The celebration of Navy’s 120th birthday on March 1 gave personnel the opportunity to reflect on their own service and that of their families.
The aviation technician trainees and Navy staff at the RAAF School of Technical Training at RAAF Base Wagga marked the milestone with a dawn colours ceremony beside the HMAS Sydney (I) flagpole in the Victory Memorial Gardens.
Among the gathering was Navy Divisional Officer Warrant Officer Trevor Johnstone.
“My great-grandfather Harold Swaine Tooker served at Gallipoli as part of the 11th Light Horse Regiment,” Warrant Officer Johnstone said.
“He was one of the last men on the Gallipoli Peninsula and had the task of pressing the detonator on Walkers Ridge, signifying the withdrawal.
“The Royal Australian Navy birthday signifies to me the 120 years of substantial sacrifices made by brave young men and women in protection of our great nation, allowing us the freedoms that some take for granted and I hold dear today.
“This is why I serve and why I love being part of the ADF family.
“Hopefully my actions would have made him proud.”
Wagga Wagga has a large veteran community, representing all three services, with a proud and rich naval history stemming from a Bathurst-class corvette named after the town.