Home' Navy News : October 29th 2009 Contents NAVY NEWS
October 29, 2009
By LCDR Christine Sheppard ANC
EXTREMELY active Gold Coast Australian Navy
Cadet unit, TS Tyalgum, (LCDR Christine Sheppard,
ANC) celebrated its first half century of operations
with a presentation and reunion ball at the Gold
Coast Arts Centre on September 19.
The function brought together more than 70 present
and former cadets proud of their association with
the Broadwater-based unit, including the most senior
officer of today's Navy, VADM Russ Crane, AM,
Local newspaper The Gold Coast Bulletin wrote:
"In a city with such a relatively short history, it is a
source of great pride when an organisation reaches 50
years service and on Saturday night TS Tyalgum cel-
ebrated that milestone."
More than 240 people attended with 75 former
cadets from all eras from 1959, including the Chief of
Navy, a cadet in the 1960s, in attendance.
The ball was about celebrating the unit's history
and events that have brought us from our beginnings
to where we are today. It was about celebration, rekin-
dling friendships and reliving memories of cadet days.
Following a unit tradition, the current TS Tyalgum
cadets -- with female cadets wearing gowns the col-
ours of the rainbow and males wearing ceremonial
rig -- took part in the Presentation of Cadets 2009, the
format being similar to a debutante ball. The 22 cadets
were presented to VADM and Mrs Crane.
Founding members of the Naval Association and
Navy League on the Gold Coast Jim Spiers and Ron
Lather, who were among those responsible for the for-
mation of TS Tyalgum, were present and recognised by
CN for their contribution. These men were instrumen-
tal in the building of our unit premises.
In his speech CN reflected on his days as a young
lad, along with brother Terry and their dad, going to
the unit site and helping out, even before the days of
"The ANC has had a long and proud history since it
was recognised under the Naval Defence Act in 1910,"
VADM Crane said.
"Until 1973, they were known as the Sea Cadet
Corps. They were renamed the Naval Reserve Cadets
in 1973 and, in 2001, the Government review, Cadets:
The Future, recommended a final name change to
Australian Navy Cadets."
VADM Crane also praised Tyalgum's recent activi-
"TS Tyalgum is a very active unit that participates
and engages in community events and activities reg-
ularly," he said. "The unit is consistent in its par-
ticipation in area and flotilla events and excels in its
approach to waterborne activities."
On the Sunday, a barbeque was held at the cadet
unit for more than 130 people, including CN, where
former cadets toured the unit, checked out old photos,
met with old friends and reflected.
has a ball
FOND MEMORIES: CN VADM Russ Crane, his
wife Michelle and XO and CO of TS Tyalgum,
respectively LEUT Ron Sheppard ANC and LCDR
Christine Sheppard ANC.
LIFE in a Blue Suit by Gerard McLennan
is a book that would make an interest-
ing present for the handful of 'old and
bolds' still in the RAN who can remem-
ber the Navy he describes.
It will also appeal to retired veterans
who served in the era of all-boy ships.
And it would also be an instructive
read for those currently serving in today's
very different Navy.
The best way to describe the publica-
tion is a nostalgic period piece. It reveals
all of the mores, prejudices and concerns
of the RAN and its young men in the '60s
Stylistically, Life in a Blue Suit is set
as a series of memories from the author's
boyhood as the second son of a Roman
Catholic family in the Melbourne suburb
of Kensington to the point where he opts
to 'swallow the anchor' after achieving
his goal of commanding an Australian
As the guided missile frigate he cap-
tains moves through a series of evolutions
in his last day of command en route home
to Sydney after 25 years in the RAN, the
author (as CO) opens windows -- as a
series of flashbacks -- describing various
different stages of his career.
He traces sitting for a RAN entrance
exam taken by more than 600 from which
only 32 were accepted, to training through
the RAN College and other establish-
ments in the UK and US as he progresses
through different levels of professional
PWO training and the ranks from mid-
shipman to commander.
The 170-page book is published on
quality paper that reproduces the author's
diagrams and photos well.
Life in a Blue Suit -- 170pp, $45 via
order form from firstname.lastname@example.org
or (02) 9968 2463; or from the Australian
Defence Force Academy bookshop.
-- LCDR Antony Underwood
Life in a Blue Suit, Gerard McLennan
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