Royal Australian Navy Band Association

Incorporating the, RAN VETERANS BAND

Welcome to our website.  I invite you to browse the interesting articles and pictures contributed by our members.  There are items that will arouse your curiosity, and raise questions like "I wonder where old so-and-so is nowadays and what they are doing with themselves?" as well as jogging the memories. Hopefully you will be able to find the answers to those questions and a lot more by checking out the website.  None of us are getting any younger and if you have been putting off becoming a member, I urge you to do it now.  I can speak from experience in saying that many members try to make a new life on leaving the Navy and for whatever reason deny themselves the chance to keep in touch with the mates that they shared part of their lives with. I can assure you that the mateship and cameraderie that was there still is, and any differences that might once have existed are soon forgotten over a beer or two.
Please enjoy the website and remember it is there for your benefit.
MEMBERSHIP TO THE ASSOCIATION (Per the Association By-Laws effective as of the 5th October and motions passed at the 2013 AGM)
As of the 5th of October the following membership definitions apply.
Full Membership
Full Membership with voting rights is a former serving member of the Permanent Royal Australian Navy Band or the Royal Australian Navy Band Reserve.
Associate Membership
Associate Membership is available to Widows, family of full members and to former members of the Royal Marines and foreign Navy Bands. Associate Members may attend General Meetings and participate, but have no voting rights.
Honorary Membership
Honorary membership can be afforded to any person who has offered outstanding assistance to the RANBA and musicians who assist from time to time in the RAN Veterans Band, but have no voting rights.
Serving Members
Serving Members of the Royal Australian Navy Band are invited to become members in the category of Honorary Members. Serving members will be extended access of the association website and other association facilities but will not have voting rights.


As per the 2013 AGM, Membership fees are now due on the 1st of July each year and for the 2014/2015 year are $30.00. Associate Membership is $20.00.
Payments can be made either by Money Order, cheque or Direct Deposit.
Paying by Cheque or Money order make them payable to RANBA and post to;
The Treasurer
Royal Australian Band Association
PO Box 69

Direct Deposits are also welcome, the NEW account details are:
ANZ Bank
Account Name: Royal Australian Navy Band Association
Account No: 290164678
BSB No: 013232
Please make sure you put your name or the invoice number issued as a reference against the deposit.

For new members joining the association through the site, you will receive a confirmation of your initial lodgement and asked to make your membership payment following the details above. Your treasurer will confirm your payment and activate your membership to the site. If you require any further information regarding joining, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The 2015 AGM held in Western Australia in October 2015 elected a new Executive, Commitee members and State Coordinators. They are,
President:         Ralph Daines
Vice President: John Widdicombe
Secretary:        John Lennon
Treasurer:        Ralph Daines
Commitee Members.
Errol Hatch
Robert Bedwell
Bill Farrell
State Coordinators.
Robert Bedwell (NSW)
Terry Ekin (Vic)
John Lennon (Qld)
David Hardstaff (Tas)
Doug Drysdale (SA)
Bill Farrell (WA)
Editor/Webmaster: Errol Hatch
Veterans Band/Events Coordinator: Ralph Daines

A brief history as to the formation of the Association from the pen of ex-secretary, Jim Hawkins.

Jim writes,
In May 1990 the Director of Music - Navy, LCDR Vic Knowles RAN invited Jim Hawkins to compile a column for the Navy produced and distributed newsletter, 'Royal Australian Navy Band News' which was distributed twice each year. This meant chasing up retired musicians and writing stories about their present whereabouts, occupations, interests etc. The column was published under the title 'EX-PRESS' for some time. (Some past newsletters will be featured in the "Past Newsletter section of the site)
Unfortunately, the RAN from then on went through a phase of cost-cutting with man-power and finances, to the point where new DOM-Navy, LCDR Ashley Greedy RAN found he had fewer people and less money to work with, so the band newsletter was one of the first items to suffer. Distribution became very haphazard to the point that in early 1993 it had been 18 months between newsletters.

Three former POMUSN's, Rob Bedwell, Ron Henry and Jim Hawkins discussed the situation, because Jim was receiving phone calls asking where the newsletter was, and obviously a civilian had no control over Navy produced magazines. The men decided to formed a steering committee, borrowed the Navy name & address list, and following some money being put into a kitty, mailed a very brief newsletter asking Ex's to join an association for the modest sum of $7 per year. This would allow 3 issues of a newsletter, and the organisation of 2 yearly National reunions. The response was excellent, with nearly 200 signing up, and a general meeting was called for the following year during a reunion to be held at the Surfers Paradise RSL Club on 9th July 1994.

The steering committee was returned for the next two years, with a meeting planned for Melbourne in 1996. In addition to Rob, Ron and Jim, Jim Stathis was elected Vice-President.
The Melbourne reunion also included a visit to CERBERUS where the long-awaited stained glass window was dedicated at St Marks Chapel, and another change in the committee took place. Ron MacKenzie was elected Vice-President. In 1998 saw Eastern Staters travel across the Nullabor to the Fremantle Navy Club, then to HMAS STIRLING, Rockingham for a Memorial Service to remember the Band from HMAS SYDNEY (2) who lost their lives when that ship was lost with all hands. Another committee change took place when Norm Gullick was elected President. During these reunions we were lucky to gain the services of the Queensland Naval Band (Surfers), RAN Band - Melbourne (Melbourne) and the WA Naval Band (Fremantle). As usual, a few of the 'old & bold' got out their trusty instruments on each occasion and had a 'blow'.

The year 2000 was to be something special. For 50 years, Bandies had spoken about meeting on the Man O' War steps, Sydney, at midnight on 31/12/99. As this was impossible because of the Sydney celebrations, and the expected crowds of more than 1.5 million people, so a reunion was organised for the Anzac Day long weekend. Following the Melbourne reunion in 1996, President Rob Bedwell had published a list of those who attended, and placed them in a parade band formation in the newsletter, with the caption..."Wouldn't this be a great sound".

Secretary Jim Hawkins took this idea a little further and asked members if they would be interested in forming a parade band to march in the Sydney Anzac Day parade. "Jim finishes with", The enthusiasm surprised everyone, and after much organising, a band of 75 members proudly marched within the Naval Association contingent, with our Patron LCDR George Hooker MBE, RAN (Rtd) out front. Two drummers, Rob Himbury and Ron Bergman dressed in the two uniforms we have worn (old and new rig) and marched on the flanks of the front rank.

This was the pivotal point in the Associations history to date. It produced an overwhelming response for the comradeship and respect given to the ex-band members and cemented the future of the Association. Today, we still have over 200 members of the association and reunions have taken place all over Australia and the band has ventured overseas since then. The Association will continue to grow with a vibrant executive led by Brian Ellis and Ralph Daines, ably supported By Vice-President, Don Buntine and Ron Henry.

We welcome all ex and serving members of the RAN, RANR and Volunteer Bands into the RAN Band Association.



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