The Navy arrives in Knysna

Article and photos by CPO J.G. Grant

Wednesday 12 July saw the arrival of the Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) in Knysna. These camouflaged members represented the first of the Naval contingent to arrive and simultaneously made history by entering the notorious Knysna Heads using a mere Riverine Patrol Boat. The crew were welcomed by both locals and friendly faces alike.

Launching the RPB in Mossel Bay

The following day was also a busy day as MRS members were divided and delegated into groups for various tasks such as corporate social responsibility and paying tribute to Bondi. Bondi was a pedigree bulldog that became the mascot of HMS Verbena. During a stay at Knysna, he passed away and was buried on the edge of the Jetty. The Navy revived the tradition to maintain his gravestone in 2001.

Lining up for the entry between the Heads

Arriving at the Jetty in Knysna

The remaining members were tasked with cleaning stations, security patrols and offering the Naval Cadets seamanship lessons. The day culminated with Officer Commanding (OC) MRS, along with CWO Molefe paying a courtesy call to the Executive Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies. The OC took the opportunity to thank the Mayor for allowing the Navy to visit.

Courtesy call to the Mayor of Knysna by OC MRS

RPB taking the Cadets sailing


Cadets underway

Bondi restoration team