Sunday, 27th September 2015
School holidays and the highway is packed with caravans and 4X4 so I expected a slow trip to Brisbane airport yesterday, the trip ended up taking an extra 50 minutes. The delay was caused by 80 KMH zones near road works and it created stop/go traffic at each one. The annoying thing is that the road works in two of the areas was completed and no activity was being undertaken. Why aren't signs removed at weekends where no danger exists!
I finally painted my bar area this week, has taken me five years to pick a colour. Looks good and I have managed to put most of my bits and pieces on the walls. Not a lot to show for a 40 year working life, I was surprised how few photos I have of me in uniform. Having a couple of boxes disappear during a removal did not help I suppose. If anyone has photos of me I would appreciate a copy.
Things pretty dry here, a bit of rain would help to help get my recent plantings a shove on. I am using bore water, but it is full of minerals with the odd trace of shale oil and many plants don't like it.
Well, not much to report so I am off, got a curry to cook!
Old Bill was having a chuckle this morning and when I asked him why he told me about his sister Patsy who went to Brisbane and checked into a motel on her 70th birthday. She was a bit lonely so she thought, "I'll call one of those men you see advertised in phone books for escorts and sensual massages." She looked through the phone book, found a full page ad for a guy calling himself Tender Tony - a very handsome man with assorted physical skills flexing in the photo. He had all the right muscles in all the right places, thick wavy hair, long powerful legs, a dazzling smile, six pack abs and she felt quite certain she could bounce a sixpence off his well oiled bum... She figured, what the heck, nobody will ever know. I'll give him a call. "Good evening, ma'am, how may I help you?..." Oh my, he sounded sooo sexy! Afraid she would lose her nerve if she hesitated, she rushed right in, "Hi, I saw your ad in the yellow pages and understand you give a great massage. I'd like you to come to my motel room and give me one. No, wait, I should be straight with you. I'm in town all alone and what I really want is sex. I want it hot, and I want it now. Bring implements, toys, rubber, leather, whips, everything you've got in your bag of tricks. We'll go hot and heavy all night - tie me up, cover me in chocolate syrup and whipped cream, anything and everything. I'm ready!! Now how does that sound?" He said, "That sounds absolutely fantastic, but you need to dial “9” for an outside line Miss Smith."
Till next week.
Born 23/05/1945 - Died 21/9/2015
It is with great sadness that I advise you that Fred lost his battle with Brain Cancer this evening and died approximately 2000 21 September 2015 at Bethesda Hospice Claremont WA. He was moved to Bethesda Hospice from Sir Charles Gardner Hospital in mid-August. Fred was originally diagnosed with an inoperable brain cancer in February this year and despite having lengthy Radio and Chemo therapy, it was unsuccessful. This week he contacted Pneumonia on his left lung after suffering 3 seizures a couple of days prior. Fred was treated with a morphine based suppressant drug to keep him pain free.
May he rest in peace on his eternal and final patrol. Please pray for Fred’s Soul and keep Barbara and Yoli in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Please send all cards and condolences to
Barbara and Yoli Lawrence
62 Digby Rd
Gosnells WA 6110
President SAA WA Branch Inc. (Click to enlarge image)
The thoughts and prayers of the submarine community are with Barbara and Yoli , family, former shipmates and friends at this sad time. Fred, a former President of the SAA in Western Australia was awarded the AASM ,ASM, DFSM. NM, ADM Silver Jubilee Medal and Merchant Navy Cross during his time in the RAN and Merchant Navy.
Fred served in the RAN Jan 1961 - May 1982 and also served in the RN on Exchange duties. In addition to time served on surface ships Fred served on HMAS Ovens (Commissioning crew), HMS Astute, HMS Sealion and HMS Odin.
Fred highlighted the following as 'moments to remember' of his service career:
- Going to 800 feet in an HMS Astute in the Bay of Bengal.
- Going to places where we weren't supposed to go (HMS Sealion)
- Rescue of merchant seamen in a Bay of Biscay storm in 1968 (HMS Odin)
- Silver Jubilee Review in 1977 and being presented to HM, having met her in HMAS TORRENS in 1974.
The Funeral Service will be held at 1000 on Wednesday, 7th October in the West Chapel at Fremantle Cemetery. Entrance located on Carrington St near the corner of Leach Highway, Palmyra. Request Medals be worn. On conclusion the wake will be held at the Fremantle Navy Club, 64 High St, (located corner of High St and Pakenham St) Fremantle
No Flowers by Request. Please donate to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation In Memory of Fred Lawrence.
Sad to get the news , even though we all knew it was coming. A great member of our commissioning crew, and a very well respected member of our crew. I am sure he will be missed by all not just the WA Association. I am glad I can say that I had the pleasure of his friendship and his knowledge when we were pushing Ovens home. My thoughts are with his family and his many friends. Ray Clarke
Very sad to hear of Fred's passing I remember him well a great bloke prayers for Freds family - heartfelt condolences. Dave Hodder
I just read the post about Fred Lawrence. The post from WA mentioned that he had been on Odin and one of his memories was rescuing a merchant ship's crews in the Bay of Biscay. I was involved in that as I was the the scratcher, and I together with Scouse Davis, a stoker, and an officer swam over to the hulk and boarded her by way of a jacob's ladder that had been left dangling. This was the day after we picked up a boat load of survivors. I had a picture that someone took and I remember that I was wearing socks - why I cannot imagine - as I was climbing up the ship's side. Alas, the photograph got lost in the maelstrom of confusion that is the aftermath of a divorce. Could you fill me in on some details. It is nearly fifty years ago now and much as I hate to admit it, my memory is not as sharp as it was. It is sad to see blokes you served with go out on the final patrol and it puts everything into perspective. Neville Newman
On behalf of the SAA ACT Branch please pass on our condolences on the passing of Fred. It is a sad loss and we wish his family all best during this sad time and we will be thinking of them. I am sure that the WA team will ensure Fred's family will have any support they may require. Dave Strangward
It was with deep regret that I received the news of Fred’s departing. I served with Fred aboard HMAS Ovens and was a part of the commissioning crew with him. We had many hard and dangerous times - and many laughs. Fred was a well-liked, respected crew member – and person. He will be sadly missed by everyone in the submarine family. Sincere condolences from the President, Committee and members of the SAA Victoria Branch. Keith John Hatfield (aka ‘Boot’)
I was sad to hear of Fred's death, I had been keeping up with Yoli on Fred's health and by the way she wrote of his plight the end was to be soon. He was a very decent bloke and a good friend.
Many condolence messages have been posted on Facebook - SAA Home, Australian Submariner and ex RAN
Around the Traps
Tom Johnston received an email from our old Chief Stoker and mentor Graeme Gilbert this week. I was saddened to hear that his darling wife Brenda has been very sick, 3 stints in Hospital and one operation in the past 10 months. He said "Quite the reversal for this family, at least I was able to look after her for a change. I'm having problems with my ticker just waiting to see the heart specialist next week. However Tom you know the drill, only the good die young."
Still got salt in your veins? Then watch this, today's Navy doing us proud, but don't let your grandkids watch it, they may join up ! And if you have another 1.47 minutes to spare this video of HMAS Canberra is quite interesting, a big bugger!
James Moon reported that he and Squiz Taylor were off on their weekly ride again, this time to Pottsville. He added "Met another ex 2-ringer that was on Oxley for 12 months (Pasul someone) at the Naval Association meeting last Saturday, they pop up everywhere here… I was thinking of doing a break-in at the local radio station, grabbing the tannoy and doing a “Clear lower deck, fall in at River Street…” then again, maybe not…"
In a follow up email Jim wrote "Can I ask that you advise readers of the Log of the forthcoming November Navy Reunion weekend here in sunny downtown Ballina. Historically it’s been a great weekend with social drinks, Saturday night dinner/dance and Sunday bar-bee. But please make sure you book accommodation early, as skimmers are sneaky… There’s a most friendly local mix of submariners and target crews, plus the usual smattering of birdies, bubblies, bandies and even rockies, but fortunately no dockies or cockies. It’s a good opportunity to catch up with ‘old ships’ and stir up some buckets of bow-wash or bilge (depending what your part of ship was), and the modern surrounds of the Ballina RSL are way upmarket from days of yore in the Rockers, Johnnies, the Bunches, Bognor, Bugen Strasse and other fine haunts"
A blog on The Telegraph's (UK) site supported a campaign to save Onyx and this particular post was initiated by John Tait who lives in Oz and it's a good story, a good read. Martin Clarke was 22 and serving on HMS Onyx in 1982 when the news broke through that the Falkland Islands had been invaded by Argentinian troops. Martin's account of what was to follow is worth the read.
Terry Hall, Hon Secretary/Treasurer of Derbyshire Submariners reports that the latest edition of Derbyshire Deeps (192 October 2015) is now available on their web page. It includes details of Derby's Remembrance Services (11/11) and after Service coffee morning/social at the Jubilee Club, to which all are welcome if in the area.
John 'Boot' Hatfield, President of SAA Victoria Branch writes "I had a phone call from one of our members (and Past President), Andrew 'Butch' Urquhart on the weekend. Butch has had a pacemaker fitted and obviously, has not been travelling too well. Butch does not have an email address, but I have his permission to post his mobile number - 0414 073 347, I’m sure Butch would appreciate a phone call from some who know him. Please give him a call and ask "RUOK?".
Neville Newman wrote "Just read the Log and was heartened to read Michael Date's account of his ride for charity. It strikes me that this is something I would like to do before I go toes up. Maybe just a dream, but all achievements start with one. Please pass on my appreciation to him. The weekend is great, except for the fact that I read that the Sydney Swans' season is now over. Like a reformed smoker, I have become a zealous supporter (at the risk of alienating old mates from other states)."
Daffy Donald posted these, taken at Service to for the loss of AE1 at HMAS Stirling Chapell. (Navy images)
Buddies in Boats
I am sure that you all have a story to tell so here is your opportunity, this email from Graham 'Jumper' Collins sets the scene "We should put in print some memorable, interesting or funny stories. I believe everyone of us dinosaurs who started off the Oberon Era have so many 'dits/stories' to tell, but never get around to putting them on paper. OK. I will start. Have talked to TJ Rowell who said he will also reciprocate. Everyone is welcome to contribute, especially 'plank' owners. I happen to know Otway original crew have stories to tell, so how about reciprocate?"
The scenario: some bright spark in the skimmer world thought submarine seamanship courses should reflect their skimmer criteria for promotion qualification to PO. So myself (Jumper Collins), John Rana, Greg Pennicuik and Dave Bryant were sent to Penguin for a seamanship course for the tick in the box for promotion. Albeit, it was a skimmer criteria involving focsel arrangements for RAS, Anchor and rope Splicing and the like stuff.
So there we were, splicing a nylon rope identical in size to what we used on boats. We each had a vice to hold the rope, a hook above the vice to hold the rope vertical and wooden FID's to separate the individual 3 nylon strands. The routine was to wrap tape along each strand before passing them through the rope so as to minimise the rope unwinding, and to maximize strength of the splice. Time and neatness of the splice were assessed for the marking.
While Jumper, JR and Greg complied with the masking tape routine, Dave informed us 3 that it was a waste of time to tape the strands, and "all you have to do is keep a good twist on the strands" and they will not unravel. Off he went.
On the second 'tuck', Dave's strands were getting complicated with nylon rope looking like frized hair, the FID not separating the rope correctly, and strands of rope not looking good. In Dave's wisdom, he used his fingers to poke a loose bit of nylon rope through the hole and pulled out the FID. Consequently, the rope strands 'trapped and captured' his finger. Needing two hands to reinsert the FID to release his finger he requested assistance from any of his three course mates.
Being true submarine mates, we all decline the request and carried on with our own splicing. We didn't know Dave knew so many curses and swear words. Obviously time was now on our side and we completed our splicing task within the time frame. Aftr we had all finished our splicing task, we helped Dave out of his dilemma.Don't know if Dave got a tick or a cross in his task record, but he sure did get a new nickname, which has stuck to this day. "SAUSAGE FINGERs" Bryant.
Maybe JR could write about the post course piss up. On second thought, he may have been too 'confused' to remember it accurately.
During that particular course, when the good old days had the bars open during lunch, the four of us partook in as many beers as could be consumed in the short lunch time period. Yes, we were 'admonished' and advised that an alcoholic lunch was not the way to get a pass for the course. We all obviously took notice, because during week two of the 4 week course, our poor instructor came to a sensible decision that after a lunch time session his only tactic was to throw a seamanship book at us with the following comment "fuckin submarines". Read and study chapters so and so" of course we were all shocked and hurt. As we snoozed and had catnaps on the desk.
Moving on. We all agreed to have an end of course piss-up at the Kirribilly RSL. Sadly Greg could not make it, but myself, John Rana and Dave 'Sausage Fingers' Bryant had a great session drinking Black Russians. After many hours, I somehow got talked into driving JR and Dave home to Cremorne and Manly respectively. After all, they convinced me, it is almost on my way. I lived way down south at Cronulla at the time. Mmmmm
Of we go, to drop the drunks home. Obviously I was sober because I was the driver. Jr and Sausage fingers wanted to 'pee', I needed petrol, so I pulled into a garage. Rana fell out of the back door, much to Sausage Fingers amusement. The Policeman on the motorbike parked behind the garage entry sign only had to put his helmet onto his bike before he approached. He was 9 feet tall and I started getting worried.
Sadly he had a couple of ribbons on his uniform shirt which JR zeroed onto. Whereas he subsequently started poking holes in the constables chest with "Where the f__k did you get those Fuckin things from". Now I was 'trembling'. I convinced JR and Dave to go for their 'relief'.
The officer asked what was happening. To which I told him we were submariners having an end of course run. I was using the car mudguard to stop myself from falling over like the other drunks. I also added "I'm driving these drunks home". He asked where I was going to deliver them. After he contemplated the answers, what felt like a year or two, his reply was "Drive those drunks home, carefully, and have a few cups of coffee at the Manly drop off before you head home. He then went back to his bike while I poured JR and Sausage Fingers back into the car.
Remember those good days guys? Do we want them back, or should we accept the present days rules and Politically Correct regulations? As for me, let's go back in time, I loved it.
The Clamagore’s years of service span three wars - WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. It was built during World War II and was decommissioned in 1975. It serves as a fitting memorial to the Navy’s submarine service during the Cold War between Western democracies and the Soviet Union and its satellite states. The Cold War was a defining period of international tension and nuclear peril, and the Clamagore offers a unique example of the rugged conditions under which some submariners served. Turning it into a reef would cost Patriots Point an estimated $2 million. That could serve as a down payment for its restoration. The Clamagore deserves any consideration it can get from the Patriots Point board, veterans groups and the state, for a plan that will restore the vessel and keep it at the naval museum. Don’t give up the ship.
South Australia SAA member Duane Hunter (ex USS Simon Bolivar SSBN 641, USS Archerfish SSN-678, USS Hartford SSN-768, USS Seawolf SSN-21 and USS Jimmy Carter SSN-23.) asks "Anyone know somebody that can make this BBQ for me in SA." I understand that ASC is looking for new work? Contact Duane if you can help?
Bruce Patch wrote "This video clip reminds me of Coxswain Bonnie Muir using that bloody first aid book on Graeme 'Drapes' Draper to carry out minor surgery. This made me laugh so hard that tears ran down my face."
My draft was OPOSSUM and my first run to sea was the Bay of Biscay. The submarine recruiting officer who assured me that you can't get seasick in boats was a bleedin' liar. To cap it off, we had to surface, cotter main vents and bleed the whole hydraulic system. Everyone from the captain down was throwing up. After a half battery replacement in AFD26 in Pompey dockyard (just beside the shot tower) we sailed on a North Atlantic patrol. I have never been so continually wet and cold in all my life. I may add that all this time Australia House was screaming for me to be sent back to Aussie (urgently needed) to complete my Part III there if need be, but my captain, Lt.Cmdr.Rob Merrick, kept ignoring them. He held back on giving me my exam until we left Providence Rhode Island to return to the UK so Australia House could not fly me back.
He then told me that OPOSSUM was heading down to Rio for the Mardi Gras and did I want to go with them. To my resounding YES, he contacted Aussie House to keep me on board. No go. Hi Rob, baby Greg and I were on the next available plane back to Australia.
The upshot was, when we arrived at Mascot, there was no one there to meet me (as was arranged), so I made my own way to PLATS. When I reported there, not only was I not expected, PLATS didn't even know who I was or that I was a qualified submariner. "Are you sure you are a submariner?" was the general opinion.
The supposedly arranged overnight accommodation caused a panic and in the end I was told to go out and find my own. (When I returned from foreign service leave, PLATS told me that they finally found my accommodation but since I didn't stay there the night of my return, I had to pay for it anyway). From there, things seemed to go downhill.
I remember abusing the Reg Office staff with a "You don't know who I am - I could be on Opossum in Rio right now, you bastards!!!" (You'll notice I have definitely mellowed with time).
PS: Opossum's captain, Lt.Cmdr. Rob Merrick, dropped dead on the after periscope soon after I left - ruptured stomach ulcer (that he hid so that it would not jeopardise his coming nuckie command). He was truly one of nature's gentlemen. He referred to me as "my resident Dink" and Hi Rob as "my Dink's little dolly bird".
Daffy Donald sent this photo of 'Team Waller' gathered around CMDR Gareth Marjoram during the 24 hour Spinathon held at HMAS Stirling Gymnasium for Ocsober 2015.
Gareth joined the RAN as a Lieutenant under the Lateral Entry scheme in September 2005 following 18 years’ cumulative service with the Royal Navy. During this time he undertook a variety of postings within the Service including the completion of Artificer Apprenticeship and a number of sea-going roles before being selected for promotion to the rank of Midshipman in 1991.
On entry to the he posted from initial submarine training to HMAS Sheean for familiarisation before taking up position as WEEO HMAS Waller in November 2006. During this posting, the platform emerged from Full Cycle Docking with Replacement Combat System and the upgraded Mk48 Heavyweight Torpedo with HMAS Waller being given the privilege of firing the first Mk48 Mod 7 warshot during RIMPAC 2008. He was subsequently posted to SUBFOR in January 2009 as the Senior Weapons Electrical Engineer Officer where he served for almost four years before being selected as the inaugural Senior Engineering Officer, HMAS Waller in November 2012. He was promoted to Commander in January 2013 and assumed the duties of Senior Officer HMAS Waller in August 2014. Commander Marjoram was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal in 2015.
Commander Marjoram is married to Deborah and has two teenage children, Rhys and Ceri. He is a Chartered Engineer and holds the rank of Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology. Outside of the Service, his interests include all sports, especially Rugby Union. RAN Biography
Service medallions will be presented to personnel by local commands, prior to discharge. The supply of service medallions are held by Fleet Honours and Awards which will issue them to commands as required. BZ Darcy!
PENSION INCREASE FOR VETERANS
Veterans, their partners, war widows and widowers across Australia will see an increase to their pensions from 20 September 2015 as part of the bi-annual indexation process.
As pension rates are calculated on a daily basis, the next pension paid after the 20 September increase (on payday 1 October 2015) will be paid partly at the old rate and partly at the new rate. The first full payment at the new pension rates will be 15 October 2015. The table below highlights the new fortnightly rates.
|Pension||September 2013||March 2015||September 2015||Increase since September 2013|
|Service Pension—couples (each)
|War Widow(er)’s Pension||
|Income Support Supplement||
|Special Rate (TPI) of Disability Pension||
|Intermediate Rate of Disability Pension||
|Extreme Disablement Adjustment||
|100 per cent General Rate of Disability Pension||
These are the maximum rates of payment and include any Energy Supplement payable.
Pensions are indexed twice a year in March and September. A full list of pension rates are available on www.dva.gov.au or by calling 133 254 or 1800 555 254 from regional Australia.
The latest notice of investigations by the RMA are promulgated for your information.
SAA National H&W Coordinator
|11th October 2015||Sunday||General Meeting||SAA WA||Venue: Fremantle Navy Club. For details contact Secretary, Paul Meakin 041 231 4361|
|16th October 2015||Sunday||Social Meeting||SAA SA||Games night vs Port Adelaide Naval Association. For details contact Secretary, Allen Francis 0402 078 959|
|17th October 2015||Sunday||ANZAC Memorial Ball||Naval Commemorative Committee of Victoria||The Naval Commemorative Committee Victoria, invite all serving ADF personnel, Australian and Allied Veterans, your family and friends to attend the ANZAC Naval Commemorative Ball 2015.|
|21st October 2015||Wednesday||Navy Week - Seminar||Naval Commemorative Committee of Victoria||See poster in SAA Events diary for full details.|
|23rd October 2015||Friday||Navy Week Bowls Tournament||Naval Commemorative Committee of Victoria||See poster in SAA Events diary for full details.|
|25th October 2015||Sunday||Mystery Wine Trip||SAA WA||Mystery Wine Trip through Swan Valley with Brian Gibson as Tour Guide and Driver. Seat will be limited to 36 so first in best dressed. For details contact Secretary, Paul Meakin 041 231 4361|
|October 2015||Sunday||RN Periscope Memorial||RN SA Australia Branch||Memorial Hill Fremantle|
Sunday, 20th September 2015
Snakes are on the move, seen three this week, only one in my yard though, a 2 metre python heading into the pumphouse. He lives in there and we leave it alone, stops the mice from making a mess in there and getting into the in ground water tanks. When I first moved to Bauple I had the tank cleaned out and it was full of animal skeletons so I have had screen erected on the inlets and access, but small animals can still get in.
I have been following the circus in Canberra with great interest and have just watched the announcement of the new Ministry. Not surprised that Defence has its first female Minister, she will fit in well with the 'new' image being enforced on the Services. Pathetic!
Bill and Jean were enjoying the evening by swinging on the front porch and looking at the beautiful sunset. After a few minutes Jean reaches over and knocks the hell out of Bill who goes flying off the porch and into the bushes. Bill slowly gets up and makes his way back to his seat next to Jean on the swing. He sits there for a few minutes and then asks, "What was that for Jean?" She replies: "That's for having such a small dick!" A few more minutes go by and Bill reaches over and knocks the hell out of his wife, who also goes flying off the porch and into the bushes. She slowly gets up and makes her way back to her seat next to Bill. She sits here a few minutes and then asks, "What was that for Bill?" Bill replied: "That's for knowing there was more than one size.
Pulling the Log together has been hard today, if it wasn't for a couple of large items I would have had nought to publish. The less email I get the longer it takes to pull together a Log. Well, having said that, I am off to have a Scotch and ice!
Take care and call a mate to ask "RUOK?"
Around the Traps
Bruce Patch wrote "Pat and I have been following Yoli's posts and sending our best wishes to our mate. We go back a long way having served on HMS/M Sealion running out of Faslane. Thanks for the update Sid - our thoughts are with them."
Guy Burton added "Thoughts and prayers for Fred and his family. A great bloke. Interestingly, he was the Master of the Blue Nabilla for a period of time which later entered RAN service as HMAS Protector, my Command for 2 and a half years.
Keith 'Boot' Hatfield responded to Thor's item. "I don’t know if you will remember me or not – I came across your picture reminiscing about time in Greenock. I think the ‘gentleman’ on the right of the pic - in the top hat - is Graeme Draper (ex LEM). I stood by the Ovens as Commissioning crew as an EM and sailed with her back to Plats, back in ’69. I have attached a pic of me (as I was back then!!) and also one of Graeme taken at my son’s christening aboard Ovens at Plats on Ovens’ paying off run – 1995. Great times in Greenock – most of the pubs we knew are now shut down, probably no custom now the Aussie sailors have left. I billeted with ‘Darky’ Pember and Drapes for a while - managed to survive may be a better explanation."
Dave ' Fess' Parker, ex POETPSM who served on HMS Finwhale and HMAS Oxley and Otway is after help. "Can any ex submariner tell me whereabouts of Lofty Ritchie, long lost best mate?" Send Dave an email if you can help.
I often get requests from those looking for assistance to track down old mates or family members and it is pleasing to think I have helped in some way. This week I was able to assist after receiving the following email "I am desperately searching for my family and just read on your web site the passing of my father CPO Peter (Sam) Serbert, late of Coffs Harbour district. I would be very grateful if you could give me any contact details for my mother and family." It must have been hard to hear of Sam's death over the internet but I was able to provide him with contact details so that he could reconnect with his family. I maintain a database of many submariners, not just SAA members and if you would like to be on my database, just let me know. All information is treated as confidential and not released without your approval.
Many thanks to Daffy Donald for keeping us up to date on submarine news on the Submarines Association Facebook page, saves me hours of searching and keeps YOU informed! I'm not a fan of social media, but it has its place. BZ Daff!
Graham 'Jumper' Cross has a new toy, a big red tractor. "Now I need to learn what all the bloody levers do, and what direction to push, pull them. I am spending the kid's inheritance, and enjoying it." I am jealous, it is bigger than mine!!!
Keith 'Boot' Hatfield wrote "Thanks for posting Richard’s (Coathup) photo from the Shrine. Appreciated. Captain Ken Greig also attended, as did Stuart Wilson – whose great grandfather served as a ‘tiff’ aboard the AE1. It was a quick but meaningful ceremony and I would have liked to have seen more members there, but hey – we take what we can get." He added "The Victoria branch should be getting their new banner in the next week or so – we will have a ceremonial signing of the old banner and give it a fond farewell. The blue ‘dolphin’ banner and the black, vinyl banner will be donated on permanent loan to the Holbrook Museum." PS "Your theme tune brought back memories of watching the b**dy movie over and over and over – and over on the good ship Ovens. Remember duty greeny could only operate the projector??"
As told by Michael Date
The Black Dog rides are about raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention. This year’s ride started at Old Petrie Town in Brisbane and finished at Uluru. I had done a decent ride last September through country NSW over a week seeing some old mates and just enjoying the ride. I had a bit of affinity with the Black Dog ride because I was angry that a girl in my daughter’s last year at school had committed suicide and the school had stuck there head in the sand and not addressed the issue or the students. This was the attitude of my generation which was not acceptable then and especially not now. I also had a mate that was going through a particularly ugly divorce and it really knocked him around and he did not want to see anybody or talk. He thought he would bring everybody down not understanding that we wanted to help him up. So what do you do? Nothing or something ? I choose to do something. I am not a psychologist or a person with expertise in this field so I thought I could raise some money and let the experts do what they do best. At least I would know that I have done something not just talked about it. What is the old saying “Talk is Cheap”?
So I had a chat with my wife Helen and she knows that sometimes when I have a bee in my bonnet there is not much anybody can do to stop it and usually I wish I had listened to others and not been a bull in a china shop. This time I got the OK with her behind me. So now I had to make it happen.
I had my old 1975 Triumph Bonneville which I had rebuilt and now was in great condition and sounding as sweet as a nut but the guys at the shop had said that if I took it on this ride about 8000 klms through the dessert I would probably kill it with the heat and dust. So unlike me I actually listened to them so I needed a bike and then to prepare it for the ride. I am a Triumph bloke and probably always will be so I had a look around and found a Triumph America 2 years old in Mackay with 1200 klms on it. I rang a mate in Mackay and asked him to have a look at it. It turned out that Frank knew that bloke and told me it was in pristine condition and the price was more than fair. So I paid for the bike flew up to Mackay and rode back the next day to Currumbin. The bike was great and I did not get a sore back so I thought that was a good sign. So cutting a long story short with the help of Hinterland Motorcycles and “Uncle” and Dave down there we got the bike where I wanted it to be.
So the 15th August arrived I had to get to Petrie by 7.00 am it was a 2 hour ride from my place and it was pretty cold and a lot of trepidation. In times like this I have found that head down and arse up whether it is physical or mental and this time it was mental. I did not know a soul and I had not undertaken a ride with others like this ever and usually I did things by myself.
I arrived at Old Petrie town and introduced myself to some of the other riders this was interesting because not only was there bikes of all different styles and brands from flash Harleys to a Honda 250 Trail bike and everything in between. The riders where of different ilks from health professionals to guys being treated for depression and everybody in between. The Queensland Ambulance Service must be congratulated for allowing the use of one of their ambulances to follow us and be there if someone got hurt but was also on call if anything happened. So off we went to Roma.
The first day was from Brisbane to Roma and it was bloody cold it took a while to get out of Brisbane but once the open road was found off we went and it was great. We arrived at Roma and set up our swags and tents and then it was off to the Lions Club at Roma who had organised a great dinner and a few beers and to talk with them about what we are doing and started the discussion about Mental Health with their members. We got to meet some of the other riders and friendships were starting to be formed with people that I would not normally have come across.
We left Roma for Longreach on a really cold morning I was shivering till about 10 am not only was it cold but the wind chill factor. This was a long day we were riding into a setting sun for the last hour and a half and covered over 750klms. The big feature of this day was the road kill coming into Longreach this area between here and Winton has had areas that have not had rain for 3 years. There was dead roos everywhere sometimes three deep it was horrible to see and the stench at times was overcoming. We stopped in on the Tree of Knowledge which was where the Labour Party was formed a few pictures and off we went. They have done a really good job on rehashing the tree but I wonder at what cost. Dinner was the RSL at Longreach who looked after us with aplomb food was great and the beer was cold. We chatted with many locals at the club as people wondered what we were about and I think why we made so much noise. After all there were about 50 of us.
We went to the Qantas museum and had a good look around what a great place this is and to think Qantas was started by two blokes after WW1. What a vision imagine the work and stress these guys must have faced. I did not have time for the Stockman’s Hall of Fame as I was told this takes a good 4-6 hours and we did not have time.
Black Dog Ride began in 2009 as one man's ride to raise awareness of depression, developing into national suicide prevention charity. Donate now at this link and help Michael reach his target.
We left Longreach and headed for Winton amongst the sight and smell of a huge amount of roadkill. I really felt sorry for these people they are really struggling. A short ride to Winton this place is the driest I saw on the whole trip drier than the desert in SA and near the rock. I stayed at a Motel this night had some washing to do. Youngie had arranged dinner at the Matilda Caravan Park we all got there and there was a really pretty young girl organising dinner and it did not take long for a couple of blokes to hit on her but to no avail the Fire Hose was bought out and the guys concerned were put back in their box. The food was good and there was plenty of it. A bit like Arny’s. Only a bit.
After dinner we had the resident Bush Poet start with her poetry and stories. She was great, a really fantastic time she had us in stiches and in awe of her skill. At one time she got a couple of guys up on stage to be part of the act. One of the guys suffered from a few things one of which was agoraphobia and depression his carer was a bit worried to say the least. This was the first time he had done anything like this in years; anybody looking on would not have picked it.
It was great to see and it showed that these situations with a bunch of people who are on your side can stretch what was thought could not be done to be done. The audience was made up of our 50 and about another 30 plus campers what a great night and we raised over a thousand dollars from donations. If you are ever out that way stop in for the evening even if you do not stay at the park the poets there are fantastic and a great education for young ones.
Mt Isa to Tenant Creek the roads where really good in the territory, so far the bike had not missed a beat. We had dinner with the Tenant Creek Lions Club the lady who is the president with her small band of helpers cooked up a fantastic feed and two deserts. She gave us a bit of a history of Tenant Creek which was really informative and then entertained us with her wit and had painted a really amazing picture of a road going to the sunrise showing that there is a sunrise even on the hardest roads we have to travel. This was raffled off and “Granny” won it couldn’t have gone to a more deserving winner.
Off to Alice where we met the Mayor who was very much appreciative of what we were doing and why we even got on ABC TV. In the morning we were given breakfast by Desert Cycles another bunch of great people. Then off to ULURU. Uluru is awesome what a presence I have been to a few countries overseas but seeing this was very different, nature at its most powerful. We arrived at Uluru and got sorted and then went back out for the big entrance. By now we had met up with other riders from all over Australia there was now 386 bikes which is a fair few to organise. The NT coppers where great they gave us an escort and shut off the roads so we could ride to the rock and all around it unencumbered by traffic. This was a great honour for the Black Dog Ride as I am sure that this is a rare occurrence.
This trip gave me a much better understanding of mental health issues we raised a lot of money for Lifeline and Mental Health First Aid who are putting a scheme into schools to train people to help kids. The friends I made and the people I came across what an amazing bunch of people. The best thing was the people we met in the streets and chatted about mental health and the people who came up to us and gave a donation because they had been through it or knew someone who had suffered and was grateful that we had helped to start the conversation. Are you OK????
The next two nights we had great functions at the resort and out under the stars the trip was great we raised over $290,000 so far and still counting.
I would really like to thank those that donated. Especially Neville, Anonymous and Norm (Our fearless leader).
Will HMAS Sheean gives them Curry?
After sailing over 10,000 km HMAS Sheean has visited Visakhapatnam, India preparing to exercise with the IndianNavy. The inaugural bilateral maritime activity, AUSINDEX, commenced on 12 September and will start with briefings and practical demonstrations ashore, before progressing to sea. HMAS Sirius and HMAS Arunta are also participating in the exercise. Indian Naval Ships Satpura and Kamorta will be participating along with other units.
Satpura, built in India, is a multi-role stealth frigate carrying a wide array of weaponry and Kamorta is the first of the four highly advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare stealth corvettes. The Indian Navy ships conducted a port visit in Perth during a visit by the Flag Officer Commanding the Indian Navy Eastern Fleet, Rear Admiral Ajendra Bahadur.
Dick Smith to build Aussie V8 Submarines?
Senator David Leyonhjelm brought a tumultuous sitting week in Canberra to a close on Thursday night by declaring the nation could only have "truly Aussie" submarines if they were made in Eastern Creek in western Sydney.
In a five minute speech the Senator suggested Penrith muffler shop owner "Ferret" could make submarine shaped vessels "for much less than a billion dollars" and was willing to cut costs further by constructing them out of aluminium.
He stated the subs should have furry dice made of Goulburn merino wool, noisy V8 engines as well as "bumper stickers, commemorating various B&S balls, and reminding foreign invaders to "eff off, we're full".
"To make it completely Aussie, I propose that the whole Eastern Creek Submarine Corporation be overseen by Dick Smith," the Senator said. "There are only two kinds of Australians: people who live in New South Wales, and people with a chip on their shoulder."
He joked he wanted a plebiscite to see if Ford or Holden should manufacture the engines and mocked fellow Senators, like Nick Xenophon and Jacqui Lambie, for calling for their states to benefit from some of the submarine building work. Full article at this link.
Defence News Links
Australian leader swap further dents Japanese submarine bid Reuters
Their unwillingness during the trip to commit to building the submarines entirely in Australia, where manufacturing jobs are a hot-button political issue, ...
Mr Andrews, who has been tipped to be dumped from the portfolio in the upcoming reshuffle - has supported a pitch by French submarine builder ...
'Black Hole' in Action: Novorossiysk Submarine to Hold Drills in Black Sea Sputnik International
Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarines feature advanced stealth technology, extended combat range and the ability to strike at land, surface ...
LINKOPING, Sweden, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Saab has started construction of the Swedish Navy's next-generation conventional submarine, the A26.
Saab begins construction of Swedish Navy's first A26 submarine - Naval Technology
China trying to undercut Germany on submarine offer to Egypt: Sources Economic Times
SINGAPORE/CAIRO: China is trying to sell two submarines to Egypt that are cheaper than vessels on offer from Germany, industry sources told ...
Full item in War is Boring Blog
By World War II standards, the German Type VIIC submarine was an advanced hunter of the seas. But one unlucky vessel of its class, the U-1206, sank during its maiden combat voyage after its captain used its high-tech toilet improperly. Yes, this really happened, and was an unexpected and tragic consequence of a real naval engineering problem.
For years. crafty German engineers had been busy developing what they thought was the next generation in undersea plumbing. While Allied subs piped their sewage into onboard septic tanks, German U-boats saved precious weight and space by discharging waste directly into the sea. But pulling off this latter operation posed unique challenges. The system only worked when the submarine floated near the surface, where the water pressure was low. One can only imagine the unpleasant work-arounds forced upon the crew when boats had to stay submerged for prolonged periods.
As the war — and Allied anti-submarine technology — progressed, submarines were increasingly dead meat in shallow water or on the surface. But by 1945, Germany’s toilet technology had matured. Germany’s top minds had produced a newfangled “deepwater high-pressure toilet” which allowed them to flush while submerged deep below the waves.
Advanced as it was, the toilet was extremely complicated. First, it directed human waste through a series of chambers to a pressurized airlock. The contraption then blasted it into the sea with compressed air, sort of like a poop torpedo. Now meet U-1206 and its proud 27-year-old captain, Karl-Adolf Schlitt. On April 14, 1945, Schlitt and his submarine were eight days into their first combat patrol of the war. The submarine lurked 200 feet beneath the surface of the North Sea when Schlitt decided that he could figure the toilet out himself.
But Schlitt was not properly trained as a toilet specialist. After calling an engineer to help, the engineer turned a wrong valve and accidentally unleashed a torrent of sewage and seawater back into the sub. The situation escalated quickly. The unpleasant liquid filled the toilet compartment and began to stream down onto the submarine’s giant internal batteries — located directly beneath the bathroom — which reacted chemically and began producing chlorine gas.
As the poisonous gas filled the submarine, Schlitt frantically ordered the boat to the surface. The crew blew the ballast tanks and fired their torpedoes in an effort to improve the flooded vessel’s buoyancy. Somehow, it got worse when the submarine reached the surface. “At this point in time British planes and patrols discovered us,” Schlitt wrote in his official account.
After taking damage from an air attack, the only option was to scuttle the sub and order the sailors overboard. “The crew reached the Scottish coast in rubber dinghies,” Schlitt added. “In the attempt to negotiate the steep coast in heavy seas, three crewmembers tragically died. Several men were taken onboard a British sloop. The dead were Hans Berkhauer, Karl Koren and Emil Kupper.”
Darryl Dick has sourced Lazer etched Dolphins 500 mm x 300 mm (or a bit smaller to fit into a postage bag) and Dolphin flags. Both items would be great additions to your bar. The price for the Dolphins of Flags are $90 including postage. Contact Darry by email for details.
In response to Gavin 'Spin' Dwyer question last week Arie de Rooy wrote "I was on HMS Otter for the trip up into the arctic, and have a photo of the Opossum in the ice. She definitely turned to the north and not to the sunnier climes."
Gavin then wrote "I found a pommie website for Opossum. I entered my request and received the following note:
- Individuals and Couples Private Sessions
- Group Programs
- Employee Assistance Programs
If you’re looking for extra support through a challenging time or you’re just ready to move in a new direction in your life. Bernie invites you to take the first step to creating the path towards the life you want.
Call Berenice (Bernie) on 0419 190 263 or email email@example.com
Bernie believes that although any form of change can be a challenge to an individual, it is also an opportunity for growth.
Tuesday, 15th September 2015 - Lest We Forget
Today commemorates the 101st Anniversary of the loss of HMAS AE1 with 35 hands on-board, 3 Officers, 15 Australian Ratings and 17 UK ratings.
THE SUBMARINER’S PRAYER
O Father, Hear our prayer to thee
For your humble servants
Beneath the sea
In the depths of oceans, as oft they stray
So far from night, so far from day
We would ask your guiding light to glow
To make their journey safe below
Please oft times grant them patient mind
Then ‘ere the darkness won’t them blind
They seek thy protection from the deep
Please grant them peace when ‘ere they sleep
Of their homes and loved ones far away
We ask you care for them each day
Until they surface once again
To drink the air and feel the rain
We ask your guiding hand to show
A safe progression sure and slow.
Dear Lord, please hear our prayer to thee,
For your humble servants
Beneath the sea.
"At the ANMM ceremony Vera Ryan gave a speech for AE1 descendants, Robyn Rosenstrauss and Peter Briggs laid wreaths (with others), I read the Naval Ode and the guard and bugler did their stuff extremely appropriately to commemorate AE1 and those lost in her. Ken Greig was also there and Geoff Anderson and many of the Sydney SAA members. The Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Mayers CSC*, gave the main speech. The details may be seen on the program for the event, which is attached."
"On Friday last the Sydney SAA held a service as usual for the anniversary or the loss of AE1 at the Gordon church where the rector is a former submariner. The next search for AE1 being organised by Peter Briggs and others is going ahead in November and the vessel and gear reliably only covers down to about 200 metres. If this does not succeed the next step is to apply to the Government for several million dollars to charter in a deep water vessel and equipment. By the way, AE1 Inc is now wound up, Find AE1 Ltd is doing the running for the search and, of course, the AE1 Descendant Families is strong and well with Vera and Robyn being active as the President and Hon Secretary."
SAA Historian, Peter Smith wrote "I and other members and families of the SAA attended the official unveiling of the HMAS AE1 commemorative sculpture and Memorial Service at the National Australian Maritime Museum (ANMM), Darling Harbour, Sydney.
The Ceremony, hosted by MC, Shirani Aththas from the ANMM started proceedings with the Mounting of the Catafalque Party from HMAS Kuttabul . After the sailors had completed their positioning, the winners of an Australian wide School Essay composition on “Remembering AE1”, two school girls Catherine McClymont from Annandale Christian College, Townsville, Qld and Emilia Rose Haskey, from St. Dominic’s Priory College, Brompton, SA read their winning essays to the gathered assembly, both their essays were greeted with enthusiastic applause.
An Official Welcome and recognition of the Traditional Owners was given by the Australian National Maritime Museum Director and CEO Mr. Kevin Sumption who introduced the artist Mr. Warren Langley who addressed the assembly on his ideas and why and how the sculpture came to be, stating at the time of loss there would not be any florists to run to for wreaths.
Following the artist’s address Ms. Vera Ryan spoke on behalf of the Descendants of AE1 Crew and the hardships that the they went through, as this was the RAN’s first loss and the RAN at the time was too inexperienced to aid and assist the grieving parents, wives and girlfriends.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer CSC & Bar RAN, gave the Keynote Address. After recognising the Traditional Owners he stated, he hesitated to give his address after hearing the two school girls excellent presentation of their essays, the Admiral gave the official take on the loss of AE1 and the interesting design of the Commemorative Sculpture. Following the Keynote Address the Naval Prayer was read by RAN Chaplain Murray Lund. This was followed by the wreath laying by various dignitaries including the essay winners.
The Ode was read by Dr. Michal White QC former submariner and current board member of “Find AE1”. At the completion of the reading, the Last Post was sounded followed by a minute’s silence, then Reveille was sounded.
Naval Chaplain Murray Lund gave Benediction, followed by the Australian National Anthem. On completion of the Anthem the Catafalque Party was dismounted.
The following piece was put together by the artist Warren Langley and gives you an insight into why he has made this Commemorative Sculpture as such.
‘…the ocean bed their tomb’
A burial at sea is often accompanied by a floating wreath of flowers. In 1914 in the war, it is unlikely that the men of AE1 were afforded that luxury. The concept for this work imagines an alternative, equally beautiful wreath of floating twigs and branches from the waters of Papua.
This work is about contemplation and reflection in both a literal and metaphorical sense. In sunlight, the polished stainless steel structure shimmers and reflects its image upon the water surface. At night a concealed light source creates a complex optical intrigue of reflections .
SAA New South Wales President Geoff Anderson wrote "On Facebook there are some good photos of the event at this link. Many submariners, wives and partners attended a most moving service. Of particular note was the 2 Fifteen year old Year 10 schoolgirls from Qld and SA who presented their memorial essay re the loss of AE1. Many thanks to the NSW Members who attended."
SAA Western Australia President Sid Czabotar wrote "We had a Commemoration Service at HMAS Stirling Chapel yesterday for the loss of AE1. We had 22 in attendance. The Submarine Force Chaplain Franco Siani conducted the service and I was MC The Service was attended by the CO HMAS Stirling and the Commemorative Address was given by Commander Chris Unwin the XO of HMAS Waller representing the COMSUBFOR. We had a roll call of the AE1 crew and all in attendance took part in placing of 35 yellow roses in honour of their memory.
Sunday, 13th September 2015
Hackers have been very active this week, both through Facebook and email. Be wary of anyone asking to friend you, send them an email first as there are a lot of clones out there. Email have also been targeted and if you get an email with a link, be suspicious. It may be time to start your email's title with SUBSAFE, it was very effective a few years back and gave some feeling of security when you receive an email.
Still finding my way around Windows 10, still cannot find some utilities that I had before the changeover. Pisses me off, I paid for them.
I have received two email this week from visitors to the Log asking why some text is in orange. I was a little surprised but the answer is simple. Text in orange means that the item is linked to another webpage or email address. Another thing that you may not be aware of is that most images can be increased in size for better viewing by selecting the image and clicking. Magic!
The ladders and trestles come out of storage tomorrow, time to give a couple of rooms a touch up. I have been going to do it for a few months now, but choosing a colour slowed me down. I would never have made a living as an interior decorator. I am cheating a little, paying a local to do most of the work, I don't climb ladders. He has done some work for me before and he is one of the few around here that I trust to do odd jobs.
Old Bill and I were having a beer and he seemed grumpier than usual. When I asked if everything was OK he said he was just tired. He said his sister Petal is a dog lover and had agreed to look after her neighbor's male dog while her neighbors were on vacation. The only problem was that her neighbour's dog was a female and "in heat'. She had a large house and believed that she could keep the two dogs apart. However, as she was drifting off to sleep she heard awful howling and moaning sounds, rushed downstairs and found the dogs locked together in obvious pain and unable to disengage, as so frequently happens when dogs mate. Unable to separate them, and perplexed as to what to do next, although it was late, she called old Bill, who answered in a very grumpy voice.
Having explained the problem to him, Bill told Petal, "Hang up the phone and place it down alongside the dogs. I will then call you back and the noise of the ringing will make the male lose his erection and he will be able to withdraw." "Do you really think that will work?" Petal asked.
"Just worked for me," Bill replied.
And that's your lot for the week. Take care and think of others.
Crossed the Bar - Coxswain Frederick 'Fred' Tuckwood
CPO Coxswain Frederick Royce Tuckwood died recently in Brisbane. John Culnane wrote "Fred was the coxswain on HMS/m Taciturn from go to whoa on the last commision... He joined T-urn in 1963 whilst refitting in Codock and took her back to the UK in 1966. He (and I) were one of the 5 original commissioning crew under the command of Lcdr Peter Hurford who took her home to Fort Blockhouse... He came back out to Australia after finishing his pensionable time with the RN and one of his jobs was as the "Tipstaff at the Queanbeyan court house.
When you and I met up at HMAS Harman when I was doing a course at Campbell Park offices in about 1978/79, Fred used to use the HMAS Harman Senior Sailors mess and that was the last time I had the pleasure of his company.. A great 'boats' coxswain...
Fred served on HMS Alliance, HMS Andrew, HMS Catchelot, HMS Scotsman and HMS Taciturn in Australia. He was also Chief instructor at the "Tank" prior to serving on the Taciturn and after his return to the UK.
Around the Traps
Geoff Anderson wrote "I also would like to offer my personal condolences plus also on the behalf of the SAA NSW. It is a special lady who stands behind a submariner and Robyn was obviously a very special lady. If we can be of any assistance to you please let us know."
The Victorian Branch of the SAA attended the AE1 and AE2 Memorial Service in Melbourne today at the Shrine of Remembrance. Richard Coathup sent this photo taken after the Wreath laying ceremony. Looking very smart gents! Click image to enlarge, but be careful, they are not a pretty sight!
One of my favourite old tarts, Loretta 'Lorry' Johnston, has been in hospital for 5 days with pneumonia. I only found out on Friday despite the fact that I had been talking to Tom earlier in the week. Slack mate!! Talked to her today and she is recuperating well.
Gavin 'Spin' Dwyer wrote "An article last week reminded me of a Buzz I had in England. I was on the HMS Opossum in dry dock in Plymouth Dockyard. Everyone was interested in the program after sea trials. Well, one day it was told that we were going on a "show the flag" trip to the West Coast of the USA, West Indies and onto Rio. What a great trip, will be able to Pele in Brazil. Looking forward to that. Three days later, the dockies came down and installed an ICE RAIL on the casing. I don't think we will need that in the tropics I thought. The following week I tore a cartilage in the knee. It occurred in the first innings of the 'test match' in dry dock 3. But that is another story. I did not do the trip as after the operation I was sent back to Dolphin. I was told another Aussie took my place. I would love to know if Opossum turned left or right once into the Atlantic" Does anyone know if another Aussie took his place or if it went on that trip? If so, please let me know.
Jeffrey 'Sol' Solomon has been active supporting the Legacy Badge Week in Tasmania with a total collected so far of $4,458.75 with some boxes still to be collected. Sol, aged 70, is an associate member of the SAA and a tireless worker for several charities and is to be commended for his efforts If you wish to donate just contact Sol by email.
Watch this hilarious Lord of The rings parody (featuring Jack Black) on YouTube, quite funny. Or for something a bit more risque, this 'cider ad' is worth a minute or two. Thanks to Peter Smith.
Youngsters don't want to serve on Royal Navy Submarines because they can't log on to Facebook while under the waves according to newspaper reports. I wonder if this is true of Australian submariners?
I caught up with Tony Vine and asked how the travels were going. He responded "Having a ball but on the final leg. Our house sitter has to move on on 28 sept so we have be home by then. Currently in Woomera we will leave the van at my brother Bill's house in Adelaide and head home via Canberra and Sydney. We have to be back in Adelaide in early November for his daughters wedding so we will restart travelling then. Our tenant in our rental place in Canberra has given notice and it looks like we will have to put in a couple of maintenance days on our way home. Shades of Quambone eh?" Tenants are a real pain, better off cashing in the property for beer coupons!
Eric continued "Having got that off my chest, I was wondering if you could assist me with my VRB appeal for Asthma by broadcasting an email for those who served on O boats up to 1990 and especially those who served on Orion or Otama. I am seeking proof by way of affidavit or report that whilst serving on O boats the crew were allowed and did smoke cigarettes, whilst dived. There is some argument that the submarine of today has efficient filtering thus less cause for concern since the DSTO-RR-0085.PR However, my aim is to prove, with the help of others, and the DSTO report,
- that the atmosphere was polluted and
- smoking was a contributing factor to the atmosphere being poisonous.
This is another case that demonstrates the importance of maintaining contact with old mates, especially if they have been having a hard time. Remember, "RUOK?" is a simple gesture that can save lives. If you can help please download this affidavit and send to Eric.
Submarine Association Australia News
We have published a flyer for the rescheduled 2015 AGM of the SAA Tasmania Branch Inc. I hope that we can get more of you along to this adjourned meeting than the one originally scheduled for a couple of weeks ago (only 6 members were available to attend which was clearly disappointing). The Flyer and Proxy form are available by emailing The Secretary.
After the meeting at North Hobart Oval we will have a BBQ at Sue’s and my home in Austins Ferry (about 15-20 minutes north of North Hobart). The Branch will pay for the BBQ (various meats, salads and dessert) so all you need to bring are your own refreshments (details in the flyer). Family and guests are most welcome.
To assist in planning and catering could you please let me know ASAP if you will be:
- Attending the AGM, and
- Attending the BBQ afterwards, and
- How many will be accompanying you (family and friends)
Please feel free to forward this to any other submariners in the state that you are aware of who are not yet members. I know of a few around the traps from reports and rumours but don’t have contact details for them.
Secretary, Tasmania Branch Inc.
0438 349 239
A senior citizen in Tasmania was overheard saying, When the end of the world comes, I hope to be here. When asked why, he replied, I’d rather be in Tasmania 'cause everything happens in Tasmania 20 years later than in the rest of the world.
Branch President Geoff Anderson reports that the Silent Service Motor Cycle Club (SSMCC) and SAA NSW Branch members were joined by Peter and Vera Ryan (descendant of AE1) at the annual Commemoration to remember AE1 and her crew. It was another fine service by Father Keith Dalby at St Johns Anglican Church Gordon. This annual event is held on the Friday closest to the date of the loss on AE1 on 14 Sep 1915. As Father Keith said, this will continue as long as we (the members) want it. A Toast (Tot) was given to honour the crew of AE1 and all submariners on Eternal Patrol. Select & click to enlarge image
North Queensland Branch
The next meeting is fast approaching and to that end could all members, whether attending or not, please email me with agenda items. Look forward to seeing you all on the 3rd October at Airlie Beach.
Secretary, North Queensland Branch
South Australia Branch
The SA branch is now incorporated as Submarines Association of Australia (SA INC)
President, South Australia Branch
Health & Welfare
On 28 August 2015, the new High Res (High Resilience) website was released which helps manage stress and build resilience. It features self-help tools, resources and videos to help users cope better with stress and bounce back from tough situations. The website also provides a personal ‘dashboard’ where users can develop a resilience plan, set goals and track their progress. It complements the High Res mobile app which was released earlier this year.
The High Res website is available on DVA’s At Ease mental health portal. The High Res app is free from the iOS App Store and Android Google Play. You can find the full range of DVA’s online mental health support tools on the At Ease Portal.
Ray Kemp attended a meeting this week and DVA stated they are not happy that people are expected to be able to continue Exercise Physiology indefinitely. However, they are happy for this to happen if your doctor states in the referral that your condition is CHRONIC e.g. Chronic Diabetes or Chronic PTSD. Derek 'Daffy' O'Donnell suggested an alternative is Mates for Mates. They provide free gym and more depending, where you live.
A Media Statement was issued this week by the majority of the National leadership group making up the Round Table of the Defence and Ex-Service member Organisations. The group have expressed their deep concern that the passage of the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 has been delayed in the Senate. The Bill introduces much needed reforms that have not only been discussed by that leadership group at its recent meeting of the Round Table but has the group's full support, including the support of their families.
The ‘Single Path’ for reconsideration of decisions contained in the Bill was recommended by the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements Committee and has received widespread support from the veteran community.
Defence Force Welfare Association
Phone 02 6265 9530 | Mobile 0438 282 284
It has been reported that Royal Australian Navy staff from Admirals to seamen on mess decks around the nation are tired of Mr Abbott comparing Labor's fiscal policy to a "drunken sailor''. "It is not reflective of where the Navy is today,'' one source said. The days of sailors coming ashore to spend their money in bars and bordellos have long since past according to modern day seamen and women. The phrase is one of the Leader's favourites and an analysis of his media interviews during the past two years reveals a pattern of regular use across the nation.
Senior Navy officers have urged Tony Abbott not to use the phrase "drunken sailors" as it doesn't fit with the image they are trying to portray of the modern-day professional. It is an image that he must thinks resonates with voters feeling the financial pinch. "It is not an image that is reflective of the current force or ideals.'' Former Chief of the Navy, Vice-Admiral David Shackleton, said "History tarred the navy with that term and you can't re-write history, but eventually they might think of something else. You always find the occasional idiot, but sailors do not behave like that,'' a source said.
Footnote: I can only add I am glad that I am not in today's modern navy, I would not survive. I enjoyed the lifestyle and camaraderie that I experienced 1964-1984! We played hard, but we worked even harder, and we took pride in the results of both. We did not need a Diversity Handbook for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual members, and only attended the Gay Mardi Gras as spectators, not participants. Those were the days.......
Michael Carew wrote to Dave Strangward and said "I had a chat with Roger Cooper regarding a working weekend in Holbrook. I believe we discussed this a few meetings ago. Roger said he would get back to us within the next few weeks with some definitive dates and have a bunch of tasks identified and prepared for that we can assist with. I will be taking down the old DSMR Plaques and a few other items so if we send out an "All Ship All Shore" out of session Email we can determine some interest in attending and members can clear some "found objects" out of the dark corners of their garages." We will keep you informed when a decision is made, but an 'expression of interest' is requested so Dave can gauge the response, please email ACT Branch secretary Geoff Burns if you are interested in participating.
It’s not everyday a submarine docks in Esperance but HMAS Rankin made a special stop for the weekend. CO, CMDR Doug Theobald, was born and raised in Esperance and couldn’t be happier to bring his ship and crew to town. Rankin submariners will be visiting local schools, sharing their stories of life at sea in the Royal Australian Navy. For the full story and photos follow this link.
Australia's most enduring maritime mystery - the loss of the navy’s first submarine AE1 - could be solved in November when a hi-tech search is mounted in waters off Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. The boat sank without a trace and with the loss of 35 lives 101 years ago on September 14, 1914 while pursuing German warships off German New Guinea following the declaration of World War 1. Her sister boat AE2 was sunk during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 without loss of life and she was found on the bottom of the Dardanelles by Turkish searchers in 1998.
Numerous searches have been undertaken for AE1 but the latest effort will use a multi-bean echo sounder from a mining survey vessel that the experts say has a 95 per cent chance of success if the vessel is located inside the 200-metre deep line.
Chairman of the Find AE1 group retired submariner Rear Admiral Peter Briggs said if the November search was unsuccessful his group would be seeking Commonwealth funds to mount an expensive and even more hi-tech search using equipment deployed in the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. “The equipment we will be using in November will give us very accurate bottom topography,” he said. “If the submarine is intact and inside the 200 metre line we will find it.”
It will follow a similar pattern set during the unsuccessful search by the navy survey vessel HMAS Yarra in 2014. Admiral Briggs said he was confident that the wreck and the 35 sailors were lying in waters near Mioko Island where local natives reported seeing a ‘devil fish’ on the day of the tragedy. If a later search is required using towed side scan sonars and unmanned underwater vehicles Find AE1 would require about $11 million to fund it. “This is the last big unknown for the RAN and AE1 must be found,” Admiral Briggs said. “Thirty five sailors didn’t come home and we don’t know where they are or what happened to their submarine.”
The anniversary of AE1’s tragic loss will be commemorated at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney on Monday with the unveiling of a sculpture mounted in the water at the museum entitled ‘the ocean is their tomb’. Its creator Sydney based artist Warren Langley said it was designed to evoke a wreath floating on the ocean following a burial at sea. The work is lit so at night the mangrove leaves, based on the leaves found on the mangroves along the Rabaul coastline, reflect evocatively on the smooth water.
By day the polished stainless steel structure shimmers and reflects its image upon the water surface. “My father was in the navy so I wanted to create something that was pertinent to the tragedy of the loss of 35 men,” Mr Langley said. “It is a very simple idea to reflect the words in the poem ‘the ocean bed their tomb’.” The full article and photos available at news.com.au.
by Mark Felton. Published by Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2015. Softback, 320 pages with photographs, rrp $27.99.
A fascinating book on the exploits of the XE Midget Submarines towards the end of WWII. It held me riveted to the story wanting to know the history and facts, particularly the raid on Singapore harbour, not known to me and I assume many others. The author has traced the history of the midget submarines after the great raid on Tirpitz in 1943 and the introduction of the new XE Class. The book is more than a historical record as it is written to include the human element and recounts the events through the thoughts and actions of the individuals involved.
From the selection of volunteers, training and preparation for a specific mission, we are lead through the eyes of the combatants in their thoughts, concerns and difficulties, especially when casualties occur in a hazardous and dangerous occupation. They were without doubt a brave bunch to volunteers who ventured into the unknown and continued when they realised the small and dangerous type of submarine that awaited them.
As there were no suitable targets in Europe, on 21 February 1945, HMS Bonaventure, and six XE-craft submarines (they were only 35 tons) were despatched to the Far East under the command of Captain W.R. (Tiny) Fell, DSC, Royal Navy and they arrived in Australia in April 1945. At first the US Admirals considered them ‘suicide crafts” and were not interested. The Flotilla was almost disbanded in May as no suitable targets could be found. Following the tenacity of Captain Fell, who travelled far and wide to postulate the capacity and ability of the Flotilla, two potential missions were identified as ideal for the XE craft. This included the undersea telegraph lines in the South China Sea along with two heavy cruisers at Singapore.
The first mission was to sink the heavy Japanese cruisers, Takao and Myoko, which were anchored in the Johore Straits, near Singapore. They had been damaged but not totally disabled. There were plans for an Allied invasion of Malaya, led by Lord Mountbatten, and it was felt that their large guns could still be used to threaten this invasion. The attack was launched from Labuan on 26 July 1945 with the XE craft towed to the vicinity in Johore Strait. On 30 July 1945 XE1 and XE3 penetrated the Strait, through the submarine net which was fortunately left open, and both attacked Takao which was severely damaged. XE1 had been delayed and due to time constraints attacked the nearest target being Takao.
The second mission was to severe undersea telegraph lines being used by the Japanese in lieu of wireless transmissions which could be read by US Code Breakers. The US needed to monitor the wireless transmissions in order gauge the mood of the Japanese with respect to accepting Unconditional Surrender and consequences from the use of the Atomic bombs. On 31 July 1945, XE4 (LEUT Max Shean RANVR) cut the submerged Singapore-Saigon telegraph cable near Cape St. Jacques in French Indochina and XE5 cut the Hong Kong-Saigon cable close to Lamma Island, Hong Kong. It is noteworthy that the grapple used to snag the cables was designed by Max Shean.
What came through to me was the tenacity and dedication of the combatants. Endless hours of training, where mishaps occurred and lives were lost. The thought of being enclosed in the small submarines for hours or days on end would not appeal to most plus the inherent dangers of the sea and possible capture by the Japanese. During Operations they spent up to 50 hours without rest. Special mention must be made for the divers who had to exit and return via the wet-and-dry compartment to not only lay limpet mines but also to cut the cables of either submarine nets or the undersea telegraph lines.
The award of two VCs to XE3 CO (LEUT Ian Fraser) and Diver (LS James Magennis) for his efforts in securing limpet mines to Takao, is testament to their bravery, in one of the last courageous acts of WWII. LEUT Max Shean also won a Bar to his existing DSO.
A well researched book that would appeal to naval historians, though I am unsure of the impact that the cutting of the undersea telegraph cables had on the end of WWII. This is up to others to decide. There are a few minor errors that submariners may find but they take little away from the overall brilliance of the story.
Reviewed by: Geoff Anderson, President – Submarines Association Australia NSW Branch
Enemies of the Mind - a book by Tony Critchely
Tony Critchley, a member of the WA Branch of the Submarines Association, has had his first book published and it is now available through Amazon online at this link. You can either buy a softback copy or download on Kindle.
The book has been described as a harrowing and emotional read, powerful, dynamic and psychologically believable. The book explores a soldiers personal life experiences through WW2 including his POW confinement. How those war experiences impact on his once happy personality and relaxed nature and how those experiences impact within his family.
Tony pays tribute to all who have experienced war and to all families and friends that experience the effects of post war.
Tony sends the following message to fellow members: "I have released my first book "Enemies of the Mind" and if anyone is interested in purchasing the hard copy and would like a signed insert please contact me by email."
Note, if you do read it, give it a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble (USA) as it is the reviews that help to promote a book, or it disappears into the cyber shelving. Get behind Tony and buy a book.
Defence News Links
Russian drone submarine would threaten U.S. coast; nuclear vessel in development Washington Times
“UUVs allow an [attack submarine] to safely gain access to denied areas with revolutionary sensors and weapons,” the website stated. “UUVs provide ...
Britain's Defense Ministry Red Faced Over Submarine Collision Sputnik International
The UK's Ministry of Defense has finally admitted after five months that a British submarine collided with a fishing trawler on the south-east coast of ...
Norway and Poland to Enter in Submarine Cooperation The Nordic Page
Norway has six submarines of the Ula-class. These are the only submarines of this class in the world, and they are approximately 25 years old.
Xenophon gives Tony Abbott a taste of his submarine warfare The Australian
Nick Xenophon brightened the second anniversary of the Abbott government's election this week with a submarine cake (pictured) and the message ...
50000 workers to build subs here The Advertiser
Up to 50,000 skilled Australian workers will be available to build the navy's future submarines and other warships, according to German shipbuilder ...
Russia sends world's largest submarine to Syria WND.com
(OSNetDaily) The world's largest submarine, the Dmitri Donskoy (TK-208), Nato-coded Typhoon, has set sail for the Mediterranean and is destined for ...
German company TKMS in serious bid to bag Australia's $50 billion submarine project International Business Times AU
U.S. Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine USS Hawaii is berthed at a dock at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, August 22, 2014.
Australian Submarines: Why Japan? Australian Institute of International Affairs
In anticipation of the Australia Royal Navy retiring its beleaguered line of Collins submarines in 2025, Australia has three options: replacing the Collins ...
Deep dive: JFD grows its global submarine rescue footprint IHS Jane's 360
Sweden's URF Mk II SRV seen with a mothership, the submarine rescue vessel Belos, during acceptance trials in June 2015. JFD undertook the ...
Two submarine for Bangladesh by mid-2016, says Hasina Newsnext Bangladesh
Mongla (Bangladesh) – Bangladeshi is expecting introduction of two submarines to naval fleet in middle of next year as part of the government's ...
Sunday, 6th September 2015 - Happy Father's Day
My success in the garden continues. The lemon and lime trees are flourishing and I think that I will be setting up a stall on the roadside next year to flog the crop. I bought 10 natives this week and will be getting them into the ground this week.
Had a few calls from old mates this week and I am sad to say, not all are travelling well. Isn't it time you made a few calls top ask a mate "RUOK?"
Good news from Michael White, the updated version of his book 'Australian Submarines' is going to be launched before the end of the year, watch this space for details.
Old Bill 's son Brian, a circus performer, went to an adoption agency in an attempt to adopt a baby. The social workers were doubtful about the accommodation arrangements and Brian produced photos of their 15 metre long caravan, the back half of which is a beautifully equipped nursery.
The social workers then said they were doubtful about the education that would be provided. "The circus employs a full time teacher who'll teach the child all the subjects along with Mandarin and ICT skills".
There are then doubts expressed about the child’s healthy upbringing. Brian said "Our full time nanny is an expert in paediatric welfare and diet".
So the social workers are finally satisfied, and ask what age of child they were looking for. "It doesn't really matter", Brian said, "so long as he fits in the cannon".
Till next week, take care!
Vale - Robyn Hamilton
Robyn was a much loved and respected Music Teacher who would not be put upon, especially a bumptious malcontent Ancient Mariner, in all of our fifty one years of married life.
When I look at all of the service medals that seem to be flying about, surely a Marital Support Long Service Medal would be appropriate. One major thing emerged from the horrific experienced over the last twelve months is, not only males consider themselves bullet proof but also our wives god bless them.
Keith, I am sure that I speak on behalf of the Submarine Community as we share your grief. No words can take away the pain that I know you are feeling, but the memories of the wonderful life that you shared will be with you for all times. No Medal would be enough for what many wives endured.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Around the Traps
Terry Wyatt surfaced after being deep for a while. "We sold our Cairns house and bought a smaller house in Bundy, so we have been moving from Bargara into Sevensson Heights (a flash name for a suburb of Bundy). This cold DRY weather is not helping my Mate Arthur (Arthritis) and it is giving me hell in the knees, on 6 tablets a day." I know how you feel mate, I ache from top to toes some day, roll on summer.
Dion Chandler reports that he had an excellent evening in Alice Springs with Tony and Cathy Vine. "A good reminiscing exercise of days gone by." Go easy on the kid's inheritance Tony!
Alan Mooney wrote "Just in London on holidays and visited Australia House. It reminds me when we use to visit UK for the tank and had to check in on arrival before travelling to Gosport. Also visited the Australian War Memorial. "
Ken Williams went for a ride on his bike last weekend "Some stats from the weekend. I left Sydney Thursday lunchtime and arrived back in the office Monday lunchtime. Sydney to Port Macquarie, Coramba, Casino, Tenterfield, Inverell, Bingara, Tamworth, Sydney:
Total distance 1,676.9km, Avg speed 78.6km/h, Total time in the saddle 21:36:09, Coldest temp known -1" I bet the bum was numb after that mate!
If you were unfortunate enough to have been in Nirimba in 1976 here is an opportunity to catch up with old mates and get some sea time as well. In February next year the Class of '76 will be celebrating with a re-union at sea and all former class members are invited to attend. Full details are available from Darren Watson. Be quick, expressions of interest are required by the end of this month.
Lloyd Blake recently sent an excerpt from a small history book available in HMS Dolphin bookshop: HMS Dolphin Submarine base. Author Keith Hall. The book demonstrated that Dolphin goes a long way back:
- Military use of the strategic Gosport headland location goes back to 1431 when King Edward III ordered the fortification of Portsmouth Harbour which included a fortress built where Dolphin is now located - called it Fort Block House. Haslar Hospital was built nearby in 1746 plus a magazine storage for Blockhouse artillery. In 1901 early RN Submarines were based at Dolphin which remained the Submarine base and training centre until decommissioned in September 1998.
Bob Emery (for SAOC West) wrote "Ahoy all - proud day for Canadian Submarine Force with HMCS Chicoutimi commissioning ceremony yesterday in Esquimalt Dockyard. Several scans of the commissioning booklet are posted to our online Scuttlebutt page (link). I was particularly impressed with Lieutenant Governor's address - pleased also to again see our good friend Commodore Luc Cassivi who attended from Ottawa."
Anne Bax posted "OK gents, I am trying to find homes for Gary's memorabilia as I get ready to move house within the area. Item one is a painting which was in the Senior Sailors Mess at Plats - it is either a horses hoof or a drunken view of the approach to the harbor bridge. Garry bought it when the mess was redecorated in the early 1990's.I have also found a series of very heavy plaques, I think they are brass, unpainted one per O boat plus a slightly smaller mounted version of Onslow. They are too heavy to post. Any takers?" The Submarine Museum has offered to take them but Anne would need help in getting them moved from Nambucca Heads, any passing through on their way South? If so, please respond to Anne's post.
John Hogg sent this video clip of an absolutely sensational Air New Zealand safety video. Now this is one airline safety-video that is NOT boring. Enjoy. For those who watched the Hobbit, Must have cost a fortune.
Daffy Donald posted this video of NUSHIP Da Nang doing a pleasant drive by - still under builder's flag. Looks good, and very graceful.
The Royal Navy’s submarine base at Faslane is to receive a £500 million investment grant from the Government. The cash will be spent on repairing ship lifts, sea walls and jetties at the base, which will be home to the nuclear Astute and Successor submarines, their crews and engineers until at least 2067. From 2020, Faslane will be the navy’s ‘Submarine Centre of Specialisation’ – all of the UK’s underwater capability will be located in Scotland. The future of Faslane as home to Trident had been cast into doubt as part of the SNP’s campaign to remove the nuclear submarines. Is the Hooley Bar still there??
"Over the years I collected model ship kits and stowed them away until I had the time, energy and space to build them. By the time retirement rolled around I had quite a collection - in fact my wife estimates if I build one a month I would have to live to be about 120 to work my way through the pile. Submarine models were particularly hard to come by but now the market is saturated with them, mainly German U-boats, but lately some of the more modern American and Russian boats have become available. Some years ago I managed to locate a company in the Ukraine that manufactures some of the more obscure classes as well as the mainstream models, and I now have a growing collection of submarine models on display."
"Next week there is a model expo at the Cannington Showgrounds and I have been asked to display a selection of my models. I have attached a few photos of some of my boats. They are mainly plastic and resin models which I have detailed with brass wire and plastic rod."
Garry asked "By the way, do you know what happened to the large model of an Oberon John Bishop made back in the eighties which was on display at the submarine school?" I am not sure, but it may have been sent to the submarine school in the West, does anyone know? If so, let me know.
HMAS Sydney (IV) will pay off on the 7th November 2015. Members of HMAS Sydney crew, past and present, have been invited to a decommissioning ceremony at Garden Island. For full details download the attachment.
Holbrook Submarine Museum Update
Newest addition to the Museum in Holbrook, Gordon Mann, wrote "Just a quick note from Roger and crew at the museum, myself and the amazing Cath are settling in down here and enjoying helping out with the museum."
Today we had the opening of a display "War at Sea, The Navy in WWI", this was conducted by Roger Cooper and the Mayor of Greater Hume Shire, Heather Wilton and opened by the Honorable member for Albury, Greg Aplin. Notable attendees were Ian Taber and Rod Peters (almost kept in line by the Charming Mrs. Peters) , supported by the museum volunteers who assisted Roger in setting up the display and others who are assisting the museum and the shire in various ways., all enjoyed a morning tea and chin wag after the opening and viewing of the display.
The AE2 control room section is being prepared for installation in the park and is scheduled to be in situ by years end.
Bob Tug Wilson’s Walk for Kids with Cancer
Carol Wilson thanks everyone for their support and wrote "Whilst it has only been five months since we finished the last event, the Walk for Kids with Cancer is getting ready to launch for March 2016. In 2015 we produced some amazing results and these are the final figures:
Bob Tug Wilson’s Walk for Kids with Cancer: 2014 - $47,000 with 99 walkers
2015 (this year’s event)- $155,000 with 421 walkers
2016 (forecast/target) - $250,000 with 800 walkers
So between 2014 and 2015 this event realised a growth of 229%. If we are able to achieve the forecasts for 2016 then this will show a 431% increase in two years! So as you can see we have a huge target for 2016 and I want to see if we can count on your support in 2016 similar to 2015. The date is 20 March and we do have expectations and needs for the number of people to rise to around 800. We will actually be launching official sponsorship packages this year for the event and have a whole range of sponsorship add ons that we didn’t have for this year which will be released shortly."
Submarine Association News
Alan Cooper is going, to organize an event during VETERANS HEALTH WEEK on October 10th. This will be held at Sandhurst Health Club, followed by lunch in the dining area. The staff at the Centre have a programme to suit our general age group and (lack of) fitness. All members, their family and friends are all entitled to attend, and the more the merrier. To lodge your interest please contact Alan direct by phone on 03 8317 4552 or email him.
Don't forget that next Sunday (13 September) at 1400 the Branch will be conducting a Wreath Laying in the Sanctuary to commemorate the loss of AE1 and the involvement of AE2 at the Dardanelles during the First World War. – See more at this link.
Medals to be worn. Please support this very important event.
0450 642 835
Today I attended with Poppy, a new RSB brood Bitch that arrived from England, the Service commemorating the Centenary of the unveiling of the Australian Soldiers Dardanelles Cenotaph. I laid wreath on behalf of Submarine Association of Australia SA branch. I was also invited as part of the Veterans Advisory Council SA.
Also in attendance was our member John Mills. I’m sorry I didn’t get to have a chat with John as I was being interviewed by the RSL magazine, apparently the anchor shaped wreath and dog got their attention not my good looks. He wanted to know why an anchor shape, my comment was we were 'first in last out'. See link for details http://anzaccentenary.sa.gov.au/event/australasian-soldiers-dardanelles-cenotaph/ or for more photos visit this link.
On Saturday night members Fred Butcher, Greg Boissery, John Simmounds and myself along with wives attended a cocktail party at Port Adelaide Naval Association. I would like to thank Shorty Blythe a skimmer for organising a great night.
At the October meeting of the Veterans' Advisory Committee I will be giving the VAC the history of http://anzaccentenary.sa.gov.au/story/the-silent-anzac/.
SA Branch President
The following information appeared in the monthly newsletter produced by SuperGuide, founded by Trish Power, author of Superannuation for Dummies, Super Freedom (a woman’s guide to super), and DIY Super for Dummies. Nearly 2m Australians visit SuperGuide each year. You can find hundreds of articles about superannuation (including SMSFs), retirement planning and the Age Pension.
Latest retirement deal! Lose Age Pension, receive Seniors Health Card: The stricter Age Pension assets test has now become law, although the changes won’t take effect until January 2017. The federal government predicts that more than 300,000 Australians will be worse off under the harsher assets test starting from 1 January 2017, with nearly 100,000 Australians losing their Age Pension benefits entirely. Read more
New income test rules mean less Age Pension: Recent changes to the deeming rules, extending deeming rules to superannuation pensions, can potentially have financially devastating effects on the Age Pension entitlements of new retirees. Read more
Age Pension income test change hits defined benefit pensions: With so many recent changes affecting the Age Pension, another significant change has gone largely unnoticed except for the thousands of retired public servants and former large company employees hit by the change. Read more
SAA National Welfare Coordinator
Final call for Rugby Jumpers and Flying Jackets and when they are gone, they're gone as I am getting ready for new summer polo shirts. The Rugby Jumpers are great all year round and look great. Feedback has been great, the embroidery is excellent, so if you are interested you can order at the Slops Van now.
US submarine returns from 6 'under ice' Arctic mission
The following article appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal
For two months they were submerged under the ocean's surface, much of that time far below a solid mass of ice. As they passed through the Bering Strait bordering Russia, they steered around undersea ice formations more than 30 feet deep. When they finally punched through the Arctic ice cap just shy of the North Pole, it took them five hours to break the ice off their submarine's key hatches so they could reach the fresh air.
What they found awaiting them was a cold, white world of silence, of complete isolation, with not so much as a bird in sight. Some of the smiling young sailors who emerged from the USS Seawolf to take in the scene decided to take their re-enlistment oath for another tour of duty right then and there.
It was, according to Navy Cmdr. Jeff Bierley, who commanded the sub, a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, an incredible experience not many people get to have." "There was nobody there but us," Bierley said of the Seawolf's August 1 trip to the Arctic surface, hundreds of miles from the nearest human. When you first open the hatch, "the thing that strikes you is, it's so quiet. It's completely silent."
The Seawolf has just returned home after a six-month deployment in which the crew had no communications with their families during the two months they were submerged — several weeks of which were entirely under ice. Fresh air wasn't the only thing the crew of 154 lacked. Though the sub went to sea with plenty of food, the commander said the fresh fruit and vegetables were eaten "in about a week."
So why do it, aside from giving the sailors aboard the thrill of their naval career? Why does the Navy regularly send submarines to the Arctic ice cap, especially with nobody else there, and no threat on the horizon? Bierly said the mission has important operational goals. "Our focus was demonstrating the ability to surface through the ice," he said in a telephone interview from his naval base in Bremerton, Washington. "It's an important operational priority to demonstrate we can operate in that environment."
The deployment allows the Navy to showcase "freedom of navigation," the capacity to maneuver a ship or sub anywhere on Earth, and to do so in a region, the Arctic, that is growing more important every year.
The Pentagon has long thought of the North Pole as much more than the mythical home of Santa Claus. Submarines have been conducting under-ice Arctic operations for more than five decades, sometimes completing exercises that include building "ice camps," or temporary bases, on the surface. But now the location has become even more serious for national security.
President Barack Obama makes the first trip of a sitting president to the Arctic Monday to highlight the region's importance and the implications there of climate change. "The Arctic is going to be a place of growing strategic importance. The Russians are active there," Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in March.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the same session that "the Russians have just taken a decision to activate six new brigades -- and four of them will be in the Arctic."
All this comes as the Arctic environment itself is rapidly changing and the Navy's Arctic Submarine Laboratory is embarked on a high-tech effort to understand what exactly is happening in this remote region. Through the Navy's task force on climate change and its Arctic Roadmap project, the Navy is using a large array of robotic technologies — including small oceangoing drones -- to study the atmosphere, the ice and the sea.
The military is already seeing the impact of a changing climate with rising temperatures and melting ice. "The observed changes in the Arctic region climate and the reduced extent of summer ice reveal the potential for the Arctic Ocean to become a more viable route of international shipping over the coming decades. Opportunities exists for infrastructure development and commercial investment, resource exploitation, fishing and tourism," the Navy said in its roadvmap report.
The Navy noted in the report that in the past century, average Arctic temperatures have increased at almost twice the global average rate. There are already important resources there to protect: The Navy estimates the potential value of hydrocarbons in the U.S. Arctic alone exceeds $1 trillion.
Submarines like the Seawolf can travel more than 800 feet below the surface, carrying up to 50 missiles and a mix of torpedoes and mines. The hope is none of it will ever be needed, but if the Arctic becomes more heavily traveled, and some nation poses a threat, the U.S. Navy plans to be ready.
I received this photo from Knobby Clarke and thought it should be passed on. "It’s something most of us never hear or think about. Women put their lives on the line too. We see lots of pictures of wounded male Veterans, but women Veterans get wounded and maimed, but never seem to get a mention, why is this? Maybe the Veterans who returned home with all their working parts should consider themselves lucky. You may need to take a second, closer look at these female Veterans. The first thing I noticed was a bunch of Beautiful Smiles. God bless all Veterans, it's a shame America doesn't show more recognition to you all."
Israeli releases declassified reports on ’68 submarine sinking
The families of the 69 sailors who died when an Israeli submarine sank nearly a half century ago have received all of the reports generated after the incident. The reports on the sinking of the INS Dakar on Jan. 25, 1968, had remained classified until Monday, when the families met and received the documents, according to the Israel Defense Forces. The families, who also were provided with a summary of the efforts to locate the ill-fated craft and discover what caused its sinking, reportedly did not learn anything new in the reports. The Dakar is believed to have sunk as it returned to Haifa either due to a technical problem or a collision with another vessel. A Soviet attack reportedly was ruled out. The British-made submarine was located at the bottom of the sea near the Greek island of Crete in 1999. The remains of the sailors aboard the submarine were never found. Footnote: I was serving on HMS Onyx when Dakar left HMS Faslane after her workup. She was tied up alongside Onyx and I think we were her host, I do not recall having any social intercourse with any of the crew. She was very heavy in the water, I believe that her fin may have been heavily armoured (?).
"It ain't my fault this time, Miss Russell. You can blame this 'un on my Daddy. The reason I'm three hours late is my Daddy sleeps naked!"
Now, Miss Russell had taught grammar school for thirty-some-odd years. Despite her mounting fears, she asked little Ranger what he meant by that. Full of grins and mischief, and in the flower of his youth, little Ranger and trouble were old friends,...... but he always told her the truth.
"You see, Miss Russell, out at the farm we got this here low down fox. The last few nights, he done ate six hens. Last night, when Daddy heard a noise out in the chicken pen, he grabbed his double barrelled shot gun and said to my Ma, "That fox is back again...
"I'm a gonna git him!'' "Stay back," Daddy whispered to all us kids!
"My Daddy was naked as a jaybird -- no boots, no pants, no shirt! To the hen house he crawled, just like an Injun on the snoop. Then, he stuck that double-barrelled 12-gauge shotgun through the window of the coop."
"As he stared into the darkness, with a fox on his mind, our old hound dog, Rip, had done gone and woke up and comes sneaking up behind Daddy. Then, as we all looked on, plumb helpless, old Rip done went and stuck his cold nose in my Daddy's crack!"
"Miss Russell, we all been pluckin' chickens since three o'clock this mornin!"
The real reason behind 60 Elected MP’s not seeking re-election!
Sixty elected members of the Australian federal government have now reported they have made the decision not to run in the upcoming next election! It's a very high number compared to previous elections. Some of them tell us that it's for family reasons, others for their desire to serve their fellow citizens in other fields and many other great stories to make us cry for them. Besides all the tear jerking that politicians have been giving about retiring here is something else to consider.
Coming at the end of 2015 a change in the pension for MP's ensures that the age of full retirement for an MP having served at least 6 years, will no longer be 55 years but 65 years. Thus any MP not yet 65 and who wants to benefit from the present pension scheme need only not run in the next election and thus will draw for 10 years longer a government pension of over $100,000/year.
For an elected MP approaching 55 and who is not running, that means about $1 million that he/she would not receive should he/she run and win again. One should also add the severance premium (between $80,000 and $125,000) upon his/her departure.
We understand better now all these sudden "family emergencies", appreciate the newfound desire to advance his/her career in a government job or a committee of some sort and have two or three salaries (and possibly two or three pensions).
This was posted on Aussie Stock Forum website and I have been unable to confirm its accuracy, but not bad as a justification to not run, eh?