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Makan – No. 128a
June/July, 1958


Dear Dig,

Members who holiday on the North Coast often ask for addresses of our mates up there, before they leave Sydney. On their return we usually receive a few tit-bits for the Makan. Des Kearney, our own Black Prince" has written such a newsy letter after a recent trip up the Coast that we publish it here intact :

"Have just returned from a very pleasant three weeks holiday at Coolangatta where the weather was perfect, with lots of surfing, fishing and bitterly cold beer, and in my book these things make up a good leave. One of the very great pleasures of the trip was renewing acquaintances with various 2/30th men whose whereabouts I knew of, in most cases due to "Makan." I thought you'd be interested in hearing some of them.

At Lismore on the way up I chased miles out of town to see Tommy Gardner who is with the P.M.G. Dept., and who was having a peaceful lunch off the side of the road. Tom looked quite unchanged and is very well and immediately told me of many chaps that I simply must see going North. Tom said the Lismore reunion was very good, and regrets, like everyone else who attended it, that the Old Man was not there. After leaving Tom, I called in on Ossie Jackson, just south of Bangalow, and found that he was just as well and perhaps better than Tom. Ossie was very pleased and surprised to see me, and seemed very well and happy with life. He stood for Parliament recently and was well beaten, but is obviously a strong man in Civic affairs in his district. I saw Ossie again on the return journey and he loaded me up with beautiful pineapples which I am still eating.

Just north of Ossie I called on Ernie McNiven who has a Vacuum Service Station. Mac was as well as I have ever seen him (which is saying something, as we were both original members of "A" Coy) and he told me that he had been playing regular Rugby League (still misguided) every year until last, when the local team ceased to function; he played quite a bit of combined both Coast football during that time. Mac's quite unchanged and is well and happy. The cottage in which I was staying was one mile south of Coolangatta and to my good pleasure I found that Alan McPherson was living a quarter of a mile away. Alan and his wife Daphne immediately made us very welcome in the district, and took all of us for a most pleasant tour of Terranora Lakes in his boat; he also took me out fishing one night for Taylor which was very good sport; he got 9, and I got 5 in about an hour and the night before he got 12 on his own. Alan has his own carrying business - looks very fit - has two barrel chested sons and a very pleasant wife, and is obviously very well contented. In the very flat surf of Coolangatta, I met Tom Johnson who was a Captain in 2/18 and who has a legal practice in Armidale - Tom was well and has two sons doing Law in Sydney and one young lad at home.

Feeling in need of a hangover, I wired Len Handy to tell him I'd be coming to see him in Brisbane, and Thelma and I drove up one morning arriving at Midday. Handy arranged my afternoon programme in the manner in which I know he would, and at 5.30 we met at Cecil Hotel where he had gathered "Slim" Cranitch, Chum Farley, and Ron Chipps all of whom were fit and well, and very interested in the doings of we Sydney men of the Bn. Vic Gordon couldn't get along but I understand he is very fit and just the same old Vic. Ken Parry was in camp and is now a Lt. Col. Col O'Donnell who was in England when I was last in Brisbane, was in Sydney. On the way home to Handy's where we stayed the night, we called into the Regatta Hotel in an endeavour to find Andy (Major Anderson). Andy lives at this Pub, but was away at the time we called. I, like so many others in the Bn., am sorry that Andy has lost touch with Bn. matters and is seen so seldom. I got around Australia quite a bit, and many of our chaps have said the same thing; what with coronaries and ulcers, I figure life's too short not to endeavour to keep in touch with old friends. Mrs. Handy, patient as ever, gave us our dinner at about midnight, and I was only too happy to drive back to the cool surf after breakfast, in which I met John Brindley of the Engineers, nice quiet chap Len Handy!

A fellow named Bluey Chapman 2/17th Bn. took me fishing for crabs (caught 30) and said that he had a brother Stan with 2/30th who he believes died from malaria in Malaya. He had not heard much detail and if anyone can give me any more information I'll pass it on. On the way back I dug up Joe Veivers working on "the bridge over the Tweed." Joe is with the Department of Main Roads and looked to me to be stronger than the Ox he used to be as strong as; he too has been playing good football regularly, and represented in Country League until he broke a leg a year or two ago. Joe lives in Grafton.

I left Joe and went over the road to the Chrysler Agent and looked up Bill Rooke who runs the Service Department of Hewistons. Bill looked well and I understand is fond of a glass on a hot day. I next chased up the high School at Murwillumbah and then to the Primary School to see Ian Pryce but unfortunately he was away. Ian is a Senior Inspector for Schools in the district.

I was headed for Grafton and turned off at Crabbes Creek to say good-bye to Colin Vincent who was a Lieutenant in the 2/4 Machine Gunners and who was well known to many of us; Col. has the store in this little place and is much happier than being in the Bank at Grafton.

At around about midday I called in on Harry Riches at Mullumbimby. Harry has a beautiful home there in the most peaceful setting imaginable and had done a tremendous amount of work. He looked like a Boong except that he wore boots, and was brown and fit, and lean; without any fuss at all. Dot his hospitable wife fed the six in my family, and Harry and I had a good yarn. I got back to Grafton too late to see Ron Stoner and left at 4.00 a.m, next day for Sydney, and regret that I did not have a chance to see Snow Hampton and Laddie Newlands and Bob Newman, who were all around that neck of the woods generally. It gave me tremendous pleasure to renew such acquaintances and it's a comforting feeling to realise that no matter how far from home one may be, one's never far away from a good friend.

All the chaps I saw send their regards to all their mates in Bn, and my only regret is that I didn't have time to look up more of them.

Des Kearney"

Ross Madden of Armidale is working temporarily at Uralla. Ross is well. His wife is our news service.

Jim McIntosh of Ainslie A.C.T, has had the misfortune to lose his father, mother and wife's mother within the last twelve months. We extend our sympathy to Jim on his great losses. In himself, Jim is well and cannot afford to be otherwise because of his three irrepressible children. Jim hopes to make the reunion this year. We look forward to seeing him again.

All ex "A" Coy. lads will be delighted to hear of little Derek Smith again. Most vivid memories of Derek are of a set of flashing white teeth, and a face of scarlet. The scarlet face was caused by Derek's perpetual exhaustion from kicking a soccer ball around. Derek was never without a soccer ball and his latest letter, the first for years, he tells us that he is still playing soccer. Derek hails from Bargo now.


It is hoped that some of our members will make the trip to Bathurst on Saturday 25th July to place a wreath on the Roadside Memorial. It will be seventeen years this month since the Unit marched from Bathurst Camp. Those who intend making the trip should contact Mrs. Ellis at WX3198.

Curley Heckendorf:

It is with the greatest pleasure that we write that your friend Curley Heckendorf is engaged to be married to a young lady from his own district. Curley's tragic luck over the last few years touched the hearts of all members and this latest good news will be welcomed by us all. Heck will be married on 27th September at Lockhart. His address is "Mount View" Lockhart


A list of further donors towards the cost of the memorial will be published in the next Makan.


Annual subscriptions are coming in very slowly. What about making a really big-time gesture by sending in two years subscription.


A fashion parade will be held at Princes' Restaurant during the first week in September. The cost will be approximately 7/6 per head and the proceeds will go towards the cost of the Memorial at Bathurst. The Parade will be of Spring Fashions and will be conducted by Mrs. Geikie. Enquiries should be made direct to her at WX1051 or at Woolwich. All donations to the cost of the Roadside Memorial should be sent direct to Mrs. Geikie.


Please let us have the addresses of any next of kin you may know. We wish to contact them.


Snowy's Mother has not been at all well lately. Members join with the Committee in wishing her a speedy recovery.

We received a nice letter from Cec. Palmer of Scone extending his sympathy on the death of Reg. Ellis. Cec always has time to think of others, but from a reading of his letter he deserves more than a little sympathy himself. Cec is not without a sense of humour either, we do hope that good luck will fall his way. Here is an extract from his letter :

"I left the job I had on the station at Moonan Flat 2 years ago after being there for 22 years. The chap I was working for reckoned I was not giving him enough time, (I used to work up to 50 hours a week) anyhow I now work for the Scone Shire Council and have a good job, have also put on a stone in weight. (That accounts for a 40 hour week).

I am trying to get a house built in Scone, I have a block of land and have the piers in, and we are living in a garage with a skillion attached, we have the hot water laid on, through a slow combustion stove.

However, we are having a big fight trying to get the money saved up, my youngest son who is 4 has been under specialists in Sydney for 3 years, he is a bad allergy case, he is allergic to over 30 different things including 20 different types of foodstuffs, he averages over an injection a week. My wife had three major operations in the last 2 years. I had her in St. Vincent's for the last operation, I didn't expect her to get over it but now she seems to be getting a bit of a break, so you. can see I am up against it a bit.

I am getting the house through the War Service Homes, but the red tape and waiting is terrific. I enjoy getting "Makan" it brings back a lot of memories some good and some not so good.

Cecil Palmer."

Brian Hayes of Nevertire is still around. Not much news from him but it's nice to see his name again.



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