Makan – No. 151
Ray Kuskey and Harry Maurice are members of Maroubra, R.S.L. Club. They see one another frequently and constitute an unofficial welcoming committee to any of our troops who walk into their club.
Over a period of many months the Committee has been planning for a new banner for the coming Anzac Day. Our first banner has given us good service for fifteen years but it was made at a time when fine materials were scarce and the craftsmen did the best he could with what was available.
In considering a design the Committee consulted with the Old Man who in turn enlisted the aid of Graham Sands of John Sands who made his chief artist available to us. The design was produced and will please you. Our battle honours are emblazoned across it and there for all to see is the word "GEMAS" in commemoration of the first blood the Australians drew in the war against the Japanese. In the history of the British Army, there are only three instances where battle honours have been granted to a single unit. The 2/30 came into this select group when the battle honour "Gemas" was granted to it for no other unit in the British Army can carry this name.
The colours are being made in Melbourne where all negotiations were carried on by Phil Schofield. We think you will be very proud of our new banner and hope that you will turn up in strength on Anzac Day to march behind it. The Association has always made it a special privilege to carry our banner on Anzac Day and this year Mick Lovell has been selected to follow the Old Man. You all know, Mick, one of the "characters" of the unit, a previous "shadow" of Reg Ellis from whom he was never far away.
The banner is a first-class job and will commemorate an increasing number of good wan who soldiered together twenty years ago. However, quality costs money and this banner will cost us, with pike approximately £150. Graham Sands and the Sands family have donated 40 guineas. We have not worried about the cost of the banner because the Committee was confident that an appeal to the troops would bring us in the cost without trouble. That's the story! We must find £110 to defray the cost of the banner. Will you send us a little towards it now?
Phil Schofield is back in Sydney with a very big job. He's Manager of the Martin Place branch of the A.N.Z. Bank - a position like that is a good promotion for him. Phil hasn't changed in the slightest from when we knew him and it is good to have him back again.
Members will be saddened to hear of the death of Norm Allen, ex A. Coy. Norm was a nice little fellow, a quiet chap who way not have been known to a great circle of the unit but he was part of the unit and suffered badly as a result of his effort for his country. Norm spent years in Yaralla Hospital until finally his body could not take it any longer. The sympathy of members go to his next-of-kin for the untimely death of this former comrade of ours.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday, 13th April at the Eastern Cafe, Dixon Street, Sydney, commencing after dinner. We say that it will start after dinner because many years experience at "The Chows" has made us realise that it is impossible to remotely forecast not only what time we finish dinner but even what time we will start! However, try to come to the General Meeting - you will find it one of the happiest nights of the year. The meeting will probably start about 8.30 p.m. but we hope that you will arrive there not later than a couple of minutes after 6.30 p.m. (in case you don't know, that's just a couple of minutes after the hotels close). If you come along you can enjoy a meal with about 20 to 30 of your old comrades. The meal is usually a riot with wrong meals for everybody and Dick Tompson sweating it out trying to work out the bill from pages of Chinese characters. You will receive an Annual Report before the meeting.
It's a long time since you have heard from Ernie Stratford, the little bloke from the North Coast. Ernie has written at last as follows:
"At last I have made time to drop you a few lines and my overdue subs; I have not any liking for writing letters, generally my good wife does it but went on strike over this - so here goes. My health has been very good over the last few years, but I do not carry any surplus fat. Still playing cricket every Saturday, all my family goes with me, that's my two sons and wife. Both boys are really cricket fans.
I have not long bought my own home plus 9½ acres of land and also 6½ acres of bananas about six miles from Mullumbimby. I just managed enough L.S.D. for it all so have not much money to spend, but have own car which takes us to the beach on Sundays. Get three good feeds a day, so I reckon I've nothing to cry about. That's about all about me, so will try to tell you something about the boys around here.
Martin Wallwork has bananas at the Pocket, about 4 miles from where I live. He has been to Greenslopes Hospital, Brisbane, a while ago but is now back again. He does not look the best at present. Frank Wallwork lives at Possum Creak via Bangalow; he and brother Bill bought a dairy farm and are doing well. Alf Jones does not look the best at all. I see Ossie Jackson, Evans Johnston every month at our Legacy meetings - both boys are well. Harry Teasdale lives at Corndale and have not seen him for a long while. Last heard he was off to Brisbane for treatment. Russ Mackie said he looked bad. Harry Riches lives near Mt. Bimby, getting thin. He works too hard, we all tell him. Ernie McNiven of Bangalow Creek is really well - he has not changed at all, only very fat. All the boys turned out to see the Old Man, or should l say "Black Jack" in Lismore. He was our Legacy guest up here. He went over very well here. Best they have had. People told me they could have listened to him all night. This is all I can think of. Best of luck and health to you and all the boys down there."
SOME TIME AGO
It was noticed in the newspapers by some of our members that one other of our members was charged with a series of criminal offences relating to money from a Govt. Dept. These charges are made now and again on a wrong premise and we are grateful that our system of justice usually finds the truth of the matter. A jury found that there was no case whatsoever against our friend who was completely exonerated from all blame. Arch Thorburn appeared for our friend.
ANZAC DAY - BATHURST
This year we are sending an official party to Bathurst to participate in the ceremonies conducted by the R.S.L. in that town. We would like a party of at least a dozen members to go to Bathurst and we hope that our members from the surrounding areas who could perhaps get there more easily than to Sydney, will make a special effort to be present. The R.S.L. at Bathurst make a special point of conducting Anzac Day Service at the Cairn and the people of Bathurst have adopted the simple little memorial as part of the town. We will be advising Mr. Pratley, the custodian, of our plans. Further particulars as to the time of the ceremonies will be available from Stan Arneil - B 0657 - about two weeks before Anzac Day.
Kingie Martin of Dorrigo, thinks it will be a good season in his district so we hope it will be. Kingie cannot get to Sydney very often - it's a long way to the Dorrigo. Geoff Alcock of Pennant Hills, is a real family man with four children to keep him busy, when we reported of the address of Dick Andrews (Bethungra), Geoff and his wife almost pulled up the traps and moved in that direction but the distance was a little too far.
Darby Young is a good lad but we don't see him often enough down here. He is at Coff's Harbour Jetty and lives fairly close to Ben Pearce. Ossie Jackson of the far North Coast and Ray Brown of Bankstown send their regards.
Stuart Peach is a big boy now in more ways than one. He is Military Attache in Laos and will have some interesting stories to tell us on his return. On route to Laos, Stuart made a tour of the Malayan battlefields and on the day of our Anniversary Dinner laid a wreath on the cenotaph at Kranji. Lyn Booth, ex A. Coy., is a long way from Sydney, at Victoria, Ingham in North Queensland. Lyn loves to read the news in "Makan" and he writes that it has kept him in touch even though he has been out of circulation for years.
All members will be glad to hear of the promotion of Noel Johnston to the position of Assistant Secretary to the Education Department. This is a position where wise administration can have a lasting effect on a department which is responsible for the teaching of the majority of the children in N.S.W. Johnno is just the man for the job.
ANZAC DAY - SYDNEY
We hope for a good roll-up again for the Anzac Day March with the now banner on display. All ranks are requested to wear their badges and battalion ties and all medals should be correctly worn. The assembly point will be fairly close to last year's point and the assembly point after the march will be the Rawson Hotel, George Street, just up from the Haymarket. We usually have over a hundred of the troops at the "Rawson" where we have our own bar. The atmosphere is relaxed and happy and, although we would not ask Mrs. Harry Collins, we do hope she will prepare those boxes of fresh sandwiches for us. The lovely sandwiches enable us to remain together for the day without wandering around looking for a meal. Anzac Day with the lads is something you should not miss!!
14th JANUARY - GEMAS ANNIVERSARY
The attendance at the Cenotaph was marred by two things. Firstly, the 14th Jan, fell on a Sunday and such a day did not suit everybody and, secondly, it was on that Sunday that the Malayan episode of "Anzacs" was shown on T.V. It was only right that most preferred to remain at home and watch the "Anzacs", but for those who attended the Cenotaph we were able to attend the R.S.L. Club as guests of "Skippy" Maher of the 2/15th Field Regt. and watch it anyway, Skippy, a State Councillor of R.S.L. attended the Cenotaph ceremony on behalf of the 2/15th.
A LITTLE LATE
To my shame I am reporting a letter from Des. Kearney written on 8th May, 1962! The letter fell into the back of my desk and even had money attached to it, which money he had collected for us! Extract from his letter is as follows:
"I have just returned from Hobart and there I had the pleasure of meeting Maurice (Morry) Lewis who you will remember was an original officer of the battalion who left us in Bathurst. You will also remember he was a very good runner and organised the intensive sports programme which was conducted prior to our final leave.
Morry ended up in New Guinea and Borneo and was at Balikpapan. He is the manager of the Vacuum Oil Company in Hobart and would very much like to see anybody from the Second 30th Battalion who may have occasion to visit there. I persuaded him to join the Battalion Association which he was very pleased to do, naturally, and I enclose herewith his 10/- and assured him that you would send him from now on regular copies of "Makan." He was diffident about coming to Anzac Day and to the Reunion in view of the fact that ha had left the Battalion, however, I assured him that he would be more than welcome and I hope that we may see him sooner or later.
I was in Perth some weeks ago and saw a lot of John Taylor who sends his regards to all his friends. John is very well and has a very busy practice and is very fond of Perth, as well he should be as it is a lovely city and offers a very pleasant design for living to anyone who cares to settle there. I also saw George Gwynne and Tom Burning who send their best wishes to their many friends; unfortunately, I could not see Bruce Hunt in the limited time I had available."
Our fourth Annual Picnic is set down for 11th March - the second Sunday in the month. The Committee has given the matter a lot of thought and have changed the venue back to our original area which may be reached by taking the first drive to the right when coming south down the Pacific Highway (at the lights at Fullers Road) and following the traffic down to the river before turning into the park and then crossing a small bridge. The Battalion Banner will be on the bridge so you should have no trouble finding it. The change back to our original ground was made mainly because of its proximity to the "front gate." Buses come from Chatswood and it is only a two hundred yard walk to the ground.
All cars are charged 2/- by the Park Trust and the cost per car, payable to the Association, will be 10/ per family. There is a place at the picnic for every member of the Unit and their families, so if you have not yet been to one then make the effort to come along. All races and games for young and old are held after lunch but, if possible, members should be there as early as possible say 11.30 or between 11.30 and 12.00. The picnic makes a great day with a relaxed atmosphere for all. Don't forget the date - Sunday 11th March - at the Lane Cove National Park, just a hop, step and a jump from Chatswood.
See you there,