Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Trip Down Memory Lane for First Captain

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Trip Down Memory Lane for First Captain

Article excerpt

A FLASHBACK aboard the HMAS Gladstone today saw its original captain back on the bridge after more than 30 years.

The ship's former naval captain Garry Sproule took a tour of the newly renovated HMAS Gladstone, docked at East Shores, alongside Maritime Museum volunteers and the mayor, and the memories flooded in.

Mr Sproule, along with a crew of 23, first brought the boat to Gladstone after it was commissioned from Cairns in 1984.

It wasn't until 2007 that he saw the boat again, when it was decommissioned in Gladstone.

Almost 10 years on, he was welcomed by mayor Matt Burnett for a tour on the ship, just as he was by former mayor Col Brown 33 years ago.

"It really is in remarkable condition," he said.

Mr Sproule said the ship was used to patrol the waters surrounding Queensland; the mission to be on the look-out for illegal immigrants and illegal commercial fishing vessels.

"In my two years on that ship there never really was one big bust, but it went all the way to New Guinea, over to New Zealand, and all other places for army exercises. …

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