Makan No. 170
Invitations are again going out for one of the most exclusive events on the Australian calendar - the Anzac Day March. The entrance exams for marches are held only in times of danger to our country and to pass it one must have been a member of the Defence Forces of Australia.
The marches are dwindling each year and the crowds who came to watch in the early post-war years now find it a bore to come to town.
The long-haired youths are too busy burning their registration cars and protesting about the current government in Vietnam. They're not quite sure where Vietnam is and they can't spell it anyway, but its mixed up with big boats, physical and being ordered around by sergeants and lieutenants. Anzac Day is a holiday for some reason and a good opportunity to go board-riding.
You see you fellows are old-fashioned now but you have a lot of mates who will be around on Anzac Day,
Let's have a good roll-up, wear your battalion tie, association badge and your medals.
We will have 'Gentleman' George Ramsey leading us this year for the first time. George is not quite as spry as he used to be but will handle the march without trouble. Johnny Parsons will march a few yards behind him to tell him when to turn left or right as George finds it a problem to see accurately more than a few yards. Nothing wrong with George's heart - never was.
The Old Man will lead the Division. This is a change but with the death of Brig. Taylor recently the Old Man becomes the senior officer of the Division and will take his place at the head of the column.
We remember with pride that for three years the Old Man commanded the Division whilst still a Lieut. Col. During that period he had two staff officers to assist him. Those two officers of more than 20 years ago will assist the Old Man to martial the Division along the March. They are two judges - Judge Curlewis and Judge Head.
'Doc' Wilson and Jack Black will represent the Association at Bathurst on Anzac Day.
Brig. Taylor lost real contact with the 8th Division when he and other senior officers were sent to Japan during the war. He always maintained a keen interest in welfare work for ex-8th Division soldiers however, and spent may years working to this end.
The passing of Brigadier Taylor marks yet another time to pause and reflect on former comrades.
The sympathy of members is extended to his next-of-kin and to our friends of the 22nd Brigade.
Kevin Ward reports that 'Porky' Moore (Officers' Doovers) has had a short spell in hospital as has Phil Higgins (A Coy.). If you can't remember old Phil by name just cast your mind back to the untidiest soldier in the battalion, the Division and the whole of the A.I.F. Phil Higgins - remember?
Kevin writes that Clem Jobson (one lung removed some years ago) has been off colour again.
Buy a tie on Anzac Day from Jackie Boss. Two dollars to you.
I have been out of the State for some time and was unable to include notice of a Queensland Re-Union as advised by Jock Logan. Sorry, Jock - it was unavoidable. Please let us know how the reunion went off
Only 17 members were in attendance. Election of the Committee resulted in office bearers being unchanged. A motion was passed limiting the General Committee to 7 and these are:
Kevin Ward, 'Snow’ Stevens, Eric Arps, Noel Johnston, Ron Foster, Bruce Upcroft, and Bob Jack
The Committee would like to express its appreciation for the work done by those members of last year's Committee who were not re-appointed this year.
THE POSTMAN RANG TWICE AND LEFT A LETTER
from Ashley Pascoe who always writes from the heart:
What a lovely time to receive the Makan. Spot on Christmas Eve! Yes, I admit to a thrill each time I receive it, albeit I am always ashamed at my lack of support for the Association over the years. What a great debt we owe to this small nucleus of men and women who, through the years, have kept this Association the live force it is! And what a wonderful difference it has made since the secretarial work was separated from the editorial! It is quite a magnificent little paper now, and of a type that lends itself easily for binding. Thank you all for your untiring efforts.
It is always sad to read the obituaries that appear regularly in Makan, goodness what a lot of fine fellows have passed on, even, during the past two years. I seem to recall Ray Kuskey you mention, and I endorse fully what you said about him. Doug Leathart was a grand fellow, a staunch friend to all 8th Divvy chaps, and a true-blue R.S.L. man.
I am not ashamed to admit that I often thank Almighty God for His kindness towards me throughout the years. When I do my tax at the end of June I am flat out finding sufficient to warrant inclusion in the deductions for medical expenses - this also includes my wife and daughter. As I have often remarked to her, our medical expenses over the years have been peanuts! One indeed has a lot to be thankful for!
I'm afraid I haven't done so well financially as I would have liked.
I took a wrong turning here and there which cost me a packet. I have been fortunate however to be blessed with a wonderful and understanding wife, so we are not cursed with the "must keep up with the Joneses" attitude. At the present time I am with Healing Sales in Goulburn St. City (Accounts Payable). From what I have been able to gather the credit structure of many retail firms is in a deplorable state. I'm afraid the moral standards of a great many people these days is of a very low order. I guess poker machines can be blamed for a lot of our troubles. These must surely be the greatest curse ever inflicted on the people of N.S.W. I suppose I should have some idea of what I am talking about as I was Treasurer of my local R.S.L. Club for 3 years, now I have relinquished my membership of the Club. However, I am still active in Sub-Branch matters and am Treasurer of Far Southern Metropolitan District Council of the R.S.L. and I have represented that Council on the Repatriation and War Service Homes Committee of the R.S.L. This Committee, as its' name suggests, is concerned with all matters appertaining to Repatriation rights and War Service Homes problems. Each year we draw up the R.S.L. Pension Plan, from proposals put forward at State Congress. These then go to National Congress, which is the supreme body of the R.S.L. and if acceded to, become standard policy of the League and are put before the Federal Government. I find it quite interesting and rewarding work.
I am also Secretary of the Campsie P. & C. and delegate to the District Council. My daughter, Helen, will be going to High School in the New Year, but I think I shall continue my support for Campsie, as I have learnt quite a lot concerning the fundamentals of the P. & C. These are my main activities outside my work, although I support the S.A. Corps at Belmore, where my daughter is an ardent timbrellist!
I was most interested in your comments re the Re-Union, particularly as it related to the behaviour of the staff of the pub. I'm afraid I have not attended any of these functions, mainly because I do not look with favour upon the amber liquid, but should you be interested in a R.S.L. Club, the Edmondson V.C. Memorial Club at Liverpool is quite large and the Sec./Manager (Roy Caterson) is a personal friend of mine. Another I have in mind is Canterbury-Hurlstone Park, Sec./Manager (Dick Frankland) or Bankstown (Bill Toomby). As long as you give me plenty of time I feel sure I could be of some assistance.
Well Stan, this is page 4 I note, and doubtless you have read enough. In conclusion I do wish all members of the Committee many blessings for 1966, in fact all members who may read any of this.
Sincere regards, Ashley Pascoe'
NEXT OF KIN EVENING 27
Next-of-kin acceptances are pouring in to Bob Jack - one lady has even cancelled her holidays in order to attend.
Our problem is not that you will not be able to attend, but the fact that WE MUST KNOW TO ARRANGE CATERING.
Will u please send in your form soon?
ANZAC DAY – AFTER THE MARCH
see you at Don Garner's Occidental Hotel.
Don't expect to get home early.
See you, Dig