A SCOTTISH piper playing Australian tunes led a parade of submariners and war veterans to the unveiling of a replica mini-submarine at the Totally and Partially Disabled Veterans Association (TPDVCWA) Anzac Day service.
The Baldivis-based organisation received the replica as gift of appreciation from Port Kennedy resident Laurie Drage, one of its long-serving members, to help boost the club’s profile and to say thanks for the services it provides.
Mr Drage and his son Cory built the vessel from scrap metal at his Kalgoorlie workshop before it was trucked to Perth last month.
The replica was officially unveiled by the Commanding Officer of HMAS Stirling Captain Brian Delamont with Brand MHR Madeleine King and Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby also attending the event.
Submariners were also keen to try out the replica-submarine after the ceremony.
Captain Delamont said with HMAS Stirling being the home of the navy’s submarine force, he was grateful to take part in the ceremony.
He said the Baldivis TPDVCWA provided great support to veterans.
“Building the submarine makes a great entrance to their facility,” he said.
Ms King also thanked the club for its enthusiasm and commitment for the project.
“Many of us have seen these mini submarines in classic war movies so to now have one on display in our navy town is very special,” she said.
“The team behind the project have done a great job in creating this 5.5m replica which they built to scale from recycled scrap metal.
“This replica submarine means a lot to the local community as we commemorate those who have served our country.”
Mr Whitby said the club had done an incredible job to create the replica mini–submarine.
“It’s probably unique in the world as an authentic full scale representation and it now has pride of place at the entrance to the association on Baldivis Road,” he said.
“The fact that members and supporters of this organisation were able to build it is a sign of their dedication and sheer hard work.
“The association is putting together quite a collection of military memorabilia and this wartime mini-sub is one of the more impressive pieces.
“Anything that engages younger people about our military history is incredibly worthwhile and Baldivis is fortunate to be home to this organisation.”
Mr Drage said the club catered for all veterans and serving members of the Australian Defence Force, whether they had a disability or not.