Ships combine for Moreton anniversary

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Jason O'Gorman (author)

Location(s): HMAS Moreton

Topic(s): HMAS Darwin (F04)

HMAS Darwin glides up the Brisbane River during a recent port visit. (photo: Unknown)
HMAS Darwin glides up the Brisbane River during a recent port visit.

In the middle an intense training and systems check period, HMAS Darwin slipped into the Brisbane River and berthed across from Navy’s home in southern Queensland, HMAS Moreton.

The frigate’s arrival in Brisbane coincided with the first anniversary since the local base was re-commissioned.

On arrival, Commanding Officer Darwin Commander Phillip Henry was met by the Commanding Officer Moreton, Commander Mark McConnell, who welcomed the ship to the city.

After taking care of all the necessary ship-keeping duties, the crew, who had a surprising number of family connections in the area, ventured ashore for some well-earned rest and relaxation.

Over the weekend, Darwin hosted a number of tours with the local Australian Navy Cadet unit, members of the Naval Association, Defence Force Recruiting, Water Police and family members of sailors and officers were welcomed aboard.

When the time came to depart, however, it seemed as though Brisbane did not want Darwin to leave.

A thick fog had descended upon the city which interrupted flights, delayed merchant shipping, and consequently Darwin’s final departure for a short time.

True to her character of ‘getting the job done’, though, and carried by the lingering tune played by a lone Queensland Police bagpiper on the wharf, lines were pulled and Darwin glided her way down the Brisbane River, into Moreton Bay, and out to sea.

“The crew have worked hard through the week in what has been a fairly intense program. Progress has been solid and we’ve had pleasing results,” Darwin’s Ship’s Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer Jack Parnell said.

“It was good to pay a final visit to Brisbane. It was really a thank you to them for their support over the 33 years the ship has spent in service.

“It was a good opportunity to wave the Darwin flag one final time before we decommission at the end of the year.”