An afternoon 'frittered away' for a worthy cause

Published on LCDR Jeremy Richardson (author), ABEW Matthew Cox (photographer)

Commanding Officer HMAS Sydney, Commander Karl Brinckmann prepares 'Portuguese Fritters' with members of the ship's company for White Ribbon Night at sea.  (photo: ABEW Matthew Cox)
Commanding Officer HMAS Sydney, Commander Karl Brinckmann prepares 'Portuguese Fritters' with members of the ship's company for White Ribbon Night at sea.

As HMAS Sydney was at Sea for White Ribbon Night, the ship’s company took the opportunity to indulge in a Friday afternoon tea at sea. To make this an afternoon tea to remember, it was decided early on that the key ingredient would be enough Portuguese Fritters for the whole Ship’s Company (202 on the day).

Front and centre on the ‘Portuguese Fritter’ production line was the Commanding Officer, Commander Karl Brinckmann.

“There are two things I enjoy in life, Portuguese Fritters and helping out worthy causes, and there aren’t many causes more worthy than White Ribbon,” Commander Brinckmann said.

Joining him on the production line was the double Tristan team of Marine Engineering Officer, Lieutenant Commander Tristan Heritier, and Ship’s Legal Officer, Lieutenant Commander Tristan Skousgaard. Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Chef Morgan Douglas kept a Chef’s eye on events (required as the Hazard Risk Assessment deemed it too risky to leave three Command Team members alone in the galley!!)

White Ribbon is the male led campaign to put an end to men’s violence against women.  Friday, 25th of July, was White Ribbon Night, where communities across Australia were encouraged to unite in support of bringing an end to violence against women.

The afternoon tea was well supported by Sydney’s Ship’s Company, who raised a significant amount of money and awareness on this critical issue.

“It’s really good that guys are taking it seriously and making a change and a difference,” said Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Wilson, looking over the number of people who attended the event.

But the event was truly summed up by Chief Petty Officer Electronics Technician Ronald Palmer.

“It is a great occasion to spread awareness that it is not acceptable to commit any violence, be it physical or verbal, towards women,” Chief Petty Officer Palmer said.

Portuguese Fritters were a staple part of duff (dessert) during the seventies and eighties, particularly prior to the health fads of the nineties. Below is the simple recipe to allow readers to make this uniquely Navy dessert for themselves.

Everyone's Favourite Portuguese Fritters


  • 8 slices of bread
  • 6 cups of cornflour
  • 6 cups of self-raising flour
  • approx 800ml of water (to batter consistency)
  • 2-3 drops of yellow food dye
  • margarine as required
  • raspberry jam as required
  • 1 cup of cinnamon
  • 3 cups of sugar


  1. Make batter by combining the self-raising flour, corn flour, food dye and water to consistency.
  2. Heat deep fryer to 180 degrees.
  3. Butter bread and spread on raspberry jam and add slice on top to make a sandwich.
  4. Cut off crusts and slice in half to make two triangles.
  5. Coat triangles in batter.
  6. Deep fry until golden brown, ensuring each triangle is flipped in the fryer to get an even coat.
  7. Place cooked fritter straight into sugar and cinnamon and mix to coat.
  8. Enjoy!