A group of personnel from NUSHIP Canberra have been treated to a lesson in Spanish exploration during a special lecture hosted by the Sydney Cervantes Institute.
Keynote speaker, well known Spanish economist and historian Professor Ramon Tamames shared his rich knowledge of Spanish exploration. The lecture was hosted by the Sydney Cervantes Institute to commemorate the 5th centenary of the first European sighting of the Pacific by Vasco Nunez de Balboa.
Canberra’s Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathan Sadleir, AM, RAN was invited to speak along with the Commanding Officer of Spanish Armada Ship SPS Cantabria, Commander Jose Nieto.
Captain Sadleir said it was a great opportunity for Canberra personnel to learn more about ties with the Spanish Navy from the 16th century as well as learn more about modern day relationships between the two Navies.
“It was a good opportunity for members of Canberra’s ship’s company to learn about Spanish exploration in the Pacific. It was also a chance for me to present to members of the local Spanish community who attended, the strong working relationships we have grown with the current day Spanish Armada through the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) project,” said Captain Sadleir.
“SPS Cantabria is currently undertaking a 12 month deployment with the Royal Australian Navy while NUSHIP Canberra’s connection to Spain is that her hull and fittings up to the level of flight deck were built by Spanish company Navantia in Ferrol-Fene in north west Spain,” said Captain Sadleir.
A contingent of ship’s company from SPS Cantabria and NUSHIP Canberra attended the event which was hosted by the Sydney Cervantes Institute. Among them was Canberra’s Chief Petty Officer James Dew who was able to chat in Spanish with some of the Spanish attendees. CPO Dew’s last posting was to the Australian Embassy in Madrid, Spain where he learned some of the language.
Spanish Consul General, Álvaro Iranzo, welcomed the attendees. Commodore Warfare, Commodore Peter Leavy RAN, also attended the event representing Commander Australian Fleet.
The Cervantes Institute aims to promote Spanish culture and is located in many cities world wide.
Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20131322.