MAC GREGORY’S VISION TO BE UNVEILED Ceremony will commence at 10.00am on Friday 27 November 2015

Visitors to Ahoy will be pleased to know that Mac’s long held dream to erect a bronze commemorative statue of a World War II sailor “Answering the Call” is to be unveiled by Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO CSC RAN Chief of Navy and Patron of the Naval Heritage Foundation of Australia Inc.

The unveiling ceremony will commence at 10.00am on Friday 27 November 2015 on the foreshore at the intersection of Dow Street and Beach Street, Port Melbourne.


The Naval Heritage Foundation of Australia Inc.The Naval Heritage Foundation of Australia Inc.

The Foundation was incorporated on January 22nd. 2008 with this statement of purposes.

  1. To commission artists to create a statue to commemorate and symbolise all naval servicemen and servicewomen, initially in Victoria, and then in other States and Territories.
  2. To reclaim, restore and maintain buildings of naval heritage significance.
  3. To erect, maintain and manage existing and future naval heritage projects.
  4. To develop a web site to commemorate all naval servicemen and servicewomen.
  5. To raise funds, principally from the corporate sector in any manner which the Committee deems fit to finance the aforementioned activities.

The navy has had a long association with the Port Melbourne precinct, dating back to the Colonial Navy days of the mid 1850's to 1992.

The Colonial Navy trained in the old Customs Shed at the end of Town Pier, itself demolished in 1950.

Town Pier, Port Melbourne
Town Pier, Port Melbourne

Port Melbourne Post Office and Drill Hall
Post Office and Drill Hall, which was the first building for the fledgling
Royal Australian Navy built in 1912.

Anyone who joined the RAN for the Hostilities and 6 months in Victoria would have passed through HMAS Lonsdale, and they carried the prefix PM in front of their Official Number which signified Port Melbourne and denoted where they joined the Navy. Thousands would have borne the PM prefix. Thus throughout their Naval time their Official number reflected where they had joined the Navy to go to war at sea.


HMAS Lonsdale was decommissioned and demolished in 1992, and a high rise apartment block rose in its place named HMAS.

HMAS Lonsdale.
HMAS Lonsdale.

Long association between the Royal Australian Navy and the City of Port Phillip sadly ends.
With the closure of Lonsdale in 1992 the association with the Navy and Port Melbourne which had spanned from the mid 1850's to 1992 sadly came to an end.

The Commonwealth Government gave the Bay Street Drill Hall to the then Liberal Government of Victoria, they allowed CIRCUS OZ t o occupy it, and they retain possession in 2008.

There is not a single Heritage Marker to denote the Navy was ever in this area, and some 15,000 Naval Men and Women would have passed this way.

The Naval Heritage Foundation of Australia Inc. was incorporated on January 22nd. 2008 to remedy this omission, and plans to erect a 7 foot six inch bronze statue of a WW2 Sailor. He will represent all ranks and rates, men and women who have served their country in both war and peace, and passed this way.

Estimated cost $ 150/200,000.

Model for "Answering The Call " statue.
Model for "Answering The Call " statue.

15 inch bronze model of " Answering The Call " statue.
15 inch bronze model of " Answering The Call " statue.

Should any visitors to my AHOY website wish to make a donation towards the cost of our proposed bronze statue please make out your cheque to

The Naval Heritage Foundation of Australia Inc.

and send it to me at this address:

M. J. Gregory, President NHFA.
301/598 St Kilda Road
Melbourne. Victoria 3004.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Mackenzie Gregory.



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