Rotary Club of Manly Bulletin
Editor Co-President Maggie Shanahan and Peter Sommer
 
President Enza opened the meeting at 7am.
 
PP Veronica Hopley led the affirmation.
 
Apologies were received from Ted Waters and David Park.
 
We welcomed Noel Phelan from the National Maritime Museum our speaker for the morning and Robert Jones.
 
 
Noel Phelan, Past President of Norhbridge Rotary Club and lead volunteer at the National Maritime Museum gave a fantastic talk on the collision between the Melbourne and the Voyager. He held everybody’s attention with his intimate knowledge of the facts and his insightful and informative comments on the events of the night and their ongoing impact on all those directly or indirectly involved or connected to the event. The destroyer HMAS Voyager collided with the much larger aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne in 1964 and cost 82 lives. With diagrams & pictures, Noel walked us through the 180 degree manoeuvre (turning the aircraft carrier into the wind) which led to the 3,500 ton destroyer being turned over & split in two by the 20,000 ton aircraft carrier, before sinking in nine minutes.  It was interesting to walk through the timeline of the relatively poor post-incident communications, as well as to hear examples of the poor (by today’s standards) treatment of the survivors.
 
The first Royal Commission blamed the Captain of the HMAS Melbourne, before new information caused the very rare event of a second Royal Commission. Finally the captain of HMAS Voyager was found “unfit to command” as he had ill-judged the turn. The Melbourne was involved in a similar incident in 1969 when forty ships were engaged in a naval exercise in the South China Sea. A warning had been issued that an accident similar to the Voyager disaster was possible. The accident did happen when the Melbourne collided with the Evans and cut it in half!
 
Noel’s talk held everyone’s attention. It was a most enlightening and informative talk. Thank you, Noel.
 
President Enza acknowledged the work of Tony Abbott who is an honorary member of our club. 
 
Andrea was welcomed as Co Director with Stuart for Youth. Andrea will join the Board.
 
PP Douglas reminded the club of the Wellness Walk being held on 11 October. President Enza is organising a club team and encouraged all members to join in the walk. She suggested that those members unable to walk might consider sponsoring the club team. 
 
Vivien gave an update on her work at Homes for Heroes. She has completed the refurbishment of three units. 
 
The raffle was drawn by Neil and Robert won. 
 
The meeting closed at 8am.