Ceremonial sword returned to service

Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton Commander Gerald Savvakis accepts the ceremonial sword from Ian McGilvray during a ceremony at Morton.

Ceremonial sword returned to service

When retired officer Ian McGilvray decided to return his ceremonial sword to the Navy, HMAS Moreton willingly accepted his generous offer. 

The sword was presented to Commanding Officer Moreton Commander Gerald Savvakis at a small ceremony with the ship’s company. 

Mr McGilvray was born in Toowoomba, south-east Queensland, and during his Navy career served in HMA Ships Anzac, Derwent, Brisbane II, Stalwart II Sydney III, Parramatta III, Vendetta II, Melbourne II and Success II. 

As a Chief Petty Officer in 1975 he was selected for officer training at Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, England, where he received the sword.

He returned to Australia in 1979 serving in HMAS Melbourne II as the Operations Officer. His career took him to the Ton-class minesweeper HMAS Ibis II, until it was decommissioned in 1984. 

Mr McGilvray then went to France where he worked on the preparation and commissioning of HMAS Success II, to then serve in her for three years.

For the remainder of his career he was a Fleet Seamanship Officer at Fleet Staff before retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Commander. 

Retiring to become a man of the cloth did not mean he took it easy. With his love of travel he took up the role of field leader for several international charities. 

During this time, Mr McGilvray and his wife spent time in Tanzania, Zanzibar and the Middle East bringing aid and training to communities.

In 2002 he finally retired and is currently the Honorary Chaplain at the Mission to Seafarers in the Port of Brisbane. 

Mr McGilvray said he enjoyed his time in the Navy immensely but remembers how tough it was leaving family, so he often thinks to our current serving members.

“I was given the sword when I was in Dartmouth. It’s in great condition and I’d be delighted for it to be used here at HMAS Moreton when the occasions arise,” he said.

“I wanted to find an appropriate home for it, so I am grateful to Commander Savvakis for accepting it at Moreton.” 

Commander Savvakis congratulated Mr McGilvray on his naval career and the broader work he continued to do and still does with the Mission to Seafarers. 

“We are grateful for your generosity in gifting the sword to HMAS Moreton,” Commander Savvakis said.

“It is a beautiful sword. It will be maintained as an asset and will remain as the Commanding Officer’s sword at HMAS Moreton, so it will always have a working life.” 


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