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Makan – No. 141
June / July, 1960


Dear Dig,

We'll be in trouble if we don't report this one. Doc Wilson and wife Clover are rejoicing in the birth of their first daughter, to keep the three little brothers company. It was a great thrill for the whole family and Doc told me that it is his private ambition to have the biggest family in the unit.

Keith Chapman and wife, of Regents Park are also accepting congratulations on the birth of a daughter. Although everything is quite well now, both Mother and baby became ill after the birth and for a few weeks after Mrs. Chapman arrived home, Chappie was chief cook and bottle washer. Everything is well again now and the new Baby is the boss of the house.

Brian Hayes and wife Anne of Nevertire, send the subs. along and write that they were very busy with the cattle as usual. The summer in Nevertire District was a trying one and the Hayes were not sorry to see the last of the really hot weather.

Lyn Booth, Ex "A" Coy., writes from the C.S.R. Co. Ltd. Victoria Mill, Ingham, Queensland, that he missed out on one or two 'Makan' because he had neglected to notify us of his change of address. We often have 'Makan' returned to us because of change of address, so tell us as soon as possible of your new postal address.

Greetings to all friends in the unit were received recently from Joe Roxburgh of Crows Nest and from Clarrie Lattimer of Kyogle. The unit was honoured recently by the action of the 2/15th Field Regiment Association in electing 'Black Jack' as an honorary member of their association. This is an action which is never taken lightly and is indicative of the great respect with which the 2/15th regard the 'Old Man.' This is perhaps another tie between our unit and this great Artillery Unit which built such a reputation for itself during the Malayan Campaign.

Anzac Day 1960 was perhaps one of the best we have ever had in all respects. The weather was beautiful and the roll up of almost 150 marchers was the biggest we have had so far. Stewart Blow came up from Berry to carry the banner and the 'Old Man' led the march as usual. The march itself was marred somewhat by the frequent halts which were made owing to a road construction near St. Mary's Cathedral. The organisers of the march had attempted to ensure that the march would flow freely but their planning was hopeless and resulted in a lot of irritating discomfort on the march itself. The assembly point for the marchers was also a brilliant example of army planning in which the troops were crowded into such a tiny space that free movement was almost impossible. Despite these discomforts the troops were in good spirits and after the march the biggest crowd ever assembled in the Rawson Hotel and remained there the rest of the day. Ron McBurney was there and one whom we rarely see, Arnie Trusler. Arnie looked well and enjoyed his day. Jackie Kingston Ex "A" Coy. was also welcome - Jack was over from South Australia for a few days. Bob Skinner was one who received a great welcome. Bob is a T.P.I., now but still gets around. He is living at Moore Park. Tommy Gardner was down from Lismore and your friend Ben Templeton came down from Parkes. Ben is stationed at the P.M.G. Line Depot at Nyron. - Everybody enjoyed meeting Kingy Martin again, down from the Dorrigo for the first time in twelve years. Bill Dainton was welcome as was Roy Mooney from "A" Coy. Bruce Ford now stationed in Sydney was a starter; Bruce was away for some years in the bush but is now living in Sydney. Ray Sharples was at the march, he will be a starter for our next picnic. Kennie Forward was in good form. Ken is working as a road contractor and is doing fairly well. He has one child. Johnny Haskins was down from Oberon and Ernie Spence was in the thick of it. Scotty Harris, Freddie Bladwell and Ron Eaton were much in evidence as were Sid Grounds, Bob Wright, Denny Garland and Reg Friend. The party lasted until the Hotel closed and then continued in a dozen different spots until much later. Boxes of fresh sandwiches prepared by Mrs. Harry Collins were a great success and kept the troops going during the day. It was the big reason for the lads remaining together as they did not have to break up for meals. We have since spoken to many who were with us and all agree that it was perhaps the happiest Anzac Day we have had for years. One thing marred the perfection of the day although we did not hear of it until later. The 'OLD MAN’ went to Yaralla Hospital after the March with a bad recurrence of his old ear trouble. He was in Yaralla for over a week and was then allowed out under licence. He is back on deck again now but is taking life a little less strenuously. Tom Nixon and his cobbers were in full strength and Les Hemming of Yagoona also came along. Les works as a railway carriage builder. He is a family man with three children. Jerry Bailey enjoyed himself as did Denny Garland. Snowy Stevens did a great job with the raffle, the proceeds of which were tucked away by Jackie Boss, together with subs from most of the troops there. Ralph Bradley by the way is now paid up to 1985.


The Annual General Meeting was held at our old stamping ground in Dixon Street at Mr. Lees. There are thirty five Mr. Lees in Dixon Street, but our Mr. Lee runs the Eastern Cafe and can be distinguished from other Orientals by the grey pallor of dismay which comes over his face, and remains there, when he sees any of the 2/30th. The fear comes from his anxiety for the safety of his numerous children when Sid Hennessy is around. Sid just naturally attracts those kids and Mr. Lee is always frightened Sid will take a couple with him.

The roll up at the meeting was about the same as usual although the absence of the 'OLD MAN' due to his illness was quite noticeable. Garry Rickwood all the way from Singapore was a surprise visitor and a welcome one. During the course of the evening when things began to warm up, Garry provided an interesting diversion when he balanced on the table on his hands for the space of a full minute. The betting was brisk as to whether Gerry would fall and break his neck. Fortunately both he and the table stood the test. Garry looks well and enjoyed the night as much as we did his company.

One of the best stories of the night came from Bruce Ford who put the family on a P.O.W. diet of rice and herrings whilst his wife was on holidays. When Bruce's wife returned she queried the reason for such a surplus in the housekeeping "kitty". On being told of the emergency measures which Bruce had introduced she was so delighted that she put the whole family on to a semi-permanent diet of rice and herrings. The kids won’t speak to Bruce any more.


A good job for the right person. A friend of our Unit has a vacancy in his firm which may still be open for a few days after you receive this Makan. We have placed a few of our lads with this firm and all have done well. The job is a mixed one with the first duty being that of an expert driver with the ability to place ladies at their ease and conduct them on sightseeing tours of the cities beauty spots whilst their husbands are in conference with the management of the firm. The successful applicant may be of any age, over fifty being of course no bar to this job. He must be spotless in his own appearance and be prepared to keep a good car in spotless condition also. The driving is not by any means a full time job and during the "off driving" periods the applicant must be prepared to check invoices in the office. The job fell vacant on the retirement of the present applicant. If you are interested, ring me at BO 657.


The Committee have decided to hold an annual reunion dinner this year on Saturday, 12th November. The dinner will be a sit down dixie and spoon job with all the trimmings including blachang and sugar and extra coconuts for those first on the back-up line. The Committee want the reunion to be the biggest ever! Country visitors requiring accommodation should write now and we will guarantee a palliasses for every visitor. The Dinner will be held at Anthony Hordern's, more details next Makan.



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