Corvettes close to home in Cessnock community

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), Cessnock City Council (photographer)

Location(s): Cessnock, NSW

Topic(s): Sea Power Centre - Australia, Naval Heritage and History, Publication

Cessnock City Mayor Councillor Bob Pynsent hands over the 'The ABC of Royal Australian
Navy Corvettes' to Cessnock City Library technical services team leader Amanda O’Hearn.
(Image courtesy of Cessnock City Council) (photo: Cessnock City Council)
Cessnock City Mayor Councillor Bob Pynsent hands over the 'The ABC of Royal Australian Navy Corvettes' to Cessnock City Library technical services team leader Amanda O’Hearn. (Image courtesy of Cessnock City Council)

A pictorial book about the Navy’s Bathurst Class Corvettes has been favourably received and reviewed by the City of Cessnock.

The ABC of Royal Australian Navy Corvettes, published by the Sea Power Centre - Australia (SPC-A), showcases the 56 ships that were named after regional towns and cities around Australia. HMAS Cessnock (I) took her name from the city in the Hunter Valley region of NSW.

Mayor of Cessnock Council, Cr Bob Pynsent said that it was wonderful to attend Cessnock City Library and donate the book, which council received as a gift from the Chief of Navy on behalf of the Royal Australian Navy.

'The ABC of Royal Australian Navy Corvettes', a Sea Power Centre - Australia publication by Able Seaman Libby Pearce.

'The ABC of Royal Australian Navy Corvettes', a Sea Power Centre - Australia publication by Able Seaman Libby Pearce.

The ABC of Royal Australian Navy Corvettes features information about the 56 Bathurst Class Corvettes and includes wonderful images of the Cessnock which served in World War II, taking to the seas in the Indo-Pacific, the Atlantic and Mediterranean,” said Cr Pynsent.

“The naming of the Australian Navy ships after regional towns across Australia was to establish stronger community connections between Navy people and the communities from which they come.

“Incidentally, the Council houses a number of historical artefacts from the Cessnock, including a White Ensign and the Australian flag, which the Cessnock flew in Tokyo Bay when General MacArthur accepted the to end the war in the Pacific.

HMAS Cessnock’s bell, displayed in the atrium of the offices of the Cessnock City Council. (Image courtesy of Cessnock City Council)

HMAS Cessnock’s bell, displayed in the atrium of the offices of the Cessnock City Council. (Image courtesy of Cessnock City Council)

“We also have the bell of the ship which is proudly displayed in the atrium of our Council offices, reminding us of our strong ties with the ship and our Navy,” he said.

Sea Power Centre - Australia’s Director of Strategic and Historical Studies Mr John Perryman said that the construction of Bathurst Class Corvettes such as Cessnock was arguably the first continuous shipbuilding program undertaken in Australia.

“I am pleased that the distribution of ‘The ABC of Royal Australian Navy Corvettes’ has been so well received within communities like Cessnock,” said Mr Perryman.

“The SPC-A publication was launched last year at a time when the Navy and the nation were drawing closer together to create the next generation of Australian warships.

“The hard work by former Navy servicewoman and author, Able Seaman Libby Pearce, serves to remind Australians of the enduring connections they have with their Navy and of course the notable service of their crews,” he said.

The book was successfully launched during the 2019 Sea Power Conference in Sydney.