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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Robert McRae

Celebration flags fly on GAWLER's bow as ARMIDALE is commissioned, Darwin 24 June 2005

Date: 2005
Dimensions:
560 x 770 mm
Medium: Paper, watercolours, ink
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Robert McRae
Classification:Art
Object Name: Watercolour
Object No: 00039799

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    Description
    HMAS ARMIDALE is shown moored at port facing HMAS GAWLER in this watercolour. Navy personnel are performing the commissioning ceremony of ARMIDALE and preparing to board the ship as celebratory flags fly from GAWLER's bow. Naval artist Robert McRae painted a series of watercolours of the Royal Australian Navy's HMAS ARMIDALE commissioning ceremony on 24 June 2005.
    SignificanceThis watercolour by naval artist Robert McRae provides an insight into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) commissioning ceremony of HMAS ARMIDALE. Commissioning ceremonies are a century-old tradition of the navy and the first step in a naval ship's career.
    HistoryHMAS ARMIDALE is the lead ship of the Armidale class patrol boats of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). It underwent its official commissioning ceremony on 24 June 2005 at Darwin, Australia and was put under the responsibility of the Commanding Officer LCDR Andrew Maher. ARMIDALE was named after the first HMAS ARMIDALE a Bathurst class corvette (minesweeper) which sank after being attacked by Japanese torpedoes near Timor on 1 Dec 1942.

    The commissioning of ARMIDALE marked the introduction of 14 new Armidale class patrol boats to the RAN, replacing the older Fremantle class patrol boats. ARMIDALE was built at the Austal shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia in 2004. Its commissioning ceremony was attended by the Minister of Defence, the Honourable Senator Robert Hill; the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Chris Ritchie AO RAN; Acting Maritime Commander, Commodore Peter Lockwood and Chief of Airforce, Air Marshall A G Houston AO AFC. The Commissioning Lady was Ms Jana Stone, daughter of Ordinary Seaman Donald Lawson who served in the first ARMIDALE.

    HMAS ARMIDALE's primary purpose is for surveillance, interception, investigation and the apprehension of vessels infringing Australian fishing, quarantine, customs and immigration laws. In November 2008 ARMIDALE played a key role in the commemoration service for HMAS ARMIDALE (I) at Timor. The ship's crest consists of a tower on a mount which was taken from the crest of the Coat of Arms of the City of Armidale. Its motto 'Stand Firm' is a symbol of the strength and stature of the city of Armidale and HMAS ARMIDALE.

    HMAS GAWLER was in service 23 years before it was decommissioned at Darwin in 2006. During its career the patrol boat conducted over 800 boardings and was involved in a number of humanitarian operations for the Royal Australian Navy.


    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Celebration flags fly on Gawler's bow as Armidale is commissioned, Darwin 24 June 2005

    Web title: Celebration flags fly on GAWLER's bow as ARMIDALE is commissioned, Darwin 24 June 2005

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