Sailors at Albatross pitch in to help Nepal

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author), ABIS Sarah Williams (photographer)

(L-R) Petty Officer Imagery Specialist Kelvin Hockey and Chief Petty Officer Boatswain Daniel Macqueen of HMAS Albatross, have been the driving force behind collecting donations to assist with the Nepal disaster. (photo: ABIS Sarah Williams)
(L-R) Petty Officer Imagery Specialist Kelvin Hockey and Chief Petty Officer Boatswain Daniel Macqueen of HMAS Albatross, have been the driving force behind collecting donations to assist with the Nepal disaster.

HMAS Albatross personnel were quick to respond to a public call for help from the Australia-Nepal Friendship Society (ANFS) following the devastating earthquake which struck Nepal on 25 April.

Within a week of Petty Officer Imagery Specialist Kelvin Hockey sending an email seeking donations, a storeroom in the First Lieutenant's Yard was overflowing with tents, tarpaulins, blankets and sleeping bags to provide shelter and warmth for the homeless.

Petty Officer Hockey and Chief Petty Officer Boatswain Daniel MacQueen volunteered their time to sort through approximately four cubic metres of camping gear and organising transport to Canberra for air despatch to Nepal.

"We've probably got about four box trailers worth of equipment including every tent design you can imagine from modern dome tents to 1960s era canvas and wooden pole varieties," Petty Officer Hockey said.   "We also had a local doctor donate some basic medical supplies.

"Albatross Physical Trainer Chris Vale provided some surplus sporting equipment such as soccer balls and cricket bats for the kids which we're hoping will go a long way in lifting morale, and maybe even improve the Nepal Cricket team's chances of success on the world stage in 2020 and beyond," he said.

"It was a pleasure to see so much equipment donated by our people, but it was no surprise, I knew that the generous spirit of those serving at HMAS Albatross would shine through."

"While I do not have a direct connection with the region of the earthquake's epicentre in Nepal, I am aware that the area is considered the heartland of the highly regarded Gurkha soldiers,who have been directly involved in just about every peace keeping mission and war in the last century.

"Every time there has been trouble or strife in the world and there has been a response from the Commonwealth, you can assume there was a Ghurkha on the ground at some stage; so it's very satisfying to be able to provide assistance to them at this time."