Naval Career 1975-1999
Lee Webster was born in North Fremantle, Western Australia on the 26th of October 1959, Lee completed Year 10 at Balga Senior High School and joined the Royal Australian Navy at the age of 15 Years 7 Months as a Junior Recruit at HMAS Leeuwin on the 14 July 1975.
He completed his Radar Plot training at HMAS Watson in February 1977 and joined the Aircraft Carrier HMAS Melbourne for Exercise Rimpac 77 and the Queen's Jubilee Deployment, Lee went on to serve in HMAS Ship's Moresby, Canberra and Swan.
Lee also served at various shore postings including HMAS Leeuwin, HMAS Watson, HMAS Harman, HMAS Stirling and the Australian Defence Force Academy. During his career he received two Commanding Officer Commendations, a Letter of Commendation from RADM D.J. Martin RAN and was awarded a Australia Day Medallion in 1999.
He discharge from the Permanent Navy as a Chief Petty Officer in 1999 and is a active Naval Reservist.
Lee was blessed to serve in HMAS Canberra and considers it to be the Highlight of his Naval Career, he was a member of the HMAS Canberra Commissioning Crew and went on to serve in the ship on 3 postings where he spent 10 years at sea.
He served in every rank on the ship from Able Seaman to Chief Petty Officer and left the ship for the final time as a Chief Petty Officer Combat Systems Manager on Anzac Day 1997. He served in HMAS Canberra over the following periods of time 1980-1984, 1986-1989, 1995-1997.
Lee was a young 20 year old Able Seaman serving at HMAS Leeuwin when he was posted to the United States to join NUSHIP Canberra and under go Combat Systems training at Damneck in Virginia , his wife Carol and his daughter Kristy arrived in Los Angeles on the 28th September 1980. Lee was a part of the commissioning ceremony for HMAS Canberra on the 21 March 1981 and was in the Guard of Honour.
Carol and Lee lived in Huntington Beach California until February 1982, his son Tyson was born in the US and has duel US and Australian citizenship, 23 other Australian children were born to HMAS Canberra crew members over this period. After delivering the Ship to Australia heI was a member of the Colour Party for the 1982 Freedom on the city Ceremony the ship remained in Australian waters until being deployed to the Indian Ocean in 1983, he posted off the ship and joined HMAS Harman in 1984.
Lee rejoined HMAS Canberra in 1986 as she was coming out of refit and participate in the Freedom of the City in 1986, worked the ship up and deployed on a South East Asian Deployment in 1987. The ship was very busy in 1988 with the Australian Bicentennial Celebrations, it was a very exciting time escorting the Tall Ships from Hobart to Sydney, being the centre piece for the Australia Day Celebrations in Sydney Harbour and escorting Her Majesties Royal Yacht Britannia with HRH Queen Elizabeth the second embarked. Lee departed the ship and was posted to HMAS Watson in 1989.
Lee rejoined HMAS Canberra in 1995 after she was home based in Western Australia, the ship deployed South East Asian in 1996 and Lee departed the ship for the final time in 1997, Lee was later employed as a civilian Safety Advisor on the ship in 2003 during a Refit conducted at Fleet Base West.
He organised the first Commissioning Crew Reunion in 2001 at Fleet Base West to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Ships Commissioning, he also organised the second Reunion in 2005 for the Decommissioning of the ship in Western Australia, on both occasions the Ships Company and Commanding Officers extended a wonderful welcome to the Commissioning Crew.
In 2009 Lee with the assistance of a long term HMAS Canberra man Brian Brennan organised a Reunion for any former serving members of HMAS Canberra for the Scuttling of the ship in Geelong Victoria. Lee with the assistance of his wife Carol organised the 30th Anniversary Reunion for all former HMAS Canberra Ships Company in Queensland in 2012.
Lee thoroughly enjoyed his time being associated with HMAS Canberra, he met some wonderful people whilst serving in the ship, the CO's Officers and Crew have enjoyed a great reputation and since leaving the Navy it has been equally rewarding for him organising the Reunions with the people I he has met in and outside the Navy and is very grateful for all the support and encouragement he has received over the past 12 years.
Lee "Bickies" Webster
Post Naval Career
Lee retired from the Navy in 1999 and went on to pursue a career in Health and Safety, Lee was employed from 2003 - 08 by a Canadian based company as the Global Practice Director, Health and Safety Training.
Lee is currently the General Manager Asia Pacific for Optimus Seventh Generation providing Health and Safety services to the Mining, Gas and Oil and Construction Industries.
He holds a Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Development from Curtin University, Western Australia.
Lee recently had the honour of being elected President of the HMAS CANBERRA HMAS SHROPSHIRE Association (WA Division) in 2012 and has been busy reactivating the Association in Western Australia.
In addition he has been acting in a unofficial capacity as the HMAS Canberra Website developer, Reunion Coordinator, Historian, spokesperson and point of contact for ex serving members of the crew.
Carol and Lee are happily living in Kennedy Bay, Western Australia close to their 3 children's Families with 3 wonderful grandchildren to enjoy.