Submariners worldwide are a special breed, rarely understood by mere mortals and never understood by skimmers. Submariners of all nations understand this and show respect to each other, knowing the hardship and danger that each has faced to achieve membership to that elite club to which they belong.

The Association's aims and goals are: 
•To keep alive the unique "esprit  de corps" of the Submarine Service; 
•To establish and maintain a charitable trust, being a welfare foundation;
•To assist one another as occasion may require and to encourage social activities;
•To liaise with kindred organisations, both nationally and internationally; and,
•To educate members about their entitlements and provide access to Department of Veterans' Affairs advocates 
The Association maintains a close relationship with several overseas Submariners' Associations.
Membership is open to all submariners, regardless of the navy in which they served.

Update on Otama

We have received a communication including a summary of the current position with the ex-HMAS Otama. Quotes attributable to Parks Victoria, Regional Director Marine and Maritime Jo Richards

“The Association has failed to comply with three previous notices to move the deteriorating Otama, so we have been left with no other option but to begin the process to remove it from Western Port entirely.”

“This is a necessary step to remove further risk to the environment and the community and is the only realistic option moving forward.”

“We acknowledge the Association’s vision for the Otama but, unfortunately, there has been no substantial progress since the group took ownership of the vessel over 20 years ago.”


On 4 September 2021, Parks Victoria worked with Port of Hastings Development Authority and Ports Victoria to move the vessel from its previous location to a shallower mooring offshore from Crib Point, still within local port waters managed by Parks Victoria, to minimise the risk of sinking in deep water.

The owner has failed to comply with three previous Direction to Move notices issued by Parks Victoria under the Port Management Act 1995 over the last three months.
The most recent expired on 2 October 2021.

The Victorian Government through port managers, Parks Victoria, Port of Hastings Development Authority and Ports Victoria, has been monitoring the condition of the ex-HMAS Otama (the Otama) for some time.

The vessel is owned by the Westernport Oberon Association Inc (the Association) who has been informed over a long period of time that the Otama is not safe through a lack of maintenance.

The Otama began to list in February 2021, and the Association was notified and took no action.

The Otama’s list increased significantly following overnight storms on 10 and 11 June 2021.

Immediate action was taken by the port managers to stabilise the listing vessel at its location in Western Port to minimise the risk of it sinking. This included temporarily sealing hatches and holes, attaching buoyancy and counterweights, and pumping out water. A 200 metre exclusion zone was established around the vessel for the safety of other boaters.

On 30 June 2021, the Otama was returned to a vertical position and maintained by intermittent pumping and ongoing monitoring.

The Victorian Government has done a great deal over the last few years including funding replacement mooring tackle, and the recent stabilisation and relocation efforts. It is not sustainable to continue to redirect public funds from other priorities to prolong the life of a highly deteriorated retired military asset that remains a real risk to maritime navigation and to the sensitive marine values of the Western Port Ramsar site.

In accordance with Division 4 of the Port Management Act 1995, Parks Victoria has notified the vessel owner of its intentions to commence a process to remove the Otama from Western Port by way of sale, gift or disposal.


Tom Driver

It is my sad duty to inform the SA of the passing of Tom Driver a true gentleman and long serving submariner both in the RAN and RN, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

David Strangward
SAA National Vic President

Mike Hickey turns 99

Lieutenant Commander Michael T Hickie R.N, R.A.N, Ret’d. D.S.C, Arctic Star, Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy.
He Turns 99 years of age on 17 October, 2021,

LCDR M T Hickie Rn., R.A.N, Ret'd

Michael Timothy Hickie was born on 17th October 1922, in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, North West India. His parents were both from distinguished British Raj families. Mike was then educated in UK, and joined Dartmouth Naval College in 1936. (Mike was, we believe, a year below Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh.) In 1940 he joined his first ship as a Midshipman, ‘HMS Repulse’, a Battle cruiser – operating in North Sea. Then on ‘HMS Eskimo’, and then ‘HMS Nigeria’, with dramatic session helping in sink German battleship, the ‘Bremse’. After completing his training course Mike volunteered for Submarines, qualifying in July 1942. He then joined P222 in Gibraltar. At this point Churchhill gave orders that all Submarines should have names, and not just numbers. Mike then served on ‘HMS Ursula’, engaging in much action, and the Sub was damaged. ‘Ursula’ was ordered back to Portsmouth for repairs – it was Feb 43. Mike was then assigned to ‘HMS Truant’, as First Lieutenant, based in Holy Loch. They had several successful missions in the North Sea and Arctic waters close to Iceland. Here it was so cold, that when the Sub surfaced to recharge its batteries ice would form quickly on the railings, in heavy sea, men had stand ready to bash off this ice, in case the Submarine became top heavy and turned turtle with the extra weight.
It was in here in Holy Loch, Mike met Wren Patricia Traunter, and their romance began. Pat had an exciting story, for she had left her English parents working in Argentina, to come to UK, at beginning of war, to volunteer - but her ship was torpedoed in the Atlantic. Pat spent three weeks in an open lifeboat, before rescue. Pat then served as a Wren at Holy Loch. They were married in January 1944, with an aunt of Pat’s present, and some of Mike’s family. Their first child Tim, was born in November.
Mike then served on ‘HMS Taciturn’, on Patrol in Pacific, till peace was declared. They had a number of ‘Victory Cruises’ in Pacific.
When in Freemantle, in a special service, Mike was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
Mike then served on ‘HMS Truncheon’ in Hong Kong waters. In 1947 Mike was appointed to ‘HMS Anchorite’, in Holy Loch. Pat was staying with her sister in Sussex. A daughter Tessa was born in November 1948. Mike then took command of ‘HMS Sirdar’, and later ‘HMS Amphion’, serving off Greenland in icy waters. Here they were sometimes under the ice shelf for long periods. Then Mike then took Command of ‘HMS Tallyho”, serving in Bay of Bengal. Mike saw much of the world, and in 1955 was based in Malta. Mike then served on ‘HMS Gambia’ east of the Suez. In 1960 he was appointed to “HMS Rooke”, the shore base in Gibraltar as Staff Officer Operations, serving there for three years, and with Pat living there also. Then Mike went as Work Study Officer on aircraft carrier ‘HMS Ark Royal’.
In April 1966, Mike left the Royal Navy, and he and the family moved to Australia. However, here he reported to Australian Navy at ‘HMAS Penguin’, the Naval base in Mosman, and he then joined ‘HMAS Platypus’ in mid-1969. He then served as First Lieutenant on ‘HMAS Sydney’ for 16 months, with three trips to Vietnam. Retiring in 1974 he took a position at St Ignatius College as the bursar. However, in 1976 he received a request from Australian Prime Minister Whitlam, to help with new Submarines, and so re-joined the RAN, and served on ‘HMAS Kuttabul’. In 1983 Mike left the Australian Navy, and took a position at the Australian Museum. Later Mike and Pat retired to South Coast, but Pat sadly passed away March 2006. Then Mike moved to Sydney staying near his children, Tim and Tessa.
When turning 90 he met Joan M Wilson, widow of Submariner Lieut. Commander Don Wilson DSC, RANVR. Joan was about to lead a tour group to India which was visiting Mussoorie – the place where Mike had been born. Then with Joan, Mike travelled to Catania in southern Italy, representing Australia at the International Submariners Congress. They then went on to UK visiting Dartmouth Naval College, where Mike was told he was eligible for another medal - “The Arctic Star’. This is awarded to those who served escorting convoys into the Arctic and round to Murmansk in Russia in WW2, which was during Mike’s service on HMS Nigeria’ in 1941. They have also travelled to Holbrook to the Submarine Memorial Museum for the service to remember those who had, on submarines, served in W1 and WW2. Mike then moved to the RSL Village in Narrabeen, and is at present staying there in Milne Bay Hostel. Hopefully if Lockdown allows, Mike will celebrate his 99th Birthday with his family, Tim and Tessa and also with Joan.



Life Memberships

On behalf of the National Executive Committee and all SAA members I would like to congratulate Billy Clayton and Peter Sellers on being awarded life membership to the SAA. I am sure you would all agree they are both worthy recipients. It is disappointing that we cannot present these awards in person at SUBCON but circumstances have been against it, hopefully we can recognise both at SUBCON 22 in WA.

David Strangward, AM
National Vice President, SAA

William 'Trapper' Trow

It is my sad duty to inform the SAA Membership of the passing of William ‘Trapper’ Trow who passed away yesterday. I am sure you would all join me in passing our condolences from the Submarine community to Trapper’s family. As usual Ray Kemp has jumped in and assisted the family with DVA etc.

I will get more details out as they become available.

David Strangward
National Vice President

From our VP

To SAA Members,

As most of you would be aware, SAA ACT have had to make the difficult decision to cancel SUBCON 21 mainly because the risk and uncertainty surrounding Covid was deemed too high. The branch also undertook a number of surveys to see how many members would be attending. At the last survey (undertaken last week) there would not have been enough representatives from the National Executive, National Committee or their representatives, or financial members to conduct an AGM. The AGM is the cornerstone of a SUBCON and last year we were also due to hold an election of office bearers (which of course did not happen).

With the cancellation of Holbrook SUBCON 21 SAA WA have agreed to host SUBCON 22 (and I have been informed have appointed a SUBCON planning committee), for which I am sure planning will commence in due course and then more information will become available.

As of this year we would have been 4 years without an election, and therefore the National Executive are investigating a number of possible actions until we can actually hold an AGM in person at a SUBCON, hopefully at SUBCON 22, those actions include:

1. If the incumbents are happy to continue in their current roles the National Executive would stay the same until 2022, or
2. If any members wish to nominate for a position on the National Executive we would investigate holding a virtual election.

I hope all members are keeping safe in these very trying times and hopefully we can get to WA next year and have a great weekend.

David Strangward
SAA National Vice President

SUBCON21 GO/NO GO Decision

Dear SAA Members and Friends,

The SUBCON21 organising committee made the decision today to cancel SUBCON21. This decision was based on the following main considerations:

1. The current COVID outbreak in NSW has created considerable uncertainty. This has resulted in the withdrawal of a third of the registered SAA members and their guests.

2. It is uncertain when the current social distancing regulations in NSW regional areas will be lifted. This means that masks are compulsory, no standing up inside the venues and a 50% reduction in the number of members able to attend planned SUBCON21 events, with the exception of the farewell BBQ.

3. Uncertainty around Border closures and Quarantine regimes that have caused many members to withdraw or not register to attend.

4. Financial situation. To date SUBCON21 has not made any significant financial commitments. However, over the coming weeks we are required to commit funds. Additionally, due to the reductions in attendance numbers the costs per head are anticipated to increase.

5. In response to the questionnaire, only 29 SAA members indicated that they are still attending.. The Quorum for the National AGM is 50 financial SAA members. Additionally, there is only 1 member of the National Committee able to attend so the National Executive Meeting cannot be held in Holbrook. The main purpose of SUBCON, apart from catching up with our mates, is to provide the social events around the National AGM.

6. Sponsors. SUBCON relies on the support of its valued Sponsors. SUBCON21 has received the generous support of KCM consulting, SIA, JFD and THALES. It is important for future sponsorship that we ensure that our Sponsors get value for money.

The SAA ACT Branch very much regrets the cancellation of SUBCON21. From the outset we undertook to deliver a COVID safe and Financially responsible SUBCON. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to deliver on that undertaking.

We would like to thank our many friends, providers and supporters in Holbrook who have been very flexible and understanding over the past 2 years. We know that they will be disappointed but hopefully we can make it up to them in the not too distant future..

The National Executive committee will advise the SAA membership on matters concerning the 2021 National AGM. In due course, the National Executive will also advise the location of the next SUBCON.

Finally, thanks to all SAA members and friends who have supported our efforts throughout the past 2 years. We know how important this event is to the members and it was just plain bad luck and poor timing that COVID trumped our efforts. It is great to see that the Submariner spirit is alive and as strong ever. See you at SUBCON22.

Kind Regards

On behalf of the ACT SUBCON21 organising committee.

Stan Nimmo
SAA ACT Branch
01 Aug 2021

QLD AGM Announcement

An update from the QLD Secretary
Dear Members,

Due to a technical glitch, I am reissuing the link for the meeting on Saturday, 24th July. I hope you can use it to stay in contact with the association especially those up north.

SAA Qld General Meeting/AGM
Saturday, 24 July · 10:30 – 12:30
Google Meet joining info
Video call link:

It would be good if as many as possible are able to attend in person. Access to the room will be open through the bottom door. Everybody will need to check in as well as sign our attendance book.

If you could use the website, to register your attendance or apology it would be much appreciated. If you have any business for the meeting, please send me an email soonest to have it included. Minutes of the previous meeting and AGM are on the website if you would like to read it.


Ross Walters

Secretary SAA Qld Inc.
MOB: 0479 541 303


We have received another update from Otama
a day of pumping and patching.

We are still at zero, but need to keep pumping to stay ahead of the leaks.

Numerous failure are becoming apparent, including for example, the sea tube connecting D Stbd to the sea through 4 MBT which has failed and allowing water to flood back into 4 stbd MBT - the grills are now plugged with putty.

The SM remains in a precarious state, with weather marginal tomorrow through to Monday am.

There will be watch keepers onboard overnight to run the pumps.

The move to a shallow water berth is the next priority.

Some shots to illustrate the problem

An Update from Peter Briggs

Subject: Re: OTAMA SITREP 29Jun21

A good day afloat, the salvage team managed to patch the major holes in 4 Stbd MBT that were still below the surface sufficiently to get a pump suction into the tank and start de-watering.

SM is now upright with pumps running on 3,4 and 5 MBT - all of which were flooded.

Counter weights are being removed as necessary to maintain a level trim.

The Stbd tanks will require extensive temporary patching, they are in worse shape than we imagined, some of it major, to reduce the need for continuous pumping.

Photos to follow - IT issue here.

Focus will now turn to preparing the shallow mooring with a view to the earliest move possible.

Tug masters briefed and visited the SM today to assist in preparing a plan for the move.

A busy day tomorrow.

Weather deteriorating and marginal from pm Thu until pm Sunday.


Peter Briggs

Update regarding ex HMAS Otama from Dave Strangward National Vice President SAA

The brief and video below provided by Peter Briggs, who has been assisting with the activities around the OTAMA situation. I will provide more updates as they become available. I am sure if Peter requires some SM assistance he will reach out for it and I am also sure there will be no shortage of volunteers if needed.

The video shows salvage and engineering teams working on OTAMA.

After a successful day rigging additional buoyancy under the Starboard side the SM list was reduced from 42 to 28 degrees to starboard.

The hatches having been previously sealed by the salvage team.

Work will continue today to add further buoyancy and de-water the Starboard tanks which is causing the list.

The team have put out a request for an Oberon Class trim crib to assist their efforts to develop a stability model.

David Strangward,
National Vice President

HMAS Otama - 28Jun21 (4K) from Gary Swanton on Vimeo.

Funeral Arrangements for Jerry Lewis

Dear Members,

The funeral arrangements for ex-CPOMESM Colin “Jerry” Lewis are as follows:

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021 at 10 30 am.

Place: Gregson & Weight Funeral Directors, 159 Wises Rd, Buderim, Qld.

This is to be live streamed live on Look at the Funeral Streaming Centre. The link will be available in a couple of days on this site. There is section where you can leave comments during the service.

No Flowers. RSL will do a Poppy service and poppies to be supplied.

Dress: Medals to be worn.

Ross Walters
Secretary SAA Qld Inc.
MOB: 0478 541 303

Message from the National VP

To All SAA Members,

I have received an e-mail from Des Scanlan notifying the Executive that the SAA North Queensland will cease to exist and stating that this decision was made mainly due to a lack of interest by members. This is a sad turn of events and I really believe that many other State branches are facing the same issues.

I watch with interest each year as states conduct their AGMs and then announce their committees that the names rarely change.

We are an Association that is not getting any younger and unless more members come forward to assist in the roles of each branch or we attract a younger members we as an Association may go the same way as SAA North Queensland.

At the next SUBCON AGM I will be asking for input to how we can attract younger members (I know we have tried before) but we need to put a bigger effort in if possible.

I will also be asking WA as next cap of the rank if they are prepared to plan and conduct SUBCON 2022.


David Strangward
National Vice President

SAA Victoria still holding meetings despite Covid


The Covid restrictions have been relaxed enough to be able to hold our meeting this coming Sunday.

St Kilda RSL Commencing 1200
Business Meeting
Light lunch
Up Spirits
Raffle – Alan is more than happy to accept donations.

We will need to split 10 to a table (should not be a problem) Table service only. Mask must be worn at all time unless eating or drinking. (Not a problem just keep you glass well topped up!!)

See you Sunday.


Elsie (Ian) Tanner
Ian Tanner
President St. Kilda RSL
Branch Secretary Submarines Association Australia Victoria
M 0450 642 835

Commodore Bob Trotter OAM RAN (Ret’d) - Update 20/05/2021

Good news!
Having been in hospital since 20 April (and his 75th Birthday) Bob has been advised that he is likely to go home today. Roy Stall will provide transport for Bob.
Bob’s condition is much the same as previously reported and Bob will now receive Out-patient treatment to determine just when the medicos can effectively put him back onto blood thinners. Bob expects that this could be a wait of up to three months as “they” await his small brain bleed to stablise.
In the meantime, in his words, he will have to “waddle like a duck” until blood thinners can assist in removing DVTs from both legs. At least he is now heading / waddling in the right direction.
Bob’s Navy Family have come to the fore! Bob and Norelle were faced with a problem of light fittings being difficult to reach and portions of their guttering being too high for the DVA assisted gutter cleaners to free up. Peter O’Donohue, President of SAAWA, and two trusty braves yesterday completed a lamp up and gutter clearing action. BZ to them.

David Strangward
National Vice President

Commodore Bob Trotter OAM RAN (Ret’d) - Update 30/04/2021

To All,
Unfortunately, once more young Bob is in hospital and has been for just over a week now. Transferred yesterday from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital to Hollywood Hospital. He has had a secondary brain bleed and now doctors are trying to work out the best treatment for the way ahead. As Bob puts it, “The quandary is that the lower part of his body needs thin blood and the upper section, specifically the brain, needs the thicker blood!” He feels that he is in between a rock and a hard place at the moment and is hoping that the medicos can get him up and running soonest. The brain bleed is affecting his eyesight, in particular to his right side, where what the eyeball sees is not necessarily communicated correctly to the brain. Reading and recognising words is very difficult. Anyway, Bob is maintaining a good sense of humour and is looking forward to a return to a more normal level of life Dave Strangward National Vice-President

David Strangward
National Vice President SAA


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Branches have been formed in most states and territories. Although they are locally managed, they conform to the National Constitution. Members and visitors are welcome to attend most functions, a great opportunity to meet up with kindred souls and old shipmates.

Veterans Affairs


The Association has a National Coordinator and DVA trained Pensions Officers and Advocates to provide submariners (ex and serving) with free assistance in welfare and compensation matters.


Up Periscope

Up Periscope is a submariner's site, not a submarine site. What's the difference? There are plenty of sites about submarines and this site is not intended to compete with them.
Our focus is on the people, those men and women of The Trade that proudly served, or are currently serving in submarines of the Royal Australian Navy.