Back to 1969 index or Main Index

Makan – No. 183
Mar/April, 1969

Official Organ of the 2/30th Bn. A.I.F. Association


Dear Dig,

The congratulatory dinner held at the Hotel Australia on 1st March to honour Brigadier Sir Frederick Galleghan, our beloved Patron and Battalion Commander on his elevation to a knighthood, was a gratifying, happy and memorable experience.

Some 120, including many wives and some widows, sat down to this 10 to a table delectable dinner fronted by our distinguished guest at the head table.

As Arch Thorburn said in his opening remarks: "Who would have thought that after seeing the motley crowd of emaciated men returning from Thailand in 1944 that 25 years after, many of them would be in the heart of social Sydney looking fit and well and accompanied by these gorgeous ladies".

On behalf of those unable to be present, which included our old friend, Graham Sands, "Curly" Heckendorf read out a long list or apologies and congratulatory telegrams. They came from as far a field as Laos, Queensland and Victoria.

Arch Thorburn, in his easy and natural way of speaking, told us, "We are gathered together not to fete a mere Battalion Commander, but to pay homage to a great Australian. We have thought of him as such for a long time and it is gratifying that Her Majesty has come around to the same way of thinking".

He went on: "The only regret we have is that this richly deserved honour didn't come a few years ago so that it could have been shared with the gracious lady who was so much a part of the life of dear old B.J.”

Arch referred to the fearlessness and courage of B.J. in all he said and did and inferred that his outspokenness in high places would have no doubt been the reason for delaying the recognition finally accorded to him.

Supporting speeches were made by 5 others, each enjoined by Arch to keep their remarks down to 4 minutes. Not one kept within the allotted time. However, they were all good speakers and it was no hardship to bear with them. All speakers were reminiscent and humour abounded.

Harry Collins, the first speaker, in concluding said, "Although this honour has come late, I can assure Sir Frederick that from her place in Paradise, Mrs. Galleghan knows and rejoices with us tonight."

Sammy Hall reminded us that Arch had given him 4 minutes to eulogise The Old Man and that he remembered having spent more time than that saying unprintable things about him in the early days of the Bn. He spoke of B.J. as a distinguished leader and mentor to his men both in war and peacetime and said that B.J. would be the first man he would go to for help and know it would not be denied.

Phil Schofield described B.J. as a humble man with a kindly heart. He said, "There has never been a 2/30th Bn boy in need of advice or in trouble who didn't have The Old Man standing behind him to see what could be done. " He concluded by saying, "To you sir, and I call you Sir, I am sure I merely echo the thoughts of the whole of this group, that you may long live to continue your good works because I think there are a lot of good works left in you."

George Clark recalled the early days of Corporal Galleghan, some 50 years ago, and concluded by wishing The Old Man a happy, prosperous knighthood..

Stan Arneil was the final speaker and, as a good Irishman would, recorded his objection to the bagpipes played as an opening gambit to the occasion. Stan spoke movingly of the love of man for man and the love of man for country. In concluding he said: "Here is a man and a leader who has practised the love of man for man. What a tribute it is for me to speak on behalf of other people and to say to B.J. how much we love you."

Here in the proceedings Arch Thorburn on behalf of everybody took the opportunity of thanking Bob Jack for his organisation of the function at such short notice and, as someone remarked, "for flushing out so many fellows we hadn't been able to flush out before." He also expressed thanks to Graham Sands for his sizeable donation towards the function and Bill Clayton for his generous gift of handsomely printed menu cards, one of which, signed by everybody present, was handed to Sir Frederick as a memento of the occasion.

Our honoured guest responded from his heart with the feeling, glow and vehemence we have learned to expect from him. Those who were privileged to be there will long remember the thoughts he so indelibly impressed upon us. The effect of what he had to say recalled to my mind his unforgettable speeches of training days in Tamworth and Bathurst.

Briefly, because space does not permit otherwise, this is what he said:

"How does one respond to a toast so feelingly proposed and supported? I might have been less sentimental in the years of 1940-1946. Since then I've grown older, probably more sentimental. First I have to say to you Arch, Bob Jack and the Committee, thank you exceedingly for organising this function in my honour. I am indeed grateful. I am delighted to see so many from the country who came here specially to do me honour, for that I am grateful also. I am particularly grateful to see the ladies. Not only because they add lustre, they do, but because I want them to know that the men they married were real men, men who served Australia, who served the 2/30th Bn, better than any other unit in the A.I.F. You should indeed be proud of them. They've earned your respect .They've earned your love and I know you've got theirs, and I am delighted to see you to say to you, thank you for coming and thank you for accompanying the men who made me, because after all it's the men that are here and those who belonged to the Bn, who are not here, that ultimately made me and I have no false impressions about that.

Men who are leading a command can only lead and command men of worth, men of trust, and if you are lucky, as the great redoubtable "Monty" said, you either win and get honours or you lose and get a bowler hat, And you only win when the men behind you have got the guts, plain guts, to be great soldiers.

Ladies, that's exactly what your husbands had, and I want you to know how grateful I am to them for having made me."

B.J. then went on to say something of the honour conferred upon him by the Sovereign and gave us some details about the Order, its Charter and insignia. He had been made a Knight Bachelor, the lowest of the orders of knighthood but yet the oldest of the orders of Chivalry. Knights Bachelor came from King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, The Order, K.B., was created in 1242, over 100 years before the Order of the Garter. He said he was very proud to belong to such an old British Order. He referred also to the knighthood conferred on Cardinal Gilroy and the exchange of congratulations between them. B.J.'s reply to Cardinal Sir Norman contained the following; "I don’t think it's every happened before but I'm certain it will never happen again when notification of Her Majesty's Knights contained the names of two former telegraph messengers. " His Eminence was a telegraph boy at Lismore at the same time as B.J. was a telegraph boy in Newcastle.

The Old Man then addressed himself to the men of the Battalion, referring to early training days, the opposition from officialdom that had to be overcome, the tactics he used and the strategy that paid off in the long run. He told us of the two essentials required in war and said we had them, namely discipline and physical fitness. He stressed Australia's need of discipline, starting with discipline in the home, and the example fathers and mothers should set. He emphasised the need to teach men of Australia to love Australia and to love being British. Love of country and purpose in life, he said are just as essential to us as they are to China and other count­ries that are preparing for war.

He then went on to say he could not believe a knighthood was conferred on him for what he personally had done. He believed that probably the greatest factor covering the recommendation to his Sovereign was firstly the 8th Division and secondly the 2/30th Bn. He said, "I regard the endorsement of the recommendation as a distinct compliment to the Division."

The citation was for long service to Ex-Servicemen and Ex­servicewomen in the only time Ex-Servicewomen had ever been given in a citation.

He said, "I regard the honour conferred on me as being conferred on something greater than me. I will wear it, I hope with pride, I hope with satisfaction, but above all I hope that I will wear it as a Knight the way you will expect me to because you are the people to whom I owe anything I have. "

The Old Man told us he will be leading the Division again on Anzac Day in a Landrover. He shall be leading us with great pride and will be looking back to see the 30th Bn. because, as he said, "without seeing you it wouldn't be a parade for me. "

In concluding The Old Man's voice understandably wavered when he said: "I used to say to my wife every Anzac Day, I'm going to lead the men who made me, and that's how I feel now. You made me! Thank you!"

It was altogether a great night which will be long remembered with proud thanksgiving by those who were able to participate in the mateship and goodwill that permeated the atmosphere. There is no doubt the ladies did help to create that atmosphere.

Our Patron, B.J., has, of course, been the recipient of many congratulatory functions since receiving his knighthood and we are indebted to one of our chaps who was present at such a function for an extract, which we quote in full, from the weekly Bulletin of the Legacy Club of Sydney, of which The Old Man is a prominent member:

"On Monday, the 13th January last, the Royal Automobile Club was the venue of a very happy gathering, convened at short notice by the Police Co-Operation Committee, to convey to its esteemed member, Brigadier Sir Frederick Galleghan, DSO, OBE, ISO, ED., congratulations on his significant award and to express the personal pleasure of his many friends that his outstanding service to Queen and Country over more than half a century had been fittingly recognised.

In opening the proceedings the Chairman, L/Ron Chipps, facetiously indicated that the gathering was in fact a special extraordinary meeting of the Police Co-operation Committee and Legatees on visiting rounds, but as one looked around the assembled company - and in similar facetious vein - he might have added "together with many delinquents".

Our Legacy President, Brian Edwards, in his customary fluent manner, spoke of the many achievements of the Guest of Honour, and in particular of his dedicated service, courage and human understanding in the interests of the men of the Eighth Division during their incarceration in Japanese hands, for which probably above all else, Sir Frederick will be best remembered by his comrades.

Supporting speeches by L/Claude Pickford ( a member of the unfortunate Eighth Division) and L/Eric Blashki, added tribute and appreciation to the President's oration. Our guest would not be human if in his quiet moments he does not recall this record of esteem and respect in which he is so obviously held by the men who have grown to know him well.

One wondered in what vein our unpredictable Fred would respond to all these eulogies, but we need not have wondered. His speech was obviously one from the heart, resonant with humility and simplicity, the credit which he shared with his men, and it will long be remembered by those privileged to hear it. Seldom, if ever, has one seen him so close to embarrassment.

A highlight of the proceedings was the entry of a Scottish piper, none other than our own L/Arch Ewart, who proceeded L/Bill Scott bearing a large birthday cake which had been kindly presented by the wife of L/Wes Browne, and was decked with numerous lighted candles in honour of Sir Frederick's recent 72nd birthday. One can hardly expect a mere Gunner with the impediment of a huge birthday cake in front of him to achieve the precision and bearing of a Guardsman, but a roar of applause was in no small part a tribute to Bill's performance.

It was a mammoth task for our guest to observe the tradition of blowing out the many candles, but at least he tried hard despite his failure to achieve complete success, and was frustrated in his final efforts only because the candles already extinguished persisted in coming to life again as a result of his efforts. In this the writer sees an omen and expresses a wish that fate will have similar difficulty in extinguishing the candles of our distinguished Legatee, and that he will remain our friend for many years ahead.

Finally, a word of thanks to the members of the Police Co-operation Committee who at short notice made such perfect arrangements for their guests and made possible such a pleasant and memorable occasion. "

Claude Pickford was in 22nd Bde H .Q., Archie Ewart in 2/20th Bn. 2/30th members of Sydney Legacy at the dinner were Ron Chipps, Bill Ennis, Arch Dickinson, Sammy Hall, Ian Pryce and Andy Noble.


The March will, in all respects, be the same as in 1968. Assemble, as usual, outside the Mint Building.
No children will be allowed to march. Also no women, other than ex-servicewomen, should take part in the March.
After the March, the service will be held in Hyde Park near the memorial. Regroup for refreshments at the Occidental Hotel, York Street.



At the dinner honouring The Old Man, Keith Mulholland from Narrandera told us of the passing of Tommy in December. Tommy's correct name was Stephens. When he enlisted, following a few beers, he didn't worry too much about how the recruiting officer spelt his name, consequently he served with and was always known to us by the surname Stevens.

Tommy, who hadn't been well for some time, would have been 62 this year. Apart from army years, he spent his working life in Narrandera in the motor trade. He will be missed by his 2/30th mates in that part of the State. The sympathy of all goes to his next-of-kin.


Reported as deceased in the last issue of "Reveille". A country man who enlisted from Gloucester, he was a member of "A" Force.

To his next-of-kin we extend our sincere condolences.


Mother of the late John Taylor, our beloved RMO, Mrs. Taylor died on 12th April after a short illness. Mrs. Taylor was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1889 and came out to Australia in 1910, subsequently marrying P.J. Taylor who had his own engineering business. She had two sons and a daughter and her life revolved around her children, to whom she set an example of selfless devotion to others' needs.

The passing of John in 1966 was a sad blow to her which she never quite got over. Apart from her interest in her Church and Women's organisations, she was for a number of years on the Committee of the Burnside Homes, Parramatta.

Our condolences are extended to her son, daughter and their families.


BILL SKENE , C Coy, retired from the Registrar-General's Department on 21st February. He had been with the Department since 1928. This is what "Red Tape", the Official Journal of the Public Service Association of NSW said about him:

"He commenced duty in the Births, Deaths and Marriages Branch and later worked in both the Search Branch and Land Titles Branch. During his period of service in Search Branch he became well known to officers of the various "land" Departments for his vast wealth of specialist knowledge. Mr. Skene used the same knowledge to advantage in his later appointments as Deputy Registrar General and subsequently as Senior Deputy Registrar General.

Mr. Skene served with the 2/30 Battalion, A.I.F., and as a prisoner of war worked on the Burma railway and the airstrip at Singa­pore. He delights in telling the story that he was one of '6 Australian Soldiers' chosen by a Japanese NCO to move a log which an elephant refused to budge. No doubt, his wartime experiences have contributed to Mr. Skene's early retirement.

To mark the occasion of his retirement a number of senior officers attended a luncheon given at the Department in his honour. The Registrar General, Mr. J, H. Watson, presented Mr. Skene with a wallet of notes on behalf of his fellow officers. In reply, Mr. Skene assured those present that the gift would not be "paid into Consolidated Revenue" but in due course would be applied to an appropriate purchase. Inevitably, as happens on such occasions, memories were stirred and events of younger days were revived and perhaps expanded upon. "

RON EATON's first brand new container ship the "Encounter Bay" berthed alongside the brand new container wharf on April 3 and brought with it a revolution in cargo handling.

Ron, who is the Managing Director of Overseas Containers Australia, at a press conference on the ship, said when it operating at full bore it would have a cargo turnover of 1,000 tons an hour.

However, things do not appear to have run smoothly all round. The black ban put by the Transport Workers' Union on containers from all container ships must have posed problems for the shipping interests in which Ron plays a major role.

Ron and his wife , Betty, were at the dinner to The Old Man. Their son, Warwick, 18, is at "Scots", Bathurst, and they frequently run up to see him and to call on the John Haskins' family at Oberon. John and his wife, who is a sister of Ron Eaton, were also at the dinner.

Ron's daughter, Catherine, 12, attends "Ravenswood" and, keen on athletics, is proving to be an outstanding hurdler. Youngest son, Stuart, a godson of Stuart Peach, is 10 and at Killara Primary School.

BERT FARR, H.Q. Coy was presented with Life Membership of the R.S.L Swimming Association at its Annual State Carnival at North Sydney Pool last month A keen club swimmer and former Secretary of the Association, Bert is on. e of only 5 accorded this honour since the Association's inauguration. The organisation boats over 1,000 swimmers from Sub-Branches all over the State.


Looking prosperous and fit enough to push a train over, Curly and his wife, Rose, came up from Lockhart for the dinner to The Old Man. Their eldest son, Michael, 16, is at "Kings" and rowing with the Junior Eights; daughter Joan, 15, is Sports Captain at "Ravenswood" and Rowan and Tony, 8 and 7 respectively, are at home and well able to talk their way into or out of anything.


Keith, writing from Murwillumbah, expressed delight with news of The Old Man's knighthood. He was also happy to record re-election of Tom Grant as President of Murwillumbah R.S.L for a second term. He sends regards to Doc Wilson and Kevin Ward.


Left Australia in February for Vientiane, Laos, where, for the next 2 years he will be attached to the Australian Embassy.


Bruce has returned from England to Australia and is working for the Commonwealth Department of Works, Bathurst.


Said to be back in Sydney working for Nabalco Pty. Ltd. as Industrial Officer,


Jim has landed another job amongst distinguished company. Noticed in the "S.M.H" recently that he had been appointed to the Technical Education Advisory Council by the Minister of Education.

LES SOUTHWELL, A Coy, has a gem of a wife in Althea who regularly sends in his annual subs. He asks that regards be conveyed to his old Battalion friends.


Parish Priest at St. Peter's R.C. Church, Rockhampton.

He was recently in Sydney and lunched with The Old Man, Des Kearney and Harry Collins and later on played a round of golf at Balgowlah with Arch Thorburn, Reg Friend and Harry Collins.

My clearest memory of Paddy is of his prowess as a poker player in Changi.

Harry tells me neither Paddy's zest for living nor his keen sense of humour have dimmed.


Harry also told me of the marriage of his niece, Kaye, to Jim Keleher, a nephew of "Curly" Heckendorf , last November.

Hazel Lorking, who some of you will remember was a nurse in the hospital at Batu Pahat, now Sister-in-Charge of the Clinic at Royal North Shore Hospital, was at the wedding.


This was really enjoyed at the Combined Services R.S.L Club on 28th March.

It was preceded by a fulsome and gratifying meal for 20 in the Club dining room. All the trimmings accompanied by copious draughts of ale, turned the dinner into a pleasurable "mini" Reunion.

The meeting proper, attended by 25 members seated in comfortable chairs and in cosy surroundings, was one of the best held in recent years.

The same officers were re-elected and the Committee, listed in the front of "Makan", shows only one change. Don Garner withdrew his nomination owing to pressure of business and has been replaced by Alan Pryde. We shall miss Don's effervescent and sophisticated mateship from our committee meetings, and the value of his wide knowledge of Sydney stem­ming from his familiarity with its people, pubs and places.

Under the heading of "General Business", suitable reference was made to the sterling work done by Bessie Ellis and Cecily Boss and the thanks we all owe to their generous help in keeping the Bn. Association so alive.

The bulk of discussion at the meeting centred around the Association's drifting finances which are given special mention hereunder.


As disclosed at the Annual Meeting, funds in hand have dwindled to a stage that calls for an early infusion of moneys if we are to keep in front of commitments and ensure that "Makan" continues to go out regularly every 2 months to the 400 (including next-to-kin) who apparently look forward to receiving it.

Far too many annual subscriptions, which have remained at the same trifling figure for the past 22 years, have not been regularly paid.

An appeal is made to all defaulting members to cough up their dues NOW to save the necessity of breaking into capital reserves in the form of a Commonwealth Treasury Bond purchased after our return to Australia from moneys handed to us by the Ladies' Comforts Fund Committee. Interest from this Bond has proved to be our main source

of revenue for carrying on the Association. We would like to avoid having to break into it.

Although this appeal would not ordinarily apply to life members your Committee would not be adverse from accepting modest donations from existing life members to bolster our contracting finances.

Are you reaching for the cheque book and pen?


KEVIN WARD, who masterminds our hospital visitation team, reports that      

N.L. "MICK" CUTLER, A Coy is at present in the R.G.H.
JACK BROOKS, A Coy, ex­-Bulli Hospital, and
TED SKUSE, A Coy, were admitted and discharged from R.G.H since last "Makan".

Ted's wife, Edna, happened to be in hospital at Strathfield at the same time Ted was in Concord. Under such circumstances, Kevin Ward's service can be helpful.

Always keep in mind that if you are unlucky enough to be up for a visit to R.G.H., please contact Kevin who will arrange a visit by a couple of the Bn. team,

BILL SENIOR, HQ Coy, due to indifferent health, has disposed of his butchering business at Brewarrina and recently transferred to Sydney. He is expecting to enter R.G.H. for attention shortly.


Don't forget to keep 22/23 November free. That is the weekend for this year's Re-union. More about arrangements in May/June "Makan".

2/30th Battalion Golf Day


Ron Johnston C Coy, Doug Blanchard A Coy, Ron Jackson C Coy, Garry Evans C Coy.



First hitting-off time approximately 9.30 a.m. on approximately the first Sunday in May.

Bookings made by ringing Garry Evans at 747 2237 at night, giving Club Handicap, phone number, etc. Hitting-off times will be advised to players by phone after draw is made. You can make your own three or four up if you wish.

Non-club members can also play and will have their own competition. When booking please give any Social Club Handicap or approximately what your last round of golf was.

See you next month,

Ron Stoner,


Back to 1969 index or Main Index