Relay runners pass the trident to save lives

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author), POIS Lee-Anne Cooper (photographer)

Location(s): Nowra, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, HMAS Creswell, 808 Squadron, Cancer Council

HMA Ships Albatross and Creswell after completing the annual Relay For Life, at Nowra Showgrounds.  (photo: POIS Lee-Anne Cooper)
HMA Ships Albatross and Creswell after completing the annual Relay For Life, at Nowra Showgrounds.

Defence personnel are always keen supporters of the Shoalhaven Relay For Life.

This year, teams from Navy establishments HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell were joined by members of 808 Squadron, along with 60 teams from the local community in the relay.

They braved wind, cold and rain to make a significant contribution to the Cancer Council's fundraising challenge and to the success of the event.

HMAS Albatross’ Commanding Officer, Captain Fiona Sneath said it was great to see so many people involved in supporting the important cause.

“Fundraising at Albatross began well before the relay, with a range of activities to ensure those who couldn’t participate could still donate.

“It’s all been done for a great cause, for cancer research and providing support to those undergoing treatment and their carers.

“It’s also been great for just taking some time out to recognise all of those people who are involved in the team effort that is required to support a loved with a serious illness,” Captain Sneath said.

The Navy Community Engagement Team, led by Leading Seaman Jan Gilmour and Chief Petty Officer Linda Eddington, did a fantastic job keeping the 750 plus participants warm with a push-up/sit up challenge and a ship building competition.

Building cardboard ships in high winds required a degree of skill and perseverance and both the construction and parade of entries kept the onlookers amused.

Team Creswell, led by Lieutenant Commander Dave Kingdom was the largest overall team, with 47 participants.

During the rather bleak night shift, several New Entry Officers and staff from Creswell passed time by running the equivalent of a marathon.

By Sunday morning, Team Creswell was the second highest fundraiser with a total of $7150.80.

Lieutenant Commander Kingdom said the fundraising achievement was a source of professional and personal pride.

"As someone who has lost a parent to cancer, a huge thank you to each and every one who put their hand in their pocket, threw their spare change in the money tins at the canteen, donated to the team online or bid on items of value at the fundraising auction.

“I have to say that I was blown away by the efforts of the Creswell personnel.

“The bar has been set - let’s see if we can beat it next year,” Lieutenant Commander Kingdom said.

Team Albatross was the fourth highest fundraiser, collecting a total of $3941.95.

Not to be outdone, the team from 808 Squadron received an honourable mention for the ‘trident’ baton they carried throughout the relay.

“Overall it was a terrific contribution by Navy and Defence in the Shoalhaven,” Captain Sneath said.