It was a cool and overcast day at Fleet Base East, but that did not stand in the way of HMAS Parramatta raising more than $1,200 for the ship's nominated charity by participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge.
On Thursday, 28 August 2014, the Commanding Officer accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge after being nominated by a United States Navy colleague. The Heads of Departments and Ship’s Warrant Officer, showing camaraderie, joined in on the challenge.
Leading Seaman Ryan Eatt took on the role of auctioneer and accepted bids from members of ship’s company to auction off the privilege of pouring buckets of icy water over the heads of the senior crew members. The bids came in fast, as members of the ship’s company relished the chance to win the rare opportunity.
With the bidding done and the deed about to proceed, Commander Willis challenged the Commanding Officer of HMAS Melbourne, Commander Bill Waters, Commanding Officer HMAS Stuart, Commander Aaron Nye, and the first Commanding Officer of Parramatta IV, Rear Admiral Michael Noonan.
Following the issue of the challenges, members of Parramatta’s ship’s company counted down and in perfect unison, the buckets of icy water were tipped over the apprehensive heads.
The money raised by the event was pledged to the Parramatta Mission, which supports the Wesley Apartments that accommodate families while their children receive critical treatment at Westmead Children’s Hospital.
"It was good to see the Commanding Officer chilling out for a good cause," said Leading Seaman Stacey Licence in the aftermath of the event, as the ice cubes were being cleared from the flight deck.
The Ice Bucket Challenge originated as a social media campaign for ALS/MND which was initiated by Pete Frates, a former Boston College captain who is living with motor neurone disease (MND) in the United States of America. Since Peter Frates posted his challenge online the Ice Bucket Challenge quickly went viral and is now spreading across Australia. For more information on MND and the Ice Bucket Challenge, visit the MND Australia website.