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Case for Royal Australian Navy 75th Anniversary commemorative scotch decanter

Date: 1986
Overall: 253 x 130 x 115 mm
Medium: Plastic, paper, ink, cord
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from the family of Henry 'Jim' Ramsbottom
Object Name: Case
Object No: 00051743

User Terms

    These commemorative items were produced to celebrate certain anniversaries and events in the history of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), including the 75th anniversary of the RAN, the Silver Jubilee of HMAS PARRAMATTA, and the 100th anniversary of the RAN. The anniversaries of the RAN mark the years since King George V granted the titles of Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Naval Reserve in 1911.
    SignificanceThese commemorative items demonstrate an important informal tradition in the Navy, which often accompanies formal procedures such as decomissioning of vessels - the production of a port or whisky as a memento of an historic moment. The ANZAC biscuit tin was produced by Unibic in 2011 to celebrate the Centenary of the formation of the Royal Australian Navy. Each year the company Unibic produces a special tin of ANZAC biscuits in cooperation with the Returned & Services League (RSL) to raise funds for veterans and provide education resources on Australia's ANZAC history.
    HistoryRAN 75th Anniversary:

    The 75th Anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy was celebrated on 10th July 1986, marking 75 years since King George V granted the titles of Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Naval Reserve. In 1859 a British Naval Station was established in Australia and a squadron from the Royal Navy was permanently maintained in the waters. It was eventually manned by Australian personnel. In 1909 talks discussed establishing an Australian Fleet Unit. The first units arrived in November 1910, the destroyers YARRA and PARRAMATTA. Less than nine months later King George V made his announcement. On 4 October 1913 the Australian Fleet of the RAN entered Sydney Harbour for the first time, consisting of HMA Ships AUSTRALIA, cruisers MELBOURNE, SYDNEY and ENCOUNTER, and destroyers WARREGO, PARRAMATTA and YARRA. The same year the Royal Australian Naval College was established.

    There were many events held in 1986 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the RAN, with highlights including a dedication of the National Naval Memorial in Anzac Parade, Canberra, by HM Queen Elizabeth II, and weeklong celebrations in October which included a parade of 2000 naval personnel from seven countries through the streets of Sydney CBD and an international Fleet Review spectacular on Sydney Harbour that included vessels from countries such as the US, Papua New Guinea and France, culminating in a fireworks display centred around the Harbour Bridge. Commemorative items and souvenirs of all types were produced throughout the celebration year.


    The RAN shore establishment HMAS WATERHEN is the Royal Australian Navy's lead establishment for Mine Warfare. It is occupied by many professional sailors and home to some of the most advanced Mine Countermeasure equipment and technology, all contributing to the Navy's Mission. WATERHEN is the second commissioned unit to carry the name, the first WATERHEN was one of four 'V' Class Destroyers built in England in 1918, it transferred to the RAN in 1933, re-commissioned for war in September 1939, and lost at sea 30 June 1941.

    The second HMAS WATERHEN was first commissioned in 1962, as the parent establishment for Australia's Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Force, Clearance Diving Team One and a variety of Support Craft. For many years, the base supported the Australian Mine Warfare and Patrol Boat Forces, serving as the home port for mine countermeasures vessels and both the Attack and the Fremantle class patrol boats. An extensive redevelopment program and modernisation of facilities begun in the early 1990s was formally completed in early 1997.


    HMAS PARRAMATTA was the first of six River class destroyer escorts built for the RAN, it was commissioned at Sydney on 4 July 1961 under the command of CMDR G.R. Griffiths DSC RAN. PARRAMATTA completed several overseas deployments, including active service during the Vietnam War, escorting HMAS SYDNEY (III) to Vung Tau, Vietnam, in 1965, 1968 and 1971. She also served on patrol duties between 1964 and 1966 during the Indonesian Confrontation, and was diverted to Bali in July 1976 to provide humanitarian relief following a devastating earthquake. Perhaps her most distinguished early career highlight was the escort of the Royal Yacht BRITANNIA during the visit of Her Majesty the Queen in 1963.

    PARRAMATTA spent four years decommissioned while modernisation and a complete refit were carried out at Williamstown Naval Dockyard, and was recommissioned on 26 August 1981. Highlights of this second phase of her career included a rare visit to the Peoples Republic of China in 1986 and participation in the 1986 Royal Australian Navy 75th Anniversary Naval Review (the same year in which she celebrated her Silver Jubilee) and the Bicentennial Naval Salute in 1988. The RAN eventually replaced the River class destroyer escorts with the Adelaide class guided missile frigates, and PARRAMATTA was decommissioned on 11 January 1991.

    Royal Australian Navy Rugby:

    The Royal Australian Navy Rugby Union (RANRU) was formed in 1912 and has progressively grown from strength to strength throughout its long history. The RAN recognises the benefits of the sport of rugby, considered a premier team sport throughout the world, which encourages fitness and fosters the type of teamwork and camaraderie sought by many modern corporations.

    RANRU proudly fosters both male and female rugby union at all levels within Navy, the Australian Defence Force and the community. In addition to unit level challenges, the RANRU participates in a number of development fixtures against other representative sides, including NSW Fire Brigade teams. From these various fixtures, events and development camps the Navy Senior Men's and Women's national squads are selected for the Australian Services Rugby Championships (ASRC) - the pinnacle of the annual Defence rugby calendar. These national men’s, women’s and Under 21’s squads undertake special event tournaments and international tours, including the triennial Commonwealth Navies Rugby Cup, and naval rugby’s equivalent of the Bledisloe Cup, the Shelford-Stokes Shield.

    ANZAC biscuit tin:

    Invented during WWI, as a means to provide Australian and New Zealand soldiers fighting overseas with comforting and nutritional foods which were not susceptible to spoilage on the long slow voyages of supply ships, ANZAC biscuits were initially referred to as Soldier’s Biscuits until the landing at Gallipoli and the actions of the ANZAC’s inspired their popular name. The recipe combination of butter, oats, flour, golden syrup and coconut, made these biscuits ideal for surviving the long journey from Australia and New Zealand to the battlefields and trenches in Europe. The biscuits also did not use eggs as a binding agent, as in more traditional biscuit recipes, which was important due to the shortage in supply of eggs following the enlistment of many poultry farmers.

    Not only an enjoyable sweet treat for the soldiers, the ANZAC biscuit was also a fond reminder of those at home awaiting their safe return. The production and distribution of the biscuits to the battlefront was a large scale operation chiefly undertaken by women’s organisations and community groups, such as the CWA (Country Women’s Association), church groups and schools. Prior to shipping, biscuits were packed in used tins which could be sealed tightly and therefore avoid deterioration.

    The company Unibic issue a commemorative tin of ANZAC biscuits every year and have a unique partnership with the RSL, whereby a proportion of proceeds from biscuit sales go to the organisation to help raise funds for veterans and provide educational resources for younger generations. Unibic ANZAC biscuits are now sold in the United Kingdom, India, Canada, the United States and New Zealand – with a percentage of total sale proceeds going to various war veterans and community support groups. The ANZAC commemorative tins are a long-standing tradition for the ANZAC biscuits brand as an important fund-raising component for the RSL in Australia, RNZRSA in New Zealand, and VFW in the United States.

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