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December 8, 2011
By Graham McBean
HER Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has
personally congratulated the RAN on
its faithful service to the nation in its
centenary year of the 'Royal' prefix.
A letter addressed personally to Chief
of Navy VADM Ray Griggs states "it
gives me great pleasure to send my per-
sonal and sincere wishes to the Royal
Australian Navy in the Centenary year".
The original intent was for the Queen
to present the letter to VADM Griggs
personally during her October 19-29
visit but her schedule precluded a per-
sonal presentation. Instead, the letter was
signed by the Queen and forwarded from
Buckingham Palace immediately follow-
ing the royal visit.
Equerry to the Queen, CMDR
Andrew Willis, said she was very much
aware of the centenary year and every
effort was made to coordinate the
Queen's and CN's schedules.
"Unfortunately, through the nature of
the visit program, as well as CN's sched-
ule at the time, things just did not line
up," CMDR Willis said.
CMDR Willis said it had been
an honour and privilege to have been
involved with the visit and to have
worked behind the scenes in Australia
and at Buckingham Palace in the lead up
to the visit.
"It was an amazing experience to see
behind the scenes of what is to so many
people just a public persona, and assist in
the creation of a polished visit," he said.
He said the Queen and Duke of
Edinburgh both enjoyed their visit to
Australia and they had looked forward
to the tour.
"It was something that had been
talked about at the palace for some time
before the visit," he said.
Queen personally congratulates Navy
ROYAL DUTY: Equerry to the
Queen, CMDR Andrew Willis
(pictured above and right behind
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II),
says it was an honour and privi-
lege to be so closely involved in
the royal visit to Australia.
Photos: Warren Derwent
and LAC Leigh Cameron
By Michael Brooke
THE important work performed
by the RAN Hydrographic Survey
Branch was emphasised to nine
sailors recently when they dis-
covered a sunken cargo-container
in Sydney Harbour during their
The nine graduates of Basic
Hydrographic Survey Course
(BHSC) Session 23 were operating
a side-scan sonar when they located
a cargo container that had fallen off
a freighter. They reported it to the
Sydney Port Authority, which has
since placed a beacon on it until its
removal in the near future.
The discovery of the cargo con-
tainer and the overall invaluable
contribution of the hydrographic
surveyors to the RAN was highlight-
ed by LCDR Wendy Stewart, OIC
RAN Hydrography School, during
the BHSC graduation ceremony at
HMAS Penguin on November 23.
LCDR Stewart said there was a
significant military aspect to hydro-
graphic surveying, with the branch's
warships and aircraft often called
upon to provide specialist informa-
tion to support amphibious and mine
The graduation was attended
by Deputy Hydrographer CAPT
Jennifer Daetz and Head of
Command and Navy Head Littoral
Warfare CMDR Simon Cannell,
who presented the certificates and
CAPT Daetz congratulated the
graduates on their hard work, which
"has reaped them a new and signifi-
cant milestone in their careers".
The graduation was especially
memorable for SMNHSO Dean
Azzopardi, who was awarded
the Navy Community Warfare
Hydro grads ready for the deep
Medallion, and SMNHSO Tim
Bell, who was crowned as the
Waining Perpetual Trophy dux.
The course comprised 11
weeks' training at Penguin, during
which time the trainees learnt about
the theory of surveying and the use
of equipment both on land and sea.
SMNHSO Dean Azzopardi
SMNHSO Ashley Ames
SMNHSO Kathleen Jolley
SMNHSO Timothy Bell
SMNHSO Joshua Baldock
SMNHSO James Turnell
SMNHSO Jessica Van der
SMNHSO Nicolas Love
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