Having commissioned HMAS Canberra, the ship’s company feel a special connection with the ship, one that they would like their families to share.
It was for this reason that Leading Seaman Marine Technician Nathan Cook chose to have his son Elijah’s dedication ceremony onboard the ship.
“The birth of our first baby was a massive event for my family and being a commissioning crew member on Canberra was a massive event in my navy career,” Leading Seaman Cook said.
“It seemed only fitting that Elijah be a part of the special bond I have formed with the ship.
“I hope that he will look back at the photographs one day and know that the sacrifice he shared with my wife Rebecca, was somehow honoured by this ceremony.”
The ceremony was held on the quarterdeck of the ship and with Sydney turning on some beautiful weather. Navy Chaplain Murray Lund blessed Elijah in front of almost 60 guests.
“My family and friends said they felt so honoured to be a part of Elijah’s day,” Leading Seaman Cook said.
After the ceremony afternoon tea was served in the Embarked Forces' Café and Leading Seaman Cook conducted a tour of the ship.
“Two of my young nephews ran up and hugged me at the end of the tour and said they wanted to join the Navy,” he said.
“As I was the first in my family to join, it’s nice to think that a family legacy may have started on that day.”
Leading Seaman Cook’s son is the third baby to be honoured on the ship since it commissioned in November last year. Commanding Officer Captain Jonathan Sadleir christened his daughter, Olivia, onboard and Lieutenant Matthew Schroder christened his son Alex.
Leading Seaman Cook said he hopes that his family and friends will share many stories of the day in years to come.
“Most importantly they will share the memory of Elijah in his sailor suit onboard the ship,” he said.
“He was in the navy for one day but will be a part of the ship forever.”