Seafarer bestowed Medal of Merit

Article and photos by LS N.C. Zulu
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On his death on 20 March 1897 at the age 90, Tamandaré left this last testament that remains emotional to those who read it, even today:

In honour of the Navy, my career, in which I had the good fortune to serve my country and provide a few services to humanity, I request that the stone that covers my grave be inscribed with these words ‘Here lies an old Seafarer”.

Ambassador Pedro Luiz Carneiro de Mendonça and R Adm (JG) Mhlana after the Medal Ceremony

A naval tradition was continued when Director Fleet Force Preparation (DFFP), R Adm (JG) Bravo Mhlana was bestowed the Tamandaré Medal of Merit for his outstanding accomplishment and dedication in servitude to the SA Navy and the Maritime fraternity. The honour was bestowed by Brazilian Ambassador to South Africa, Mr. Pedro Luiz Carneiro de Mendonça, in a ceremony presided by Brazilian Defence Attaché to South Africa Capt. Capt John Eldon received the same honour last year.



Ambassador Pedro Luiz Carneiro de Mendonça bestowing the Tamandare Medal to R Adm (JG) Mhlana

Fltr-Capt Mpetsheni, WO Pinto Sousa and R Adm (JG) Mhlana after Medal Ceremony

R Adm (JG) Mhlana had this to say about the medal bestowed up him “I am very humbled and honoured by this recognition. It is one which I will cherish for the rest of my life and just want to thank the Brazilian Navy for bestowing it upon me”.

R Adm (JG) Mhlana and Capt Paulo Cesar Correa sharing a moment after the Medal Ceremony

The Tamandaré Medal of Merit

A brief history of the Tamandaré Medal Of Merit

It was created by Decree no. 42.111, dated the 20th of August 1957, for the purpose of awarding authorities, institutions, civilians, military personnel, Brazilians and foreigners that have contributed towards relevant services in strengthening or divulging the traditions of the Brazilian Navy, honouring and emphasising its historical value.

The Medal is made from metal, in a circular form upon two crossed anchors with the figure of Tamandaré, with the inscribed words “ALMIRANTE TAMANDARÉ” (Admiral Tamandaré) on the reverse between arched palms, the inscription in seven lines “A MARINHA BRASILEIRA AO SEU GLORIOSO PATRONO 1957” (The Brazilian Navy to its glorious patron 1957).

The essential conditions for this award are: moral and professional qualities, competence, and accuracy in fulfilling duties, in the case of foreigners, also, the empathy and affection towards the Brazilian Nation and its Navy, between civilians in general, taking into consideration the distinguished and efficient action that benefit the interests and good name of the Brazilian Navy.