Tag Archives: navy

ANZAC Day 25th April, 2019.

This morning, our son and I attended the local ANZAC Day march and commemoration service. Indeed, as a Scout, our son was in the march and even carried the Australian flag. I must apologize that the photo is a little historic, but it can be difficult to get teenagers to comply. I’m sure you understand.

ANZAC Day is an incredibly deep and reflective day for us on a personal level. Geoff has family who served in just about every conflict and his Great Uncle, Robert Ralph French, was killed in Action in France. That was his grandmother’s much loved brother and since he had no children of his own, we’ve embraced him and our children will carry his memory forward.

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In addition to thinking about these sacrifices, today I also reflected on the format of the commemoration service and how it’s probably the last bastion of tradition in our ephemeral contemporary world. Even after all these years and long after the Australian national anthem was changed to Advance Australia Fair, we sing God Save the Queen on ANZAC Day instead. I don’t know how that went at other locations, but where we were, there weren’t too many singing along. Many didn’t know the words and I also wonder how many didn’t feel right singing it either. We’ve moved a long way forward as a nation since then both in terms of gaining independence from Britain, but also in acknowledging and embracing our Aboriginal heritage. That Australia wasn’t “terra nullus” after all.

The service also includes two traditional hymns: God Our Hope in Ages Past and Abide With Me. The only voice I could hear singing was the minister on the microphone. I sang along but there was silence all around me. I felt it would have been helpful to have a choir leading the singing or have groups practice these hymns beforehand. It sounds dreadful when no one is singing along, just like at a silent funeral.

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I feel this dog has earned the right be be an “Australian Digger”…slang for soldier.

I wonder how these traditions are going to go moving forward. Are they set in stone? Or, will future generations find a new means of expression?

Meanwhile, I made fresh ANZAC Biscuits when we got home and then watched a bit of the dawn service in Gallipoli and France. The ANZAC Biscuits have been an important part of my tradition and a way of expressing my gratitude. There’s something for me about pouring your emotions into food and sharing that with those you love.

I’ll leave you with this poem:

In Flanders fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae (1872–1918)

Lest we forget.

Best wishes,

Rowena

PS Just thought I’d mention that Geoff ended up being called into work for several hours last night and hence he wasn’t at the march but watching the march on the TV at home.

Why Get Your Paws Wet?

Try telling this dog it’s not the Captain of the ship, Master of its domain?!! As I watched the boat powering through the river with the dog proudly standing at the helm, how could I let the moment pass by?

As a casual observer, I never had the opportunity to find out whether this dog was an avid swimmer and water dog or a land lover who couldn’t think of getting its precious paws wet.

However, after my recent post A Different Type of Rescue Dog where a Newfoundland Dog threw its anxious visitor far into the river to stop its yapping and get it where it wanted to go, this dog really caught my eye. He didn’t need to swim. He had a boat. No doubt a boat it considered its own.

How does your dog manage around water? Do they love swimming or perhaps they’re more into dry land. Let your stories flow!

xx Rowena

This photo was taken at Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River, Sydney.

Photo: Rowena Newton.

Sydney Harbour…A Rear End Perspective.

If you were painting a portrait of Sydney Harbour, no doubt you’d position the Sydney Harbour Bridge centre stage. Of course, the Sydney Opera House with its iconic white sails would be leaning over on the left and you might even include a smattering of Luna Park over on the right. Of course, it would have to be a postcard perfect sunny day with azure skies and diamonds sparkling over the the deep blue harbour. It would undoubtedly be that iconic portrait of Sydney Harbour.

However, there are all sorts of angles and perspectives on a diamond, which are all quite equally Sydney Harbour and yet comparatively unrecognizable.

So, today we’re trading in the “Front Door View” and I’m letting you enter my magnificent home city through one of it’s many back doors…Darling Harbour. You will be joining Miss and I as we walk from Matilda The Musical back to Town Hall Station via Darling Harbour and the Queen Victoria Building. (You can read about Matilda Here)

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Rowena & Miss at Matilda

Actually, looking further through the photos, I might need to re-define “view”. After all, when you think of a view, you’re looking up and out at something. I can’t help wondering if I was focused on my feet on this walk. Indeed, I’ve even photographed my feet but for me, feet are very much a part of journeys, particularly when you’re walking and exploring. I like to think of all the many different places my feet have walked and how through walking through these different paths, that I am walking where so many others have walked in their own shoes with their own dreams and perspectives of these very same paths and what a beautiful thing that is. “We are one, but we are many”.

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Miss and I on the wharf at Darling Harbour. Yet another shadow portrait. My camera doesn’t know what a selfie is.

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Ship, Darling Harbour.

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The Welcome Wall at the Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour  honours more than 6 million immigrants to Australia.

 

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I loved all these molten reflections in the front window at the Maritime Museum.

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Me and my red shoes about to board a ship.

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Miss and I indulging in luscious Iced Chocolates at the Lindt Cafe, Darling Harbour. They were the best! We had an impromptu afternoon tea with friends there.

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Chinese Lunar New Year Lantern Sculpture in the Queen Victoria Building.

 

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Queen Victoria is not too sure about the Tiger Lantern which has moved in next door for the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Queen Victoria Building, Sydney.

The Queen Victoria Building is located just across the road from the Sydney Town Hall where we caught the train home.

After such a wonderful day, I felt like Cinderella returning home from the ball and it was back home to prepare for another week.

xx Rowena

Touring HMAS Toowoomba, Garden Island, Sydney.

Seizing the day yet again, we drove down to Sydney on Saturday to tour HMAS Toowoomba, which was open to the public as a fundraiser for a group of children’s charities called Kids in Need. These charities included Muscular Dystrophy NSW, which assists me with managing my dermatomyositis, which is a neuro-muscular condition. Unlike Muscular Dystrophy, there is treatment for DM, although not always as effective as we’d like.

HMAS Toowoomba

HMAS Toowoomba

The Police were all waiting for Mister to turn up.

The Police were all waiting for Mister to turn up.

HMAS Toowoomba was docked at Garden Island, in Sydney Harbour. Garden Island is located to the north-east of the Sydney central business district and juts out into Port Jackson, immediately to the north of the suburb of Potts Point. Used for government and naval purposes since the earliest days of the colony of Sydney it was originally a completely detached island. It was joined to the Potts Point shoreline by major land reclamation work during World War II.

The kids at the entry to base.

The kids at the entry to base.

Garden Island is so-called because it was planted in 1788, in the first months of European settlement in Australia, to serve as a kitchen-garden by officers and crew of the First Fleet vessel HMS Sirius.[2] Initials carved into a sandstone rock on the site are believed to be the oldest colonial graffiti in Australia, comprising the letters “FM 1788,” representing Frederick Meredith who served as Sirius‍ ’​ steward.[3]

Frederick Meredith carved his initials into the rock at Garden Island in 1788, the year the First Fleet arrived in Sydney.

Frederick Meredith carved his initials into the rock at Garden Island in 1788, the year the First Fleet arrived in Sydney.

Which came first Qantas's  flying Kangaroo or the Navy's ocean hopper?

Which came first Qantas’s flying Kangaroo or the Navy’s ocean hopper?

HMAS Toowoomba (FFH 156) is the seventh Anzac class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She was laid down in 2002 by Tenix Defence Systems and commissioned in 2005.

In 2007, Toowoomba was deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Slipper. Her second deployment to the Middle East occurred during the second half of 2009. As part of this, she became the first RAN vessel to operate with the counter-piracy Combined Task Force 151.

If you look behind the kids, there is either the perfect location for hide & seek or time out.

If you look behind the kids, there is either the perfect location for hide & seek or time out.

 

Geoff testing out their breathing apparatis.

Geoff testing out their breathing apparatis.

The kids with "Oscar" their crash test dummy. He leads quite a rough life and has had 4 reincarnations in the last 12 months. Apparently, a shark got his hands.

The kids with “Oscar” their crash test dummy. He leads quite a rough life and has had 4 incarnations in the last 12 months. Apparently, a shark got his hands.

Missis now ready to put out any fires onboard.

Miss is now ready to put out any fires onboard.

 

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I was absolutely stoked at being able to make it up this ladder. A testimont to the power of prednisone and being in remission.

I was absolutely stoked at being able to make it up this ladder. A testimont to the power of prednisone and being in remission.

Standing under the "cannon", or whatever you call it.

Standing under the “cannon”, or whatever you call it.

Obviously, we had a fabulous day out and would liike to thank everyone who made it possible!!

xx Rowena