2020 Virtual Centaur Commemorations

Due to the coronavirus 19 social restrictions currently in place in Australia, we are commemorating the 2/3 AHS Centaur on the 14th May 2020 virtually.

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Today we remember, we are separated, but we are very much together.

We remember with deep sadness and much affection those close to us that we knew only briefly or never got to meet.

Our 268 husbands, wives, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends dedicated to helping others with injuries and pain, whose lives were brutally cut short by the inexplicable actions of a Japanese submarine commander on 14th May 1943.

We also remember those who survived but have lived with the trauma ever since, as well as our Centaur nurses in this International Year of the Nurse.

Lest we forget.

Richard Jones, President 2/3 AHS Centaur Association 

Crossing the Bar

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,

And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,

When I put out to sea,

   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep

      Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,

And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,

When I embark;

   For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place

The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face

When I have crost the bar.

 

In remembrance, below are some photographs of the victims of the Centaur (whose descendants are on the 2/3 AHS Centaur Association Inc. committee):Cronulla Beach 1943 Fred, Elsie and Pammy

Pam Gilbert with her parents on Cronulla beach in 1943 just before the Centaur sailed. Pam’s father was Pte Fred Lewis Fortier 2/12th Field Ambulance, she also lost her uncle Pte Alan D (Bub) Fortier.

1943 GordonCecilyBethKeithAtHome

Major Keith Jones (on the left), father of Richard Jones at a family gathering with his siblings, two days before Centaur sailed. Major Gordon Jones (on the right), a doctor with the 2/12 Field Ambulance, died a few days later when Centaur was sunk by the Japanese submarine off Moreton Island. Both Keith and Gordon were destined for the Atherton Tablelands, a staging post, prior to travelling later to Papua New Guinea. Keith learnt about the sinking of Centaur while on the train travelling north from Sydney.

Last photo separated 1

Captain Bernie Hindmarsh, Ships Medical Staff, father of Jan Thomas, on Saturday 8 May at Circular Quay with his wife Alma during his last leave.  Alma noted on the back of the photo that ‘Bernie spent his last leave breathing down the necks of the Navy for more life rafts’. It was a short turn-around leave for the staff of the Centaur, and she travelled to Sydney to be with him.  The children were left at home.

MickO'brien

Pte Michael O’Brien (father of Patricia O’Brien) in Darwin in 1942. They were standing in cattle trucks from Alice Springs to Darwin late 1942. From there he had leave in Melbourne, then train to Sydney to board the Centaur. The Centaur kept close to the coast, as the 2/12th Field Ambulance were going to the Tropical Medical Centre just north of Cairns for training on their way to New Guinea. Otherwise all ships going north were sent way out to sea so the threat of submarines was reduced.

22 Hoare

Pte John Hoare, brother of Doug Hoare.

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The family photo of Pte Jack Forrest, uncle of Michael Forrest from Charleville in Queensland. The photo shows Jack in the back row, in a white suit, with the family he left behind;  his parents (Michael’s grandparents), six brothers and two sisters.

Please find below a “Tribute to Victims” AHS Centaur film:

 

‘Let us remember the Centaur, a vessel of mercy on the turbulent waters of a world at war’

 

 

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75th ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL SERVICES

Brisbane, Queensland

Monday 14 May 2018, 10am for 10.30.  At St Andrew’s Anglican Church Lutwyche. Refreshments will be served following the Service.

Tuesday 24 April, Nurses’ Candlelight Vigil, Anzac Square.

Saturday 12 May, 75th Anniversary Memorial Dinner, United Services Club, Brisbane.

Enquires: contact the Secretary, Ms Sue De Vries, PO Box 1233, Indooroopilly Qld 4068, or email: admin@centaurnursesfund.org.au

CaloundraQueensland 

Monday 14 May 2018 at 11am.  At the Memorial in Centaur Park. Anyone wishing to lay a wreath please see the Secretary, Dick Alchin, before the Service begins. Morning tea after the Service at Caloundra RSL. Enquiries: Caloundra RSL Centaur Commemoration Committee, telephone (07) 5438 5800.

Point Danger, Queensland

Monday 14 May 2018 at 10am.  At the Memorial (weather permitting, otherwise in the assembly hall, Centaur Primary School, Eucalyptus Drive, Banora Point). The Service is conducted by the school students. Refreshments following the Service. Enquiries to Centaur Primary School (07) 5524 9655.

*Special for 75th Anniversary* Bundaberg, Queensland

Monday 14 May 2018 at 9.30am.  At the War Nurses Memorial Park, cnr Burbong & Takalvan Sts Bundaberg, opposite Bundaberg Base Hospital. If you wish to lay a wreath please advise details by 4 May. Bundaberg & District Ex-Servicwomen’s Assn bundy.eswa@gmail.com PO Box 397 Bundaberg Qld 4570 Ph 07 4159 4134 (secretary) or 07 4157 4621 (president).

Melbourne, Victoria

Sunday 20 May 2018 at 9.00am.  In the ANZAC Memorial Chapel, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, 300 Waterdale Road, Heidelberg West. Entry via Gate 9. Enquiries: Robert Winther (03) 9496 2324, or robert.winther@austin.org.au Refreshments will be served at the Darebin RSL Sub-Branch at 402 Bell Street, Preston.

Concord, Sydney, New South Wales

Friday 11 May 2018 at 10.30am.  In the 113 AGH Memorial Chapel, Concord Hospital, Hospital Rd, Concord. Refreshments will be available after the Service. RSVP  to Melva Lindley at (02) 9767 5256 or melva.lindley@sswahs.nsw.gov.au

Free parking is available in Lovedale Paddock. TheCourtesy Golf Cart will transport people to the Chapel. If parking in the Hospital Carpark you can have your Parking Ticket replaced with a free ticket at morning tea.

Dapto, New South Wales

Saturday 12 May 2018 at 2pm.  At the War Memorial in the small park adjacent to Dapto Railway Station. All welcome. Refreshments following the Service at Dapto RSL Hall opposite the park. For further information or directions contact Michael Johnston, Secretary, at Dapto-Port-KemblaSB@rslnsw.org.au

Macksville, New South Wales

Saturday 12 May 2018 at 11am.  At the War Memorial on the riverbank. Participating in the ceremony will be the cadets of TS Culgoa ANC, the Naval & Mariners Association, and Readers from local schools. Poppies will be offered for placing on the communal wreath. Enquiries: jthomas44@bigpond.com or telephone Jan Thomas at 02 6564 8400.

Canberra, ACT

Monday 14 May 2018 at 4.55pm.  The Centaur Last Post Ceremony at the AWM. Assemble in the Orientation Gallery with the Centaur Association Representative, by 4.30pm.  The Representative will have poppies for those who wish to place a poppy on the Roll of Honour prior to the commencement of the ceremony.  People laying wreaths or floral tributes are asked to meet with AWM staff also in the Orientation Gallery.  The Centaur casualty to be commemorated will be Pte Athol Povey, 2/12th Field Ambulance.

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David Mearns’ Lecture Tour

David Mearns is undertaking an Australian lecture tour of his new book The Shipwreck Hunter.  You’ll see by the blurb that it includes history, human stories and adventure on the high seas, as well as fascinating detective work.  It covers such ships as HMAS Sydney, AHS Centaur, HMS Hood and Vasco da Gama’s 16th century fleet.

The Shipwreck Hunter

Here are the details of David Mearns’ speaking tour:

Brisbane:

Queensland Maritime Museum

412 Stanley Street, South Brisbane Q 4101

26 July 2017 to coincide with the launch.

5.30pm to 7pm

Free

RSVP to QMM 38445361, info@maritimemuseum.com.au to assist with planning. 

Sydney          

Australian National Maritime Museum

Wharf 7, 58 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009

27 July 2017

6pm to 8pm

Special rate, $35pp incl. glass of wine and canapés

RSVP to Discounted tickets

Melbourne   

RACV Club

Club Pavilion, City Club, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000

31 July 17

12 noon to 2pm

RSVP to 9944 8876 or memberevents@racv.com.au 

Costs which include a glass of wine and a light lunch are $65.00 for RACV General Members, and $70 for non-members.

Let them know you are Centaur family and they will try to seat you together.

Perth:

Petition Wine Bar, State Buildings

cnr St Georges Tce & Barrack St, Perth 6000 WA

1 Aug 17

6.30pm to 8pm

1 ticket and 1 book – $55; 2 tickets and 1 book – $80

Order Tickets via link http://statebuildings.com/event/words-wine-shipwreck-hunter/ ;

Enquiries (08) 6168 7780 or enquiries@statebuildings.com                                                                                               

Geraldton:

A search of the internet revealed no details for the Geraldton talk.  We imagine this would probably be mainly for HMAS Sydney or Kormoran people, and don’t propose doing any further research unless we get a request from our members.

We suggest that when you have booked your ticket those going to

Brisbane also contact our representative Michael Forrest at mforrest25@hotmail.com

Sydney contact our representative Richard Jones at rich.marg.jones@optusnet.com.au

Melbourne contact our representative Tony Bracken at tonyb6349@me.com 

If you cannot attend the launch or one of the lectures and would like to order a signed copy of the book please let me or one of our representatives know and they will see if that can be arranged.  It would be at the going price (about $32) plus postage.

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Memorial Service Times

Brisbane, Qld.
Saturday 14 May 2016 at 11am

At St Andrew’s Anglican Church Lutwyche. In attendance will be the choir of Brisbane Girls Grammar, the pipes of Brisbane Boys’ College and the cadets from TS Centaur, ACN. Refreshments will be served following the Service. RSVP by 7 May to Secretary Ms Sue De Vries, PO Box 1233, Indooroopilly Qld 4068 or email: admin@centaurnursesfund.org.au

Caloundra, Qld.
Saturday 14 May 2016 at 11am

At the Memorial in Centaur Park. Children from local schools will lay an individual flower on each name on the Walkway on behalf of relatives. Anyone wishing to lay a wreath please see the Secretary, Dick Alchin, before the Service begins. Morning tea after the Service at Caloundra RSL. Enquiries: Mrs Erica Costigan OAM, PR Centaur Commemoration Committee at bryan.costigan@bigpond.com or telephone (07) 5492 1892

Dapto, NSW.
Saturday 14 May 2016 at 2.30pm

At the War Memorial in the small park adjacent to Dapto Railway Station. All welcome. Refreshments following the Service at Dapto RSL opposite the park. For further information or directions contact Jack Gray, 02 4283 4652, or email rwjgray@reachnet.com.au

Point Danger, Qld.
Friday 13 May 2016 at 10am.

At the Memorial (weather permitting, otherwise in the assembly hall, Centaur Primary School, Eucalyptus Drive, Banora Point). The Service is conducted by the school students. Refreshments following the Service. RSVP 8 May 2016 to Centaur Primary School (07) 5524 9655.

Concord, Sydney, NSW.
Thursday 12 May 2016 at 10.30am

In the 113 AGH Memorial Chapel, Concord Hospital, Hospital Rd, Concord. Refreshments available after the Service. RSVP 5 May 2016 to Melva Lindley at melva.lindley@sswahs.nsw.gov.au or telephone (02) 9767 5256

Melbourne, Vic.
Sunday 15 May 2016 at 9.00am.

In the ANZAC Memorial Chapel, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, 300 Waterdale Road, Heidelberg West. Entry via Gate 9. Enquiries: Robert Winther (03) 9496 2324, or robert.winther@austin.org.au Refreshments will be served at the Darebin RSL Sub-Branch at 402 Bell Street, Preston.

Canberra, ACT.
Saturday 14 May 2016 at 4.55pm.

The Centaur Last Post Ceremony at the AWM. Assemble in the Orientation Gallery with Association member, Ted Leask, by 4.30pm. Ted will have poppies for those who wish to place a poppy on the Roll of Honour prior to the commencement of the ceremony. People laying wreaths or floral tributes are asked to meet with AWM staff also in the Orientation Gallery.

RSVP Jan Thomas (02) 6564 8400 or jthomas44@bigpond.com by 7 May 2016. Please advise if you wish to lay a wreath or floral tribute during the ceremony, and/or place a poppy on the Roll of Honour.

The Centaur casualty to be commemorated will be Pte F. J. Lynagh, 2/12th Field Ambulance.

Macksville, NSW.

Saturday 14 May 11am.

At the War Memorial on the riverbank. Association members and supporters living on the mid north coast or visiting are invited to attend. Refreshments after the Service at Macksville Ex- Services Club. Enq: Jan Thomas, jthomas44@bigpond.com or telephone 02 6564 8400.

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