• Lieutenant Commander Jose Bascunan Captain Raul Zamorano and Lieutenant Rafael Martin

    Lieutenant Commander Jose Bascunan Captain Raul Zamorano and Lieutenant Rafael Martin

  • Representing the CDF, Deputy Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Michael Noonan

    Representing the CDF, Deputy Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Michael Noonan

  • Rear Admiral Michael Noonan

    Rear Admiral Michael Noonan

  • Ambassador of Chile Daniel Carvallo

    Ambassador of Chile Daniel Carvallo

  • Mylen Mosella and Patricia Triay

    Mylen Mosella and Patricia Triay

  • Maria Varella, Ibelise Escobar, Maria Teresa Cisneros de Davila and

    Maria Varella, Ibelise Escobar, Maria Teresa Cisneros de Davila and

  • Esteban Melgarejo, Ambassador of Guatamala Connie Taracena Secaira, Jacqueline Pinto de Caruaco and Rodrigo Hidalgo

    Esteban Melgarejo, Ambassador of Guatamala Connie Taracena Secaira, Jacqueline Pinto de Caruaco and Rodrigo Hidalgo

  • Marcela Manterola and Carla Schnettler

    Marcela Manterola and Carla Schnettler

  • Luisa Pava and Mark Parton.....with best wishes for their June 5 nuptials.

    Luisa Pava and Mark Parton.....with best wishes for their June 5 nuptials.

  • Air Commodore Shaun Clarke, Captain Apichai Sompolgrunk, Rear Admiral Michael Noonan, Commander Mark Chadwick and Colonel Harold Jacobs

    Air Commodore Shaun Clarke, Captain Apichai Sompolgrunk, Rear Admiral Michael Noonan, Commander Mark Chadwick and Colonel Harold Jacobs

  • Lieutenant Colonel Gary Miller, Lieutenant Colonel Helmud Funk and Colonel Yildirim Gunes.

    Lieutenant Colonel Gary Miller, Lieutenant Colonel Helmud Funk and Colonel Yildirim Gunes.

  • Captain Stew Holbrook, Captain Raul Zamorano, Group Captain Adisorn Unhalekhaka and General Brigadier Crisoforo Martinez Parra.

    Captain Stew Holbrook, Captain Raul Zamorano, Group Captain Adisorn Unhalekhaka and General Brigadier Crisoforo Martinez Parra.

  • Felipe Orellana, Captain Pedro Ramirez and Iain Slater

    Felipe Orellana, Captain Pedro Ramirez and Iain Slater

  • Gonzalo Olmus with Maria and Jose Ramos

    Gonzalo Olmus with Maria and Jose Ramos

  • Sonia Castillo, Jaeviera Fuentes and Jessica Alvaro

    Sonia Castillo, Jaeviera Fuentes and Jessica Alvaro

Commemoration of the 198th Anniversary of the Chilean Navy

20 May 2016

Commemoration of the 198th Anniversary of the Chilean Navy made me realise I could be snapping and scribbling along for the 200th and that would be some kind of party. I know by now of course to pace myself with the copious quantities of pisco sours that are delivered in a jug and so easy to gulp rather than daintily sip and the accompanying empanadas fill up the empty spaces to maintain sobriety. Then just when the savoury finishes along come the sweet treats where caramel and crumbly biscuit things were the chosen treat this year. South Americans love caramel and it’s a taste you get to like so much that giant jars of the stuff usually slip into the carry- on luggage when coming home.

The annual Navy commemoration for the Chilean Navy is a lunch time reception to give the brass time to fit an hour into their busy days then whizz back to work and pretend that they feel fine when an afternoon kip should be de rigeur. It is dress up so braid- lots of it, medals and all manner of confusing decorations have tested my limited knowledge over the years, but my favourite Mexican ‘General Brigadier’ has me totally confused by that rank.

Awards were made this year for long service to two of our favourite Chileans, Captain Raul Zamorano and Petty Officer Claudio Fuentes and the formalities performed by Ambassador Daniel Carvallo. And representing the Chief of the Australian Defence Force was Rear Admiral Michael Noonan who is rather partial to a pisco sour and remembers fondly meeting Captain Zamorano during the 2004 RIMPAC manoeuvres that test the mettle, machinery and hardware of the Pacific Rim Navies and forge friendships that last.

And a reminder from my Chilean Navy chums that the magnificent Esmerelda will be back in Sydney in November. The best little invitation of them all!