HMAS Huon anchored in the approaches to the lagoon of Lord Howe Island yesterday. This day marks the moment when Lieutenant Henry Ligbird Ball and members of the ship’s company of HMS Supply founded the island 226 years ago.
Noting this auspicious occasion, the ship’s company of Huon marched down the main street to the Cenotaph in front of an impressive crowd of over 150 people. Several island officials and the Commanding Officer took the opportunity to speak before laying a wreath to commemorate the day. Lieutenant Commander Jace Hutchison, Huon’s Commanding Officer, said it was a great opportunity for Huon to continue the strong relationship the Royal Australian Navy has with Lord Howe Island.
“We are extremely proud to be able to represent the Royal Australian Navy here on this special occasion and look forward to contributing to the fantastic history the Navy has had with Lord Howe Island since 1788,” he said.
The visit also provided an opportunity for members of the ship’s company to visit the local Lord Howe Island School and about their roles onboard and life in the Navy. The children responded positively and even made a presentation of their own. This included an excellent exhibition of the Lord Howe Island stick insect which has been brought back from the brink of extinction in recent years.
During their transit from New Zealand to Lord Howe Island, Huon also had the opportunity to visit the magnificent structure known as Ball’s Pyramid, which protrudes 552 metres out of the ocean and forms the world’s tallest volcanic stack. It was a truly humbling experience, and members took the opportunity to photograph the epic vertical structure. Some were even lucky enough to dive at its base.
Prior to their visit to Lord Howe Island, HMAS Huon had participated in the major regional exercise Western Pacific Naval Symposium held in Auckland, New Zealand, in company with HMAS Gascoyne.