FOR 91-year-old navy Lieutenant Commander retired Henry ‘Nobby’ Hall the International Fleet Review will be much more than an armada of ships and a spectacle of parades and fireworks.
The event will symbolise what Mr Hall believes the Royal Australian Navy is all about, fellowship.
During his 43 years in the navy, 20 of which were at sea, the Bomaderry resident said he has learned that navies around the world have a sense of camaraderie in common.
“There truly is a fellowship that exists between sailors and that will be on show during this event,” he said.
“This is the sort of thing navies do.
“Many of the navies get together and celebrate each other’s special occasions.
“When the English had their celebration we sent HMAS Anzac over.
“We all do this.
“When young people today see those ships in the bay it will give them some idea of what went on many years ago.”
For Mr Hall and the many retired and current servicemen and women the IFR will be a chance to proudly give the nation a glimpse into a world they rarely see.
It will also bring old friends together to reminisce and help continue the fellowship.
“I spent a lot of time on ships in the navy, in fact I served on 10 ships after joining in 1938,” Mr Hall said.
He earned the title of The Unsinkable Henry after one of his ships was torpedoed and two others were involved in collisions.
“Blokes reckoned if they were drafted on a ship with me they would try and get to another ship,” he said.
“I have many memories of life on the ships, but this week’s events are going to be fantastic.
“It is a momentous occasion, the navy has done great things for this country and produced some great Australians,” he said.