Aug 04

Fraser Coast Naval Association



The Naval Association of Australia is committed to four important principles:

Care (i.e. the welfare of our members), Commemoration, Camaraderie, and we assist our local naval Cadet units.


FRASER COAST Sub-section

The Naval Association of Australia is committed to four important principals;

Care (i.e. the welfare of our members), Commemoration, Camaraderie, and we assist our local naval Cadet units.

Care: We endeavour to visit any of our members/family who might be in hospital, or disadvantaged locally, and use our network to provide support to those who might be in hospital further afield. We pay home visits to members who are alone, and unable to easily get out and about.

Commemoration: In the past quarter, there being no scheduled RSL Sub-branch commemorations, we have taken the opportunity to remember the 82 Voyager crew lost in the collision with HMAS Melbourne on 10th February, 1964 (the number of lives lost included one civilian worker).

This was followed on the 1st March with a service to remember the 1,046 sailors and US marines lost in the Battle of Sunda Strait (1942), which involved the cruisers HMAS Perth and USS Houston, against a vastly superior Japanese naval force. Another 106 were to die as P.O.W.’s. Both memorial services were held at the cenotaph at Freedom Park, Pialba.

Camaraderie: We are ramping-up our social calendar for this year, starting with a member’s meet and greet BBQ which was held at ESA Park, Point Vernon on Sunday 4th March. A total of 43 nominated including existing members, newly joined members, and a good number of potential members in the mix. The weather was fine and sunny and a good time was had by all!

Cadets:  There is not a great deal to report on TS Krait, due to its’ shut down over the Christmas holiday break. It was very pleasing to see the unit’s C.O. and X.O. join the Sub-section as full members.  

The Sub-section AGM was held on the 11th February, with the following executive members elected;

  • President: Peter McDermott
  • Vice president: Steve Zahra
  • Secretary: Rod Beckinsale
  • Treasurer: Jim Dellar.
  • Junior vice president: Marty Price

We welcome Marty and Jim to our executive committee.

The Fraser Coast Sub-section continue to meet at the Hervey RSL Boardroom on the 2nd Sunday of the month (Except January). Application for membership is invited; please contact Peter McDermott on 0409 260 255, or email pmcd@southernphone.com.au

Or Rod Beckinsale on 0409 625 570, or email rbeckins@bigpond.net.au


Contribution by Peter McDermott

March 2018


Care: We endeavour to visit any of our members/family who might be in hospital, or disadvantaged locally, and use our network to provide support to those who might be in hospital further afield. We pay home visits to members who are alone, and unable to easily get out and about.

Commemoration: In the past quarter our Sub-section members assisted the RSL Sub-Branch by combining with Tri-service to sell Remembrance Day memorabilia at Urangan shopping centre. We also participated in the Peacekeeper’s Day, Beersheba, and Remembrance Day Commemorations.

Camaraderie: To finish off 2017 we celebrated with our Christmas function which was held in the Hervey Bay RSL Club. On the same day we drew out the winners of our Christmas raffle which was the culmination of a huge effort by our members.

Cadets:  The month of December saw TS Krait hold its’ Annual Inspection, followed by the presentation of awards. The Fraser Coast Sub-section facilitated the award of a perpetual shied for the best cadet/s in sailing. The award was named after one of our past members Arthur Pullen. Arthur was an ex-navy veteran, and also a cadet instructor for over 20 years.  A keen yachtie, he passed his knowledge on to many young cadets.  

Contribution by Peter McDermott


December 2017


Fraser Coast Sub-section June 2017


The Sub-section has recruited in excess of 60 financial full members to date. We are looking carefully towards the Maryborough area with the view of either attracting new members, or helping to set up a new Sub-section.

Our general meetings are well attended with our quarterly average attendance is creeping up into the low to mid 30’s. This has resulted in our meetings being moved to a larger room in the RSL club.

If you are eligible for membership, and would like to be part of our extremely social group, please contact Rod Beckinsale (M) 0409625570, or Peter McDermott (M) 0409260255.

We currently meet at the Hervey Bay RSL Club Board Room at 1100 on the second Sunday of the month (Feb-Dec).

Community activities:

  • Following on from our Commemoration service on 1st March, 2017 to recognise the 50th anniversary since the adoption by the R.A.N. of the Australian White Ensign, we have seen another very successful Anzac Day.
  • The Naval Association were given the honour of leading the ESO part of the Anzac Day parade this year and it was very pleasing to see over 60 marchers in our ranks.
  • The Naval Cadets at TS Krait held their annual inspection on Saturday 6th The cadets were well turned out and their marching drill was very good. The inspecting (cadet) officer was very pleased with the overall presentation.
  • Coming up in July are the RIMAU Commemoration (9th July) and Korea Memorial Day (27th July).

Southbank Naval Memorial:

The ceremony to unveil the Southbank Naval Memorial (“Sailor with his kit-bag”) was held on Saturday 27th May at South Brisbane Memorial Park. Dignitaries included Chief of Navy and the Queensland Governor.

Fostered by the F.E.S.R. Association (a special mention for Rudi Bianchi) and with funding from many sources, this statue is the only public memorial in Queensland to honour those who serve or have served in the Royal Australian Navy since Federation in times of both war and peace. The bronze statue was sculptured by Catherine Anderson.

A good number of Fraser Coast NAA members made the trip down to Brisbane to attend the service.


Our social life for the quarter continues to run quite well and is gaining strength:

  • We continue to conduct our get-togethers on a fortnightly basis at the RSL Club Anzac bar;
  • We attend lunch together after our GM’s;
  • Are planning a BBQ at the Botanical Gardens in June; and
  • Our annual dinner will be held in early July.

Peter McDermott

President Fraser Coast NAA

13th June, 2017


Vale Robert Arthur Pullen

29 / 7 / 1939 – 22 / 11 / 2016

ROBERT ARTHUR PULLEN preferred to be called Arthur, but answered to a number of nick-names including ‘Jack’. He was born in Brisbane in 1939.

Arthur joined the Navy in August 1962. He eventually rose to the rank of Petty Officer Electrician Weapons Radio (which means that he was a “Greenie” technician who looked after ship’s radar systems). His official number was R59331.

Arthur served in HMA Ships Melbourne three times, Stuart, and a very unusual posting to HMS Mull of Kintyre, when it was based in Singapore. What a posting: Singapore in the 60’s!

Apart from Cerberus, he also served on the shore establishments Albatross, Watson (twice) before paying off in August 1971.

His service record shows that he was serving on the Melbourne when she collided with the U.S. destroyer Frank E. Evans in 1969 (He posted off Melbourne just over a month before the collision with HMAS Voyager).

For his service, Arthur received the AASM with clasp Malaysia, and the ASM with clasp FESR, plus a clutch of other medals.

From conversations with Arthur it is known that, in the past, he was actively involved with the training of Naval Cadets. His time amounted to over 20 years. He was an instructor with TS Paluma down in Brisbane, then TS Krait locally. He even recruited his kids into the cadets. 

For his service to the cadets he received the Australian Cadet Forces Medal with Bar.

Arthur was one of the Sub-section’s foundation members, having been with us since the early days of our formation in May 2015.

It was mutually agreed that he was a quiet, unassuming, humble man. He got on well with everyone in our group, and was never heard to say a bad word about anyone. He was non-critical and independent.

To say Arthur was a quiet achiever would be an understatement.

We will all miss Arthur, our shipmate and friend.

Vale Arthur Pullen. Rest in peace mate. Arthur was 77.


Commemoration Service of the 50th Anniversary of the

introduction of the Australian White Ensign

1 March, 1967—1 March, 2017

Held at Freedom Park on Wednesday 1st March, 2017


A very brief history is as follows:

The Commonwealth Naval Forces was formed on 1st March 1901 by combining a collection of dilapidated ships operated by the individual former Colonies. Orders were placed by the newly formed Federal Government for a number of new ships which would form the backbone of the Australian Navy.
A decade later, on 10th July 1911, King George V officially recognised the Australian Navy’s increased status when he granted it the “Royal” prefix.  The new Australian Commonwealth Naval board formally promulgated the decision on the 5th October of that year and ordered that henceforth Australian warships were to fly the Royal Navy’s White Ensign in addition to the Australian National Flag.
The new fleet was led through Sydney Heads by the battle cruiser HMAS Australia on the 4th October, 1913.
The R.A.N. continued to fly the Royal Naval white ensign, which displays the Union Jack in the top left corner, on a background of the flag of St George, until the 1st March, 1967 when it transitioned to the current Australian White Ensign.
The reason for the transition was a political must as at that time the Australia government had committed its’ servicemen in support of the Vietnam war.
Indeed, from 8-11 June, 1965, HMAS Sydney was the first naval arrival to Vung Tau. Also in Vung Tau, at the same time, were the escorts HMA Ships Duchess and Parramatta. In addition, HMA Ships Melbourne and Vampire were on station patrolling the “Market Time” area, just off the coast of South Vietnam.
A more permanent naval presence commenced when the 1st contingent of Clearance Diving Team 3 arrived on the 5th February, 1967.
As Great Britain was not involved in the Vietnam War, and Australia was seriously committed, it was deemed a diplomatic expediency to resolve the ensign situation, sooner rather than later.  So, officially, on the 1st March, 1967 the Australian White Ensign was hoisted for the first time.

NB: Photographs taken by Peter Dore

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February 2017

Fraser Coast Naval Association

Area of coverage: From Bundaberg in the north, down to Gympie, and the inner region incorporating towns such as Maryborough, Hervey Bay, Childers, Gunalda, Biggenden, Howard, etc in between.
Based: At the Hervey Bay RSL & Services Memorial Club.
Contact: Rod Beckinsale Ph: Mob 0409 625 570, or via our mail box in the Sportsman’s bar.
Meetings: The second Sunday of each month at 1100 in the Lakes Room, Hervey Bay RSL
The AGM will be held in February 2017.
Committee:   President – Peter McDermott
                        V. Pres – Steve Zahra
                        Secretary – Rod Beckinsale
                        Treasurer – Maureen Deller
                       Committee – Stu Malcolm, Jim Dellar, Colleen Crabb
Membership: 56 full members and 30 associate members.  Any persons eligible for full membership of the NAA are welcome.

Statement of Intent:

  • In line with the Principles of the Naval Association of Australia
  • Promote friendship and support to our members
  • Assist, where possible, the ANC Unit TS Krait
  • Provide support to the Hervey Bay RSL & Services Memorial Club and the Sub-Branch
  • Promote the R.A.N. within the  the Fraser Coast community


FRASER COAST Sub-Section of the Naval Association of Australia – newsletter December 2016


The Sub-section has continued to recruit and now has 56 financial full members to date. Added to that, we also have signed up 30 Associate members.  Interest from the local ex-service community remains good, we just have to continue to attract them.

Our general meetings are well attended with our quarterly average attendance continuing to be in the mid to low 20’s. Our committee currently meets every two months.

In addition to the NAA primary principle of promoting and supporting the Ex-naval community, we have put a lot of time and effort into strengthening the social component of our Sub-section in the absolute belief that if we are a happy, bonded group, then all the rest will take care of itself.

Community activities:

We attended the Peacekeeping Commemoration on the 14th September, where we laid a wreath. There was a good roll up at this normally low-key event.

Prior to our October GM, our members were invited to attend a Hervey Bay RSL special function. The RSL had helped sponsor Legacy ward, Miss Kristy-Lee Hopegood, to a visit of the WW1 battleground Fromelles (In return, the RSL asked her to provide a talk of her experience to members).

The Sub-section members responded in good numbers and we found her presentation to be very well done. It was good to hear the perspective of a young person of an event that occurred a century ago, with such a tragic loss of life.

We helped the RSL Sub-branch with its’ recent annual Remembrance Day memorabilia sales.

Since then we have seen Remembrance Day 2016 come and go. The overall turn-out for this event was very good this year, and our members also attended in good numbers.

The Hervey Bay RSL Sub-branch conducted a dusk service on Friday 18th November to commemorate the ending of the Battle of the Somme. Sub-section members attended this sombre, but excellent presentation, and participated by laying a wreath.

Several of our members attended the local Queensland Police Service memorial service held on 29th September.


Our social life for the quarter has been running quite well & is gaining strength; This was reinforced with a BBQ held on Sunday 23rd October at the Hervey Bay Botanical Gardens.

The weather was very inclement, but we secured a good sized, sheltered area, which was very adequate for the 23 members that attended. The theme for the day was twofold; To commemorate Remembrance Day, and a talk on prostate cancer provided by our local Prostate Support Group coordinator, Ros Male.

We are currently preparing for our Christmas function which is booked for the 10th December. The expected attendance at this function is very high, which is very pleasing. We have endeavoured to pass as little cost as possible on to our members for attendance at our social events. A prime example is our Christmas function. If you are a financial Full or Club member you get it for free.

The last general meeting for the year will precede the Christmas party.


Over the quarter, we have seen one of our membership in the sick-bay. Arthur had been transferred to the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane where his condition was deteriorating.

Our membership have pitched in to support him by staying in contact with his family, using the network to meet his needs whist in Brisbane, and by helping to maintain his home here in Hervey Bay.

It is with great sadness that I have to report that our shipmate, Arthur Pullen, passed away on the 23rd November. Vale Arthur Pullen. RIP.


Rod Beckinsale

Secretary Fraser Coast NAA

4th March, 2017

We invite ALL eligible ex-serving, and serving members, residing in our designated region, to join our Sub-section.