Dedication for Royal Australian Navy River-class frigates

A plaque, which, for the first time offi­cial­ly recog­nis­es the ser­vice to the nation of all 12 of the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy’s (RAN) Riv­er-class frigates, and the crews who served in them in war and peace, will be unveiled tomor­row, 12 Feb­ru­ary in Syd­ney.
Min­is­ter for Vet­er­ans’ Affairs and Defence Sci­ence and Per­son­nel War­ren Snow­don said the plaque ded­i­ca­tion ensured the RAN Riv­er-class frigates and their crews were recog­nised and hon­oured in our naval his­to­ry.

“The Riv­er-class frigates are all named after Aus­tralian rivers, were built in Aus­tralia and were in ser­vice with the RAN from 1942–1979,” Mr Snow­don said.

“All but one of the Riv­er-class frigates were sold and scrapped after they were decom­mis­sioned, with HMAS Dia­man­ti­na pre­served as a muse­um ship at the Queens­land Mar­itime Muse­um.”

Mr Snow­don said the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment was pleased to be able to pro­vide fund­ing for the plaque through the Salut­ing Their Ser­vice com­mem­o­ra­tions grants pro­gram.

The Salut­ing Their Ser­vice com­mem­o­ra­tions grants pro­gram sup­ports projects and activ­i­ties which direct­ly com­mem­o­rate Australia’s ser­vice­men and women who served in wars, con­flicts and peace oper­a­tions.

Lieu­tenant Vince Fazio (retired), Pres­i­dent of the HMAS Con­damine Asso­ci­a­tion, served onboard HMAS Con­damine, which saw action dur­ing the Kore­an War. He com­mis­sioned the plaque after receiv­ing the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans’ Affairs grant.

“I’m expect­ing about 70 guests at the cer­e­mo­ny. Vet­er­ans from the major­i­ty of the 12 Riv­er-class frigates includ­ing a cou­ple of vet­er­ans from HMAS Hawkes­bury, which saw action dur­ing World War II,” Lieu­tenant Fazio (retired) said.

“The Pres­i­dent of Gas­coyne togeth­er with the Pres­i­dent of Cul­goa will be invit­ed to unveil the plaque, rep­re­sent­ing the first and last of class ships. “It will be great to catch up with some old mates,” he said.

Com­man­der Shane Moore CSM, Direc­tor of the RAN’s Naval Her­itage Col­lec­tion, said that an impor­tant part of Australia’s naval his­to­ry had been pre­served with the plaque ded­i­ca­tion. “Out­side the Navy com­mu­ni­ty, lit­tle is known about these frigates and the men who served on them. You could argue that his­to­ri­ans have over­looked their fine ser­vice to the nation but, it is fit­ting that it has now been recog­nised through this plaque.”

The plaque unveil­ing and ded­i­ca­tion ser­vice will be held at 11am, 12 Feb­ru­ary at the RAN Her­itage Cen­tre, Gar­den Island and will be fol­lowed by after­noon tea.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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