This exhibition is a joint presentation between the Queensland Maritime Museum and the Royal Australian Navy to celebrate the launch of the new HMAS Brisbane. The crew were recently granted Freedom of Entry to Brisbane, an ancient ceremony performed by navies and cities.
The Museum revived another tradition, the seadog mascot for the ship. We auditioned 26 British Bulldogs and selected Hank, who has become a celebrity since he marched (yes, marched!) with the crew through Brisbane resplendent in his summer whites.
Our exhibition is drawn from our own collection and includes the history and stories of the three HMAS Brisbane ships:
o HMAS Brisbane [I] – Town Class Light Cruiser 1913-1935
o HMAS Brisbane [II] – Charles F Adams (Modified Perth) Class- Guided Missile Destroyer 1966-2001
o HMAS Brisbane [III] – Hobart Class Destroyer, Guided Missile (DDG) “The Steel Cat” 2018
It displays artifacts, images, uniforms, medals, ships magazines, and a video. Our Curator Don Braben has presented an insight into life on board Brisbane [I] for the sailors in WW1 and Brisbane [II] in the Vietnam War.
One of our hard-working volunteers, Doug Marsh, served on Brisbane [II] during the Vietnam War. He has kindly allowed us to display some of his personal collection including his medals. His friend Charles Rigg from Victoria also lent some of his memorabilia from that period on the ship. It was not easy sourcing sailor’s artifacts from this ship as many returned veterans from this conflict preferred to forget the experience due to poor treatment by the public, government and media upon their return.
The nickname ‘Steel Cat’ is derived from the image of a black panther on her crest, and the fact that she is forged from steel in structure and courage.
HMAS Brisbane: Steel Cat Exhibition was opened by Commander Gerald Savvakis, CO of HMAS Moreton and will be displayed from 9th April to 11th August, 2019 in the Queensland Maritime Museum, Level 3.
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