NOC/ RACA Annual Trafalgar Dinner – 24 Oct 14
The Annual celebration of Trafalgar over a fine dinner, incorporating the toast to ‘Lord Horatio Nelson – the Immortal Memory’ in the impressive Macquarie Room at the Royal Automobile Club of Australia (RACA), was a most memorable and enjoyable occasion, rendered more so by the captivating Powerpoint address for the second year in a row by the Guest of Honour and Guest Speaker, Lieutenant Commander Desmond Woods RAN who is, himself, a member of the Naval Officers Club of Australia (NOC) .
Whereas last year Desmond focussed on Trafalgar and Nelson, this year he spoke on the HMAS Sydney-SMS Emden encounter of 100 years ago with enthralling peripheral coverage of the Coronel and Falklands Islands battles and the roles in 1914-1918 of the battle cruiser HMAS Australia and other major units of the RAN’s first fleet.
This address again was delivered with style, good humour, an historian’s insightful eye for appealing detail and the accompaniment of wide ranging, relevant imagery. Moreover, the past was bridged with the present and the persuasive relevance of it all was not lost upon the appreciative diners.
There was a commendable turn out of by members of both the NOC and the RACA together with their guests, with the latter outnumbering the former! It was a jointly staged function, but with the formalities and officiating falling largely to Ralph Derbidge(Dining President), Paul Martin (principal co-ordinator and MC), Jim Warren (RACA, personal input and Vote of Thanks) and John Ellis (Mr Vice).
So, well done Desmond, Paul, Jim and John for your respective contributions to the successful outcome of last night’s proceedings. I thank you profusely on behalf of the NOC.
Ralph was the de facto court photographer for the occasion, in addition to his other duties. He was armed with only his new iPhone for a weapon (for which he had not done the course), but the attached images give some indication of the grandeur of the night and attendance by some of our NOC members.