Ceremony honours HMAS Sydney II, HMQS Gayundah

Published 6:00pm 20 November 2023

Ceremony honours HMAS Sydney II, HMQS Gayundah
Words by Jodie Powell

A ceremony at Woody Point overlooking Moreton Bay on November 18 marked three special occasions.

It commemorated the 82nd anniversary of the sinking of HMAS Sydney II, saw the unveiling of a new memorial for HMQS/HMAS Gayundah and celebrated Redcliffe Sub Section of the Naval Association of Australia member Mick Rudkins' 100th birthday.

The ceremony was organised by the Redcliffe Sub Section of the Naval Association of Australia and the Australian Navy Cadets attached to Training Ships Moreton Bay and Gayundah.

It was held in parkland 200m from the hulk of Gayundah, a 350 tonne gunboat, which along with HMQS Paluma was brought to Australia in 1884 to protect Queensland.

Gayundah was later remodelled and served in World War I as HMAS Gayundah before becoming a gravel barge in Brisbane until her final role as a breakwater at Woody Point.

There had long been a kerbside memorial to the ship but many likened it to a brick barbecue with a flag pole.

Fitting design

Naval Association of Australia Redcliffe Subsection president Karl Seddon. Image: Andrew Kacimaiwai

The Redcliffe Sub Section worked closely with former Moreton Bay Regional Councillor Koliana Winchester and Moreton Bay City Councillor Karl Winchester to have the new memorial built.

The memorial, in the Gayundah Arboretum, was built by the City of Moreton Bay Council and is made from granite, depicting Gayundah's bow facing the ocean, along with three flagpoles and landscaping.

The new memorial incorporates plaques from the original brick structure.

Eighty people gathered at the Arboretum to remember those who had fallen with the loss of HMAS Sydney II and the history of the Gayundah and to watch Mick Rudkins lay flowers on his birthday.

See the gallery

Gallery images: Graham Davis and Andrew Kacimaiwai

The cadets played a pivotal role in the function, providing a colour party.

Cadet Leading Seaman Jason Murphy gave the introduction, Cadet Petty Officer Christy Hill presented an address in memory of the Sydney II, Cadet Leading Seaman Oliver Lovell paid tribute to the Gayundah and Cadet Able Seaman Sienna Avery offered a prayer for the Navy.

The Ode, the Last Post, a minute's silence and Reveille were also observed.

The Executive Officer of Gayundah, Commander Ian Fraser, was master of ceremonies, while Sub Section president Karl Seddon welcomed the guests.

Personal tributes

Image: Andrew Kacimaiwai

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