'QSO the World'



The aim of this page is to pass on articles of interest to serving & ex-serving Communicators  and interested parties.  I am sure that many of the names of those below will be familiar to other shipmates who may also 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

August-December 2019

Happy New Year to all Communicators, particularly those serving overseas.

We will be taking a break over the festive season and will return mid-January 2020.
John & Sarah Curbishley




Committee would like to wish you and your family

And a Happy & Healthy New Year

We look forward to catching up with you all in 2020


Brisbane - The last meet and greet for 2019.

L to R ... Brittanii (Trev's Carer), Jim Eagles, Trev Percival, Timba Mills, Shags Hellier, Bob Simpson, Rod Arnold, Tackers Miles, Kev Ruwoldt, Steve O'Rourke, Don Ruwoldt, Baz Cleary, Gus Dodds, Doc Watson.

Late Comers ... Pedlar Palmer, Frank Aldred, Roger Garrett.

Apologies ... John Horton (Sick Bay).

Next meet will be on the 6th January ... NB Pedlar & Trev.

The Brissie Mob wish all Communicators on QSO a very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year ... CYA in 2020 ( God Willing!!!).

From Chief Doc Watson ... Mon 6th is to be a Hawaiian SHIRT DAY ... grab a bargain now at Lowes!!!

Kev Ruwoldt 11th Dec 2019


Dick Cantwell's 80th

Ex-CPORS Dick Cantwell celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday (7 Dec) at the Applecross Sea Scouts Hall, his 4 children flew in from all points of the compass and Jean, his wife of 55 years was there to maintain order.

The beautiful cake was made by granddaughter, Adelaide..

Cerberus 59’ers Tom Jarrett, John “Blue” McLaughlin, Keith “Buster” Crabb and David MacLean were there to help dispose of the grog.

Dick was confidently taking bookings for his 90th.

Yours aye
David MacLean

From Shorty Moffatt:
Congrats Dick on your 80th – you will soon catch me!!! I celebrated my 82nd birthday on a cruise ship RUBY PRINCESS on a cruise off NZ – fortunately we had left the area where the volcano blew.

I loved some of the names there, Blue McLaughlin, Dave McLean , Tom Jarrett, Keith Crabbe – names from way back.

Anyway mate, all the best and keep on going.
Shorty Moffatt OAM

From Dave Jeffrey:
Obviously from the names and Dick’s health etc, it goes to prove “ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG!!



1. The RANCBAVIC & SOUTHERN REGION would like to advise and invite all of our members and all those that would like to attend a regional reunion at the Big4 Holiday park Frankston. Phone 1800 623 491. The reason for this location is that HMAS Cerberus has an open day on Sunday the first of March 2020.

2. The usual meet & greet will be held at the park on the Friday evening. BYO food to share. They have a couple of kitchens for those wishing to cook any food.

3. We will also organise dinner at the Frankston RSL on the Saturday evening. They will be carrying out some renovations but its a large venue and should not be a problem. It would also be nice if we could also incorporate a visit to the Naval association which is a couple of kilometers down the road from the park. Not sure if we can achieve this as they generally only open on a Friday evening, so standby!!

4. We will provide updates on who has booked and any other information that comes to hand. At the time of writing, the park has 8 bookings for us to date.  
EOI Registration >>

5. If anybody would like further information please call me on 0418 524 067 or contact any Committee member. The number as above for the park to book again is 1800 623 491 and advise them you are with Rancba. A 10 percent discount will apply to all bookings once we have 10 bookings - only 2 to go!!

Regards Nokka 0418 524 067

Vale Robert John France R65114 (ex RO)

Regret to record the passing of RO Robert John France (aka “Bob” & “Rob”) 14 October 1945 - 19 November 2019.

John always had a grin on his dial, was a member of the FESR Assn, but; other than that, I have no details of his service record.

Laid to rest today (26 November) at Karrakatta.

Lest We Forget

Yours aye
David MacLean

Sad news, May he RIP

From the Archives:  Robert John France (ex RO).  DOB 14/10/45. Joined RAN 10.3.66, Postings: Duchess, Stuart, Harman (postings after 1970 not known). 


Timba and Gags.

T.O.’s of a bygone era chewing the fat in the Brisbane mall.


The Rancbavic and Southern Region Committee would like to thank all that attended the National Reunion in Geelong for creating a truly outstanding 6 day reunion event. From the meet and greet at the Pier, on the water to the Remembrance Day ceremony on the land at the Waurn Ponds Memorial service everything went without a glitch.

The venue for the Meet and Greet and the Formal dinner, both over the water created an outstanding atmosphere. The staff at both events were outstanding and provided us with exceptional service. The extra drinks at no charge at the meet and greet and the extra hour of free drinks for the formal dinner were a bonus. They assured me that we with everybody's assistance held the best function that they have ever held there. Congratulations everybody as all of you made it what if was.

It was very pleasant as the sun set over the bay on the night of the Dinner with all the city lights in the background. Another amazing feature was the table ships fully lit with table numbers on the bow, the ANF and White ensign at ether end, the flags with correct meanings - a further 4 were part of the raffle. The navy band were extremely popular and certainly had everybody up and bopping. They also scored 2 Ships from their table of 10. The illuminated ships Bases provided by committee member Ted Murray and Rachel my wife. Rachel spent 6 months working on them after Ted cut and shaped bases. The flags on the masts said - welcome to Geelong 2019 with the white ensign and the ANF flying forward and Aft. Each ship was numbered forward and matched the tables. 39 ships have happy owners and Rachel has the other one.

Everybody was also welcomed to Geelong by Geraldine Costa and her staff at the Sailors rest Cafe and Restaurant on the Friday evening with 10 percent discount for the 6 day stay and lovely finger food during the evening. Perfectly situated opposite the Pier where the main events took place and lots of the attendee's staying close by.

We had two bus trips, one down the great ocean road with lunch at Apollo Bay prior to the 12 apostles with a scenic trip home. Thankfully the mob hadn't drunk Sailors rest out and there was still plenty of food available for the 55 on the bus. The second trip was local with the magnificent Chocolate factory first up - hard to get everybody back to the bus. Then Bells Beach, both Southside and the main beach - with plenty of little black surfers in the water. We then wound our way back through Torquay and along the waterfront to Barwon Heads - past Diver Dan's shed which is protected now. Then a stopover in Queenscliff for lunch. Then worked our way to Port Arlington to check out Melbourne's skyline across the Bay on the way home.

On remembrance day we had our own service at our own venue (shared by the Army) out of Waurn Ponds which was very moving with 9 wreaths laid which included a Knitted Poppy wreath made by Jan Withers. A photo was taken by the Geelong Advertiser Phot who got us good coverage in the Addie - Geelong's local newspaper. He also took a photo with all 90 of us on a very sturdy recently added bridge at the venue.

It was then back to the RSL for lunch for 90 heading home. I'm sure everybody that attended the Reunion would agree that it was an outstanding success with lots of old friends catching up.

The next national reunion will be in Sydney with my handing over the baton to Dolly Grey during the formal dinner. I believe the next reunion will be in 2 years time due to the numbers passing on. Dolly believes 3 years is just too far away. On a sad note our Vale which was read had over 70 passed since the last reunion in Canberra. So keep your eyes out for Sydney's reunion as I know Dolly will ensure it will be very special.

Cheers from Nokka and a really great crew!!
25 Nov 2019

From  Buster Crabbe:
I have noticed nobody has commented about the Geelong reunion. It was great, well organised and the venues top class. It was great to catch up with old mates but sadly I only knew about 8 from my days in pussers. It pissed me off that so many communicators living in VIC chose not to drive down the highway to Geelong, you know who you are.

As communicators we are a unique band of brothers, the elite in pussers as far as I am concerned , its sad that comms don’t support our get togethers like we used to. If any or all of us want our reunions to continue then get off your asses and attend the next reunion organised by Dolly Gray in Sydney in two years because some of us won't be around for much longer.

Lofty lane was the only Queenslander I knew who attended and he is no spring chicken so to you lot who meet in Brisbane monthly put one beer aside in the bickie tin and come to the Sydney reunion.

This will upset a lot of communicators but I don’t care. We are communicators so lets communicate!
Buster crabbe



I received an Invite to attend this Service which was held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place, Sydney on Tuesday, 19th November 2019 and I felt very honoured to be part of this Ceremonial Service and to Lay a Wreath.

It was a very well organised Service and more importantly, well attended, but the weather was not kind. With all the smoke from bush fires burning across NSW and drifting into Sydney and surrounds, did not make it good, but the heat was now touching 36 deg C, so well done to all who attended.

The MC was Mr Brian Yeo, Secretary of the SYDNEY Association and he gave a quick welcome and asked to be up standing for the March on by the Catafalque Party and the Flag Orderlies which was carried out by serving personnel of the Nuship SYDNEY. Music was by the full Band of the RAN (Sydney Detachment).

On completion a full Welcome was given and to The Hon. Tanya Plibersek , Federal Member for Sydney and then the Address was given by Commander Edward Seymour RAN , Commanding Officer Nuship SYDNEY .

Prayers were by Chaplain Bob Durbin, HMAS SYDNEY Association and then the Wreath Laying Service was carried out by the following.
The Hon. Shaynne Neuman MP, Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs and Defence Personnel representing the Shadow Minister for Defence, The Hon Richard Marles MP, The Hon. Tanya Plibersek , MP, Federal Minister for Sydney, The Hon. Yasmin Catley MP Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Linda Scott, City of Sydney Council, Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson AO DSC RAN Rtd & Mr Barry Brooks , President of the SYDNEY Association, Commodore Robert Elliott CSC RAN – Representing Rear Admiral Jonathon Mead AM RAN Fleet Commander, Commander Edward Seymour RAN and Mrs Judy Shalders on behalf of the future HMAS SYDNEY V and her crews, Mr Simon Hill A/Deputy Commissioner NSW , Department of Veterans Affairs and with Representatives of the following Associations, War Widows Guild of Australia (NSW), Federation of Naval Ships Association, RAAF No 9 Squadron Association, The Infants Home , Child and Family Services, Totally & Permanently Incapacitated Veterans Association and Relatives and descendants or Members of the Public.

The Naval Ode was Recited by Commodore Robert Elliott CSC RAN.

The last Post - One Minutes Silence - Reveille.

All to join for the singing of the Naval Hymn followed by the Blessing given by Chaplain Bob Durbin.

Then all to stand for the singing of the National Anthem and to remain standing for the March Off by the Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies . On completion the VIP’s and Guest departed.

Also in attendance to name just a few, Mr Bob Auston, Mr Rick Anderson, Rear Admiral Tony Horton AO RAN Rtd (Patron of the RANCBA NSW Chapter) and with Vice Admiral Russ Shalders AO CSC RAN Rtd accompanying his wife.

History – HMAS SYDNEY II was a light cruiser of the “modified” Leander Class and Commissioned on 24th September 1935 and tragically her career ended on the 19th November 1941 when she encountered the German raIder KORMORAN off the coast of the West Australia. Both ships were lost and sadly SYDNEY’s entire crew of 645 Officers and Men.

We specially remembered those Communicators who went before us and Paid the Supreme Sacrifice.


Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter
25 Nov 2019

Brisbane Mob at GCH Mon 4th Nov

L to R...Don Ruwoldt, Baz Cleary, Jim Eagles, Kev Ruwoldt, Bob Simpson, John Horton, Tackers Miles, Rod Arnold, Pedlar Palmer,
Gus Dodds, Doc Watson.

Apologies...Trev Percival in Rehab.

Sick List...Roger Garrett Esq not travelling too well.

Note...Next meet at GCH will be on the Mon 9th Dec

Kev Ruwoldt


Biography of RADM Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC

Did You serve with RADM Guy Griffiths?

VADM Peter JONES (Retd) is writing with Guy Griffiths’ blessing and support an authorised biography. He has been working on this project for about a year and now finishing the chapter related to Guy’s service in the Korean War.

Did you serve with CAPT Guy Griffiths in Parramatta IV, Hobart II or Melbourne II or at any other time in his career?

VADM Jones would be happy for you to contact him (details below) with any relevant information or anecdotes of your time with CAPT Guy in those ships.

Mobile 0408 423 601



This Service was held on Sunday, 3rd November at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway (KTMW) on a very hot and smokey haze coming down from the bush fires in the north of NSW .

The MC, Mr John Gatifield, gave a small Welcome, but asked all to be up –standing for the Arrival of the Official Party and to remain standing for the Mounting of the Catafalque Party by Serving Personnel of the 4/3rd Royal NSW Regiment.

On completion , the Official Welcome was giving by Brigadier Philip McNamara CSC ESM OAM, Director KTMW and then all to stand for the singing of the Hymn – Abide With Me, and here the music was supplied by the full Band of the NSW Corrective Services Band

Then, the KOK0DA Day Address was given by Mr Reg Chard, who is a couple weeks short of his 96th birthday – he walked across the ground to the podium un-aided and like a 24 year old person and then he gave the Address and spoke with out aid of notes (one of the longest I have had the pleasure to listen to) . He is a KOKODA Veteran from the first day and his speech was absolutely brilliant – on completion , and , I might add as stated, one of the longest and interesting that I have heard. All and I mean all stood and gave him a big applause . He is a Member of the 55/53 Battalion Association and a KTMW Veteran Guide. If you ever have the chance to visit and do the walk of the KTMW and Reg Chard is there, you will be fully enthralled and not disappointed by his knowledge and talk .

Following his Address, a Visual Reflection _The Unfolding Story of 1942, with the music “Meeting the Sun” by Elena Kats-Chernin
The Flag Raising Ceremony , of both the PNG and Australian National Flags, carried out by Mr Lloyd Birdsall New Guinea Veteran , 14th Field Regiment and Mr Michael Ali , representing the Fuzzy Wuzzies

The Wreath Laying Ceremony was then carried out and here there were many , Both State and Local Government Authorities, US Consul, and many RSL Sub Branches . Some names that I can recall Commander Nippress RAN, Represented the Commander Australian Fleet, Mr Ray James, Vice President RSL NSW, Ms Meg Green OAM, President War Widows Guild. Cnclr Angelo Tsirekas, Mayor City of Canada Bay. Mr John Haines AM Former Chairman of KTMW, Mr Ron Glew , President RAAF Association

On completion the ODE was Recited by Mr Dick Payten President 7th Division, with the Bugler from the Correctives Services Band One Minutes Silence and the Rouse.

Commemorative Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer by Chaplains from Concord Repatriation Hospital

The following students from Rosebank College , Sofia Mifsud, Tiana Radarellis, Oscar Mikha Maurice Lahood , Hayden O’Connell were introduced by Mayor Angelo Tsirekas , who spoke on how these students had been recipients of the “Rusty Priest” Award and only just completed the trek across the Kokoda Track in PNG under the guidance of Mr Charlie Lin OAM (if my memory is correct, his next trek as a guide will be his 100th)

A vocal interlude was given by ladies of the Aurora Australia Chorus – and they had entertained us with their beautiful singing prior to the Service commencing . and then followed by a Thank You from Mr Peter Woods OAM , Director KTMW

All were then asked to stand for the National Anthems of Papua New Guinea and Australia , but to remain standing on completion for the Dis Mounting of the Catafalque Party

On conclusion all were invited to partake of refreshments and special thanks to Ms Alice Kang,& Ms Melva Lindley and the Staff from Concord Hospital – they are always very enjoyable but more so today, with the very hot .and nasty weather at present

HISTORY . The KOKODA Campaign began with a full scale attack on the Australian 39th Militia Battalion on 29th July 1942 and Kokoda was recaptured on 2nd November 1942 and the Australian Flag was raised at a Service the following day , 3rd November , hence the 77th Anniversary.

KOKODA TRACK MEMORIAL WALKWAY is a living Memorial and a principal site of a Commemoration honouring all those who fought for Australia during World War II , with a principal focus is on the sacrifices made during key PNG Battles which took place in 1942-43 along the Kokoda Track, at Milne Bay , at Buna, Gona and Sanananda

It is ensuring the Walkway is available to future generations of Australians to Honour the Memory of the Fallen and to Remember Those Who Served.


Allan Moffatt OAM
President FNSA & President RANCBA NSW Chapter


Great Opportunity - 1974 VW Sedan

I was wondering if you could pass this through your organization and elsewhere if possible.

We have completely re-built a 1974 V.W. Sedan, from the ground up, both inside and out, and plan to auction it at Cricks V.W., Maroochydore, at 1pm on Saturday, 16 November this year.

The vehicle, as a result of the re-build, is classed as new, is registered and has a list of parts and warranties used in its reconstruction. It has a 1600 motor and the bonnet of the vehicle has a mural painted upon same which depicts all wars that Australia has been involved in over the years. It is really a true collector's piece and would be a prized possession for ex-servicemen.

All monies raised from the auction will go to the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia, Sunshine Coast Sub-Branch, and will be used in connection with welfare and other forms of assistance to our ex-servicemen and women. For inquiries I can be contacted on my mobile, 0410514204 or contact can be made direct through the Sunshine Coast Vietnam Veterans office on 07 5479 4552.

Best Regards,
Mick Howe,
Vietnam Veterans Association,
Sunshine Coast Sub-Branch.


Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the RANCBA (Vic) Inc will be held 1200 Saturday 16 November 2019 at the Bentleigh RSL, Boardroom, 538 Centre Road Bentleigh VIC 3204.

All Members are encouraged to attend as there are a number of exciting plans for the upcoming year on which the Committee would like to have the Members’ agreement.

Lunch is available at the RSL at own cost, when advising your attendance at the meeting please indicate if you will be staying for lunch.

All Committee positions will be vacated during the AGM, nominations for President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee member to be forwarded to the President or Secretary by Monday 11 November 2019 please.

John ‘Nokka’ White
0418 524 067
Ernie Power
0407 245 660

Vale Stanley Charles Webster PM4627 (ex WWII Sig)

Please post on QSO and VALE pages.

I received the following from his daughter.

Sadly Dad (Stan Webster) passed away last Saturday. Funeral is to be held this coming Friday (01 November) at 2pm St Michael & All Angels Church 188 Military Rd Henley Beach.

Death & Funeral notices will be published in the Advertiser on Wednesday 30th October.

Stanley Charles Webster
PM 4627

Tex Sherriff
RIP Stan.


Australian Veterans' Recognition (Putting Veterans and their Families First) Bill 2019 - ESORT Members

I would like to thank you for your ongoing commitment and support to ensuring veterans and their families receive the recognition and respect they deserve for their service and sacrifice to our country.

I am pleased to let you know that the Government’s Australian Veterans’ Recognition (Putting Veterans and their Families First) Bill 2019 has passed Federal Parliament today.

This legislation formally establishes the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant which includes an oath, lapel pin and Veteran Card which are available for veterans and eligible reservists.

With the passing of this legislation we will now start to send out the lapel pins and oath to those who have already registered via mail in the coming weeks.

The new Veteran Card, which is a redesign of the existing DVA health cards, continues to provide access to treatments and benefits and will soon provide access to thousands of offers from businesses across Australia as a part of a new benefits program.

We are expecting to launch the benefits program very soon and will be sending information packs in the mail to Ex-Service Organisations and RSL Sub-branches which includes promotional material and a set of frequently asked questions to help you support veterans to ensure they get the most out of the program.

Veterans and reservists can continue to register for the Covenant online through MyService, by calling DVA on 1800 555 254, or by visiting your local Veterans Access Network office.

For more information about the Covenant, please visit

Regards Liz,

Liz Cosson AM CSC


Department of Veterans’ Affairs



On Sunday, 20th October this combined Service for the unique Dedication of Memorial Plaques, the RAN Corvettes Association and the Federation of Naval Ships Association was held at the Chapel of Remembrance , Garden Island. It was indeed a very well attended Congregation by all. It One of those in attendance was Ex CYS Ian Shoobert who had come from Canberra for the Plaque Dedication Service of some that he had known.

Rev. Dr. Chaplain Gareth OAM, Principal Chaplain RAN Rtd officiated the Service and the Music by the Band of the RAN (Sydney Detachment). 

All were asked to stand as the Colour Party slowed marched down the aisle and presented the Australian White Ensign  (AWE) to Chaplain Clayton who duly draped the AWE over the altar.

This was followed by a Welcome by Chaplain Clayton and who also gave a outline about the function of the Chapel and this Service,  most interesting.

A tune St. Clement was played by the RAN Band Detachment and then the Opening Prayer.

Family Reflections followed given by relatives/friends/ship mates of those who  were having a Plaque Dedicated – my only regret that these are not recorded.

The following Plaques were for:

AB George William Hamill served 1942-46
Captain Christopher Hole RAN served 1952-84/
WO Garry Kopp served 1959-82 (many Communicators would have known him,  by his nickname Tiny)
L/Stoker Gordon Lewer served 1940-46
Lieutenant Robert Longstaff RANR served 1950 _??
Sub Lieutenant Norman Longstaff RANR served 1959-63 (I can still recall the very sad loss of this person)-also these were both the same family.
Captain John Pullar RAN served 1952-82
CPO Robert Welch served 1922-65
Snr Commissioned Master at Arms Robert Welch served 1912-1948- these two also were both the same family.
WO Kenneth Fielding served  1962-83

On completion, the Lesson was Read by Allan Moffatt OAM – Psalm 107 vs 23-32 then the Reading was Read by Andrew Mills - John 15 vs 9-17.  Both are Communicators and Members of the RANCBA NSW Chapter and FNSA. 

Following was the Sermon by Chaplain Clayton OAM and then all to join in the singing of the Naval Hymn.

The Naval Ode and Ode was Recited by Mr William (Bill) Allen Corvettes Association NSW , but prior to this he gave a very good graphic talk of the loss of HMAS ARMIDALE by Japanese torpedo bombers and the heroic action by one very young person , Teddy Sheahan and the sad loss of so many men.

All were asked to remain standing for the Last Post – One Minutes Silence and Rouse – this was played by a Bugler of the RAN Band Detachment.

Then a Prayer for Our Navy and then the Colour Party slowed Marched down the aisle and then Chaplain Clayton presented back the AWE to the Flag Bearer and they then About Faced, presented Arms and the National Anthem was played with all joining in and sung with great pride.

This brought to an end of the Service but all were Invited to partake and join for “morning tea” at the Historical Building  - here the venue and all the facilities are made available by the courtesy and good will of
CAPTAIN David Michael RAN Rtd.

The morning tea which comprises of cakes/slices/sandwiches/  tea/coffee . and other refreshments are all done on a voluntary basis by Members of the FNSA and this also includes setting up the tables outside/chairs etc  They are Philip & Mary Bell (Mary is the Hon Sec of the FNSA) Andy & Jan Mills (Andy is both Hon Treasurer of the RANCBA NSW Chapter and FNSA) Ric & Jan Easom,(RANCBA)  Ms Diana Avent (RANCBA) Allan & Helen Moffatt (Allan is both President RANCBA NSW & FNSA, Helen is RANCBA) – Ken & June Swain (Ken is both RANCBA & FNSA) ,  the number of well dones I receive for this unique Dedication Service and what we supply after for all. Also today, we were given help by Mr Bill Ross President HOBART Association

One of our very stalwart volunteers, Ms Liz Watts OAM of both the RANCBA & FNSA was in Canberra on another commitment over the weekend and was badly missed. 

For information – The Chapel of Remembrance , together with Memorial Plaques is a fitting addition in the Naval Chapel, GI providing a place of memory of those who Served in the Royal Australian Navy and Ensuring that their Service and Devotion are not Forgotten – Now, should you know of any family or friend who wishes to partake of the his Plaque Service, please contact me. 

Federation of Naval Ships Association (FNSA) since 1955 has been responsible to the RSL NSW coordinating the Naval Section of the ANZAC Day March and its Membership Committee consists of a President, Vice President , Secretary and Treasurer who are all in Honorary positions – Representatives of each Ship Association , Communicators, WRANS, Divers, HOBART, SYDNEY, PERTH , Royal Navy, Royal Marines, MELBOURNE, MORESBY etc and meet every 2 months at the Combined Services Club, Barrack Street, Sydney and bring up all things to be brought to the attention of all Associations and other parties and the many  Invites to the Services we are asked to attend.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter and FNSA


Brisbane Mob October 2019

L to R, Don Ruwoldt, Pedlar Palmer, Jim Eagles, Shags Hellier, Gus Dodds (Hiding), Tackers Miles, Trev Percival, Rochelle (Trev's Carer - Her hubby was an RP), Doc Watson, Kev Ruwoldt, Baz Cleary.

Next meet Ship Inn (RANCB AGM 1100 on 19th Oct) - GCH 4th Nov.

Kev Ruwoldt

“You blokes aren’t getting any prettier !”…Ben Franklin

Vale Edward 'Ted' Bastow R39176 (ex-Tel)

I have just had a phone call from Edward (Ted) Bastow’s son to advise his father had passed away yesterday (02 October 2019).

Funeral details as follows: 2pm 11 October – Venue Northern Subs Crematorium.

No other details known.

Ted was a staunch Member of the RANCBA NSW Chapter and he was one of the Navy spokespeople at the Paddington RSL Club many many years ago for full recognition for all who served and helped in the ADFM been Awarded.

Lest We Forget
Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

From the Archives:  Edward William Bastow R39176 ex-TEL.  DOB 11 April 1933, Joined RAN 11 April 1951, DEE 10 April 1957 after 6 years service. Postings: HMAS AUSTRALIA 1951-52, HMAS SHOALHAVEN 1952-53, HMAS AUSTRALIA 1953-54, CERBERUS 1954-57, DEE 10/04/57. Rated TEL August 1952.

From Tank Evans:
Ted Bastow was a good friend of mine. We worked together for a few years at OTC & Telstra Coast Radio Stations. We were in touch now and again over the last few years and I was well aware he was not well, and I was saddened by his passing. He was a fellow Ham Operator, and we had many QSO’s before he was unable to operate. He was an absolute Gentleman and a nice bloke to know and will keep fond memories with me for some time.

To All Who Served in the Malayan Emergency & Indonesian Confrontation

I gave this speech at a service and luncheon at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance on Friday 30th August 2019 and among the guests was the Consul for Malaysia who approached me and said her country should/would contribute to the Memorial. She was returning to Malaysia and will raise it with her Government. The Consul appeared quite positive about it.

Ladies and Gents
Please be advised that the Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel has recognised the service of Australian and allied forces during the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation on this Malaya and Borneo Veterans Day the 31st of August.

The FESR War Memorial Foundation has been progressing slowly but we are now making a push to garner funds to progress the project to have a dedicated Memorial in the sculpture gardens at the AWM in Canberra. All approvals are in place we now need the money to progress the design phase and the actual build.

Our website is now also up and running at and details to facilitate donations are also available there along with many images and old movie footage of the two conflicts.

Les Bailey
Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR) War Memorial Foundation Inc.

Shorty Moffatt forwarded the above.  More information on this worthy initiative will be found by following the link.



          The RANCBA 2019 Reunion to be held in Geelong over the period 7 – 11 November 2019 is fast approaching. We have already received a good number attending but we would like to see many more of you here. Please go to the Register Now website to register and to select the events you would like to attend.

          Please note that merchandise can not be ordered at this time as orders have already been placed. However, there will be an opportunity to place orders at the Reunion and if enough are received the Committee will endeavour to obtain them.

          For those of you who have registered but are yet to select and pay for individual events, such as the Meet and Greet, Formal Dinner, Bus Trips or Breakfast, please do so now as you can not buy tickets for these events at the Reunion. It would be a shame for you to miss out due to a misunderstanding that tickets to each event must be bought prior to the closing of registration which is the 26 Oct 2019.

          Unfortunately, the Navy is unable to provide sailors and the Band to carry out the previously programmed Beat to Quarters and Ceremonial Sunset that was planned. There are strong constraints on Navy to put Trainees through the System as quickly as possible and therefore have no spare time to prepare for this event.

          If you have any questions on how to purchase tickets, please ask now and we will assist you to join those who already have tickets to what will be a great program of events.

Ted Murray04

John ‘Nokka’ White

Ernie Power




I received an Invite to attend this Ceremony to be held in the City of Parramatta on Saturday

The FOE is dated back to the 16th Century and is the highest accolade that a City/Town can bestow and this tradition is still given today – HMAS PARRAMATTA IV is the fifth of the ANZAC Class built for the RAN , and is the fourth ship to bear this name

After the Parade Review by at the Cenotaph , Church Street Parramatta (Prince Alfred Park) by the Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cnclr Andrew Wilson, the Parade started the March at 12.00pm this is were, it allows HMAS PARRAMATTA the Right to March through the City’s streets with swords drawn, bayonets fixed , drums beating and the Ensign flying.

The Challenge was conducted by Superintendent Julie Boon, Parramatta Police Command , and it is very impressive ceremony, The RAN Band led the March and this was followed by a young sailor from HMAS PARRAMATTA IV was first , carrying the Ceremonial Lifebuoy and then the Commanding Officer Commander Troy Van Tienhoven RAN ,the Parade Commander LCDR Mills and CPOB Phelps Parade Marshal – following was the Scroll contingent and then the Colour Party led by CPOCIS Ryan I/C.

After all the Serving personnel from HMAS PARRAMATTA had passed, and their Right to March had been Granted this brought to an end of this party of the Ceremony.

All in attendance and from the public were invited to the Parramatta Heritage and Visitors Centre , and here on display was objects and special connection of the City of Parramatta and all ships bearing the name HMAS PARRAMATTA . Among the items was the Bell (1961) inscribed with the names of babies born to crew members serving onboard HMAS PARRAMATTA III at that time.

After that those that were Invited made their way to the NOVOTEL Hotel, for the formal speeches etc and refreshments.  The MC was Mr Pete Graham, and on completion the Welcome Ceremony and Welcome to Country was carried out – It was one of the most beautiful done Ceremonies that I have seen (and have attended many). Both my wife Helen and I made a point of meeting and thanking him.

The Lord Mayor Councillor Andrew Wilson gave the Address and on completion, the Commanding Officer HMAS PARRAMATTA IV Commander Troy Van Tienhoven RAN gave the Response and then the Key to the City Presentation was carried out.

After that all were invited to partake of the refreshments and renew or make new friendships and during this the Serving personnel were all asked to go the stand for a group photo and then they were invited to collet their HMAS PARRAMATTA FOE Commemorative pin.

A very good Service and for those who had served in the Royal Australian Navy (and there was many) it gave you a special feeling for your Service.

From Doug Marsh: Reading the article on HMAS Parramatta being granted Freedom of Entry to the City of Parramatta brought back some memories. I was an OD on the Type 12 HMAS Parramatta 1964/65 when she was granted the Freedom of Entry. As we were fresh from Recruit School, I and others who knew their .303 rifle drill were in the honour guard. My memories of it are that it had to have taken place in the summer of 64/65 as we were wearing our Whites. We marched for about 30 minutes or so through the streets, which was more than enough time for the rifle bolt to feel like an anvil on your shoulder. I was also wearing boots and hoping that I wouldn’t slip on the roadway, and of course wearing Whites, meant that they would show any mark or smudge if you brushed against anything.

We must have passed muster however, as on the way up north in February 65, the same group were turned out again in Whites doing a guard on the wharf at Tarangau Manus Island, - I have a photo of this guard and recognise some of the blokes.

Regards, Doug Marsh


Along with Vice President Ms Liz Watts OAM, we both received Invites to attend this Commemoration Service to be held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place on Monday

The weather at that stage was perfect , and here we had the chance to Meet others we had both known from other Associations – this included Ms Diane Vogt, War Widows Guild, Mr Hayden White DVA , Mr Roger Selby Jewish Association, to name a few – also at the completion we both spoke with Professor Dame Marie Bashir AO, former Governor of NSW , she has a wonderful memory and a delightful person to speak with.

The Introduction was carried out by Rev. Geoffrey Usher , Events and Commemorations Coordinator of the RAAF Association.

All were asked to Stand for the Mounting of the Catafalque Party by the Air Mobility Group and the Flag Orderlies by RAAF Richmond and then to remain Standing for the Arrival of he Official Party which included the Governor of NSW, Ms Margaret Beazley AO QC, Mr Ron Glew President RAAF Association (NSW). This was followed by the God Save Our Queen with music played by the NSW Police Band under the Baton of Mr John Saunders and singing by Senior Constable Belinda Parsons.

A message from the Air Marshal Sir Baz North, President of the RAF Association and Read by Mr Eric Dobson , Secretary of the RAF Association (Sydney Branch).

Prayers were given by Chaplains Troy White and Yossie Friedman, RAAF Richmond and the the Hymn “O God Our Help in Ages Past” and then the Address by Flt Lieutenant Doug Chiah raf, Assistant Air Advisor British High Commission and very interesting.

The Wreath Laying Ceremony then took place – and here many were called forward . Both Ms Liz Watts OAM and self went up together , along with Mr Kinzie McDonald from Parramatta RSL Sub Branch . his included Members of the Consul Corp, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and 3 Senior Officers of the Australia Defence Force – Captain Michael Spruce RANR Represented the Australian Fleet Commander.

The ODE was Recited by Mr Ron Glew RAAF Assn , then the Last Post, One Minutes Silence, and then Reveille.

All were asked to remain standing for the Hymn (sung to the Dambuster’s March) God is our Strength and Refuge” , followed by the Benediction and the National Anthem.

The Dis mounting of the Catafalque Party and the Departure of the Official Party.

This brought to and end of a good Service.


Now, on completion we both made our way up Martin Place and here the Band of the Royal Australian Navy and the Band of the Japanese Maritime Sea Defence were giving a joint music entertainment to the public – I could not stay long, but what I did see was a credit to both , and was enjoyed by all that stood/sat to listen and be entertained.

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

RANCBA NSW Chapter annual Xmas Lunch Cruise Sydney Harbour.

Cruise is aboard MV Magistic, Boarding 1200 King St. Wharf 5. Thursday 12th December.
Phone & pay 61 (2) 82967296 Quote booking No. 635982.
All inclusive package of $60pp food & beverage. 2hr or 4hr cruise your choice.
This is invite is open to all members of RANCBA including serving communicators.
Please note our AGM will be held onboard commencing 1000.



Freshly cooked prawns (served with cocktail sauce & fresh lemon)
Caesar salad (cos lettuce, parmesan cheese, crouton, Caesar salad dressing – bacon served separately)
Crispy crunchy apple and fennel salad (served with walnuts, rocket and honey dressing)
Caramelised cauliflower with shaved broccoli (served with creamy dressing)
Radicchio salad with green olives and parmesan
Double bean and pesto salad
Fresh mixed leaves


Calamari and mussels in garlic tomato sauce
Baked fish with braised leeks, tomato & olives
Beef burgundy (slow-cooked beef in red wine and vegetables)
Sweet potato gratin (mix of sweet and white potatoes baked with cream & cheese)
Traditional Indian butter chicken
Orecchiette pasta (served with fresh basil & tomato sauce)
Medley of roasted vegetables with Italian herbs
Oriental fried rice
Stir fried seasonal vegetables with hoisin sauce
Rich chocolate cake
Pear slice
Fruit bowls




This is a reminder that our AGM will be held on Friday, 11th October at The Weston Club, Liardet Street Weston ACT.

I will send out an email approx. 2 weeks before this date asking for acceptances, for catering purposes.

Please mark your diaries.

Your support is needed to keep our association alive.


Peter Guy…


On Saturday, 31st August 2019 a Reception to honour those Veterans, War Widows and other people involved during the period of the Vietnam War. It was held at Government House to a very well organised Service and I would say , a very great number in attendance and there was so many I have know over the year.

I had a phone call a few weeks ago from the Blue Mountains Vietnam and Associated Forces Association, if I had not already place my name on attendees would I like to attend as their guest and accompanied by my wife Helen. I did so, and glad that I did.

Unfortunately after many weeks/months virtually no rain, well this period, moisture did fall and very welcome and when we arrived at the entry of the Main Gate , drizzle started to fall, but it did not deter anyone. After having our Invite checked and then at the foyer of Government House, names were checked against the list – it was so well organised.

Most made their way out to the verandah, where Staff were in attendance and you were offered a drink of your choice and here I caught up with many , Ms Liz Watts OAM , Vice President FNSA & RANCBA NSW , Mr Robert (Bob) Cooper FWDC , Ms Diane Voltz War Widow , Mr Keith Grimley NAA NSW to name just a few – I could keep going

All were then asked to go into the Main Room and here 3 speeches were given.
The first by HE The Governor of NSW Ms Margaret Beazley AC QC
The second by HE The Premier of NSW, Ms Berejiklian MP
The third by Mr Peter Bradford, Vietnam Veteran , Squadron Leader No 9 Squadron - Huey helos

In all cases, the speeches were well given and greatly appreciated by all and this was shown by applause

Then all were invited to resume , meeting and rekindling friendships with mates/friends etc and partake of the beautiful refreshments made available.

After a period, the time seemed to pass so quick and it was now time to make your way to the foyer , and here there was coaches to take those who wished down to the nearest Inter City rail station Circular Quay or there own transport which had been arranged for their pick up..

On behalf of my wife Helen and self, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all for the organisation that had been arranged

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Grand Central Hotel Meet 2nd September.

L to R... Baz Cleary, Bob Simpson, Don Ruwoldt, Gus Dodds, Trev Percival, Kev Ruwoldt, Bronwyn (Trev's Carer), Roger Garrett Esq, Doc Watson .

Greg Palmer turned up after the oldies went home.

Apologies... Tackers Miles, John Horton.

Next meet and greet 14th Oct due Queens Birthday P/Hol.

Kev Ruwoldt


Phil Butler Photo

Michael Moore (x LROS) sent me an email the other day and mentioned the attached photo. You put it up on the site for me about 10 years ago, asking if anyone knew who the people were. I don’t remember if we got any responses.

In the email, Mick asked if I could send him a copy so he could give it to Kel Mesecke’s boy as he is collecting things about his dad. I would like to identify all of the naval people if possible, so it can be noted on the photo. The three of us are there of course, it is the other two or three we can’t remember.

It was taken in 1969 in Moorabbin, Victoria and I think we were all out of Cerberus. I think the lot of us got into a whole heap of trouble that night with some ending up in the cells at the local police station.

Any chance you can put it up on the site asking for help?

Phil Butler

From Frank Lawton:

In response to Bucket-head Butler’s post of 27 August, requesting names to faces of his happy snap.

Beside ol’ mate Kel Messecki and Bucket-head (trying to sit on his knee), might I suggest (if the Grey Matter hasn’t failed me) that the two lads standing could be Brian (Tarsh) Trewhella on the left and Ken (Lofty) Baird on the right.


RANCBA Reunion Update

Follow this link for an update on the RANCBA National Reunion to be held in Geelong in November 2019.


VICTORY in the PACIFIC (VP Day) –Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway –15th August 2019

I received an Invite to attend this Service at the KTMW, and did so and here I was accompanied by my wife Helen.
The weather was perfect and there was indeed a good turn out of both Ex Serving personnel and general public.

The MC was Mr John Gatfield, former Editor of the NSW RSL magazine Reveille, and once again as in all other occasions did a great job in this duty.  All were asked to stand for the arrival of the Official Party and the mounting of the Catafaqlue Party by serving personnel of the ARA and then all to be seated and Mr. Angelo Tsireka, Mayor of the City of Canada Bay gave the prologue where he spoke on the 74th Anniversary of the Declaration of Peace and the end of hostilities in the Pacific.

On completion. the Official Welcome was given by Ms Jennifer Collins, Chair of the KTMW (many would have remembered her as A/Commissioner DVA ACT/NSW) . Some that I recall, Mr John Haines AM, Mr Ray James A/President RSL NSW, Mr Hayden White DVA, to name just a couple, but many representatives of RSL Sub Branches, Burwood, Five Dock, Merrylands, Fairfield , Combined Services Club, Sydney.

The Bible Reading (Psalm 46) was given by Dr Genevieve Wallace, A/General Manager Concord Repatriation Hospital and then all to stand for singing of the Hymn “God is Our Strength and Refuge” which is sung to the tune of the Dambusters Theme.

VP Day Address was given by Mr. Adrian Talbot – Afghanistan Veteran and then former Manager Home for Heroes, RSL Lifecare.  He had been medically discharged with injuries after returning from Afghanistan and underwent 2 years of operations and rehabilitation and was diagnosed with depression and PTSD. The turning point of his recovery was in 2014 he was selected to represent Australia in cycling and swimming in the Invictus Games in London and this led him to working with Solider On to assist wounded and damaged veterans and their families to deal with challenges they faced on returning to civilian life.

The Reflection of WW II footage at the End of the War was shown on the big screen. the Signing of the Peace aboard the USS MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay but also photos taken of POW’s (skeletons) at the hospital in Kuching , Borneo on their release – very graphic.

The was then followed by a Prayer for the Queen and the Prayer for the Nation by Mr Dale Baikie, Anglican Chaplain , Concord Repat Hospital.

Wreath Laying Ceremony was then held as directed by the MC, Mr John Gatfield.

The ODE was given by Brigadier Phillip McNamara CSC ESM OAM , The Last Post , One Minutes Silence and the Reveille.

A Prayer for the Fallen, and a Prayer for Serving Members of the Forces by Fr. Graeme Malone SSS , Catholic Chaplain , Concord Repat Hospital.

All to remain standing and to say the Lords Prayer and then the Hymn “ O God Our Help in Ages Past. Benediction by Mr Dale Baikie Anglican Chaplain and the singing of the Nation Anthem by all.

All to remain standing for the Un mounting of the Cataflaque Party.

This brought to an end of a very well and conducted, but all were asked to remain for refreshments

Here full credit must go the following, and in no set order, Alice, Peta and Melva for their organisation and to the wonderful Catering Staff of Concord Repat Hospital – well done.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

VIETNAM VETERAN’s DAY –113th AGH Memorial Chapel – Concord Repatriation Hospital – 20th Aug 2019

This Commemorative Service was held in the beautiful Chapel in the Concord Hospital grounds and here along with Vice President Ms Liz Watts OAM who also received an Invite to attend, we both did so.

The Service was conducted by Hospital Chaplain’s Fr Graeme Malone SSS Catholic and Mr Dale Baikie Anglican and the Welcome was given by Fr Graeme Malone.  Introduction was then given. The Vietnam War was the longest major conflict in which Australian troops have served. Australia s involvement started more than 50 years ago in 1962 and lasted 10 years. Approx 60,000 personnel took part from the 3 Services, but the dominant role was by the Army
The last combat troops came home in March 1972 , however the RAAF sent personnel back to Vietnam in 1975 to assist in evacuations and other during the War’s final days.

Today we gather to remember those 521 who died in the War and the 60.000 who served our country in Vietnam.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving was Read and then the Scripture Reading James 3 13-18 by Mr Terry Corcoran, President Bankstown RSL Sub Branch and a Vietnam Veteran and on completion all to join for the singing of the Hymn “ Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” .

On completion the Remembrance Candles Service is held and all are invited to come forward and Lay a Candle in Honour of the Fallen and those Who Served. Along with V/President Ms Liz Watts OAM, we both went up together , very moving.

The song ‘Amazing Grace” was then sung by Mr. Rick Stratten, whose actual duty is the Fire Safety Manager, Concord Hospital . He has without a doubt , very hidden talents – great.

The Vietnam Veteran Day Address was given by a Year 11 Student, Luke Di Giacoma from St. Patricks College , e spoke clear, precise and at no stage did he falter as the Address was rather lengthy.

On completion the Wreath Laying Ceremony took place as directed by Ms Alice Kang, Director of Community Relations Concord Hospital. This included many RSL and Sub Branches and Mr Ray James A/President RSL NSW , Ms Jennifer Collins, Ms Rhonda Vanzella President War Widows Guild NSW etc.

The ODE was Recited by Mr John Haines AM, former Chair of the KTMW and also a Vietnam Veteran The Last Post – One Minute Silence – Reveille.

The Commemorative Prayer to honour those who had Paid the Supreme Sacrifice and all those who had Served in Vietnam and then a Prayer for Peace

All to remain standing for the Lord’s Prayer , Benediction and then National Anthem.

This brought to an end of another well conducted and organised Service that I have attended this week and it was a pleasure for both Ms Liz Watts OAM and myself to be Invited.

All were then asked to make their way to the Conference Room,where once again the Hospital Catering Staff had prepared very nice and welcome refreshments.

Once again in no set order, to Peta, Alice and Melva , you have once again did the Service very proud.

Allan Moffatt OAM

Vale Harry Edward Telford R49840 (ex TEL)

Following received from Kev Ruwoldt:

Regret to report the passing of Ex Tel Harry Telford in Townsville 14th August.

Harry was a six year man who served on HMAS Warramunga in the 50’s. He joined Aeradio (DCA) and worked at Normanton and Townsville. I cannot supply any other details. Maybe you can finds his service record in the archives.

Kev Ruwoldt

From the Archives:  Harry Edward Telford R49840 (ex TEL), DOB 19.10.1931, Joined RAN 30.10.1953 for 6 years, DEE 29.10.1959.  Postings: CERBERUS, VENGEANCE 6.4.55 to 25.10.55, MELBOURNE 26.10.55 (on commissioning), HARMAN 56-59, WARRAMUNGA 1959, PENGUIN 1959 (for DEE).

May he RIP. Lest We Forget.


Vale Gary Francis Mettam R64949 (ex CPORSS)

Not sure if anyone has passed this on but ex CPORSS Gary Mettam passed on Wednesday in Darwin following a battle with cancer. I contacted his family and asked them if they wanted me to post this horrible news and they seemed to think someone had passed something to you.

Funeral details for Gary Mettam 10am Friday 9th August, Thorak Cemetery Chapel, 95 Deloraine Rd Darwin. Following the service, a wake will be held at noon at Tracy Village Sports Club.

Michael “Dusty” Millar

From the Archives:
Gary Francis Mettam R64949, DOB 6.9.48, Joined RAN 13.1.66. (Dee date not known due to transfer of records, but would have been around 1986). Postings: ANZAC 66/67, HARMAN 67/68, STUART 68/69 (remainder not known due transfer of records to EDP in 1970 - records after 1970 are difficult to access). Rating: ORDCO 13.4.66, ROS2 26.9.67, ROS 29.12.67.

Sad news, I served with Gary in ANZAC 1967 & HARMAN in 1968.  An all round nice bloke. May he rest in peace.
John Curbishley
Web Yeoman.

02 August 2019.

From Dave Jeffrey:

Very sad news. Gary worked for me on a number of occasions and was an all-round nice bloke. A good Aussie Rules footballer in his youth. I can't count the number of ROs(S) that have died from cancer over the past 20 years. I strongly believe those Jammers in the type 12s have had a lot to do with it!!

From Dusty Millar:
First met Gary at HARMAN in late 70s as I was about to post to COONAWARRA for first time. Once he paid off he joined the Darwin Airport Firies. Club stalwart at Wanderers F.C, affiliated with them for almost 50 years, held most positions in club and everyone loved Gary. Condolences to Joan and extended family. One of natures finest.


June/July 2019


Also published (with downloads) to RANCBA NSW Page


To comply with the Associations Incorporation Act it has been necessary for us to rewrite our Constitution. The published documents will be voted on at this years AGM to be held 12th December 2019 aboard Sydney Showboat Wharf 5 King Street Wharf Sydney.

If you cannot attend the AGM please download the proxy form, complete and return to Treasurer Andy Mills. Our membership list & contact details is also outdated. Please download the RANCBA NSW Application for membership form, complete and return to our Treasurer Andy Mills.

Andy Mills 411/72 Glendower Street Gilead NSW 2506 or email to

Brian Gray

Follow this link for download forms.



On Saturday, 13th July this Reception was held at Govt House and very well organised

Now, I never served in the Korean War , but in 1957 whilst onboard HMAS ANZAC, (Cmdr JP Stevenson ) along with our sister ship HMAS TOBRUK (Captain R Peek later Sir and promoted to Vice Admiral) we sailed from Hong Kong in company and under the command of FO2 FEF flying his Flag aboard the cruiser HMS BELFAST and also with the New Zealand light cruiser HMNZS ROYALIST . This was a small UN Task Group to make sure both sides in Korea stayed on their side of the 38th parallel

As the weather was going to be changing and with no ship having A/C and just hammocks for sleeping, prior to sailing we were issued , heavy white jumpers, long sox , mittens for working on upper deck and RN duffel coats (only on tempo loan).  Also as we would be transiting the Formosa Straits and there was no peace with Communist China and the Nationals who had escaped the main land and now on the island of Taiwan, and that we could be recognised , a big Union Jack was painted on the top of the 4.5 B gun turret and we sailed in cruising watches with gunnery closed up in either A or B gun turret and one of the STAAGS manned . Throughout, we would be challenged by ships or checked by air craft.

We arrived in Yokohama , and after days, we sailed and also now joined by USN ships and through the inland sea , absolutely beautiful, and Mount Fuji covered in snow was something I would always remember.

Our first port of call was Inchon and after many years of war , and invasion by Mongols, Chinese, Japanese in WW II and then 4 years of the Korean war, it was very barren and destruction every where. After that, we sailed to Pusan (now called Busan) and here destruction was even worse. The good part we were bussed into Seoul during our time there and the US military had the biggest armed camp I had ever seen, but the PX was great and a nice can of beer was always available .

We also visited the island of Cheju by our self and after 3 1/2 weeks sailed for Sasebo in Japan and then we sailed to Kagoshima , and then start our voyage back to Hong Kong and Singapore – we didn't have to worry about the Communist or National Chinese as the weather was changing rapidly and a typhoon was now imminent – it just added to the end of a deployment

Anyway, I received this Invite to attend the Reception at Government House and with my wife , Helen we did so.

It was so well organised and after everyone had a chance to meet and greet, all were invited to the Guest Room and here there was 3 speeches.  One by HE The Governor of NSW, Margaret Beasley AO QC , then the Premier of NSW, HE, Gladys Berejiklian and then Rear Admiral Ian Crawford AO RAN Rtd, President of the Korean Vets Association – all speeches were short but with the message to thank all who had served there and also who were sent there after the war on different deployments

From here all were invited to partake of refreshments and it was nice to meet with some I had known.

When it was time to leave, coaches had been arranged to drive those what wished to avail them selves to the closest rail station

All in all, a great day and I am glad that I accepted.

Photo – my wife Helen, HE The Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley and self.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

From Phil Butler:

Just reading Shorty’s story about the Korean Veteran’s Reception (above) and he mentions the Anzac.

Boy the memories flooded back then. My first posting as an OD (yes I know, I was always one) straight out of recruit school and didn’t know s... from clay. :o).

Living in the aft mess. Having to go down that hole in the hatch to get to it. Sleeping in hammocks and having to pack them up in the morning and stick them in the hammock bin. Usually had to take it back out after the Killick of the mess said it wasn’t packed properly and we all had to do it again. “It will keep you afloat for a whole day if it is packed correctly” was the catch cry. Yeah, good one. Can’t even recall where we packed our gear. I think there were lockers along one bulkhead.

Waking up in the morning with one end of the hammock just above the deck because we didn’t secure it on the hook properly and getting a serve from the leading hand. Scrubbing the damn mess every time someone did the least thing wrong and it used to get ‘damn hot’ down there when you are up off the Qld coast. Batwings on the heads doors that never used to work properly and would fly open at the first wave.

Grabbing onto the monkey fist across the upper deck when it was rolling, just to get to the galley. Working on that damn bridge with Pinkey as the yeoman, who spent most of the time asking me if I really was a sailor. hahaha.

I do believe it rained every time I had a watch up there and they made sure us ODs stood out in the rain as ‘lookouts’. Hmmm.

Certainly did make all of the other ships I served on, seem like luxury liners. I always thought that if you could handle life on a battle class, you could handle life on any ship.

Thanks Shorty. Brought back some fond ones. :o)

Phil Butler.....

Brisbane Mob at the Grand Central 1st July

L to R......Don Ruwoldt, Trev Percival,  Baz Cleary, Brigitte (Trev's Carer), Timba Mills, John Horton, Tackers Miles, Roger Garrett Esq, Jim Eagles, Kev Ruwoldt, Shags Hellier, Doc Watson and Gus Dodds.

Trog Keenan from Melbourne turned up not long after the photo was taken, but the early birds had already departed to catch their trains. 

Next meet at the GCH will be on Monday 5th August, CYA then. 



RANCBA WA Chapter Lunch

We will hold an informal lunch 12.00 Friday 12 July at the Bayswater Hotel, all communicators welcome, contact David MacLean 0418 917 982.

Yours aye

RANCBA National Reunion 2019

Edition 2/19 - 19Jun19                                        

Patron: Senior Naval Officer Victoria

Commodore Greg Yorke CSC RANR

From the President - John 'Nokka' White                                                                     


RANCBA National Reunion – 2019

 As you would expect there are a number of elements to organising the National Reunion being held in Geelong from Thursday 7 to Monday 11 November 2019 and your Committee is keen to keep you informed of our plans.

The program will commence with a Meet and Greet, a welcome to Geelong by the Mayor on the Thursday night.  Approval has been given to conduct A Beat to Quarters and Ceremonial Sunset by the Navy Band on a grassed section of the waterfront.  We will then be led down the wharf by the Navy Band to the formal Dinner.

 Other excursions and functions include bus trips, bowls, golf, opportunity to purchase memorabilia and much more.  The Reunion will cumulate with a Remembrance Day Service at 1100 on Monday 11 November 2019 followed by lunch at the Geelong RSL. 

A new sponsor has come forward and provided a $1000 travel voucher, each Registrant will receive a ticket in their Welcome Bag and the raffle will be drawn during the Dinner. So please secure your ticket as you might be the winner of a significant prize thanks to Helloworld Rowville.

For further details regarding the National Reunion please go to our web site where you can register for the Reunion, purchase tickets, register for all events and purchase memorabilia.

If you have any problems or do not have access to the web please call, we want everyone to have the opportunity to attend the Reunion in Geelong.

 RANCBA Southern

 The Committee is committed to including some events in the future that will allow both retired and working members the opportunity to catch-up with old mates and make new friends.  We are looking at conducting single day activities and we are asking all Members for their input:

Firstly by commencing on suggestions below:

Meet and Greet in a local RSL or other venue,

Picnic in the Park, BYO picnic,

Local Dinners,

Short Cruises (3-4 Days duration) out of Melbourne,

Visit to HMAS Cerberus or other significant site,

Regional Reunions (Weekend get togethers)

And secondly by providing your Committee with additional ideas of events that you would like to be involved in or see take place. 

We have produced a map indicating where our membership resides and will use this to arrange local dinners in areas which will allow easy access for members.  Members in the Geelong area are already having regular dinner nights and we have planned one located in the South East at Chelsea RSL on 20 June with members in that area invited.  We hope to move these nights around to ensure that as many of you as possible can attend and this will be discussed at the next Committee meeting on 15 June.

Even though our efforts are directed towards the National Reunion to be held in Geelong 7 – 11 Nov 2019, we are still keen to explore all options that allow are Member to catch-up.

 Note:  Please feel free to share this Newsletter with other Communication Branch members who may not be part of our mailing list. 

Committee Contact Details: 

President                     Nokka White              0418 524 067

Vice President            Jan Withers                 0421 042 296

Secretary                     Ernie Power                0407 245 660

Treasurer                    Jan Gallagher              0409 218 013

Computer Guy           Gary Swanton             0430 339 921

Committee                  John Falk                    0413 466 514

Membership               Ted Murray                 0407 705 906


John 'Nokka' White


RANCBA Southern Region

Website -

Social Media - Facebook





Vale Gregory Eric Gene Rouse R58342 (ex-LRO)

With extreme sorrow and sadness I regret to advise the passing of EX LRO Greg Rouse. Greg was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer late last year and underwent radiation treatment but cancer had spread. He was in and out of hospital the last couple of months and went into palliative care on Tue morn and crossed the bar at 4am/13th.

I treasure the memories of your mateship, fishing and caravanning across the country. I hope the fishing is better up there than down here.

RIP Greg
John & Julie Scanlon

Greg's funeral arrangements are as follows:

The funeral for Greg will be held at 10am on Thu 20th June at INNES GARDENS MEMORIAL PARK PHILIP CHARLEY DRIVE PORT MACQUARIE.

Turn off Pacific Hwy at Port Macquarie service centre, continue thru roundabout along John Oxley Drive for about 4 km turn right into PHILIP CHARLEY DRIVE.

From Shorty Moffatt:

Another good hand has now left us – we both go back a long way – He relieved me in 1966 on HMAS SNIPE and then next year in 1967 relieved me on HMAS KIMBLA , and then when I was posted to HMAS ALBATROSS , his future wife Robyn was in the Comms Reg Office in the MSO.

Greg mate, like others I served with in that era, it was a privilege to have known you and also your future wife Robyn. To Robyn and family, along with Helen our sincere sympathy. RIP old mate – as an old small ships sparker, keep a good listening watch.

Shorty Moffatt

From the Archives:
Gregory Eric Gene Rouse R58342.  DOB 29.07.1943, Joined RAN 27/08/1961 for 9 years.  Promoted to LRO on 13/09/1968. Postings: Cerberus, Parramatta, Harman, Melbourne, Kimbla, Curlew, Harman.

From Ken Eynon: I would like to add my condolences to those already posted.
I was on the Curlew in 1966, with Greg and later in the early 1970’s worked with him in Navy Office. The other RO’s on Curlew were Bruce Lovett and Charlie Peterson (RIP), the two TO’s being Ray Cross and myself.

Greg was a great man, always had a happy disposition, excellent footballer (league and union), and loved his cricket.
At the last RANCBA Reunion in Canberra he and Robyn were both in very good spirits.

My condolences to Robyn and the extend Rouse family.

Ken (Taffy) Eynon
Cheers and thank you,


Wetting the head of Jack Caine’s new abode.

Where are the police when you need them?


David MacLean; Jack Caine; Alan Rodgers.


Vale Peter James Baggott R49927 (ex LRO)

With a heavy heart I sadly report that my best mate Peter Baggott crossed the Bar, yesterday around 3pm. Peter was in hospital for an angiogram while still in hospital he suffered a heart attack from which he did not recover. RIP Pete. Fair wind and a following sea old mate!

Could you inform those of the QLD Assn. I will advise funeral arrangements later, but will be at Burleigh Heads mid week.

Funeral for Peter will take place Tuesday 11th June 2pm at Heritage Brothers Funeral Services 43 Lower West Burleigh Rd Burleigh Heads.
Regards Dolly

Dolly Gray
Sad news, may he RIP.

From the Archives:  Peter James Baggott R49927 - DOB 01 July 1936, Joined RAN 1.07.1954 - DEE 30.06.1963 after 9 years service.

From Alan Murgatroyd:  Hard to believe that Pete has gone , he just seemed eternal to me . Undoubtedly the best raconteur I have ever had the pleasure of listening and talking to . Brian Gray always said that he was the Peter Pan of our branch and I couldn’t agree more ,he was a great bloke and will be greatly missed by all who knew him . So sad”.

From Shorty Moffatt:  I first met Peter at HMAS HARMAN end of ‘58 and out last meeting was on the 2018 Sydney RANCBA Harbour Cruise – he was a legend and with his wit and charm, he had a magic life. Even when I was over in the UK doing my 2 years exchange with the RN, this young RO came up to me one day and said “Did I know a Peter Baggott” ?? and when I said “Yes” he told me how Peter had missed HMAS VENDETTA in Japan and had joined the destroyer HMS ROCKET for a few weeks till they got to Singapore – he had nothing but praise for Peter , a very good sparker but his off watch life , he was a real character and there should be more like him .

My 2 children first met him at a party when they were about 7 & 8 respectively and he was living in Sydney, and I told them of his sad passing, , they wished to pass on their sincere sympathy to his family and all that he knew him. He was one of a kind and you could write a book about his “off watch” pranks.

RIP old mate – it was great knowing you over many many years.

From Fred Harper: 
Like the others I find it hard  to accept Pete has gone. A true character of the comms branch and will be sorely missed. Condolences to all his family.
RIP old mate.


HMAS MELBOURNE and USS FRANK E EVANS 50th Anniversary Memorial Service

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the collision of the aircraft carrier HMAS MELBOURNE and the US Destroyer FRANK E EVANS and the tragic loss of 74 USN personnel a Memorial Service was held in 2 stages, the first at the Chapel, Garden Island and then at the Australian National Maritime Museum,(ANMM) Darling Harbour on Sunday 2nd June.

History . On the morning of June 3, 1969 , 50 years ago a SEATO exercise was held in the South China sea involving some 40 ships from 6 nations , with some being withdrawn from duty in operations in the Vietnam War. The USS FRANK E EVANS was one such and acting as RESDES for flying operations . Sadly the USS FRANK E EVANS whilst taking up station for this duty, came into collision.

The Commanding Officer of HMAS MELBOURNE , the late Captain JP Stevenson AM RAN Rtd was exonerated in a joint RAN – USN Naval Inquiry, but he was subject to a Court Martial and due to lack of evidence he was honourably acquitted, but this had taken an ordeal on his Naval career and he resigned from the RAN and it was not till 2012 he received an Official Apology Sadly he passed away earlier this year.

The Service was held at the Chapel, GI and if attending you received a Invite from the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN.

For those attending , parking was allocated at the South Parking Station and names were checked off by duty sailors and then you walked to the Main Gate of HMAS KUTTABUL and awaiting were coaches to take you to the Chapel
The Welcome was given by Chaplain Mark Raymond RAN, Chaplain for HMAS WATERHEN & PENGUIN, music was by a detachment of the RAN Band. All were asked to stand for the Parade of the Australian White Ensign into the Chapel and presented to the Chaplain and draped over the altar.

This was followed by all in the singing of the Hymn “O God Our Help in Ages Past:” and then the Navy Psalm – the Address was given by Commodore Stephen Hughes CSC RAN, Commander Surface Forces . Then the Naval Hymn “Eternal Father , Strong to Save” . the Naval Prayer and a Prayer for our Shipmates and those who Grieve.

The Naval Ode and then the Last Post , One Minutes Silence and Reveille – all were asked to remain standing for the Colour Party to slow march down the aisle and the AWE was then returned to Colour Party. Following was the Blessing which brought to an end of the Ceremony in the Chapel.

We all then rejoined the coaches and were driven to the ANNM for refreshments and the Awards Ceremony.

On arrival we were shown to the Luncheon room and then taken to our allocated seating - All were then asked to stand for the arrival of the Official Party , which included Rear Admiral Tony Horton AO RAN Rtd , his wife Margaret, the US Consul General Ms Sharon Hudson-Dean , Commodore Stephen Hughes CSC RAN (For those that may not be aware, RADM Tony Horton is the Patron of the RANCBA NSW Chapter and at the time of the collision
was the Navigating Officer aboard HMAS MELBOURNE).

Grace was said by Chaplain Mark Raymond RAN and on completion, during the luncheon it gave you time meet your table friends . It was during this, some one asked , what became of the MELBOURNE, and I just came in and said “ I know LCDR Grant Hammer took it to Cockatoo Island” and this lady sitting opposite asked if I knew this person – to which I replied , “ yes when I was on the minesweeper HMAS SNIPE during the Indonesian Confrontation, he was my Div Officer till he left us after 7 months up top to go to the UK to do a Long Communications Course” but I don't know what became of him after that!! She said “he was my brother, but sadly passed away a couple of years ago” . We then became friends and spoke of different times. I also met Ms Kerry Stevenson and her brother Bryan , they were the children of the late Captain JP Stevenson AM RAN Rtd who had been my Commanding Officer aboard HMAS ANZAC during the Malayan Emergency 1957-58, I had previously met Kerry at the Naval Funeral given for her father at the Chapel Garden Island earlier this year.

On completion of the Luncheon, an Award Ceremony was held and here the US Consul General Sharon Hudson-Dean presented The US Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and was one presented to Mrs Rosemary Patterson (nee Hammer who I had the privilege of meeting and talking with about her brother and our time on SNIPE)
The Response was given by Rear Admiral Tony Horton AO RAN Rtd on behalf of the Recipients - and very well received.

A Speech on behalf of the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN by Commodore Stephen Hughes CSC RAN and then the Prayer by Ms Kerry Stevenson, daughter of the late Captain JP Stevenson AM RAN Rtd
The National Anthems of both the United States of American and Australia were sung by CPO Mark Ham, RAN Band – brilliant on both.

The Official Party departed and then this brought to and end of this Memorial Service and the organisation was well done on all occasions.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President FNSA & RANCBA NSW Chapter



This Service was held at the ANZAC Memorial Hyde Park, Sydney at 11.00am on Friday 31st May

Vice President Ms Liz Watts OAM FSNA & RANCBA (NSW) received Invites from the NSW RSL to attend and Lay a Wreath It was a very well conducted Service and many of both Ex Serving & Serving and public in attendance.

The MC for the Service was WO Michael Enchong RAAF and the music by the full Band of the RAN ( Sydney Detachment) with the Catafalque Party by serving personnel of the 6th Aviation Regiment and Flag Orderlies by serving personnel six in number of the RAN and Army

All were asked to stand for the arrival of the Official Party which included the new Governor of NSW, HE, The Hon Margaret Beazley AO QC and Mr Dennis Wilson.

After all were seated , the Acknowledgement of Country was given by and then the Welcome Dance by the Sydney Catholic Schools – Murrawadeen Goodjarga Essemble and then followed by the Mounting of the Catafalque Party by the 6th Aviation Regt.

The Bible Reading was by Army Chaplain Frank Langford and then the Commemorative Address by the Governor of NSW, HE Margaret Beazley AO QC, and one of the best I have been able to hear – on completion, she Read the whole Poem “The Coloured Digger” – brilliant and if you ever have the chance, obtain a copy and read.

The Key Address was given by serving RAN CPO Tina Elliott (Murri) who is of Aboriginal descent and spoke so proud of her time in the Navy and Australia - Wreath Laying then commenced , and the first called out was Community Elders -Kathy Dodd Farrawell and David Williams (who is ex RAN, a Member of the Merrylands RSL & RSL Sub Branch) assisted by students from Gymea Bay Public School and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Primary School.

The HE , The Governor of NSW, Margaret Beazley AO QC and Mr Dennis Wilson, Mr Harry Allie BEM (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Veterans Services Association) and CPO Tina Elliott and Mr James Brown State President RSL NSW. This was followed by the Premier of NSW, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP and many various Government , Consuls , Service and Ex Service representatives , both Public and Catholic Schools and personal tributes.

Included in this was the Commissioner of NSW Police, Ambulance and Fire & Rescue, DVA , 3 Senior Officers of the Services and both V/P Liz Watts and myself were called forward in the early stages to Lay a Wreath.

The ODE was Recited by the NSW RSL State President Mr James Brown ( and accompanied by a sound of a didgeridoo). Following was the Last Post - One Minutes Silence and Reveille (played by a Bugler from the RAN Band) standing high up on the steps of the Memorial).

Benediction was given by Army Chaplain Frank Langford and then Australian National Anthem led by the RAN Band and the Matraville Soldiers Settlement School Choir.

This then brought to the end of a very well conducted and organised Service and as I stated , attended by so many , especially from schools and the public, so well done to all concerned.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President FNSA & RANCBA NSW Chapter

RANCBA National Reunion - Geelong

The RANCBA – Southern Region Committee met on the 18 May and discussed RANCBA general business and the National Reunion being held in Geelong on 7 – 11 Nov 2019. The Reunion program is looking good so if you haven’t yet registered please do so.

Follow this link for more information.




To mark this Anniversary of the sinking of the HS CENTAUR a Memorial Service was held in the Chapel at the Concord Repatriation Hospital at 10.30am, 10th May and to a full Congregation.

On the 14th May 1943, HS CENTAUR was en route from Sydney to Cairns when she was sunk by a Japanese submarine south of Moreton Island, Queensland . From the 332 people aboard , only 64 survived. Following Japan’s entry into the War, CENTAUR was converted into a Hospital Ship with the aim of ferrying patients between Port Moresby and Townsville. The vessel had a fully equipped operating theatre, dental surgery and could carry 52 patients- she was clearly marked as Hospital Ship , freshly painted white hull and thick green band around and in several places marked by a large Red Crosses – at night she was brightly illuminated .

In the early afternoon of 12th May CENTAUR steamed from Sydney for Cairns carrying Members of the 2/12th Field Ambulance and after 4 am on the 14th a torpedo struck – the survivors were at sea for a day and a half before they were rescued – the Ship’s crew and Medical Staff suffered heavily as did the 2/12th Field Ambulance – 178 men from a total of 193 died. Of the 12 Nurses aboard, only one Sister Nell Savage survived and although badly injured, she concealed her injuries and gave what help she could to other survivors. For her Conspicuous Gallantry, she was Awarded the George Cross

This and the Introduction was carried out by Fr Graeme Malone Catholic Chaplain and Mr Dale Baikie Anglican Chaplain , both at Concord Repatriation Hospital. All were asked to stand for the Naval Hymn , and then followed by the first Reading, Corinthians 1, Verses 13-4-13 by Ms Shauna De Launey CNE Concord Hospital, and then I had the Honour to be invited to come forward and Recite the Naval Prayer and then following the Naval Psalm – Psalm 107 by Mr Alan Curry OAM 5th Field Ambulance.

The CENTAUR Address was given by Mrs Margaret Green , National President War Widows Guild and a Former Nurse at Concord Repatriation Hospital - it was one of the finest speeches I have ever had the pleasure to be in attendance for. Reflection “The Soldier” a Song of the Centenary of the Great War was preformed by the Meriden Anglican School for Girls Senior Singers and conducted by Ms Jodie Spooner-Ryan – absolutely wonderful.

The Wreath Laying then took place and this included many, Mrs Margaret Green, Mr Hayden White DVA, Mr John Haines AM, Mr Ray James Vice President RSL NSW , Mr Don Kennedy President MN Sub Branch there were many more, including various RSL Sub Branches. The Ode was Recited by Mr Ray James V/P NSW RSL, The Last Post was played by Bugler Holly Luke Padden – One Minutes Silence and then Rouse.

Thanksgiving Prayer of Remembrance by the Chaplains and then the Hymn “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” sung by all. A Tribute to Nursing – a Poem “ Because I am a Nurse” written by Ms Nancy Lingsch Snr Nurse ‘63 and today Read by Ms Sharne Hogan, Director of Nursing Concord Hospital. When you read the words, your thoughts go with all Nurses who have served in this highly respected occupation and those who still serve and have been a credit to their following.

Now , this was followed by the Placement of Memorial Candles and all in attendance and the Girls School Choir did so – it is a very moving occasion. The Girls Choir remained at the altar and then in the Reflection sang “Declare Your Maker’s Praise".

A Prayer for International Nurses Day – 10th May 2019 was Read by the Anglican Chaplain and then for all to say ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.

Benediction by the Chaplains and then all to stand for the Australian National Anthem.

On completion all were asked to join for light refreshments and to meet friends . Here I caught up with Ms Liz Watts OAM, V/President FNSA & RANCBA (NSW) Ms Angie Flint Secretary Combined Services Club, Mr Don Kennedy , President MN Sub Branch to name just a couple.

A very good Service again and full credit to all concerned at Concord Repatriation Hospital, and 2 that I will name, Ms Melva Lindley and Peta Macfarlane, and all the “well dones” they received from all in attendance they were thoroughly justified - I was one of them – BRAVO ZULU.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President FNSA

ANZAC Service – Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway (KTMW)

This very well organised and conducted ANZAC Service was held at the KTMW on April 24th commencing at 10.30am with a big assembly of both ex serving & serving and the general public.

The MC was Mr. John Gatfield , former Editor of the NSW RSL magazine “REVEILLE” , the music by the Band of the NSW Corrective Service , the Catafalque Party by serving personnel of the 4/3rd Battalion with Chaplains Fr Graeme Malone, Catholic and Mr Dale Baikie Chaplain, both attached to the Concord Repatriation Hospital.

ANZAC Requiem was Read by Cnlr Julie Little, representing the Mayor of Canada Bay, followed by the Official Welcome by Ms Jennifer Collins , KTMW Chairperson, many would have known her as Asst/Commissioner DVA ACT/NSW a couple of years ago.

A Prayer for ANZAC Day was Read by The Hon. John Sidoti MP, NSW Minister for Veterans and the Member for Drummoyne – A Prayer for the Armed Forces was Read by The Hon. Craig Laundy MP, Federal Member for Reid and then a Scripture Reading was given by Dr. Genevieve Wallace, Act/General Manager Concord Repatriation Hospital .

The ANZAC Address was given by Mr Gary Wilson, Afghanistan Veteran, and herewith a brief outline of his accident/injuries which happened just 10 days before his tour of duty was to end.

When a Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Kandahar, Afghanistan on 21st June 2010, 3 Australian commandos and 1 American soldier where killed – Gary a Signalman (Electronic Warfare Operator) was one of the survivors, but his injuries were critical – he suffered multiple fractures – his left foot was completely crushed – his left knee, pelvis, ribs, forearm nose and jaw were all broken and he had third degree burns and severe brain damage that will affect him for the rest of his life.

He had a slight limp when going to the stage (he didn't want help and walked with pride) , when he spoke, he had a slight problem, but all in attendance could not have cared, he was so wonderful to listen to and with great compassion of all those that have served in any theatre of war, peace keeping operations and for all those that all still serving today – he received an outstanding applaud

This was followed by a Visual Reflection of the beginning of ANZAC shown a big screen

On completion, the Wreath Laying Ceremony was conducted by the MC, Mr. John Gatfield – the first Wreath by the Governor of NSW, HE , General David Hurley AC DSC Rtd and Ms Jennifer Collins, Chair of the KTMW. they were followed by many, Commodore Robert Plath RAN Represented the Australian Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Jonathon Mead AM RAN. Mr Ray James Vice President RSL NSW Represented the President of NSW RSL Mr. James Brown to name just a few.

A Prayer of Commemoration was given by Chaplain Fr Graeme Malone and then all to say The Lord’s Prayer
Following a “THANK YOU” by Ms Carole-Anne Priest Director KTMW and daughter of the late “Rusty”Priest who was heavily responsible for the KTMW being built in memory of those who had served in New Guinea in WW II – and here she thanked the Governor of NSW, General David Hurley AC DSC Rtd for being a very staunch supporter of this Service and all he had done.

The Benediction was given by Chaplain Dale Baikie , and then all to stand for the Australian National Anthem.

This then brought to an end of this Service but all were asked to join with each other for refreshments - here I took the opportunity to speak to Mr Gary Wilson – Guest Speaker and the ANZAC Address and to thank him for all he has done for all who have served and what he has achieved since his helicopter accident .

Allan “Shorty”Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

April 2019


“In this, the Centenary of the Year of Peace, let us unite as the Women of Australia did at the end of World War I and stand together for Peace, stand for Veterans and their Families, as we rethink Remembrance for the next generation“

This Service was held at St . Andrews Cathedral, on Wednesday 17th April to a very big congregation.

All were asked to stand for the Parade of the Ensigns of the Royal Australian Navy, the Army and the Royal Australian Air Force which were presented to the Dean of Sydney. Then the Vice Regal Party entered and this included His Excellency, General The Hon. David Hurley AC DSC (Rtd) Governor of NSW and his wife Linda, also following the Clergy of the Cathedral with music by the Band of the Australian Army.

The Welcome was made by the Very Rev. Kanishka Raffel, Dean of Sydney and then the song Freedom’s Price by the Army Band and now accompanied by the OZY Youth Choir Honouring the Defence Service.

The Lord’s Prayer was by all and then the Hymn Joyful, We Adore You , and then the Introduction by Ms Gwen Cherne, the Table of Remembrance by War Widows , their children and grandchildren place items on the table.

The Bible Reading (Psalm 2) was Read by Ms Liz Cosson AM CSC – now Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the next Bible Reading (Philipians 4) by the Governor of NSW, The Hon. David Hurley AC DSC Rtd

Followed by the Address by the The Most Rev. Dr. Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney and then the Hymn sung by the OZY Youth Choir and accompanied by the Band of the Australian Army.

Reflection was by Mrs Jenny Ware –War Widow , and then the Poem “In Flanders Field” by Ms Gwen Cherne.

The Wreath Laying Service then took place, and the Presentation of the Wreath was Laid by Ms Rhondda Vanzella OAM, State President , War Widows Guild of Australian (NSW Ltd).

His Excellency, the Governor of NSW. David Hurley AC DSC Rtd and accompanied by his wife Linda Laid the first Wreath for the Unknown Warrior. Followed by The Hon. John Sidoti MP, NSW Minister for Veterans Affairs and Representing the Premier of New South Wales , Ms Liz Cosson AM CSC Dept of Veterans Affairs, Representatives of the New Zealand Consul General, the United States Consul General, the British Consul General , the Turkish Consul General, the French Consul General, Mr Paul Lane President Sydney Legacy and Ms The Hon Courtney Houssos MLC Representing the Leader of the Opposition New South Wales and then Colonel Darren Moore CSM Australian Army, Group Captain Grant Pinder Royal Australian Air Force – for some unknown reason, no Representative of the Royal Australian Navy – and later on some saw my Navy name badge and I was asked the reason!!

War Widows then were asked to come forward and place floral tributes for all conflicts.

WW I – Mrs Audrey Blood, WW II Mrs Shirley Hancock – Korea Mrs Dawn Wellfare , Malaysia Mrs Fran Brock, Vietnam Mrs Lynne Boyd, Afghanistan and Recent Conflicts Mrs Victoria Hopkins. All War Widows and their Families were invited to Place a Cross, followed by Members of the Congregation to Place a Cross.

Prayers were then given by The Rev. Ruth Schroeter and the the Ode was Recited by Ms Rhondda Vanzella OAM
The Last Post – One Minutes Silence and then Rouse

The New Zealand National Anthem and the Australian National Anthem by all with great pride.

Presentation was given by Ms Rhondda Vanzella OAM to the Governor of NSW, The Hon David Hurley and his wife Linda – this was one of their final Services to New South Wales and he is Governor-General of Australia Designate in the next month – a Thank You song was sung by the OZY Youth Choir.

Benediction by the Archbishop of Sydney and then all to remain standing for the departure of the Governor of New South Wales with the Archbishop of Sydney ,then the Ensigns of the 3 Australian Defence Forces and other Official Guests.

This brought to an end of what I would term a very, very well organised and conducted Service and full credit to the ladies and staff of the War Widows Guild – you can be proud of what you made happen today. Also the OZY Youth Choir and to the Band of the Australian Army and to all others involved. I would say, if you get the chance to attend this Service, you should go.

Refreshments were then available to all , and I took up the offer and here I met quite a few who I had known over the years at different Services and functions .

Allan Moffatt OAM
President FNSA & RANCBA NSW Chapter


On the 29th March and accompanied by Vice President Ms Liz Watts OAM we were Invited to attend this Service held at the Cenotaph.

The Introduction was given by the Rev. Geoffrey Usher, Events & Commemoration Coordinator RAAF Association with the music by the Band of the NSW Police under the Baton of Mr John Sanders. Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies by Members of the RAAF (Richmond, but the Catafalque Party in lieu of rifles, use Ceremonial Swords).

The Prayers were given by Chaplain, Sqdn Leader Troy White and following all to join in the singing of the Hymn – Remembrance of the Fallen. On completion, the Address was then by Air Vice Marshal Steve Robertson DSC AM , Air Commander Australia.  This was followed by the Wreath Laying at which time, a Hercules Air Transport flew low over the CBD and Martin Place.

Both Ms Liz Watts and myself went up together and Laid our Wreath.

The Ode was given by Mr Ron Glew, President RAAF Association (NSW) and followed by the Last Post – One Minutes Silence and Reveille.

All were asked to join in the singing of the Hymn , sung to the tune of the “Dambusters March".

Benediction followed by Chaplain Sqdn Ldr Troy White and then all to stand for the Australian National Anthem.

Once again a very good Service and credit to the RAAF.

Allan Moffatt OAM


The 55th Annual Service was held on Sunday the 14th April in the the Merchant Navy Memorial Garden, Rookwood .
The Service commenced with the Introduction by the MN Chairman , Mr David Field FAICD , and the music by the Bankstown City Band.

After the Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country had been given, the Service was then handed over to Sister Mary Leahy the Officiating Clergy. Having heard Sister at many Services and functions, she is with out a doubt , if not the best, she is one of the best – she is so full of life and with that beautiful Irish brogue, great.

All were asked to join in the Hymn – God is Our Strength and Refuge_ the Tune of the Dam Busters March.
The 1st Reading was given Mrs Barbara Jeans , Director – War Widows Guild of Australia (NSW)
Following the Hymn From All Around the World – to the tune of Anchors Aweigh
The 2nd Reading was by Mr Michael Nash, NSW Secretary Naval Association of Australia
Prayers of Intercesson and Thanksgiving by the Rev Tay Un , Head of Mission to Seafarers Sydney
This was followed by all – The Lords Prayer

The Introduction of the Guest Speaker was given by Mr Peter Sinclair AM CSC RAN Rtd (I think he “paid off” as a Commodore) and is now Director of the MN War Memorial Fund – the Guest Speaker was Mr Peter Dexter AM who is heavily involved with many functions, and a Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum and along with his Australian Award (AM) he has been Awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit by the King of Norway for Services – a very good spokesperson, and kept you informed and interested of what is happening within the MN.

Following was the Hymn of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces – Eternal Father, Strong to Save, then the Ode which was Recited by Mr Don Kennedy, President MN RSL Sub Branch and Veterans Advisor to the MN War Memorial Fund
The Laying of the Wreaths followed and here there were many , from many sections of the Merchant Navy and here Captain Laxton CSC RAN Represented COMAUSFLT, Rear Admiral Jonathon Mead AM RAN. I had the honour also of being Invited to Lay a Wreath.

On completion, the Final Prayer and Benediction was given my Rev Tay Un , Head of Mission to Seafarers
All were asked to stand and for the singing of the Australian National Anthem.

Before we left, Mr David Field invited Mr George Simpson, CEO of Rookwood Cemetery to come forward and address the big attendance , He spoke of the changes and work that is now taken place at the MN Memorial section and with more to follow and on for all now to join with refreshments that had been supplied by the Rookwood staff.

Once again a good Service and to “Our Brothers of the Sea” BZ.

Allan Moffatt OAM


Navy will be leading the Brisbane Parade and all participants to muster in William Street 0930 behind the banner.  Step off 10am.

Post march – Maxi Taxis from Fig Tree to Queensland Maritime Museum for drinks and nibblies.  1pm Service at the ‘Jack’ Memorial.

The Ship Inn will be open for lunch at 1 pm for those who wish to stay on.

Many thanks



WREATH LAYING SERVICE. As in previous years and as long as I can remember, the RANCBA shall Lay a Wreath at the Cenotaph, Martin Place, BUT with a new time now of 0755am. If attending, please muster at the corner of Pitt Street & Martin Place at 0745am so that we can March On at our given time.  It is hoped that a Serving CIS Sailor (m/f) or even 2, will be our Wreath Layer/s.

MARCH. In the Order of March (OOM) by the RSL NSW, we are contingent nr 9 in the Post WW II Navy .Muster in Castlereagh Street facing north from 0915 am onwards. The RANCBA Banner shall be displayed from about 0910 am so you should not have any problems locating – also RSL”Marshalls” shall be around advising.

The Post WW II Leader for all Naval Associations shall be Rear Admiral Rothesay Swan AO CBE RAN Rtd.  For the WW II Navy Association the Leader will be Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd.

At the start of the March in the Navy, there will be approx 500 serving Officers and Sailors with the Leader, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead AM RAN – COMAUSFLT.

REUNION. This time it will be a change of venue, so make your way to City Tattersalls Club, in the CBD , between Market & Pitt Streets (not far from where the March completes), so no long walking distance or PB transport requirement.  A section will be “roped” off for our use, and here we shall put on finger food and to make it ever better, Tatts will issue you a ticket for a free drink (ale, wine or soft) which will be honoured on producing the ticket. Any heavy spirits or “exotic” drinks will be at your cost.

ALL serving and ex Communicators & family are more than welcome to attend and it is hoped that serving CIS sailors will come along and join the Association and thereby keeping the RANCBA as one of the best Associations.


Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter



The RANCBA-ACT will be marching in Canberra on Anzac Day.

Your march leader will be Paul Frog McCoy.

Members usually meet at the Navy Memorial – form up between 1000-1030 – march commences at 1040 – we are usually about number 37 in the march order. Look for our banner, please wear your name badge and don’t forget to turn you 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
02 6288 0828
0499 991 421


RANCBA Vic and all who served as members of the Branch, together with family are invited to attend the following events for ANZAC Day 2019.

Dawn Service

The meeting place for RANCBA Vic members will be the statue depicting Simpson and his Donkey (located near the Visitors Entrance at the Shrine of Remembrance). Please be there by 0530 at the latest.

Main March
Everyone should be assembled by 0745 at the assembly point which is at the St Kilda Rd Service Lane, EAST SIDE, bounded by the Queen Victoria Gardens and Opposite the Arts Centre. We expect to step off at 0845 so please be punctual and ready to go.

Our Vice President, Jan Withers, and Committee member, Ted Murray, will be there to organise the Banner requirements etc so please listen to their instructions.

After the March

The HMAS SYDNEY Association will be providing a bus shuttle service to the Maori Chief Hotel as usual, $5.00 fee for Members, family and children free. It will leave from Birdwood Ave on the East Side, directly opposite the Shrine of Remembrance.


Seeking Shipmate Brian Peek

The address for Brian Peek is out of date.. He now resides in Victoria, and the address of optusnet is rejected
Any ideas?

Brian Claxton

Once again an OD had to come and help and a very old LRO out !!!
Shorty Moffatt


March 2019

RANCBA &Southern Region Regional Reunion Robe SA -  Washup

1. Another great regional reunion has come and gone which turned out to be a 5 day reunion for most attendees. To help us along the weather was great, that's until the last night late when she opened up with a massive wind event along with a downpour. Thankfully it was late enough for everybody to be tucked up in bed.

2. Forty of us made the trip to Robe, some from as far away as the Mid North coast of NSW and Newcastle. There was also plenty of South Aust Members as well as the usual Victorians. Half a dozen vans and the rest in cabins.

3. Apart from giving both Pubs a going over, the wineries did really well as did the breakfast Venue which was opposite the park. Beautiful food indeed. There was a feast of interesting things to do. Both Pubs welcomed us for a meal on different nights, the cafe did also and some also went to the movies one night. The wineries also got plenty of hits. You will see by the attached photos that everybody was having a good time.

4. All in All it turned out to be another very successful regional reunion which is great news.

5. Due to a huge positive response, the next regional reunion looks likely to be in Tasmania.  There was a very big response to the Tassie suggestion and March next year was the main suggestion. Stay tuned and we shall try and have a positive response later this year.

6. Attached are some shots of the crew.

Regards Nokka.


Herewith a bit of trivia ....

In the latest VETAFFAIRS News on page 15 – Titled - Land and Sea – Navy Veteran long-time landscape artist.

The person is Mal Gilmour and for those that may not be aware, he was an ex RO. I first met Mal in Singapore (NAAFI Club) in 1965, he was serving aboard HMAS VENDETTA and I was on the sweeper HMAS SNIPE. In 1967 caught up with him again, after I left HMAS KIMBLA and posted to ALBATROSS, and he was already there. I posted out later that year to join Patrol Boats and lost contact with him .

He was a good artist and I believe he was commissioned by an American firm to do some work for them.  A man of considerable talents and writing.

Allan ‘Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Vale Lance Frederick 'Suds' Sutherland R55145 (ex TO)

Have received advice from Shorty Moffatt, who was advised by the President of the HMAS MORESBY Association, that Suds crossed the bar at 1900 yesterday, 21 March 2019.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris and family.

The funeral will be held at 1400 next Tuesday 26 March, at the Baptist Church in Page, ACT.  Dave Jeffrey will carry out the poppy ceremony.

More details will be published as they come to hand.

Farewell old mate, you will be sadly missed by family and friends.

John Curbishley
Web Yeoman
22 March 2019

From the Archives:
Lance Frederick Sutherland, DOB 24 April 1939.  Joined RAN 02 February 1959 for 9 years. Dee 31 December 1969.  Postings - CERBERUS, VENDETTA, BARCOO, MORESBY, HARMAN, HOBART.

From Shorty Moffatt:
I have just received the following sad news – a great hand and I am proud to have called him a mate – we Commissioned HMAS MORESBY back in 1964 and many great times together.
Lest We Forget

From John Scanlan:
Yes a great mate and we shared some great times on Barcoo and Hobart as well as Navy 0ffice in 68/69.
RIP Lance you will always be remembered.

From Dave Sutherland:
Saddened to read of his passing. A lovely bloke. Served together on HOBART and also at HARMAN, with minimal confusion given our shared surname, and, right arm rate. Fair winds and followings seas. Condolences to Chris and family.

From Kev Luke:
I returned to Canberra from Hua Hin in Thailand last November for a short stay to catch up with family and friends. I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to visit Suds; a gentleman with whom I had the greatest regard.

To Chris and family I extend my deepest condolences; you have lost the love of your life but you’re reflected memories and experiences will reveal the strength and determination Suds exhibited and the support given witnessed throughout.

Yes, the celebrations of his life may well have been concluded by now however; as I sit here alone for late lunch in my unique favourite restaurant, I raise my glass to Lance. May he RIP.

From Trevor Pike:
Very sad to hear of Suds passing, a lovely guy, first met him at Harman/Navy Office MSO, then met up at a few reunions where he was always good to shoot the breeze with. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Fair winds and following seas old mate. Condolences to Chris and family.

From Robbie & Greg Rouse:
So sad to hear of our long term friend Suds, we never called him anything else, loosing his battle. We have been remembering the good old days spent with him and Chris at Harman and at our informal lunches over the years. RIP Suds.

From Garry "Dusty" Miller:
Sad to hear of the passing of Lance “Suds” Sutherland, a good bloke. Suds and I spent a year doing 24’s about in the MSO at Cerberus, playing chess in our spare time and he never let me win once in 12 months. So Suds you remain the unbeaten chess champ of Cerberus MSO and a good mate gone. Condolences to Family.
Garry (Dusty) Miller ex CY

RANCBA SOUTHERN Regional Reunion ROBE 22 March to 24 March

1. Only a couple of weeks to go when we are all off to the beautiful township of Robe in SA. Just a reminder that we have a meet and greet Friday night in the camp kitchen commencing at 6pm. BYO food and drink and we will chuck on a pot of little boys in case anybody needs a top up.

2. On Saturday morning we will get together those that would like to that is to have breakfast in a lovely venue just a short walk from the park. Then the town is so beautiful we must allow time fora walk around. There then should be time to visit a winery or two and taste the local product. Saturday night dinner has been organised for 7.30 pm at the Robe Hotel.

John Nokka White


Vale John Charles McNally R50265 (ex LRO)

To: Allan "Shorty" Moffatt From Warwick Harry

Subject: John McNally

Just been advised by John’s wife Virginia that John has died. Service at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Kiora Rd, Miranda tomorrow (Sat 9 March). 9-30 AM for viewing, 10-00 AM for service.
From Warwick Harry.

Lest We Forget

From the Archives:


Final update for Robe Regional Reunion 22nd to 24th March

1. The Meet and Great will commence at approximately 6pm on Friday 22nd in the camp kitchen in the
SEA VU Caravan park Robe. BYO own food and drink and we will provide a pot of little boys to have a
nibble on during the night.

2. For those not wishing to cook their own breakfast there is a beautiful cafe not far away where we can
all have a beautiful breakfast. On completion for those that want to have a look around the beautiful
township will have time to do so. We will discuss at the meet and great what to do in the afternoon - such
as wineries etc.

3. Saturday night dinner will be in the Atrium of the Robe Hotel - a nice stroll through the township. Dinner
will commence at 7.30 pm.

4. For breakfast on Sunday morning we will leave it to you to supply your own food. We will have a couple
of chefs on site to hopefully do the cooking just to make the rests life nice and easy.

5. If there is anything else just give me a call on 0418 524 067 and I will help you out.

John Nokka White.

Names of attendees are listed below:

John & Sue Falk, - John & Rachel White & Simon - Ted & Lyn Murray - Kym & Heather Parry
Jan & Andrew Gallagher - Roy & Lyn Barber - Barry Kane & Trevor Watson - Janet & Greg Beck
Ernst Power & Les Thurgood - Michael & Carmel Delaney - Marian & Ian Schubert - Brian & Ritva Harley
Hugh & Pat Green - Frank & Evelyn Hoy - John & Kath Williams - Steve & Julie Bridge - Jan Withers
Marty & Jeanette Grogan - Nevelle & Dayle Coats - Greg & Louise Goodwin - Howden Jennings
Ann Drohan.

Photos Grand Central 4th March - Brisbane Mob.

L to R… Baz Cleary, Kev Ruwoldt, Jim Anderson, Tackers Miles, John Horton, Pedlar Palmer, Kaylene (Trev’s Carer), Jim Eagles, Don Ruwoldt, Timba Mills, Roger Garrett Esq, Georg Graham (ex Bubbly & Coonawarra), Gus Dodds, Doc Watson, Noel Chidgey, Trev Percival.

Apologies…Shags Hellier, Bob Simpson, Glen Battye.

Trevor keep your eye on Roger, you might lose Kaylene and need a new carer!!!!! (Mieke???).

Next meet & greet 1st Apr (Cripes that’s April Fools Day).

Cheers Ruwie.
04 Mar 2019



This Service was held to announce the name on the State Heritage Register from Bradleys Head Forts, HMAS SYDNEY I Mast to Bradleys Head Forts, HMAS SYDNEY I Mast ad the Royal Australian Navy Memorial and was held on 27th February 2019 and here I was accompanied on the trip over on the Ferry by Vice President Ms Liz Watts OAM, Mr Bill Ross President of the HOBART Association, Mr Robin Grimley President Merrylands RSL Sub Branch and his wife –there were others but unfortunatey I did not record their names.

Sydney Harbour could not have looked better, at Circular Quay next to our wharf at the Overseas Terminal was the big Cruise Liner CARNIVAL SPIRIT, and then between Fort Denison and Taronga Park wharf was the big Cunard Line, QUEEN VICTORIA and when we were at Bradleys Head, the new Australian Border Force Patrol Boat was going through its paces. It was indeed one of the best harbours in the world, with blue waters, blue skies, one could not have asked for a better setting.

Prior to taking a seat, Mr Les Mcleod came around and put the aboriginal markings on our hand, right for males and left hand for females and then he gave one of the best Acknowledgement of Country and Smoking Ceremony I have ever witnessed – but saying that, I think I will use a match or lighter to start a fire.

On completion, the following Speeches were given, the first by Commodore Robert Plath RAN, Deputy Commander of the Australian Fleet. He spoke on how the name Bradleys came about and then the Commissioning and De Commissioning of HMAS SYDNEY I and the erection of the Mast there. He was followed by Councillor Carolyn Corrigan, Mayor of Mosman, and she had nothing but praise for Mr. Bob Auston (former President of the SYDNEY Association) and now a Delegate to the FNSA, and how also in the “pipe line” he is chasing up for the Invitation of some of the Royal Family to another function here. Mr. Stephen Higham, Area Manger , Sydney North & NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and praise for the work that has been carried out at this site.

The Unveiling of the Memorial Plaque took place , and here it was draped in the Australian White Ensign. The following all stepped forward , Mr Bob Auston, Commodore Robert Plath RAN, Councillor Carolyn Corrigan and Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd and the AWE was taken away and the new Memorial was shown with the RAN Logo and the word Royal Australian Navy Memorial .

A young Mosman High School student came forward and he played a fanfare of tunes by Matthew Collins, BRILLIANT and I would have to say he has a very good future in the music world and I would like to be his Agent.

This brought to an end of the Service and all were asked to join for refreshments which were awaiting us. This then brought some fun, one of the Mosman Committee was just about to eat a sandwich when a kookaburra came out of the trees and took out of his hand. Along with others I thought this great, but not long after I was eating a cake slice and had taken one bite when another kookaburra came and took it out my hand – they were so quick.

This is AUSTRALIA and we were in their home area, so I thought this was great and made it so OZZIE , no one was hurt and the kookaburras sitting up in the trees looked happy

Well done to all concerned – even the kookaburras.

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

February 2019


This combined Service was held at the Chapel, Garden Island on Sunday 3rd March and here Senior Chaplain Jason Wright RAN Officiated with music by the Sydney Band Detachment and the Colour Guard for the Australian White Ensign by serving personnel HMAS KUTTABUL.

All were asked to stand for the AWE to be Paraded into the Chapel and Snr Chaplain Wright gave a Word of Welcome and then the Opening Prayer, to be followed by the Hymn “O God Our Help in Ages Past and the Naval Psalm.

The PERTH Association Mr. Mike Kay was called forward to Address the Congregation and he he also acknowledged and made special mention of one of their Members. Mr Frank McGovern who is 99 years old and was here today . Frank had been on board HMAS PERTH I and when it was sunk in battle along with USS HOUSTON in 1942 by an overwhelming Japanese Force. Frank survived and was taken POW , first to Changi then as a POW on the infamous Thai-Burma Railway for the remainder till the Japanese surrendered.

When Mike Kay had completed, the Chaplain then called for Mr, McGovern to come forward , and when he did so, with out any help he was given a great ovation by all in the congregation .

Later on, a Poem named HMAS PERTH written by Mr Vic Duncan POW and today Read by Mrs Christine Stewart , daughter of John Grant also a POW – It is indeed a poem, if you get the chance to read, do so.

The was followed by the Naval Ode and Ode , then the Last Post played by a Bugler of the RAN Band Detachment , One Minutes Silence and then Reveille

All were asked to remain standing for the Australian National Anthem – which you may not be aware, is now both verses.

Then the Blessing and this completed the PERTH Service and now the Plaque Dedication Ceremony was held.

The following Plaques were Dedicated
Raymond Bambrick – COMMANDER Rtd
Peter Blackman CAPTAIN Rtd
Ted Wynberg COMMANDER Rtd

On completion of now both Services, all were Invited to partake of Morning Tea, which is a joint affair of the FNSA and the RANCBA NSW Chapter. Here today, it all by Communicators as Mrs Mary Bell (FNSA Secretary was badly injured in a vehicle accident and has to recoup).

The following made this a great event , in no set order , Rick & Jan Easom, Liz Watts, Diana Avent and her sister Liz, Andy & Jan Mills , Helen and myself – so well done to all . Also Mr Mike Kay (Secretary of the PERTH Assn) gave us great help . Many of those in attendance (NOK, Shipmates, friends etc) have nothing but praise for this venture and I was asked to pass on their many thanks for such a good “morning tea”

Anyway, after all had departed and we cleaned up the Historical Bldg, Garden Island , we all made our way home.
Another day completed so thank you all for without your help and expertise, this would not come about.

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Vale Donald Robert Muller R94077 (ex POSY)

Ian Schubert advises: 

"I received notification via my JR intake website that Don Muller had passed away on Saturday 16 February 2019.  This information was forwarded by his Wife. 

I have not seen any Funeral Notice to date. 

Don was a former POSY and a good bloke as well.  RIP Don. 

Kind regards,
Lest We Forget

An awesome mentor in my learning the trade, he was a gentle giant in company with Windy Gale, Noel Barker and Jeff Wasley. Smooth seas and a following breeze. I learnt a heck of a lot in 3F Mess on Dp4p6.

George Podmore


HMAS VOYAGER 55th Anniversary Memorial Service

To commemorate the fatal loss of HMAS VOYAGER and 81 RAN personnel and 1 dockyard person who lost their life that night during a collision between HMAS VOYAGER and HMAS MELBOURNE during exercises off Jervis Bay on the 10th February 1964 at approximately 2050 pm, the following were held.

Friday 8th February - Meet & Greet – This was held on Friday night, at the Jervis Bay Club previously called the Huskisson RSL Club. Here many survivors with partners, NOK of those lost and others gathered to meet, talk/spin a yarn and have a nice evening . Some of the survivors had to leave as they were invited to the Senior Sailors Mess at RANC, HMAS CRESWELL and here the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN arrived, having driven himself that afternoon from Canberra. From some that I spoke to, a good evening was had by all at the Mess A heavy T/S and rain hit the area just as many were arriving at the Club, but it did not dampen the occasion – wet on the outside and wet on the inside!!

Saturday 9th February – In the AM, a dolphin cruise was held on the waters of Jervis Bay – After the weather the previous afternoon, it had turned to a beautiful day and all had a good time.

That evening in the PM, a Dinner was held . Here I had the very great privilege and honour to be the MC as I have been in the past 5 or so years. The most pleasing part was the number of people there, some who had not attended the Meet & Greet, and had arrived that day.

Sunday, 10th February . That morning under very clear skies, an Official Opening and Dedication Service of the VOYAGER Memorial Park was held. It had finally come to fruition and was a combination of the 3 levels of Government (Federal- State – Local) and the Huskisson RSL Sub Branch. The Chaplain from RANC, HMAS CRESWELL, Chaplain Max Walker officiated.

The first order of Service was the Naval Psalm and this was Read by Captain Warren Bairstow CSC RAN.

On completion of the Psalm, the President of the VOYAGER’s Survivors. Mr. Brian Hopkins was asked to come forward to Recite the Navy Prayer.

The Dedication was carried out by Chaplain Walker RAN , and then the Closing Blessing also by Chaplain Walker.

The Speeches were then given by Lord Mayor of Shoalhaven City Council, Mrs Amanda Findley and then the State Member for the South Coast and NSW Speaker of the House, The Hon. Ms Shelly Hancock , and the following by the Federal Member for Gilmore, Ms Ann Sudmalis.

Following was then the Formal Opening of the VOYAGER Memorial Park by the Shoalhaven City Council Lord Mayor Mrs Amanda Findley and some invited guests.

This brought to an end of the formal proceedings and all were invited back to the Jervis Bay Club to partake of refreshments provided by the Club.

At the table that I was sitting with my wife Helen, we were joined by Captain Warren Bairstow CSC RAN and his Senior Warrant Officer, the Commanding Officer of HMAS ALBATROSS, Captain Fiona Sneath . Even though I had never met Captain Bairstow, his name rang a bell , as he was the Reviewing Officer last November (2018) when ex Serving RAN personnel were invited by the then XO of HMAS WATERHEN, LCDR David Hellier RAN to join in the Freedom of Entry March in North Sydney. It was a very enjoyable refreshment break and full credit to the Club.

Sunday, 10th – A Luncheon was arranged at the Huskisson Bowling Club, and it was Asian, with very, nice prawns etc and with a nice cold ale, as the weather was now getting warm, one could not have asked for anything better.

Sunday 10th – Service of Remembrance – time 2050 pm approx as this was the time of the fatal collision. Here ,the Service was held at the re Dedicated Memorial and all were given a small battery operated candle which gave it more solemn . Chaplain Max Walker RAN Officiated and it commenced with a Prayer for Navy.

All were asked to join with the Reciting of the Naval Psalm 107 and then to remain standing for the Lord’s Prayer.

A Wreath Laying Service was then carried out by Survivors, NOK and those wishing to do so.

The Sailors Ode was then Recited, followed by the Naval Ode and the ODE,

All remained standing for the Australian National Anthem which I believe was sung with great pride and for the memory of those young RAN personnel who lost their life that night.

After Grace, this brought to and end of the Service.

Now, I would be amiss, if I did not mention this lady who has made this happen, not only this year, but as long as I can remember. Mrs Brenda Hannay. She is without a doubt a legend as not only does she put all this together, her husband (a VOYAGER Survivor) is very ill and she is his carer. I cannot think of enough words of praise for this lady - BRAVO ZULU.

FOOTNOTE – Now, I never served on HMAS VOYAGER, but I lost many Communicators I had served with or knew, and as I believe this part of Australia’s Naval history and even though it was a peacetime disaster , this should not be forgotten, so I placed an ad in the daily media “Daily Telegraph". At the time, having just returned from my 2 years exchange with the Royal Navy in England and was posted to sea trial and Commission of HMAS MORESBY, but I had a a few times with some who lost their life.

I received a few phones calls and one that stood out. She was the cousin of the late RO Bob Denham – I couldn't believe it. We had both joined up in ‘55 and did our sea time training aboard HMAS GLADSTONE and then Signal School. On completion, he was posted to the Commissioning of HMAS VOYAGER and sadly this was his 2nd posting back to VOYAGER and his last posting in life .

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter



On Friday, 15th February in memory of Captain Stevenson I attended the full Naval Service held at the Chapel, Garden Island,

Captain Stevenson had been my Commanding Officer, HMAS ANZAC/VLMG – D59 1957-58 during our Service in the Malayan Emergency and the FESR and he he was an outstanding Officer and also a nice person .

The Service commenced at 12 noon, and full credit to the Navy for the entry to Garden Island, on arriving at the Main Gate, I was met by an Officer who checked my name on the list of attendees and then directed to a small coach to take us to the Chapel. Here, we were met and given an Order of Service and then as I was a ex Naval person directed to a pew. Here I was placed next to ex CRS Jock Donnelly and I would have to go back many years to recall our last meeting.

The Welcome was given by Senior Chaplain Jason Wright RAN and then to all stand for the Opening Hymn “O God Our Help In Ages Past”

His Service Record was then Read by the Commander Australian Fleet . Rear Admiral Jonathon Mead AM RAN with a acknowledgement by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AM RAN- it is indeed a record that Australia should be proud of.

Memories of Captain Stevenson was given by his son, Bryan and daughter Kerry and then shown on a screen – Reflections

The Naval Psalm was Recited by Ivy Stevenson and all were asked to join in

The Hymn “How Great Thou Art” was sung by all and then the Bible Reading taken from John 14 1-6

Homily was given by Snr Chaplain Jason Wright RAN and also the Prayers of Thanksgiving and Farewell

Following the Naval Prayer and the Naval Hymn

The ODE was Recited by Captain Matthew Shand RAN , Commanding Officer HMAS KUTTABUL

Then outside in forecourt near the Chapel, and armed platoon of Serving Sailors fired 3 rounds as a salute

One Minutes Silence and Reveille

A presentation to the Family was given by Commander Marcus Butler RAN, Commanding Officer HMAS MELBOURNE

The Committal and Blessing was given by Senior Chaplain Jason Wright RAN

Following 6 current serving sailors slowed marched down the Chapel and the coffin was then placed on their shoulders and the coffin was borne down the aisle for all to say their farewell

On leaving the Chapel, outside in front of the hearse was the platoon of current serving sailors bearing arms and behind a bigger contingent of serving sailors who slow marched after the hearse.

This brought to an end of a fitting farewell to a Naval Officer who had served this Nation, and I am proud to have attended in memory of my time aboard one of the ships he commanded.

I noted in attendance the following, RADM, Tony Horton, Guy Griffiths, Andrew Robertson, Rothesay Swan , and others who I have met or seen during my time in the RAN.

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter


1. This second update will just be a short one with those that have booked to date. Also if you are aware of anybody else that might enjoy this catch up reunion please invite them along.

2. For the opening night catch-up on Friday 22nd, don't forget to bring along your own food. We will be putting on a pot of little boys to help the night along.

3. Not much else to say - so here's a list of all those booked to date:- keep recruiting, the bigger the better.

John & Sue Falk  John & Rachel White & Simon Ted & Lyn Murray
Kym & Heather Parry Jan & Andrew Gallagher Roy & Lyn Barber
Ernst Power & Les Thurgood Michael & Carmel Delaney Marion & Ian Schubert
Janet & Greg Beck Brian & Ritva Harley Hugh & Pat Green
Frank & Evelyn Hoy John & Kath Williams Don Parsons & Villa
Steve & Julie Bridge Marty & Jeanette Grogan Nevelle & Dayle Coats
Barry Kane Trevor Watson Jan Withers

I shall put out another update as numbers increase or just before the Reunion.

Cheers Nokka


Vale Captain JP Stevenson AM RAN Rtd

I regret to advise that Captain JP (Steve) Stevenson AM RAN Rtd., crossed the bar on 29 January 2019. 

Captain Stevenson was in command of HMAS MELBOURNE in 1969 when the American Destroyer USS Frank E. Evans collided with the RAN Flagship in the South China Sea.

The RAN will be honouring Captain Stevenson by providing a full naval funeral at the Garden Island Chapel commencing at 12.00 on Friday 15 February.  All welcome.

For those who wish to attend the Funeral Service to be held at the Chapel, Garden Island, you will need to have your name listed, so please send a email with your details to the following:
email address is

Allan ‘Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

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VALE Clive Henry 'Duke' Norfolk R52222 (ex LRO)

DOB 07/01/1938, Joined RAN 30/07/56 for 6 years, Discharged 29/01/62.

I have received several emails and phone calls regarding the sad passing of Clive “The Duke” Norfolk .

I first met Duke when he drafted into HMAS HARMAN after serving on HMAS MELBOURNE late 50’s early 60’s and later on when he was with DCA.

No other details are known at present, but if I receive further information from his daughter, I will pass it on.

Lest We Forget
Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

From: Clive Norfolk

Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2019 9:49 PM

To: Allan Moffatt

Subject: Re: My Deepest Sympathy

Dear Shorty,

Victoria here, Clive’s daughter. I rang Elaine this afternoon and told her our sad news.

Clive has been seriously ill since August 2018 with Heart Failure. He struggled to stay at home, he ‘dodged a bullet’ with several recent health scares but living 70kms from a hospital was a risk that caught up with him on Monday night and he passed away before the ambulance arrived.

He didn’t want to move from Buchan and he got his wish, I suppose that is some comfort.

If you would like any further information you can contact me at


On 31 Jan 2019, at 1:52 pm, Allan Moffatt wrote:

Good afternoon and on behalf of the RAN Communications Branch Ass, we offer our Deepest Sympathy

 I had a phone call from Mrs Elaine King advised that Clive had sadly passed away

So if anyone could send me all details , I shall place on the Communicators Website for all to know.

 Lest We Forget

 Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter
Lest We Forget



This Service will be held over the weekend of the 8th February till 10th February and this will be held by the Survivors Association in memory of the worst peacetime RAN disaster which occurred on the 10th February 1964 when the Destroyer HMAS VOYAGER and the air craft carrier HMAS MELBOURNE were involved in a fatal collision during exercises on the NSW coast near Jervis Bay and sadly the loss of 82 personnel.

The weekend will commence on Friday 8th February with a “Meet & Greet” being held at the Jervis Bay Club (formerly the Huskisson RSL Club.)

On Saturday 9th during the AM, a “dolphin watch cruise” on Jervis Bay .

That evening at the Jervis Bay Club a formal dinner will be held at the Jervis Bay Club . I have been Invited and given the privilege of being asked again to carry out the duty of the MC at this very moving part of the weekend.

Now on Sunday 10th February, a Memorial Service was planned as normal to be held at the Chapel, RANC, HMAS CRESWELL but this year at 10.00am there will be a Dedication Service to be held for the new Memorial which has been built by the Shoalhaven Council and the Huskisson RSL , located behind the Jervis Bay Club , so the Church Service will not be held.

Should you be attending the Dedication, full Medals are to be worn.

That evening at the Memorial, at 2045 (8.45pm) the time of the fatal collision a Memorial Service will be held – all are welcome to attend

If anyone should be in the Jervis Bay area or wishes to attend some of the Services, (the Dedication of the new Memorial and the Memorial Service that evening ) you will be most welcome

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

RANCBA ACT - Australia Day Function

For our Australia Day function this year Kaye Mongan, a committee member, has kindly agreed to hold it at her place.

Catering will be by Costco platters, purchased by the Association. BYO drinks.

Please advise me by email, or leave a message on my mobile phone, of your attendance.

Date – Saturday 26th January 2019RAN Communications Branch Association
Kick off – 1200
Venue – 11 Leggo Place Dunlop

Hope to see you all there…..


Peter Guy
02 6288 0828
0499 991 421

From Jack Bawden:

Thanks NSW Chapter, in particular Shorty and Dolly, many thanks for a fantastic day, 13th Dec, on Garden Island Harbour. The food, drinks and especially the company, FIRST CLASS”.