Makan – No. 186
Official Organ of the 2/30th Bn. A.I.F. Association
BATHURST REUNION 1969
Over one hundred names have been registered for the Reunion Dinner at Bathurst on Saturday night, 22nd November. It is expected the number will reach 120 at least, by that date. Around 40 fellows will be accompanied by their wives.
There is no need to remind you of the importance and historic significance of this reunion. We are growing smaller in numbers each year, 14 less than at this time last year, and it is doubtful if we will ever have another full scale reunion outside of Sydney again.
All of those who requested accommodation reservations have been booked in as requested at one of the motels, hotels listed in the last "Makan", or at the Caravan Park. It is suggested that the R.S.L. Club be the first port of call after reaching Bathurst, where information can be obtained as to where your accommodation has been reserved.
All will again assemble at the Bathurst R.S.L. Club at 3.00 p.m. on Saturday for a march to the Carillon Memorial led by the Bathurst District R.S.L Band, where a wreath will be laid prior to a Civic Reception by the Mayor of Bathurst at the Civic Centre.
The Reunion Dinner, preceded by drinks, will commence at 7.30 p.m. There will be a good meal and ample ale and soft drinks for those who desire it.
If you have not booked accommodation through Bob Jack by now please make your own arrangements but do not leave it too late as we believe spare rooms are scarce at Bathurst on most weekends. The main thing is that you come along for the Dinner, and for the Memorial Cairn Service out along the Limekilns Road at 11.30 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Please spread the word around amongst your mates and encourage as many as possible to come along to this Reunion where you may immerse yourselves in memories of old times at Bathurst and drown your present worries in unhurried comfort.
Fellows from Broadbeach and Palm Beach (Qld), Bega, Bethungra and Cobar will be there, as well as strong representations from the South Coast and Newcastle areas. We are, however, awaiting expected registrations from the Riverina and Far North Coast which we have been led to believe are on their way.
LOU BROWN, HQ Coy., rising 65 years of age, could not keep step with the fast and furious pace of life today and recently passed on to higher service.
Lou, was well known and beloved by many in the Battalion. He served his fellows whilst on war service with genuine goodwill and sincere mateship. He amazed himself as a P.O.W., by being able to go 3½ years without grog. He obeyed the call of the cup that cheers following such a long period of abstinence and could be found, before he cracked up, on most weekday evenings, breasting the bar of The Tatler in George Street with a bunch of his old mates of army days. His bald head and good natured banter will be missed from Bn. gatherings.
E. H. "ERNIE" RANDLE, A Coy., the youngest of three brothers in the Bn., who came from Junee Junction died recently at the age of 55. Ernie, a typical son of predominantly rural stock, was a quiet and retiring chap. He did his duty as a soldier and was well regarded by fellows in his company.
To the next-of-kin and families of these men we offer the sincere sympathy of members of the Bn. Association in their sad bereavement.
"The Purple and Gold Club", formerly the wartime 2/30th Battalion Comforts Fund, will hold its annual Christmas Party at 3.00 p.m. on THURSDAY, 11th DECEMBER at the Indian Tea Centre, 176 Pitt Street, Sydney.
Mrs. M. Jenkins will be hostess. As usual, each guest will receive an initialled handkerchief and a posy of flowers. Country members in town for Christmas shopping will be most welcome.
Mothers, wives, and next-of-kin please telephone Mrs. Jenkins at 969-5249 and tell her you will be in the party. It will be the same sort of happy function it's been for many years past.
Kevin Ward reports six in Concord at time of going to press, namely:
Norman "Mick" Cutler, Ross Hutton, Charlie Irwin, John McDonald, William Perry and Ashby Jones.
Since last "Makan" the undermentioned have been discharged:
Jack Bremner, Albert Griffiths, Wallace Davies, Neilson Huntley, Noel Johnston, Russ Mackie, Bill Melville, Terry O'Rourke, and Alex Seymour.
Kevin arranges with his team for regular weekly visits to 2/30 Bn. fellows in R.G.H. Concord.
We are pleased to report that Herb Pratley, grand old custodian of our Cairn Memorial at Bathurst, who suffered a mild stroke in August, has made a good recovery and we hope to see him at our Memorial Service at the Cairns.
TERRANAUT'S IMPRESSIONS OF SINGAPORE
Alan Penfold (BHQ) and his wife, after wandering around the world for nine months, arrived home safely in good shape - mission accomplished.
Here are Alan's
impressions of our old Sing Sing Singapore:
We also visited the Causeway area, Woodlands Road, Kranji village and the oil tanks by Mandai Creek; gazed over the waters of the Straits where Lieut. Smyth was lost, to the Administrative Building, now almost obscured by the new Sultan's Palace nearer the foreshores.
I found myself almost listening for the M.G. fire over the Straits and the salvos of dud shells which landed in the Battalion positions. There, to the East, was the old Naval Base, soon to go, and back down Woodlands Road, past Marseling Road, we turned down Mandai Road, close to "C" Company positions, past the rubber concealing old H.Q., a place of vital memories to Colonel Ramsay whom I thought of in that moment.
There on the left a little further on was the pipe line, with "Don" Company's positions on that memorable day and night of 10th/11th February, 1942. Thompson Road and McRitchie Reservoir area show beginnings of huge changes in the countryside - building projects, new roads, etc. Near here I know was Caldecott Hill and Mount Pleasant Estate, but could not identify same.
Another visit took us along East Coast Road to Changi Gaol; however visiting hours did not permit entry, though the guards were sympathetic.
Proceeding around the gaol corner and there were the lines of buildings which housed the officers, but, of course, the 100-metre huts had gone. I was glad to identify our "C.O's" quarters and to note that the gardens were not nearly as well kept as in those days. Nor were the grounds of Selarang Barracks, even though the Queen's Own Hussars are in quarters there. The guard on the main gate told us we could enter and this moment was almost electric for me. We saw everything (except the grass lawns which were not as the Gordon's had them) as it was in 1941 - pre-war times - the cream identifiable houses, N.C.O.'s and married quarters and the Barrack Square. There were men about - all looked the same - I imagined the first parade we saw there of the Gordon Highlanders and the pipers on that Square; then the vastly different sort of picture of that extraordinary and difficult "incident" on the Barrack Square in September, 1942.
We drove on through the Barracks, across the football grounds up past old Hospital buildings and into Robert Barracks and back to main road. Here was a hive of activity. It appeared to come from R.A.A.F., now in occupation of Changi Aerodrome. An awesome collection of planes and transport occupy the whole perimeter, but easily identifiable were the scenes of P.O.W. working parties. The Indian driver of our hotel car had also worked here under I. J. A. "supervision" as a 9-year-old boy, with his family. He was keen to show us everything and very helpful. At least the R.A.F. is making good use of the Changi 'drome.
Further up the road towards Changi Point we found Changi village - of many memories to most of us. It had changed little and thrives on R.A.F. and similar trade no doubt. Many other army and many services men are to be seen in Changi and the area seems to be entirely occupied by services quarters.
Our driver said there were many plans for the time when British forces leave Singapore.
Back along Tampines Road and across what used to be the Civil Airport, which is now given over to playing fields, new roads and building projects and a fine new airport at Payer Labar. We came back to the city on fine roads along waterfront "Queen Elizabeth Drive" and notices reclamation in many places.
Of great interest was a sight of the "New World" and further over Orchard Road, Tanglin Road and Barracks and what used to be the Sultan's Palace, now the President's Palace and heavily guarded.
The great Ford works along Bukit Timah Road brought us to the Hill. once capped by a white-anted memorial. Orchard Road and Brar Besar Road back to Cathay Hotel, where we stayed for old times sake.
One could spend much time around the city, which is noticeably cleaner and less odorous - slums are disappearing and a progressive move to better living is very evident.
The street food stalls are the same, but I had forgotten just how uncomfortable the climate could be. The rickshaws are now few and yellow topped cabs many. Traffic is heavy in an evidently prosperous city, with many fine shops. Langs & Whitelaws and Lavender Street are still in business.
I was glad to see Singapore again and left without any desire to stay on any longer.
PARS ABOUT PEOPLE WE KNOW
The Old Man's name appears in the press or comes over the air quite often and we all have a very personal interest in what we read and hear about him. No doubt many of us noticed this little par about him in a Sunday newspaper in August:
A TOAST TO BLACK JACK
Recuperating from a heart attack, Brigadier Sir Frederick Galleghan attended last week's reunion dinner of 8th Division officers, all ex-P.O.W's from Changi.
His eyes were misty, but his grin wide when members drank the toast: "Not to Sir Frederick, but dear old Black Jack - only for him a lot of us wouldn't be here".
Despite the unhappy situation of many farmers with saturated grain markets, the familiar cost price squeeze, too much or too little rain, frosts, grasshoppers and other pests, MAX PYLE, D Coy, seems far from gloomy. Writing from his ancestral home, "Rothiesay" Berrigan, he expresses pleasure at "B.J.'s" knighthood which he believes should have eventuated 20 years ago. He adds - "Very few of the old gang are down here. I man the southernmost outpost of the Unit. Do see the Parfrey boys once in a while. They are both fit and holding their own.
Would like to get to Bathurst in November. If I can get out of a wedding invitation and forget about the harvest (why November?) I might make it.
Our family of three - growing up fast - will all be away at school next year so Joan and I will be having a quiet time of it.
I seem to be busy enough to make each day remarkably short. There are three ex-P.O.W's in Berrigan and each of us seem to have more than our share of public jobs. It's a pity we are a dying race! (At 50 now, with a young family, I reckon you should be able to keep the 2/30th legend alive for a long time yet Max. Ed.)
"Well, with greetings to all and a big thank you to the team who the show afloat, I shall end this little despatch and return to subduing the natives in this region. There are a few among them who have heard of the 2/30th Bn. I have been known to say a few words about my old unit at R.S.L. meetings and other places where those who served are inclined to boast. "
FRANK PURVIS, B Coy., coughed up his subs and added a bonus for good measure to appease the Treasurer.
All are well in the Purvis household at Sylvania Heights. Of the family, Lesly is completing her teacher training at Armidale this year, Susan completes High School this year and the boys look like being at home for quite a while yet.
Frank hopes to make Bathurst for the reunion.
HAROLD FRENCH, A Coy., sending in subs from Walcha, says his health is not good and he's too far away to be able to participate in Bn. Association doings. He enjoys reading "MAKAN". He will be in Sydney next year for a check-up and will try and look up some of the boys. He wishes to be remembered to all. The snapshot he meant to enclose with his letter does not appear to have reached us.
GEORGE CLARKE, SID GROUNDS, OSSIE JACKSON, "PORKY" MOORE and STUART PLOWES all remitted subs to which was added something to their annual commitment. Indeed the generosity of so many, since the appeal went out for moneys to bolster the Association finances, has been most heartening to Jack Boss, our Hon. Treasurer.
RAY SIMMONS, now living at Avoca Beach, hasn't before missed a Bn. reunion and expresses his disappointment he cannot be in two places at once. Ray will be attending the wedding of Bruce Greer's son Evan (his godson) on the day of the reunion and expresses his regrets he cannot join us on this occasion.
LES HALL, HQ Coy, has not been his effervescent self for quite a time and had to retire from his normal work some time back because of illness. We were pleased to hear of his recent quest for sunshine and recuperation and quote from an interesting letter received from him:;
"After my recent spell in Mona Vale District Hospital the medical marvels decreed it would be a good idea to follow the sun up north. With my "back-seat" driver as navigator we headed towards sunny Queensland.
En-route we sought the whereabouts of Lyell Powys, former sig in "the most important platoon" in the Unit. He resides at 9 Nicoll Street, Taree, but as a much travelled railways man, is a bit hard to catch at home.
However, he and his mother, brother and sister-in-law visited us at Port Macquarie a few days after we had called at his address. We had a wonderful few hours together. Lyell looks and is in very good health.
After visiting Murwillumbah and Surfers Paradise we returned to Port Macquarie, where we spent a further 18 days enjoying perfect Indian Summer weather.
The highlight of our days at the Port was the company - on several occasions - of Lyell and his charming mother. We motored and hiked up and down mountains, visited many historical spots and were given a wonderful time by those very fine folk.
Lyell was most interested in the honours conferred upon "The Old Man", and news of his former unit mates. We recalled happy associations in our early training days and pre-battle experiences in Malaya. His one regret is his inability to make the trip to Bathurst in November. However, he hopes to make a trip to the City in the near future. When he does I will do my utmost to get the sigs together for a "mini" reunion."
Les pointed out his disappointment at inability to locate former members of the Bn. by enquiry at local R.S.L.'s. As a result we will have to consider printing a list of members' addresses for distribution with "Makan" early in 1970.
TED LUTZ, B Coy, has put himself well in front in the subs stakes. He hopes to make it from Yanderra, that little place between Bargo and Yerrinbool, to Bathurst on 22nd November.
Ted's wife is recovering from a long term of illness. We do hope she will be restored to normal fitness very soon.
It was a red letter day for us when BILLY SORENSEN, D Coy, wrote in at such length inviting Bruce Ford to give him a good swift kick in the pants next time he sees him, for forgetting to pay his subs for the past two years. Bill made up for his forgetfulness by fining himself $2.00 and adding it to his cheque.
Here are a few extracts from Bill's letter:
"I've been doing very well in health but am not over rich. I've been working on the Railways for 10 years and have only had one sicky in 5 years and that was when I went fishing. You know what you take fishing? Well, I took too much and consumed the lot'.
I see a lot of 2/30th boys up here. 'specially at the Lismore reunions every February. I see Arty Power, Alfy Carroll, Clarrie Latimer and Jacky Korn quite often.
Do the boys know that Dick Gardiner, our late Tommy Gardiner's (D Coy) twin brother passed away in Lismore ? We will all miss him at our next Lismore reunion.
I am enclosing a poem I wish you could publish in your next "Makan" for the Don Coy boys. It was written by someone in D Coy and I've treasured it since our days in Bathurst. It is only a copy as I would not like to part with the original."
Thank you, Bill. We are happy to publish the poem "Compass March" herewith and should be grateful to anyone who could send in to us the words of any poems or songs written about our Battalion or by any of our fellows during our active service days together. Remember that grand old parody "Onwards the Greyhounds" we used to sing to the tune of "Waltzing Matilda"? Could someone put it together and let us know the words for the next issue of "Makan"?
I suppose you wonder what
Some say we'll join the
There's times we do work
It was only here the
We assembled at the eight
Through country roads and
When we hit the open
And there was trouble
Whose platoon is that in
And as we all stood
As we were in our huts
You may not see the
By an Unknown D Coy Poet
DUDLEY BUSHBY, B Coy, wrote to Sir Frederick from the south of France and I asked The Old Man could I borrow the letter because of its interest to so many of us. Here are some of the extracts from what Dudley had to say:
"On 8th April you wrote me a letter of thanks to my congratulatory one to you. It is among my most prized possessions and for this many thanks.
I am living here because my mother-in-law, who has turned 84 loves this part, and feels it is a bit late to start a new life in Australia, but one day will come I expect, when I personally will fly back to the country I love best.
I am slowly getting over a severe shock sustained a few months ago. My best friend in England, Dr. Luke Cutler, was killed in the Channel with his charming wife and beautiful 17-year-old daughter when piloting a plane back from the north coast of France. The storm that struck him suddenly was one of the worst in living memory.
No bodies were recovered - only wreckage. He left behind a charming lady of seventy - his broken-hearted mother-in-law - and a nineteen-year-old son. I have recently returned from England where I went to give what assistance I could.
One of the Australians in this part of the woods, is first Old Man Fairfax (S.M.H.) who lives in a villa near here belonging to his daughter. I have met the son-in-law who is a Pom but, in spite of that, a decent bloke. He was in the Fleet Air Arm during the war. He told me an amusing story the other day. They had a special showing for charity of the film "Battle For Britain" in Monte Carlo. Fairfax asked his son-in-law the price of the tickets, which were 10/- and 20/-. "Too much, " the old man said, "I shan't go" and went on counting his millions.
Another well-known figure in Australia now living here is old Marie Burke, the actress, who was contemporary with Gladys Moncrieff. She was knocked down by a car recently, but being full of guts, is staging a remarkable recovery. However, she is a bit scarred and the fear of what people might think when they see her is preventing her from returning to Australia for a visit. I told her that was nonsense but she remains adamant.
And now for the main reason for this letter. At about this time I get nostalgia, and my thoughts go out to you and the boys because, if my guess is any good, you will probably be having the 2/30th Bn. Reunion in November.
Please remember me to Arch Thorburn and Billy Douglas (B Coy) to whom I am writing. I used to call him The Dead End Kid but he is far from that now. He was a good mate in war and after, and has a heart of gold.
Shortly I am writing to Mrs. Bessie Ellis to see if I can arrange to have "Makan" sent to me, and I only hope Ron Stoner, to whom please remember me, can arrange to furnish me with one or two of the old copies relating to your Knighthood - the Dinner, etc. I want to keep in touch and can send a cheque on Bank of N. S. W. Sydney. " (Shall do as you wish. Ed.)
RALPH BRADLEY, A Coy, sent along $3.00 towards the Bn. Reunion with best wishes to all. He won't be there because, as he says, "My age allows no excesses and I'm an unsociable bloke, just made that way I guess". Thanks, Brad! You're a mighty bloke and will remain unique because of your concern for and loyalty to a landlady who, as you have said before, has been very good to you.
RAY MICHELL, B Coy, also sends greetings to the boys. He sees the Tamworth fellows every week or so and tells us Wal Eather is retiring at the end of this term. His brother, George, is now a T.P.I. living in Perth and not well at all.
ARTHUR POWER, D Coy, had his subs sent in by wife Nancy who gives us news from Kyogle about Artie and his mate Alf Carroll. They are both well but their eyes give them some trouble. Alf Carroll is very special to the Powers as he is godfather to the three children - now quite grown up. Helen, the eldest, is married and has two children of her own, Robert is 23 and Carol 20 and they all think the world of their uncle Alf. The Powers entertained the Sorenson's a few weeks ago. Bill Sorenson's daughter, Cheryle, was recently married and Nancy Power, who admits to being a camera crank, took a number of photos at the wedding.
SEE YOU AT BATHURST
We reprint this page just in case you lost the last Makan
Notes for the Re-Union
When I get to Bathurst I
must look up...........and...........and...........
*show ‘em the family pics
* NOT FORGET TO GO!.