Sharing a mutual history, HMAS Creswell supported Jervis Bay Public School as she marked her centenary at the end of October.
First opening in 1914, as ‘Captain’s Point’, the building was then located near the current site of the Senior Sailors’ Mess within the Creswell establishment.
In 1924, the school was moved to its present location adjacent to Creswell and throughout the years, after the closure of Wreck Bay School and with Navy families attending and boosting numbers, the school has remained standing.
HMAS Creswell Commanding Officer, Captain Stephen Hussey, attended the official ceremony on 1 November and spoke of the historical ties between Navy and the school and the importance of nurturing the relationship.
“The link between Creswell and Jervis Bay Public School is particularly strong and I think it’s important to take this opportunity to both acknowledge and celebrate the key role this small village school has played in so many lives over the past 100 years,” he said.
Former students came from all over Australia for the centenary celebrations. One very special visitor was 91 year old Flora Lucas. Ms Lucas’ father worked at Creswell and she was born onboard where the old golf course is currently located. She was delighted to attend and cut the cake to celebrate an important part of Navy and local history.
“Community engagement is particularly important in a small region such as Jervis Bay where we all live, work and raise our families in close proximity. Navy has a long history and enduring commitment in this area where we continue to work closely with the local community on a range of events every year,” Captain Hussey said.
A Seahawk helicopter from 816 Squadron staged a grand entry on the Friday afternoon, as staff and students formed the number ‘100’ on the school oval and an aerial photograph was taken from the Seahawk which then landed and gave the delighted children an opportunity to climb onboard and talk to the crew.
Pilot, Lieutenant Matt Hudson, said it was great to see so many happy children.
“They were all eager to chat to us and look around the aircraft and it was a great to be involved in such a momentous occasion for Jervis Bay School,” he said.
The Navy band battled the heat and wind on Saturday to add their usual excellent standard of entertainment to the carnival atmosphere, and proudly represented Navy throughout the day. The celebration was also supported by Lieutenant Commander David Jones, the Creswell Historical Collections Officer who provided guided tours of the base.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20143370.