Coffs Harbour Royal Australian Navy cadets inspect one of the unit's new safety boats.
Coffs Harbour Royal Australian Navy cadets inspect one of the unit's new safety boats.

Naval cadets salute 40-years of service

THE Coffs Harbour Australian Navy cadets have saluted 40-years of service by dedicating safety boats in honour of two of the unit's greatest supporters. 

The day also marked the first time since 1997 that the doors have been opened to the TS Vendetta unit on the Jetty Foreshores.

Saturday's ceremony opened with an official Aboriginal welcome before the naval cadets, ranging in ages from 12 to 19, staged a formal parade.

A dedication and prayer service was performed by Coffs Harbour RSL Sub-Branch Padre the Reverend Dr Graham Whelan, who blessed the unit's two new safety boats.

One boat was christened 'Go Farr' in honour of Cadet Dempsey Farr's father Barry Farr who had the dream of raising money for the unit so that could purchase a safety boat to assist with ocean training.

"Barry Farr devoted many hours researching how to obtain the boat," the unit's Linda Herzig said.

"Unfortunately Barry died before seeing his goal fulfilled.  

The second safety boat was christened "The Invinceable" named after Vince Brooker of Coffs Harbour Rotary whose granddaughter Mikayla Brooker is a member of the unit.

"Vince devoted many hours to fundraising for this boat, which was obtained through the generous help of the Rotary Club and the Coffs Coast Freemasons.

Ms Herzig said the ceremony was closed with a stirring rendition of Amazing Grace played on bagpipes to the sound of the ocean.

"It's wonderful that so many people want to help the Navy Cadets grow into community-minded young adults and help our cadets remember their proud heritage by sharing stories and their valuable time.

The unit will stage a series of upcoming events for it's 40th anniversary celebrations.

For information about recruitment call the unit on 0403 234 547.