sunday 21st January 2018 at Ipswich Hospital, having been previously admitted to Laidley Hospital.

Rody entered RAN 5th February 1954 as Rct C. B. R 49990

Funeral arrangements yet to be confirmed, but possibly 10.30 Thursday morning at St Francis Church Coominya 4311.

Condolences can be sent by post to Mrs Yvonne Hanrahan, 54 Hanrahan Road, COOMINYA QLD 4311

Sonja Hellier

Lest We Forget

From the Archives:  Francis Roger Hanrahan, DOB 7.7.36.  Joined RAN 17.7.54.  Postings - CERBERUS 54-55, SYDNEY 55-56, WARREGO 56-57, ALBATROSS 57-58, TOBRUK 58-59, PENGUIN 59, KUTTABUL 59-60, ALBATROSS 1960, Discharged BNPS 22.7.1960.  Rated O/SIG 5.8.54, SIG 20.3.56.


Top End Reunion 2019

Following received from Al Conway:

To all those Communicators who have served at HMAS Melville/HMAS Coonawarra; Darwin based patrol boats and associated outstations, we are seeking Expressions of Interest for a back to the Top End reunion from 23 to 27 April 2019, including the march on ANZAC Day and a formal function.

Refer to Coonawarra FB page, or query to: Al Conway at




A Memorial Service for the fatal loss of 82 personnel aboard the Destroyer HMAS VOYAGER in a collision shall be held at Jervis Bay, NSW on the period 9 – 11 th February.

Friday, 9th February there will be a 'Meet & Greet' held at the JERVIS BAY Club, previously known as the Jervis Bay RSL.

Saturday, 10th February a Memorial Luncheon will be at the Club with the Guest Speaker, Commodore Chris Smallhorn RAN, Commander Fleet Air Arm from HMAS ALBATROSS.

Saturday evening 10th at 2045 , the day & time of the fatal collision with HMAS MELBOURNE, a Service shall be held – The Memorial is on the water front, near the Club and here Chaplain Rendall Walker RAN shall be conducting the Service.

Sunday 11th a Church Service will be held at HMAS CRESWELL conducted by Chaplain Walker RAN.

ALL ARE INVITED TO ATTEND ALL SERVICES – Please try and attend and remember those of the Royal Australian Navy who @the Supreme Sacrifice whilst serving their Nation.

Can you advise me of name/s if attending any of the above to

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter


The Association will be holding a BBQ on Australia Day again this year – details as follows:

Where : Weston Park Yarralumla – the second parking area on the right – next to BBQ’s and toilets – Map 18 H8 – look for our banner.

When : Australia Day, Friday 26th January 2018 – from 1000 onwards

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

The area is a ‘Dogs on Leash’ designated area – we share it with a mob of kangaroos...

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

Peter Guy

Get Together Saturday March 03 - Caloundra RSL

Wonder if you could publish this in QSO. This is not a comms re-union, however it is being organised by an ex-communicator (Rod McLaurin) and there are a lot of ex-communicators in the Sth Qld region that have already expressed interest. If any of our RANCBA members are going to be in Brisbane at that time, and of course QLD members, come along and catch up with your navy buddies.
Glenn Stanley

An informal get together of Navy pals has been planned on Saturday 03 March 18 at the Caloundra RSL. Nothing fancy, a meal, a few drinks and great company. Warries expected!

Details: Ex-Navy pals Get-together

Date: Saturday 3rd March

Arrival Time: from 5.30pm

Location: Caloundra RSL Lower Viva Deck

Numbers: 50-100 (to be confirmed)

Drinks: Purchase Own

Meals: Purchase Own

Contact: Rod McLaurin

Ordering process: As we discussed Rod, you are unsure how many people will be coming and everyone will be paying for their own meals, so there are a couple of restaurant guidelines you will need to make sure everyone is aware of to ensure a successful evening.
The Viva Restaurant serving a la carte meals opens from 5.30pm until 9.00pm on Saturdays. Patrons need to provide at table number when ordering at the tills and the meals will be delivered to them – Please tell your folks not to move tables after ordering, or we can’t find them.
We are very busy on Saturday nights and we need to stagger the orders to the kitchen so they don’t all arrive at once. Please tell your folks to order as soon as they are ready, please don’t wait and order in a large group, it will just hold everything up. Meals will be cooked as soon as the order is placed and will come out when they are ready – it is impossible to wait for 20-30 meals to be ready all at once. We limit orders on one docket to about 10, so please get everyone to order separately.

Our Fastlane Restaurant is open on Saturday evenings, serving a wide range of pre-prepared meals from around $14. Patrons line up and choose their meals, pay and bring them back to the tables, this might be an option for some of your group. We also have a Café style restaurant which will take your order and give you a pager for your meal to be collected, this is another option for your group.

Members receive a discount on all meals and drinks. It is well worth joining the club, even if you are only in town for the one event, as the discount adds up very quickly. Photo ID is required to join but this can be done quickly at Reception on arrival.

At the present time I have reserved a large area for your group. Please keep in touch and email us with any changes to the numbers so we can optimise the restaurant seating on the night, we would appreciate final numbers in the week of the event.
Finally, just a reminder to all your guests that they will need photo ID to enter the club and meet our dress requirements. We have reciprocal arrangements with many other clubs and out of town visitors can sign in but will need to provide ID. Rod, I hope your get together is a great success and we look forward to seeing you all in the Club in March.

Alan Wilson seeking Rory Hutchins

I was wondering if you could assist me in tracking down an old mate. I am trying to find Rory Hutchins. Rory joined the Navy in March 1982 , He completed his communications training and was posted to HMAS Harman or to Belconnen (I think Around 1984) he also served in Darwin (not on). I think he was an RO(s)??

I have heard a rumour he has passed but would like to find out for sure.
Many thanks
Alan Wilson

Vale Keith Frederick Bebbington R52368 (ex RO)

Shorty Moffat advises that Dale Bebbington (son) has passed on the sad news that Keith died on January 3rd.  No further information available at this time.

John Curbishley

Web Yeoman

From the Archives:  Keith Frederick Bebbington R52368, DOB 02.02.1936, Joined RAN 21.09.56 for 6 years, DEE 20.09.1962. Postings: Cerberus 1956-57, MELBOURNE 57-58, HARMAN 1958-60, DIAMANTINA 1960-61, HARMAN 1961-62, Discharge Engagement Expired (DEE) 20.09.1962.  ORD TEL 21 March 1957, RO 06 August 1958

From Kevin (Beast) and Lyn Eastley:

So sorry to hear of the passing of Keith. A former shipmate of mine, and a true gentleman, and a true friend in later years, to both myself and my wife. To Wendy and family our deepest sympathy. R.I.P Mate.

From Jack Bawden:

Very sad to hear of passing of Keith Bebbington. I got to know Keith very well from Harman 61/62 and occasional Perth visits and of course, subsequent RANCBA re-unions. A quiet and dignified man, a true gentleman.  Respectful condolences to Keith's family and friends..


Welcome to the Communicator's Forum for 2018

Welcome to the 20th year of 'QSO' the world.  This page is now open for business should you have anything you would like to share with fellow shipmates. Just send me an email as detailed above and I will publish as soon as possible. I hope you all have a productive 2018 and that the coming year brings health and happiness.
John Curbishley
Web Yeoman