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HMAS Waterhen Christmas Party

On Friday the 7/12/2018 six of our cars were displayed at the HMAS Waterhen Christmas Party held at their base which is located on Balls Head Bay within Sydney Harbour.

According to the Navy HMAS Waterhen website page, '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.In the early 1990s Waterhen underwent an extensive redevelopment and modernisation program in which all facilities were rebuilt. This project delivered an establishment designed to fare well into the future. The handover ceremony for the completion of the Modernisation Program was held 20 February 1997.Waterhen is the Royal Australian Navy's lead establishment for Mine Warfare. A shore establishment 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.

HMAS Waterhen is located on the shores of Sydney Harbour at Waverton on a land area that was originally granted to Edward Wollstonecraft and passed to his business partner Alexander Berry in 1832. Today it owes its geography to the need in the 1930s for a graving dock facility for the RAN. The cliff which forms the 'back wall' is a result of quarrying operations which saw stone removed from the Waverton site to Potts Point to form the Captain Cook Dock and the land bridge between Potts Point and Garden Island, which was actually a true island at that time.'

The families attending were also entertained by a Royal Australian Navy Band, a Fast Rope Dispay, a Petting Zoo and various side shows - which we were also welcome to ride on, although I don't think anyone did. We seemed quite content taking in the harbour view, having a relaxing chat and watching the dozens of seagulls, many of which had nests containing either eggs or chicks that live in the rocks along the edge of the harbour. It was certainly a nice spot for a relaxing lunch.

The outing was good opportunity for us to show our appreciation, in a very small way, for the sacrifices made by our Navy personnel and the hard work they undertake each day both at bases such as Waterhen and whilst at sea.

For our members who attended it was a chance to have a look around a facility that we wouldn't normally have access to.

Thanks to everyone who attended.

Geoff & Louise Yeomans 1914 Wolseley

Barry & Dorothy Shinfield 1911 Talbot

Laurie Garrod 1916 Buick

Andrew Benoit 1911 Le Zebre

Lauren & Abbey Newman, 1914 Talbot

Dianne & Christopher Gotley

Graeme & Karyn Newman 1913 Talbot

Images courtesy of Andrew Benoit, Lauren Newman & the HMAS Waterhen website page

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