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A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

- 170 – HMAS

- 170 – HMAS Parramatta arrived at Yangzijiang Wharf, Shanghai on Monday 24 September where the Peoples Liberation Army–Navy (PLA-N) band played on the wharf to welcome the Royal Australian Navy to their country. Our focus in Shanghai was the performance planned for the Glamour Bar and exclusive top level bar on the Bund. There were a number of events in Shanghai, these included the Ceremonial Sunset and Cocktail Party with the formidable sight of two ANZAC class frigates alongside. Along with the guard, we utilised the space of HMAS Perth’s flight deck to show off the Ceremonial procedures with the firing of blank volleys. Ellen Turner, the Australian Manager of the Glamour Bar, was thrilled to have us perform at the bar with the beautiful backdrop of the flood lit Bund. We enjoyed a fantastic meal at the M restaurant upstairs from the exclusive bar; including salt encased slowly baked selected leg of lamb served with vegetables and a rich brown sauce. Crew from HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Perth ventured to the exclusive bar in support of the embarked musicians; overall, it was a very successful night. The most anticipated port for the Ships Company would have to be Vladivostok, Russia. HMAS Parramatta pulled along side with the Russian Band playing tune for tune on the wharf with our musicians on the flight deck. Once the official welcoming was complete, the Commanding Officer held an official luncheon in his cabin with the jazz trio to add the right ambience for the occasion. Friday 5 October 2007, HMAS Parramatta visited the Russian Orphanage where the children enjoyed dancing with some of the ships company to some Salsa and Latin music. The children cooked and prepared an afternoon tea for the ships company and brewed a very sweet Russian tea which was enjoyed by all. On completion of the concert the ships company were shown the children’s toys and watched as they challenged some of the crew in a wrestling match, one of Russia’s favourite sports. HMAS Parramatta made a substantial donation to the children’s orphanage so that the children could enjoy some luxuries that other children get to enjoy. HMAS Parramatta sailed into the Western Naval District Port of Maizuru to the sounds of the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) performing Waltzing Matilda and the Song of JMSDF (Umi wo Yuku). The Japanese people were shown true hospitality on board HMAS Parramatta during the Cocktail Party and Ceremonial Sunset. Once again the musicians performed an hour of jazz while guests were served some local Australian cuisine of Kangaroo, Crocodile and good wine. The small ceremonial ensemble and guard performed the Ceremonial Sunset and guests at the Cocktail Party were invited into various messes to enjoy some Australian hospitality. On Thursday 11 October, crowds were entertained for the open day celebrations and our musicians enjoyed playing the Dixie solos in When the Saints Go Marching In with the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force band. The Japanese were extremely friendly and it was a great thrill to perform with their 35 piece band alongside HMAS Parramatta for the open day. On Wednesday 17 October, HMAS Parramatta arrived into the Cebu International Port, Philippines and was greeted by the official welcoming party and the Philippine Navy Band. That evening HMAS Parramatta hosted the Cocktail Party and Ceremonial Sunset entertaining 80 guests including Governor Cebu Province Honourable Gwendolyn Garcia (equivalent to a State Premier), and Deputy Mayor and Senior Naval and Coast Guard Officers. The evening was enjoyed by all. Early on Sunday 28 October 2007 HMAS Parramatta berthed alongside in Western Australia. Busy preparations were made to prepare the ship for the crew to celebrate being home. Overall the South East Asia Tour was a very successful deployment for the Navy and HMAS Parramatta. The embarked element of the Royal Australian Navy Band showed their professionalism at its very highest and displayed an excellent standard throughout the entire trip. Throughout the deployment the nine band members were utilised throughout the ship for a variety of tasks. Unfortunately due to limitations in time and training there were only a limited number of positions throughout the ship where they could safely be employed. These positions included Scullery and Café Party: an important but underestimated job. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

- 171 – Prior to meals the tables are set, condiments and drinks are filled, dishes, cutlery and cups are washed and replaced back in the galley, garbage emptied and café cleaned and set for next meal. Petty Officer’s and Chief’s Messmen were responsible to prepare meal areas and clean Senior Sailors shower and toilet area, ensure overalls are washed and returned to various messes. Band members also assisted with the stores department mustering and storing equipment, and cleaning. Probably the favourite within the group was Watch on Deck. Working in a four watch system assisting Bosuns with Watch on Deck requirements, including Helm, Lookout, and Quartermasters assistant. Another necessary task was Operational Sentinel Anti Piracy Watches. Personnel with Steyr qualification were utilised for armed stern lookout. Force Protection Rolls and Duty Watch roles saw members carry out positions as armed upper deck sentries. The musicians fulfilled their weapons requirements. Those personnel who have Steyr qualifications were able to carry out training, trade testing and high sea firing to become weapons ready for individual readiness. It really was an interesting afternoon shooting waves. Three months away on the South East Asia Deployment enabled the musicians to integrate into the ships crew of HMAS Parramatta. Members of the ships company were very hospitable and assisted with the musicians learning the ropes. Overall, it was a diverse experience that enabled members to experience life in the sea going Navy aboard HMAS Parramatta. HMAS SYDNEY DEPLOYMENT Article by Petty Officer Kara Williams Rather than a deployment of amassed quantity of achievements, I have come to think of the HMAS Sydney North American Deployment as a deployment of ‘firsts’ and ‘one off’ experiences. The once in a lifetime chance to sail to within miles of Alaska, witnessing the first firing of new weapons systems (including four missiles), a once in a lifetime chance to visit to many of the cities along the western seaboard of mainland USA and Canada on an Australian Warship, the first time across the equator for more than half of Ship’s company and possibly the first (and last!) time ‘Surfin’ USA’, ‘California Girls’, ‘Kids in America’ and ‘Viva Las Vegas’ have been played at an HMAS departure…… It is important for me to detail the achievements of the embarked musicians; however, at the risk of sounding more like a Lonely Planet guide throughout this article, the most memorable things have been those we have collectively experienced ashore. I certainly don’t intend to make our musical contributions to the North America deployment on HMAS Sydney any less important, far from it. The embarked musicians performed with the peels of applause accolades addressed to those producing noticeably high quality results; it is just that the extraordinary geographical positions this deployment has put us in has in my mind somewhat overshadowed our achievements in the more traditional sense. It would be remiss of me not to include input from each of the other nine members as each one of us takes something different; even from a singular event. So much richer is the experience told from different perspectives so; with the reporting of extremely well received Commanding Officer’s luncheons, Cocktail Parties, Marching Displays and Ceremonial Sunsets in each port through to Wakey Wakeys, Watch on Deck, Quartermaster, Quartermaster Assistant, Laundry and Café Party duties, Remembrance Day in Canada, Replenishments at Sea, Cup Day and Crossing the Line festivities, steel deck barbeques and public concerts there is another side to the achievements of the ten musicians posted to HMAS Sydney for the Northern America Deployment. Leading Seaman Dana Moran “Probably the highlight of the trip for me was spending my birthday in Seattle at the Jazz Alley watching Arturo Sandoval and his quintet perform live. Able Seaman Ashley Markey and I had a dinner table less than five metres away from the stage. After an excellent meal we were treated to an outstanding display of musicianship. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

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