Navy’s south coast jewel celebrates a special day

Published on LCDR Jocelyn Blowfield (author and photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Creswell

Topic(s): HMAS Creswell

Commanding Officer HMAS Creswell, Captain Charles Huxtable and the youngest member of ship's company Seaman Jayden Stynes cut the anniversary cake in front of the Creswell clocktower. (photo: )
Commanding Officer HMAS Creswell, Captain Charles Huxtable and the youngest member of ship's company Seaman Jayden Stynes cut the anniversary cake in front of the Creswell clocktower.

Ship's company of HMAS Creswell have celebrated a significant milestone – the 60 year anniversary of the base’s commissioning.

Home of the Royal Australian Naval College, Creswell was named in recognition of Vice Admiral Sir William Creswell, KCMG, KBE, RAN, considered ‘father of the RAN’.

The current ship's company marked the 60th anniversary at an event in front of the iconic Creswell clocktower, which has been a welcoming sight throughout the years for naval personnel in ships at anchor or underway in Jervis Bay.

Creswell Commanding Officer, Captain Charles Huxtable, took great pleasure in cutting the anniversary cake alongside the youngest member of ship’s company, Seaman Jayden Stynes, who became part of Creswell’s officer training tradition when he commenced New Entry Officer training on Australia Day 2018.

“It is a privilege and honour to command Creswell where my own naval career started 27 years ago,” Captain Huxtable said.

“While the training has changed, the clocktower, the white sands of Captain’s Beach, and the kangaroos on the Quarterdeck are all features of Creswell life that never change.

“They are a constant reminder of shared experiences, and of Creswell’s heritage. And on a day like today, a reminder of what a great place it is to be posted here.”

Although 20 January 2018 marked the 60 year anniversary for HMAS Creswell, it was 1911 when Parliament selected the site for the Royal Australian Naval College at Captain’s Point, Jervis Bay.

The first training commenced at Jervis Bay in 1915, with the first graduation class a year later including among its ranks, Midshipmen John Collins and Harold Farncomb who would go on to serve Australia with distinction, both attaining Flag rank.

In 1930, the College was relocated to Flinders Naval Depot, HMAS Cerberus with the Captain’s Point site leased as a hotel and guesthouse. The ‘Navy Lodge Hotel’ signage on doors to the Warrant Officers and Senior Sailors Mess remains as a link to this period.

In 1958, the Naval College returned to Jervis Bay, and the site was commissioned as HMAS Creswell.

The Royal Australian Naval College at HMAS Creswell remains the home of officer training for Navy, providing a range of courses including combat survivability and damage control, initial entry training for officers, as well as promotion courses for officers and senior sailors.

Creswell’s ship’s company will celebrate with a Winter Ball and mark the anniversary with a Freedom of Entry march in the city of Shoalhaven alongside HMAS Albatross ship’s company who will celebrate their 70th anniversary later in the year.