Don't you just love it!!! This superb photograph was taken during the three day diving session held by society members at the Melbourne Aquarium. It shows Frank Zeigler in standard dress communicating with grandson Tate, being held by Kathy Zeigler.

It has to be said ..... our AGM Meeting in Sydney last weekend (5-6 October 2013), planned to coincide with the excitement of the RAN Fleet Review, celebrating 100 years of the Australian Navy, was a fantastic success! What a wonderful weekend we had together, which was finished off on the Monday at Chowder Bay, with vintage diving run by the Sydney Working Equipment Group. 
    My brief email today is to express grateful thanks to Allan and Caroline Kessler, on behalf of all HDS SEAP members who attended this terrific weekend. Alan and Caroline took the job of planning, transporting, catering, billeting and booking the restaurant and arranging the meeting room at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Both of them did not stop working all weekend, especially attending to the finer details. We are all indebted to them for their kindness and hospitality.
    Mention should also be made of Stanley Haviland for his support of the Kessler’s in many ways and for also transporting interstate members about, despite having to work nightshift. Other Sydney HDS members were eager to assist, lend/share equipment though out the weekend, especially on the Monday when we enjoyed a wonderful day of vintage diving. The Sydney members have once again shown us marvellous hospitality. And lastly, when it comes to moving LOTS of heavy equipment about for the diving, we always see every member pulling their weight and assisting, this is a very special feature of our enthusiastic HDS members, everyone pitches in. At Chowder Bay, there are a lots of steps to negotiate and all that diving equipment and sundrie items like the BBQ were swifty and efficiently carried down to the jetty and back again at the end of the day.  Another amazing HDS SEAP weekend .
     Thank you to all who attended and made it such a memorable few days. Stay tuned for details of the 2014 AGM weekend, which will be held in October next year. A full report of the 2013 AGM will appear in the next issue of Classic Diver magazine.
 Des Williams

L to R (without considering F to B ;-), Tony Dromgool, Stanley Haviland, Des Williams, Caroline Kessler, Brian Tasker, Lester Smith (ignoring fuzzy people in background), Phil McGowen, Sue McGowen, Frank Zeigler.  Photo by Allan Kessler. (Click on image to enlarge)


OZTeK 2013 was a very successful event for us.  We attracted 17 new members over the weekend and a few more have joined since.  A big welcome to all new members.  We had many visitors to the stand and had a great response.  Many people made comments along the lines of it being the best stand at the show.  This is very satisfying for the members who generously donate their time and loan their collections and equipment.  Thanks to these members from NSW and the ACT.  President Chris Deane and Treasurer Des Williams also attended and helped to man our stand.  We will have a report in the next edition of Classic Diver.

On Saturday 16th March a Special General Meeting was held to ratify a fee increase for the 2013 – 2014 financial year.  The motions were passed unanimously and the fees will be $AUD50 for Australian and New Zealand members and $AUD60 for other overseas members.  I have had a few enquiries from new members.  At OZTeK we ran a special joining offer that new memberships would extend till June 2014 (approximately 15 months for the 12 month subscription).  So new members do not need to pay any additional fee.  Your next membership fee will be due for the 2014 – 2015 year and you will pay whatever the current fee is then.  If there is any confusion please do not hesitate to contact membership Secretary Des Williams or myself.

SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING - Historical Diving Society South East Asia Pacific
Held on 16th March, 2013 at Technology Park, Locomotive Street, Eveleigh.

Opened at 6:00pm by President Christopher Deane (chairman)
Present:  Des Williams, Cathy Deane, Chris Sammut, Stanley Havilland, Andy Andrew, Peter Katz, Mel Brown, Dave Thomas, Tony Dromgool, Allan Kessler, Chris Deane, Brian Tasker, Peter McMahon, Nathan Farrugia, Barry Andrewartha, Frank Zeigler, John Stevens, Richard Wirski, David Bird.
Apologies: Michael Frew, Malcolm Hill, Mark Dyson, Jim Johnson, Greg Baxendale, Marc Cohen.

Motion 1:
That the membership fee for the 2013 – 2014 year for Australian and New Zealand members be increased to $AUD50.
Proposed by:  Allan Kessler.  Seconded by: Des Williams.
Motion carried unanimously.

Motion 2:
That the membership fee for the 2013 – 2014 year for other overseas members be increased to $AUD60.
Proposed by:  Allan Kessler.  Seconded by: Des Williams.
Motion carried unanimously.
Chairman thanked everyone for attending.

Meeting closed at 6:05pm.
On Monday the 18th March, following OZTeK, NSW members also went to Chowder Bay for some standard dress diving in a RAN diver training school re-enactment.  If you read my article in the last Classic Diver you will know why that was important to me personally.  If not, read it now J.  Again there will be a full report in the next Classic Diver.

18th February – 1st May to mark the 100th Anniversary of HMAS Melbourne’s first visit to Melbourne.  The Royal Historical Society will have a display including photographs and personal items of the ships diver.  A Siebe Gorman 12 bolt helmet, similar to that worn by the ships diver, will be on display.  Des Williams attended the opening night on 28th March which is the actual day the HMAS Melbourne arrived.  He has reported it was a very interesting night.  The exhibition is open for the rest of the month so there is still time to get there.

18th April – 18th May the 2013 Western Australian Heritage Festival: Peter McMahon is organising the HDS SEAP presence there on the 5th & 12th May from 10 am to 3 pm.  The theme of the HDS SEAP presence will be the Broome pearling industry and will include hard hat diving displays.  For more details contact Peter McMahon at redwinepeter@yahoo.com.

8th – 10th June Standard Dress course and diving.  Run by Professional Diving Services, Portland, Victoria.  Full details are given inside the cover of the Autumn Classic Diver.  You can contact Steve Taylor at deputy821@bigpond.com or Leslie at Professional Diving Services on +61 3 5523 6392 or lesliezelenc@profdivers.com.au.

5th – 6th October 2013 HDS SEAP 2013 AGM: to be held in Sydney in conjunction with the RAN International Fleet Review.  This is to mark 100 years since the then, newly formed RAN fleet, all arrived in Sydney Harbour.  The RAN has invited other countries to send a warship or tall ship and will be organising a week of activities.  It is our plan to hold our AGM and participate in some of the activities.


It was back to the old days of diving at Portland, Victoria over the Queen's Birthday Weekend, 8-11 June 2012. Superbly organised by Steve Taylor and generously hosted by the effervescent Zeigler family - Frank, Kathy and Jamie, the annual event attracted enthusiasts from Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, ACT - and Canada and New Zealand. It has firmly established itself as an international event, providing companionship between enthusiastic ' historical divers. and the opportunity to dive with new 'old' gear and some truly vintage standard dress as well. 

NAUI Standard Dress Diving Instructors: Frank Ziegler and Jamie Ziegler
HDS SEAP Coordinator: Stephen K Taylor
Australian Working Equipment Group Rally Attendees: 
Peter  McMahon (WA), John Stevens (VIC), Des Williams (VIC), James McFarland (VIC), Lester  Smith (VIC), Tony  Gregory (VIC), Allan Kessler (NSW), Chris Sammut (NSW), Chris Deane (SA), John McCormick (VIC), Keith Gordon (NZ), Mike Kell (Canada).
NAUI: Standard Dress Diver certification course students:  Evan  Davies  (VIC), Richard  Brougham (NSW), Greg  McMillian (VIC), Taylor  McMillian (VIC), Kylie  Duncan (VIC), Ulvis  Bruveris (VIC), Leslie  Zelenc (VIC), Patrick  Ross (VIC), Peter  Coster (VIC), Warren Jackman (VIC), Warren Reed (SA), Tony Dromgool (ACT), David Bird (VIC),
Stanley Haviland NSW.
Photographer: Jack Younger (VIC)
Ladies: Yvonne Kell (Canada), Cathy Deane (SA), Kathy Ziegler (VIC)

Photo: Courtesy Steve Taylor.

Keith Gordon from New Zealand tries out Des Williams' Desco dress. 

Photo: Steve Taylor. Click on image to enlarge.



Have a look at a few shots. Click on Des and his 
Secretary Des Diving His Desco, 
at Portland.
Co-ordinator of the 2010 Portland NAUI 
Recreational Standard Dress Course Steve Taylor.

HDS SEAP to Display at OZTeK '11 Conference March 2011.
The HDS SEAP will once again have a display stand at the fabulous OZTeK ‘11 Conference. Our presence at the OZTeK '09 event was enthusiastically received by delegates and we look forward to seeing many familiar and new faces again in March 2011.  Be sure to drop by our stand and learn more about the HDS SEAP and the wonderful world of our Australian diving heritage. OZTeK '11 Conference will be held at Australian Technology Park, Sydney, Australia on 12th - 13 March 2011. Please visit the OZTeK ‘11 website www.diveoztek.com.au for more information and see the impressive list of speakers who will entertain you at this premier event. 

Steve Tayor advises that the society has been invited to return to the Melbourne Aquaium after a very successful three days over August 20-22, 2010. It was so successful that it may extend for five days. Dates have not been confirmed but it will be in the summer school holidays and cover a weekend.  The inaugural event in August was attended by divers  John McCormick, John Stevens, Steve Taylor, Des Williams, Gisela Hamacher, Stanly Haviland, Allan Kessler, Frank Zeigler and the four staff divers at the Aquarium. Helmets used were Steve Taylor’s TOA and Des William’s DESCO.

Left: Event organizer John McCormick dressing Steve Taylor in his TOA; John Stevens is prepared to enter the water in his twin hose Sportsways, as safety diver. 
Right: Steve Taylor reflects on his dive in the big pool at he aquarium, much to the enjoyment of aquarium visitors and the utter joy for the young ones. 


At the second and most recent (June 2010) NAUI Standard Dress course, held in Portland, the HDS SEAP officially acknowledged the special contribution made by two vintage diving enthusiasts in their development of this new NAUI specialty course. HDS SEAP Hon. Secretary Des Williams, presented an HDS SEAP ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ to both NAUI course Director Frank Zeigler, of Professional Diving Services and course co-ordinator, Stephen Taylor from HDS SEAP. 
Des explained that both Frank and Steve, as vintage diving enthusiasts themselves, had made a very special and worthwhile contribution to historical diving, by promoting detailed knowledge and the safe use of standard dress equipment through a NAUI Specialty Course. 
In the last two years, some forty enthusiasts have completed this course and  along with it, increased their interest our Australian diving heritage. 
Des advised it was a pleasure for the HDS SEAP to acknowledge the dedication of these two members and thanked them on behalf of the HDS SEAP Committee, who had approved the awards.
MOVIE NIGHT - 26 November 2007
Venue: Mordialloc Sporting Club, 528 Nepean Highway, Mordialloc, Upstairs in the HOBSON ROOM.
a) Fake Diving Helmet information in "Powerpoint" format (approx 10 minutes)
b) "Sunken salvage vessel DISPERSER" and recovery of a Siebe Gorman diving helmet lying deep within this lost wreck, since 1934. Divers recovered the hat just a few years ago, off the Lancashire coast in the UK, excellent film. (approx 35 minutes) 
c) "The Diver Who Saved a Cathedral". The story of William Walker, the Siebe Gorman diver who worked for six years underneath Winchester Cathedral, underpinning the foundations of this crumbling 1100 year old British icon. (Powerpoint
presentation approx. 15 minutes)
d) Discovery of a rare US Army DD amphibious tank off the Italian coast. This movie follows a group of recreational Italian divers, who find many previously undiscovered WW2 relics in the sea off the Salerno coast of Italy. Existence of the DD Tank is at first denied by US officials, until the Italians finally photograph its propellors and send the pics to the USA archive, at the
Pentagon. Within a very short time, the USN "cavalry" arrives to recover the rare WW2 relic in typical USN style, utilising millions of dollars worth of salvage gear!!! (approx 45 minutes) .


On Sunday 19th August the Scuba Divers Federation of Victoria presented Sunken Assets 2007, a one day seminar devoted to VictoriaÆs Maritime Heritage. The HDS SEAP was invited to have a stand at the seminar and we did so, displaying a range of photographs and information on the Ted Eldred Porpoise. 

Classic Diver Editor Jeff Maynard was one of the keynote speakers at the event and Jeff presented a talk entitled "Australia's Diving Heritage". This focussed on the history of diving and highlighted Australian inventions and the contribution they made to the overall evolution of diving equipment. 

A number of other HDS SEAP members were also keynote speakers on various shipwreck subjects. Mark Ryan of Victoria spoke of our deep shipwreck pioneers, Andy Viduka from the Museum of North Queensland spoke on the Yongala experience, Frank Ziegler was the facilitator of the open forum discussion, while in the background Des Williams was on the committee that organised the event. Many other members attended the event. 
Overall it was a very successful day and a big æthankyouÆ to everyone who attended and assisted. 

Pic: Mark Ryan of Southern Ocean Exploration tries out Jeff Maynard's Salvus Rebreather in front of the HDS SEAP display.

HDSSEAP at OZTeK March 17-16 2007 

What a great weekend for HDS SEAP. The NSW members have certainly set a VERY high standard for future HDS SEAP displays, congratulations lads and a very special thanks to Dave Thomas for taking on the role of project organiser for us, as he is certainly cool under pressure. Our stand was excellent, with a variety of mostly Australian made diving equipment fromáthe fantastic collections of Dave, Mel Brown, Tony Gregory and Allan Kessler. There was a large focus on PORPOISE equipment, to educate Australians about the fantastic contribution to diving made by Ted Eldred all those years ago. Stanley provided a Chinese helmet and some of the display tables and dressing. There were plenty of members on hand to rotate in shifts, so others could attend some of the lectures, we worked very well as a team and the interest from the public was brilliant. Visitors to the stand varied from one chap who still dives with twin hose scuba, right over to a 10 year old lad who had recently passed his dive ticket in Vanuatu and was captivated with the historical diving gear on display. Special appreciation goes to Andy Andrew and Geoff Reed who did a stint on the stand and we werenÆt even expecting them at OZTeK. 

It is safe to say (immodestly) that we contributed to the quality of the OZTeK event as well, as the diving publicálearned a lot more about the HDS SEAP and our wonderful Australian diving heritage and it is a testiment to the quality of our display and staff, that so many people came to the stand for quality time. Good old SEAHUNT was certainly a drawcard and attracted the baby-boomers like flies to honey. Just the first few notes of the SEAHUNT 'intro tune' had them flocking to the stand.