Top End welcome for Darwin crew

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Jason O'Gorman (author), LEUT Andrew Ragless (author)

Location(s): Darwin

Topic(s): Centenary of Anzac, HMAS Darwin (F04), Anzac Day, 75th Anniversary

LSEW Brooke Gregory, CPOET William Edmondston, WO Jack Parnell, Commanding Officer HMAS Darwin CMDR Phillip Henry and ABBM Amber Phineasa are pictured at the Cenotaph on the Esplanade following the 2017 Anzac Day Dawn Service in Darwin. (photo: Unknown)
LSEW Brooke Gregory, CPOET William Edmondston, WO Jack Parnell, Commanding Officer HMAS Darwin CMDR Phillip Henry and ABBM Amber Phineasa are pictured at the Cenotaph on the Esplanade following the 2017 Anzac Day Dawn Service in Darwin.

In her final year of service, members of HMAS Darwin’s ship’s company have seized the opportunity to reinforce links with her namesake city.

Commanding Officer Commander Phillip Henry was joined by Ship’s Warrant Officer Jack Parnell, Chief Petty Officer Electronics Technician William Edmondston, Leading Seaman Electronic Warfare Brooke Gregory and Able Seaman Boatswain’s Mate Amber Phineasa in a trip to the Northern Territory capital coinciding with Anzac Day commemorations.

Commander Henry said the Top End visit held a special significance for the sailors.

“We were honoured to represent the ship in her final year of service and reconnect with the people of Darwin,” he said.

“It seemed appropriate for the ship to be represented in some fashion before hanging up her croc-skin boots.”

Commander Henry and Warrant Officer Parnell attended a dinner hosted by the Lord Mayor of Darwin, Katrina Fong Lim (whose father Alec, was the Lord Mayor of Darwin when Darwin commissioned in 1984).

The Darwin party braved the heat and humidity to join hundreds of residents at the Darwin Cenotaph Dawn Service on the Esplanade, followed by a traditional gunfire breakfast at the RSL and a march down Knuckey Street.

The streets were lined with thousands of people who cheered loudly for veterans, community groups and of course currently service personnel which included members from the Navy, Army, Air Force, and the United States Marine Rotational Force – Darwin.

Leading Seaman Gregory said the trip was unforgettable.

“Representing the ship that carried the city’s name through more than 30 years of service was truly unique,” she said.

“We all felt very proud to not only represent Darwin and her contributions to the nation, but also the Australian Defence Force as a whole.

“After six years in the Navy, this year’s Anzac Day tops the scale and I feel honoured and privileged to have been a part of it in the City of Darwin,” she added.