RIDE TO TOBRUK: About 45 Australia Military Motorcycle Club members came together to visit Ex-HMAS Tobruk before she is scuttled.
RIDE TO TOBRUK: About 45 Australia Military Motorcycle Club members came together to visit Ex-HMAS Tobruk before she is scuttled. Paul Donaldson BUN280117RIDE3

Tobruk drawing a crowd already

FOR many, ex-HMAS Tobruk is simply a tourist attraction - a beacon drawing thousands to our region each year.

But for the men and women who served aboard her, she's much more.

The ship was an ally. A home away from home during ex-HMAS Tobruk's distinguished military service.

Dan "Diesel” Casey, who served with the Australian Army from 1978-2001, last saw the majestic ship in 2000.

The pride in his voice as he recalls his time aboard her is evident.

"We deployed on her to East Timor in 2000,” he said.

"That was the last time I was on her.

"She's been a good old workhorse.”

RELATED: IT'S OURS: Tobruk is coming to Bundaberg

ALLIES: Rick
ALLIES: Rick "Ripcord” Weeks, Stuart "Goose” Roberts, Ray "Magilla” Rosendale, Dan "Diesel” Casey and Mick "Fox Mulder” served and worked on ex-HMAS Tobruk during her commission. Paul Donaldson BUN280117RIDE5

Mr Casey was said it was great the ship had found a permanent home in Bundaberg.

"It's like a memorial.

"It's great for the region because there are a lot of ex-military up here.”

About 45 members of the Patriots Australia Military Motorcycle Club made a special trip to Bundaberg to marvel at the ex-HMAS Tobruk and reminisce.

RIDE TO TOBRUK: Some of the Patriots who came for a visit before the ship transforms into a reef structure.
RIDE TO TOBRUK: Some of the Patriots who came for a visit before the ship transforms into a reef structure. Paul Donaldson BUN280117RIDE4

Queensland president David "Chainsaw” Sankey said the nine chapters of the social motorcycle club across the state gathered on Saturday to check out ex-HMAS Tobruk at the Port of Bundaberg.

"We have guys here who rode from Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane, Mackay and all over,” he said.

"We have a lot of guys who either served on the ex-HMAS Tobruk through the navy or army guys who deployed vehicles, tanks on this ship for various exercises for the past 30 or 40 years.

"Most of us have been on the ship because we are all ex-military.”

RIDE TO TOBRUK: The Patriots come together for a visit before the ship transforms into a reef structure.
RIDE TO TOBRUK: The Patriots come together for a visit before the ship transforms into a reef structure. Paul Donaldson BUN280117RIDE1

Mick "Fox” Mulder, who served with the navy, spent three months on the ship while she was in Sydney.

"I kept the engine running, generators going and made sure the ship could go backwards and forwards,” he said.

"It does bring back memories and good times with the boys.”

Mr Mulder, who hails from Mackay, says he is delighted Ex-HMAS Tobruk is now going to be scuttled off Bundaberg.

RELATED: Tobruk saw it all during her service

RELATED: Group pushing for public access before Tobruk is sunk

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett, who greeted the group on arrival, said there was a lot of mixed emotion.

"A lot of them wanted to laugh about it and show the tougher side, but when you got deep down a lot of them acknowledged how important the ex-HMAS Tobruk was to the service and the defence of our country,” he said.

GALLERY: Ex-HMAS Tobruk comes to Bundy



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