HMAS Penguin hosts community reception and Ceremonial Sunset

Published on WO Ian Daley (author)

Location(s): HMAS Penguin, Sydney

Topic(s): Ceremonial Sunset, HMAS Penguin

The HMAS Penguin Guard prepares to fire the volley for sunset. (photo: Unknown)
The HMAS Penguin Guard prepares to fire the volley for sunset.

HMAS Penguin has thanked the local community for their continued support over the last year at their annual community reception - Beat to Quarters and Ceremonial Sunset.

The event was hosted by the Commanding Officer, Commander Mathew Bradley, ADC, RAN, in late November.

HMAS Penguin has a longstanding and close relationship with the local Mosman, Manly and Northern Beaches community, veterans’ groups and emergency services. The establishment has, over many years, supported fundraising and other community engagement initiatives including the Balmoral Swim for Cancer, Anzac Day, Humpty Dumpty Balmoral Burn, Legacy fundraising and the Sir David Martin Foundation. 

Commander Bradley addressed the audience prior to the Beat to Quarters, thanking all for their attendance and the continued support of HMAS Penguin in the local community. 

“It was a wonderful opportunity to say thank you, and for our guests to get a glimpse of the Navy and the professional and talented members of HMAS Penguin and the Navy Band,” said CMDR Bradley.

Petty Officer Steve Swanson then read the narrative history of the Beat to Quarters and Ceremonial Sunset, followed by the HMAS Penguin Ceremonial Guard, under the command of Lieutenant Bernard Hollis, signalling the sunset with a perfectly timed volley of shots which rang out across the base.  

Dignitaries and local community representatives from the community were treated to a stirring display of pomp and pageantry, following a reception in the Sir David Martin Mess Annex. With the Beat to Quarters taking place outside the Sir David Martin Mess Annex, Sydney Harbour providing a stunning backdrop to the ceremony. 

The Royal Australian Navy Band, Sydney performed a marching display and on completion, the drummers advanced and ‘Beat to Quarters’, as their ancestors once had to call the ship’s company to man the guns and prepare the ship to fight.

All those who attended thoroughly enjoyed the evening and commented on the professionalism of the Navy members and the continuing importance of HMAS Penguin as a member of the local community.