Proud dad Michael Hough is proceeding with his mission to have Australia's newest warship visit Wollongong as the second stop after Sydney when it is commissioned.
Mr Hough is talking to Wollongong Lord Mayor Cr Gordon Bradbery about the possibility of a formal invitation and rolling out the red carpet to the crew of the new HMAS Sydney in 2021.
It is a quest he started after his son Commander Andrew Hough, of Balgownie, was chosen to command the $3 billion HMAS Sydney once the commissioning phase is complete.
The Area Air Defence Ship will be the most lethal technologically up to date warship in Australian naval history.
Commander Andrew Hough has just returned from the United States from training in the new Aegis combat system that provides HMAS Sydney with the best radars, sensors and missiles ever made.
It is the final of three Hobart class guided missile destroyers based on the Navantia designed F100 frigate.
When fully commissioned it will be the fifth HMAS Sydney, a name that has an extremely proud history in the Australian Navy.
The new 7000 tonne destroyers are almost double the size of ships like the HMAS Melbourne which are about 4000 tonnes which Michael Hough knows would make an incredible site off the coast of Wollongong or in Port Kembla Harbour.
When it as announced he would be commander of the fifth HMAS Sydney in June 2019 the Illawarra Mercury asked Commander Hough if Wollongong would get to see Australia's newest warship sail into Port Kembla.
He didn't know but said "wouldn't that be wonderful".
"I certainly couldn't promise that but one of the things I will very definitely be doing is every time we go past Wollongong we will be coming in a little closer to the coast," he said.
Commander Hough, 43, will take over command as the first operational Commanding Officer from the commissioning commander in the first half of 2021.
"What I want to do, and I am talking to Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery about this, is to issue an official invitation for the ship to visit Port Kembla," Michael Hough said.
HMAS Sydney's first official port of call as a fully commissioned Navy warship will be Sydney.
But Michael Hough would love to see Wollongong follow soon after that.
"I am already talking to the incoming fleet commander Vice-Admiral Mark Hammond with that request because he has to approve it," he said.
Light Rail Museum demand growing
A great response to its reopening on July 12 after a four month break due to the COVID-19 lockdown The Illawarra Light Rail Museum will be open again this Saturday from 10am to 2pm with miniature and diesel train rides.
Brad Johns said with COVID-19 nothing was certain so the team of volunteers who run the museum are presently making a month-by-month decision about if and when they can open and will post updates on the website.
Mr Johns said after this weekend it is likely the popular family attraction will be open on the second Sunday of every month for the foreseeable future.
He said Illawarra residents looked forward to having an opportunity for a great family day out so much on July 12 that close to 200 people turned up for the first day back since March 23.
Mr Johns said that was a wonderful response considering the weather was not perfect.
He said the visitors took advantage of the train rides, food outlet, picnic tables, playgrounds, barbeque facilities and the locomotive shed tours.
COVID-19 permitting the date for the next Steam Day Out has been set for Sunday August 9.
That will include an opportunity to ride the steam locomotive Kiama as well as the event popular miniature trains.
Baby boom starts early at Symbio
Videographer, photographer and marketing guru Kevin Fallon has been busy again showcasing Symbio Wildlife Park and in turn Wollongong to the world with images and footage of tiny Pygmy Marmosets twins recently born at the small family run zoo at Helensburgh.
Symbio enjoyed another huge global response on social media when Mr Fallon posted the cute video of the new babies on Friday morning.
He said born on June 27 the new arrivals each weighed in at a mere 15 grams at birth.
He captured the yet to be named members of the Symbio family just as they were starting to lift their heads to take in all the wonders of the world.
Pygmy Marmosets are the world's smallest monkey, and one of the world's smallest primates.
When fully grown adults they will they will weigh 100 grams.
Great place to work
A national safety, wellbeing and rehab company, with an office in Wollongong has been named one of the 20 best places to work in Australia.
Great Place to Work Australia managing director Zrinka Lovrencic said organisations in the top 20 were leading the way during COVID-19 and demonstrating care for their employees, customers and communities.
Employee Engagement Survey results for Recovery Partners showed 100 per cent of staff thought it was a friendly place to work. 99 per cent said they care about each other. 97 per cent of employees believed the leadership team were true to the company's values and 96 per cent would recommend a friend to work at Recovery Partners.
- Close to 1000 tickets sold and classic aircraft showcased at KidzWish Drive-in at Shellharbour Airport on Friday and Saturday
- High educational ranking for new app that makes learning the times tables easy
- New eco tourism marine research adventures off the coast of Wollongong get the seal of approval
- Murder in the Outback film role a career-making opportunity for Wollongong actress Elise Vohradsky
- South Coast's Timothy James Bowen through to The Voice semi final on Tuesday night
- Volkanovski wins more hearts after a come from behind title defence on Sunday
- Timothy James Bowen touches Australia's heart with a song he wrote about his wife being his motivation to keep fighting cancer
- Culinary coast in celebrity spotlight as some of Australia's leading chefs call in to support fire ravaged region after COVID-19
Movers and Shakers is a new weekly feature of people doing significant work in or for the Illawarra community
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