Commanding Officers Crystal Tiger


The "Commanding Officer's Tiger" is a limited edition Swarovski Crystal Society creation which is a part of a trilogy on endangered wildlife. The designer, Elizabeth Adamer has created the solitaire Annual Edition 2010 Tiger as a unique and stunning rendition of this elegant predator. Using the latest Swarovski innovation which requires a high-end intricate production process, the tiger's fully faceted Golden Shine Crystal body allows whispers of satin crystal tiger stripes to emanate through.

When 5RAR was raised at Holsworthy on 1 March 1965 it had been directed by Army Headquarters that the battalion lanyard would be gold and the unit colours would be gold and black. The first Commanding Officer, LTCOL Peter Oxley OBE addressed the battalion and stated that the tiger would be the symbol and the mascot for the new battalion as it emphasised the desirable qualities of an infantry battalion such as aggressiveness, cunning and courage.

On the departure of LTCOL Oxley, a benefactor of the battalion, Mr. Bill Brennan presented a small silver tiger to be known as the "Oxley Tiger" to the Officer's Mess. Mr. Brennan subsequently presented other tiger centre pieces named after each Commanding Officer to be used on formal occasions in the Officer's Sergeant's and Soldier's Messes.

This tradition continued through the linked days of 5/7 RAR until the 1980's when Mr. Brennan passed away. Mr. Brennan also presented a tiger skin for the bass drummer of the battalion band and a tiger's head for display in the Officer's Mess.

After the unlinking of 5/7 RAR on 3 December 2006 5RAR was again formed in its own right, the 5RAR Association indicated that it would like to make a perpetual award to the battalion that would create a lasting bond between the older and newer generation of tigers.

It was considered impractical to return to the original concept of presenting a separate tiger centre piece to be named after each Commanding Officer. In cooperation with the then Commanding Officer LTCOL Jake Ellwood, the Association decided that the best option was to present a "Commanding Officers' Tiger" that would have inscribed the names of all the Commanding Officers of 5RAR since the battalion was first raised as well as incorporating all future Commanding Officers.

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