90 SECOND STATEMENT
On Saturday I was privileged to attend the Annual Memorial Service for Merchant Mariners lost in Time of War at the Merchant Navy Memorial, Norah Head in the electorate of Dobell.
Today’s Australians are gradually learning about the vital role performed by merchant mariners during time of war and the Central Coast has special significance in the defence history of Australia.
The sinking of the MV Nimbin some 12 kilometres off Norah Head on the 5th of December 1940 and the lifeboat arrival of 25 survivors from the ill-fated Iron Chieftain on the beach at North Entrance on the morning of the 5th June 1942 wrote the Coast into Australian history.
The M.V. Nimbin and the S.S. Iron Chieftain were two of the fifty four merchant ships attacked in Australian waters during World War II of which thirty eight were sunk.
About 14,000 Australian merchant mariners served during World War II. The need for wartime secrecy prevented the publication of the names and locations of shipping casualties.
I would like to acknowledge a number of community groups and individuals who assisted with the service.