shall grow not old
The Ensign is available for
any ex-RAN Member. Please tell your next-of-kin about it so they know we can
help and it can be used at your own funeral if you so desire. As a mark of
respect and remembrance, the person’s name, rank and serial number is
embroidered on the flag.
Non MEMBER TRIBUTES
Personal Message for the RAN Retired Senior Officer Community
I am sad to advise
that the Office of the Chief of Navy has been informed of the passing over
Easter of ME (Engineering Mechanic) Graeme H Sculley DSM in Ballarat after a
battle with cancer. Fellow HMAS HOBART shipmate of ME Sculley, Rear Admiral
David Holthouse, contacted me and requested that I inform the RAN Senior Retired
Community via my normal means - it is an honour and my privilege
to do so. I apologise for this late notice however I am aware that many Navy
colleagues who served with or who new Graeme are already aware of this sad news
and details of the funeral arrangements in Ballarat VIC tomorrow,
Wednesday, 15 April 2009.
The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane, and all the men and women serving in the Royal Australian Navy today, join together in paying our respects to a distinguished Navy Veteran and pass on our thoughts to Graeme's family at this sad time.
RIC (Punchy) GILLING
we report the passing of Richard Edward Gilling.
or "punchy" as he was more commonly known, was instrumental in the
formation of the Western Australian branch of the VLSVA, and was the founding
president, serving for three years in that position.
was born in England in September 1943 and travelled with his family through
Africa before settling in Australia, where his father was an engineer on the
Snowy Mountains Project. They later moved to Tasmania.
was from Tasmania that Rig joined the Royal Australian Navy, serving in various
ships and establishments including the Junior Recruit School at HMAS Leeuwin,
and HMAS Sydney in Borneo and Vietnam.
is well remembered for his boxing ability, holding championships in two weights,
his compassion for Vietnam Veterans, and for his work as a JP. He was a driving
force behind the gaining of recognition for Naval Logistic Forces in Vietnam,
having had many sessions with politicians on the subject.
passed away from a heart attack on the 2nd of February, 2002, during a visit to
the Phillipines, his ashes being returned to Western Australia for burial.
commemorative service was held at the Victory Life Church in Osborne Park on
Tuesday the 5th of march, where he had recently been ordained as a Minister.
is survived by his wife Ellen and son Ray.
LEST WE FORGET
DOUGLAS JOHN McPHERSON
FATHER - DOUGLAS JOHN McPHERSON
Thank you once
again for the use of the White Ensign at my father’s funeral. The navy was an
integral part of my father’s early life and he carried this interest through
to his later years. It was a fitting touch to the ceremony to have the Royal
Australian Navy flag on his coffin.
D J (Doug)
McPherson - Service No. 22895
joined the RAN in February 1939 and after basic and specialist training was
assigned to sea duty. He served on a number of ships both during and after the
Second World War, the most notable being the HMAS PERTH. He transferred to the
PERTH on 22/9/39 when it was involved in escort and patrol duties in the West
Indies and Western Atlantic. The ship then underwent a refit and engine trials
back in Australia prior to escorting the troopship QUEEN MARY to the Middle
East. In January 1941, the PERTH was involved with patrols that included
transport of troops to Crete and Malta. Whilst in port at Malta it was damaged
by a near miss in an air raid. During March the PERTH played a role in the
Battle of Matapan in which the Italian Navy lost three cruisers and two
destroyers. In May 1941 the PERTH assisted in the evacuation of Crete. It was at
this point that the ship was attacked by German aircraft and received a direct
hit in a boiler room. When the PERTH returned to Australia for an extensive
refit my father was transferred to another vessel. This proved to be fortuitous
for him as the PERTH was later sent to Java where it was engaged in battle with
the Japanese navy and was sunk on 1 March 1942.
My father had
another lucky escape when he was a member of the crew of the HMAS KUTTABUL. The
KUTTALBUL was at anchor in Sydney Harbour when Japanese midget submarines
launched an attack in May 1942. One of the submarines fired its two torpedoes at
the heavy cruiser USS CHICAGO. They missed the target but one of the torpedoes
struck the KUTTABUL killing 19 sailors. My father was on shore leave at the
After the war
my father served on other ships and completed his 12 years naval service on the
HMAS Parkes at Garden Island in Western Australia.
My dad had
many stories to tell about his navy service and is sadly missed by his wife of
59 years Daphne and his two sons Kevin and Laurie.
John Baker & Doris Eileen Baker ...
WILLIAM AND DORIS BAKER
with our motto “Care and Support” the Association again ‘took care of our
own’ with the scattering-at-sea of the ashes of Able-Seaman Steward William
John Baker, F5486, and Private Doris Eileen Baker, W45798.
weather, a group of family and friends, members of the Association, and members
of the Naval Association, gathered at the Naval Association Rockingham premises
to meet with Chaplain Yesberg of HMAS Stirling for a send off in the appropriate
Doris served in the Navy and the Army respectively during World War Two, William
seeing service in the Corvettes and Minesweepers from Leyte Gulf to Okinawa,
while Doris served in the Army Canteen Service in Queensland and New South
Wales, mainly in the Nowra and LIMAS Albatross.
occasion was made possible with a dispensation from Canberra for the ashes of
Army personnel to be scattered at sea, a first for our Association, as husband
and wife had both expressed a desire for a joint burial.
This was a
meaningful event for me as it was subsequently found that I shared ancestors
with the Bakers through four generations. We are grateful to the Navy for their
TRIBUTE TO DORIS AND WILLIAM JOHN BAKER
with Dad’ s wishes to have his ashes spread at sea in true Navy tradition, I
wish to thank all those people who have made this possible, especially The Royal
Australian Navy in Vietnam Welfare Association.
William John Baker, died on 1st January and on the 27th
January, 26 days later, my Mum Doris Eileen Baker (nee Hennessy) also passed
away. With the heaviness of a double loss, it has given me a sense of comfort to
have Dad and Mum’s wishes honoured. My Aunt, Margaret Pumphrey, relates that
as far back as 1945 when Dad’s brother Colin died suddenly, Dad made it clear
that his wish and expectation would be to have his ashes spread at sea at a
As true blue
Aussies, both Dad and Mum had the good grace to die on Public holidays so we all
had the opportunity to be with them in their final hours.
We are truly
appreciative of all the care, support and compassion that each and every one of
the members of the Navy and the Department of Defence has offered us for this
first ever joint service at sea as we wish Mum and Dad “A Final Bon Voyage”.
Appreciation from all the family,
Bob Bellear (Mr. Justice Robert Bellear)
It is with regret that we advise the passing
of our mate Bob Bellear, Tuesday evening 15th March '05 after a long illness.
Bob was a
Our sincere condolences to his wife Kaye.
Fare winds and following seas Bob
Judged a great Australian
social activist Bob
Bellear single handedly shut down Sydney’s major courts and the New South
Wales Parliament. Had he been there to see it, Mr Bellear would have been
greatly amused. But it was his death at 60, after a long illness that took the
halls of power to a standstill.
Bellear, the first Aborigine to be appointed to the bench in Australia, was
given a state funeral at the Sydney Town Hall that attracted dozens of his
fellow judges and a who's who of politics and society.
was standing room only as Judge Bellear's coffin, draped with the Aboriginal
flag and adorned with a wreath of red, black and yellow feathers, was carried
included former state attorney-general Jeff Shaw, boxer Tony Mundine, Police
Commissioner Ken Moroney, Governor Marie Bashir, former NSW chief Justice
Laurence Street, Senator Aden Ridgeway, former premier Barry Unsworth and
state politician Fred Nile.
Bellear's brother Sol, former deputy chairman of the now disbanded ATSIC, told
the gathering how his brother had risen from a humble start as the eldest of
nine children on the NSW north coast to join the navy and rise to the rank of
said that later, the treatment of Aborigines by police in the Sydney suburb of
Redfern prompted Bob Bellear to study law.
got sick and tired of seeing how Aboriginal people were treated," Mr
Geoff Eames, who in the 1980's worked on the royal commission into Aboriginal
deaths in custody with Bob Bellear, then a barrister, said that as a judge Bob
had embraced people of all races.
could a judge be better qualified to administer equal justice for all,"
Judge Virginia Bell, who said she first met Mr Bellear when he was studying law and had given him first brief as a barrister asked mourners to join her in celebrating him as "a great Aborigine, and a great Australian and a great judge."
was truly a lovely decent man," she said.
Judge Bellear's wife Kaye said she had lost her husband and best mate, and recounted their early years.
first few years of marriage were difficult because of the racism we
encountered, wherever we went," Mrs Bellear said. "But Bob always
had a good left hook and he used it many times in those days."
Bellear's coffin was carried through an honour guard from the Moree Boomerangs
Football Club, an Aboriginal rugby league club whose members he defended
against police charges in the early 1980s.