The Finding Sydney Foundation, the Australian Football League and the Royal Australian Navy in conjunction with the Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles Football Clubs are pleased to announce that the inaugural Annual HMAS Sydney II Commemorative Football Match will be held on Saturday 24th April 2010 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
HMAS Sydney II was a proud and distinguished fighting ship so it was with a profound sense of loss that the nation learned that she had been sunk with all 645 crew in a mutually destructive engagement with the German Auxiliary Cruiser Kormoran on 19 November 1941, some 112 miles West of Shark Bay, Western Australia. The tragic fate of Sydney and her crew remained a mystery until she was found by the Finding Sydney Foundation on 16 March 2008 sitting upright on the ocean floor at a depth of 2,500 metres.
Hosted in 2010 by the Sydney Swans, the Match will be held annually between the Sydney Swans, representing her home port, and the West Coast Eagles, representing the State of her final operations and resting place. The Match is in memory of the Sacrifice made by Sydney’s men and by their families.
The HMAS Sydney II Trophy has been donated to the AFL by the Finding Sydney Foundation and will be flown in to the ‘Bounce- Down Circle’ by a Navy helicopter. The trophy is in the form of a Ship’s Battle Honours Board showing Sydney’s distinct badge and campaign and battle honours in polished bronze on a jarrah base and backboard as illustrated above. The Clubs’ logos, a description plate and space for recording the annual result are provided for on the trophy base.
Campaign and battle honours are highly prized by the ships and aircraft squadrons so awarded and are always displayed, serving as a constant and proud reminder of past achievements. The trophy is therefore evocative of the fighting spirit and teamwork shown by Sydney’s men and of an invitation for the two Clubs to perpetuate these sentiments by demonstrating the same spirit of competition and teamwork each year.
The Finding Sydney Foundation is also providing a perpetual trophy for the player judged as Best on Ground for each match. The trophy is based on the casing of a 76mm shell fired by the present and fourth HMAS Sydney. As HMAS Sydney II’s short story is one of triumph against the odds; of courage and ingenuity in adversity; of free and independent spirits who became a team formed by the bonds of mateship and necessity, the trophy will be awarded to “the player who showed the greatest courage and skill in adversity, teamwork and fighting spirit."
The Best on Ground player will also be presented with a pure silver 2008 HMAS Sydney II $1.00 Commemorative coin as a keepsake.
The Coin Toss before the start of each game will be carried out using a 2010 Anzac Day $1.00 coin
A 25 year supply of both the silver HMAS Sydney and the Anzac Day coins has been generously donated by the Perth Mint.
A tribute to HMAS Sydney II will be held along with an official observance ceremony prior to the commencement of the match. To help in this commemoration, all family and friends of those touched by HMAS Sydney II are invited to attend. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketek; www.ticketek.com.au or 132 849.
PDF Media Release: http://www.findingsydney.com/docs/aflhmassydney.pdf
Finding Sydney Foundation
Ted Graham AM 0409 611 606