HMAS Cerberus recently answered the call when a request was made for two Navy swimmers to join a servicemen’s relay team at the 2019 Australian Imperial Forces National Swimming Carnival at Noble Park in Melbourne.
“It was a surprise when Captain Mike Oborn, the Commanding Officer of HMAS Cerberus, and Lieutenant Andrew Fenn, President & Coach of the Cerberus Swimming Club, volunteered to join us,” Navy veteran Ron Giveen said.
Ron, a retired Navy Warrant Officer Writer, had travelled from Sydney for the event with Mick Gallagher, another Navy veteran who had served as a Quarter Master Gunner, before commissioning to become an officer.
Ron and Mick both joined the Royal Australian Navy in January 1963 as Junior Recruits at the training establishment HMAS Leeuwin in Freemantle, Western Australia.
Both are also members of the Manly Leagues Swim Club.
The combined Royal Australian Navy & Navy veteran’s team came second in the 4 x 50m servicemen’s open freestyle relay.
Captain Oborn and Lieutenant Fenn then joined up with the full Manly Leagues team, which won second place in the 10 x 50m freestyle relay and third in the Ray Weekes Memorial Trophy 4 x 50m relay.
Captain Oborn also gained first place as a serviceman in the 50m freestyle 40-45 age group, and was second overall.
By joining up with the Manly Leagues Club team, the two Cerberus volunteers helped the team gain second place in the overall point score, with 24 clubs competing. They narrowly missed out on first place by just one point.
“We were pleased to join up with our Navy veterans Ron and Mick for a great day of swimming and camaraderie,” Captain Oborn said.
“Hopefully we shall be able to put in a full Navy team next time,” he said.
The first AIF Swimming Association carnival was held in 1936 at Coogee, Sydney. The 84th swim will be at Southport, Queensland, in April 2010.