Wharfies And Seafarers Remembered In 70th Anniversary Of Darwin Bombing

On Sunday 19 February the Maritime Union of Australia hosted a service to commemorate the 23 wharfies and 48 seafarers who lost their lives at Stokes Hill Wharf 70 years ago, during the bombing of Darwin.

The bombing of Darwin is not only a military story, but a story of the brave acts of civilians, including wharfies and seafarers.

The service began at 9:30am at Stokes Hill Wharf and featured speeches and musical performance from the families of those who died during the bombing.

The Maritime Union of Australia (NT Branch) played an important role in helping to organise this important remembrance event.

At 9:58am the air raid sirens rang out, to symbolise the moment the first bombs were dropped.

Wreaths were dropped into the water, and a new memorial unveiled, dedicated to the wharfies and seafarers who died on February 19, 1942.

The event concludedwith a performance by dancers from the Tiwi Islands.

"The 19th of February, 1942 is a day etched on the collective memory of Darwin and also the collective memory of the Maritime Union of Australia," MUA Deputy National Secretary, Mick Doleman said, who was present at the event.

"As a Union, we will never forget the 23 wharfies and 48 seafarers who died that day, just as the broader Darwin community will always remember the first attack on Australian soil.

"The MUA is deeply appreciative of the Territory Government's efforts to ensure the memory of those seafarers and wharfies lives on through a new mural dedicated to their memory."

The MUA's NT Organiser, Thomas Mayor, echoed Mr Doleman's appreciation of the NT Government's contribution.

"It must have been terrifying to witness the first bombs drop from the sky 70 years ago and it's fitting that the Darwin community takes pause to reflect," Mr Mayor said.

"Today's anniversary is also a chance to remember the thousands of merchant seafarers and wharfies who died during World War 2."