CMDR RODNEY WITHERS CMDR RAN Retd
On Tuesday 10 May 2016, We attended the funeral service of our friend and
shipmate, Sir Rodney Withers CMDR RAN at the Memorial Chapel of St Mark,
HMAS Cerberus. Establishment Flags and Ensigns were half masted throughout
Along with around 250 other family and friends we were welcomed by Chap.
Andrew Thorburn RAN who conducted the Service. Many current and ex Service
personnel from all three Services and all branches of the RAN were in
attendance along with a good representation from the RANCBA. I do
apologise for not naming you, but there were far too many and too spread
out within the Chapel. Rod's casket was covered with the AWE atop of which
was his ceremonial sword, his service medals and his Commander's cap.
Eulogies were read by CAPT Stephen Bowater OAM RAN, covering Rod's Naval
Career. Rod's two brothers, David and Peter (both ex POQMG) spoke of Rod's
early family life growing up in QLD and Rod's own children Tamara, Shane
and Alisha spoke of their life with and their love of their Dad. Frank
spoke on behalf of Rod's mates and friends.
A photo tribute was shown of the full life of Rod's, along with a DVD
tribute from three ex - Royal Navy classmates of Rod's SD16 Class at
Dartmouth. Sir Rodney certainly didn't restrict his 'playing up' only to
the RAN. On completion of the service, an Australian National Flag was
presented to Jan by Captain Bowater, as a token of appreciation of Rod's
long and distinguished service to the Navy and to Australia.
Our own CPOCIS Gary Swanton was Guard Commander of the funeral firing
party , and following the sounding of The Last Post and during the Minutes
Silence, 3 volleys of rounds were fired.
As the vehicle carrying Rod's body left the Chapel, a Guard of Honour had
been formed consisting of staff and trainees from the RAN Communications
School (DFSS-MCISW) along the roadway leading away from the Chapel and up
toward the old Gangway. Current and ex-service members of the congregation
were also invited to form up. Which many did.
Refreshments were held in the Wardroom of HMAS Cerberus where guests were
made extremely welcome by both CAPT Bowater , his Executive Officer, CMDR
Melanie Verho and the Ships Warrant Officer, WO Brendan Woodsell.
A very fitting Memorial Service and well deserved for our friend.
Fair winds and a following sea Sir Rodney. Till we all meet up again, Rest
Frank & Gary
A Navy photographer was made available to cover the service and Rod's
family are happy to share the photos
with the wider communications community. Follow the link below to
view the photos.
Follow this link to return to the Vale for Rod