Whiskey trea­sure


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

A BURIED trea­sure hid­den in the for­mer war­ship HMAS Syd­ney for 35 years has been dis­cov­ered while the ship is be­ing scrapped at a dock­yard in Hen­der­son.

Dur­ing con­struc­tion of the ship in 1982 at the Todd Pa­cific Ship­yards in Seat­tle, the build team put a small bot­tle of whisky wrapped in pipe in­su­la­tion in the for­ward star­board leg of the main mast.

Kewdale man Alan Hig­gins was part of the com­mis­sion­ing crew that went to Seat­tle to bring the ship home to Aus­tralia, ar­riv­ing back around March 1984.

The bot­tle of whisky re­mained un­de­tected, wrapped in pipe in­su­la­tion, through­out the ship’s ser­vice in the Royal Aus­tralian Navy be­fore it was de­com­mis­sioned in Novem­ber 2015.

Work­ers at the Bir­don com­pany in Hen­der­son re­ceived word ear­lier this month from a for­mer Todd em­ployee that the bot­tle could still be there and cut away the mast to re­veal a small bot­tle of six-year-old Cana­dian whisky.

For­mer HMAS Syd­ney crew­man Bren­ton Freind said “the num­ber of times I’ve walked past that post not know­ing... if only”.

Darin Mac­Don­ald said the six-year-old Cana­dian blend was now 41-year-old whisky.

“Prob­a­bly about time to get into it with some gin­ger ale over ice; only fit­ting,” he said. Pic­ture courtesy: Royal Aus­tralian Navy.

Ja Wors­ley found it ironic that there had been Cana­dian whisky on US-made war­ship that served Aus­tralia for many years.

There were calls from other crew mem­bers for the bot­tle to be pre­served at the Na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum, given to the ship’s first com­mand­ing of­fi­cer Paul Kable, do­nated at auc­tion to raise funds for char­ity or in­stalled in the new HMAS Syd­ney be­ing built in Ade­laide.

The for­mer HMAS Syd­ney un­der con­struc­tion at the Todd Pa­cific ship­yard in Seat­tle in 1982 (top). A Bir­don worker cuts away a piece of the mast af­ter re­ceiv­ing a tipoff about the whisky bot­tle (above, left). The bot­tle of whiskey.

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