A small model cannon that was removed from Hobart’s Anglesea Barracks Sergeants’ Mess in October 2014 was returned to the mess on 25 September, resulting in a considerable donation to Legacy.
Navy Headquarters - Tasmania Operations Officer and Secretary of the Mess, Chief Petty Officer Combat Systems Manager Jamie Schmith, said the cannon was originally donated to the mess by senior sailors from the Bathurst-class corvette HMAS Wagga when the ship visited Hobart in 1956.
“A tradition started where the Navy ‘acquire’ the cannon whenever they’re in port and, on relocating it, are required to donate $20 to Legacy and then 50 cents a day while it’s gone,” Chief Petty Officer Schmith said.
“The historic cannon is the soldiers’ version of ‘The Esther Williams Trophy’ with what is felt a lot more history.
“The cannon was in the Dardanelles on Anzac Day this year before being transferred from HMNZS Te Kaha, which ‘acquired’ it from HMAS Arunta, while in Albany commemorating the final embarkation of Anzac forces before sailing for Cairo.”
According to Chief Petty Officer Schmith, the cannon had some interesting new additions.
“It has a plaque from Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, the oldest ship still in commission with the Royal Navy, and exclusively run by chief petty officers,” he said.
“Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Mark Powell, mess president of the Chief Petty Officer & Warrant Officers' mess in HMAS Anzac, accompanied the cannon for the official handover.”
According to Chief Petty Officer Powell, he took possession of the cannon on the morning of 25 April after receiving it from Te Kaha while off Canakkale in Turkey.
“Anzac took receipt of the cannon before Te Kaha sailed for Operation MANITOU, when both ships were moored in the Dardanelles Strait, a fitting chapter to the history of the cannon,” he said.
“The transfer was by RHIB.”
Chief Petty Officer Schmith said with the return of the cannon, Legacy received donations amounting to $1,500 from its 11-month absence.
“The Kiwis donated $550, the crews of Arunta $500, and Anzac $450,” he said.
After each ‘liberation’ took place, small plaques were added to the base, with additional wooden bases being added as more space was needed, with the current bottom base being made from part of the decking of USS Missouri.