Harman honours HMAS Sydney (I)

Published on LEUT Kiz Burtenshaw (author), LAC Michael Green (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Harman

Australia's Federation Guard salute during a precision drill display at the Mess Dinner commemorating the centenary of the HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden engagement during the Battle of Cocos.  (photo: LAC Michael Green)
Australia's Federation Guard salute during a precision drill display at the Mess Dinner commemorating the centenary of the HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden engagement during the Battle of Cocos.

On 30 October HMAS Harman commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Cocos Islands. Officers and senior sailors came together a Sydney-Emden mess dinner, the first such event in the new combined Bonshaw Mess.

The Executive Officer of HMAS Harman, Lieutenant Commander Kristen Watts, bangs the gavel at the Mess Dinner commemorating the centenary of the HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden engagement during the Battle of Cocos.

The Executive Officer of HMAS Harman, Lieutenant Commander Kristen Watts, bangs the gavel at the Mess Dinner commemorating the centenary of the HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden engagement during the Battle of Cocos.


 
Vice Admiral Peter Jones was the guest of honour at the dinner and spoke of the compassion and respect that both ships’ Captains displayed, and how these attributes provide a valuable learning opportunity to all.
 
"The Sydney-Emden battle forever changed the public view of its Navy. It now saw the Royal Australian Navy was a potent instrument of national power,” Vice Admiral Jones said.
 
Attendees were treated to a precision drill display by Australia's Federation Guard, followed by traditional activities such as the loyal toast.
 
Lieutenant Commander Kristen Watts, Executive Officer HMAS Harman and President of the Bonshaw Mess, said the event emphasised how it is important to remember the origins and traditions of our modern Navy.
 
“It is important to not only consider our future, but to remember and learn from our past. The Sydney-Emden dinner provided a perfect opportunity to do this," Lieutenant Commander Watts said.

The tradition will continue in 2015 with a similar event planned.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20143364.

Invited guests at the Mess Dinner commemorating the centenary of the HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden engagement during the Battle of Cocos. From left: Mr Wiktor Flach and Lieutenant John Potter (in period dress), Lieutenant Commander Kristen Watts, Vice Admiral Peter Jones, AO, DSC, RAN, Bombardier John Vanloon and Captain Harry Lok (in period dress).

Invited guests at the Mess Dinner commemorating the centenary of the HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden engagement during the Battle of Cocos. From left: Mr Wiktor Flach and Lieutenant John Potter (in period dress), Lieutenant Commander Kristen Watts, Vice Admiral Peter Jones, AO, DSC, RAN, Bombardier John Vanloon and Captain Harry Lok (in period dress).