Back to 1951 index or
Makan No. 54
Official Organ of the 2/30th Bn. A.I.F. Assn
Patron: Brig. F.G. Galleghan, D.S.O.,
Those of you who have not already heard will be saddened to hear that Watty Gates of A. Coy died during the month of March. Watty was one of the real characters of A. Coy., one who was always ready with a dry wit when things were looking their blackest. He had suffered ill health since we returned, but none of his friends knew that he was in such a bad state of health as he apparently was. His death was due to debility and ill health due to war service. We were very disappointed that we did not hear of Watty's death until after his funeral and consequently were unable to have representatives of the Association there to pay our last respects to a former comrade. However, Brig. Galleghan, the Executive and Committee, on behalf of the Association, extend to the next of kin of Watty our deepest sympathy in their great loss. Watty was a good fellow. His name, will be respected whilst his former comrades are living.
The sudden death of Watty Gates brings to mind a point which, cannot be too strongly emphasised. That is, that the Association is powerless to pay their respects in such cases unless they have the knowledge of such a sad event. We earnestly ask you to get in touch with the Old Man, Jimmy Cooper, Reg Ellis, or myself, or any of the Committee immediately you hear of such cases. You let us know and we will do the rest.
How is your memory these days? Mine is going from bad to worse. A couple of months ago I met Tommy Bowden in town. Now every person in the Unit knows Tom, but on this occasion I couldn't remember his name and to make matters worse, I had my wife with me. I hoped that she would have walked on and left me, but of course she didn't and I made a few remarks about the weather and then said "This is my wife." Have you ever heard of anything so weak? Three yards past him of course my wife asked me to whom had she been introduced and I then remembered the name of Tom. I felt like doubling around the block and rectifying the error but it can't be done. How many times have you been caught?
The 3/- per day case is now almost back to where we started. When we wrote this Makan we did not, of course, know the result of the election so we cannot even hazard a guess on the next step. However, you can be sure that there will be a next step and as soon as we know of any details we will inform you through the Makan.
We are also unable to report on the Anzac Day March but will give you the full core in the next issue.
Latest Lifers are J.E. Martin, Neil Huntley and Cec. Dews. It will be interesting this year to compare our growing number of Life Members with our ordinary membership lists. New members are the greatest source of satisfaction the Association can receive of course because, in numbers, we gain strength. For those of the Unit who are not yet members of the Association we always like to remind them that, although we may not able to help THEM still they themselves may be able to help others of the Association, and, after all, if we can do that, then the world will go around a lot brighter because the sun may shine a little more brightly for someone. These are years where conditions give at least a little to everybody. We hope to do our job in the times which may come when some of the people receive little or nothing. Perhaps those times may never come. If they do come, we would like to be prepared for them and a main basis of preparation is a big membership.
We received a short line from Phil Paget. He is doing well.
Alex Olley has shifted into a new house at Lismore. He is very happy about the house because it is his own, built by himself in his spare time. It is a little easier for Alex to do that than it would be for the average chap as Alex is a carpenter by trade and he knows all the wrinkles. The new house is only part of the good news however, six months ago there was an addition to the Olley family, which brings the score to two girls and a boy. Good for you Alex.
A long letter from Clarrie Latimer came to hand recently. It was written on the bottom of a Makan and came along, with a 5/.- postal note. The full text of the letter was as follows - Dear Reg, Hope you are well and happy, C. Newey, isn't it?
Alex McKenzie, ex A. Coy., is a land boy at Edgeroi and is doing well enough to transfer to a Lifer. Alex is a cheerful soul, he is hoping to come to town one of these days for one of the reunions to renew old friendships.
Ross Madden is doing well at Armidale, well enough to make his wife write his letters for him. Ross has had a lot of bad luck since we returned home and we hope that he has seen the last of it.
Lloyd Stuart is still playing a good game of golf. He plays at North Brighton, but the Air Force have taken it over and the club will be opening a new club at Milperra just a short distance from where he now lives.
Bruce Upcroft of Hobart has had some bad luck to kick off his married life. Two months after his marriage his wife had a bad accident and, as a result, spent seven months with her leg in plaster. Later, just after buying a house, the tiles blew off the roof. Not all the tiles were lost, of course, but enough to cause him a headache. We hope that all his troubles are over now.
Carl Rope is living at Goulburn temporarily and by all accounts has never looked in better health.
Jackie Fell spent a holiday in Tasmania recently and from him we received the above news about Bruce Upcroft. Jack is himself doing well. He is one of our boys who wrote to their local Member and he will probably be surprised to hear that at least one other member also wrote to the same member as we have read said Member's reply.
All members of the Association will be glad to know that Reg Ellis' wife is now herself once again after a serious illness of a couple of months. With two beautiful grandchildren to be fussed over Mrs. Ellis would probably find it a little difficult to do all the chores of the Association now as she did for five months when Reg was in hospital in 1949. They recently spent a portion of an extended holiday on the mountains with our old friend Carl Odgers and his good lady, both of whom are in the pink. Leaving the two wives to their own devices, Carl and Reg sallied forth to Clear Hills, the Oberon property of one "Bulldozer" Haskins for a short stay. Over a bottle (or two) of Scotch and a log fire, they let themselves go and Reg reckons that Carl talked so much that he couldn't get a word out of him for days afterwards. Johnny and his wife (formerly Pam Eaton) are happily situated on a lovely property. Reg also spent a few days with his old mate Stew Blow at Berry. He reports that Stew and his wife, Ruth, and their two bonny girls are right on top of the world.
The Association sends its very best congratulations to Jack O'Malley and his wife on the occasion of their recent marriage. The newly weds are living at a town with the ghastly name of Frogmore, via Boorowa. We hope to hear more of them from now on.
Ray Godbolt, who is now in business at Raymond Terrace, has been in Newcastle Hospital to have his tonsils removed. He is back at his labours once again.
Wally Barnes has had five weeks in hospital with kidney trouble. It was either that or cirrhosis of the liver. His doctor was Carl Turner, do you remember him? He was a P.O.W.
Snowy Mason, A. Coy. Has had bad luck lately and is wandering around with a broken wrist. He is a builder now and the broken wrist has debarred him temporarily from carrying on his job.
Alf "Racehorse" Harding writes that his daughter, Veronica, was recently married. Alf now has a brand new pair of ears belonging to his son in law which he can punish to his hearts content. Our own ears ache when we think back to those endless, horsey arguments which Alf and his cobbers used to carry on for weeks at a time.
Blair Taylor can still write, but only just. We have no news from him but trust that he and his are all well.
Jack Greenwood has been taking exercises to lengthen his arms since he began fishing in earnest. He has built his own dingy and supplies the family larder with an occasional fish breakfast.
Harry Maurice had had only two serious differences with his wife in 20 years and both times it has been because of his late payment of his subs. He spends most of his time now trying to think up bigger and better untruths about the produce from his miserable garden. Most of his cabbages are the "two to a sugar bag" variety and his tomatoes all weigh within the vicinity of a stone each.
Bill Humphreys of Armidale is doing very well indeed. We are grateful to his wife for her newsy letters and she certainly has something to write about. They have two lovely kiddies, that is enough to be about in itself, a car and a home. Bill spends his spare time in building houses and there are not many more lucrative ways of putting in a bit of spare time. At Armidale they feel a little out of the Association functions and that is where the country folk miss a little of our fun.
Ross Madden often pops in to say hello and they see an odd Unit visitor now and again as they pass through. If you go to Armidale drop, in for a cuppa.
We send our very heartiest congratulations to Les Melrose and his wife on their recent marriage. You might remember that they announced their engagement at a Thirtieth Ball some time ago.
Jack North of West Wyalong is doing well and keeping reasonably good health.
Dave Tate, now married, of course is growing strawberries of all things at Runcorn, about, 11 miles from Brisbane. Dave is still great mates with the greatest ear basher of all times, Snowy Stevens. Snowy spends most of his holidays with Dave and is himself very fit.
Les Hall is still, at Parramatta, works for Goodyear, and runs a small magazine for them. It is a good magazine, too, and keeps Les in the habit of sitting at his typewriter. A habit which is invaluable to him now that he is doing a little writing as a sideline.
Please send all cheques, postal notes and money orders to Reg Ellis, at 13 Albany Street, St. Leonard’s.