It was a crisp and still Anzac Day morning as first light hit the shores of Jervis Bay, and approximately 2000 visitors gathered for HMAS Creswell’s Anzac Day Dawn Service.
As the light crept skyward the service commenced delivered by the Navy’s newest officers, members of New Entry Officers’ Course, at the Royal Australian Naval College.
They delivered readings, prayers and provided all of the ceremonial support for the service, including the guard, flag hands and catafalque party.
Chief Petty Officer Boatswain Gary Lawrence who is responsible for the Parade and Ceremonial Training at Creswell said he was impressed by the commitment and dedication shown by the trainees.
“The quality of the drill I witnessed today was good, noting they are only halfway through their training,” he said.
Midshipmen Patrick Czakilew and William Dixon both said it was a privilege to be a part of proceedings and be part of a tradition of great sacrifice.
Midshipman Oryssia Pryslak, one of the flag bearers, demonstrated similar sentiment, through her respectful, thoughtful expression as Commodore Toz Dadswell recited The Ode.
Following the service Creswell’s ship’s company were quickly dispersed across the Shoalhaven region, from Moruya in the south through to Culburra in the north to participate in and support as many marches and services as possible.
The largest contingent included three of the six New Entry Officer divisions, and gathered for the Huskisson RSL Sub-Branch activities.
For the second time in almost as many hours the trainees’ dress, bearing and ceremonial drill were in the public eye.
Based on the crowd’s cheers and rousing applause as they marched through the main street, led by their Commanding Officer Captain Charles Huxtable, it is apparent the Navy is in good hands going forward.
New Entry Officers’ Course 56 has just completed week 12 of the 20 week intensive course and upon graduation on 15 June will proceed to their individual professional qualification training.