Makan – No. 152
Des Gee was one of "A" Coy, who built up a host of friends. We have a letter from him which will be appreciated by his cobbers - the letter is too good to cut and is as follows:
"No doubt you will be surprised to hear from me after such a long period but as you probably will know time just slips by and ten years have passed before you realise it. Since I was married and even before that I have had to really work and concentrate on carving out a future myself. That seemed to be the most important mission, so much so that I am afraid I have missed out on some of the events which normally I would have covered. Anyway, I have had reasonable success and am now Production Supervisor in the Lux foundry here in Melbourne. I actually am Supervisor on the production of all gas and electric stores which number anywhere from 60 to 130 a day.
I have had a few visits to Sydney but never got around to seeing half the people I wished to. Saw a few of my old friends at Xmas but I have had the family with me and naturally I was tied down a bit. We have a girl 12 and a boy 6 and if I suggested going anywhere but the beach I was immediately attacked from three different angles so I quickly gave in. We live a fair way from the beach down here and the boy and girl never see enough of it.
We live almost alongside Moonee Valley racecourse so we are only about 10 minutes from the city. Any of the boys would always be welcome and I am sure the place would not be hard to find. I often promise myself I will get over and attend a reunion or meeting and perhaps I may shortly, if I can combine pleasure with business. Am enclosing a small donation towards a new standard. No receipt necessary."
Dick Andrew of Bethungra met Geoff Gillespie during a recent tour of the South Coast. Geoff was not in good health. Dick also sees Frank Dyson of Cootamundra quite often. Frank is a bowler of good standard. Les Wade of Greenwich keeps in touch occasionally. Ron Foster is another who writes now and then to keep in touch. Vince Leonard of Cabramatta met Jock Logan at Xmas time.
Wally Bell's mother never forgets the Association and her letter comes along regularly through the years, always with a little something towards our expenses. Mrs. Bell lives at 14 Mathew St., West Tamworth, and if any of you "A” Coy. boys pass through Tamworth, you should make a point of calling upon her. You will always be welcome.
Joe Roxburgh bobbed up with his annual subs and a donation in the first two weeks of the year. Joe is always first in with his 10/-. He is living at Crow's Nest. Harry Griffis of Taree advises that there will be an 8th Division Reunion at Taree on Saturday, 18th August. The Organisers are going to a lot of trouble to make the function a success and visitors from outside the Taree district would be especially welcomed. Harry lives at Macquarie Lane, Taree and will supply full details if you write to him.
Jackie Fell of Cessnock is a bowler. and can think of little else these days. He is working as a greenkeeper at Cessnock Country Club where they have bowling greens and a 18 hole golf course. Jack is so keen on Cessnock that he writes that it is only 3½ hours from Sydney, ample accommodation in the town and an assurance of a game on a first class course which is rarely crowded. Recently he was at Singleton where he met Trevor Snushall, a member of the 8th Div. Engineers. Trevor and Jack blew the bridge again and were fighting a solid rearguard action down the peninsular when a surprise attack from their respective wives finished the war about 20 middies before schedule. Jack writes that it was only tactics that beat him this time.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The A.G.M. which was held at the Eastern Restaurant, Dixon St., on 13th April, was a riot of fun. 24 Members sat down to dinner at the long table and 18 to 20 turned up later. This made the attendance the biggest for over ten years. Points of interest from the night's proceedings were:
Honorary life Membership was granted to Grahame Sands in recognition of his continued efforts on our behalf over a period of twenty years.
Banner - The Treasurer advised that donations towards the cost of the banner now covered the cost.
Annual Picnic - It was decided to make greater efforts to ensure that attendance at the picnic, one of the most enjoyable functions, is increased.
Photographs of Functions - It was decided to ensure that photographers attended all our functions in future.
Custody of The Banner - It w was resolved to ask Grahame Sands to accept the position of custodian of the new banner. Grahame will keep it for us in a fire-proof safe.
The meeting enjoyed the presence of Bruce Upcroft from Hobart and Terry O'Rourke from the South West. The old Committee was re-elected with the exception of Dutchy Holland who declined owing to ill health. Phil Schofield was elected in his place. The atmosphere of the meeting was intoxicating with good fellowship and at times almost got out of hands. Arch was in the chair of course, and the Old Man was there exercising his paternal influence. The meeting nearly collapsed when the Secretary read the Minutes of the A.G.M. of 1960 instead of '61. However, the situation was accepted and by the addition of one item and the deletion of a couple of others, the Minutes were confirmed. This proves how inefficient a Secretary can get but is still not as bad as the A.G.M. of some years ago when the Minutes were read from a blank piece of paper! At that meeting Jim Cooper and dear old Reg Ellis closely examined the sheet of paper and Jim signed it as true record!
ANZAC DAY - 1962 – BATHURST
Noel Johnston & Allan Pryde with their wives represented the Association at the Bathurst ceremonies on Anzac Day. They came back most impressed with the efficient way the R.S.L. there carried out all arrangements. The march from the R.S.L. headquarters to the morning commemoration service in the City Square was made without a single change of step due to the fine playing of the R.S.L. Brass Band led by three drum majors, two being elegant examples of Australian femininity dressed as marching girls and waving a shillelah.
On the dais with the R.S.L. President were the Mayor of Bathurst and heads of the various church denominations, all contributing to a very fine commemoration service in the presence of several thousand people gathered for the occasion.
In the afternoon, the commemoration of the Battalion Memorial Cairn on Limekilns Road was attended by well over a hundred people, easily the biggest gathering since the unveiling ceremony a few years back. Again the R.S.L. President and his wonderful Secretary (Reg Henderson) – a great friend of the 2/30th.- did us proud with their arrangements, which included the provision of a special bus from Bathurst for those without cars. Mr. Locke, President of the Turon Shire Council - another true friend of the Association - was there to represent his Shire (also the Shire Clerk) and the Archdeacon from Kelso also officiated. Herb Pratley and Mrs. Pratley, to whom we are greatly indebted for their guardianship and great interest in the Cairn, welcomed everybody to the scene and both Noel and Allan were mighty glad to be there to take an active part in an Anzac Commemoration which is especially dear to the 2/30th. This roadside memorial has indeed captured the imagination of the Bathurst people and our representation on future Anzac Days is a "must" for the Association, despite the great attraction to join with the larger number of our mates in the city march.
The first Page & ¾ of Page 2 were contributed by the erstwhile Stan. Noel Johnston & Harry Collins are responsible for the rest of this “Makan”. Y'see, just after Anzac Day, Stan left for America for a world-wide conference of Credit Union Movements (he’s the State President of the combined N.S.W. Credit Unions). No doubt the next Arneil
"Makan" will be a Fitzpatrick job.....
HARRY COLLINS Carries On.....
I recently had a card from Stan. He was in Texas at the time and I gather that everything in Texas is almost as big as Stan himself. He'd just been on a visit to the Alamo where Davy Crockett died. Stan seemed very impressed with the place. His main idea in writing to me was, I think, to order me to write about Anzac Day for this "Makan."
ANZAC DAY - 1962 (Cont'd), Sydney
As usual it was a mighty day with close on 140 marching. I can't of course mention all the names, but here are a few personalities. Phil Schofield, back after his long absence in Melbourne, vainly trying (at the Old Man’s order, of course!) to get the marchers in size - y'know, the old routine - tallest at the ends, shortest in the middle, or some such jazz. After a couple of hours or so he gave up (seemed quite frustrated, too!) Arch Thorburn marching in his usual position on the left flank, seems to be very well-known to the police. (I quizzed him on this but he assured me it was purely on account of his soliciting activities. He almost became known unfavourably to them the other night when he drove straight past a cop on point duty, shortly after leaving the Golf Club. However, and I can vouch for this, he had drunk nothing stronger than Tonic Water, so being a pretty smooth talker, he was able to get out of that one very smartly.) Harry Ryan down from the Gulf Country for good. The last three horses he rode tossed him off as quickly as he got on, so he reckoned it was high time he quit poddy dodging and came to the city. He is now busy making big rocks into little ones at a quarry out Kenthurst way, somewhere near Gordon McKnight's garage.
Bob Newman clutching a copy of the "Grafton Examiner" in his hot little hand. It had a photo of Bob's ruined banana plantation on the front page. His place got in the way of a cyclone recently, so now he is growing the biggest patch of tomatoes on the Coast to try and keep the wolf from having pups in the parlour. Ray Brown, who gave up a soft job in a soft-goods warehouse a couple of years ago, and looks all the better for it, has bought himself a milk-run. I have a sneaking suspicion he drinks the stuff himself- there just isn't any accounting for some people's taste. Mick Lovell proudly carrying the new colour. He made the pike himself out of a hunk of steel. Told me part of it came from a urinal, but I wouldn't take too much notice of that; it was late in the day and he was probably in his cups by then. The main thing was that he had to carry it himself as no one else was physically capable. (The Committee is considering importing a Thai elephant to carry it next year unless Mick makes a new pike from balsa wood.) Incidentally, the new Colour is a real beauty, all 115 quids worth of it, and that is not the end as there is more to be spent on it. It is green in colour and has the colour patch as the central motif, with the battle honours embroidered above and below and on both sides of it.
I noticed the "Old Man" and Sammy Hall each received a special cheer from the legatees in Martin Place. They both do some good work there. Jack Salisbury, who usually joins the March at the Town Hall, got bushed this year, and to his own amazement appeared at the start! Alan McNickle up from Wagga, and, as I said before, 140 others that I have not got space to mention. Notable absentees were Noel Johnston, who was representing the Battalion at the Cairn at Bathurst. He does a great deal of unpublicised work for the Association. Jack Greenwood who broke a leg while fishing. (I'll defy anyone to work that one out!!! I once heard the "Old Man" remark that fishing is only one step removed from lunacy. Sounds to us if he might have something there.) Finally before I run out of space, the one and only Stanley Foch Arneil; "S.F.A." his pockets filled with photos of his six children, anxiously searching for new faces to show them to. All the regulars have seen them before. He still has a fund of inexhaustible energy. Devoted to his wife and children, he works like a slave for them and for anyone else who asks him, and for the Bn. Association, and for the Credit Union Movement, and for his Trade Union, and for the Marist Mission to Christianize Japan, and for a dozen other worthy causes. He also does a little for his employer (the A.B.C.) I can't say too much about him as we both agreed some years ago to write each other's obituary (to be used, of course when the occasion arises) and I don't . want to steal my own thunder.
There are a few letters from various blokes, to hand,, but as Stan often complains, there is not a great deal of news in the whole b.....lot! Now listen you blokes, for heaven's sake when you write to Stan or Jack Boss or Bess Ellis, tell 'em what's going on; if you've seen any of the boys recently, or even if the cat had kittens, so long as you tell 'em something about yourself, your wife, your family, or your work. Just as you would like to hear about anyone who was a member of the Assn., so they in turn want to hear about you.
Tom Kennedy writes, from Cardiff Heights, Newcastle, where any of the boys are welcome. He recently had a weekend with Roy King and Noel Brown, but finds his family of 7 takes up quite a bit of his spare time. Mrs. Jack Brooks says Jack does not have good health but their 4 children keep him happy. Bluey Peterson and his wife have
just returned from a caravan trip to Coff's Harbour. Jim McIntosh is still following his favourite sport - rifle shooting. He was the captain of the Australian team that went to N.Z. last Xmas. He says they had a wonderful time over there but, as he did not say who won, I suspect the Kiwis handed out the seme sort of thrashing to them that the All Blacks recently handed out to our Rugby Union team here.
The latest addition to life membership is Bob Howells. As I heard the story, the "Old Man" took him to lunch and before Bob could recover from the shock, the Old Gentleman had extracted enough money from his to cover life membership and a usable donation towards the Colour. (Bravo! B.J.!!! The Committee wishes you would get on to a few more of the laggards.) (The lunch bill might get a bit heavy, though.)
Ralph Bradley wrote a very nice letter to Bess Ellis hoping that she was fully recovered from her recent operation. Actually she is almost completely better and will soon be as spry as ever.
I just rang Dorothy Arneil. Stan rang her from London last Saturday. He moved over from the U.S. to establish a Credit Union at the B.B.C. He has toured Southern England and was about to leave for a public meeting he has called in Dublin, but as yet we don't know whether it was to establish a Credit Union, or to have himself elected President of Ireland!!!
See, you at the Dinner in November