Our speaker for March was JUNE MCCLUSKEY. You may have seen
her photograph in the Canberra Times on the morning of her
presentation to the Lake George Day VIEW Club in relation
to her topic: The Sinking of HMAS Sydney in 1941.We had a
large and enthusiastic attendance of members and guests
for June's presentation at Hunnyz in Bungendore.
June lost a cousin, Bill Menzies, on the Sydney when it
was lost with all hands off the Western Australian Coast
on 19 November, 1941. This was Australia's largest maritime
disaster. At the time the HMAS Sydney sank it was a dreadful
time for Australia, as we already had large numbers of men
engaged in the war in Europe and in the second half of 1941,
it was well known, that Japan was preparing for war. But it
still came as a shock when Pearl Harbour was bombed on 7
December 1941. The HMAS Sydney had been sunk just two and
half weeks earlier, though official confirmation to
Australians was delayed until 30 November.
June belongs to the Friends and Family of the HMAS Sydney
and has provided a lot of information on the topic of the
sinking of the HMAS Sydney through the thoroughness
of her research.
How synchronistic is it to have the Prime Minister
announce that the remains of the HMAS Sydney were found
after 66 years of mystery on the day prior to her
presentation at our Club meeting.