Makan No. 199
OFFICIAL JOURNAL 2/30 Bn. A. I. F. ASSOCIATION
Annual Sub: $1.50
GEMAS DAY 1972
Although the day initially gave some prospects of keeping fine, the rain started again at 2.00 p.m. and continued throughout the afternoon. Fortunately, that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of 40 Members of the Battalion and over 60 Next-of-Kin, wives, children and friends who were easily accommodated in the Drill Hall, with roll-up doors, which faced the Parade Ground and the Memorial.
By 3.00 p.m. the rain had eased to a drizzle, and it was decided to hold the Ceremony, with the slight modification that only the Floral Tribute Bearers formed up with the Members of the Battalion on the Parade Ground for the actual Ceremony; and the balance of the Assembly formed up, but remained under cover in the Drill Hall, at which point they were in full view of, and about 40 yards distant from the Memorial. Neither the rain nor the altered formation detracted from the solemnity of the simple but impressive Commemoration when we remembered as a Family all those who did not return, and those who have since answered the call.
As may have been expected, the request for Groups to bring with them a little something for Afternoon Tea met with such an overwhelming response that the tables fairly groaned with food, and quite a lot remained at the end of the afternoon; and it was evident, from the lively buzz of conversation, that the Get Together was a complete success. Tea and coffee making was handled most capably by D. Coy, with Reg Napper in command, and it was noticed at one stage that he had his Captain working for him. While it is not possible to mention all those who were present, it was pleasing to note some representatives of 2/15th Field Regiment amongst the Assembly, including Des Makepeace (who was with us at Gemas) and his wife.
Unfortunately, last minute absences precluded the attendance of the Band, but the sincere thanks and appreciation of the Executive are extended to Colonel Southwell (C.O. 17 R.N.S.W.R), Major Faulks (2 i/c) Lieut Cook (O.C. A. Coy) Capt Anderson (Adjt) and the personnel comprising the Catafalque Party, Flag Detail and Bugler, all of whom made possible the Commemoration, and a most enjoyable Family Get-Together. The success of the event, on a day when the weather was so unkind, surely establishes it as a Family Gathering of the Year for future occasions - one that we can all look forward to with pleasurable anticipation.
PURPLE AND GOLD CHRISTMAS PARTY
Mrs Marguerite Junkins, the stalwart of the Purple and Gold Club has sent in the following report:
The Purple and Gold Christmas Party was held at the Indian Tea Centre on the afternoon of December 16th. The day dawned with heavy rain, winds and no busses - the Strike was on. However, 26 attended and a happy atmosphere prevailed at a very pleasant Party, which was enjoyed by everyone. Lady Galleghan was the Guest of Honour, and Marguerite Jenkins was Hostess; and each Guest received the gift of a coat hanger. Lady Galleghan donated the cake, which was beautifully iced with the Battalion colours, and was quite a feature.
Amongst those who attended were Mrs. George Ramsay, wife of our Patron, Colonel George Ramsay E.D., Mesdames Ellis, Boss, Pryde, Morrison, W. Mitchell, M. Mitchell, Collett, Hendy, Hendry, Parrish, Nossiter, Overett, Taylor, Grossmith and Wallis. Apologies were received from Lonie Musgrave, Daphne Thorburn, Janet Johnston, Val Friend and Elaine Booth, from whom a congratulatory telegram was received.
An unexpected surprise occurred at the conclusion of a lovely Party when Mrs. Ramsay announced that the Patron would defray expenses for the Christmas Party; for which we thank him most sincerely.
THE HUNTLEY WALKABOUT
Writing from Port Macquarie on 24th October last, Neil Huntley (B Coy), whom it is hard to get to drop even a short note with any news value, let his head go and probably got writers cramp; but he sent in a most interesting account of the trip in Northern Australia which he and Mollie recently completed. Lack of space precluded publication in last issue, but as their wanderings could be of extreme interest to other prospective Walkabouters, Neil's account is published in full in this issue.
No doubt you have heard something of our movements through Len and Honey Barnes ( July/Aug MAKAN reporting on the assault of Mount Bartle Frere). Our stay with them was one of the highlights of our tour, they were so good to us. So pleased to read that they are well on the way to doing very well indeed, with the sale of young coconut palms. They deserve this, as they have both worked hard, and now have a delightful place to live in. We are expecting them to call in and stay with us on their return from the wedding of their youngest daughter.
We had a most enjoyable and interesting journey, travelling over 13,500 miles in 15 weeks - we really needed six months. Our route North of here: Kyogle, then into Qld, where we had our first Camp in the shadow of Mount Huntley, and nearby Mt. Neilson (which is my name - what a coincidence!). Then North of Roma to Carnarvon Gorge, a beautiful spot - must have been a lovely spot for our Aboriginals - permanent water, plenty of game, and shelter in the many caves and overhangs in the sandstone hills, many of which contained Native paintings and carvings. Then back to the Coast at Gladstone, and on to Mossman, stopping a few days here and there (notably of course, Plantation Chinta). We looked around the Atherton Tablelands, then across to Normanton, Karumba, Cloncurry, Mount Isa, Camooweal, and called at Rocklands Station, which an Uncle of mine managed many years ago (the old stone home is still there) area 7,000 sq. miles, partly in Qld and extending into the N.T. - lovely cattle country. Then from Dalmore Downs we took a beef road to Borroloola, passing through Brunette Downs en route. This road is a perfect stretch of bitumen, 12 ft. wide, and due respect, of course, is given to Road Trains - in some cases, the Prime Mover and three Dogs (trailers to us). They carry up to 120 head of cattle, and a convoy of three or four is really something to see. From Borroloola to Daly Waters, Katherine Gorge, Pine Creek, to East Alligator River on the border of Arnhem Land. A fascinating place with hundreds of buffalo roaming wild through the swamp lands, plus water birds in thousands. We spent some days up there, again finding even more interesting Aboriginal paintings, and talking to some of the characters, (white) who live in that part of the World. Most Natives we saw were Full Bloods, with their Tribal Markings, and two front teeth knocked out.
From there to Darwin via Humpty Doo, then Kununurra, Ord River, Wyndham, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Guke Gorge, Derby, and to Broome and Port Hedland. The activity there was rather frightening to we oldies: new Railways and Ports being developed, plus the huge Salt Works. Port Hedland is the base for Mt. Newman and Goldsworthy mines. Ports are being developed to take 300,000 ton ships, fed by trains up to 12 miles long carrying 20,000 tons of iron ore. The permanent way is a Railway Engineer's dream, with 130lb rails to the yard.
From Port Hedland we went on to Dales Gorge, Mount Bruce, Wittenoom Gorge, Mount Tom Price (Hamersley Iron), and then followed the Railway Line to Dampier; where we stayed at Karratha Station managed by a friend for Hamersley (who own it). We went fishing out of Dampier into the Indian Ocean, and I at last caught some good fish - up to 35 lbs. From Dampier, we had intended going to Laverton, Warburton Mission, The Olgas, Ayers Rock, but owing to a lot of red tape a necessary permit to travel on this route did not arrive in time; so, regretfully, we back tracked part of the way to Halls Creek, seeing the Leopold Ranges, Winjama Gorge, Tunnel Creek, Halls Creek, Billilura, Tamami Desert Granites to Alice Springs.
There we had some mechanical trouble (our first), and then 2˝" of rain. We were not able to get to Ayers Rock in the time we had left, as we had to reach Broken Hill by a certain time. So we went from Alice to Boulia, Qld, Bedourie, Lockatunga in the Channel Country; and it looked a Picture due to flood rains. Back into N.S.W. at the Warri Gate, . then Tibooburra, Broken Hill, Menindee, Booligal, Wagga and Home.
Our vehicle was a long wheel base 6 cylinder Land rover which, except for minor troubles, performed well. We could carry 40 gals petrol if necessary, ample water and all our foodstuffs, cooking gear, and even my old Camp Oven. We slept in the Rover whenever possible - a comfortable 6'x5' mattress made up all the time. Gear could be packed under, and some on it; and we became very expert in packing and unpacking when a good camping place was found - usually a mile or two away from a road. No punctures or broken windscreens - lucky in that respect, as some of the roads were literally crystal highways. However, we went off the beaten track whenever possible, and some were truly 4 wheel drive only. The weather was mainly good, but it did rain in places where it never rains at this time of the year. Days were mostly warm - up to 95 degrees around Broome, and all this in July - good drinking weather. Nights were quite cold, that is comparatively, down to 34 degrees inland and highlands, well within the Tropic. I know we went past places where many of our friends lived, but to our regret, we did not have the time to stop and see them - next trip we will have more time.
BATTALION BOWLS AFTERNOON
If the response warrants it, Jack Maclay (who is President of Rydalmere Central Bowling Club) and John Kreckler are prepared to organise a Bowls Afternoon for Battalion Members. Should the proposed event prove successful, and dependent upon the opinion of those present at the proposed event, consideration will be given to the organising and the holding of an Annual Black Jack Memorial Bowls Day, which would be open to all Members of the Eighth Division, the main trophy being of a simple nature, largely of sentimental value. Particulars of the event now proposed are as follows:
PLACE Rydalmere Central Bowling Club
LOCATION OF CLUB Park Road, Rydalmere. If coming from East (Ryde): Turn Left off Victoria Rd. at the Family Hotel. Club is in the Park, on your Right. If coming from West (Parramatta): Turn Right at the Family Hotel. Victoria Rd. runs from White Bay through to Parramatta.
PHONES Those interested in the event, please contact either of the Organisers by 'phone as soon as you possibly can, as there is a bit of preparatory work to be done to get matters ticking.
SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR MAKAN
To all those who answered promptly, thank you so much for your continued interest in our affairs. But lack of response on the part of many others to the Circular enclosed with the Nov/Dee issue of MAKAN has been somewhat disappointing; and a further appeal is now made to all those who have not yet replied, to do so promptly.
In order to enable me to complete our records, satisfy the requirements of our Auditors, and establish a precise circulation figure for MAKAN, it is essential that I receive a reply to the Circular sent to those Life Members who had made a prior Donation, and those Ordinary Members who had previously paid amounts in excess of their Membership Fees; all of whom were given the opportunity to elect to have the respective amounts applied as Subs in Advance, or treated as a Donation. As I am being held up, and very inconvenienced by lack of receipt of replies, a further copy of the respective Circular is enclosed to all the Members concerned, and I would appreciate a prompt reply from those who receive it.
A further copy of the applicable Circular is also enclosed to the balance of the Ordinary and Life Members who have not yet paid their Subs for 1972. I would also ask for a prompt return of the Circular, from all who receive it (with a remittance of :- $2.00 for Ordinary Members and $1.50 for Life Members enclosed) so that I can establish the circulation figure for MAKAN; and proceed to registration for Posting as a Periodical, when Postage costs will drop from the present 7c to 1c per copy. This cannot be achieved until I can produce to the P.M.G. Inspector, Receipt Butts for Subs actually paid by, in our particular case, almost 100% of our Members.
I have no doubt that all of you will eventually send in your Subs, but, on this one special occasion, I would like you to do it by return mail, and put me out of my misery. If you are too busy, how about tossing the Circular over to the wife or girl friend or child, and get her to do it for you? It is appreciated that many of you may have been away on holidays, but you should be back by now, and even though broke, or badly bent, a further couple of dollars is not likely to bring the Bailiff in.
Receipts are enclosed to 150 of you who have sent in Subs and Donations
since Mid-December. Thanks for your ready response.
Leonard Percy Dawson (HQ Coy): He died suddenly at his home at Narrabeen, as the result of a heart attack, on Monday, 24th January last, at the age of 71 years. Although Len had not been the best of late, respiratory trouble had been his main concern, with little or no worry being occasioned by his heart condition and it came as a shock to us all to learn of his sudden passing.
Born in England in 1900, Len enlisted in the First World War, and was serving in the Front Line in France at the age of 17 years. After the War, he came out to Australia and settled in New South Wales, subsequently marrying Beatrice who was at that time a widow with two children, Edie and Sid. In 1930 twin daughters, Pam and Eileen, were born, and as all their children had married, Len and Beatrice were firm runners in the Grandpa Stakes with 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren - Len had in fact remarked that by the time he reached his 72nd birthday (in May next) he would probably have 4 great-grandchildren. Len was also well placed in the Age Stakes, holding fourth place, after Bob Skinner, Len Lansdown and George Ramsay.
One of the Battalion identities (affectionately known as Gobble Gobble) Len was at Tamworth on our formation, and was appointed C.S.M. of H.Q. Coy. The Senior C.S.M. of the Unit (both by appointment and confirmation of rank), Len retained that position throughout his service. He was on several Work Parties during P.O.W. days, including "F" Force on the Railway, where he had more than his share of the prevailing illnesses. After the War and until his retirement some seven years ago, Len was with the P. & 0. Shipping Line.
A lover of Army tradition and a student of form, ceremony and protocol, Len was naturally a stern disciplinarian and somewhat of a perfectionist, but one who was ever willing to lend a helping hand, and his advice and assistance were always readily available to all who sought it. A staunch friend and a great family man, Len devoted his time following his retirement to his family and his garden which, with its orderly tidiness truly reflected his personality.
At his Cremation Service on 26th January, we were represented by our Patron Col. George Ramsay E.D., President Arch Thorburn, Vice-President Bob Jack, Noel Johnston, Jack Black, Joe Geoghegan, Les Hall, Alan Pryde, Dick Tompson and Phil. Schofield; and we were joined by Lady Galleghan and Mrs. Chub Ramsay.
Our deepest sympathy is extended to Beatrice, her children and their families, whose sad loss we share.
We also mourn with Ron Eaton (BHQ), his sister Pam, (wife of John Haskins - HQ Coy) and their families, the loss of their father, Reginald Warr Eaton, who died suddenly on 30th December last, in his 77th year.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
Kevin Ward reports the state as at 2/2/72:
Discharged since last MAKAN:
WIVES: If you have to call in a Doctor for your husband in an emergency (particularly where he is a Locum, or someone who is not fully acquainted with your husband's general condition) and the Doctor orders Hospitalisation:- No matter what sort of complaint from which your man is suffering, please inform the Doctor, very strongly if necessary, that in your opinion his complaint is attributable to his War Service, and he is to be sent to R.G.H. Concord ONLY. You should also complete for the Doctor the Repat. Dept. docket showing his attendance on your husband. Despite the Doctor's firm opinion on the matter, please inform him that it is Repat. prerogative ALONE to decide whether your man shall, or shall not be admitted and, in due course, whether his current illness is attributable to his War Service. If you have any difficulties, show the Doctor this paragraph, or telephone Phil Schofield, or, better still, have the Doctor do the 'phoning (no matter what the hour, day or night), but do it before the Ambulance arrives. There have been some cases lately where, either through obstinacy or well meaning intention, our men have been sent to the nearest local Hospital, and this should not be done as a matter of course.
NEWS, VIEWS AND WHOS WHOS
As promised in last issue, vital statistics of some of the 70 members who were at the Reunion Dinner are continued and a correction requires to be made to restore the equilibrium in the Penfold House. For some unaccountable reason, in last issue of MAKAN, Alan was teamed up with a "Beatrice" in lieu of Marjorie (a mistake which Vi discovered after MAKAN had been produced); for which error I can only offer my apologies.
Another correction requires to be made, for which I am not prepared to take the whole of the blame. Before I took over Editorship of MAKAN, paragraphs appeared at regular intervals noting that Lloyd Stuart's (D Coy) mother had sent his Subs in, and I admit to having repeated the offence (May/June MAKAN). At the Dinner, Lloyd corrected the position by informing me that he was in fact married, and Phyl, his wife, was the Sub-sender-in. He works with the City Council, Cleansing Dept., still plays golf, and has his ups and downs, but is generally O.K., and meekly in response to an enquiry said, having no children, their family consisted of one dog. My apologies, Phyl, and an assurance it won't occur again.
Johnnie Parsons (C Coy) still retains his youthful look, even though he and Joy have a daughter who is married. Son, Lyndon, who was knocked around quite a bit in a car accident some 12 months ago, is now mobile - with the aid of a stick. Johnnie sells Assurance for a living, in opposition to Ron Maston, as an Agent with the A.M.P. Society.
Another youngster is Bruce Upcroft (D Coy) who, after some good Interstate appointments, continues to progress in the service of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation, where he is currently an Inspector with the Commonwealth Development Bank, Head Office. He professes to being fit (and looks it) and he and Jo have one daughter only, aged 16, and still at P.L.C., Pymble. It was noticed that she obtained 7 A’s in the recent School Certificate which obviously means that the child inherited her brains from Jo’s side of the family.
Ron McBurney (A Coy) continues as fit as he looks, and is back in uniform with his current job of Station Sergeant at Ashfield Police Station. He and Enid have only one son (Philip - Navy type, whom Big Mac will be saluting in the near future) and Stan Arneil reckoned that as Mac had closed down the Ashfield Station for the night so that he could attend the Dinner, it would be a good time to rob a Bank or two in the area. Stan was also urging all and sundry to get into Parliament, so that we could get Mac appointed Commissioner of Police.
Jackie Martin (C Coy) doesn't seem to have put on very much condition since he returned, but professes to being O.K. He has no family, and unfortunately lost his wife, Marie, in 1963. Jackie works with Riker Laboratories Aust Pty., Ltd.
Doug McKinnon (HQ Coy) was there, admitting to this being the first Reunion Dinner he had been able to attend, and looking very fit. He and Olive have a family of one boy and four girls of whom the two eldest girls are currently on Walkabout Overseas, with the remaining three children still at School. Your Editor's notes show Doug's occupation as Customs Dept, and that raises a query, as his address appears in our records as Upper Orara, which seems to be quite a distance from the Customs Dept in Sydney. Are our records straight, Doug?
Ron Ollis (HQ Coy) was looking bright and cheerful - he probably peps himself up with his Company's products - he works for the Nicholas Aspro Combine. He and Leslye (popularly known as Red) have three girls in the family, ranging from 23 to 18, one of whom is doing Speech Therapy.
Alan Pryde (BHQ) looks as fit as a fiddle, and affirms that he is, but probably can't see much better than your Scribe. With no children, he and Betty are not starters in the Grandpa Stakes and as o/i/c Probation and Parole Service North of the Parramatta to River, Alan has plenty to do to occupy his work time.
Sid Stephens (HQ Coy) was down from Maitland, looking very fit. He and Jean have no children, so can't contemplate entry in the Grandpa Stakes. Sid works as a linesman with the P.M.G. Dept.
Geoff Alcock (B Coy) manages to keep himself reasonably fit and busy looking after his Drapery Emporium at Pennant Hills. He and Val have three girls and two boys in the family, ranging from the eldest girl, who is married - no family as yet - to a boy at High School and a girl at Primary School. In between, a boy (22) is doing a Laboratory Technicians course at Tech. and North Ryde Hospital, and a girl (19) has just returned from an eight months working holiday in New Zealand. A keen Churchgoer Geoff still teaches at Sunday School, though he reckons that it is about time he gave it away.
Nugent Geikie (B Coy) has certainly put on weight since Changi days, and seems to have made a good recovery from a serious bout of this and that, which had everyone very worried a while back. He and Olga (who will be remembered as the originator of the idea of our Bathurst Cairn Memorial) have one daughter, who was married just recently. With a bit of help from Olga, Geik runs an Emporium at Hunters Hill, which seems to be doing O.K., as well as keeping him occupied.
Gordon McKnight (HQ Coy) perhaps looks a bit older, but he hasn't put on very much weight, and looks very fit. He looks after a Garage at Dural, but manages to be able to find the time to do plenty of tripping around; when he takes the opportunity of looking up old mates - he even got down as far as Ootha and saw Jack Ellis (HQ, Coy) fairly recently. He and Nancy have one boy and one girl in the family, neither of whom is yet married, with the girl currently on Walkabout Overseas - in England just now.
Another who hasn't spread over much, but certainly looks fit, is Eric Arps (A Coy) who occupies his time rather fully as a Production Controller with an Engineering Company. He and Rhona have one boy only in the family, who expects to finish this year and qualify as an Architect.
Harry Abrahams (A Coy) and Joan have one boy and three girls in the family, none of whom is yet married. Hurry looks as fit as a bull - and a bit like one in size - and keeps himself busy as Manager of the Mercantile Bond and Free Stores.
Darby Young (HQ Coy) no longer cuts hair, even as a hobby, and reckons he is kept busy enough as Senior Accounts Inspector at the Forestry Commission Head Office. He keeps reasonably fit, and he and Merle have one boy who shot off Overseas in January, via Singapore and K.L., where he caught up with some of Darby's Malayan friends and had a whale of a time. The other member of the family, a girl, is married, and has produced two grandsons for the Young's.
Wally Scott (A Coy) was up from the Illawarra, looking reasonably fit, but probably not quite as good as he professes. For an occupation, he slaps paint all over the joint, in the Wollongong area, and seems to earn a reasonable crust as a result. He and Angela have two girls (21 and 20) in the family - neither yet married.
Jimmy Strang (C Coy) and Marjorie have a family consisting of one boy (21) who is doing Chemical Engineering, and one girl at the tender age of 10, who is still at Primary School. As the Principal Agronomist at the Dept of Agriculture, Head Office, which also involves him as Chairman of the Noxious Plants Committee, Jimmy is kept pretty busy; but reckons that he gets by healthwise - despite that busted wing of his.
Bruce Ford (D Coy) decided to opt out of the Bank at an earlier than usual retiring age so that he could take charge of the Conveyancing section of a large Legal Firm. He and Betty have a family of three boys and two girls - none married - with a couple of the youngest (10 and 7) still at Primary School, while one boy is a School Teacher at Wagga. He is still the same Bruce of Army days, and keeps reasonably fit.
Doc Wilson (A Coy) doesn't seem to have changed much, and if you want anything in the Abrasives line, you are sure to get it by visiting Doc at Naxos Products in Sussex Street, where he slings his weight around, and receives a certain amount of respect, He and Clover have three boys and one girl in the family, none of whom is yet married.
Kevin Ward (A Coy) and Dorothy have two girls and two boys, with one of the girls engaged to be married. Although about half blind, and seriously hampered by a crook leg, Kevin manages our Hospital Visitation, and occupies himself as Queen of the Girls (Switchboard Operators) at the Sydney Tech. He's not exactly 100%, but you never hear any complaints from him.
Dinny Lane (C Coy) sold out of the Newsagency Business over 12 months ago and either got tired of tripping around (Cape York Peninsular was one of them) or got in Kathleen's way around the joint so much that he decided to get a job; and he now works at Tooheys Brewery - strangely enough he doesn't drink the stuff. He professes to being very fit, and looks it, and he and Kathleen have a family of two boys and three girls - none married as yet.
Frank Purvis (B Coy) was there, smelling of Printers' Ink. He reckons that if he gave up, Sir Frank Packer would find it hard to get his printing done. He appeared to be as fit as a fiddle and he and Ruth have a family of two boys and two girls, with one of the girls married.
The other Frank, Frank Sullivan (B Coy) reckons he is a shade ahead of his cobber in the Grandpa Stakes, as he and Olga have two boys in the family, one of whom is married; and the boy's wife is definitely clucky. Frank keeps well, and manages to do well enough to knock a living out of the Building Game.
Jack Black (HQ Coy) keeps well enough, and seems to have a reasonable sort of a job as Press Officer at the Head Office of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation. He and Lorraine have a family of two boys and one girl. From the look of some of his work, it would appear that photography is one of his hobbies; and Changi Aspinall had better start looking to his laurels.
Black Prince Charlie - Athol Charlesworth (D Coy) came all the way down from the Blue Mountains, looking very fit; though he possibly couldn't kick a football 65 yards these days. He and Thelma run a Private Hospital at Leura, and have a family of one boy, and one girl who is married.
Jack Boss (HQ Coy) has his ups and downs with his heart, and often doesn't rate much sympathy as he looks more or less O.K. He still manages to work, pushing Office Systems and Supplies on to an apparently eager Public; and he and Cecilie have a family of two girls and one boy. One of the girls married just recently, so our Bessie Ellis can start looking forward to being a great-grandmother in due course.
Sid Musgrove (D Coy) looks remarkably fit, and much the same as of yore. He is the Greenkeeper at the Warrawee Bowling Club, and he and Rita have two girls in the family - a bit too young to be married as yet.
Keith Broughton (BHQ) and Joan are old enough to have their family of one girl married off, and to be grandparents of some 3 months standing. Keith looks as dapper as ever, and must be O.K., as he still drives Taxis.
Walter (Darkie) Douglas (D Coy) definitely has his ups and bad downs, and he suffers, much worse, from the same eye complaint as your Scribe. He was unfortunate enough to lose his wife some years ago, and occupies a nice sort of a home at Bexley. If anyone happened to know of someone who wanted accommodation in return for looking after the joint and Walter, we might be able to do something about it. It is suggested that anyone interested should make enquiries of the Editor.
Fred Johnston (B Coy) has been at Prouds so long that he is now a part of the joint. He hasn't increased much in stature since Army days, though he has put on a little weight, and he avers he is fit enough. He and Jean have managed to rear two girls and three boys. Both girls are married, but there are no grandchildren to date.
You got the news of Denis Garland (B Coy) in the May/June MAKAN. The only information lacking was that his wife, Molly, still manages to put up with him.
Although Len and Pam Hendy (D Coy) have received some mention of late, full vital statistics have not been published. Their family runs to one girl (married with one child). and two boys, one of whom is married. Len has put on a bit of weight (but then he needed to - he was only a boy in Army days) but declares he is O.K. Since giving away Steel Merchandising, Len has become an Estate Agent, and reckons that it is a satisfactory way to earn a crust.
The Black Prince - Des Kearney (B Coy) still sports his bushy moustache and looks very fit. You name it, and if there is any chance of selling it, Des will bring it into the Country and sell it through his Importing Business. He and Thelma have a family of one boy and two girls, and though the eldest appears to be 25, I don't have any record of any marriages to date. Incidentally, Des subsequently sent in a photo of the grave of Ted (E.G.L.) Gill – B. Coy, K.I.A. 9/2/42 - which he had taken when visiting Kranji some time ago. He has not been able to trace Ted's parents, who used to live at Glebe. Should anyone happen to know of their whereabouts, please let me know, and I will make contact with them.
Not satisfied with having spent quite a time on study following his return (I won’t embarrass him by quoting the long list of Degrees he has obtained) Ron Chipps (C Coy) seems to have encouraged the family of two boys and two girls, which he and Florence have raised, to go and do likewise. Son No.1 is in 3rd Year at Moore Theological College, and has recently married; son No.2 is in Fifth Form at School. Daughter No.1 is a Biochemist, and is married; and daughter No. 2 is in 3rd Year Med. at the Uni. With that line up from his brother and sisters what chance has a poor boy in Fifth Form got? Having spent most of his time since the War in Legacy, Ron was selected by B. J. to take over the mantle of the important Committee which B.J. headed in Legacy until his retirement, 6 years ago, which was certainly a compliment to Ron - he still holds the position. After some years in the Architectural and Engineering Fields, Ron is taking things a bit easier these days as Property Manager of Consolidated Goldfields; and he surveys the passing scene on the Harbour from his Office on the 23rd Floor. He must be fit - which he looks - as he didn't complain about his health.
Dutchy Holland (B Coy) still manages his cheerful disposition, and he's O.K. He and Rita have a family of only one son, who is a keen footballer with Parramatta, is married; and the Holland’s have two grandchildren. On the basis of: If you can't lick 'em, join 'em, Dutchy works with a Sydney Steel Company, which is joined with Nippon Steel in building the Kaiser Factory at Gladstone, Q.
Des Duffy (B Coy) looks more or less O.K., but he is no longer the Mum Duffy who galloped B. Coy all over the countryside at Bathurst, and elsewhere for that matter, so that they were always first in from those marathon hikes we did. With one eye gone and finding it necessary to support his shaky pins with a stick, plus a few other odds and ends, he still manages to be able to show a cheerful disposition and take an interest in all manner of things in general. Having continued on in the Army after the War, Des retired a while back as a Full Colonel, and he manages to turn up at all our functions. He and Ivy have one son, Warwick (whom many of us have met at various of our Do's), who is employed in the Finance Section of the Dept. of Civil Aviation.
From Tamworth, from Mrs. Helen Bell. (mother of Wally - A Coy - who died on the Railway Job) we received some appreciative remarks concerning MAKAN, and she included a nice Donation to help the Publication along. We have often repeated that we do not expect Donations from Next-of-Kin, but we are truly appreciative of generosity of this nature. Mrs. Bell has not been the best of late, having suffered a coronary last March, so she has to take things rather quietly. She sent her best wishes to all of Wally's mates.
Writing from Harlaxton, Q. Harry Hartnett's (HQ Coy) wife sent Seasonal Greetings on his behalf to all his mates. Harry has not been so well of late, and his poor sight has reduced him to the white walking stick stage. Fortunately, there is a good T.P.I. Association close by, and he is able to spend quite a bit of time with friends he has made there.
Our Grafton Correspondent, Harry Rhodes (B Coy) did the right thing, and sent in a newsy report:
On 20th November last the Northern Rivers Branch N.S.W. Ex-P.O.W's held their Annual Reunion Dinner at Grafton. Included amongst the 101 present were John and Dulcie Korsch, Harry and Ethel Rhodes, Jack and Gloria Newton, Jack and Iris Collins, Fred and Jean Winters, Bob and Vera Newman, Joe and Norma Veivers, Ken and Dot McLean, Arthur and Joyce Roberts, Artie and Nancy Power and Alf Carroll. Included amongst the visitors were a large number of 8 Div Sigs, and many a tall story was told. John Korsch is President and I am Secretary/Treasurer of the Northern Rivers Branch.
Yesterday I saw Neil Sellers with his hand bound up, and upon enquiring what happened he said: "You won’t believe this, but I got cranky with one of my cows, and gave her a punch on the face with a result: one broken finger". To make matters worse, it is the little finger on the hand where he was wounded. At least he can joke about it, and he looks very fit.
By the way, Alan and Daphne McPherson of Yamba are 100%. Alan has taken to the game of golf, and throughout the year he has won quite a few trophies.
Bob Newman, Jack Newton, Artie Power and myself are bowlers. Three years ago I won the South Grafton Bowling Club B Grade Singles Championship, and hope to win the A Grade Singles in 1972. Fred Winters and Arthur Roberts still play Cricket. Harry sent Seasonal Greetings to all.
Thanks, Harry, for your Report, and your Greetings.
Althea Fraser (widow of Curly - B Coy) was down with Joe Johnston and his team, acting as a chaperone for the children of Far North Coast Members of the R.S.L., on an Exchange Visit to the City. Althea lives at Bonalbo, and advised that she and her family were well. Her son (23) was married on 29/1/72, but her daughter (19) hasn't reached that stage yet.
Harry Teasdale (D Coy) sent in his Subs from Lismore, and enclosed a couple of cuttings from the Local Papers showing Jack Korn flat out in the swimming race (Nov/Dec MAKAN) and Wally (Starver) Jones pictured as a Swansea Clothing Manufacturer who wanted to know why he cannot use a mild form of booby trap to end the series of robberies that have cost him more than $20, 000 since 1946. He didn't want anything particularly nasty - just something to immobilise them until the police could get to the scene.
If anyone has happened to notice Bob Gibbs (A Coy) strutting in fine style around Turrawan and Narrabri like a pouter pigeon (he has been doing it since last October) it can be explained by the fact that his daughter, Berice (19) was crowned Princess for the Year at the Narrabri Festival, held during the long weekend in October. Thelma sent in Bob's Subs, and enclosed a photo of Berice from the Australian Post a beautiful teenager of whom anyone could be extremely proud. Thelma also advised that Bob is well, still lives on the land at Turrawan, and that they are also the proud possessors of an older daughter, who is married and has an 18 months old son. Our congrats to the Gibbs.
Obviously due to the efforts of Betty, who signed the cheque which was enclosed, added some comments and stood over him, Bob Wells (D Coy) put pen to paper, and sent in his Subs from Gresford to keep him in advance. He wrote:
It seems there is a chance I will live another three years at least, so - Life treats me quite well still - very fit - wife claims too fit - latest addition just gone three. Working two farms now, instead of one. Have to, to keep the kids board up at School, and feed their mother and the remainder at home. (A marginal note by Betty said "Don't men love to boast?"). Some news of others from this area: See Clive Bates (D Coy) from Branxton at District Council Meetings from time to time. Dal Oldknow (D Coy) lives at Singleton still, but I don't see him very often. He does a very good job over there with a Church Boys Group. Arthur Purdon (BHQ) retired in Maitland, and didn't look at all well last time I saw him. Jimmy McGoldrick (D Coy) was stationed at Lostock Dam during Construction (he is with the Water Conservation and Irrigation Comm. as an Inspector) and wasn't always well - ulcers. He is now at Copeton Dam, but we were able to swap a lot of old yarns during his stay.
After chiding your Editor for not calling in during his recent trip up, North, Bob concluded with: Please find me each year on Judging Day, sitting somewhere around the Judging Ring - Fresian.
Jack Folkard (HQ Coy) called in just before Christmas, on his way from West Wyalong to Dee Why - his old home town. He keeps reasonably fit, though he has his ups and downs, and seems to knock out a reasonable crust as a Builder at Wyalong. Having no children, his wife, Monica, runs a Frock Shop, and does the Social Column for the Local Newspaper. A few whiskies and a lot of talk later, Jack went on his way minus a few dollars; so he won’t have to worry about Subs for a few years to come.
George Johnson (C Coy) has recently moved to Wangan, Q., having been forced to sell his farm through ill health. Although a T.P.I., he still manages to get around, and apart from taking his wife, Heather, and their three children (Sally 13, Ian 12 and Gaye 5˝) on a pretty lengthy trip embracing the Eastern half of Australia, he has recently taken over a Group Scout Masters job at Innisfail. As an afterthought, George added that when passing through the Tweed River on his way home, he spent some time with his four daughters of his previous marriage, and his 12 grandchildren; which puts him well in the running in the Grandpa Stakes. George was mean enough to dig through some of his old records and come up with a ditty he had composed at Second Avenue in July 1942. Since your Editor has published ditties about other Members, he could hardly suppress George's effort titled: "Professor Phil the Dill".
Les Hemming (HQ Coy) was at the Gemas Day Commemoration. Like most of us, he has his ups and downs, and recently returned to work after a few weeks in bed. He and Dorothy have a family consisting of Lois (18), Brian (13) and Kevin (11); so they are likely to have to wait a while before they can enter the Grandpa Stakes.
When your Editor sent out Circulars with the Nov/Dec MAKAN, all of which called for a specific reply, he had a rough idea that he would be inundated with news of the boys. Some of you have in fact done the right thing and have given some news (of which mention will be made in next issue, which might otherwise be a very lean one) but it is surprising how many merely returned the Circular with a Cheque or Postal Note enclosed. The cash was certainly nice, but an item of news would have made it very much sweeter. It looks as though I will have to rely on the wives to write in (even though his Subs are paid to date) and let me have some news from time to time. Failing this help, it is certain that successive issue of MAKAN will be very scant.
PROFESSOR PHIL THE DILL
Phillip Alfred Schofield, better known as Phil the Dill!
is our Sergeant Major, and he thinks he's good at drill.
made all kinds of little things and he often was a messer,
the whole thing really started through the kitchen wanting flour.
get myself a motor, run by 'lectricity.
last he got a motor, chain and cycle gear box too;
Phil, he was so proud of this, he strutted round in vain,
I get home and settle down, I'll invite Phil to the Tweed,
Composed and written by George Johnson (C. Coy)