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February 28, 2013
LEUT Sarah West
THE Junior Sailors Mess at HMAS Stirling has under-
gone some major improvements after relocating to a
larger function centre on the base.
The revamped Tamar Tavern reopened its doors at
the end of January, offering a relaxed space that is sure
to be the envy of Defence mess members everywhere.
The move was mostly self-funded, with the Stirling
Welfare Committee contributing some additional funds
to upgrade amenities, allowing the mess to acquire a
new entertainment system featuring a 160-inch projector
screen, new furniture and modernised bar equipment.
Determined to ensure the venue takes a responsible
approach to alcohol, the mess committee joined forces
with the Western Australia Alcohol and Drug Program
Coordinator to implement some positive initiatives,
including a skipper program and an alcohol-free zone.
The skipper program entitles designated drivers,
identified by brightly coloured wristbands, to unlim-
ited free soft drink on Friday and Saturday nights.
The alcohol-free room was established to give
members and their families a space to enjoy the ben-
efits of the mess in an alcohol-free environment.
Like the main section of the Tamar Tavern, the
space features a pool table, an entertainment system, a
lounge area and gaming equipment.
CO Stirling CAPT Angela Bond opened the
revamped facility and praised the efforts of the junior
“They have managed to create a nicer environment,
which is more inviting and conducive to the sense
of community which should be present at all of our
“This venue should have no trouble enticing people
to stay on board and drink responsibly, rather than
going ashore,” CAPT Bond said.
“The skipper program is a particularly positive
initiative intended to make sure our people get home
safely after enjoying this facility. I commend our sail-
ors for finding new and innovative ways to promote
responsible attitudes towards drinking.”
LS James Tew from the Junior Sailors Mess
Committee said moving the mess to its new location
was a massive undertaking, but the result would ben-
efit members for years to come.
“There’s so much more room here now, and all the
hard work has definitely been worth it,” he said.
“We wanted to create an atmosphere that was good
enough to entice junior sailors here on their days off. I
definitely think we have achieved what we set out to do.”
The new and improved mess is sure to please the
growing number of junior sailors living on board at
Stirling, who have chosen to live in the base’s new
state-of-the-art service accommodation, built as part of
Project Single Leap.
James Tew, LSAWA
SM Ben Smith,
Hawke and CO
HMAS Stirling CAPT
Angela Bond show
off the skipper
program wrist bands
in the new
Photo: ABIS Alan Lancaster
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