Roll up, roll up, young and old to Navy's largest warship

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Chris Thornton (author), LSIS Christopher Szumlanski (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), Family Day

HMAS Adelaide’s oldest and youngest guests during family day - Lola Atkins, 91, grandmother of LEUT MLO Samantha Best, right; and Lilah Cook, 9 months, daughter of ABBM Liam Cook, left, joined by the Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathon Ley, centre. (photo: LSIS Christopher Szumlanski)
HMAS Adelaide’s oldest and youngest guests during family day - Lola Atkins, 91, grandmother of LEUT MLO Samantha Best, right; and Lilah Cook, 9 months, daughter of ABBM Liam Cook, left, joined by the Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathon Ley, centre.

Age was no barrier during the recent family day on board HMAS Adelaide.

Maritime Logistics Officer, Lieutenant Samantha Best, welcomed her grandmother, Lola Atkins, on board for the day. At 91 years of age, Mrs Atkins was the most senior person on board.

Conversely, Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Liam Cook brought his daughter Lilah on board, who was a precious nine months old.

It would be pretty safe to say that Adelaide can now boast having had the oldest and youngest guests aboard an Her Majesty’s Australian Ship, with a 90-year age difference between the two.

This was only possible because the ship’s company implemented more safety precautions than normal in order to safely embark their families and friends, with all guests fitted with an appropriate sized life jacket.

Chief Petty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Martin Sammut said the age-diverse guest list was a rare sight.

“In all my years at sea, I’ve never seen an 80-year difference between guests on board, let alone a 90 year difference!” he said.

The day commenced with a landing craft ride, where all guests embarked via the ship’s stern door.

The ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathon Ley, welcomed people aboard, and guest were treated to tours of the ship, a spectacular jet flight display, small arms weapons display, raffles and a seafood buffet.

It has been a very busy year for Adelaide as she participated in the Sea Raider series of exercises and then a two month trip in the South West Pacific, where she conducted Operation RENDER SAFE and Enhanced Regional Engagement.

The family day was organised in appreciation for all of the support families and friends provided to the ship’s company throughout the year.

HMAS Adelaide’s family day cruise.

HMAS Adelaide’s family day cruise.