Keepsakes: Retired submariners Sam Serbert, Steve Conlon, Kevin Hayton admire souvenirs of HMAS Ovens with former Coffs Harbour City councillor and deputy mayor Ian Ovens.
Keepsakes: Retired submariners Sam Serbert, Steve Conlon, Kevin Hayton admire souvenirs of HMAS Ovens with former Coffs Harbour City councillor and deputy mayor Ian Ovens.

Submariners to resurface in Coffs

COFFS Harbour will be the port of call for hundreds of members of the Submarines Association of Australia and their partners when they arrive in the city for a national reunion on the June long weekend.

A feature of the event, being held in Coffs Harbour for the first time, will be the hand over of a number of souvenirs of HMAS Ovens from former Coffs Harbour Deputy Mayor Ian Ovens to the Association.

Mr Ovens bought the freedom of the city declaration; a model of the boat and the boat’s crest from the council to save the items being put into permanent storage following remodelling of the council chambers.

“I think it is a pity to lose history like this,” Mr Ovens said.

The HMAS Ovens visited Coffs Harbour 11 times during its active service.

The submarine was adopted by Coffs Harbour at a civic reception in the then town hall in November 1970 and its crew were granted ‘freedom of entry’ by the Shire in July 1979, following which the crew of the Ovens saluted the citizens of Coffs Harbour with a march through the streets of the town with swords drawn and bayonets fixed.



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