HMAS Anzac has arrived in Port Louis, the last foreign port of her NORTHERN TRIDENT deployment.
Anzac departed Sydney in March, and has transited the Southern and Indian Oceans, the Red Sea, Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea and the North and South Atlantic en route to Port Louis.
The ship has represented Australia at Centenary of Anzac events in the Sea of Marmara, Cape Helles, Gallipoli, Italy, Malta and South Africa, along with D-Day commemorations at Normandy.
This visit provides opportunity for the maritime forces of both Indian Ocean nations to work more closely together, and HMAS Anzac will host a ‘Women in Uniform’ mentoring session, providing an opportunity to share experiences between uniformed women from both nations. Members of Anzac’s crew will also participate in a sporting afternoon with the Mauritius Coast Guard.
The Australian High Commission in Mauritius has been at the centre of establishing the local ‘Women in Uniform’ network in order to raise the profile of the role of women in defence and policing.
Together with the High Commission, Anzac will co-host an official reception, a commemorative service for Australian-Mauritian servicemen from the First World War and also for the sole Australian serviceman buried in Mauritius – Navy Bandsman Arnold Partington, from HMAS Canberra I, who died during the Second World War.
Anzac’s Commanding Officer Captain Mal Wise, OAM, RAN, described the significance of the visit to his crew.
“Throughout her deployment Anzac has paid tribute to the 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in service over the past century,” Captain Wise said.
“In Mauritius we complete the commemorative aspect of our mission by participating in a service for approximately 40 Australian-Mauritians who fought in the First World War, and paying our respects to one of Navy’s own from the Second..
Australia’s High Commissioner in Mauritius, Her Excellency Ms Susan Coles, said that many Australians and Mauritians were unaware of the historic relationship between the nations, particularly in times of war.
“Bandsman Partington's niece, Mrs Jenni Chinner, has flown from Australia for the events, and the niece and nephew of a First World War Australian-Mauritian Gallipoli soldier, Corporal André Dalais, will also participate,” she said.