For one group of Filipino orphans, a visit by Australian Defence Force members and a tour of HMAS Adelaide brought a time of high excitement into their challenging lives.
Chaplain Richard Quadrio and Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Lee Turner from Adelaide organised a community engagement activity with staff from the Amazing Grace Refuge Home prior to the ship sailing from Sydney.
“The orphanage is a humble refuge for about 20 children who are often orphans of circumstance,” Chaplain Quadrio said.
“The Centre, which is in an old hardware store, was bought to my attention by shipmate Leading Seaman Turner.
“When I called for volunteers to participate in the activity I was overwhelmed by the number of crew members wanting to assist and had to cap the number to just 20 due to the size of the orphanage facilities.”
The Army and Navy members were greeted by each child with a handshake or hug as they got off the two mini buses.
Heading to the basketball court to try out the new balls donated by the ship, varying levels of skill were on display from both the military and children.
Afterwards the visitors were treated to the angelic voices of the children’s choir in a short concert.
Two young children proudly escorted Seaman Communication and Information Systems Michelle Vocea through their dormitories and classrooms.
“I am so pleased I was able to do something different in Subic Bay and meet with members of the local community,” Seaman Vocea said.
In return the children were hosted back on Adelaide, showing them many highlights from the heavy vehicle deck right up to the bridge.
The tour concluded with entertainment from the ship’s band led by Bandmaster, Chief Petty Officer Musician Mark Ham and a lunch in the embarked forces café.
With a new Navy baseball cap firmly fitted on each child’s head, they walked down the ship’s gangway exhausted from the activities and were soon asleep on their buses as they travelled back to the orphanage.
This was a short engagement but one which had a considerable impact in the lives of these little ones.
Adelaide is currently participating in Indo-Pacific Endeavour, a regional deployment focussed on security cooperation and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises.