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Makan - No. 202

July/August 1972



Annual Sub: $1.50

Registered for Posting as Periodical: Category A




March, 1972 issue of "The Nineteenth", the official journal of 2/19 Bn. A.I.F. Association, carried a letter written by Dr. David Hinder, which contained information of the greatest importance to all Ps O.W. Although Dr. Hinder emphasises in his letter that the various matters raised by him are based on his own experiences and while some of his colleagues agree with his opinions in some respects, others do not, it is felt that the letter contains a lot of helpful information to all of us; and permission has accordingly been obtained to reprint the letter in full.

All Members are urged to read the letter carefully and retain it for future reference. It is also suggested that you should request your local Repatriation Doctor (L.M.O.) to read it, as the information contained in it could prove helpful to him in assessing your own disabilities.

Mr. Editor: From your comments, and those of others in the magazine ("The Nineteenth") it is obvious that some ex-Ps O.W. think that they have been badly treated by the Repatriation Department. I sympathise with them, but do not know what can be done about it. This personal account of mine might be of assistance to some, or to their own Doctors in preparing their appeal but I must point out that I could not get my own disabilities accepted by myself, so I am not of much help. As you know, but the general public does not, P.O.W.(J) may mean anything from P.O.W. Singapore to P.O.W. Thailand, Burma, Borneo or Japan and all stops in between, for at the end of the war we were spread out over 3,000 miles of Asia from Singapore to Manchuria, but in the public mind we are all P.O.W. Changi because, I suppose, Changi was the biggest camp and more came back from there than anywhere else. The conditions of life, work and health, I presume, differed in all camps and areas. Each one of us only knows of the conditions in his own camp, and I have no knowledge of what happened in Singapore for the last two years of the war or in Thailand for the last 12 months after we left for Japan. I only know of the conditions encountered by the fit, so called, working parties to which I was attached, and my experiences as a P.O.W. were confined to these groups.    It is my belief that our life on P.O.W. working parties could have prepared the way for the onset of degenerative diseases that appear with age. Some of my colleagues agree with me, others do not, for there is no proof or evidence one way or the other. I am, of course, biased, but if I were not I would not be human, and, in this, any scientific detachment I may have is overshadowed by my own experiences and the trial and tribulation of others. At different times I have been asked to help ex-working party Ps O.W. in their claims to the Repatriation Department, and I have always expressed the opinion, knowing the conditions of the various camps, that the privations, diseases and hardships we experienced could have contributed to any organic disability occurring in later life. The arguments that I have put forward were that, under P.O.W. working party conditions, starvation did not only mean starvation in quantity, but also and more important, it meant starvation in quality and, except possibly C., gross deficiency in all vitamins, proteins and fat, leading to chronic untreated malnutrition, complicated by chronic beri-beri, complicated by chronic untreated pellagra. In this chronic debilitated anaemic state with a pathologically induced low blood pressure, complicated by chronic untreated Malaria, complicated by chronic untreated diarrhoea and dysentery, amoebic and bacillary, and in many cases harbouring hook worm, internal parasites and worms and suffering also from tropical ulcers, Ps O.W. were not at rest in bed at hospital, as they would have been in any civilised country, but were doing hard manual work seven days a week, month after month for 3˝ years, under the supervision of guards, who themselves were the victims of a medieval feudal system. All these complaints and diseases mixed up in varying degrees in every individual for two years in the tropics, then culminating in the last brim hungry starving year in Japan, in the coldest winter they had had for sixty years. To me it has always been surprising not that so many died, but that so many, survived. Very few in our camp would have lived through another winter in Japan, and we were undoubtedly saved by the Atomic Bomb. Medical Text Books give a good prognosis for the complaints we suffered from, if they are all treated early, and they stress early, If neglected or untreated they all exact their own mortality. There is no prognosis given for any of these conditions, complicated by each other untreated, or all untreated together, if they continue without treatment for any length of time, and in an individual doing hard manual work for seven days a week for some three years. There is no prognosis, because such a sorry state of affairs is not know to the writers of medical texts, and such a possibility of it happening has never entered their heads. It has never happened before until it happened to us, or if it had, there are no medical records. Granted that these conditions and diseases are endemic in Asian Countries - the sufferers are at least free and can have some rest, receive perhaps some treatment, and are not driven out to work by armed guards, many of whom were sadistic, racial fanatics. If this period of our lives did us no harm, it seems to me that we are wasting a lot of time and money on our Health Services. Why do we emphasise a proper quality diet, why bother about beri-beri, pellagra, malaria, dysentery. Treatment does not matter, and those who have survived have not done themselves any lasting harm. If this is right, surely we could do away with drugs, close the hospitals and treat the sick and starving with work, and perhaps the survivors will suffer no ill effects.

In 1963 I had a coronary occlusion and it was found then that I had had an undiagnosed one two or three years previously. Contributing factors to coronary occlusion, recognised the world over, are:- 1. high blood pressure 2. overweight 3. smoking 4. high blood cholesterol 5. sedentary occupation. There also appears to be a family incidence. Coronary occlusions are a popular and fashionable complaint and some of us will be lucky enough to die from one. I did not report these episodes to Repatriation Department or put in any claim, but continued working under medical supervision. I thought of putting in a claim to the Department, but decided against it because I felt well, was able to work, and I considered Repatriation benefits should be reserved for those who were really in need of them. Six years later, in 1969, I had a left central retinal vein thrombosis, and have since become totally blind in this eye. This rather alarmed me and, supported by the advice of my colleagues I put in a claim to the Repat. Dept. that P.O.W. experiences had caused or contributed to my heart and eye disabilities. The appeal was rejected. I put in another appeal and pointed out the transition from a period of starvation to one of overeating and excessive cigarette smoking, which began at the end of the war, when we were supplied with Western food, and cartons of cigarettes by parachutes dropped by the Americans. I pointed out the rapid gain in weight of everyone, and that this overweight and excess smoking persisted with me until my second coronary occlusion, when I got my weight under control and stopped smoking. This appeal was rejected. This made me annoyed because I had heard that some had had their coronaries accepted as due to their P.O.W. experiences, and that some had not. I also felt that the Repat. Dept. thought that I was trying to put something over them. I decided then to try and get the most authoritative opinions I could, and so wrote to three professors of medicine, one professor of ophthalmology and one Director of Eye Care, gave them the facts of P.O.W. life such as our Group found them, and asked for their opinion. This, of course, was not really a fair question, but I was curious to see what answers I would get. From one, I have not heard a word to this day. Three were sympathetic - one said it was outside his field as it was, and would rather not comment. One said he would help if he could, but it was a difficult question, and he doubted if his opinion would carry much weight. The fourth said "it was difficult to make general statements on groups of people, which can carry any weight at all" and "I have given the written opinion that there was little or no evidence that Changi etc was liable to induce vascular disease." This was disappointing, but was an honest opinion given on the evidence available, which was virtually nil, since there do not appear to be any previous records. The fifth professor, to whom I am eternally grateful, restored some of my self confidence, rang me immediately, arranged an appointment and gave me a complete cardiac examination. He afterwards wrote me a letter in which he stressed the following points:­

1. I had high blood pressure on joining the Army. I should not have been accepted in the first place.

2. Suddenly and dramatically in Japan, at the end of the War, our food intake was increased, gain in weight was rapid and I remained overweight until my occlusion.

3. I began smoking cigarettes in Malaya and resumed this habit at the end of the War, and continued smoking until my occlusion.

On sending this letter into the Repatriation Department, I was notified within a week that my appeal had been accepted, and I have been granted a 6O% pension for my two occlusions and loss of sight in my left eye. I felt vindicated in finally getting my appeal accepted, but it was not what I wanted, which was recognition that our period as Ps O.W. working parties had contributed to the degenerative diseases of age. My appeal had been accepted on proven medical grounds which could have happened had I stayed at Victoria Barracks for the duration of the war. P.O.W. conditions and diseases did not even get a mention. Apparently my 37 years of hell as a P.O.W. did me no harm, but the period of heaven after the war paved the way for two coronaries one of which nearly killed me and lost me the sight of one eye. The whole exercise still seems most extraordinary to me. There is evidence that a low food intake is beneficial to the heart. We dig out graves with our teeth, and the best exercise you can take is to push your chair back from the dinner table are two medical aphorisms that are old and well known. This low food intake is emphasised by those commenting on heart disease, and P.O.W. life, but they overlook the fact that starvation was in quality as well as in quantity; that starving men were working while suffering from beri-beri, pellagra, malaria and dysentery; that they were anaemic and were not receiving any treatment, nor were they allowed any rest; and that they were in this state not for a few days, but for months and years.

When I was in hospital with my coronary, I was put on a 1100 calorie diet. This is a starvation diet, but the hospital dietician saw to it that it was a well balanced diet with protein fat, carbohydrates and vitamins. There was no lack of modern drugs. There were no complicating diseases, and if there had been, they would have received immediate attention. There was constant supervision by Doctors, Sisters and Nurses. I was not hounded out of bed to work, but was compelled to stay there longer than I wished. In other words, I was treated in a civilised manner - not in a barbaric one.

It is said that there is no greater incidence of coronary disease amongst Ps O.W. than there is in the general population. This may or may not be so, but it is a fallacious argument, since Ps O.W. were a selected fit group in the beginning and would be expected to show a lower incidence of all diseases than an equivalent group of the general population, who had not passed a medical examination. Again, many Ps O.W. died - had they returned they might now be showing a greater incidence of degenerative diseases. P.O.W. existence undoubtedly lowered our blood pressure, but this was the result of malnutrition and disease, and is only further evidence of a sick body. Such a method of lowering the blood pressure with disease is not at all desirable.

I think Ps O.W. working parties are fully justified in putting in a claim for any degenerative disease that may develop. In my own case it was coronary and loss of sight in one eye. In others it could be arthritis, stomach ulcers, colitis, diabetes or any organic disease. While still the responsibility of the Army, we had a long period of hardship followed by a dramatic and immediate return to overeating and overindulgence. This latter period of affluent heavenly complaints is better known, documented, and appreciated by our own medical science than our 3˝ years of hardship. Ps O.W, and their Doctors should not overlook this period of heaven, as it is a time when the foundations of later disabilities could have been laid.

All Ps O.W. with any organic disability should put in a claim to the Repat. Dept., for that is the only way their complaints will be put on the record, even if their claims are not accepted. Some affluent Ps O.W. may not be inclined to do this, but it is important for the record that they should do so, for without these claims being made, nobody will ever know what finally did happen to the Ps O.W.(J), and if we did show any increased incidence of any particular disease. I do not know what records the Repat Dept keeps, but in my own case, the Repat Dept never knew of my coronaries until six years after my second one, and if I had not lost the sight in one eye, they might never have heard of it at all. There must be other Ps O.W. with similar stories, and there are probably some already dead, whose cause of death is unrecorded at Repat.

Ps O.W. owe it to themselves, their fellows and to medical science to make their claims known, because we are in a sense a group of human guinea pigs, and our experiences have never happened before, and they may never happen again. There is no previous scientific evidence of the late results of P.O.W. existence such as we knew them, and only we can supply it, by putting in our claims for any proven organic disease. We are all the evidence, and if we do not make our complaints known, the answers will never be known, be they favourable or unfavourable to our appeals.

I could not do much when a P.O.W., and I cannot do much now, When we were Ps O.W., the Japanese were callous and indifferent to our sicknesses. Now our scientific colleagues demand evidence that our illnesses did us any harm, and only we can supply the evidence. I feel we are once again up against a brick wall and it is up to the Ps O.W. to help each other by putting in their appeals. They helped each other in the past, and they can do it again.

I have had my bleat, but one thing I would like to say is this: I am a fourth generation Australian, and I have never been so proud of being one, before or since, as I was when a P.O.W. of the Japanese, for as you know, our boys were on their own.

D.C.C.H., 497 Pacific Highway, Killara.

Footnote: Having read through this once, will you return to it when you have plenty of time and read it again, slowly and carefully? If you do, I am sure you will agree that Dr. Hinder's plea is not that we should become a group of moaners, graspers for everything we can get or hypochondriacs, but rather that we should help both ourselves and medical science by ensuring that all our illnesses are as fully documented as possible. We are certainly a unique group as, though subsequent Ps O.W. (Korean and Vietnam) may have suffered starvation and beatings, they do not appear to have been forced to do heavy manual work while suffering from the various diseases which accompany malnutrition; and a study of our reactions and conditions since 1945 may possibly contribute something helpful to medical science.

Apart from that, the Repatriation Act was designed for the protection of all Ex-Servicemen, and receipt of any benefits under it is not a charitable hand-out, but rather a just entitlement. Many of us, possibly with the mistaken idea that we did not need it, or did not want to be considered bludgers, or that some stigma was attached to receipt of a pension, have failed to advise Repat. of our various illnesses; and we have merely done a disservice to all those who might otherwise have benefited from the information, as well as to ourselves - Ed.


We mourn with Sandy Christensen (HQ Coy) the loss of his father Andrew Rossiter Christensen, on 6th June last, at the age of 83 years.

To Sandy, his mother, brothers and sisters and their families, we extend our deepest sympathy.

We also mourn with Steve Allardice (HQ Coy) the loss of his brother, Ernest Kirkwood Allardice, on 29th May last, at the age of 50 years.           .

To his late brother's family and to Steve and Gwen and their family we. extend our deepest sympathy.

We also mourn with Blair Taylor (C Coy) the loss of his Step­father, James Brooks, on 30th June last.

To Blair, his mother and their families we extend our deepest sympathy

We were also saddened to learn of the death, on 11th July, of Mrs. Ellen Elizabeth Hendry, aged 88 years, widowed mother of our late mate James W. Hendry (HQ Coy) K.I.A. at Bukit Timah on 8th February, 1942.

Mrs. Hendry was a stalwart of the "Purple and Gold" Club and the floral tributes at her funeral service included a purple and gold posie provided by Mrs. Marguerite Jenkins.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to her surviving children and their families.



Kevin Ward reports the State as at 25th July: None in Hospital

Discharged from R.G.H. Concord since last MAKAN:­
Bill (Herbert) Daly (A Coy), Jack Goodwin (HQ Coy), Sid Grattan (HQ Coy), Les Hall (HQ Coy), Stuart Peach (BHQ), Darcy Pickard (B Coy), George Ramsay (BHQ).

Kevin, himself, won't have any spare time for a while, as he has to do the household chores while Dorothy is inconvenienced by a spot of operative treatment to her hands.


If your Editor lives long enough, and his memory doesn't fail, he will become an authority on the course to take to drag a bit of information out of the Members. For instance, a snide note with the MAKAN works wonders with Terry O'Rourke (C Coy), who even used some reasonable sized paper when writing in from Narrandera.

He came up with the news that their daughter, Margaret, was married in December last, and Terry reckons that it will take a while to get over the financial shock. The newly-weds went for a honeymoon trip to Singapore, K.L., Bangkok and Saigon, and even managed to bring back to Terry a photo of the Chapel at the Changi Gaol. The self same Margaret received her B.A. Degree last June, and is doing her Dip.Ed. this year. That leaves only two at home - Jim (17) who is in 5th Year and Kathleen who is in 2nd Year.

Terry regretted his inability to make the trip to Sydney for Anzac Day, but pointed out that with him Hon. Sec. of the R.S.L. and Muriel, President (her 12th term) of the Ladies' Auxiliary, it is a bit awkward. Following a bit of information about the Nursery which incidentally grows over 300 varieties and sells about 100,000 trees annually (over 12 million since Terry has been there) he concluded with:­

"I went to a hospital graduation function last week. Old Jock McKenzie was there - with his father! McKenzie Snr is 93 years of age, straight as a gun barrel, and is an ex-Gordon Highlander of the First War. I saw him later enjoying a whisky and looking intensely at a 10c Poker Machine. He told me he was one of 8 who survived out of the originals of his Battalion." (Now we know where Jock got his longevity - Ed.)

Jack O'Malley (A Coy) sent in his Subs from Frogmore but didn't add any real news, though he did mention that his health is not too bad, and he is still trying to make a crust on the land.

Freda, wife of Andy Knox (C Coy) had to send his Subs in from Collaroy, and mentioned that Andy has been a 'sick chick' for the past year. He had a heart attack, and followed that up by breaking his leg; which resulted in him being boarded out of the P.M.G.'s Dept after 24 years service. It was Andy's demand for rice flour (we had bunged him in the cook house at Second Avenue) which spurred your Scribe to produce the famous Rice Grinder, which ground its way through a few tons of rice during our period of captivity.

Tommy Yates (B Coy) sent in his Subs from West Ryde and advised that he was a bit pinned down as a result of his wife suffering a stroke, which necessitated him doing all the household chores. It is to be hoped that the Yates health has shown much improvement since receipt of Tom's note.

Ray Godbolt (D Coy) wrote from Merewether early in the year and advised that he was going pretty well, though his legs seemed to be twice as old as the rest of him, and he had to take things a bit easy. Last Christmas he saw Dick Fisher at Lemon Tree Passage, and he hoped to see some of the boys when he visited Yamba about the middle of this year.

Steve (Steamboat) Kirton (HQ Coy) hurriedly slammed a bit of Canadian Currency in with his note from some place about 400 miles North of Vancouver, where he happened to be working on a Pulp Mill at that time. Although he changed houses, he still lives in downtown Vancouver, and repeated that it was open house for any of the boys who happened to be travelling that way. He reckons that it is a marvellous place for a holiday and that it would probably be found to be cheaper than Japan or Europe.

Keith McFarlane (A Coy) actually put pen to paper and wrote in from Bray Park, and advised that he has not been exactly 100% of late; and that he has run up quite a tally of accepted disabilities with Repat over the last 20 years. Keith regretted his inability to enter the Grandpa Stakes, but should be a runner some time in the future as his two eldest lads are 19 and 21, and are following the Railway Service and the Building Trade while an additional five children are still attending Primary and High School.

Norma Veivers had to send Joe's (A. Coy) Subs in from Coffs Harbour. Norma mentioned that Joe’s spare time is taken up with bowls, as he is Vice-President of the West Coffs Club, and is also a member of the Pennant Team which won the Association Zone Championship. As they are only a young and small club, they are a bit proud of their achievement.

It looked as though we were never going to hear from Vic Gordon (B Coy) and we probably would not have if Jeanne hadn't spurred him into adding a bit of news to the letter she commenced when sending his Subs in from Brisbane. It appears that Vic retired from the business rat race about eight years ago, and though he has become a T.P.I. and suffers from osteoarthritis, he is still able to play bowls, and still does quite a bit of fishing. He recently got amongst some big ones while holidaying at Hayman Island and brought home some Coral Trout and Sweet Lip which Jeanne avers he cooked in the best Gordon manner when entertaining some friends at dinner. In his addendum to Jeanne's letter, Vic admitted that he wasn't much of a correspondent and went on:­

"Excuse this note, as at present I am the general factotum, as Jeanne is in the cot with a bad foot - Gout!! Rather ironical - she with gout- as the shoe should be reversed- I generally manage to keep the stomach awash.

I play bowls, as the Club is right opposite our place, and I can drop my bowls at the gate and they roll home, while I wear the knees out of my pants getting home. Quite handy, isn't it? One of these days I will get around to a wordy epistle, but convey my regards to all the boys, and all the mob who used to kick the Mess to pieces, including sitting on hot stove plates."

Footnote: I don't remember so much about the hot plates, but I do remember Vic perched in the rafters one night refereeing the 'football'. And who could fail to remember when he used to get very patriotic late at night and would set about drinking the health of the King - and all the Royal Family for that matter, and for good measure. As soon as he announced his intention of so doing, Trus. would resignedly produce the dust pan and the broom and the note pad; serve the where-withall to drink the toast, jot down the cost, plus an additional 6d for the glass, then move out to sweep up the broken glass which Vic had ceremoniously tossed over his shoulder at the conclusion of each toast - it was extremely bad form to attempt to save the glass.

John (Darkie) Despoges (HQ Coy) got such a shock when he received a rude reminder about Subs that he sent in enough to put him in an advance position for the next half-a-dozen years. He didn’t add any news of himself, but he sent his best regards to all the boys.

Clarrie Burgess (A Coy) merely sent in Seasonal Greetings with his Subs, and added:- "Youngest boy, David, has been discharged from the Army, so all is well here. Feel O.K." It is a pity that most of our coves seem to suffer from writers' cramp - Ed.

Tom Nixon (HQ Coy) advised that he couldn't attend on Anzac Day as he was then in Auckland as one of the Coogee-Randwick R.S.L. Contingent, who were the guests of the Otahuhu R.S.A. He was full of praise for their hosts, who organised Maori concerts, and trips all over the place. With a mate and a rent-a-car, Tom managed a three day tour of the North Auckland Province, including the Bay of Islands and the tip of New Zealand; where he saw the wash of the Pacific meet the Tasman, Tom concluded:” After being home a week, I was unlucky enough to lose my right eye through a tumour, but am getting a nice new glass eye; and the nerves and muscles are O.K., so I will still be able to wink at the fair sex.

I have been having a roll-up at bowls and think that, bowls wise, I might be better off with one eye. I am being well looked after by my wife and daughters. Sandra (Secretary) and Dianne (Second Year Sydney Uni) except that they keep bumping into me on my right side - but they'll learn. I sometimes see Frank Rampling (Sigs) and tomorrow I am going to see Jimmy Hill." (Bad luck Tom, but it is really good to learn that it hasn't got you down - Ed.)

Alan Charlton (HQ Coy) wanted a bit of information, and added to his request:­

"Last Sat. A.A. (Bob) Martin came up to my place in the morning; and in the arvo we went to see Jimmy Hill, picking up Dave Baker from Helensburgh on the way. It was Bob's birthday so we had a reunion with a cup of tea - Bob doesn't know what alcohol tastes like, and I gave it up 15 years ago. I tell you, Phil, we had quite a happy hour or so, but Leila had hurt her back, which made things a bit awkward for her - she is a lovely person. It was sad to hear of Tom Nixon's operation - Leila said he thinks he is Mr. Whitmont!"

When sending in Jimmy's Subs, the same Leila mentioned that Jim had no hope in the Grandpa Stakes, as he only had 11 step-grand­children, aged from 17 to 3,. and that Garry (at only 17 years of age) had matriculated for University. Jimmy, like your Ed., acquired a ready-made family when he married; and family is family in the Grandpa Stakes - he qualifies, and is well in the running.

Harold French (A Coy) sent in his Subs plus from Walcha and included greetings to all, but no vital statistics. He reckons the fishing and shooting around Walcha is very good, and he offers to look after any of the boys who visit the place. He will make every effort to attend one of our City Do's soon.

Alan Thorncraft (HQ Coy) sent in his Subs plus, and advised he has not been the best of late. Alan, it will be recalled, was in that Carrier accident at Bathurst, and he certainly came off second best.

Sid Hart (A Coy), from Birmingham Gardens, merely scribbled on the foot of his Circular:- "Dinny Lane is not the only one who works at Tooheys Brewery but, unlike him, I DO drink the stuff"

Our Social Reporter has been out and about, and advises:

Val Friend, widow of Reg (BHQ) was seen recently heading down the South Coast to attend the wedding of Barbara, elder daughter of Ruth and Stewart Blow (HQ Coy), to Stuart Heriot of Holbrook. Among the many guests at the reception, held in the historic Coolangatta Village, Berry, were Pam and John Haskins. Gwen and Steve Allardice and Gwen and Mick Lovell (all HQ Coy)..

"Mananga" the family home of Ruth and Stewart, predictably was the focal point of after reception festivities late into the evening of the Saturday, while guests of both parents still in the District on the Sunday attended a barbecue luncheon which featured prime country meat from the bridegroom's parents' property, as well as 'The Haskin Spread' at Chatham Valley, via Oberon. The necessary refreshments and good fellowship were added ingredients to a most happy occasion.

By the way: the bride and groom are on an extended honeymoon trip, reported as one which will take them around Australia. (We add our best wishes to Barbara. and Stuart - Ed.)

Our Reporter also learned of a happy event early in June when Gwen and Steve Allardice were entertained at Dinner by their sons, Stuart (accompanied by Julie) and Greg, on the occasion of their 25th Wedding Anniversary.

While snooping around the Overseas Air Terminal on 4th June last, our Reporter observed a very happy group stuck into a few drinks and what-have-you, obviously wishing 'happy landing' to a couple of Overseas voyagers; and discovered that the lucky couple were Andy and Betty Noble (D Coy). It turned out that they were departing for a nine weeks trip, via Honolulu and Canada, to Europe and the U.K., which Andy declared was largely a business trip. Maybe we taxpayers are contributing to most of the cost, especially with an Accountant of Andy's calibre fiddling the swindle sheet, but we trust that they have a most enjoyable trip.

Our Reporter also dropped in on the Sydney Legacy Ball, held on 2nd June under the patronage and in the presence of His Ex. the Governor of N.S.W., and was quite amazed at the 2/30 representation attending. Apart from several members and wives, Bill Ennis was noted as the Hon. Sec. of Sydney Legacy, and when it came to the presentation of the 14 lovely debutantes, the second one to appear was Barbara Fraser (daughter of Hugh - May/ June MAKAN) to be followed a little later by Helen (daughter of Andy and Betty Noble) who was squired by Gregory (son of Steve and Gwen Allardice).

Talking of squires, Squire O'Donnell' (C Coy) dropped a brief note from Brisbane to advise that he gave up active business on 30th June last, though he was remaining as Chairman of the Queensland Companies and on the Board of Warburton O'Donnell Ltd., which gives him the excuse for an 'expenses paid' visit to Sydney at regular intervals. Having married off Jill last February, and with John an Agristologist at the Pastoral Lab at Charleville, Q, the O’Donnell’s have placed their St. Lucia home on the market, and Squire and Kath intend to take up residence at their fat lamb property, "Mountain Park", Dalveen; which is 25 miles South of Warwick and only two miles off the New England Highway. They hope that any of their old mates travelling either North or South will drop in; when Squire affirms that he will manage to find a drop of the doings.

Margaret Hickson (widow of Brian - D Coy) sent in a substantial donation to help keep MAKAN going, in appreciation of the pleasure she derives from receiving and reading it. She enclosed a photo of seven Don Company types, which had been taken when we were first in Batu Pahat and suggested that it might be sent on to Bruce Pratt, so far as she knew, the only member of the group still living. The photo brought back a flood of memories to your Scribe, who spent his early days in the Bn. in 18 Pl. Don Company, and it comprised:­

Les Baxter        : D.O.I. at Kanburi, 14/1/44.
John Hadley      : D.O.I. at Kami Sonkurai, 4/11/43.
Brian Hickson    : D.O.I. at Kami Sonkurai, 7/11/43.
Les Glover         : W.I.A. 15/1/42, D.O.I. at Burma 7/10/43
Don Kentwell     : W.I.A. 9/2/42. Deceased 19/5/69.
Bob Rhodes-White : D.O.I. at Tamarkan, 14/2/44.
Bruce Pratt        : W.I.A. 15/1/42, who did a real Cooks tour to eventually reach home.

Margaret mentioned her second trip to Singapore last year, when she caught up with Tom and Marj Davis (Mch/Apr 1971 MAKAN) and she advised that daughter Elizabeth was presently in Australia with her husband, who is on contract with the A.B.C., script writing and production; while son Brian is married, looks very much like his father, and lives in Parkes.

Les Perry (D Coy) recently completed a trip up North, and did the right thing and took time off to write:; .­

"All told, we travelled 2,237 miles during our trip, which we had looked forward to ever since we were married. Margaret, the two girls and myself stayed in Kingscliff, which is 7 miles from Tweed Heads and is not marked on the map, but it is a pretty little, village with a population of about 2,000, but they experience a great influx of tourists. Our eldest daughter, Margaret who is nursing at Prince Henry Hospital, Sydney, joined us for a few days. Unfortunately the rain fell for most of the time, and Margaret did not have a very good holiday, but the three girls enjoyed the surf, and table tennis in a rumpus room near our cabin.

On arrival, we soon paid Jock Logan a visit at his Furniture Store at Palm Beach, and he told me of Mike Garrard running the Post Office at Kingscliff; and Mike made me very welcome at the local Bowling Club, which is prettily situated near the sea.

Then on Sunday morning, Jock called for me and took me on a tour to see some old friends. First we stopped at Brunswick Heads to see Harry and Dot Riches, and they made us very welcome. Harry has the best memory of former 2/30 personalities I have struck, and I could have stopped there all day and listened to him. But we then moved on to Binna Burra to see Ossie Jackson and his good wife, who run a Store there.

I hadn't seen Ossie for 30 years, as I left Changi with A Force on 15/5/42, and I haven't seen him since; and I was very pleased that he recognised me straight away. Despite the fact that he is much fatter and wears spectacles, he is still the same genial Ossie we all knew in the Bn. While we were having a drink with Ossie in the Lounge Room, his wife had prepared a nice luncheon for us, which we didn't expect, and thoroughly enjoyed.

Then on to Bangalow to see Ernie McNiven, who has worked very hard since returning home, and as you have mentioned previously is mixed up with practically everything in Bangalow. Ernie made a few phone calls for us before we finally got on to where we could locate Ernie Stratford, who was visiting his mother-in-law. Ernie is the same quiet, dry character, and is married to the late Ken Gay's (D Coy) cousin.

Jock and I arrived in time for afternoon tea, and Ernie told us of a band of Hippies settling on the corner of his property; but it wasn’t very long before the diplomatic Ernie had them eating out of his hands. We wanted to see Frankie Wallwork, but were told that we would never get to his property, owing to the rain on the bad roads. Frankie is regarded as an Iron Man in these parts, and with the help of his brother runs a farm where they really work hard; and I heard many stories of Frankie, and the conditions he works under.

I later saw Vince O'Reilly (A Coy) who is the foreman of the beautiful gardens at Surfers Paradise, and Vince and his wife live in a nice new home provided for them within the spacious grounds. Vince said he was sorry to have missed you last October, but he was away in Tasmania at that time. He said that Joe Veivers surprised him with a visit recently.

During our trip up the Coast, we stopped for lunch at Port Macquarie, and it was the most beautiful spot we saw during our trip. I remember Charlie Annand used to say: "Come to Port Macquarie after the War - God's own country." As I surveyed the many Motels and, beautiful buildings I said to Margaret: “Charlie would never know the place if he could come back now."

We called at the R.S.L. Club at Sawtell, to see Ben Pearce, but he was off duty, and I thought Benny must have a good job, as it was the first time I had ever known a Club Steward who did not work on a Sunday; but I was disappointed to miss him.

I received a most pleasant surprise one afternoon at Kingscliff when Max Annand paid me a visit - Jock had contacted him and told him where to find me. Max brought along an autograph book belonging to his late father, which Graham Bridgwater found when all the kit bags were tossed out at Changi, and brought it home and gave it to Max. (Keith Mulholland found my autograph book and diary at the same time, and brought them home to me.) Max and I adjourned to the Local, and on looking through the book I found an autograph written by myself. Some of the autographs brought back wonderful although sad memories at times. Our late C.O. had written a full page, and there was a most striking page written by the late Capt Johnny Taylor, after he had returned from the Railway Line, extolling Charlie's virtues. There was also a piece written by Joe Carew. I told Max that if he attended another reunion of the 2/30 Bn., it is a must to take his prized possession along with him.

I later had the pleasure of meeting Max's elder brother, Charlie who travelled from Brisbane to visit his mother on Mothers’ Day. As you know, Mrs. Annand Snr married again, and she and her husband have a fine son who is in training for the Ministry in Adelaide. Charlie Jnr is tall, and like his mother, but Max would remind anybody of his late father."

Les continued with some news of Narrandera (largely covered by Terry O'Rourke) and concluded with: "Victor Hamlin has sold out his farming interests at Boree Creek, and is now going to have a rest, after spending the major portion of his life on the land; but says he still has a crop to take off during the coming harvest. Vic has a nice little home in the township of Boree Creek and I think he still intends to settle there. Dinny Lane paid him a visit recently, and I was sorry to have missed the well known personality of C Coy."

Alan and Betty Pryde - (BHQ) are still on an Overseas Walkabout, and his letter to your Scribe, written from Raffles Hotel, Singapore on 3rd May last, reads:­

"This hotel, with which I had some association in former years, is still a grand place, in traditional style of late colonial years, with huge rooms, good service, delightful public and guest areas etc. Singapore may be able to produce plenty of duty free items at bargain prices, but cost of living for a tourist is by no means cheap. Every local, from a 4 years old up, is striving to extract a few cents or dollars from the poor visitors.

"We have been seeking out all the areas so well known to the majority of our 2/30 men, but about which "A" Force blokes like myself have only hearsay knowledge. We could find the areas of your toils of the past, but the development of Singapore as an industrial city has been (and is) so fantastic that we could do no more than note the areas where the boys had worked."

"Vast housing estates everywhere, and many more under construction. It is the stated intention of the Government to industrialise the entire Island - and to do so within a very few years. Such plans involve the disappearance of all rural areas, plantations, rubber estates, kampongs etc, and the plan is proceeding at such a rate that the Island will soon be entirely dependent on outside supplies of foodstuffs. This is admitted and accepted as part of the overall scheme.

"It was a great honour to lead the Battalion on Anzac Day. I may be biased, but I think that we had a great show and a splendid get together on the Day. The Forbes Hotel function was very pleasing. Our thanks to Harry Head for this arrangement."

Wal Eather (HQ Coy) wrote in from Tamworth and supplied some in formation for your Editor. After a few pleasantries, Wal went on:- "Would you please publicise in MAKAN that our Tamworth Bi­ennial 8th Div Reunion Dinner will be held this year on Saturday, 14th October at 7.30 p.m. at the R.S.L. Club. Our Guest Speaker will be Sir Adrian Curlewis. The reunion really lasts over the weekend, commencing with the Dinner on the Saturday night, followed by a wreath laying on Sunday morning and a barbecue lunch on the Sunday. The inclusive cost is $5, per double - yes, wives are invited."

Ray Michell (B Coy) recently set off with Tup for a trip to the West, inter alia to see brother George; and a bit of prodding produced the following:- "Well, Tup and I had a beaut holiday. We travelled by car to Adelaide and had ten days with Tup's brother, Tom - also P.O.W. 2/18 Bn. I liked Adelaide, with the Festival and all on.

"Then we sailed on the "Iberia" to Fremantle - three days of glorious fattening holiday - and we settled down in Perth for a couple of weeks with my brother George. George is no good at all, he is a T.P.I. and is not allowed to drink, smoke or ride in busses - he has to travel by taxi, which is supplied by Repat. We met a few P.O.W. blokes over there, mostly from 2/4 M.G. Bn., and they gave us a good time.

"We had quite a few tours around Perth and enjoyed them very much. The old Swan River is just as beautiful as ever. We took a cruise down the River and over to Rottnest Island, and it was a lovely day out. We went around the Island by bus, and got some excellent colour snaps. As a matter of fact, we have the whole trip in colour, so if any of the boys come to Tamworth we would love to show them how Perth looks to-day - over a jug or two of course.

"Then we came home by the "Indian-Pacific" to Broken Hill, where we spent a couple of lovely days; and thence to Sydney for a couple of days. The whole trip took us six weeks, and was all together delightful."

The self same George Michell (B Coy) is a hard cove to get to put pen to paper, but from George Kingston (A Coy) we got the information that though the other George has not been able to work for the last five years, and has all those restrictions placed upon him, he appears to be bright and chirpy. The Michells have two girls and two boys in the family, and the eldest girl was married on 7th July last.

Don Sutherland ( D Coy) has been a bit off colour recently. When sending in his Subs from Bowen, Q., he advised that he had had about 5 months off work with a fractured right ankle and sickness. (Our hopes that you are now on the up and up, Don - Ed.)

When supplying some information sought by the Editor, Nancy Power (wife of Artie - D Coy) advised that their Anzac Day had been marred by the absence of George McQueen (a P.O.W. cobber who died) and Alfie Carrol (D Coy) who moved to Greta. Nancy has become Hon. Sec. of the R.S.L. Ladies Auxiliary, which occupies a bit of her time. She mentioned that Karl Sinclair (D Coy) has not been the best of late, having suffered another bad turn with his heart, which has necessitated further hospital treatment.

It took a while to rope Hilton McLaren (C Coy) back into the family, but the boys must have worked on him rather well when they saw him at Ballina recently. Hilton sent in enough Subs from Bundaberg, Q., to put him well in advance, and though he didn't include any news, he is reported to be fit and well.

Jessie, wife of Gerry Bailey (HQ Coy) had to send in Gerry's Subs, or we probably would never have got them, but, beyond stating that Gerry was well, and sent his regards to all the boys, we didn't get any further information.

Cappy Bligh (HQ Coy) had a bad spell early in the year, necessitating hospitalisation and a couple of lung operations, but he sounded chirpy enough when we heard from him, and hoped to be back at work by April last.

Madge, wife of Alf Austin (B Coy) couldn't get Alf to put pen to paper, so, as she likes reading MAKAN, she peeled enough off the housekeeping pile and sent it in to keep Alf in an advanced position for a few years.

The wives of Ron Kentwell (C Coy), Ted Lawty (C Coy), Max McClelland (HQ Coy), Ross Madden (A Coy), George Smith (A Coy), Ron Sweeney (C Coy), Witey (Ege) Wightman (HQ Coy), Ernie Willis (HQ Coy), Les Parfrey (D Coy), Darcy Pickard (B Coy), Curly Simpson (A Coy) - just to mention a few of them - also felt the same way as Madge, and all did the right thing. Where would we be without the (unpaid) Secretary/Wives? - Ed.

Arthur Hodge (BHQ) actually put pen to paper when sending in his Subs from Gilgandra, but, Oh Boy! was it brief? We quote: “I have to take things a bit easy now - had a few heart attacks and am a T.P.I. - have a daughter and a son and one grandchild. At least we did get some news from Arthur, which is more than can be said for a lot of our writers-cramp sufferers. Chin up and all the best, Arthur - Ed.

Arthur Piper (C Coy) from Orange also hasn't been the best of late, and as he gets his treatment in the home town these days, he doesn't get to Sydney and has little chance of seeing any of the boys. He sent his best regards to all.

Carl Odgers (HQ Coy), Laurie Mountford (BHQ) and George Gough (BHQ) have all been a bit off colour of late, but they seem to be able to manage to keep their chins up; and they sent their regards to all.

Jack Burke (C Coy) managed to thaw out a bit in Dalby, Q. (he reckons it was very cold up there for the first two weeks of July, which doesn't agree with him) and he got his fingers working enough to drop a note and advise that he is keeping fairly well, while Morrie Horrigan (D Coy) also from Dalby, appears to be going well and still managing to get his quota of beer. Jack keeps in touch with Danny Foran (C Coy) who recently moved to Cairns, and since Jack is aware that Danny is not over keen on letter writing, he included some news of our wandering boy, who seems to shift around a bit.

Danny has not had the best of luck for some time past. He has had peripheral neuritis in his legs and feet for the past 17 years, and it now appears to have extended into his shoulders and hands; all of which has made it very difficult to hold any sort of a decent job for any length of time. To add to his troubles, Danny has suffered from bronchitis for the past five years, and since Repat omitted to advise either him or his L.M.O. concerning treatment, apart from losing work over it, he has had to pay for his own treatment. However, Repat now appear to have come to the party and Danny has been before Doctors, Specialists and Boards with a view to receiving a T.P.I. pension. (Sorry to hear of your troubles, Danny, and hope that you a re now receiving at least the T.P.I. pension - Ed.)


Applications are invited from all and sundry to become a Correspondent of MAKAN. All that is required is to take off sufficient time and raise sufficient energy to write in to your Editor giving him some news of yourself and your family, and of any of the boys living round about you.

From a financial point of view, the pay is lousy, but you will earn the undying gratitude of your Editor, and the appreciation of the readers of MAKAN, who really like to have that type of information.

Without your help, next MAKAN will be entirely devoid of items under its most popular section, NEWS, VIEWS AND WHOS WHOS. If you happen to live in the Metropolitan area, a 'phone call to the Editor will fill the bill.

Wives! Will you try and prod that man of yours into action, or if that fails, will you pick up the pen and do something about supplying some news for next MAKAN?


Saturday, 14th October next at 7.30 p.m., at the R.S.L. Club.
Guest Speaker: Sir Adrian Curlewis.
Inclusive cost: $5 per double - yes, wives are invited.

Festivities extend over the weekend, and include a barbecue luncheon on the Sunday; and present an excellent opportunity to catch up with mates from other Units of the Division.

Any queries about accommodation, addressed to Wal Eather (33 Garden St., South Tamworth, 2340) would be sure to receive a helpful response.

Saturday, 18th November next at.6.30 p.m. at the Royal Australian Naval House, 33 Grosvenor Street, Sydney.

More details later, but please reserve the date NOW so that you will be sure to attend. Last Dinner, held at this venue, was voted one of the best ever.


Apart from the one response received to date, are there any further comments on the suggestion put forward in the May/Jun 1972 issue of MAKAN. that efforts should be made to hold a Reunion at Bathurst, say every two or three years, with the first one being held in the fairly near future?


ARMY CAREER - Reg Napper
PAINTS Joe (M.R.) Geoghegan
LEGAL ) - The Editor

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