HMAS Perth heads home after hospitable Albany port visit

Published on CMDR Sean Noble (author), ABIS Chris Beerens (photographer)

Location(s): Albany, WA

Members of the Albany community look around the forecastle during Perth's open day in the city of Albany, Western Australia. (photo: ABIS Chris Beerens)
Members of the Albany community look around the forecastle during Perth's open day in the city of Albany, Western Australia.

After a successful port visit to the Great Southern, HMAS Perth this week farewelled the extremely hospitable community of Albany in Western Australia.

The ship berthed at Albany’s Port for four days from 8-12 August, giving the ship’s company an excellent opportunity to walk into the centre of the city and enjoy the great hospitality offered by its local population.

“It was great to be able to walk into town for a coffee and a bite to eat.  The shops all served local produce and it was great to see Albany, taste the local food and enjoy the friendliness of the city.  Everyone was so nice,” said Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Steward Brooke Johnson.

During the visit, the ship threw its doors open to the public and organised tour groups.

Members of the Albany community make their way up the gangway of HMAS Perth, during Perth's open day in the city of Albany, Western Australia.

Members of the Albany community make their way up the gangway of HMAS Perth, during Perth's open day in the city of Albany, Western Australia.

“We never forget that our ship is not just an integral part of the Defence of Australia, it is paid for by the Australian tax payers,” said the ship’s Public Relations Officer, Commander Sean Noble.

“To be able to host the City of Albany through tours of HMAS Perth has been brilliant.  We are very proud of Perth and the men and women who serve in her.  The feedback from the people of Albany has been terrific.”

“The 3000 or so folks who popped in for a tour on the ship open day had a great experience.  We have also conducted another 20 or so arranged tours for large groups. We estimate that around 3500 people toured the ship over the duration of the port visit,” Commander Noble said.

The ship’s company also embraced the opportunity to visit the plethora of local attractions on offer, including the historic buildings and whaling museum.  They joined local players in a soccer game and took part in the City to Surf run, which by all accounts was a hilly challenge.

HMAS Perth's Lieutenant Commander Cadeyrn Okely takes the ball up field in a friendly soccer match against Albany Rovers Veteran soccer team.

HMAS Perth's Lieutenant Commander Cadeyrn Okely takes the ball up field in a friendly soccer match against Albany Rovers Veteran soccer team.

Perth’s Commanding Officer, Captain Lee Goddard, said he found the work done to the Anzac memorial, on top of Mt Clarence, particular moving.

“The memorial on top of the hill is a great run. You get to the top and the magnificent view stretches out across the entire sound.  The work completed on this memorial is both as moving as a tribute to the Desert Mounted Corp as it is to the memory of all Anzacs,” Captain Goddard said.

The City of Albany is now gearing up for some major activities planned to commemorate the centenary anniversary of when the first Anzac convey left its shores for Gallipoli.

More information about the City of Albany’s Centenary of Anzac activities can be found at http://www.anzacalbany.com.au/anzac-centenary/