Ceremonial Sword continues service at HMAS Moreton

Published on SBLT Nancy Cotton (author)

Location(s): HMAS Moreton, Qld

Topic(s): HMAS Moreton, Naval Heritage and History

Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton, Commander Gerald Savvakis with the Reverend Ian McGilvray, and the Reverend’s ceremonial sword. (photo: )
Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton, Commander Gerald Savvakis with the Reverend Ian McGilvray, and the Reverend’s ceremonial sword.

When retired Royal Australian Navy Officer, and now the Reverend Ian McGilvray, decided to present his ceremonial sword back the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Moreton willingly accepted his generous offering.

The Sword was presented to Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton, Commander Gerald Savvakis at a small ceremony in the presence of ship’s company of Moreton.

The Reverend McGilvray was born in Toowoomba, South East Queensland, and during his Navy career served in HMA Ships Anzac, Derwent, Brisbane (II), Stalwart (II), Sydney (III), Parramatta (III), Vendetta (II), Melbourne (II) and Success (II).

As a Chief Petty Officer in 1975 he was selected for Officer training at Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, England where he received the sword.

He returned to Australia in 1979 serving in HMAS Melbourne (II) as the Operations Officer. His career took him to the Ton Class minesweeper HMAS Ibis (II) until it was decommissioned in 1984.

The Reverend McGilvray then went to France where he worked on the preparation and commissioning of HMAS Success (II), to then serve in her for three years.

For the remainder of his Navy career he was a Fleet Seamanship Officer at Fleet Staff before retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Retirement to the Reverend McGilvray was far from kicking back though, with his love for travel he took up the role as a field leader for several international charities.

During this time, the Reverend McGilvray and his wife spent time in Tanzania, Zanzibar and the Middle East bringing aid and training to the communities.

In 2002 he finally retired and is currently the Honorary Chaplain at the Mission to Seafarers in the Port of Brisbane.

The Reverend McGilvray said he enjoyed his time in the Navy immensely but remembers how tough it was leaving family, so often gives thought to our current serving members.

“I was given the sword when I was in Dartmouth, it’s in great condition and I’d be delighted for it to be used here at Moreton when the occasions arise.

“I wanted to find an appropriate home for it, so I am very grateful to Commander Savvakis for accepting it at Moreton,” the Reverend McGilvray said.

Commander Savvakis congratulated the Reverend on his Naval career and also the broader work he continued to do and still does with the Mission to Seafarers.

“We are very grateful for your generosity in gifting the sword to Moreton.

“It is a beautiful sword and will be bought on charge and maintained as an asset and will remain as the Commanding Officer’s sword at Moreton, so it will always have a working life,” Commander Savvakis said.