Penguin meets namesake

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT John Thompson (author), ABIS Steven Thomson (photographer)

Location(s): Darling Harbour

Topic(s): HMAS Penguin, 75th Anniversary

L-R Leading Seaman Medic Sarah Mclaughlan, Leading Seaman Medic Olivia Mortlock and Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Ian Campbell ADC, RAN, inspect the penguins living at Sydney Aquarium. (photo: ABIS Steven Thomson)
L-R Leading Seaman Medic Sarah Mclaughlan, Leading Seaman Medic Olivia Mortlock and Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Ian Campbell ADC, RAN, inspect the penguins living at Sydney Aquarium.
The Commanding Officer of HMAS Penguin came face-to-face with a ‘waddle’ of penguins in Sydney, as part of celebrations for the base’s 75th anniversary.
 
Penguin was commissioned in July 1942, less than two months after the Japanese midget submarine attacks in Sydney Harbour.  The base hospital played a key role in providing care to wounded service personnel.
 
Today the modern Penguin is a thriving hub, home to the Australian Defence Force Diving School, Navy Medical and Hydrographic Schools, Maritime Operational Health Unit, the Submarine and Underwater Medicine Unit, One Commando Company and the Australian Defence Force Centre for Mental Health.
 
The significance of the milestone was not lost on the Sydney Aquarium which was keen to take part in the celebrations and extended an invitation to Penguin personnel to come in and meet some of their key attractions.
 
Penguin Commanding Officer Commander Ian Campbell says meeting the King and Gentoo penguins was a great experience and, in turn, a unique way of highlighting the significance of the historic naval base.
 
“We are proud of our history and traditions at Penguin; we are also proud of our strong community ties because, at the end of the day, that is who we are here to serve,” Commander Campbell said.
 
“This opportunity to meet these beautiful creatures demonstrates the strength of those community relationships.”
 
HMAS Penguin is one of four Australian Navy bases on Sydney Harbour.  More information about the base can be found at http://www.navy.gov.au/establishments/hmas-penguin