Hobart local, Neil Hutton has returned four Royal Australian Navy pennants after preserving them over fifty years.
Mr Hutton was gifted the pennants in Hobart by his uncle, Mr Gerald Hutton during his posting to HMAS Huon in Tasmania. The elder Mr Hutton served in the Navy from 1955 until 1975.
“My uncle gave them to me and I knew they were very special to him. I have had them hanging up in plastic to preserve them,” Mr Hutton said proudly.
Mr Hutton fondly recalled how he would take the pennants to show tell as a child with his name written clearly across the back, so no one would try and take them.
Now he is passing them on to the Navy Heritage Centre in Sydney so they can be shown to and admired by many more people with a love of Navy history.
The four pennants are for the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Cerberus, HMAS Sydney and HMAS Melbourne.
Mr Hutton conducted his own research on the pennants and found that the Australian War Memorial only has two of the pennants that he has in his collection. The Australian War Memorial has similar Royal Australian Navy and HMAS Cerberus pennants which makes the donation of the four pennants to the Navy Historic Centre a significant one.
Chief Petty Officer Jamie Schmith accepted the historic pennants on behalf of the Navy. Chief Petty Officer Schmith also found a sentimental connection to the pennants through his own service history.
“These pennants will be a great addition. It is great that people like Neil are preserving our naval history and are now donating them,” he said.
Mr Hutton has never left Tasmania, but he may consider taking a trip to Sydney to see the pennants on display at Garden Island.