Sydney Navy personnel thank their neighbours in style

This article has photo gallery Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author), ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Penguin, NSW

Topic(s): Ceremonial Sunset, HMAS Penguin

Sydney Detachment of the Royal Australian Navy Band performs as the Australian White Ensign is lowered during HMAS Penguin's annual Community Reception and Ceremonial Sunset. (photo: ABIS Richard Cordell)
Sydney Detachment of the Royal Australian Navy Band performs as the Australian White Ensign is lowered during HMAS Penguin's annual Community Reception and Ceremonial Sunset.

The Royal Australian Navy's enduring ties to Sydney were on display recently, with north shore locals treated to a stirring display of pomp and pageantry.

Always thoroughly enjoyed by the North Shore community, the annual HMAS Penguin 'thank you' event was hosted by Commanding Officer, Commander Paul Gall, in late November.

"It was terrific to have the Mayors of Manly and Warringah and the Deputy Mayor of Mosman, together with the Fleet Commander, attend," Commander Gall said.

"What better way to do this than with a Beat to Quarters and a Ceremonial Sunset?!"

Also present on the night was Neil Evers, a direct descendant of the notable Indigenous figure, 'King Bungaree'. Neil conducted the Welcome to Country ceremony. A Garingai man from the Garigal clan, Neil and his wife Sue were delighted to continue the relationship with HMAS Penguin, having attended the Acknowledgement of Country Plaque unveiling Ceremony earlier in the year. He thanked Commander Gall in acknowledging and respecting the traditional custodians.

Following the completion of significant construction work on HMAS Penguin over the last three years, Commander Gall said the front gate area was ready just in time.

HMAS Penguin's Colours Guard marches to applause at the conclusion of HMAS Penguin's annual Community Reception and Ceremonial Sunset.

HMAS Penguin's Colours Guard marches to applause at the conclusion of HMAS Penguin's annual Community Reception and Ceremonial Sunset.



"Final touches to the front gate area are just about complete and were very conducive to the sunset ceremony spectacle, as performed by the Royal Australian Navy Band - Sydney and HMAS Penguin guard," Commander Gall said.

The Royal Australian Navy Band, under the Musical Direction of Lieutenant Matthew Klohs, performed a marching display and, on completion, the drummers advanced and 'Beat to Quarters', as their ancestors once had to call the Ship's Company to man the guns and prepare the ship to fight.

The HMAS Penguin Ceremonial Guard was under the command of Lieutenant Lee McMahon.

Conducted in near perfect weather, those in attendance from the local community were very impressed and they subsequently departed well satisfied, after what was a very memorable event.