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Makan – No. 197
Sep/Oct, 1971

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



Following despatch of last issue, produced on a Gestetner and inviting your comments, the only opinions received were of a favourable nature, indicating satisfaction with the presentation in general. In view of the savings involved, your Executive decided at its last Meeting that MAKAN should be produced in future with the use of a Gestetner, and permission was, granted to trade up to a better typewriter.

Although it was a bit disappointing not to be able to use the old "Toyama" machine, the typewriter used for this MAKAN has been chosen because of its "Elite" type, which has the advantage of allowing approximately 20% more material on a page than when using "Pica" type - such as was used for last MAKAN. Had "Elite" type been used on that issue, the printing would have been accommodated on 20 pages, as against the 25 pages necessary with "Pica" type. The "Elite" type does not give as dense a print as a much more modern broad-faced type with proportional spacing would produce, but the purchase of a machine of that kind would be rather expensive, and it is not considered warranted for the time being.

However, the standard: of printing of this MAKAN does not necessarily reflect the end product. Your Printer will continue to experiment, and it is hoped that he will gain experience as the job progresses; and an improved presentation could easily evolve as further issues are produced. So there is not much more you can do beyond wait and see, and hope for the best.


Because of a Postal Regulation which requires production of receipts for actual Subscriptions paid by at least 75% of the total circulation, and due to the usual tardiness of many of you in sending in Subs, it is unlikely that we will be able to obtain Registration for Posting MAKAN as a periodical much before the end of 1972. With the increased Postal Charge of 7 cents per 2 oz (and an issue of 20 pages just comes within 2 oz) it will be appreciated that it will cost 42 cents at least- to post 6 issues of MAKAN to each Subscriber for 1972 - multiply that figure by the circulation and you will arrive at a cost of over $170. for postage alone. Fortunately, the new method of printing will cut costs considerably and, after giving full consideration to all aspects, your Executive have set the Subscription Rate for 6 issues of MAKAN for 1972(including postage) at $1.50

This will require all Life Members to pay $1.50, and all Ordinary Members will require to pay a Membership Fee of 50 cents,. plus Sub to MAKAN, $1.50, a total of $2.00. MAKAN will of course continue to be posted to Next-of-Kin at no cost to them, as has been the practice since it was first published. By comparison with other Clubs and Associations, and in view of the negligible purchasing power of the Dollar today, our Subscription Rate is considered extremely low.

Over the past year or so, many Life Members have made specific Donations to assist in production of MAKAN, and many Ordinary Members have contributed amounts in excess of actual Subs due, which have been recorded as Subscriptions in Advance. The records relating to these matters are being examined carefully, and with the Nov/Dec issue of MAKAN an individual Circular will be forwarded to each Member, showing the exact position in that regard. Each Member concerned will then be given the opportunity of electing to apply any such amount towards future Subs or if he feels so inclined, he can instruct us to consider the amount involved to be a Donation, without any strings attached. This course of action is being adopted because it was felt that when MAKAN was at the crossroads financially, these Members responded with sufficient funds to keep the Publication afloat and now that a definite Subscription Rate for MAKAN is to be paid by all Life and Ordinary Members, it was considered only fair that the Members who helped us when we were in difficulties .should be recognised, and should be given the opportunity of electing how their help should be applied. A reminder Circular to all other Members will also be included with the Nov/Dec issue, advising the necessity for the payment of a Sub for MAKAN, and FAILURE TO PAY IN ADVANCE WILL MEAN NON-DELIVERY.

This early notice regarding Subs is given in the hope that many of you, particularly those unaffected by donations or Subs in Advance, will take the hint and start sending in your Subs for 1972 (Life Members $1.50; Ordinary Members $2.00) from now on well in advance. You are particularly asked to do so in an endeavour to lessen the burden imposed on your Chief Correspondent, Editor, Printer and Despatcher, by giving him a little help for a change, and spreading the recording and receipt issuing over a period. Apart from that aspect, the sooner Subs for MAKAN are paid, the sooner we will be able to make application for registration for posting as a periodical; and the moment that is achieved, an immediate saving of over $20.00 on postage for each issue will result; and that is not to be taken lightly.

Would it be asking too much to request that you include a bit of news with your remittance, so that we will be able to advise the up-to-date position regarding all Members in future issues.



As the fluid from my pen flows free,
I think of another that wrote history -
History, not of beauty and things humane,
But of suffering and human pain.

The fluid, rich and red,
Came from our glorious dead.
It was given in the belief
That it would wash away pain and grief.

It painted the desert sand
And wrote a message in No Mans Land,
Telling men to forget hate, gun and sword,
And follow the teachings of the Lord.

The message was written loud and clear,
But I know that many did not hear,
Because to-day I could paint an ocean red
With the blood of the dying and the dead.

Ted Rickards. 1971.


What with rising costs and diminishing service, and. your Executive's policy of endeavouring to keep costs to a minimum, Bob Jack has followed up a suggestion by a couple of the boys, and has come up with a new venue for the Reunion Dinner, which will be held this year:

ON SATURDAY, 20th NOVEMBER at 6.30 p.m. at
32 Grosvenor St., SYDNEY
ADMISSION PRICE: $5.00 per head

Apart from the fact that the "Australia" is being pulled down, your Executive felt that Hotels and the like, while providing a reasonable meal, charge almost double the normal price for grog and the overall cost per Member would be rather steep, if we wanted to allow for liquid refreshments on a reasonably liberal scale. The R.A.N. House venue was chosen for several reasons chief amongst which were the pleasant atmosphere, the assured excellence of the catering, and the supplying of grog at normal Club prices - about half the cost of the "Australia".

All of which means that, for a reduced charge of $5.00, you are assured of ample food, and a guaranteed supply of beer which is not going to run short half way through the night - all in very congenial surroundings.

As Bob has to supply the Club with a reasonable estimate of attendances by the end of this month, please use the prepared form of acceptance, fill it in, and send it with $5.00 to Bob Jack forthwith. PLEASE NOTE that as Postage and other costs are prohibitive NO FURTHER CIRCULARS OR REMINDERS will be sent; so please record the time, date and place in your Diary, or on the kitchen calendar, and use the attached form immediately, if not sooner. (Please see page 19)



A preliminary Meeting of seven interested parties (at which your Editor was honoured to be present) was held at the home of Dr. Tom Selby (B.J.'s former L.M.O. and close friend) on 23rd July last to discuss the possibility of establishing a Memorial to B.J., included in which would be, as a first priority, the publication of his Biography. The feeling of the Meeting was that this could be done on the basis of proper organisation, the setting up of representative committees to handle various aspects, the employment of a professional Biographer, and an appeal to the Public for funds.

This will not, in any way, be a 2/30 Bn show (though we will have a representative on the Central Committee which will be set up) as B.J. was a great Australian who left his impact on people in all walks of life - in Civil as well as Military circles - all of whom have every right to regard him as theirs. We were merely most fortunate and honoured to have him as our Old Man, and to have occupied a very special corner in his heart.

The Biography will naturally cover all periods of his life, from that in Newcastle as a youth and young man, through-World War 1,his employment, and service in the C.M.F. between the Wars, his service in World War 2 (with divisions into the period of fighting and the period as a P.O.W.) and subsequent to World War 2 until his death. Quite naturally, we will be expected to supply the information concerning his service in World War 2, and as a P.O.W., but some of you may also have had contact with him during other periods of his life.

In due course, you will all be addressed with the request to furnish any FACTUAL material - anecdotal or otherwise, and referring to any of the periods mentioned, which would contribute to the proposed Biography, and of which you have knowledge. The emphasis is on FACTUAL, whether humorous, serious or otherwise, and the appropriate Committee will handle the contribution and pass it on to the Biographer. So, when you are requested to do so, stir up the old memory chords and send in something however slight. Although what you send in may seem to you to be trivial, it could well help considerably in the overall picture.

Lady Galleghan left on 22nd August, by Air, for Singapore, from whence she will visit Changi, Gemas and other points, following which she will proceed to Bangkok, where she will be met by Stuart Peach, who is flying down from Laos and will conduct her over the Railway area, including the bridge over the River Kwai. From there she will proceed to London, arriving about 29th August, where she will stay about a month; using London as a base to visit people and places associated with B.J. Preliminary efforts have resulted in contact being made with former British P.O.W. and Military Mission Associates ( both in Britain and on the Continent ) and it is hoped that some very useful information will be obtained for the Biography. On her way home, Lady Galleghan hopes to be able to attend an International Red Cross Conference at Mexico City, and she expects to arrive home on.2lst October next. On your behalf I have extended to Lady Galleghan our best wishes for a safe and pleasant journey coupled with the hope that her efforts to obtain some helpful material for the Biography will meet with success.


A Crusader and Leader of Men
who led us to Hell, and back again.
He led us through a Military blunder,
and when the guns were silent - without thunder -
he led us into a pen of disease and mire,
enclosed by strands of barbed wire.
He retained the discipline and unity of men,
which helped them survive the rigours of the den.

They said we were cowards and would not fight -
we were the weak, and they were the might.
Many were bashed and starved to death,
but as they breathed their last weak breath
and felt the very last pain,
their dignity and pride they tried to retain.
We surrendered our bodies, but not our souls -
they forgot our spirit was cast in special moulds.

There were many "maybe's" and "perhaps"
when we were in the hands of the Japs,
but one thing was certain and sure -
a Man of Greatness led us in War.

Ted Rickards 1971.


Francis Stanislaus (Scippy) Maher, OBE., BA., (2/15 Field Regt)
We join with all Members of the R.S.L, and in particular our good friends of 2/15 Field Regt in mourning the loss of Scippy, on 9th August last, at the age of 58 years and after a long illness. Our deepest sympathy is extended to his surviving widow and two daughters.

Following discharge from the Army, Scippy returned to his profession of a Teacher, and was Headmaster of Maroubra Bay Primary School at the time of his death. He had joined the R.S.L. on discharge, and after numerous positions in Sub-Branches, District Councils and the State Branch, he was made a Life Member in 1961, and subsequently became State President in 1969, which position he held until his death on the eve of the Annual State Congress. He was awarded the M.B.E. in 1965, and the O.B.E. this year.

Scippy, who received his nickname as a youngster at Primary School, when he played the part of the Roman General, Scipio in "Hannibal", did his stint on the Railway, and other jobs, and earned a reputation for courage and leadership, which he carried with him into the R.S.L., where he served with distinction for so many years. All ex-Servicemen and Women will be the poorer for his passing.

The Requiem Mass at Saint Mary's Cathedral was crowded with mourners from all walks of life, and we were represented by our President, Arch Thorburn, Ashley Pascoe and Lady Galleghan. It is most probable that many others of our Unit were also present representing their various R.S.L. Branches, who were not able to be observed in the large crowd of mourners.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,



Kevin Ward reports the position as at 27th September:

In R.G.H., Concord:

George Ramsay (BHQ),
Bob Skinner (HQ Coy),
Frank Topham (C Coy)

Discharged since last MAKAN:

Mrs. I. Berman,
Len Dawson (HQ Coy),
Jack Green (BHQ),
Jim O'Connell (A Coy),
Reg Quinton (HQ Coy),
Frank Topham (C Coy),
George Winchester (C Coy).

In Lady Davidson, Turramurra:

Tom Rockett (C Coy).


Our Patron has given us some concern of late, but it now looks as though things are on the up and up. He went into R.G.H. Concord early in August for a simple repair job, but George reckons (and most of us who have been there will agree) that they only get you in there to see what they can find to do. A fortnight after his first Theatre Party, they wheeled him in and carved him up again - they'd had a couple of weeks to find something new to do- and it is just as well that our Gentleman George has a heart as strong as an ox, as the going has not been so very easy. However, he has made good progress over the last couple of weeks, and at last advice he was reported to be responding to treatment, and planning his return home.


Another one who has caused us a lot of concern is Tom Rockett (C Coy) who was coming along fine after trading a couple of legs for two tin ones (Mch/Apr MAKAN) and was up at Lady Davidson, learning to walk all over again. In mid-August last he suffered a stroke, which completely paralysed his right side, but you can't ring down the curtain on Tommy with anything like that - in the trade for the tin legs he must have got a couple of spare hearts, or at least one as big as Phar Lap's. The way back is a bit slow, but he is one of the Star Patients, and at last report he was continuing to make good progress. Meanwhile, many visitors are not desirable, and Arch Dickinson and your Scribe have been appointed by Kevin Ward to represent the Unit in maintaining regular contact with him, and in reporting regularly by letter to his wife, who lives in Grafton, and due to family responsibilities, cannot remain in Sydney the whole of the time.


The feared scarcity of news for last MAKAN was overcome to some degree by the late arrival of some Subs and-items, some of which had to be held over to this issue, due to lack of space.

Doug Hicks, Jack Greenwood and Frank Webb (all HQ Coy)- responded to the rude little note and all sent in individual amounts to put them in an Advance position with regard to Subs, but they didn't bother to send in any news. They must be O.K., or they surely would have said so.


On the other hand, Jack Fell (B Coy) got his wife, Vera, to include a decent sort of a letter with his remittance to put him well in front. He regretted his inability to stay on for Anzac Day, after attending B.J.'s funeral; and also their inability to boost the B Coy total in the Grandpa Stakes. Lacking children of their own, Vera and Jack have been doing a really worthwhile job as foster parents to State Wards. Being the Greenkeeper with the East Cessnock Bowling Club, Secretary of the Newcastle Greenkeepers' Association, and a member of the East Cessnock No.1 Pennant Team (which was successful in winning the pennant in that District) Jack is a bit keen on bowls, and he firmly supports John Kreckler's idea of an 8 Div B.J. Memorial Competition Day (He even potted Jack Maclay (B Coy) who is President of the Rydalmere Central Club as someone you could possibly work on, John). Jack complained that, being off the beaten track, he sees very little of the boys, but he was pleasantly surprised to receive a visit from Gordon McKnight (HQ Coy) recently. He and Vera ask that any of you passing through Cessnock call and say hello - an enquiry at any Bowling Club in the Town will Provide you with directions. He promises to come down for next Anzac Day.


It took a while to catch-up with Ian Grace (D Coy) who copped it at Gemas, and managed to get invalided out on the Hospital Ship which left Singapore just before capitulation. Having tracked him down in the R.G.H., Concord, Ian responded readily; and we welcome him back into the family.

At last Anzac Day Ceremony at Bathurst, Jack Black outshone our well. known shutter merchant, Changi Aspinall, and as he was distributing prints to them all, the rest of the team thought they had better chip in and defray some of the cost. Jack refused to accept it, so our funds are the richer by a Donation of the sum collected. Incidentally, and at his own expense, Jack had a very excellent enlargement made of the actual presentation of our trophy to the Band, had it suitably inscribed, and he has forwarded it to the Bathurst R.S.L.


From a reliable source, we have heard that Stuart Peach has received his promotion to Full Colonel. Congratulations, Stuart. He is still on that Military Attaché job in Laos, and he was kind enough to put pen to paper; and in a letter to your Scribe he had some very nice things to say about MAKAN. He went on:

“I include in these comments on the MAKAN, which is our focal point, the same appreciation of all who help keep our Association alive. Rather wonderful that our friendship is still warm after all these years, particularly as the circumstances which brought us together initially no longer exist. It says a lot for the calibre of our Members and the continued interest of all the Committee.

“I was reminded of you recently while visiting Thakhek. We called at a Rice Mill, a large installation built on even more Heath Robinson lines and immeasurably more incomprehensible than any that was conceived by you. A touch of War also prevailed, as the chap showing us around lost his son that same day - shot down in a Royal Lao Air force fighter nearby.

“Lady Galleghan will be in Bangkok between 25/28 August, and if the situation here permits, I will go to Bangkok while she is there - in fact I telephoned my opposite number down there this morning, to lay on a visit to Kanburi etc with her.

“Laos is still an interesting place. We have had military rises this year in four out of the five Military Regions, not forgetting the South Vietnamese invasion into Southern Laos and yet a general charm still prevails. I shall attend the Royal Pirogue in Luang Prabang next weekend, and will take part in a touch of Royal splendour. The King always arrives and departs in his ceremonial Pirogue, attended by Guards in traditional costumes and uniforms in another two Pirogues. This is always followed by a Soiree at the Palace, and there is always a Fairytale touch to it. The last Soiree I attended was during the Lao New Year Celebrations, earlier in the year which was coloured by Artillery fire all night, and Air force Fighter strikes on hills nearby, occupied by Communists within only a few kilometres.

On the other hand, I also visited Ban Nam Kueun, up near the border of Burma, Thailand and Laos, earlier this year, when I stayed with the Tribal Leader of the Yao ethnic minority. Amongst other things, we were plied by young Yao girls, in their traditional costumes, with Lao Yao. This is a strong concoction of Lao Lao, which is a rice distillation with which is mixed a potion of tiger's bones boiled for seven days, crushed tiger's knee caps and crushed deer's antlers. Chao La, the Chief, said it was very strong, and he must know as he has three wives. Anyhow, we survived, and even managed to get our aircraft off their tiny strip - perhaps they put some in the tanks too! "

I find it hard to realise that we have lost B.J. What a remarkable man he was! We all owe him a tremendous debt in so many ways, and I am sure that his influence will always remain with us. Certainly his standards continue for us with his wonderful attitude to service, and his memory will be quite evergreen with all his 2/30 Soldiers."


Following receipt of a photo of her brother's grave at Thanbyuzayat, and the monogrammed spoon with which he ate his way thru' a few bags of rice until his death on the Railway at Kami Sonkurai (when he bequeathed it to your Scribe) Miss Lorna Weiss (sister of Harry - C Coy) wrote in from Terrigal expressing her thanks, and enclosing a sizeable Donation to help MAKAN along; which we appreciate very much. This contact reminded your Editor of those happier days, before the fighting commenced, when that C Coy quartet, Weiss, Whitbread, Williamson and Wood,. teamed up and filled the air with their lamentations at being the last in the queue for any issues - even pay. Do you remember that wretched (imaginary) dog which turned up with Harry on all sorts of occasions, including Parades, forever tangling it's imaginary lead around adjoining troops, while having to be restrained from mistaking sundry legs and rifle butts for convenient posts. With the deaths of Norm Whitbread (K.I.A. at Mandai Crossroads) and both Harry and Clarrie Williamson (within a fortnight of each other at Kami Sonkurai), only Clarrie Wood made it back home; and we have lost contact with him. From memory, Clarrie was a Baker pre-War. and operated at Rankin's Springs. Would anyone happen to know his whereabouts - your Scribe would like to have the information?


Mention was made in last MAKAN of the marriage of Peter, son of Len (D Coy) and Pam Hendy at the end of last June, but what we didn't know at that time was the entry of Len into the Grandpa Stakes on 22nd June, when daughter Geraldine (Mrs Cooper) presented them with a granddaughter. Congrats.


Talking of the Grandpa Stakes: Frank Topham (C Coy) has been another of those hard-to-trace types, and it wasn't until we found him pinned down in the R.G.H. Concord that we were able to prize a few dollars out of him and bring him back into the family. With two boys and one girl, all married, the Topham's can boast of 11 grandchildren.


Jim McIntosh (A Coy) wrote in from Ainslie and enclosed a few dollars, just in case his. Subs weren't up to date. He hadn't received any rude note, so he need not have worried; and he certainly wont have to for a while to come, as he is now well in advance. He teaches at the Canberra Technical College, and he spends his spare time rifle shooting - so his nerves and eyesight are O.K., even if he has just recovered from five months on crutches with a broken leg.


Another one who did not want to run the risk of a rude note was Ted Rickards (B Coy), so he sent in enough from Mungindi to keep him well in advance. Though not exactly in the pink of condition, Ted still manages to be able to look after the R.S.L. Bowling Club greens, and to dash off a verse or two to help swell the pages of MAKAN.


George Kinsela (HQ Coy) responded to the rude note with enough to put him in an advance position with Subs, but he didn't add any news. One of these days he might let us know how he is, and what he is doing.


Joe Johnston (D Coy) is keeping well, and is still farming up at Knockrow. A note from his wife, Sybil, confirmed this and advised that he was coming to Sydney for the R.S.L. State Congress last August, when it was hoped that we might get together. Unfortunately, your Scribe was tied up, and our letters seemed to miss out on delivery; so we missed out.


The May/Jun issue of MAKAN arrived in Dudley Bushby's (B Coy ) hands in France after a bit of a roundabout course, due to a change of address. He had barely glanced at it (having received it in a Cafe while dining with a friend) when he was relieved of it by someone who apparently thought it was a worthwhile publication. So he wrote post haste requesting that a further copy be Airmailed to him if we had a spare one, and he enclosed a cheque to cover the postage, with the balance going as a Donation. Fortunately, we did have, and since his cheque covered the postage more than ten times over, we were happy to receive a sizeable Donation. Thanks Dudley.


We were very happy to receive, per favour Dr. John Sands, a further two years supply of covers for MAKAN under the Grahame and Richard Sands Memorial Endowment, which he and his sister, Mrs. Geoffrey Lamble established following the death of their father (May/Jun MAKAN). This is indeed a great help to our finances.


A Mr. Tom O'Scott of Mt. Gravatt, Q., wrote in requesting an Association Badge and any other available items for his collection of Unit Relics. While regretting our inability to let him have a badge (strictly for Members only) we sent along a May/Jun MAKAN and a colour patch, which one of the boys had. He replied with a Donation to help MAKAN along, which was appreciated very much.


Les Hall (HQ Coy) did the right thing and wrote in advising a change of address. He took the opportunity of saying some very nice things about MAKAN, and he had some equally nice remarks to pass about Bessie Ellis and the Boss Family, in appreciation of the fine job they have done for the Association, and all of us over the years. It is good to have these practical expressions of appreciation, and to be able to relay them on to the parties concerned.


Bruce Greer (HQ Coy) also sent in a change of address, and had some nice remarks to pass about MAKAN. Having retired from business (Mch/Apr MAKAN) Bruce decided he would settle up North, where the Winter climate is more to his liking; so he picked on Ballina, and now occupies a flat right opposite the R.S.L. He has agreed to join Harry Riches as Far North Coast Correspondent of MAKAN, so, with two of them on the payroll, we should get a bit of news from time to time.


A bit of prodding produced results by way of Subs from Ken Forward (C Coy), but no news. The fastest starting of an old Chev Truck, without the aid of ignition key or tools, that I ever saw was on the Island, when a few of us were badly trailing the field out of Mandai, with the Japs breathing down our necks, and somewhat hampered by a badly wounded cobber whom we were lumping out on a makeshift stretcher. We had caught up with that stalwart Doc. Taylor who, unlike the rest of us, seemed to have no fear, and he proceeded to do just about everything except major surgery on the spot, until we could practically see the yellow of the Japs' eyes. Round the next bend, we came upon the truck, and Ken needed no prodding on that occasion - the truck was going and we were mobile in one second flat; and we finished the trip in style, and some comfort.


That gentle dig at Steve Kirton (HQ Coy) re lack of information about his family (May/Jun MAKAN) produced a letter from him from Canada and the information that Max, the eldest, who married last December, is a mere stripling of 6'2”, weighing about 14 stone. The next arrival, also a boy, though not quite up to Max's standard, is also pretty hefty; and it can only be assumed that Steve got a bit scared of being knocked around in his old age by hefty sons, so the Kirton's switched to girls, and produced four in a row to make a respectable family of six kids of whom the three youngest girls are still at home. Wages must be reasonably high in Canada, as Steve talks of a 17 year old daughter who is studying to be a Legal Secretary, and will earn about $800 a month when qualified; while Unemployment Insurance yields $100 a week. Taxes are cheaper and food is not any dearer than Australia, but it costs $2.50 for a hair cut in a Union Shop - about half that amount if you are prepared to scab, and go to a non-Union Shop.

While Vancouver (Steve's home town) is reasonable as to Winter climate, it still sports Chair Lifts and a Ski Run within twenty minutes of the City, and a glacier 50 miles away; but if you really want the cold weather, Steve suggests a trip to the Prairie Provinces where the mercury drops to 75 degrees below Zero (F) - even in Ontario the car tyres freeze overnight, and attempting to drive with a flat side on each tyre is not pleasant. All in all, Australia seems to be a lot warmer than Canada, but the Kirton's appear to enjoy it, and Steve seems to be able to keep the wolf from the door.

Steve sent best wishes to us all, and in particular to Doc Wilson, Don Devey and Val Henning; and advised that there is a Welcome Mat and plenty of palm oil and rice for any of the mob who happen to be passing through Canada and call on him.


There must be many ways of getting information out of our Members, but one of the best I have found is to pounce on them when they are pinned down in the R.G.H. Concord and can't move - may .be the poor unfortunate wretches reckon that it's better to say something; and get rid of me. In my records, Bob Skinner (HQ Coy) was a mere stripling of 69 - but that was his Army age (he had to sign a declaration that he was under40 when he enlisted) The whole truth is that Bob will be 75 on 15th October next, and that puts him in No.1 position in the Age Stakes - he was even older than B.J. Sorry, George, Len and Arthur (May/Jun MAKAN) but you each have to move back one place. Incidentally, Bob is not the absolute best - who would expect him to be at that age but I reckon they'll have to take an axe to him if they want to immobilise him completely.


Doug McLaggan (HQ Coy) sprang an extra bit of Subs in Advance, but his covering letter from East Lindfield didn't contain much news beyond the fact that he is working "at a ridiculous level of pressure"; so he must be O.K., or he would surely have made some remark about his health.


Phil Higgins (A Coy) wrote in from Marrickville seeking some information (about which we were not able to be very helpful) and he didn't include any personal details beyond the information that he gets a bit of a Pension. At least we know he's alive.



More extracts from Alan Penfold's Diary:

1944: Following the move into the Gaol Area comes a new era in open air concerts in the courtyard. Capacity crowds (own seats or standing room) welcomed a new artist here – an R.A.F. man - Billy Williams, who-just sits at the piano and, to his own accompaniment, turns on a very popular session. A pleasing baritone, he has a knack of selecting all of those sentimental tunes so, dear to the hearts of all - "On My Return", "Room 504", "The White Cliffs of Dover" ("Paper Doll" was one of my favourites - Ed.) Other pepped-up numbers in his extensive repertoire included that red-hot favourite "Minnie the Moocher", "Just Kickin' the Tin Around". The crowd joins in these sessions, and are loth to let him leave the stage.

FOOTNOTE: Do you remember the old piano which we had in our Hut, on which a Pommy Technician worked, distributing the remaining strings more or less evenly over the frame and tuning it so that it at least gave some sound for every note, and which we cursed when we had to lump it around to a Church Service, or some such. Since piano playing was the Ed's favourite fruit he managed to persuade Billy Williams to give a few impromptu sessions in the hut, during the course of which Billy did some work on the music for the Show "Music Through the Years", a musical extravaganza which was subsequently produced. Billy Williams supplied the melodies for the whole of the music for that Show, which covered 40 years of popular tunes, and Bill Middleton - Band, BHQ - orchestrated the lot. - Ed.


Sunday Night, July 1944: Changi Gaol: Concert platform in Gaol Yard with Bill Middleton's Band - an augmented Concert Party Band of about 24 performers, mostly brass and reeds, and a great asset to the Camp. He (Bill) getting great experience with such a good combination of good musicians under him. Included are several good soloists - saxophone, Reg Arnell; Kelly the Yank, trombone player; and the trumpeters and banjo player. The bass player has an instrument made in Camp by Les Melrose (HQ Coy), which stands about 6' high and has a fine tone and finish. The drummer has an excellent set, and Major Orr, the Eye Specialist plays a wicked flute.

Bill Middleton composes too, and one of his most successful pieces is a March dedicated to and named "Black Jack". Of the many pieces rendered, some of the very popular ones are: "Poet and Peasant!', "Wearin' of the Green"", "Swingtime Medley", "Great Little Army", "Rienzi", "Baltimore March", "Merry Widow" and "Firefly".

A great crowd attends in the Gaol Yard and, incidentally gladdens Padre Barrett's heart, for he conducts his Church Service in the same Yard and does not finish till well after 8 o'clock; so he has a large audience for his sermon. Whether they listen we know not, but the Padre takes full advantage of the crowd, and uses his voice to reach them.

Darby Young remembers: Malaya, April 1943, "F" Force train on the way up, standing alongside a trainload of Indian civilians. Indian boy about 10 and Indian girl about 16 studying the boys from opposite windows:

Crummy (cockily) to Indian girl: "That your brother?". Indian girl (coolly superior) to Crummy: "Oh! No! They're poor people". Crummy (softly to Young): "She must be the money bags". Young to Indian girl: "So, you speak English?". Indian girl (calmly and self assured) to Young: "Oh yes! I speak seven languages". End of conversation - Young and Crummy deflated and speechless.


Darby also remembers the night before our original Guards (the Front-Liners) were to leave Caldecott Estate - presumably for places South - immediately-before the Singapore Walkabout: The big Jap, Kijo, buying sweets for all and sundry and walking all over the place with tears streaming down his face in genuine distress at being detached from the Aussies, for whom he had apparently developed a deep affection.


When people disagree with me, my argument's not strong.
I grant their sacred right to be hot-headed, blind and wrong!

Anita Dormick.



Girls! Please take notice that the Christmas Party will be held on:

THURSDAY, 16th DECEMBER at 3.00 p.m. at INDIAN TEA CENTRE, 176 Pitt St., SYDNEY

So that Mrs. Marguerite Jenkins can complete arrangements., please 'phone her or write to her at MOSMAN and let her know that you will be attending. It is important that she should have a fairly early indication of the number of people likely to be present, as she has a lot of arrangements to conclude.


(please detach this, complete it, and send it to Bob Jack promptly)


To be held at 6.30 p.m. at ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVAL HOUSE 32 Grosvenor St., SYDNEY on SATURDAY, 20th NOVEMBER,1971

I will be attending this function, and enclose ADMISSION CHARGE: $5.00

(Block Letters Please)

To Mr. Bob Jack, Box 18, P.O., BROOKVALE. 2100


PAINTS: Joe (M.R.) Geoghegan


Provided everything goes according-to plan, your Editor  (Phil SCHOFIELD) expects to be making a trip to Queensland about mid-October, proceeding by the New England Highway, and returning down the. Pacific Highway about the end of the first week in November. He expects to be able to see some of you on the way through, and is currently endeavouring to tee up a bit of a Get-together one night at a convenient spot on the Far North Coast. It would be good to get some first hand news. of a few of you for the next issue of MAKAN.


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