“I am a Tingira Boy” and like all former Junior Recruits who are now part of the Tingira Australia Association, proud of it. That said, it is time to get excited gentlemen as an important opportunity approaches for all of us, 2020 JR Reunion.
Decades after those days when we first passed through the gates at HMA Ships Leeuwin and Cerberus, we continue to embrace today something that sailors hold very special – the bonds of camaraderie and mateship which we first established in our JR divisions so many years ago. We are as much a part of our naval history today as our predecessors were on 25th April 1912 when the first HMAS Tingira recruits walked the gangway of that famous clipper ship, anchored in Rose Bay, Sydney.
It’s time therefore to come together again in commemoration and celebration of that history - our history. This time, in the form of a unique opportunity for a reunion, possibly for the very last time at the former HMAS Leeuwin as we once knew it.
In the nearly 60 years since the first intake of Junior Recruits walked though the gates at HMAS Leeuwin much has happened in our lives and in our Navy. The Leeuwin Barracks of today is due to be sold and will, after sale, likely undergo significant transition. I am reliably informed however, that the JR Memorial, rose garden and flagpole will remain in place.
This Diamond Jubilee 2020 JR Reunion is an irreplaceable opportunity for us to come together as former JR’s and Tingira Boys and mark a truly exclusive event - 60 years since the establishment of the Junior Recruit Training Establishment at HMAS Leeuwin and the likely transition of the Leeuwin estate to civilian management. What better way to farewell the institution where it all began for most of us!
In 2010, after the very successful 50th JR Reunion and the commissioning of the JR Memorial, the new Tingira Australia Association steering committee of Alan Rodgers, Chris Perrin, Mark Lee and Chris Parr formed and they have made enormous strides in bringing the Tingira Australia Association together ever since.
Nine years and the three committees later they have done us proud in executing a visionary plan to firmly reunite us as a close-knit brotherhood of former JRs. Their success was no accident. The committees over the years have worked long and hard to get us to the position we relish today. We still enjoy a new member coming on board each week as the Tingira network continues to grow and the Association rounds up our former shipmates.
The 2020 JR Reunion plans are still in the final stages of development in terms of what the five days will hold for us. Importantly, the RAN and the community of Fremantle have also indicated a strong desire to support this reunion celebration as much as possible. ‘Raise the Flag, Ring the Bell’ sounds like a great way to commence the 2020 JR Reunion at no better place than the decks of the Sail Training Ship Leeuwin, dockside Fremantle with hopefully some grey funnel line alongside to complement the occasion.
An ‘Opportunity for Reflection’ with a final march past with the ‘Leeuwin Naval Salute’ from us all at Leeuwin Estate, followed by the 60 year birthday celebration of the ‘Diamond Jubilee Reunion Dinner’ at Optus Stadium on the final evening, get your plans in place lads, see you in Fremantle July 2020!