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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1915

Mr GOSLING (Solomon) (10:36): The US Ship USS Canberra served in the US Navy from 1947 to 1970, and the US have just announced that they will name their next warship the USS Canberra.

Ships names are reborn, you see, and after attending HMAS Darwin's decommissioning recently, we eagerly await the next warship, HMAS Darwin. Bravo Zulu to Navy, the team at Surface Force Headquarters and Mr Dean Thiele penned this prose:

A phoenix rising, we stare in awe,

A mighty warship, prepared for war.

Defend she will and fight she may,

Prepared for combat, it's Darwin's way.

For thirty years plus three, she's served

With pride and honour, no effort reserved.

But time has passed and waits for no one,

Decommissioning near, her time is now done.

'First lady of the fleet', your crown to pass,

To success, you've achieved, we raise a glass.

For service you've given we say to you,

A heartfelt thanks and a Bravo Zulu.

Mrs Joan Johnston did launch the ship

In eighty two, on March twenty six.

And 'twas July twenty-one in eighty-four,

Commissioned ran, an orphan no more.

The first ship Darwin, was so named

Her namesake city, has proudly claimed.

Freedom of entry and keys to the city,

A bond worth a beer and a good ole ditty.

A thousand times four, plus three hundred and more,

The number who've served, with esprit de corps.

The women and men, both present and past,

Hold a rare family feeling, for ever to last.

And nautical miles, there's been a few,

In millions it's been, about one point two.

In perspective, you see, the ship has hurled,

About fifty times around the world.

And countries visited, all thirty four,

Showing the flag, in those runs ashore.

Diplomatic calls and sports games with balls,

Good ambassadors you've been, in all your travels.

Your guns and launchers, silent now lay,

Emitters and sensors, no more to play.

Your engines to rest, a long time they ran,

The galley is quiet, no calls to scran.

The calls for 'in stores' can now be shelved,

The sound of helos will now be quelled.

No more the 'gin pennant' at mast to see,

But celebrate farewell, a plenty there'll be.

Thirty plus seven different 'birds' away,

Fifty plus six different 'fish' did spray.

Nine and one half thousand rounds did fly,

From the gun that you see mounted so high.

And operations served from the Middle East,

To Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.

Narcotics and weapons seized while deployed.

A significant haul removed and destroyed.

And 'thank you' goes out to those in support,

Over all of the years that you have brought.

On behalf of Darwin we can't say enough,

Through all of the times, good, bad and tough.

November twenty-seven of twenty-seventeen,

Your final home berth, with fanfare for the team.

And shortly thereafter on December nine,

Decommission, there'll be so many to pine.

Farewell we say, but remember we will,

The phoenix rising, resurgent still.

To warship 04 and all of her friends,

Thanks for the memories, your shipmates send.