Makan – No. 182
Official Organ of the 2/30th Bn. A.I.F. Association
We congratulate and applaud the Old Man on his elevation to a knighthood in the Queen's New Year Honours list. A general murmur of approval greeted the announcement which many thought should have occurred years ago so that his gracious wife who passed away in 1967 might have shared with him the honour she so equally deserved.
Sir Frederick has since the announcement been deluged with 'phone calls and has received over 150 congratulatory telegrams and 1,200 letters the acknowledgement of which has presented him with quite a task as the telegrams do not have addresses and so many messages were from well-wishers who used their Christian or nicknames only. One telegram received was addressed to Brigadier Sir Black Jack Galleghan.
To many of us who have revered and feared the soldier knight for so many years he will still be affectionately known as the Old Man or Black Jack. We take pleasure in the fact that we in some measure have contributed to his success and thus the honour conferred on him rubs off on to us and adds further glory to the Bn. in which we served together with him.
The "S.M.H" which described the honour as for services to ex-Service men and women mentioned that:
"Sir Frederick who is 71, is the sole living Australian citizen soldier to hold a commission for 50 years. He was commissioned in 1913 and is still on the active lists as an honorary colonel of the Australian School Cadet Corps. Sir Frederick first served in World War I with the 34th Battalion in France. In World War II he commanded the 2/30th Battalion in the Malayan campaign and was a prisoner of war. He was Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Investigation Service from 1945 to 1949."
We, of course, could add much more in eulogy of B.J.'s image which has become a legend amongst former members of the 8th Division. Evidence of his legendary character is illustrated in the following extract taken from the last December Bulletin of the Combined Services R.S.L. Sub-Branch Club:-
"Mention of Brig. "Black Jack" Galleghan in an earlier issue's Birthdays and Anniversaries reminds us of the report that the Nips in charge of Changi were very relieved when the war was over so that they could escape him. He had terrified them. As S.B.O. he insisted on proper respect and discipline from the Chrysanthemum Kids and woe betide any Nip who failed to salute him. 8 Divvy blokes tell us it was beautiful to watch a Nip guard or officer standing sweatingly to attention whilst old "Black" bellowed at 'em for forgetting to salute or for some other unsoldierly action. Sub-Branch President Bill Nehl, who served under the Brig. pre-war, has a fellow feeling for the Jap. Crossing George Street some months ago he nearly fell under a bus when from 100 yards away came a soul-searing and spine-chilling bellow "Take your hands out of your pockets!" Yes, "Blackjack". These days the only time Bill's game to put his hands in his pockets is when it's his turn to "shout" and even then he casts a furtive eye to see if the Old Boy is about."
We are pleased to learn that Dr. Edward "Weary" Dunlop, another hero of P.O.W. days, was created a Knight Bachelor at the same time as the Old Man. Sir Edward was truly very like a knight of old when he laboured among the sick on the Burma-Thailand Railway in 1943, kind, unselfish, self-sacrificing and chivalrous. Paradoxically named "weary" in his university days after "Dunlop Tyres", he is indeed and always has been one of the most tireless of persons. He is one of the best known figures in the Australian medical world and a cancer specialist of international reputation. He won the highest regard and respect from hundreds of men in P.O.W. days and is gratefully remembered by many from 2/30 Bn.
BILL FING, A Coy, was reported as deceased in November issue of "Reveille". No further details are available. Bill, who was 53, came from Mungindi and was known to have been in Concord hospital during 1968.
E.K. "CURLY" FRASER, B Coy, was accidentally killed by a tractor on his farm at Bonalbo towards the latter end of 1968. A number of his 2/30th Bn. mates attended the funeral.
JACK NORTH, D Coy, died early this year and was buried on 8th January at West Wyalong where he had lived most of his life. Jack Folkard, HQ Coy, attended the funeral together with some 20-odd R.S.L. members including a sprinkling of chaps from 2/15 Fd. Artillery and 2/19 Bn. The Folkards arranged for a floral tribute from the Bn. Association and President Arch has since received an appreciative letter from Mrs North.
GREG DUCKER, C Coy, passed away at R.G.H. Concord on 20th January. Greg, who was a life member of the Association, lived in Liverpool and was well-known in R.S.L. circles there.
Our deepest sympathy is extended to the next-of-kin and relatives of these of our Comrades who have passed on.
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM”.
Mrs H. Mudford. The mother of the late CLIFF MUDFORD died on 11/12/68. Cliff, HQ Coy, died of Beri Beri at Kanburi on 6/1/44 at the age of 25. We convey our condolences to relatives in their further sad loss.
Mrs R. Douglas. We have just had word of the passing of the wife of WALTER "DARKIE" DOUGLAS on 25th January. The sympathy of us all goes out to Darkie in his sad loss.
PERSONAL PARS ABOUT PEOPLE WE KNOW
JACK FOLKARD, H.Q. Coy, sent us news from West Wyalong of Jack North's death, paid his subs and asked us to pass on his greetings to all. His only regret, he says, is that he is getting old. He will be a mere 50 next April. Jack reports that he recently saw Clarrie Wood, C Coy, who looks well but has thickened around the waist-line. Clarrie has sold out his bakery at Rankin's Springs and is now enjoying a life of semi-retirement. Now that Clarrie is not kneading any more dough he'll surely be able to join us at the Bn. reunion at Bathurst next November.
We were pleased to receive a letter just before Christmas from the wife of Harry Hartnett, H.Q. Coy. She says: "Have just received Makan and have read it to my husband as he likes to know what is doing. He cannot read at all now as he has not much sight left and we have to do a lot for him. He has his machine which reads the books to him and he puts in a lot of time with it. I told him about the reunion next November at Bathurst. He said he would love to be there, but of course it is impossible as he cannot travel alone. He has to have someone with him all the time now. His general health is not good either. He wishes his mates to know about this and wishes all a happy New Year." His address is Warwick, Qld. , and he would be pleased to hear from his former mates or be happy to see any of them should they be up in the Darling Downs area.
HARRY RICHES, H.Q. Coy, and his wife sent a Christmas message to the Old Man on a card that had purple flowers and gold ribbon. Harry saw his wife making Christmas cards with flowers one day and asked her to make one for the Old Man. Harry wasn't feeling too hot and could not make the reunion in November but will definitely be with us on Anzac Day. He mentioned that Fred Arnett, H.Q. Coy, is just out of hospital and his health is going downhill. Harry Teasdale, D Coy, is in hospital, apparently with heart trouble.
Big Harry, may his shadow never be less, keeps in touch with his 2/30 Bn. mates on the Far North Coast amongst whom he has always generated maximum good feelings and regard for the Association. Harry is one of the greatest of our stalwarts. He gave up farming some time ago to take things easy. Nevertheless he is still working with builders in the Brunswick Heads area but reckons he will be giving it up before long.
Annual subs are to hand from several country members including CLARRIE LATTIMER, H.Q. Coy, of Kyogle and KARL SINCLAIR, D Coy, of Armidale who also sends greetings and a thought about Gemas Day. The Gemas Day wreath laying ceremony at the Martin Place Cenotaph on 14th January was attended by about 20 fellows and some women, notably Bessie Ellis, Cecily Boss and Mrs Jack Pope. They were mostly the same old faces that turn up every year. This is a simple and moving ceremony in honour of fallen comrades and enables us to publicly pay proud thanksgiving to the memory of mates who have answered the call.
JOE ROXBURGH, B.H.Q., sent in 1969 subs and greetings to all just before Christmas. His subs are always first in and are always accompanied by the addition of an annual donation to the Association.
It is surprising the number of 2/30th chaps who hold office in the R.S.L. Speaking to JOCK LOGAN, D Coy, at Palm Beach, Gold Coast recently I learned he is both President and Publicity Officer of Currumbin Sub-Branch and that TOMMY GRANT, C Coy, is President of Murwillumbah Sub-Branch. Jock, our right hand man in his area keeps in touch with a great number of our fellows and is keen to organise as large a team as possible to attend the November reunion at Bathurst.
Was in touch with KEN PARRY in Brisbane a fortnight ago. Last time I saw him he was with the Bank but that was a long time ago. In the meantime he has been in Real Estate, in a newspaper business and in the C.M.F. as a Lieut Colonel. He retired from the C.M.F. last year and is now in a responsible post with the Commonwealth Investigation Service. His son Ross Campbell, 19½, is in 3rd year Dentistry at Brisbane University, daughter Lyndell, 15, passed her High School Junior last year with 6 A's and Kenneth William Junior, 10, is at Primary School.
Had a fill of petrol at ERNIE McNIVEN's Mobil Service Station, Bangalow, en route to Brisbane but was unable to see Mac who was away at his Bank depositing boodle. His son Earl, 23, is on the office staff of "Norco" at Byron Bay and daughter, 12, is commencing at High School this year. Ernie, A Coy, is on the northern side of Bangalow on the Pacific Highway and is always pleased to see 2/30 fellows en route to and from Brisbane.
Noticed in University examination results that JACK KORSCH's son Russell gained Honours Class 1 in Geology IV at New England University and that ARCH THORBURN's daughter Diana passed Law 1 at the University of Sydney. Congratulations to the parents of these, and of other successful students who have accomplished so much and intend to remain in possession of the field. The unkempt and unwashed minority who protest but are not prepared to fight or even work for their country are puny alongside the solid core of decent people typified by those mentioned above.
Mrs June Nevill, Belmore NSW, the daughter of ROBERT T. BONIS, 7 Pl .A Coy, who died while on "B" Force, never had the opportunity of knowing her father.
She got in touch with Bruce Ford and would be interested to hear from any of her father's mates who could tell her something about her Dad.
It was mighty hot when I was in Brisbane last month and it was a sheer delight to look in on COL O'DONNELL at his Spring Hill air-conditioned office and have a chat with him over an enjoyable lunch shortly after. Although Col has retired from the Chairmanship of the O'Donnell, Griffin Industries group of companies he has his plate full directing the group's extensive interests in Queensland and Northern Territory. As often as possible he relaxes with his family on his grazing property at Dalveen, near Stanthorpe. With good fortune he is able to spend a weekend there every two or three weeks. Col, who lives in a delightful spot at St Lucia overlooking the Brisbane River, has a 22 year old son in 3rd year Ag. Science at Brisbane University and an 18 year old daughter in a secretarial job in Brisbane.
The Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation attended the North Coast District Council R.S.L. meeting at Sawtell recently and brought back greetings to the Old Man from L.F. "DARBY" YOUNG and BEN PEARCE. Darby, who was Vice-President of the Coffs Harbour R.S.L. Club when I was last there (he's probably President now), sees BEN PEARCE, PHIL BAILEY and JOE VEIVERS fairly frequently. Ben is employed by the Sawtell R.S.L. Club, Phil is Secretary/ Manager of the Macksville R.S.L. Club and Joe is working with his father-in-law's business in Coffs.
Darby's daughter Ann has been married a little over 12 months and both Darb and his wife Merle are looking forward to grandparenthood; Paul, who would like to meet the Old Man his father has talked so much about, is employed on the 33rd floor of Australia Square by Stockbrokers, Ord, Minett & Thompson and is keen and interested in his job. Darby says he is going to make a special effort to get to the reunion at Bathurst next November. Let me remind you that your wives will be welcome to come along too.
4/1/1945 - Punishment of 30 days in correction cells followed by 30 days restrictions was imposed by the Representative Officer Col. Newey for the following offence:
"Whilst a member of the A.I.F. on War Service and a P.O.W., charged with being illegally in possession of vegetables, in that at approx. 1700 hrs on 4 Jan. 1945 when returning from I.J.A. Gardens he was searched and found to have about ½lb of Bringel in his possession."
7 days of the 30 day sentence to cells was later remitted but the offender lost 30 days I.J.A. pay.
What a high price for even a hungry man to pay for ½lb of what is commonly known to us as egg fruit.
Please read the enclosed letter carefully and act now by phoning Bob Jack right away.
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, 1st March next at 8 p.m. at the Starlight Room, Hotel Australia.
And don't forget to start saving up time and money to bring yourself and wife to the Bathurst reunion in November next.
P.S. Please remember to send your annual subs along to Bessie Ellis.
THE OVERSEAS SCENE:
Noel Johnston and his wife returned from an overseas trip at the latter end of last year and as promised in an earlier Makan here are some jottings resulting from his keen observation of the overseas scene:
Before my wife. and I left Australia early in April last the papers were full of reports of the "depressed" state of the economy of England. One gained the impression that pessimism was rife in the U.K. following the devaluation of the £; that unemployment abounded and factories as well as whole industries were languishing in a kind of inertia; that, in short, England had just about "had it" as a world power of any significance.
Perhaps the first thing that struck my wife and me when we reached London in the middle of May was the general air of normality that pervaded the scene. London was a "bustling" city; it was an efficiently organised and soundly administered city; there seemed to be activity on all sides and almost every second shop window had a notice displayed inviting applicants for jobs as salesmen and salesgirls. Business in the shops was indeed brisk So much for newspapers!
Of all the big cities of the world, I doubt if any has in similar measure the features that make for charm to the same degree as London. These features in particular are the extensive parks and gardens, the city "squares" that are so numerous and so welcome after every block or two of city streets - each square with beautiful trees and colourful beds of flowers and always with green lawns to walk upon. These features in London outshine similar features anywhere else in the world. Add to this the wonderful historical background of this great city which must always be revered by Englishmen and those of English blood in all generations.
Nevertheless, it is rural England that seems to be the real England. Calm, serene and beautiful, with ordered countryside and a sort of inbuilt tidiness suggesting maturity and wisdom in the way of life of those fortunate enough to be residing there.
Perhaps the beautiful sunny weather we encountered on our motor tour of the South of England helped us to appreciate the beauty, but this is the England we shall remember.
Our trip to the Continent did not take in France (due to the student/Union disturbances over there) but we briefly "looked in" on the Capitals of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Holland, later going down the Rhine to Heidelberg, then into Switzerland to Lucerne, to Innsbruck, Salzberg and Vienna in Austria, across the Dolomites to Venice, then Florence and finally to Rome.
Going back to London we first crossed by plane to Barcelona and Madrid in Spain, finding each of these two cities a real surprise, the boulevards and city buildings being of great beauty and most attractive.
Perhaps in the space available, the impressions one gained of the people of these various countries would seem to be of greatest interest. The Scandinavian peoples obviously encouraged the tourist to come to their countries, but nevertheless seemed to maintain a reserved attitude, not suggesting suspicion but rather a kind of insularity. The Swedes, however, were the most prosperous and were indeed the businessmen of this group, giving the impression that the acquisition of wealth was perhaps their greatest goal in life - rather like the Americans.
Prosperity, too, seemed to be the keynote of the people in Amsterdam, but it was whilst travelling by train down the Rhine Valley that one saw the evidence of great industrial development in West Germany. New industrial plants, almost cheek by jowl, with electric power lines-criss-crossing the terrain in all directions, all pointed to a thriving economy which could not be matched anywhere else in Europe. It has been no surprise that recently the other European nations have wanted Germany to upvalue her monetary system.
On the other hand the Germans and Austrians were not only "detached" from tourists speaking English but also gave the impression of a kind of veiled resentment. The love of uniforms - even for menial tasks - is still there and one can only hope that the soul searching that has gone on with the German people since the horrors of the concentration camps became known to them will promote a completely new attitude towards international cooperation in the future.
By contrast, the Italian in the big cities of Italy, and particularly in Rome, did not impress. There seemed to be a low standard of morality rife in the business world - both with respect to ethical standards as well as to the purely moral standards of social conditions. It would be no surprise to me to see a great Italian deterioration in the international scene in the near future..
On the surface the Spaniard in Barcelona and Madrid is "quiet", but the rather sharp decrease in the "cost structure" for goods in the shops there pointed to a limited ability only, on the part of the consumer, to buy goods on display. Obviously, the standard of living was much lower, wages were being depressed, and it would seem to be a country rife for a breakdown in economic conditions soon, unless the population is treated better and given a greater share in the country's wealth.
So much for a few impressions gained as a result of only a brief "look in" on these continental countries. They are only personal, of course, and other visitors to these countries may not agree with them. I give them for what they are worth and merely to pass on as something of perhaps more interest than a mere travelogue of tourist "sights and scenes".