HMAS Albatross is sporting a first-class recreational and meeting space with the opening of the Navy Canteens facility in the newly constructed base support precinct.
Navy Canteens chair Commodore Ian Murray, Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Chris Smallhorn and Commanding Officer HMAS Albatross, Captain Simon Bateman were on hand to conduct the official opening.
The Shoalhaven facility complements 11 other canteens located in major establishments around Australia.
The new canteen has an extensive dine-in menu as well as healthy choices, a salad bar, juice bar, sandwich bar, as well as old favourites.
“Having tasted the new menu, it well and truly complements the new facilities at Albatross and is a great representation of the newest Navy Canteen,” Captain Bateman said.
Navy Canteens Chief Executive Officer Steve Gregory said the canteen had some new features, including 'Fleet Corner', featuring artwork to commemorate the centenary of the First Fleet, which could be booked for meetings or large groups.
“With the new kitchen facilities Navy Canteens is also able to provide a wide range of catering services for meetings or functions both on and off base,” he said.
Other new services included are access to Foxtel, mobile phone charge station, pool table, table tennis table, boomerang buzzer service for meals and a much enlarged Navy merchandise area stocking Navy Canteen’s own SALT range of products (including uniform items, Navy merchandise and gifts).
Commodore Murray said the Canteens made a large contribution to Navy lifestyle and had done for many decades.
“All canteens owned and operated by Navy Canteens across the country on Navy bases exist for the benefit of Navy members, which means every purchase directly contributes to the work of Navy Canteens and supporting the Navy family,” he said.
“Navy Canteens is also known for its other services including Win with Navy Raffle, Navy Ticketing, Holiday Parks and the Fleet Air Arm Museum gift shop, and the supply of canteen goods trial in HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide.”
Navy Canteens funding has supported the purchase of televisions for the junior and senior sailor messes at HMAS Waterhen amongst $60,000 of assistance in the past year.
HMAS Farncomb received a grant for new appliances for the submarine mess start-up, something Able Seaman Maritime Logistics – Stores Submarines Michael Calleja said helped with morale.
“The grant helped promote the wellbeing of all members within the crew by providing them with new appliances along with funds that could be utilised for canteen gear and events,” Able Seaman Calleja said.
Navy Canteens offers a range of benefits and services to Navy personnel, including the grants program to benefit ships, sport and welfare activities within the Navy community. Last financial year Canteens received 73 applications and outlaid $60,825 in grants and loans.
Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board administers the Royal Australian Navy Canteens Fund to provide sustainable recreational and lifestyle benefits to serving Navy members.