HMAS Rankin sailors to visit Cobar next week

Members from the Royal Australian Navy’s submarine HMAS Rankin will be visiting Cobar next week.

RSL Sub-branch president Ben Hewlett said after the HMAS Rankin crew were given the right of Freedom of Entry to the town in 2004, members of the crew expressed an interest in visiting again.

The right of Freedom of Entry ritual dates back to medieval times and signifies a mutual trust between a city and a military unit.

Mr Hewlett said this submarine is of significance to Cobar because it is named after a Cobar man, Captain Robert William Rankin, who fought in WWII.

“Council then contacted myself after speaking with HMAS Rankin and with John De Bruin, we have planned a schedule for their visit,” he said.

Mr Hewlett said a crew of 18 sailors who haven’t previously been to Cobar will be visiting and participating in two and a half days of activities.

The sailors will be kept busy while in Cobar commencing with a formal dinner at the Cobar Memorial Services Club, followed by visits to the local schools and the pistol club, and will take a tour of a local mine.

The crew have also been invited to play in a touch football competition before being farewelled with a function at the Golfie.

They have also been invited as special guests at a Sportsman’s Dinner to be held at the Services Club. (See Page 26 for more information.)

Mr Hewlett hopes during their time in town the HMAS crew will experience the true Cobar hospitality that our community is renowned for.

During the 2004 visit the Lieutenant Commander Steve Hussey said it had been an honour to have the Freedom of Entry bestowed upon his young crew and it was a special occasion for the ship’s company to join in community events with the people of Cobar.