Welcome to the Website of the 17th Intake 

HMAS Leeuwin - Junior Recruit Training Establishment  

October 1966 to October 1967

This website is dedicated to Michael John BROWN who passed away 3 December 2006
Mike did an enormous amount of work to make this site a reality

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Errol John   BANNISTER

Official No: R95702 Aged: 15 years 9 months Joined: 8th October 1966
Division: Morrow Home Port: Sydney Discharged: 1974




Postings: Leeuwin, Sydney, Melbourne, Cerberus, Albatross, Vampire
Notes: Life is beautiful ie…Full of beauty -   Life is wonderful ie…Full of wonder
Current Occupation: Company Director
1966 today

I’ll skip Navy time other than to say that I married in 1971 and divorced in 1974 The only real regret I have had in my life.  I totally enjoyed my Navy time but I also new it would never be my life.  Took the Whitlam option and resigned, giving 18 months notice after serving 7.5 years.  Having given notice I studied Hotel-Motel Management and basic accounting at night classes.  Left the Navy in 1974 and commenced employment with the Cahill’s Brass Rail Restaurant Group in Sydney as a manager.  Stayed there for about 14 months attaining group manager status controlling 3 outlets.  I then resigned to take up a position as Manager of The Hotel Rose Bay.  During this tenure I managed to form affiliations that led to the setting up of my first business which was the purchase of an old warehouse building in Newcastle , NSW (my place of birth) and converting that 3 level building's ground floor into a Wine Bar Bistro. ( the other two levels were left to the pigeons for the next few years). We ran a restaurant and entertainment venue for almost four years and finally purchased a Hotel Licence from a hotel that was being demolished in a nearby suburb.

This gave us the ability to bring the other two levels of the building into operation as a fully licensed tavern, which we then sold, to a Malaysian Group.  During that time I also set up and operated, in Newcastle , a Theatre Restaurant (Called Keatons) and a French restaurant called Le Maison above the Clarendon Hotel.  Having sold out of all my interests in Newcastle I travelled back to Sydney and bought land and created a restaurant in Lane Cove and then moved into the C.B.D and built a Bistro on the corner of York and Barrack Streets (Just down the road from the old recruiting house).  During this term I purchased an existing restaurant in Dural (out of Sydney ) and also went into a partnership with D’álbora Marinas to operate the John Cadman Cruising Restaurant on Sydney harbour.  This we later sold to Captain Cook Cruises.( Huge smile)

During my time in Newcastle I met the son of British actor Robert Morley, Wilton , who at the time, was a theatrical producer in Australia .  We formed a business relationship whereby I invested in theatre and he produced.  During the ‘80’s we toured The Rocky Horror Show throughout Australia and New Zealand and also brought to Australia Rex Harrison, Cluadette Colbert and Lauren Bachall.  The Rocky Horror tour cast incidentally included a bit part actor, who had two small roles, by the name of Russel Crowe.

I never remarried until I was thirty-four and during that marriage, because my wife had a background in the beauty business, we set up a group of French Perfumeries in Sydney totalling 5 stores called “Chez Parfum”.    During this time I branched out into hotels, at first buying freehold hotels in Sydney and later on in Newcastle .  I was fortunate to build the group into five hotels and by the end of 1997 had sold out of hotels and as the marriage was not good went and lived in Italy for 12 months. 

On my return I was, through contacts enticed into a consulting director-ship with an international company that had the catering rights for fourteen venues for the Sydney Olympics.  This was a two and a half year contract that calumniated with the closure of the Para-Olympics.  I was then asked to stay on for a couple of special projects.

During the Olympics I met A beautiful lady who was domicile in Adelaide and after twelve months commuting bought an 85-acre Vineyard in the Clare Valley .  We have established a Wine Company and hope to have a label released at the end of this year.

  I have no children and I am currently not married.

I am currently the chairperson of the Clare Valley Food and Wine Society.


Personal photographs



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Last modified: October 13, 2018