Submarines Association Australia
North Queensland Branch Inc.Submarines  


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  • 12 Mar 2021 2:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The response for thoughts/interest in conducting ANZAC Day in Cooktown has ben somewhat underwhelming. A very few members indicated that they were prepared to travel to march at Cooktown therefore I have stepped back from initiating it.

    Instead I personally will be attending ANZAC Day at my local RSL Sub-Branch here in Ravenshoe. If any SAANQ member wishes to join me I will welcome them with open arms - further I can provide accommodation if anyone is interested.

    Whilst the Cooktown march not going ahead will be a disappointment to some, the lack of response and interest was also disappointing.

    Que Sera Sera.


  • 30 Jan 2021 6:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Sadly I must advise of unfortunate news regarding Commodore Bob Trotter.  Bob suffered  a stroke yesterday forenoon (Thursday 28 Jan) and was immediately hospitalised at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, WA.  Details of the injuries suffered from the stroke are not yet available and will be advised when released by the family.  Visitors to Bob are limited at this time but hopefully that will change in a day or so.


  • 16 Aug 2020 9:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Well team,

    The AGM was conducted vide Zoom (a conferencing website) and for all intents and purposes was successful. The Executive remains unchanged however there is a requirement for someone to step up and undertake the position of Secretary soon, as Gary and Penny Davis are relocating to Brisbane in the near future.  I would like for someone to step up and undertake this role. We cannot function as an organisation if we don’t.

    Speaking of organisations, if we continue the way we are, we may have to consider the future of SAANQ Branch.  There is a lack of support of the branch, Coronavirus 19 excepted. Even with the technological ability of being able to conduct meetings via a website, it appears only the “regulars” make the effort to engage. We, when able, travel between Airley Beach up to Cooktown in an effort to capture local submariners, providing them the opportunity to catch up, however there seems to be a lack of interest in attending these meetings. The Executive and a core few, make the effort (and expense) to travel so my personal expectation would be that the locals in the area we travel to would make the effort to attend. If there is no interest in attending General and Annual Meetings then I am of the opinion that there is little use in keeping the SAANQ functioning. It’s ALL the members that make the Association, not just a couple.

    I had the opportunity the attend the VP Day Memorial at Rocky Creek and lay a wreath on behalf of Ravenshoe RSL, so I spared a thought and prayer for our kindred who both served and lost their lives in WWII. Sadly it appeared that the remembrance was focused on Army, even though the Catafalque Party was Navy.  Unfortunately I personally embarrassed the PO Bosun in charge by picking up the party members for their dress. All 4 weapons bearers had their Service Readiness Badge on the wrong side of their uniform and indeed one had his right hand rate on his left arm.... I just couldn’t help myself. The young PO Bosun stated she hoped nobody would notice however one crusty old submariner did lol. Well done to our skimmer compatriots hahaha.

    Well that’s all from me. As always the Executive is here to help, however we do need the assistance from our members and if our members don’t want to assist then why have an association? I’ll leave that as something to ponder.

    Please feel free to comment on the above — debate is healthy.



  • 18 Mar 2020 12:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    It's my intention to continue to hold the GM in Cooktown regardless of the Carona Virus. At the moment I am awaiting for Cooktown RSL to hold their Board Meeting to see if the ANZAC Day March is going ahead - I suspect not noting that QLD RSL has recommended that marches not be conducted. Notwithstanding, we as a small group can still hold our ANZAC Commemoration in our own unique style.

    So from my perspective the Cooktown gig is still a go. I'm more than happy to discuss as members see fit but I'm a big one on keeping things local ie Accommodation bookings, Sunset River Cruise, dinner at the RSL, etc. I don't see why the local businesses we have committed to should suffer.



  • 03 Feb 2020 5:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s will sadness I advise that CPOMTPSM Terry “Coyote” Wyatt crossed the bar yesterday at age 75. Another Orion plank gone RIP Terry.

    Terry was a former member of SAANQ and is remembered fondly. 

    As more information is provided we will keep you updated. 


  • 18 Jan 2020 10:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Geoffrey Dean ex CPO UC SM passed away on the 17th this month. His funeral is at Pettigrew Funerals Wallsend NSW at 1200 Wednesday 22nd January 2020  

    Dizzy was in boats in the 60s/70s.

    Our condolences go out to his family  

    May he Rest In Peace  Fair winds and following seas  




  • 17 Jan 2020 11:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    I received the below sad news from Sid Czabotar last night.

    ”I received a message from Henry Thompson’s daughter who advised me that her father, Henry, had passed away and that his funeral will be held at the Drysdale Funeral Home 27 Butler Street Tewantin QLD at 1430 on Thursday 23 January 2019. 
    The Funeral Home contact number is 0731773596

    Sue’s (Henry’s daughter) contact is 0435605211

    Further information can be provided by either Sid on 0437804250 or Billy Clayton President QLD branch as Henry’s funeral is closer to Brisbane than North QLD”

    A sad day indeed and our thoughts and prayers go out to his daughter and family.




  • 22 Dec 2019 8:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Members

    For Trish and I, it is a pleasure to wish all of you a fantastic Christmas and to share our best feelings to you from the bottom of our hearts.

    To begin with, I would like to say that we are extremely grateful and proud of the enthusiasm members display organising every event the SAANQ conducts because it is for you, the members, to enjoy and take advantage of.  It is pleasing to note that the Submarine community continues to grow and as our country and Defence Force grows we have the chance to offer better opportunities and provide better examples to those that follow us and, of course, our loved ones.

    Christmas is a time that brings us many pleasant memories, even of our earliest childhood in the company of our family and our good friends.  It also gives us the opportunity to meet again with our friends and our loved ones and relive many more special moments that we remember with great affection.  That is one of the reasons why we must prepare ourselves to celebrate this festive season with our hearts full of hope, charity and love, to share it with all the people around us.

    However, we must also remember those who are no longer with us and remember their sacrifices.  This is not restricted to the Defence Force or Submarines but our community at large. I look at the hard work and courage currently displayed by our Volunteer Firefighters and share their sorrow in the recent loss of their members.  I would like you to consider just how their young families are struggling whilst others celebrate and reflect on "here by the grace of god"just how lucky we are.

    On behalf of the Executive of the SAANQ, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and celebrate it in the company of your loved ones, receiving great blessings and discovering that there is no bigger gift than being together as a family enjoying the peace and love of this beautiful country.

    All the very best to you on these holidays, it is our most sincere wish for all of you.

    We look forward to seeing you all in the New Year and take the opportunity to remind you that ANZAC Day 2020 will be in Cooktown.

    I sincerely hope to see you there.




    LCDR, RAN (retd)

  • 15 Mar 2019 8:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    LCDR Donald James Parker Watson RAN (Ret’d)
    CPOMTPSM John (Connie) Francis.

    Don ‘Tickety Boo’ Watson joined the Royal Navy in 1943 as a young 13 year old and following his initial officer training at the Royal Naval College he joined HMS AMBUSH as a Sub-Lieutenant in 1950.  Upon gaining his submarine qualification Don joined HMS SCORCHER in 1951 before leaving her in 1953 to join HMS TELEMACHUS then serving with the Fourth Submarine Flotilla in Sydney.  During his time in TELEMACHUS Don spent some time based out of Japan where the submarine was supporting ASW training for ships involved in the Korean War.  He loved his time in Australia and when the opportunity arose to transfer to the RAN Don took it.  He served as the Executive Officer in HMAS SYDNEY during the Vietnam War and then took a job with Pilkington Glass in Sydney where he stayed for many years, living in Darlinghurst. 
    He joined the Tasmanian Branch in 2000 soon after he arrived in Hobart from Sydney.  On arrival Don immediately immersed himself in the local theatre and arts scene where he made many friends.  He also made many friends amongst the local submarine fraternity and was a regular at many of our meetings and social functions before age and infirmity slowed him down in recent years.
    Don is now on Eternal Patrol having died peacefully at the Gardens Claremont on Saturday, 9th March.   A funeral Service will be held at 11.00 am on Monday 18th March 2019 at the Wellington Chapel, Queens Walk, Cornelian Bay Cemetery.  Members are cordially invited to attend if available.
    In lieu of flowers donations directly to RHH Research would be appreciated.

    Fellow Submariners, it is with a a heavy heart and my sad duty to inform you that John (Big Connie) Francis crossed the bar this afternoon from the big  "C"
    Alan Francis in Adelaide rang me two hours after his passing.
    Our hearts, condolences and our support go out to his  Wife Aurora and Family and God bless you and give you the strength to navigate through these next few days until arrangements are made.
    We will be advised in due course
    Sadly, Shut and Clipped.


    O Father, Hear our prayer to thee
    For your humble servants
    Beneath the sea

    In the depths of oceans, as oft they stray
    So far from night, so far from day
    We would ask your guiding light to glow
    To make their journey safe below

    Please oft times grant them patient mind
    Then ‘ere the darkness won’t them blind
    They seek thy protection from the deep
    Please grant them peace when ‘ere they sleep

    Of their homes and loved ones far away
    We ask you care for them each day
    Until they surface once again
    To drink the air and feel the rain

    We ask your guiding hand to show
    A safe progression sure and slow.
    Dear Lord, please hear our prayer to thee,
    For your humble servants
    Beneath the sea.


  • 02 Dec 2018 4:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Well folks it’s that time of the year and I’m old fashioned so Merry Christmas!!

    2018 has been a relative busy year and as we move into 2019 I reflect on those who are struggling and those who have passed. Christmas can be, for some, a very stressful time in their lives so please don’t forget to reach out to those who are not in as good a space as we are. It only takes a few minutes to ask RUOK? 2018 also saw the passing of a few Squadron stalwarts and I ask you to spare a thought for Ross “Runt” Anderson’s and Norm “Bungy” Williams’s families in this “festive” time.

    Bruce Dunster remains our Treasurer and continues to operate our Slop Van so why not have a look on our website as pick yourself up some unique Xmas presents for your family or friends!!

    The SAANQ have been invited to attend the ANZAC Day 2019 services at Bowen and I urge as many of the SAANQ members to attend. Bowen RSL is the site of our Headquarters and I thinks its time we gave them a shakeup and show them what Submariners are really about.

    I’m sure the Events Calendar will be updated soon to reflect the dates and venues for the 2019 SAANQ General and Annual Meetings, however it doesn’t take these meeting to have get togethers. As a suggestion - if members want to have informal get  togethers or dinners etc, Expressions of Interest (EOI) could be posted on our website. It’s often the impromptu get togethers that are the best. I'm happy to host a smokie in 2019 to christen the new shed/rec space.

    Trish and I will be away from 05 December 18 to 15 February 2019 so on behalf of her and myself, have a fantastic Xmas, a pissy New Year and above all keep safe!!


    President SAANQ


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