HMAS Stuart commemorates Anzac Day at sea

This article has photo gallery Published on CPO Stephen Slack (author), CPOB Ken Lawton (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Stuart (F153), Anzac Day

Catafalque Guard Commander Lieutenant Simon Dickson, Royal New Zealand Navy delivers a general salute on on the flight deck of HMAS Stuart. (photo: CPOB Ken Lawton)
Catafalque Guard Commander Lieutenant Simon Dickson, Royal New Zealand Navy delivers a general salute on on the flight deck of HMAS Stuart.

Commanding Officer, CMDR Matthew Doornbos, RAN presenting the Anzac Day address to HMAS Stuart's ship's company.

Commanding Officer, CMDR Matthew Doornbos, RAN presenting the Anzac Day address to HMAS Stuart's ship's company.

As dawn was breaking on Friday 25 April, the crew from HMAS Stuart formed up on the ship's flight deck for an Anzac Day Service.

186 men and women stood proud as the Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Dalton, the ship’s company through an emotional service.

For many of the crew this was their first Anzac Day spent at sea, as they commemorated the lives of the young men and women who went before them.

Leading Seaman Fane Cokanauto sang both the Australian and New Zealand National anthems, which was particularly poignant for Lieutenant Simon Dickson from the Royal New Zealand Navy is currently serving in Stuart on exchange.

Lieutenant Dickson was given the honour of being the Catafalque Guard Commander for the service.

“This is my first Anzac Day serving at sea, and I am proud to be here with the Australian Navy carrying on the ANZAC legacy.

“To hear my national anthem sung on an Australian Navy ship at sea is something I will never forget.”

When the Dawn Service was over, the crew of Stuart known colloquially as ‘Tartan Terrors’ enjoyed a traditional ‘gunfire’ breakfast followed by the chef’s home made Anzac biscuits.

Operations Officer Lieutenant Commander Warren Bechly, RAN salutes as Squad Commander during the Anzac Day Dawn Service onboard HMAS Stuart.

Operations Officer Lieutenant Commander Warren Bechly, RAN salutes as Squad Commander during the Anzac Day Dawn Service onboard HMAS Stuart.

In another mark of Anzac Day tradition, personnel also celebrated wins and others losses in a friendly game of two-up held on the Gun Direction Platform.

The day was complete when ‘hands to bathe’ was piped, with the crew given an opportunity to relax and cool off with a swim.

Lest we forget.

Leading Seaman Communication Information Systems Fane Cokanauto; Able Seaman Communication Information Systems Laura Nelson; and Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Chanaya Resek-Takai on the Flight Deck enjoying the sunrise after HMAS Stuart’s Anzac Day Service.

Leading Seaman Communication Information Systems Fane Cokanauto; Able Seaman Communication Information Systems Laura Nelson; and Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Chanaya Resek-Takai on the Flight Deck enjoying the sunrise after HMAS Stuart’s Anzac Day Service.