Thursday, March 08, 2007


You will remember from your schooldays that the Sirius was the flagship of the First Fleet that came to Port Jackson in 1788, and together with the Supply continued to serve the needs of the new colony. On 19th March 1790, while bringing supplies and a contingent of convicts to the penal settlement on Norfolk Island, the Sirius was wrecked on the reef at Kingston. She remained there, almost undisturbed just beneath the surface for 200 years. It was not until the 1980's, as part of the Bicentenary activities, that a major project was undertaken to recover artefacts from the wreck, most of which are now housed in the Pier Store Museum on Norfolk Island.

The most recent addition to the fleet of the Royal Australian Navy has now been named the SIRIUS, and has chosen, fittingly, to make Norfolk Island its "home port." That is in spite of the fact that Norfolk Island does not even have a harbour!! A local lady, Janine Nobbs, was the Sirius's commissioning lady when it was commissioned in September 2005. Janine's husband, Brancker, is not only a Bounty descendant, but also a direct descendant of Philip Gidley King, who was in charge of the first penal settlement on Norfolk Island, established within weeks of the settlement at Port Jackson.

Last weekend, the new HMAS Sirius paid its first visit to Norfolk Island.
On Saturday morning, in an impressive ceremony in Bounty Square, with all the pomp and protocol that the Navy does best, a special presentation was made to the ship's commanding officer, Commander Tim Crawford.
This was followed by a march through Burnt Pine.

The presentations included a ceremonial scroll, giving the ship's company freedom of the island, and then a specially made symbolic key. The key and its box, I will proudly tell you, were made by our son John. He also produced a special box containing six of the nails from the original Sirius, mounted on a Pine knot.
The new Sirius is a former oil tanker, the MV Delos. It was purchased and converted by the Navy to replace the HMAS Westralia .
And that little flagship of the First Fleet could fit inside this modern vessel at least 5o times over!!
We look forward to many future visits from the Sirius. One interesting remark made by Commander Crawford was that he will ensure that his ship will never be in its home port on March 19!

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