The memorial garden contains three rows of well tended roses and some maple trees. It also features four large brick and concrete walls of equal size, each with their own plaque or crest, including one for the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Australian Navy and for HMAS Nirimba (success from endeavour). In front of the walls is a smaller brick and concrete wall supporting a black anchor. The walls all sit on a large concrete and tile rectangular slab. Behind them are three black flag poles.
The Royal Australian Navy website has historical information about the ships HMAS Parramatta, HMAS Swan, HMAS Warrego, and HMAS Yarra.
This memorial garden acknowledges the contribution to Australia of the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Australian Navy and Defence support personal [sic] who worked at Nirimba over many years.
A HISTORY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT KNOWN AS RAAF SCHOLFIELDS AND HMAS NIRIMBA 1941 TO 1994
Originally a land grant of 700 acres to Major West in 1814. In 1816, John Pye was granted 695 acres in the area encompassing the site of Schofields aerodrome, where the family home 'Waawaar Awaa' was built. The family retained the land until 1941, when it was acquired for the use as a satellite aerodrome for RAAF Richmond. Work commenced in June 1942 on the construction of an air base for the RAAF.
In 1944, following the formation of the British Pacific Fleet, Mobile Operating Naval Air Bases (MONAB) were required and Schofields was handed over to the Royal Navy, being named HMS NABTHORPE on 05.2.1945.
In August 1945, the base was renamed HMS NABSTACK, with former RAAF pilots being trained there for Conversion to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm due to shortage of Pilots in the BPF. Following the end of the war, the Royal Navy moved out and the RAAF resumed control in 1946.
The post war 'Iwakuni Mail Run' to Japan by 38 Squadron RAAF operated from Schofields for a two years period.
In 1949, provision was made to upgrade some of the accommodation to house post war migrants, some 21 huts being upgraded to house 300 people. The so called Schofields Migrants Hostel closed 04.2.1951. Many people from a number of countries commenced their working life from that place and subsequently made a new life for them selves and their families. This aspect was concurrent with RAAF activities at the base.
In November 1950, Schofields was evaluated for hand over to the RAN as an aircraft repair Yard, following the formation of the RAN Fleet Air Arm. In 1951, the RAN moved in and Schofields was temporarily commissioned as HMAS ALBATROSS II, with a large number of Royal Naval Officers and sailors supplementing the RAN component.
In January 1952, the RAAF relinquished control of the base, although that Service remained in residence until September 1952. On 01.4.1953, RANAS (Royal Australian Naval Air Station) Schofields was commissioned as HMAS NIRIMBA, when technical training was undertaken. Due to circumstances beyond the control of the RAN, the aircraft repair Yard was closed down in early 1955 and reverted to 'Care and Maintenance' status.
In September 1955, preparations began to recommission NIRIMBA as the RAN Apprentice Training Establishment (RANATE) for Naval Apprentice training. In January 1956, Captain F L George RAN assumed command. After 'Paying Off' on 04.1.1956, HMAS NIRIMBA recommissioned the next day as the RANATE. The first intake of Apprentices arrived in July 1956 with the last arriving in January 1992. HMAS NIRIMBA was decommissioned on 25.2.1994.
In the intervening period from 1956, some 13,000 young men and women from RAN and other Commonwealth Navies were trained there, together with several thousand trainees undergoing other courses of varying categories, making an extremely valuable contribution in the later years to the wellbeing of their respective nations. Truly, a 'SUCESS FROM ENDEAVOUR'.
This Plaque was erected by the Naval Historical Society of Australia (Inc.) in 1999, to commemorate the contributions made by NIRIMBA in the development of this Nation.
In Memory of the Grimsby Class Sloops H.M.A.S. Parramatta, H.M.A.S. Swan, H.M.A.S. Warrego, H.M.A.S. Yarra and all who served in them.
Lest We Forget.
Naval plaques were donated by Ex-navy members of the 13th intake July '62 and their families.
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