'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


RANCBA NSW Chapter Sydney Harbour Xmas Cruise –13th December 2018

A belated report of our Harbour Cruise, so for this I do apologise

On Thursday, 13th December at approx 11.00am at Kings Street Wharf ,No 5 many Communicators started to arrive for our what has now become a annual outing. This is open all Communicators , both Serving and Ex Serving and from all Chapters.

Here many, and I do mean many thanks must go to our Secretary, Mr Brian Gray OAM who with his expertise and organisation within the cruise industry, another great day was held and at a very good cost . Without a doubt, his organisation skills makes it all come about.

We started to board about 11.30am , and at midday, lines were cast off and here all were invited to take your choice of refreshments, wine, ales or even soft drinks and then the food was available. Here you took a plate and served yourself, king prawns, cold salads, hot meals, rolls etc and you could go around the buoy. Also the drinks kept on coming.

The BOM (Bureau of Met) , had earlier advised of rain showers , but they did not come till later (and with a vengeance). The weather on Sydney Harbour could not have been better and having seen many harbours around the world, Sydney is tops. To add to the flavour some of the maxi yachts were also on the water, doing last minute checks for the forthcoming Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race.

I shall not name all on board, but some were, our Patron RADM Tony Horton and his charming wife Margaret, Max & Cheryl Miller, Andy & Jan Mills, Ric & Jane Easom, Liz Watts, Dave & Kath Turner, Phillip & Mary Bell, Clem Payne and his wife , Lesley Lalor , Tony Froome and Ron & Robyn Pollock from Tea Gardens. Now who could forget, the 3 Musketeers, namely Peter Baggott, Brian Jackson and Jack Bawden , and with Allan & Dot Murgatroyd really made the day.

Later on standing on the upper deck , Peter Baggott, Jack Bawden, Ron Pollock , Allan Murgatroyd , Tony Froome, Andy Mills , Brian Jackson and self, over many cold ales , we spun warries and pushed the greenies back and relived our misspent youth in the Navy.

Unfortunately a few had to withdraw at the last moment due to health or medical reasons, this included , Ken & June Swain, Ray & Sharon Mundy and their presence was greatly missed.

Anyway , it all had to come to an end and after 4 hours of eating, drinking and taking in the sights of this beautiful harbour, when the vessel tied up at Circular Quay some of us took our farewell. Prior to leaving I was asked if this will be happening again in 2019 – we shall see!!!

DVA Christmas Function – 14th December 2018

Along with Vice President Ms Liz Watts OAM, we had both received Invitations from the Dept of Veterans Affairs to attend a Christmas function to be held on Friday 14th December at 2pm for all the Services that we have attended or had assisted with over the past 12 months for Veterans.

Here I met several from both the Army, Air Force and other Services who I knew . One in particular was Ms Alice Kang from 113 AGH Repat Hospital Concord who does so much for many and from all 3 Services and she is indeed a credit.

Like the previous day, it came to an end, but when I went outside the DVA Building, it was really raining and this some what took the edge of another perfect day.

Nothing like being wet both inside and outside!!!

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Vale Noel Patrick 'Molly' Muller R57591 (ex TO)

John Rowe reports:

Unfortunately, I have to report that ex-ABSIG Noel (Molly) Muller passed away on Christmas Day 2018. Noel was a fellow member of T2/61, and served in Vendetta in 1962 & 1963, and in Melbourne (R21) in 1964 and (I think, 1965).

From the Archives:
Noel Patrick Muller R57591, DOB 30/11/1942, Joined RAN 16/01/1961 - Discharged 30/06/1966 (BNPS). Rated ORD (CO) 16 Jan 61, ORD TO 16 Jul 61, TO 16 Nov 1962. Postings - VENDETTA 62-64, MELBOURNE 65-66.

The funeral was held  at Glenelg Funerals, 261 Brighton Road, Somerton Park, SA 5044, at 1100am on Thursday 3rd January 2019.

Lest We Forget


Vale Alan Edward Langton R51068 (ex TEL)

Funeral notice for Alan Edward Langton R51068, 8 days ago (I am still having trouble with IT server!!)

Alan lived in Salisbury Brisbane following discharge from Navy in May 1961 after serving 6 years as RO.
He spent some time on ANZAC, Harman, Melville.

Sonja Hellier

From the Archives:  Alan Edward Langton, DOB 03 Jan 1932, Joined RAN 27 May 1955, DEE 25 May 1961.
Postings: CERBERUS 1955-56, HARMAN 1956-57, ANZAC 1957-58, HARMAN 1958-60, MELVILLE 1960-61.
Rated OrdTEL 27 November 1955, TEL 12 Feb 1957.

Lest We Forget

From Shorty Moffatt: Morning Sonja Sad news  I served on ANZAC 57 – 58 with Alan.


Grand Central Monday 10th December

Final 2018 meet and greet at the GCH for the Brisbane Mob.  Oldest entry was 1954 and the youngest entry was 1969.  Hope to see more Communicators come out and play in 2019.  All those present today send their wishes to all Communicators and their families a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous 2019, Cheers…

L to R…John Horton, George Graham (ex Bubblie), Bob Simpson, Jim Eagles, Doc Watson, Glen Hansen, Roger Garrett, Tackers Miles, Kev Ruwoldt, Kaylene (Percy’s Carer), Shorty Turner, Gus Dodds, Trev Percival, Shags Hellier, Baz Cleary, Don Ruwoldt.

Insert Greg Palmer,

Tackers displaying his Proud T-Shirt (Luv it)

Kev Ruwoldt



1. We are pleased to advise that we are taking the next Regional reunion to Robe in South Aust. This is in support of our South Australian members that are part of our organisation. We have been over to Robe to discuss things with the Sea Vu Caravan park which is in the township and also on the water (Bay). Also Saturday night dinner location and a great breakfast venue for those that do not wish to cook.

2. Some of us from Victoria will be arriving on Thursday afternoon/evening due to the travel distance. We will organise dinner when we arrive. There are plenty of lovely venues. The meet and greet will be Friday evening from 6pm in the park kitchen which is very well set up with plenty of seating etc. We will do a large pot of little boys or something similar as well. We know the girls have plenty of flair to cover the rest!!. For breakfast either BYO or just a short walk from the park is an amazing breakfast venue.

3. The park has excellent facilities for those that fish. There is a fish cleaning area with a crayfish cooker and the camp kitchen is an excellent size. Nearly all of the sites and cabins have a beautiful outlook over water and the sweeping coastline. Keep in mind that the office hours are 8.30am to 5.30pm.

4. I would like to ask all of our South Australian friends to rally all your local troops to this Regional Reunion. The bigger we make it the more enjoyable it will be and hopefully we can make it far more regular.

5. When booking at the park, dont forget to advise that you are with RANCBA and you will receive a 10% discount. Those in vans will hopefully be put together also. Nearly all sites have lovely views of the water.

Contact details for the park are as follows:- Phone +618 8768 2273.
Email is  
If anybody has any other queries please call me on 0418 524 067

Cheers Nokka


HMAS SYDNEY II Memorial Service

This Service was held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place on the 19th November 2018. The 19th was the actual date that HMAS SYDNEY II when it was sunk by the German Raider KOROMORAN with the tragic loss of 645 Officers and Sailors from HMAS SYDNEY. 

The MC was Mr Brian Yeo, Secretary of the SYDNEY Association with Chaplain Bob Durbin Officiating. A full RAN Band (Sydney Detachment) was provided with a Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies from Navy within the Sydney Command. 

After the Introduction by the MC and a Welcome given to Senator Jenny McAllister representing The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, Federal Member for Sydney and also several others , he then called on Commodore Braddon Wheeler RAN, Chief of Staff and a former Commanding Officer of HMAS SYDNEY IV to give the Address. It was a very good speech and well received by all in attendance . 

On completion, Chaplain Bob Durbin came former to say Prayers and then followed the Wreath Laying Service and this was many. To name just a few, The Hon Gai Brodmann MP Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security and Defence, Senator Jenny McAllister , The Hon David Clarke MLC Parliamentary Secretary for Justice and representing the Premier of NSW, Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson AO DSC RAN Rtd Patron of the SYDNEY Association. Commodore Braddon Wheeler RAN Chief of Staff and representing the Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathon Mead AM RAN, Mr Haydn White representing the Deputy Commissioner NSW , Veterans Affairs. War Widows Guild, RSL Australia (NSW) NAA , Federation of Naval Ships Assn, Australian National Maritime Museum , TPI Association (NSW) and HMAS KUTTABUL. PLUS and this is so important , any relative, descendant or member of the public. 

I was given the privilege to Lay a Wreath on behalf of the Federation of Naval Ships Association. 

The Naval Ode was Recited by Warrant Officer Matt Hurley RAN  and then the Last Post sounded by a Bugler, RAN Band, One Minutes Silence and the Reveille. 

All were asked to remain standing, and to join in for the singing of the Naval Hymn . The Blessing was given by Chaplain Bob Durbin and then all to join in the singing of the Australian National Anthem. 

Then the March Off of the Catafalque Party and the departure of the VIP’s & guest. 

All were invited to the Luncheon and refreshments.


 HMAS PARRAMATTA II Memorial Service.

This Service was held at the PARRAMATTA Memorial at the Queens Wharf Reserve Parramatta on 25th November 2018 . The actual date of the sinking of HMAS PARRAMATTA II by the German Submarine U559 with the loss of 138 RAN personnel was on the 27th November 1941, but this Service is held on the Sunday closest to the actual date. 

The MC for this Service was Mr. Rick Anderson with Chaplain Simon Finau RAN Officiating and music supplied by Member of the RAN BAND (Sydney Detachment) and singing by AB Muscn Lee Robke and she was delight to listen to – further comments on her singing was given later on by the MC. 

After a very small march by those who wished to do so to the where the Service was held, all were asked to join in the singing of the Hymn Psalm 23 (here AB Muscn Lee Robke) showed how good she was, and on completion the Reading was given by Chaplain Finau RAN and also the Naval Prayer. 

Chaplain Finau also gave the Address and following the singing of the  Hymn Lead Kindly Light. 

The Oration was given by Captain S Cannell RAN , Representing the Australian Fleet Commander , Rear Admiral Jonathon Mead AM RAN . Captain Cannell was a former Commanding Officer of HMAS PARRAMATTA IV. 

The Wreath Laying Service then commenced and once again many were Invited to come forward. This included relatives of those Who Paid the Supreme Sacrifice aboard HMAS PARRAMATTA II, Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd who along with his many Commands was the Commanding Officer of HMAS PARRAMATTA III during his Naval career.

Captain S Cannell RAN, Cnlr A Wilson , Lord Mayor City of Parramatta, Dr G. Lee MP , State Member Parramatta  A Representative for Ms. J Owens MP Federal Member for Parramatta (I believe she was on her way back to Canberra)  There was many RSL Sub Branches in attendance , the RANCBA, FNSA, Ex WRANS and Naval Womens Association also.

Here I had the honour to Lay a Wreath on behalf of the Federation of Naval Ships Assn, my wife Helen (Ex LWWRO Laid a Wreath on behalf of the RANCBA , Ms Liz Watts OAM Laid a Book on behalf of the Ex WRANS & Womens Naval Service.  

On completion the Naval Ode was Recited by Mr R Jardine Parramatta Memorial Sub Section NAA.

The ODE was Recited by Mr R. Smith OAM , Castle Hill RSL Sub Branch. 

The Last Post was played by a Bugler, RAN Band , One Minute Silence and then Reveille by the Bugler. 

All were asked to remain standing by the Hymn Eternal Father and the Blessing by Chaplain Finau RAN and then all to join in the singing of the National Anthem , then the March Off by the RAN Catafalque Party. 

The MC , Mr Rick Anderson thanked all for their attendance and special reference to AB Muscn Lee Robke for her delightful singing and to join with the Committee . Mr Bruce Richens , Secretary Mr Mike Kielty and Treasurer for the Luncheon and refreshments at the Parramatta RSL Club, here most did. 

Allan Moffatt OAM


Frederick John HARPER in Sick Bay (R54251 - ex LRO)

Following received from Tony Miles.

I have just been advised that Fred Harper is in the Royal Brisbane Hospital and is very ill. Have been told that his liver has collapsed. He is not drinking, apart from soft drink and water.

Tony 'Tackers' Miles

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Fred was born on 29/03/1941 and joined on 26/04/1958. He served for 9 years, DEE 25/04/1967 as a LRO.
Further info will be advised when it comes to hand.  Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Brisbane Grand Central

Brisbane Old Salts having the usual Monthly get together Mon 5th Nov...

L to R ... Don Ruwoldt, Kev Ruwoldt, Doc Watson, Trev Percival, Baz Cleary,
Tackers Miles, Noel Chidgey, Jim Eagles, Gus Dodds.



This Service was held on Saturday 3rd November 2018 at the KOKODA Track Memorial Walkway (KTMW) , Concord and a very good attendance. Along with V/President Ms Liz Watts OAM we attended.

It commenced with all being asked to stand for the Mounting of the Catafalque Party by serving personnel of the 4/3rd Battalion and to remain standing whilst the Official Party arrived and took their seats. This included Brigadier Susan Coyle CSC DSM , Commander 6th Combat Support Brigade, Mr. John Haines AM.Chairman KTMW, The Hon. Craig Laundy MP, Federal Member for Reid, Brigadier Phillip MacNamra CSC ESM OAM , Director KTMW, Ms Jennifer Collins Director KTMW (she was the the previous A/DVA Commissioner NSW/ACT) Mr.. Reg Chard New Guinea Veteran 55/53rd Battalion . PNG Choir, Mr. Ray James Deputy President RSL NSW to name just a few. There was also a Master Sergeant US Air Force representing the US Consul and later on Mr John Haines told all quote 'I served in Vietnam and at no stage did I see a Master Sergeant like you unquote, she was very attractive . John did two tours of Vietnam (Army).

Mr John Gatfield carried out the duties of MC.

All were asked to stand and join in the singing , O God Our Help In Ages Past and then the KOKODA Address was given by Brigadier Susan Coyle CSC DSM , a very good speech and also very well received.

Then on the big screen. Visual Reflection – The Unfolding Story of 1942_ and also the music whilst this was been shown on the screen, Meeting the Sun (ANZAC Notes).

Following was the Flag Raising Ceremony by Mr Reg Chard , New Guinea Veteran 55/53rd Battalion and Mr Michael Ali representing the Fuzzy Wuzzies.

The Federal Member of Reid, The Hon Craig Laundy MP spoke on the Importance of Commemoration and then the Wreath Laying Ceremony.

The Ode was Recited by Brigadier Philip MacNamara CSC ESM OAM , Director KTMW , the Last Post, One Minutes Silence and then Rouse

All were asked to join in the saying of the Commemorative Prayer and the Lords Prayer

On seating, a Digger Tributes to PNG Wartime Carriers was Read by a Student of Rosebank College which had been written by Captain Blue Steward Regimental Officer 2/16th Battalion and the second Tribute by a Student of St Patrick's College.his followed Our Papua New Guinea Wantok (which means Close Friend) by Cnlr Angelo Tsirekas , Mayor of Canada Bay and then a Thank You Note by Mr John Haines AM , Chairman KTMW.

All were asked to stand for the singing of the National Anthem of Papua New Guinea and the National Anthem of Australia.

All were then invited to join with others for refreshments.


The following day (Kokoda Service) I was invited to attend this Service at Bradleys Head, where the mast of HMAS SYDNEY I is located.

The MC for this Service was Mr. Brian Yeo, Secretary HMAS SYDNEY Association and he did a good job, and here he introduced the Official Guests, Captain Warren Bairstow CSC RAN Representing the Chief of Navy and the Fleet Commander, The Hon. Felicity Wilson, MP for North Shore, Cnlr Carolyn Corrigan Mayor of Mosman and Mr Barry Brooks President HMAS SYDNEY Association, he then gave a Welcome to all on behalf of the SYDNEY Association.

The Battle Prayer was given by Chaplain Simote Finau RAN and the Address by Captain Warren Bairstow CSC RAN, Commander Mine Warfare, Clearance Diving, Hydrographic and Patrol Force and following the Parade Memorial Flags by TS SYDNEY Naval Cadets. This is the Remembrance of the sailors killed while serving their country during the Battle with SMS EMDEN on 9th November 1914.

Following was the Wreath Laying Service and the Naval Ode and Ode Recited by Lieutenant Commander Peter Thompson RAN, Executive Officer HMAS PENGUIN.

The Last Post was played by a Bugler of the RAN Detachment in attendance, One Minutes Silence and then the Bugler played Reveille

The Naval Hymn was sung by all and the Blessing was given by Chaplain Simote Finau RAN and all to remain standing for the Australian National Anthem

This brought to an end very well conducted Service.


This Service was held on Friday, 9th November 2018 at the front lawn of 113 AGH Concord Repatriation General Hospital and in company with Vice President Ms Liz Watts OAM we both attended.

The Service was conducted by bth Mr. Dale Baikie Anglican Chaplain Concord Hospital and Fr. Graeme Malone SSS Catholic Chaplain Concord Hospital. The Welcome and Introduction was given by Fr. Malone , and reflected to the Centenary Garden at the Main Entrance to Concord Hospital and its proud military history and its associated continuing care of all Veterans.

The Hymn 'Now Thank We All Our God' was sung by all and then the Centenary Prayer was Recited by Ass. Professor John Cullen, Head of Dept, Concord Hospital . Following the Scripture Reading by Fr. Malone and then the Remembrance Day Address by Dr. Genevieve Wallace, Acting General Manager Concord Hospital.

This followed the Reflective Piece – A Prayer for Heroes by the Choir of Meriden College Choir (all females) and it was sung beautiful and they were given a ovation on completion. The Poem 'Two Minutes' by C J Dennis was spoken by Ms Sharne Hogan, Director of Nursing Concord Hospital and then the Hymn O God of Every Nation was sung by all.

The Wreath Laying Ceremony then commenced and this was directed by Ms Alice Kang. The Ode was Recited by Mr. Brad Copelin Afghanistan Veteran. The Last Post was Played, A Minutes Silence and the Rouse.

Commemoration of the Fallen was given by Chaplain Baikie and then all to say the Lord's Prayer

A Reflective Piece Make Me an Instrument was sung by the girls of Meriden College and once again very well received.

The Benediction and all to remain standing for the Australian National Anthem.

On completion all were Invited to Place a Poppy in memory of comrades who have died in time of war. Here along with V/President Ms Liz Watts OAM we both went forward and carried out this Service.

Lest We Forget

All were then invited back to partake of refreshments and here I would be amiss if I did not mention these people who I would say do it so good in this respect to make sure ALL Service are well conducted & organised and the catering is superb.  Ms. Alice Kang Director of Marketing Concord Hospital, Ms Melva Lindley Ms Peta MacFarlane.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Vale Peter (Rip) Kirby (ex TO)

I regret to advise that former TO Peter (Rip) Kirby passed away on the 31 October.

I only came across Peter a couple of times in the Navy but we managed to form a strong relationship when we both worked in Foreign Affairs Comms.

I think Peter paid off around 1982 as an LTO. His funeral will be held in the Chapel at Norwood Park Crematorium, Sandford St Mitchell ACT at 1330 on Tuesday 6 November. Rest in peace my friend.

Kind regards Ollie Lewis
I can't find a Record of Service card for Rip, if anyone can help out please send me the details.
Lest we Forget



I received the following from the Command Warrant Officer HMAS WATERHEN, and it sound like a good couple of hours, so give it some thought if you can attend.

Would have to say, during my two postings there 1965-66 sweepers and then 1968-70 patrol boats we didn't have anything like this.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter


Waterhen is organising a Xmas Spectacular on Fri 07 Dec 18 between 1000h and 1400h.

This year the event will completely surround both building 1 and building 2.

Tickets are $10 per person over the age of 2 years old. Families (over 6 members) will pay a maximum of $50 per family.

Attached is the Xmas Party flyer.


Tim Badger
Command Warrant Officer
HMAS Waterhen

Online Registrations For 2019 RANCBA National Reunion

Could you please post the following on the national web site:


Online attendance registrations for the 2019 RANCBA NATIONAL REUNION are now open.

Link >>


Gary Swanton
Ph: 0430 339 921


Once again we will be having our XMAS Cruise on the best harbour in the world, so come along, meet with old ship mates, make new ones.

Following is the details, and believe after the last couple of these you won't be disappointed. I do have one request, not only if you are going and you have to book direct to the Bookings Office, can you let me know also, !!!

Shorty, I have booked Dec 13th for the Lunch cruise, hope that meets with your approval.

DEPARTURE LOCATION: King Street Wharf 5 BOARDING: 12:00 pm DEPARTS: 12:15 pm RETURNS: 4:15 pm

Should one wish to disembark earlier 2.15pm King St. Wharf.

Order Number 582578.

For bookings phone 82967354 ask for Alex (female) and quote booking number also advise if member of RANCBA otherwise will be charged $70.

I remain your most obedient secretary



Fresh medium king prawns on ice - cocktail sauce and fresh sliced lemon - Caesar salad - cos lettuce, parmesan cheese, crouton, Caesar salad dressing (bacon served separately) - Crispy crunchy apple, fennel salad - walnuts and rocket with honey dressing - Caramelized cauliflower with shaved broccoli - with creamy dressing- Radicchio salad with green olives and parmesan' Double beans with pesto salad - Fresh mixed ed leaves.

Calamari and mussels - with garlic tomato sauce - Baked fish - with braised leeks, tomatoes and olives - Beef burgundy - slow cooked beef in red wine and vegetables - Sweet and potato gratin - baked potatoes with cream and cheese sauce - Traditional Indian butter chicken - Orecchiette pasta - with fresh basil and tomato sauce - Medley roasted vegetables with Italian herbs - Oriental fried rice - Stir fried seasonal vegetables with hoisin sauce.

Rich chocolate cake | Pear slice | Tiramisu | Fruit bowls

*Indicative menu only. Items may be subject to change at any time without notice * Requests for dietary (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free), substitutions and modifications of menus on board our cruises will be politely declined, as we have an on board kitchen and our kitchen team is required to serve the menus within a required time period, of the respective cruises. All our cruises have at least one vegetarian menu option for seated & served menus and buffets also offer vegetarian choice. We cannot guarantee that certain products or ingredients (halal, nuts, gluten, dairy, etc.) will not be in our food, and we explicitly accept no liability in this regard. For serious food allergies you must make your own decisions on selecting meals. Our staff's comments are only to assist you in making an informed decision.


Beverage Package 4hrs Cruise Extension 2pm � 4pm

Now what more could you want!!!

Allan Shorty Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter


On Friday, 26th October 2018 under very grey skies , which didn't look very promising weather wise, but cleared before the March started to a beautiful day.

This time honoured Ceremony where they exercise their right of Freedom of Entry to march with 'Swords drawn, bayonets fixed. drums beating and bands playing' was exercised on this day. It was indeed a very well and I mean well conducted ceremony and full credit must go to all those concerned which included CMDR Watson RAN LCDR Hellier RAN and many of the personnel of HMAS WATERHEN who certainly made sure this Ceremony went well.

The FNSA of which the RANCBA is a Associated Member were invited to join with the Serving Sailors in the March and on completion to partake of the BBQ which was to be a family-affair with a wood fired pizza, non alcoholic drinks , but believe me the sausage, chipped bacon/ham and onions was one of the best I have ever tasted.

When making my way to the 'fall-in area', I have never seen so many NSW Police , all with duties along the march route. I was walking with a Naval Reservist to our allocated area , and next minute we were been sniffed out by a 'bomb sniffer dog', he was great, gave me the once over, found out I was carrying nothing and next minutes he jumped this small wall and joined in a sweep by police and other dogs of bushes surrounding for any hidden objects. Sadly this is the sign of the times nowadays.

The March commenced down Church Street, North Sydney and then a turn into McLarent Street, where the first group where challenged by the Sherriff's Office and when the right to march had been given, we then went passed the Council Chambers and an 'eyes left' was given at the Saluting dais to Captain Warren Bairstow , Commander Mine Hunter & Patrol Boats and he was accompanied by Captain Stephen Bowater, Commander Shore Force , and also there was the Hon. Jilly Gibson, Mayor of North Sydney.

We then turned into Miller Street, and all along the route where many of the public who clapped us on and wished us all the very best. The halt was given and a very smart 'turn left' and all fell out, and we were now invited to the BBQ. Here we joined serving sailors in a coach for the journey back to North Sydney Oval. As stated, all and I mean all set about getting refreshments, but it was so well organised, you did not have to wait in a queue.

A couple of speeches were made, and this included the Mayor of North Sydney and following the Commanding Officer, HMAS WATERHEN Cmdr Watson RAN who just thanked all for their attendance and participation and especially to the number of school children who were there in attendance

It was a very good Service and I am glad that I was invited and more so, that I attended.


On the following day, Saturday 27th October , I had received 2 tickets from Parramatta RSL Sub Branch to attend the Closing Ceremony, so along with my wife Helen, we made our way to witness this.

As we made our way to the arena, we stood and watched those who had come from across the World, some in wheel chairs, others with limbs missing but all enjoying as they made their way through a guard made up of the public, wishing them well and to come back again

The Ceremony inside was nothing short of spectacular , and from all accounts in the media, the number totalled 12,000 and on time all the contestants where brought into the centre of the arena to their allocated seating in groups with their Nations flag and led by the Band of the RAN, and I believe the tune was 'Beat to Quarters'.

Speeches were kept to a small limit, and this included the Premier of NSW, the Governor of NSW, and then HRH Megan, who gave a good speech and was very well received, but when HRH Prince Harry gave his, he is a great spokesman and with little one liners . He was given one of the best ovations that I have ever heard. Also two of the participants , both in wheel chairs with missing limbs/legs and were called forward and different times and given Awards , one was from New Zealand , and when this happened, it was not planned, the Kiwi's in attendance broke into a song and a sort of Harka . Then the other was from the Netherlands . It was so pleasing to see the delight on their faces . During one of the parts of the entertainment, all were asked to switch on the lights in their mobile phones and wave around. Never have I seen nearly all in attendance do this, was something I shall always remember.

Sadly all the entertainment and the ceremony drew to an end, and the Ceremony was over. All and I would say ALL went away, having been part of this.

It was so pleasing to been part of the previous day with the Freedom of Entry by serving sailor's of today's NAVY from HMAS WATERHEN and then the following day to have been part of Ceremony to recognised all from around the World who had served their country and some with big injuries but have fought back to overcome injuries and many distresses that they have suffered

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Vale Peter James Figg R41806 (ex WORSS)

It is with regret that I advise the passing of WORSS Peter J Figg. Peter died at 0600 25 October 2018 at the Bupa Mount Sheridan Nursing Home, Cairns Qld. He was 91 years of age.

Peter had a long career with the RN before transferring to the RAN in the late 1960's. He was very much admired within the RAN communications branch.

His funeral service will be held at the Cairns Crematorium on Friday 2nd of November 2018 at 1100. His ashes will then be taken to Melbourne to be interred with family at Springvale Cemetery.

I personally served with Peter on HMAS Swan, RANCD Singapore, HMAS Coonawarra and HMAS Harman. He was a mentor and friend and will be sadly missed.

Bernie Brooks
Lest we Forget

From Peter (Skeet) Dowling ex CPORSS

Vale Peter James Figg R41806 (ex WORSS)

I was left with sadness and a lot of reflection last week when Bernie Brooks rang me and told me of the passing of Peter Figg in Queensland. I, along with Bernie and many others in the (S) Branch served with Peter during our times. I first met him in 1969 at HMAS Harman when he came to Bonshaw West to meet and brief a small group of us prior to our posting to HMAS Swan. I later served with him as my immediate boss at Coonawarra and again at Harman. And after we were both left the Navy we spent several years at university together.

Peter was always reticent about his life but from conversations with him while in the Navy, and after when he paid off here in Canberra, I was able to glean some knowledge of his career. Peter joined the Royal Navy as a young and impressionable lad in the last phase of the Second World War. He soon found himself as part of the North Sea fleet protecting the convoys between the UK and Russia. A dangerous place at that time. He never really elaborated on this experience but it would have been a tough time for a young boy having to face the intense cold, ice, rain and rough seas as well as the ever present threat of attack by German aircraft. He also hinted that he spent time on submarines patrolling the coast lines intercepting Russian and German radio communications. It was for him the beginning of a career in defence communications.

After the war Peter stayed in the Royal Navy and specialised in the (S) world of communications, becoming experienced in both signals intelligence and electronic warfare intelligence. He reached the rank of CPO in the RN serving much of the time at sea. In the late 1960s Peter and his family made the decision to migrate to Australia. Peter also made the decision to continue in the navy and in communications, but this time in the RAN. He was successful in his application to transfer to the RAN. His first posting was to HMAS Cerberus where he was inducted in the Australian way of running a Navy. (I often wondered just how much he really took to this cultural change, because to me, he always seemed to run his departments on a strict British method).

His first sea posting in the RAN was as part of the commissioning crew of HMAS Swan in 1969-1970 as a CPORSS. When we first went onboard the Swan at Williamstown in 1970 there was no functioning ComCen or EWO, just spaces with empty metal cabinet frames and a lot of cables leading to nowhere; and of course, dockyard workers everywhere. Peter had, as one of his many duties of getting the ship’s communications branch established, the duty to oversee the progress and assembly of the new (to the RAN) the UA8 and UA9 Electronic Warfare equipment. I can remember it was no easy job for him to put forward his requirements for the equipment (again the RN thing) to the dockyard technicians who were often reluctant to the changes he wanted. But he was eventually successful, and we had a well-set up system that enabled us to develop a very efficient EW capability for the forthcoming deployment UP Top.

Peter posted off the Swan just prior to our six-month deployment, leaving a very skilled and enthusiastic (S) team. The next time I met up with Peter was in mid-1974 at HMAS Coonawarra. He was the operations officer for at the Receiving Station. It was the lead-up into our forthcoming move from the depot way out to Shoal Bay Receiving Station which was still being set up. Then came Cyclone Tracy. The ComCen on board was pretty much wrecked and our (S) capacity stopped suddenly. As one of the senior sailors, Peter had the heavy responsibility of getting our operations back up and going as soon as humanly possible. It was no easy task following on immediately after the chaos and wreckage of the cyclone, but in a matter of a week we were operating again, this time in the unfinished spaces of Shoal Bay. Initially it was in a limited capacity but with Peter’s management and RN efficiency (stubbornness in some cases) he managed to increase our working capacity week by week until finally the work at Shoal Bay was finished and all the equipment was in place and functioning. Peter later received an AM for his efforts at that time. Well deserved. Before finishing his posting at Coonawarra, Peter was promoted to Warrant Officer (and I think he may have been the first one in the RAN to receive this rank after it had been reinstated).

The next time I served with Peter was at Harman again. For a time, he was managing the training section at Bonshaw West and I was on his instruction staff. By this time, the 1980s, Peter was getting towards an age of compulsorily retirement from the RAN. I can remember though, he did spend some time away from communications at Harman. As a Warrant Officer he was given an administrative job and was confined mainly to running the depot. He was not so happy in this position – “Jimmy’s Runner” he called it. But it was time to retire.

After spending a lifetime in the Navies of Britain and Australia (he said to me once that he knew nothing else other than the navy) he retired to a quiet life in Canberra/Queanbeyan. But he was not idle. He enrolled at the Australian National University, Faculty of Arts, in Asian Studies and completed a degree. Once again, we were serving together, albeit in a completely different capacity. He and I would meet up regularly for a Wednesday lunch on campus, and then sneak off for a pint of Guinness at a local spot nearby. He would often question me about my research studies and ask me to explain to him in elementary terms what I was doing at the time. This would require me to think and develop more clearly my own perceptions. He had a way about that.

After university we continued to meet regularly but this time with others who had retired from the (S) Branch – Bernie Brooks, Len (Dogs) Bodimeade, Peter Hartwell, Peter launder, Brian Willey, Brian Northrope, to name few. (We called ourselves the Silly Old Buggers – SOBs) We all kept a close eye on Peter as he got on in years. I would ask him to come and house (cat) sit while Dianne and I went overseas. He enjoyed the change in abode and developed a rapport with our cat, often over feeding her.

But finally, it was time for Peter to leave his solo life in his flat at Queanbeyan and for his own health and safety he was encouraged by SOBs and by his daughter-in-law to join her and his son in Cairns. His declining health and awareness made it necessary for him to move into a final care facility at Mount Sheridan Nursing Home in Cairns.

These are my recollections of Peter Figg. By the very nature of his role in the RAN I have not told the full story of his experiences and achievements, nor have I mentioned much of his personal life and that of his family. But I hope that this small bio of Peter has invoked memories of him by those in the RANCBA who have served with him. I also hope that those who did not know him well and those serving in the equivalent (S) branches of the RAN today will take time and read this. Peter Figg was a pioneer in defence communications and electronic warfare both for the RN and the RAN.

Peter (Skeet) Dowling (ex CPORSS)
1 November 2018

From Shane Doyle (ex WORSS)
So sad to hear the news of Peter Figg. He was my Chief on Commissioning in Swan. A unique person and a great mentor and true gentleman..Special.

From Dave Jeffrey:
I have been a bit remiss and have not visited the site for a few weeks. I was greatly saddened when I read that Peter Figg had gone to the Sky High BWO/EWO to join many of our shipmates.

Proudly, I was instrumental in starting the paper trail that led to his award of the OAM. Peter – as has been espoused in the QSO by his compatriots and juniors – was an excellent (S) rate who lived for the navy from a very early life. Unfortunately he was afflicted by dementia over the past years, and he will be sadly missed as a communicator and friend Exemplar.

Vale on mate
Dave Jeffrey



This Service was held in Canberra under beautiful weather, and many were happy as the previous day it had been nothing short of very nasty.  The Memorial is situated in Kings Park, on the shores of the lake and if you ever have the chance to go and see, well worth it.

Welcome was by Mr David Field FAICD, Chairman of the MN War Memorial Fund and he then introduced the Officiating Clergy, Sister Mary Leahy OAM , regional Coordinator and Chaplain , Stella Maris, Port of Sydney. Many would know her and she is indeed a great lady and a wonderful speaker and with her little one liners, makes it so much better and along with that nice Irish brogue keeps everyone listening.

The Hymn 'God is our Strength and Refuge' was sung by all and it is the tune of the Dambusters March. Here music was supplied by the Canberra Brass Band under the Baton of Musical Director , Mr Kevin Kanpp.  Following was the First Reading , Matthew 9 23-27 by Mrs Jillian Carson-Jackson . SE Australia Branch of the Nautical Institute .and then the Hymn 'From all around the World' which is the tune Anchors Aweigh.  The Second Reading was by Mrs Annette Sadler War Widows Guild of Australia – ACT Branch. Prayers and Thanksgiving by Mr. John Kewa, Chaplain , Mission to  Seafarers – Port Kembla. The Hymn Eternal Father Strong to Save was sung by all.

Then the Director of the Merchant Navy Memorial Fund , Mr Peter Sinclair AM CSC RAN Rtd (ex Commodore and son of RADM Peter Sinclair , former Governor of NSW) introduced the Guest of Honour, the Principal Chaplain of the RAN , Mr. Colin Acton RAN . He gave a very good Address and I would have to say, he did a lot of research on his talk about the Merchant Navy in both WWI and WWII.

The Memorial Prayer (ODE) was delivered by Mr Don Kennedy , a Merchant Navy WW II Veteran and President of the Merchant Navy RSL Sub Branch , and then the Last Post, One Minutes Silence , then the National Carillon Tribute to the Merchant Navy by the 'Ships Bell' was played across the Lake but all could hear It was 8 bells which tolled and is recognised on board ships as 'the end of watch', but also a nautical euphemism for 'finished' . It was so well coordinated.

Then Rouse was played and then came the Laying of the Wreaths. Here there were many and I had the privilege of Laying a Wreath on behalf of the Federation of Naval Ships Assn.

On completion a short period of Reflection was played with music by the Canberra Brass Band

The final Prayer and Benediction by Sister Mary Leahy OAM and then remain standing for the Australian National Anthem.

This brought to the end of a well organised and full credit to those concerned who made it possible of a good Service.

As part of this Service it was also the 75th Anniversary of the loss of the SS IRON KNIGHT and her 36 MN Seaman.
On 8th February 1943, IRON KNIGHT was part of a Convoy OC 68 from Whyalla, South Australia and was on the east coast of Australia, sailing for Newcastle NSW. at 2.30pm a torpedo was fired by the Japanese Submarine I-21 at escorts HMAS TOWNSVILLE and HMAS MILDURA and it passed under the bow of TOWNSVILLE and struck IRON KNIGHT, which was at the head of the convoy . Her position was 36.31S 150.23E and sank , bow first within 2 minutes .

Out of the crew of 50, only 14 survived after climbing on board a single lifeboat, while the other 36 crew members were claimed by IRON KNIGHT's sinking. The convoy steamed ahead and the survivors were picked up by the French Destroyer La TRIOMPHANT 10 hours later.

The wreck of the IRON KNIGHT was discovered in waters off the town of Bermagui, NSW at a depth of 125m. The wreck was Officially declared Protected Wreck on 4th August 2006 and the crew of IRON KNIGHT who lost their life in the attack are Commemorated on the Newcastle Mercantile Marine Memorial, outside Newcastle Railway Station.

Lest We Forget

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Vale Terrence John 'Ben' Hall R59791 (ex DO)

Tackers Miles sends the following:

I have been in touch with Terry's sister (ex WRRST Alison Hall) and she has supplied the following details.

Terry was born on 8.11.1941 and joined the RAN on 11.3.63.  He was posted DEE 10.3.83 after 20 years service. He passed away on 3.10.18 after a very long battle with Parkinson's Disease.

Terry served in ANZAC, SUPPLY & PARRAMATTA as well as various shore establishments (HARMAN, LONSDALE).

May he Rest in Peace.

From Web Yeoman:
When the DO (Data Operator) category was disbanded in the early 70's those who remained were invited to change to another Communications category, or join the Writers branch, or take a free discharge. If anyone can supply more information about the demise of Data Operators please let me know.


RANCBA NSW Chapter Office Bearer Changes

President: ALLAN MOFFATT OAM - contact as previous.

Vice President: LIZ WATTS OAM - contact as previous.

ph 9949 4914

Treasurer: ANDY MILLS
email for subs/deposits (exclusively for Treasurer's traffic).
Ph 407282902

After many years of very good Service, and their move to Tea Gardens (Port Stephens area), Ray & Sharon have had to stand down, Sharon as Treasurer , Ray as previous Secretary and last year as Committee person. BZ to you both.

Allan Moffatt OAM

HMAS WATERHEN Freedom of Entry

Following received from the XO HMAS WATERHEN

Mr. Allan Moffatt OAM
President FNSA


I have the pleasure of inviting The Federation of Naval Ships Association to march with HMAS WATERHEN as they exercise their right of Freedom of Entry to the city of North Sydney, armed with 'Swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating and bands playing' on Friday 26th October 2018.

The route will be from the Council Chambers to the intersection of Miller Street and the Pacific Highway.

On completion of the march, the Federation of Naval Ships Association are invited to join with us at the North Sydney Oval where a BBQ , hosted by North Sydney Council as well as multiple displays, hosted by the Royal Australian Navy will take place.  Step off time is 12 Noon, then BBQ on completion.

Your response to this invitation by Friday 12 October 2018 to the Ships Coordinators Office on (02) 9926 2529 or via email

I hope that you can share this day with us.

Executive Officer

Now this could be a good opening for us with the RAN, so please let us consider of attending – The RANCBA is a very good part of the FNSA here in SYDNEY , so you are more than welcome to join with us - also I don't want to march by myself , and get all those photos taken by myself!!!  Let me know ASAP- if not sooner!!!



The RANCBA-ACT AGM is being held on Friday 5th October, 2018 at The Weston Club, Liardet St. Weston ACT. 1900 for a 1930 start.

Please advise our Vice President, Frog McCoy on email,  you will be attending, also you can send in your apologies if unable to make it.

Finger food will be provided. The club has an excellent bistro if you would like to have dinner before the meeting.

All positions on the committee will be declared vacant, so please consider nominating for a position on the committee to keep our association alive and kicking.

Also, please remember to wear a namebadge, any association/event badge will do.

Please feel free to pass this email on to any prospective/lapsed members.

Our association needs and values your membership.

Peter Guy


Proud Mary Keep on Burning ..

Two old shipmates, Len Hulme and Sam Hughes, getting some river time on the Murray River on the good ship Proud Mary.

Couple of cool dudes!



Came alongside and tied up this morning (Tuesday 18 Sep) at Circular Quay . She is indeed a big bugger , carried 3,715 passengers, so only had time or money to have a drink with about 2,000. We appeared (the ship) on Chnl 7 TV that night.

Shanghai was so clean and no graffiti, they have the same number- give or take one or two as we have living in the whole of Australia.

Busan Korea which when I first went there aboard ANZAC in 1957 it was called Pusan. Nice, but it was Sunday and most don't open till late – their loss- very clean – I had money to burn!!

Hong Kong it keeps growing and growing, the big ships now tie up at the old Kai Tak Airport terminal. VOYAGER OF THE SEA was there also , and it carries about the same, but their MTR system brilliant – one day NSW will have the same. Star Ferries still the same and probably the deck hands were there when I was there in late 50's and again in the 60's.

Vietnam , Da Nang we went there again and then onto Ho Chi Minh city , Helen went there but I went to Nui Dat and Long Tan and down the tunnels the VC had used , Brilliant- would have to say if you are claustrophobic, over weight or very tall, dont even think about it, and no lights down there, and went for ages. – I needed a nice cold ale later on!!

Singapore, like Honkers keeps growing, the NAAFI Club, well the old base is still there and didn't even try to find the Union Jack Club, I left a pair of sox there !!!

Darwin good, old times sake. Totally different from when I was there in 1960 and I don't think it climatised me before being drafted to the UK for 2 years exchange with the RN

Brisbane, nice day out with family relatives.

But now back to reality , and today out pushing the mower etc.

Allan Shorty Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Welcome back Shorty.. great trip down memory lane..
were you accosted by any 58yr and 68yr short people?
Cheers Jack Bawden.


RANCBAVIC & SOUTHERN REGION AGM Saturday 27th October 2018 at 11 AM

1. This is a quick reminder to everybody to put the above date aside to assist us have as many RANCBAVIC & SOUTHERN Region members along to help a good turnout for our Annual General Meeting.

2. We have a number of things to discuss apart from re electing nominees for committee positions. I believe all current committee members will stand again and we have a new membership secretary to ratify.

3. Apart from normal profile matters we will also be discussing next years National Reunion.

4. After completion of the AGM we will be having lunch in the RSL and it would lovely if everybody could join us.

5. Anybody that would like further information or would like to advise attendance please call Nokka White on 0418 524 067.

Look forward to catching you all - Cheers.

Nokka White
President RANCBA VIC

Vale Bruce Ernest Spender R59235 (ex WOSY)

I have received advice from a couple of sources that Bruce Spender passed away this morning (Monday 3 September) from a massive heart attack.

 I have no other information at this time but will post details as they come to hand.

John Curbishley
Web Yeoman

Very sad news, it was a complete shock to hear about Bruce, may he RIP.  Sincere condolences to Joan and family.  Bruce is 9th on my List of WOSY's from 1972 to2002, promoted in 1979.  He now joins George Davey, Graham 'Nifty' Neville and Roger Gaydon in manning the Eternal Flagdeck.  I'm sure a good Fleetwork discussion will ensue.
John Curbishley (ex WOSY).


Posted on RANCBA Facebook Page by Russ French on 03/09/18
We have lost a true gentleman today with the passing of Ex FWOSY Bruce Spender. He passed away suddenly this morning. He was my first boss on Fleet Staff when I first joined the fleet back in 1980. We had a wonderful night last year when he and his wonderful wife Joan joined us for dinner when they were traveling in their van through Uralla. A wonderful gentleman, boss and mentor. RIP Bruce Spender. You will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers to his friends and family.

Ex-FWOSY Bruce Spender's funeral will be held at Nowra City Church, 167 McMahons Road, North Nowra at 10am Thursday the 13th of September. His daughter, Leesa has said that everyone would be welcome to attend and see her father off.

From Ian Miller:

Found out off the RANCBA Page on Facebook that Bruce Spender passed away suddenly on Monday. Don't know anything more at present. Bruce and I did our Recruit and Comms Training together 1962/63 and were both posted to HMAS Yarra joining her on 16 August 1963. Our first major "job" was to man the sea boat and motor cutter while searching for the Midshipmen lost off HMAS Sydney in the Whitsundays in 1963.

Bruce Drafted off Yarra in 1964 on our return to Australia and our paths did not cross after that, although he was on strength of HMAS Melbourne in 1968 as a CY, but not on board, when I joined her as an LTO.
Ian Miller

From David A Strachan (ex WOSY):
KevIn Luke has just passed me the sad news regarding Bruce Spender.

As pointed out by Ian Miller, Bruce and Ian did indeed join the HMAS Yarra as brand new Sigs in August 1963.   I was already on the Yarra as a Sig when they joined and also remember our mission searching for the Midshipmen off the Whitsundays.


Over the years I got to know Bruce well as we spent a number of postings together at the Comms School.  Then when he was on loan to the US Navy and onboard the USS Kittyhawk we met several times on the FES.   From memory I was CY on either the Derwent or Parramatta at that time.


Bruce was a fine man and a dedicated Navy and family man   -   please pass my sincere condolences to Joan and his family.   RIP Bruce.
David A Strachan (ex WOSY)

Funeral of Bruce Spender 13 September.
My wife Judy and I attended the service celebrating the life of Bruce Spender which was held at the Nowra City Church, North Nowra.

Bruce would have been delighted with the numbers attending, I estimate between 3 and 4 hundred, including two Vice Admirals, Tim Barrett and Russ Shalders. Vice Admiral Barrett read a tribute to Bruce having known him from the day he stepped off the bus at Creswell, when Bruce made a comment about the length of his hair. One of Bruce's daughters also paid a moving tribute to her father.

A fitting send off to an old shipmate and friend to many.

Yours aye
Sam Hughes

From Rod Beckinsale:
I have been remiss in not paying my respects earlier on the passing of Bruce Spender, and I am in total agreement with others in acknowledging him as a thoroughly professional WOSY and true gentleman. I had the privilege of serving with Bruce several times and enjoyed many philosophically diverse discussions in his good company. As you have said, the Eternal Flagdeck will now be resounding with discussions on the finer points of fleetwork with Bruce, George, Nifty, Roger et al. May they all Rest in Peace and keep the fleet safe. My condolences to Joan and the family.
Rod Beckinsale (ex WORS)

From Paul Boase:
Farewell to a "good operator". Thanks for your kindness to me many years ago. My condolences to his family.

Vale Keith Paul Goodwin R95557 (ex CPOSY)

It is with great regret that I have to inform you that my father, CPOSY Keith Goodwin R95557 lost his battle with cancer this morning (Monday 27 August) and has pegged off for the last time. I did get to pass on all your messages to him and I know he heard them all, and I would like to thank you all for the kind words.

R.I.P Dad, your watch has ended.

David Goodwin.

From Frog McCoy to Peter Guy:

Just heard from Carol Harris that the funeral for Paul Goodwin will be at 1030 next Wednesday 5 September, at Norwood in Mitchell.  Funeral details will be in the Canberra Times and Daily Telegraph this Saturday.

Sad news, may Paul Rest in Peace.

Subject: RANCBAVIC & SOUTHERN REGION Regional reunion Phillip Island Washup

1. Once again a very successful Regional reunion with an extra day on the normal 3 days. The large Naval influence on Saturday was a huge success and we are very impressed with the Navy band and Cerberus in general being so obliging. The bugler was outstanding as were the Navy marching band and also the contingent that played until late back at the RSL.

2. The Vietnam Vets Museum was outstanding with the group broken up into 4 groups each with a guide. The guides were all Vietnam vets and the knowledge they had due to their time in Vietnam was very intense indeed. We all had our eyes opened with the huge information of life in Vietnam, the tunnels and the intensive time they all had during the War. A big thank you for the work that you all do. If any of you haven't visited the museum you should make a point of doing so and include a guided tour. Its approx 2 hours of very intense information.

3. We spent the rest of the day visiting Churchill Island for lunch and then off to the Chocolate factory. Some of you just can't help yourselves!! Next was a visit to the Grand Prix track which everybody admitted was a real eye opener. The track and all the surrounding land, as well as everything on display is owned by Lindsay Fox, and he pours millions into upgrading the displays and the cars and bikes on display. There is a huge number of old and new cars and beautiful racing machines plus a huge number of motor bikes. This was a very enlightening tour which went way overtime due to our liking of the race simulators and the large slot car racing track - where most of us were a complete failure.

4. Saturday was the Vietnam Vets service at the museum which was nice and brief, but was topped off by the most perfect rendition of the last post by a 3 badge navy band member. He also gave us a repeat performance at the service after the march. The march commenced at 11.30 am from the edge of Cowes with the main street closed off and was led by the full naval marching band. Our patron Commodore Greg York and Marty Grogan, myself and Chris Thomson (RSL Vice president) led the march which was from the edge of Cowes to the RSL for a service at their memorial. The RSL and our group both laid wreaths at their memorial. Despite a terrible forecast we did not receive a drop of rain, it came 10 minutes later.

5. To finish the afternoon we were entertained by a 6 piece RAN group with an excellent RAN band female vocalist and enjoyed refreshments with the entire naval contingent plus a current trainee from the Comms School. The day was completed by our usual reunion dinner in a beautifully set up dining room. The food was beautiful, the service was great and the company was even better..

6. We may try and organise a mini reunion early next year at Robe in South Aussie around late Feb or early March next year. I shall put out information later this year re this event.

7. Next year in November from Thu 7th to Mon 11th Remembrance Day, we will be hosting the national communications reunion in Geelong. There some very big plans being sorted for this event with a big Naval theme which will be advised on all of our sites once things have been finalised. I look forward to advising everybody re this event as soon as possible In the meantime if anybody would like information on the national reunion please call me on 0418 524 067.


Seeking Brian Peek and Geoff Berry

On email contacts list Brian Peek's address is redundant.  Any Idea what his current email is ?

Geoff Berry ex Sparker from Tassie, I served with him on Queenborough in 1957, any idea where he may be ?

Brian Claxton
Can anyone help Brian track these two - I don't have up to date email addresses for either.


This Service was held at the 113th AGH Memorial Chapel, Concord Repatriation Hospital on Monday 20th August, and here I was accompanied by Vice President Ms Liz Watts OAM.

The Vietnam War was the longest major conflict in which Australian troops have served. Australian involvement started more than 50 years ago in 1962 and lasted 10 years until 1972. Approx 60,000 personnel served and took part and each of the 3 Services were involved but the dominant role was played by the Army. This year, we remember the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Coral – Balmoral – a series of actions fought between the 1st Australian Task Force and the North Vietnamese 7th Division and Viet Cong Main Force Units, 40 kms north east of Saigon between May 2nd – June 6th 1968, and we honour in particular the memory of the 25 Australians killed in the Battle and recall those 109 Australians, New Zealanders, Canadian and American personnel wounded During Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War, it cost more than 500 Australian Servicemen their lives , while some 3.000 were wounded , otherwise injured or were victims of illness as a result of War..

After the Welcome given by Fr Graeme Malone, SSS Catholic Chaplain at RGH and then a Prayer of Thanksgiving by Mr. Dale Bailie Anglican Chaplain at the RGH. All were asked to Stand and the Hymn , Morning Has Broken and sung by all. Following the Scripture Reading Revelations 21 verses 1-7 by Mr Terry Corcoran Vietnam Veteran.

The Vietnam Veteran's Day Address was given by Mrs Margaret Green, National President War Widows Guild Australia. I have heard many Addresses/Speeches over many years, and I would have to say, her Address was absolutely brilliant . My only regret , I don't think it was recorded. On completion she was given a standing ovation.

All were then Invited to place a Remembrance Candle in Honour of the Fallen and Those Who Served at the Memorial Alter from the Veterans Original Chapel. On completion a Wreath Laying Ceremony was held, and here many were Invited to come forward. This included Professor Dame Marie Bashir AC CVO , former Governor of NSW, Mr. Haydn White Representing the Commissioner of DVA, Captain Amanda Garlick RAN Representing the Commander Australian Fleet, RADM Mead AM RAN to name just a few. There were many.

The ODE was Recited by Mr John Haines AM, Vietnam Veteran and then the Last Post was played, A Minutes Silence and and then Reveille.

A Commemorative Prayer was given by Fr Graeme Malone and then a Prayer for Peace by said by all and then the Lords Prayer by all.

Benediction by given by Mr Dale Baille and then all were asked to join in the singing of the Australian National Anthem

This then brought to an end of a a very good and well conducted Service and once again special thanks must to to Ms Alice Kang, whose organisation is exceptional, but all were also invited to join in refreshments provided by the Food Services, Concord Hospital.

Now, I felt proud to have been Invited to attend this Service and in the next 2 weeks, I shall be in Vietnam and have tended my name to attend the place of the Battle of Long Tan and also to journey down into the tunnels which the VC had used during these years of war. and to take time and reflect on those who have Served .

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter


Yesterday, 15th August a Commemoration Service and Wreath Laying Ceremony for the Anniversary of the Cessation of Hostilities in World War II on 15th August 1945. This Service was held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place commencing at 11.00am.

Mrs Sandra Lambkin carried out the duty of MC with Senior Chaplain Murray Lund RAN Officiating . Music at all was carried out by the RAN Band and in some cases, by AB Musn Leigh Robke, who I might add, has a beautiful voice . The Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies by the RAN.

A Remembrance of the Fallen and Prayer for Peace was given by Senior Chaplain Murray Lund and the was followed by the Recessional and sung by AB Musn Leigh Robke. The Commemoration Address was by Mr James Brown RSL State President and then the Wreath Laying Ceremony and here the 'Lament' was played on bag pipes by Stirling Nasa, The Scots College, Sydney.

There was many, and here the Australian Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Jonathon Mead AM RAN , Laid a Wreath on behalf of the Royal Australian Navy. I was Invited to come forward and Lay a Wreath, which I felt very privileged to have been given this honour.

The ODE was Recited by Mr Ray James, RSL NSW State Vice President , and this followed by the Last Post , One Minutes Silence and Rouse played by a AB Musn from the RAN Band.

Benediction by Snr Chaplain Murray Lund and then all were invited to join AB Musn Leigh Robke in the singing of the Australian National Anthem and all requested to remain standing for the dismounting of the RAN Catafalque Party and the departure of the Official Guests.


I had been Invited also to attend the Victory in the Pacific at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway at Concord and luckily it was 2 hours after the other Service, and here for this Service I was accompanied by Ms Liz Watts OAM.

Here the MC was Mr John Gatfield who many may remember was the Editor of the NSW RSL Reveille magazine and here he advised all, that today, 'IT WAS AN EMPHASIS ON YOUTH' and later on this became more obvious.  All were asked to Stand for the Arrival of the Official Party and then the Prologue was given by Cr. Marian Parnaby , Deputy Mayor of the City of Canada Bay and then the Welcome by the Chairman of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway by Mr. John Haines AM . Here he welcomed all, and with his 'one liners', he is great to listen to.

The Bible Reading , John 15 verses 9-17 was Read by Justin Cordi, Year 12 Student St. Patrick;s College. Very well spoken
The Hymn 'Now Thank We All Our God'.  The VP Day Address was given by Liam Ferrier, Year 12 Student , Rosebank College. He was outstanding, he spoke so precise, clear and with full conviction , During his speech, he spoke how he had been Awarded the 'Rusty Priest' Award and had walked the Kokoda Track , and with full recognition of those who had served and fought there and for some 'paid the Supreme Sacrifice'. If you wished for a spokesperson for some Service, he would be a first choice.

The Reflection was shown on the Screen , 'War at Sea', and here for those who had served in the Navy, would have felt proud. Such names of HMA Ships, CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY, PARRAMATTA to name just a few and some who were lost at sea was given during this period in oceans across the world.

A Prayer for the Queen and Nation was given by Mr. Dale Baikke , Anglican Chaplain to AGH , Concord Hospital and then a Prayer for Serving Members of the Forces by Fr Graeme Malone SSS, Catholic Chaplain at AGH , Concord Hospital.

The Wreath Laying Ceremony was then held and the ODE was Recited by Brigadier Philip McNamara CSC ESM OAM and then followed by the Last Post, One Minutes Silence and then Reveille

A Prayer for the Fallen by Mr. Dale Baikie Anglican Chaplain, AGH Concord Repat Hospital and then a Poem Kokoda Pilgrimage which had been written by Major General Gordon Maitland AO OBE RFD ED (Rtd) and Read by Mr Dick Payten OAM President 7th Division. Now, Dick is a 'young 97 years old' and even though he is committed to a wheel chair, he spoke so loud and clear – He was given a great ovation.

The Hymn Abide With Me and the Lords Prayer was sung and spoken by all and following the Benediction by Fr Graeme Malone SSS Catholic Chaplain at Concord Repat Hospital and then a Thank You by Mr John Haines AM. Here he made many thank you for your attendance and this also included Professor Marie Bashir AC CVA who you may recall was the Governor of NSW and it was a pleasure to to see her there. I had the opportunity to speak with her later on , and she is a wonderful person and has a very good memory .

The Australian National Anthem was sung by all and this brought to an end a wonderful Service . All were then invited to join for refreshments and here the Catering people from Concord Hospital under the direction of Ms Alice Kang made sure all were catered for .

It was a long day by attending both Services that I had been Invited to, but I am glad that I did so, and to remember those that had served in that period of our darkest hours.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

WRANS - RAN Women's National Reunion 2020

WRANS Association WA extends an invitation to all ex WRANS and ex/serving RAN Women to join us in Perth from Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th August, 2020 for the next National Reunion.

We already have 530 Expressions of Interest lodged. Registrations will open early in 2019.

All current information and EOI form, can be found on our website, which is updated as events, venues and other details, are finalised.


Sue Hackett for Steering Committee Reunion2020



The AGM for the NSW Chapter of the RANCBA shall be held on Saturday, 22nd September, 2018 commencing at 11.00am.

The venue will be Parramatta RSL Club, situated in Macquarie Street Parramatta. For those coming by private vehicle, the Club has its own parking , but don't forget to get a ticket at the boom gates and have the Club Receptionist stamp when you are finally leaving. For those coming via Public Transport , alight from either rail or bus at the Parramatta Interchange and walk down the Mall (you cant miss it, there is so much building construction going on) and the first cross street is Macquarie Street, do a turn left and 2 blocks down is the RSL Club.

At the Meeting after the following reports for the 2017-2018 period have been given by the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, all Committee positions shall be declared vacant and any financial Member of the NSW Chapter can be nominated for any position. Please make and attempt to attend and also serving personnel of the CIS Branch, as you are the people who will continue this Association. You can become a Member on this day.


NOW, as I will be overseas on a small cruise of SE Asia and will not be back till a few days prior, so, could you send your attendance or apology, and also any item/s that you wish to be tabled after the AGM, please send these to Ms Liz Watts OAM, Vice President RANCBA NSW – email

Hoping to see you there

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Vale Malcolm McKenzie R93237 (ex LTO).

Scoops Cooper noticed in the latest edition of the WA RSL magazine - The Listening Post - that there was a Last Post notice for R93237 Malcolm McKenzie. Mal was a TO on the Melbourne when it and the Voyager collided in 1964 and also was an LTO on the Yarra around 1967. RIP Mal.

Regards Scoops
Lest We Forget



On Friday, 27th July commencing at 11.00am, this Service was held at the Korean War Memorial, Moore Park, Anzac Parade Sydney. Here the MC was Mr. Darren Mitchell and after welcoming all, we were asked to stand for the arrival of the Official Party , HE, General, The Hon. David Hurley AC DSC (Rtd) and his wife Linda , and the Playing of the Vice Regal Salute by the Army Band. All were asked to remain standing for the Guardians to enter the Memorial and take Post. Mr John Haines AM and Mr Bob Auston carried out this duty

On completion and being told to be seated, an item called 'Requiem for a Soldier' was recited by Ms Alexandra McCosker and Ms Samanta Lestavel. A Prayer of Dedication followed and this was carried out Pastor Bob Durbin, Chaplain RSL Lifecare and then a Message from the United Nations Association Australia (NSW) and given by Dr Patricia Jenkings, President UNAA – NSW.

This was followed by the Hymn 'The Lord is My Shepherd' with music by the Army Band and sung by Burwood Girls High School Choir and then the Poem 'So Long Digger' which had been written by a soldier of 1 RAR and having completed his tour of duty in the Korean War and had written this poem. His name was Paterson and unfortunately I did not write down his first name, but having the name Paterson, he was known by all as Banjo. This was Read by Cadet Sgt, Alan Jessup , Sydney Boys High School Cadet Unit. Following was the Bible Reading Psalm 65 by Nabin Kim, Burwood Girls High School.

The Commemoration Address was given by His Excellency, General, The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC Rtd and he certainly is a good speaker. He told all that he was only a year old when the Armistice for a Cease Fire was made, but when he became a Officer Cadet at RMC Duntroon, his first 2 Commandants had served in Korea and when in year 3-4 his weapons instructor was Mr Keith Payne VC who made sure they all knew about Korea and Malaya theatres of war and operational service. Following was the Commemoration Address given by Mr Sangsoo Yoon, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Sydney. He spoke of all the 3 Services of Australia who had served there and made good mention of the RAN ships ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA, MURCHISON, SHOALHAVEN and SYDNEY.

A Choral item – One Voice was sung by girls from Burwood High School Choir and well received.

This was followed by the Wreath Laying Ceremony and commenced with HE, General David Hurley and Mr. Yungsin Kim, President Australia Department of the Korean Veterans Association. and then Members of the Diplomatic Corp from the Consuls of those Nations that had served in Korea, either in military action or had supplied medical assistance. This numbered 22, and some of those came forward included the USA, UK, NZ, GREECE, PHILLIPINES, THAILAND, NETHERLANDS, FRENCH to name just a few.

I was called forward to Lay a Wreath or Floral Tribute , and I was accompanied by a Korean Member of the Korean Veterans Association and here we were escorted by 2 Cadets from Sydney High School. There were many , and one of my Parramatta RSL Sub Branch friends, Mr Frank Hincliffe was called forward with other Member from 2 Sub Branch to Lay a Wreath.

On completion, all were asked to Stand and the Ode of Remembrance was Recited by Mr Bill Harrigan , and then the Last Post was played by a Bugler from the Army Band , One Minutes Silence Observed and then Rouse was played. Pastor Bob Durbin said a Prayer of Benediction and then the National Anthems of Korea and Australia were played by the Australian Army Band and sung by Burwood Girls High School Choir

The Ceremonial Guards departed the Memorial and then Closing Remarks was given by Mr. Nak Yoon Paik and Mr Harry Spicer OAM, both Guardians of the Korean War Memorial

All were then Invited to partake of refreshments which were provided for all,

A Good and Very well organised Service and I am glad that I attended.

Now – I never knew anything about this War Memorial and were it is situated . It is located in Moore Park at the top of Anzac Parade and was originally built in 2009 through the great efforts of both Australian and Korean Veterans of the War with good support of the NSW Government, The Memorials central pathway identifies all 22 Nations who had either contributed Military or Medical support under the United Nations Forces. The 2 central granite stones (big) were a gift from the community of Kapyeong , Korea If you get the chance, go and see . I used public transport to go there and back and worked well.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter


This is update No 4 and the event is being held from Thursday 16th to Sun 19th August 2018 and is based on Vietnam vets day the 18th of August.

1. The weekend kicks off with a meet and greet at the Phillip Island RSL in the Anzac room which is to the rear of the main function area. This room will be closed off for our use as it will also be for our final dinner on Sat the 18th. The RSL will be providing finger food at no charge for this event. Dinner will then be available on completion in the same room for those that would like to eat a bit more.

2. Due to costs we have cancelled Friday's bus trip and have decided to ask everybody to car pool. We will still depart the RSL at 10 am on Friday with the first stop being the Vietnam Vets museum - admission has been halved to $5 per person. This should take approx 1.5 hours. Following we will call into the chocolate factory and then on to Churchill Island for lunch. You can also explore the homestead and grounds at a small cost. Google Churchhill Isle for family friendly activities and costs. Next its on to the Grand Prix track for a tour of the history of motor sports museum, gardens and circuit viewing. This also has costs depending on what you would like to do. After this its on to the Nobbies where the penguins nest and there also are Seals on the rocks. No charge for this one. Finally onto the penguin parade where you must be by 5 PM. General viewing is $26.20 per adult and $13.00 for children. There are also discounts for Pensioners and Seniors. Then its back to the RSL or township for dinner as you wish. This is a suggested itinerary only.

3A. Saturday is the main day and unfolds as follows:- 10am meet at the RSL rear carpark and car pool to the Vietnam vets museum for a service in the Vung Tau functions area. 1030 for 1045 AM. Program follows -

3B 1045am - Phil Dressing to MC and welcome
1050am - Guest Speaker Commodore Greg York - our patron
1055am - The ODE - Last Post - Minute Silence - Reveille (Navy bugler)

3C Following this service we will then drive to the Cultural Centre on the corner of Church St and Phillip Island Rd which is the main road where you will need to park nearby. The either side of Phillip Island Rd on Church St would be the most likely.

1215 - March assembly on Thompson Avenue (the main rd)
1230 - Step Off behind Navy band and our banner
1240 - Arrive at base of Cenotaph, Jetty Triangle
- Wreath laying ceremony hosted by Chris Thompson - Vice president of RSL
- The ODE - Last Post - minute silence - Reveille
1255 - Service completed
1300 - PIRSL for light refreshments

Please remember medals and a jacket for these Ceremonial Occasions.

4. The Navy band are providing an Ensemble to play in the Anzac room during the afternoon after the march.

5. The final event will be our dinner, again in the Anzac room from 6.30pm on Saturday. We have selected a two course selection for entree, main and desert - kids meals will be available also. Vegetarians will also be catered for.

The RSL shuttle service will pick up anybody that requires transport to dinner at 6 pm from Amaroo Park. A return service will operate from 9 pm as required.

Ends - A final one to come - Cheers


Subject: RANCBAVIC & Southern Regional Reunion Phillip Isle 16th to 19th - August 2018 Update No 5

This may be the last update, then again it may not!!

Following is a list of those attending some of the time and others all of the time. It has not always been easy keeping up with bookings this time so if I have missed somebody please let me know on 0418 524 067 to keep me up to date. Not everybody will be with us all of the time due to other commitments. Also if you have any questions please ring me on the above number.
Anybody that is coming and is not on this list please give me a call on the above number. I noticed that it has just been posted in Rogues Yarn.

John & Rachel White Roy & Lyn Barber John & Sue Falk John & Julie Gorski Greg & Louise Goodwin Ian & Marion Schubert Gorden & Shelly Ingram Marty Grogan & Jeanette Ted & Lyn Murray Jan Gallagher & Andrew Mo & Nina Breis Wally & Jenny Leijen Brian & Ritva Harley Hugh & Pat Green Commodore Greg & Pam York Gary & Debbie Swanton Ian & Vanessa Hogarth Terry & Pam Making Chris Thompson & Suzanne Simon Wolfe Titch Parsons Ernie Power Barry Kane & Partner Graham Wilsdon Jan Withers Narelle Neave Les Thurgood Pete Johnson.

Please call me if you should be on this list so that the RSL can be properly prepared and if I have left you off I am sorry

Cheers Nokka



Korean Armistice Service to be held at the Korean Memorial, Moore Park, Sydney on 27th July commencing at `11.00am and also If attending, you are Invited to Lay a Wreath.

Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day, held at Springwood, Blue Mountains commencing at 11.00am on 12th August.

Victory in the Pacific – The Cenotaph, Martin Place Sydney commencing at 11.00am but you should arrive by 10.30am on the 15th August.

Victory in the Pacific – Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway, Concord commencing at 2.00pm on 15th August.

Vietnam Veterans Day – 113h AGH Memorial Chapel, Concord Repat Hospital commencing at 10.30am on 20th August.

These Services are open should you wish to attend and I shall be at a few and also Laying a Wreath on the 15th August at the Cenotaph.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

HOBART Service and Plaque Dedication Service – Chapel of Remembrance – Garden Island Sunday 22nd July 2018

On what had been a very cold morning but by the time the Service began it had warmed up and overlooking one of the best harbours in the world, what more could you wish for.

The Service was Officiated by Chaplain Simote Finau RAN and it was good to see Rear Admiral Rothesay Swan AO CBE RAN Rtd and his wife Margaret in attendance.  All were asked to stand as the Australian White Ensign was paraded into the Chapel by the Colour Party of HMAS HOBART III Following the Hymn Amazing Grace, a Sailor's Grave was recited by Mr Bill Ross, President of the HOBART Association. 

A speech was then delivered by Mr Derek Holyoake who was serving aboard HMAS HOBART in 1943 when the ship was struck by a torpedo. Then a speech by CPONPC Bill Bowley who was serving aboard HMAS HOBART II when it was struck by 2 air missiles when on deployment in Vietnam.

WO Sean Ellerton (HMAS HOBART III) Recited the Naval Psalm 107 (verses 23-32) and then the Scripture Reading John 14
recited by LCDR Adam Ross RAN (HMAS HOBART III).  Following the Naval Hymn, Plaques Dedicated to those who Lost their Life in HOBART I on the 20th July 1943 was Read out by Captain John Stavridis RAN , Commanding Officer HMAS HOBART III and Representing Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN.  AB Clifford Baron, Warrant Engineer Robert Brown, Gunner Ralph Reeve, Lieutenant (E) John Ellis, Raymond Hunt Chief Electrician John Gaskell Surgeon Lieutenant and Edmond King Ordinance Artificer. Raymond Hunt Ch Electrician WR – HMAS HOBART II 17th June 1968

This was followed by Plaques Dedicated to. A. Allcroft, J Robbins, S. Goslin, G, Shirtley, J Ingle, G, Nolan and R. White
Here NOK, family friends come forward and speak on behalf of the Departed. My only regret with many of these , no record is kept of the speech.

The Naval Ode was Recited by the Commander Australian Fleet. Rear Admiral Jonathon Mead AM RAN and then the Sailors Ode , also Recited by Rear Admiral Jonathon Mead AM RAN This Ode is very appropriate and I along with others had never heard it before.

The Last Post – One Minutes Silence and Reveille followed and this was played by a Bugler from the RAN Band Detachment.

Following A Prayer for our Navy, and Benediction by Chaplain Simote Finau RAN and then the Australian National Anthem sung by all with great pride

The Colour Party HMAS HOBART III were presented with the AWE by the Chaplain and marched through the Chapel..

This ended this very well presented Service to those who have Served this Nation, and all were then invited to Morning Tea at the Historical Building which is done by volunteers of the FNSA and RANCBA , and in this case only by Communicators today due health/away etc.

These were Ken & June Swain, Ms Liz Watts, Ms Diana Avent, Allan & Helen Moffatt and greatly assisted in setting up tables/chairs outside by Mr Mike Kay PERTH Assn and CPONPC Bill Bowley & Mr Bill Ross HOBART Association. The day had turned nice and overlooking yachts and other vessels on this beautiful harbour, everyone really enjoyed and we had been advised that approximately 90 would be there, so our very small group, with the cakes/slices, sandwiches, tea & coffee was greatly appreciated and we certainly show our MKR expertise . This is at no cost to those attending, but saying that, we have a donation box and most do donate and this pays for the next came and saw me again, and she could not believe that just a few of us could do such a wonderful thing and it is credit to all concerned who made this happen.

So after all 90 had departed, we cleaned up and made our own way home and it ended a great day.

We Will Remember
Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Vale Ian Frederick Hobbins R52693 (ex-RO)

Ian Hobbins' son Craig has informed me that Ian passed away last Thursday (19 July). Ian joined the Navy on 6 December 1957 and paid off (DEE) on 5 December 1963.  He was rated RO on 01 November 1958.

Ian was in the intake following mine. In the same intake I remember were Blue Short and Snow Brecht. Ian was a RO and served for six years.

I can't give much more of his Naval history other than after Cerberus he was drafted to the Melbourne and then to Harman. He came from the same City as myself, Toowoomba, and retired to Bribie Island in later years.


Lest We Forget
Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Vale John Walker 'Bloo' MacAskill R58394 (ex-LRO)

Jim Berridge advises that he was advised by John’s wife Maureen that John had passed away yesterday in Albury (18 July).  Funeral arrangements are not known at this stage.


Sad News, Bloo was born on 29 April 1940 and signed for 9 years from 25 September 1961. He signed for a further 3 years on 25 September 70, to complete 12 years. May he RIP.

From Dave Jeffrey:
Just read the sad news of Bloo MacAskill’s death. First met him in 1965 on “A” watch at Coonawarra. Tony Sullivan, Sandy McNab, Bloo & myself plus Pattie Croser as the WRROT. A good sparker who went to work with quite a few of our mates on the ‘dark’ side!! We had a few tiffs in later life, but he was always a professional communicator. RIP


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,

Service for the late Sig . Howard Halsted OAM – 27/9/1926 – 9/7/2018

On Thursday, 17th July 2018 in company with my wife Helen, Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd and ex L/Sig Dick Thompson OAM we attended the Funeral Service for the late Ex Sig. Howard Halsted OAM.

The Service was held at St. Joseph's College, Hunters Hill and I would estimate that there would have been in the vicinity of 200 hundred plus in attendance and this included 2 RAN Officers in full uniform, a Commander and a Lieut-Commander.

The Service was Officiated by Rev Fr. Bernie Hennessy , and the Eulogy given by Chris Hietbrink . He certainly lived life to the full, from the time he left Joseph's College, he certainly had a varied and interesting life and when WW II declared, became a Signalman in the RAN , and as his daughter said later on, not the modern communications of today, but all traffic by light/flags. He was serving aboard the Corvette HMAS STRACHAN and was part of the British Pacific Fleet when minesweeping the entrance to Hong Kong after the surrender of the Japanese Forces there, the ship struck an acoustic mine.

In 1949 he married WRAN/T/P Operator Helen Brewster (known as Billie) and over the next years, became the parents of 6 children and at this stage he was a Stock and Grain Agent at Gunnedah . During the next years when they moved to Sydney, he was made a Life Member of the RSL, Community Award of the Mosman Council, and Awarded the Order of Australia. Howard was one of those at the beginning of the RANCBA and remained a very stalwart Member, and up till a few months and due to ill health was the President of the CORVETTES Association.

He was also heavily involved in the restoration of the Mast of HMAS SYDNEY I , which is located at Bradley's Head and on the Joey's Old Boys Committee.

It was a full Service and Ken Swain, Dick Thompson are glad that we attended.

The RSL Tribute on completion of this part of the Service was to be held at the East Chapel of the Northern Suburbs Crematorium and on completion of all Services, everyone was invited to the Hunters Hill Club, this was those who had just attended the Church Service or after at the Crematorium . Unfortunately due to another commitment, I had to leave after the Church Service.

If you ever have the chance to attend a Service at the Chapel of St, Josephs College – go, it is one of the most beautiful Chapels that I have ever seen.

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