HMAS CANBERRA


This site is dedicated to all the Royal Australian Navy personnel who have served in HMAS CANBERRA

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HMAS CANBERRA (1) from the 9th 0f July 1928 until she was sunk off Savo Island on the 9th of August 1942.

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HMAS CANBERRA (2) from the 21st of March 1981 until the Decommissioning on the 12th of November 2005.

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HMAS CANBERRA (3) commissioning at Fleet Base East in Sydney, Australia in 2014.

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THE HMAS CANBERRA CRUISE BOOK FOR 2002

Wardroom

 

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Like every mess, its been a pretty busy period for the Wardroom, with the long stretches of Defence watches broken - like an oasis in the desert, by furious and fun filled periods alongside in Dubai. Our SNAXO (sensitive new age XO) ensured that tempers remained intact and I doubt there is a person onboard who will miss the TASO’s fervent assurances that we are the very “cutting edge of the slashing blade that is the Sword of Freedom!” -the SCO provided a moderating force at change of watch.

The age old battle of wills between the bridge and birdies wore on and wore thin until we finally decided that it was all too much effort and decided to just get on. The deployment certainly meant a change of pace for some, with the MEO and WEEO relishing their roles as “Hammers” and “Spanners” before Steaming Parties were relegated to the too hard basket.

The Doc got to practice his veterinary skills on the Ships Cat - “is euthanising a cat ethical?”. It was certainly a unique challenge for the Boarding Officers - especially Lowey, who is going to need a Phase two to show him the way to the Bridge and Sean “Did you get that on film” Leydon - The Date Smasher. Celebrity Boardo’s ’D’ (SBO) and DSO will get an honorary mention in the Boarding Party section. Gunz “Query Extraordinaire” - kept the Ops room in stitches and perplexed many a Master with his “what is the colour of your hoool?”. The Nav remained cool even when the PWO’s wanted to charge off everytime a tug or tender left the KAA. “Bridge Ops, It’s a fast moving target, no I’m sure it is a contact… No! It can’t be a buoy!”.

Spreckles was kept busy drafting mitigation, Jorgy was kept busy trying to explain why Cheque Encashment is not a difficult thing and how it will not be financing the “new buffed up, cut, gym junkie, Super HOD Pusser and his next WRX”. At time of writing, Tricky has managed to resist “Duff” for the entire deployment, provided you understand his dietary logic - “its not Duff if you eat it before your main course, eat it at the bar or eat it with your eyes closed”,. Philthy Phil kept us amused with his power point presentations, Red Gum ripoffs and pole dancing. ‘Mo’ takes the prize for the most emails sent and received and we eventually got used to his anxiety attacks - “But I haven’t heard from Nat in 12 hours!”.

Willo managed a “Black Hawk Down” in Kuwait, Ricey cut a dashing figure with her Midshipman’s Dirk and Smokey and Grubby managed to finish their taskbooks despite the hectic pace of Boarding Ops, burning DVD’s, sending emails and watching videos… Our compliment of Phase Fours - Geoff, El, then Dan and Kim and then Shane kept growing in number. The Phase Twos, Hamsy, Zane, Pugsley and Da Mid (a.k.a Gav) impressed us with their enthusiasm for Wardrooms security - devising a roster to ensure at any given time, at least two or three were ‘holding the fort’, with those off watch in 2 AFT.

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Warrant Officer and Chief Petty Officers Mess

 

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Over the past six months, the mess has been through some trying times, starting with Operation Sutton the “cold weather trial” deployment to the southern ocean. During which, we had our first exposure to the ducks true form and presence in the mess, he has since joining the mess, ensured all mess members have a truly memorable and rewarding impression of him (thanks for the drinks duck). Since leaving for Operation Slipper new friendships have been gained and several strengthened.

The CPO’s Mess like all have had some tension but in the finest traditions of the RAN the team continues to lead from the front. We have endured and overcome several different obstacles, from the issues regarding Force Protection and Duty watches, to the hardships of seeing the Chippy and Jimmy in the streets of Dubai bartering with unsuspecting locals. All have been endured and overcome with a team approach, ensuring a light hearted approach/ attitude is maintained, the comments below are memorable for the mess members who hopefully in the years to come recognize and get a laugh from them. -

Oh, How well we remember?
Steve Hazell / ever the quiet, shy, retiring type whom you would never know was in the room NOT. Once the scourge of us all as a man in GREEN now ships company and reducer of level of BS generated through-out the ship. El presidente, lord of the gavel and king of the court every night before coming alongside. Happiest when he was upsetting others - it doesn’t matter what rank or what category - stand by! John / The Chippy commended not only by MC, but also by his mess mates for the attempt to enter every shop in the province of Dubai to look, look, look and barter for anything.

While others have a refreshing drink the chippy’s out and about completing their shopping. Last seen in any country in a floral shirt and a backpack. Steve the fire on a stick Tiff still reminiscing with the Rowdy about the days of old and those steam driven dinosaurs called DDG’s (last one seen having that sinking feeling). Steve regularly used his computer prowess to ensure the LAN team was gainfully employed for the entire trip.

Tony the CPOETP “terror of Dubai, 20 years of not so undetected crime” keeping the ETP tradition role and name to the end of a mighty career on his last deployment before civvy life. “Honest, I fell asleep Graham / Jimmy “Crew resting Birdy” working hard at maintaining 50 hours of flying per month for the deployment. . ‘ ZZZZZZZ’ “Did someone pipe flying stations, didn’t we do that the other day. Also known as the chippy’s wing man / shopping offsider, who after visiting Dubai now keeps a closer eye on his NEW wallet.


Simon / Buffer second in the history of a FFG CPOB to have to drive a ships boat. King of the outdoor Barbeque, the steel deck sizzle, the 44 blaze, and catcher of shaving cream from punctured cans. Voted, as the leader of the section most likely to ensure DMS does not go broke. Rodney / Rod the SN, who went from the man we all new to about half of that man winning the CPO’s mess stakes by a couple of lost kilos.

Main Mission onboard was to avoid roaming sky pilots although I believe that one had some interesting digital photo’s. Dave / “Snake” double three to nine still brings merriment to the mess for unknown reasons considering he was the mess treasurer “Crime is at an all time high” and there’s Dave ensuring the pot is stirred.
Richard the Rowdy / ever quiet medic always on call with tricorder, most interesting picture books or advice upon the car models, the destroyer of land and territory in Dark Reign 2. “Band aids are us, the mechanic is ready.

No ship is ever as good as your last ship. Unless of course it was a DDG. Fight and Flourish. Richard the Rowdy when not attending to the old and ailing chiefs was dreaming of steam driven fenders and after our visit to Kuwait received special acknowledgement as the ships vet. Andy the ‘LAN man” Mannion, “Roses only, dial a basket, never heard of them” “Psssst” Tab put those e mail addresses on the blocked list. The instigator of footy talk and many a count back for the footy tipping competition.

Footy tipping results, flower deliveries possibly dodgy but he and his team diligently kept the emails flowing. Steve “Eddy the C rate” considered by many to be the dark side of the C rate community keeping the mess amused during trying times. Should work for Better Homes and gardens due to his love for water features, “From godliness to Evil in one short posting cycle”
John / Griff the silent until a cause is found, ever vigilant / note taker, more than likely checking to see if I have used real words in this SPEAL. Owner of the best “homing” beacon in the mess, man on a mission don’t stand in the way.

Griff aided by big Ray pushed Andy the Lan man to limits by subscribing everything he could in relaxing moment at an internet café in Dubai (York Hotel).Raymond / Big Ray aka the Shrek, out of bed early (unsual for a greenie) and attending PT (for at least 7 days), then into the mess and a hearty breakfast quoting “the PTI told me breakfast was the most important meal of the day and I should ensure it is a hearty meal”, (I’m sure Ray heard part of it but then substituted Healthy for hearty) As the big guy worked out so did the galley trying to ensure the food available would be enough to satisfy the big guys hunger. “Where has my nest gone” (sob) Big Ray ensured all mess members maintained their brew whipping skill, by averaging a 20:1 brew making ratio Brett / Pricky Reed - PT junkie and staunch QLD supporter although looking for somewhere to hide after the first game.

Not saying he’s old, but I don’t think Noah had as many animals on the ark as Pricky has at his place. Known for trying to wear out the equipment in the gym and trying to break The Chad. A man although in denial enjoys getting in photo’s, Four courts- 4 guilty verdicts what can we say thanks for the drinks.

The Chad master of the indoor and dark room personnel, “All he wants to do is be able to hurt / break Pricky in this gym just once”. When things went astray in the ZOO (OPS Room), Look it’s a bird, no a plane, no its “SUPER CHAD” Scott aka “The Wood Duck” aka “the Duck” aka “Quack” man of many identities (ssssSSSH), diligently returning from Pt early obviously on a day with no running, interval training or beep tests. Has tendency to hop on the Shrek nest when ever possible. Known also as the passenger, flouter of mess rules and opportunist of all occasions. Tried on a number of times to take out various mess members with missiles of various descriptions from darts to low flying chocolates.

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Petty Officers Mess

 

 

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Over the last 12 months the team as we know it has been together in our home away from home, living in each others pockets sleeping in close quarters sharing cheese platters, beers, body odour, shopping sprees and enjoying Arabian Nights out on the turps. I have never met a more tolerable, respected or professional bunch of Petty Officers through out my short naval career. As in every mess there are people who stand out for one thing or another, like a twitch, amount of time spent in the mess, body hair, no hair, computer nerd, computer hog, water baby and a sleeping? Through all our differences the mess has pulled together to achieve what ever was required, during our jollies, from the chill of Down South to the heat of the Arabian Gulf.

The Prime Minister wanted to include a word in to the pre-amble of the constitution to try and describe what it was to be Australian. That word is Mateship. No matter what your personal feelings were for a fellow mess member everyone watched each other’s back and were there to lend a hand or give support as required. The spirit, tolerance and experience of each Petty Officer largely helped CANBERRA achieve its goals and pull through some very tough and trying times. With out my fellow mess members, this ship would not have shined so brightly in the gloom of the world’s affairs.

Reflecting on the year that has been CANBERRA has achieved a lot leaving an everlasting mark on each of us as we have left a mark on each other.

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2 Forward Mess

 

 

 

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Like every mess, its been a pretty busy period for the Wardroom, with the long stretches of Defence watches broken - like an oasis in the desert, by furious and fun filled periods alongside in Dubai. Our SNAXO (sensitive new age XO) ensured that tempers remained intact and I doubt there is a person onboard who will miss the TASO’s fervent assurances that we are the very “cutting edge of the slashing blade that is the Sword of Freedom!” -the SCO provided a moderating force at change of watch.

The age old battle of wills between the bridge and birdies wore on and wore thin until we finally decided that it was all too much effort and decided to just get on. The deployment certainly meant a change of pace for some, with the MEO and WEEO relishing their roles as “Hammers” and “Spanners” before Steaming Parties were relegated to the too hard basket. The Doc got to practice his veterinary skills on the Ships Cat - “is euthanising a cat ethical?”.

It was certainly a unique challenge for the Boarding Officers - especially Lowey, who is going to need a Phase two to show him the way to the Bridge and Sean “Did you get that on film” Leydon - The Date Smasher. Celebrity Boardo’s ’D’ (SBO) and DSO will get an honorary mention in the Boarding Party section. Gunz “Query Extraordinaire” - kept the Ops room in stitches and perplexed many a Master with his “what is the colour of your hoool?”. The Nav remained cool even when the PWO’s wanted to charge off everytime a tug or tender left the KAA. “Bridge Ops, It’s a fast moving target, no I’m sure it is a contact… No! It can’t be a buoy!”.

Spreckles was kept busy drafting mitigation, Jorgy was kept busy trying to explain why Cheque Encashment is not a difficult thing and how it will not be financing the “new buffed up, cut, gym junkie, Super HOD Pusser and his next WRX”. At time of writing, Tricky has managed to resist “Duff” for the entire deployment, provided you understand his dietary logic - “its not Duff if you eat it before your main course, eat it at the bar or eat it with your eyes closed”,. Philthy Phil kept us amused with his power point presentations, Red Gum ripoffs and pole dancing. ‘Mo’ takes the prize for the most emails sent and received and we eventually got used to his anxiety attacks - “

But I haven’t heard from Nat in 12hours!”. Willo managed a “Black Hawk Down” in Kuwait, Ricey cut a dashing figure with her Midshipman’s Dirk and Smokey and Grubby managed to finish their taskbooks despite the hectic pace of Boarding Ops, burning DVD’s, sending emails and watching videos…

Our compliment of Phase Fours - Geoff, El, then Dan and Kim and then Shane kept growing in number. The Phase Twos, Hamsy, Zane, Pugsley and Da Mid (a.k.a Gav) impressed us with their enthusiasm for Wardrooms security - devising a roster to ensure at any given time, at least two or three were ‘holding the fort’, with those off watch in 2 AFT.

Well what can I tell you about 2FWD or “The Chicks Mess” as we call it. From the youngest of 19 to our eldest of…… well that would be rude of me to reveal a ladies age. We have shared lots of thing over the last 12 months, lots of tears, smiles and frowns.For a lot of girls it was their first deployment, let alone operational deployment. They had never lived in a mess deck shared with 29 other females, but they adapted.

We all settled into a routine in the mess and a close knit community was formed. The girls were always eagerly awaiting the Desert Duck to see what our loved ones had sent us. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday’s were like Christmas for us. Many a melted and squashed Tim Tam was shared around the mess, whilst discussing our next port run and the best shopping places. Or just unwinding after a day at work.

One of the funniest things that happened was the phantom forming of the “Top 10” list. This is a list of the supposed best looking fellas on the ship. The thing that we found so amusing about this list is that none of the girls ever remember writing it up. But we received constant reports from the guys as to who was on the list.

We all had a giggle at the paranoia of those precious egos of our male counterparts. After living so closely with 29 other girls it will take time to get used to not having them around when we get home. Not having that support network there in our times of need. You know when you are going out and you realise that your lippy doesn’t match your nail polish. Some one else was bound to have the color you needed. We will miss that help that was on call 24/7.

But most off all we will miss the friendship that has developed into something akin to sisterhood.

LS S.A.O’DONNELL & LS R.FROMENE

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3 Forward Mess

 

 

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Far out! What a trip! We sailed from Stirling and immediately started to settle into our new home away from home for the next 5 ½ months. Our first big port to get a bit of R & R was in Bahrain. This proved to be quite an impressive and joyful port. The boys had a good time ashore at the Desert Dome and with leave ending at 1am a few of the boys decided to bring the party back to the mess and continue on from there. Some quite amusing photos came from that night, and for anyone who saw them, that were not from the mess, you could have sworn that the boys were “batting for the other team”, or trying to impersonate one of those “Boy Bands”.

After Bahrain, our next port and 3 more times after that, was Dubai. With the approval of over night leave, this was a good chance for some of the boys to let their hair down and relax. We all got up to something different in Dubai, ranging from having a “few” quiet ales to shopping for electrical goods or lap-top PC’s. The guys played the usual game of black catting each other on how much they could get their electrical goods for and who got the best price. We also got around to “entertaining” the locals at many of the nightclubs.

From all the good times that were had, there was couple of guys that suffered a gyro failure as to were they actually were and which way was up. Among this list was, Dolly with a technicolour yawn in the FCU drain, Marty and his nuggets. “Smouch” (you guess which one) and the improvised urinal, Chrimesy mistaking the floor for his bunk a few times and Denver just not being able to make into his bunk at all, even though it was a bottom one.

During all this we went alongside in Kuwait for a few days and it was an interesting stopover. Although being a little bit expensive and having a leave curfew of 11pm, the guys’ still managed to get up to some good times and sights. Unfortunately, this was the time that saw the whole ship have a 100% search for illegal alcohol stowed in places unknown. It seemed that some how, our mess ended up winning the stakes of “having the most bottles handed in”. Some of the guys didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but in the end, no one ended up getting into trouble and all was well.

At the time of writing this we were still in the AO, and were about to leave to head to the Maldives and Phuket on our way home. If you think that we got up to some mischief before, then I am sure that the stories that come from Phuket will be just as amusing.

Cheers and Beers

Dave Powles

3 FWD LHOM

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3 Aft Mess

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