Makan No. 175
In the words of the Old Man, "One half of the 2/30 Bn. has gone." Mrs. Galleghan passed away on Tuesday last, and to those of us who were privileged to know her, the statement is no exaggeration. Always a source of help and strength to the Old Man, she influenced him far more than any of us ever knew. Just as he was and still is the 2/30 Bn., just as surely she was half of it.
My wife and I have come to know them well in recent years, so that this message to you is also a personal tribute to her.
She was operated on for cancer some few months ago, and immediately insisted on knowing the truth from her doctors, but never, by any word or sign, did she seek sympathy or pity from anyone. Rather, she carried on with her normal routine of looking after her husband, watering the garden, and on the occasion of the Old Man's 70th. birthday, she met him in town and had dinner with him. A woman of deep and abiding faith, she was, by her calmness and courage, a source of inspiration to all who met her, and if I may paraphrase Churchill, I would say, "This was her finest hour". We feel we have lost a very dear friend. What the Old Man has lost, no words can tell, but the knowledge that he has the sympathy and support of every man in this Bn. will help and sustain him in this hour.
The attendance at the Annual Meeting can only be described in one word - "LOUSY". Your committee is at a loss to know why you do not come. It is really a mini Reunion for those who do. If it is the date, the place, or the time that keeps you away, then say so, we will alter any of those three things, if it will help increase the numbers.
Your committee is virtually unchanged. The only alterations are Don Garner in place of "Snowy" Stevens. Snowy has been a committeeman for very many years, and has been a tower of strength and help to the Association in that time. We are very sorry to see him go, but his work prevents him from attending the meetings. The other one is the substitution of myself for Stan Arneil as Makan Editor. Stan was still in America at the time of the meeting, but knowing the tremendous demands on his time that his new job makes, the meeting decided it would be unfair to ask him to carry on with the Makan. However, I made it clear if Stan decides to stand for re-election next year, I would not oppose him. He has worked hard for this Association ever since its inception, and this is the first occasion in all these years that his name has not been seen on the committee list. The value of the work he has done cannot be estimated, and the grateful thanks of every member of the Association go to Stan, along with our best wishes for success in his job.
Now you probably want to know what his job is. Heaven knows, I have done my best to find out. On several occasions I have got him in a quiet corner in a quiet pub, and said to him - "Stan, just what is your job?" Some four beers and thousands of words later, Stan would have to stop and take a breath, and I, dazzled, blinded and confused by words, and not, much wiser, would ask him for a weather forecast. Actually, his job is the formation and managing of an Insurance Company for Credit Unions all over Australia. He came home from America at Easter, and since then has been to Hobart and Brisbane. When I spoke to him on Wednesday last, he was ready to leave for Adelaide and Perth, so, obviously, he has not much time for anything other than Credit Unions.
In case you have forgotten who your committee is, here is the result of the elections at the Annual Meeting -
Patron - The Brigadier
The Annual Reunion will be held at Tamworth on November, 4th. It looks like being the greatest one ever. Col O'Donnell is liaising with Wal Eather. Jock Logan has already organised the Gold Coast. Bob Newman, the Coffs-to-Grafton area. Neil Huntley, Port Macquarie-Taree. Brother! What a show this will be! Bruce Ford, Bob Jack and myself are the sub-committee for the Metropolitan area, so get with it!
The general idea at present is a charter bus from Sydney for those whose wives do not wish to go. These buses accommodate about fifty, so the first fifty applicants get the seats. If you wish to travel by bus, let me know, and send me a deposit, say $2.00. We must know early so that Wal Eather can arrange accommodation for us. And here's a word from the wise ... Don Garner says the night before we go, fill the freezer section of your 'fridge (take no notice of the anguished cries of your wife) with cans of beer. It will be rock-hard in the morning, but by the time the bus reaches Singleton - well, do I have to spell everything out for you?
Your committee thinks that many will travel by car, and many will tale their wives. Wal Eather will organise the wives at Tamworth to entertain the wives we take (Printer's Note: one wife per Dig.), but it is essential that you let me know what you intend to do, as accommodation in Tamworth has to be booked well ahead. Don't delay. Write to me now, or tell me on Anzac Day.
Anzac Day assembly is as usual near the Old Mint Building. The March will be shortened this year. When the Old Man told me this, I said what a good idea it was, as the march to the Domain was much too long for the First War men. He growled, "That has nothing to do with it, it has been shortened so that you fellows will not drop out:"
This year it ends, as once before, in Hyde Park, and it is the Old Man's express wish that everyone stay for the Service. After that, beer and sandwiches at the Occidental Hotel. Gentleman George will lead us, with Bob Jack carrying the Bn. Colour. The Old Man, of course, will lead the Eighth Division in his jeep, and that reminds me of the time he was rendered speechless. That, you may find hard to believe, but it actually happened, and this is the way of it.
A certain man, who shall be nameless, approached the Old Man not so long ago and said to him, "My firm makes better bowls than those things you use." Quite naturally the O.M. snorted, "The bowls I use are the best. That firm of yours could not make bowls in a fit. And, anyway, you could not get the right shade of purple and gold." The Old Man had his tongue in his cheek here, because he had the colours specially mixed, and he is the only one who has a tin of each stored away. The fellow looked him straight in the eye and said, "Sir, you have no right to use the 2/30 Colour Patch on your bowls," and it was right there that the Old Man was rendered speechless. He choked, the earth stood still, I think he even stuttered a little. When the words finally came, he roared, "What bloody impertinence is this? Who are you who dare to tell me I have no right to use my Bn. colours?" The fellow stood his ground and said, "Sir, you are now the Ranking Officer of the Eighth Division, and your insignia is the emblem of that Division." The Old Man bowed his head. For once he was beaten, and had to admit it. So you bowlers, if you see a bowl coming towards you, and the insignia is an Emu, rampant on a boomerang, you will know that the Old Man is at the other end of the green.
Bits About The Boys
Alex Campbell is in Yaralla. He is the headmaster of Croydon School. Mich Lovell is in Sutherland Hospital, he has had a slight coronary. We wish them both a speedy recovery.
Kingy Martin at the Annual Meeting asked me to make a special mention in this Makan of the great regard he had for Graham Bridgewater. Kingy says he is a better man for having known him, and feels many will share his sentiments.
The sympathy of members goes to Bruce Upcroft in the loss of his father.
Eric Arps' mother is in hospital; we hope she is soon better.
There are several good letters from members, but we are rushing this edition out so that Anzac Day details can reach you in time. The letters will have to wait until next time.
MORE ON ANZAC DAY
We will have ties and, we hope, cuff links on sale on Anzac Day. So bring your money with you!