Members of HMAS Success’ ship’s company paused at sunset to commemorate the lives of eight fellow Royal Australian Navy and Royal Navy seafarers, as their ashes were committed to the sea near Lord Howe Island last weekend.
The ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Allison Norris and Chaplain Colin Tett led the service which was attended by personnel representing all Success’ departments.
After a brief eulogy in which each past members’ service history, honours and awards were read out, Captain Norris read Psalm 23, beginning with the words ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’
After the prayers of committal, eight volunteers representing the rank and rate of each past member, knelt in turn to consign the ashes to the deep.
The service concluded with prayers which gave thanks for the gifts of life and hope and encouraged all to go into the world in peace, to be of good courage and to hold fast to that which is good.
Lieutenant Ian Murphy summed up the feelings of all present at the ceremony.
“I felt humbled to participate in such a solemn and sacred ceremony in a place of beauty and tranquillity such as Lord Howe Island.
“I was especially moved to see an albatross descend at the end of the ceremony as if in blessing,” said Lieutenant Murphy.
Rest in peace Gordon, John, William, Ken, Bob, Les, Eric and Norm.
HMAS Success is an Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessel of 18,000 tonnes and a crew of around 220 men and women.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20141756.