Novocastrians welcomed home in HMAS Newcastle

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Fiona Southwood (author and photographer)

Location(s): Newcastle, NSW

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU, HMAS Newcastle (F06)

Seven Novocastrian members of HMAS Newcastle during a port visit to her namesake city. (photo: LCDR Fiona Southwood)
Seven Novocastrian members of HMAS Newcastle during a port visit to her namesake city.

The boom of a seven-gun salute was a welcoming sound for the ship’s company of HMAS Newcastle as she returned to her namesake city for a port visit.

To mark the guided missile frigate’s arrival, the first canon was fired from the historic Fort Scratchley by the ship’s Commissioning Lady, Mrs Margaret McNaughton. Hundreds of locals lined the foreshore for Newcastle’s entrance into the harbour as the seven-gun salute was returned with a round of volleys fired by members of ship’s company.

Commanding Officer Newcastle, Commander Anita Sellick was among seven Novocastrians embarked in the ship for the port visit. Commander Sellick was born and raised in the city and was delighted to bring Newcastle back to the city for the first port visit under her command.

“The ship’s company has been working hard since our last visit, and we’re very pleased that our schedule has allowed us to return to Newcastle this year,” she said. 

“It is important that we continue the close connection between our ship and our namesake city, especially as Newcastle approaches her 25th and final year of service. 

“We have several Novocastrians in our crew, and it’s a very special feeling to sail into our home town with family and friends watching from the foreshore,” Commander Sellick said. 

During the port visit, members of the ship’s company engaged with the local community as a thank you for the continuous support and close relationship between the ship and the city that has existed since she was commissioned in Newcastle in 1993.

Newcastle last visited her namesake city in April 2017 prior to departing for a six month deployment to the Middle East Region on Operation MANITOU. On completion of the visit Newcastle sailed to Fleet Base East to embark 100 friends and family for a Families Cruise. 

Newcastle is planning to return for a farewell visit prior to decommissioning in 2019.