Makan No. 204
OFFICIAL JOURNAL 2/30 Bn. A. I. F. ASSOCIATION
Annual Sub: $1.50
Registered for Posting as Periodical: Category A
Acting on Doctor's orders, I was unable to be present at the 1971 Annual Reunion Dinner, where Noel Johnston conveyed my apologies and kindly deputised for me. And so, for the first time since our late and much revered and loved Brigadier's mantle as Patron of our Association fell on my shoulders, I was able to attend the 1972 Dinner in November last. It was an evening I will long remember.
President Arch Thorburn greeted me in his usual kindly manner and treated me throughout the evening with helpful consideration, as indeed did all the other Members with whom I had the opportunity and pleasure of meeting personally. It was very heart warming.
As regards all those present collectively, I think our President and Des Kearney will agree that we could not have wished for a more exemplary or attentive audience. Annual Dinners have always been very friendly affairs, but I had the impression that the Members had really excelled themselves with their cordiality and 'esprit de corps'.
My wife joins me in sending to all Members and their families our heartiest good wishes for Christmas and the New Year; our thoughts and best wishes too, are for the loved ones of those of our splendid comrades who are no longer with us.
If you were at the Reunion you had a very good night and received very good value for the $5.00 you outlaid.
If you were not there it was our loss because we would have liked to have renewed an old friendship but it was also your loss. Where else could you have sat down to a magnificent meal with unlimited liquor laid on and relived three and a half of the most unforgettable years of your life with 65 men with whom you have so much in common.
I hope you have a happy Christmas with your families and that the New Year will bring you continued good health, if that is what you have or a return to it if that is what you need.
SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 1973
Members are reminded that Subscriptions for 1973 now fall due, and are payable on the basis of:
Ordinary Members: 50c Memb. Fee, $1.50 MAKAN Sub., Total $2.00. Life Members: $1.50 MAKAN Sub.
With the exception of those who have paid their Subs in Advance (for whom a receipt is now forwarded) a Circular is enclosed, addressed to each Member and prompt attention is asked to the request contained therein.
Formerly, overmuch emphasis was not placed on prompt receipt of Subs, but now that MAKAN is registered for posting as a Periodical, Category A, it is essential that Subs be paid promptly, as the reduced postage rate is only allowed for Members whose Subs are actually Paid. All of which means that until the Sub is actually received, postage to the Member concerned costs us 7c (12¢ if a large-sized issue) as against 1½¢. Since the P.M.G.’s Department send an Inspector around to check our records, cheating is out; so your co-operation is urged.
To those who receive a Receipt with their MAKAN: Thank you so much for your co-operation. To those who receive a Circular with their MAKAN: PLEASE RETURN THE CIRCULAR promptly with the required remittance.
GEMAS DAY, 1973
The success of the 1972 Commemoration, when over 100 braved the elements and attended, has established the pattern for the coming event which will be held at the Memorial at H.Q. 17 R.N.S.W.R, 2 Suakin Street, Pymble on Sunday, 14th January, 1973 at 3.00 p.m.
Arrangements are now being completed with the C.O. of 17 R.N.S.W.R, and precise details will be furnished subsequently in a special Circular to Metropolitan Members and Next-of-Kin, but it is expected that proceedings will closely follow those adopted for the last occasion, and will be along the following lines:
We will gather as a family (and it is hoped that all children, grandchildren and friends will be included) prior to 3.00 p.m. for the simple Ceremony of laying a wreath on behalf of the Association (plus any other tributes which individuals may desire to place), the sounding of the Last Post and Reveille and the recitation of The Ode. There will be no speeches.
We will all then adjourn to the Drill Hall for afternoon tea, and with respect to the latter: Tea, milk, sugar, cups etc, will be provided, but each family group attending is asked to bring along a "little something" to eat; which we propose to aggregate and place on tables for all to partake of. We do not anticipate, nor desire a sumptuous repast - just a “cuppa" and a bite to eat. Any unaccompanied males, or others who find it awkward to bring something along, are asked please not to worry, as judging by last years effort, there is sure to be plenty to go around. Soft drinks will be provided for the children.
If we were able satisfactorily to conduct the last event in bad raining conditions, it is safe to say that the Commemoration definitely will be held on 14th January next, irrespective of the weather; and we do hope that you will be able to attend.
what thy manhood bids thee do.
Kevin Ward reports the State as at 30th November:
Discharged from R.G.H. since last MAKAN:
ANNUAL REUNION DINNER
Following last years most successful venue, it was no surprise that the event, held on Saturday, 18th November at R.A.N. House should again prove a most enjoyable affair. Numbers were down slightly on last year, but the 64 who attended thoroughly enjoyed the excellent food, copious supplies of liquid refreshment and the excellent comradeship which was evident throughout the evening.
There was a sprinkling of Long Distance Runners in evidence, and we were very happy to have with us our Patron, who was looking, and was obviously feeling much better after a very indifferent period earlier in the year.
The Toast of the evening, "The Regiment", was entrusted to Des Kearney, who made all sorts of references to his, inadequacies and inability to handle it, but proceeded to deliver an absorbing and interesting address. Des used as his theme the real, vital and living presence of the Battalion, exemplified in the closeness of its personnel almost 30 years after cessation of hostilities.
The examples and standards set by our two Commanders, B.J. and our Gentleman George undoubtedly provided the incentive and the flux to weld the members into a body of men whose friendships grew, and still exist, and will endure for evermore; and whose loyalty, sincerity, resolution and determination, tempered by generosity, compassion and forgiveness are ever present and evidenced in their daily lives and their association with their fellow men, and with each other. Nor must we forget the many hundreds, not with us now, who set examples for all to follow, and who will remain with us in our thoughts for all times.
Des also paid tribute to the Office Bearers and Committees over the years who by their efforts have done so much to keep us all together and to foster the Spirit of the Regiment, of which we are all so proud.
In his response, our Patron also paid tribute to the Office Bearers and Committees, mentioning several by name who had done so much for the Association.
As he had had several enquiries, and felt that it could be of interest to many others, he outlined the circumstances which led to his steadfast refusal to accept Command of another Battalion during action, and his ultimate appointment to Command of 2/30 Bn., just a few days before Capitulation.
A series of articles, recently published in the Press, had drawn attention to the late General Gordon Bennett, and our Patron gave us some interesting sidelights and facts concerning the affair, and his personal involvement in the subsequent proceedings.
Following the formal proceedings, the gathering broke into lots of groups which circulated freely, and the reminiscences and tall stories abounded until midnight, when propriety and the Law governing Clubs demanded that we depart. Despite constant visits to the Bar and the side tables, still laden with all sorts of epicurean delight, neither point ran out of supplies; and Bob Jack has announced that a small surplus will be available for our General Funds after he has paid all the bills. There is no doubt that R.A.N. House is the ideal venue for our Annual Reunion Dinner, and our one regret is that rebuilding plans for the area have been announced which may upset the programme next year.
TAMWORTH BIENNIAL 8th DIV. REUNION DINNER
Held on Saturday, 14th October last, when 220 ex-8 Div's and wives gathered at the R.S.L. Club, the event was a great success. Sir Adrian Curlewis journeyed from Sydney with Lady Curlewis, and was the Guest Speaker; but amongst those who travelled great distances to be present, pride of place went to our own Len Barnes (HQ Coy) who came down from the Cairns area, but minus Honey of course - someone has to work on the plantation.
Len just happened to be in Sydney round about that time, and as he couldn't get on a plane to Tamworth, and your Editor was minus his car (which got involved in a mishap and was a write off) Len suffered the indignity of travelling up by train with the Editor and wife, Vi. While Vi is of the firm opinion that your Editor can talk most people off their perch, after seeing the pair of us at it for seven hours, she reckons young Len held his own and probably came out a winner; and she further affirms that it was natural ability on our part, which was in no way influenced by the several visits made by the train hostess bearing little bottles labelled "Dewars", and names of similar products.
The balance of the 2/30 Bn. contingent consisted of Gordon and Nancy McKnight (HQ Coy) from Sydney, Tom Dare, (C Coy) from Gloucester, Bob and Vera Newman (HQ Coy) from Woolgoolga, Ray and Mavis Godbolt and Don and Monica Schumacher (both D Coy) from Newcastle, Jack Conn (HQ Coy) and Neil Huntley (B Coy) from Port Macquarie, Jack and Vera Fell (B Coy) from Cessnock, Ray and Elsie Reeves (HQ Coy) from Armidale, Harold French (A Coy) from Walcha, and a Tamworth contingent consisting of Wal and Freda Eather (HQ Coy), Doug and Beryl Hicks (HQ Coy), Ray and Tup Michell (B Coy) and Phil Bailey (HQ Coy). The statistically minded can count them all up, and will no doubt arrive at the correct figure of 16 blokes and 10 wives, making 26 in all; and that is considered a reasonably good representation.
The facilities of the Club were made available to us, the Dinner was excellent, with an unlimited supply of grog, and on the Sunday morning a good company of us gathered for a simple wreath laying Ceremony; after which we were entertained at an excellent barbecue luncheon, where at it was noticed that Ray Michell was one of the Chefs. And all this for a modest, $5 per couple! The organisers' ability to do this was undoubtedly due to the moderate charge made by the Caterers and the Club, the generosity of some of the members, and a 200 club raffle which proved most successful financially particularly for us, as Lenny Barnes collected Third Prize of $30.00, and promptly donated it to Association funds.
Wal and Freda Eather had the "No Vacancies" sign out, with the McKnight’s and the Schofields bedded down with them, and as Hon. Treas. of the show, Wal seemed to have money all over the joint. As it balanced out successfully on the Monday morning, all was apparently well, and Wal was of the opinion that there was a possibility of a small surplus occurring.
Your Editor was far too busy talking to our own to really notice who made up the rest of the 220 present, but it was really marvellous to make contact again with some of our chaps whom he had not seen since returning home, and to meet their wives. The most distinguished of all was undoubtedly Don Schumacher, who was complete with full "George V" greying beard and moustache. While Don suffers from Happy Feet, and has to wear callipers, he seems to get around alright; and although retired and a T.P.I., from his general appearance it is easy to see that Monica feeds him the right makan. Joyce obviously also does the right thing by Tom Dare, who certainly looked as though he came out of a good paddock at Gloucester, and with his full crop of snow-white hair, he ran Don a good second in the "Distinguished" Stakes.
Apart from Ray Godbolt who doesn't put on much weight, although Mavis does the right thing by him, and Jack Conn who doesn't seem to fatten up despite the best efforts of Agnes, the rest of the bunch appear to have put on a little weight around the middle, and all professed to being well. Ray and Elsie Reeves continued to brag about their baby daughter, Jack Conn produced some photos of the old haunts which daughter Jillian brought back when returning through the Far East from a World Trip; and all appeared to enjoy the opportunity to catch up with their old mates of Army days.
While idly sipping a restorer at the Club on Sunday morning and reflecting on the events, it was easy to see why Gordon McKnight makes sure that Nancy accompanies him on his travels. A few, and only a few visits to the machines by Nancy over the weekend caused two Jackpots and several other good pay-outs to fall her way. It seems that this sort of thing is quite a habit, and a very profitable one for Nancy.
By their presence, those who attended might have been expected to support the idea of making this Tamworth Biennial 8 Div Reunion Dinner our Country Get-together, but others have also supported the idea; and we will do a bit of plugging shortly before the event recurs in two years time. Meanwhile, there are other annual events held at centres like Lismore, Ballina, Grafton, Kempsey and the Riverina (to mention just a few) where a gathering of 2/30 Bn. Members can be found.
NORTHERN RIVERS BRANCH Ex-P.O.W. ASSOC REUNION DINNER
Although our Grafton Correspondent was shooting off the next day, with his wife, for three weeks fishing and surfing at the P.O.W. Cottage at Yamba, he managed to make the time to send in a report on the Reunion Dinner, which was held at the District Services Club, Grafton, on Saturday, 25th November last. This sort of co-operation is very heartening to an Editor who has a deadline to make and often tries in vain to drag some news out of the various Country areas. Harry reports:
"We have just arrived home from our Eleventh Reunion Dinner, at which 105 people attended, including the following 2/30 Bn. Members and wives: Gordon and Nancy McKnight (HQ Coy) from Sydney, Don and Monica Schumacher (D Coy) from Newcastle, Jack and Vera Fell (B Coy) from Cessnock, Joe and Norma Veivers (A Coy) from Coffs, Artie and Nancy Power (D Coy) from Kyogle, Jack Clune (A Coy from Taree, Ben Pearce (D Coy) from Sawtell, Bob and Vera Newman (HQ Coy) from Woolgoolga and the locals, John and Dulcie Korsch (C Coy), Jack and Gloria Newton (HQ Coy), Jack and Iris Collins (HQ Coy), Fred and Jean Winters (D Coy), Ethel and Harry Rhodes (B Coy), Arthur Roberts (C Coy) and 'Bully' Behan (B Coy). Apologies were received from Harry Griffis (D Coy), Neil Huntley (B Coy) and Phil Schofield (C Coy).
Prior to the Dinner at the Grafton Services Club, a Wreath-laying Ceremony was held at the Grafton Cenotaph, the march being led by Colonel Jack Williams, OBE, ED., President of the N.S.W. Ex-P.O.W. Association.
Visitors to the Dinner came from Sydney in the South to Esk (Q) in the North. An interesting address was given by Major Jim Orr (formerly a Sgt. with 2/18 Bn.), the address being based on both civil and military changes in Singapore and Malaya. Major Orr had quite an array of photos, which were of great interest, and a number of 2/30 members eagerly asked questions about a lot of their old haunts in Singapore.
Lucky prizes were won by Vera Newman and Jack Collins. A cake was cut by Sylvia McGregor (2/13 A.G.H.) to celebrate the tenth Dinner with our womenfolk present. Everyone seemed to enjoy the Reunion. Jack and Vera Fell were heard making arrangements to meet Bob and Vera Newman at Woolgoolga the following day and Jack told me that he hoped to come to the Reunion again, next year."
BALLINA Ex-P.O.W. ASSOC REUNION DINNER
Your Editor finds it extremely handy to have a few Correspondents scattered around the areas where we are well represented. In the present instance, one of our Far North Coast Correspondents did the right thing, and came good with the following report on the Reunion:
Held on Saturday, 12th August last, at the Ballina R.S.L. Club, the Dinner was a tremendous success and attracted visitors from all over the District, and as far North as Surfers Paradise, South to Port Macquarie and West to Tenterfield.
A total of 75 attended, and the local Press reported the organisers, Sid Jameson (2/18 Bn., but an adopted associate), Norman Watkins (A Coy), Noel Hampton (B Coy) and Len Clavan (HQ Coy) as having combined hard work with imagination to give the assembly an excellent night.
Featured amongst the decorations was a 10' x 6' oil painting by the daughters of two of the local R.S.L. Members, historical photographs and mementoes of the relevant military areas, bamboo decorations, and contemporary sketches of those present.
Speeches by Sid Jameson and Joe Johnston (D Coy, who is also President, Far North Coast District Council) were kept to a minimum, and the Buffet Dinner, planned and organised by a former Army Chef, John Lovell, was something to remember. At one stage of the proceedings, Bill Sorenson (D Coy) was noticed bumping himself up and down on his chair, and when solicitous enquiries were made as to what was wrong, he merely replied: "Nothing. I'm just making room for some more of this lovely food."
Amongst the guests were Harry Riches (HQ Coy) from Brunswick Heads, Bob and Shirley Robinson (B Coy) and Stan Scarrabellotti (AASC, but an adopted associate) from Lismore, Joe and Norma Veivers (A Coy) from Coffs, Artie and Nancy Power (D Coy) and Bill and Flo Sorenson (D Coy) from Kyogle, Len and Win Clavan (HQ Coy) from Tintenbar, Joe and Sybil Johnston (D Coy) from Knockrow, and the local identities, Noel and Kathy Hampton (B Coy), Bruce and Billie Greer (HQ Coy) and Norman and Raema Watkins (A Coy).
It has been most gratifying to be able to report proceedings of Country area Reunions as well as our Metropolitan event, and it is hoped that this trend will continue.
All that is required is that someone in the area concerned with the particular event should send in a report; and it is also strongly urged that as soon as the event for the area is planned, advice should be forwarded to the Editor, several months in advance, so that the event can be publicised in at least two issues of MAKAN. This could have the beneficial effect of inducing some of our Members to make the trip and attend.
Now that we are all getting a little older and for a lot of us, memories of those bygone days and association with our former mates are amongst our prized possessions, what better chance could we have of indulging in those pleasant pastimes than by going to the various Reunions?
It is obvious that the Country Members derive untold pleasure from their attendance, and since they are all held over a weekend, there is really no valid reason why Metropolitan Members should not be able to make the trip and join in the festivities
The idea is commended for your consideration. - Editor.
NEWS, VIEWS AND WHOS WHOS
With the production of the final issue for the year, it may be appropriate to review the achievements (or otherwise) of MAKAN for 1972.
Six issues were published, all of 20 pages or more, plus a Supplement of 8 pages for the Annual General Meeting and a further Supplement of 32 pages embracing an alphabetical and geographical list of Members and Next-of-Kin. All have been produced on a Gestetner, and since there have been no complaints, it is assumed that Members are satisfied with the result. Registration for Posting as a Periodical, Category A, has also been achieved and the resultant savings in printing and postage have reduced the cost of production and despatch of MAKAN to approximately a third of the former amount.
All events of interest to Members occurring throughout the Year have been advertised, where the information has come to hand in time, and subsequent reports on the events have been published. Several Country events have not received any publicity, due to lack of receipt of information and the Editor desires to assure all Members that he is willing and anxious to publish all such information - it only requires someone in the area to let him have the necessary copy.
Only three Members have furnished articles for publication, one has provided an Editorial, two have sent in poems and two have shared their "Do You Remembers?" with us. Amongst our Members, there surely must be many more than eight who could send in a contribution from time to time and help to ensure that MAKAN remains an interesting Periodical.
Although these particular columns have been a bit short over the last couple of issues, the first four issues were well up to standard and, however scant and disregarding repetitions of names, over 400 references to Members and Next-of-Kin have occurred during the Year. While there are a few Members who do the right thing and correspond fairly regularly, our main source of information is the overworked, unpaid secretary/wives (God Bless 'em) without whose help the columns would often be very thin indeed. A regular flow of correspondence from all sources would be sincerely appreciated.
Having blown his trumpet, and had his gripe, may your Editor conclude on a happier note, and sincerely thank all those who have helped him during the year; and wish all his Readers a Bright and Happy Christmas and Prosperity and Good Health for the Year to come.
Although he is one of our valued regular Correspondents, it was a while before we could drag some vital statistics out of Alan Charlton (HQ Coy); but he finally came good. Alan and Yvonne are not starters in the Grandpa Stakes (and Alan reckons that he'll have to chop his way through a few firsts to be able to afford any weddings - he had just returned from a practice chop with Bob Martin when he wrote); but they seem to have done a reasonable job of rearing a fine family of three girls and one boy, who seem to be getting along O.K.
Kathleen (25) graduated in Arts at A.N.U. in 1969, went to Sth. Africa. to work for a year, and has for some time been a Research Officer with the Australian Council of the Arts. Robynanne (23) is a Secretary Bird, worked for a couple of years for a Legal Firm in Pitt Street, then shot off for an Overseas trip last year, returning just over 12 months ago. She now works in North Sydney. Michael (21) is a trainee teacher, and expects an appointment next year (which will take a bit of the pressure off Alan). Bronwyn (18) lives in Neutral Bay and has just commenced a new job somewhere, but like most of us oldies with modern 'with its', Alan hadn't caught up with her news at the time of writing.
Alan keeps in regular touch with Jim Hill (HQ Coy) - writing if he can't manage a regular visit - and sends his regards to all his old mates and hopes to hear from some of them, by letter at least, from time to time.
Clarrie Burgess (A Coy) wasn't going to run the risk of becoming unfinancial, so he sent in his 1973 Subs with a covering note - and note is all you could call it. However, he did, at a pinch, manage to convey that his back had been playing up and he had to give away his job with the Education Department as there was too much lifting. If anyone wanted the services of a Barman or light duty conscientious worker, Clarrie would be interested. He ended up with: "Family all well, 6 grandchildren. Had a very nice two days at Tamworth with Phil Bailey a couple of months back. Happy Christmas and best of health and New Year to all. The booklet is terrific. Congrats."
Allan Venn (HQ Coy) heeded the plea and wrote in from Murwillumbah, advising particulars for inclusion in the List of Members, and also the address of one of our Life Members with whom we had been out of touch since 1954. Although he was already in advance with his Subs, Allan made sure of continuity by sending in a further sizeable remittance, and he added his appreciation of production of the List of Members. His regret was that he had not received it sooner, as he had just returned from a trip through the Central West and the Riverina, and was not aware that there were 2/30 chaps in most of the places he had visited.
Allan has been President of the Far North Coast T. P. I. Sub Branch for the past two years and has Harry Teasdale (D Coy) and Stan Scarrabellotti (AASC but an adopted associate) on his Committee. He sent greetings from our Murwillumbah contingent, and Christmas Greetings to all.
After a lapse of many years, we caught up with Bill (Howard C.) Robinson (BHQ). Originally in the Band, Bill went off on "A" Force and developed T.U.'s badly on both feet at the 105 Kilo Camp. He was sent back to the 55 Kilo Hospital Camp, where Colonel (later Sir Alfred) Coates lopped off his left leg below the knee.
Following his return to Australia, Bill did a few years at East Sydney Tech, studying painting at the Art School, during the course of which he exhibited, with some degree of success, in Sydney, Parramatta, Brisbane and Melbourne. On medical advice to seek out a cooler climate, he shot off to Melbourne, where he lived for some years and thoroughly enjoyed the living until the cold, damp Winters adversely affected his Spinal Arthritis and Sciatica; so he returned to his birth place a little over twelve months ago, and now lives in the Lismore area.
In Melbourne, he developed quite a burliness designing and making jewellery, but the strain of continuous work proved a bit too great and he had to ease down. In Lismore, as a member of the Lapidary Club and the Camera Club, he divides his time between those hobbies and his painting; while as a member of the R.S.L. he is on the Hospital visitation panel; and recently ran into Popeye Kentwell (C Coy) who was over from Ballina for treatment and has since returned home.
Bill has remained a bachelor. He expressed appreciation of receipt of the List of Members, and now that he knows where they live, hopes to make contact with some of his old mates.
Having lost touch with Danny Foran (C Coy), the Editor appealed to Jack Burke (C Coy) for help in tracking him down, and was promptly rewarded with a reply which contained the required information. Jack also included the news that he recently had a visit from Fred Winters (D Coy) of Grafton, who was on his way to a Gun Club Shoot (there can't be anything wrong with Fred's eyes - Ed.) Jack also recalled catching up with several notables, including President Arch's Doctor brother. In a subsequent note, Jack advised of the possible whereabouts of Charlie Taylor, and sent down enough Subs in Advance to keep him from worrying for quite a while.
Danny Foran (C Coy) came good with a letter explaining how he got in the "Lost Addresses" File. Peripheral neuritis cripples his hands at times, and with bronchitis troubles added to it, Danny has been unable to do much over the past four years; but though Repat have accepted his disabilities, they are still haggling over whether he is a T.P.I. or not. The Cairns climate agrees with Danny and he is hoping for some improvement in his general condition. He recently saw Bob Dyer with his record black marlin catch (1094 lbs on an 801b breaking strain line.)
Ted Skuse (A Coy) got pinned down in R.G.H., Concord, and as he could not find a reasonable excuse, he put pen to paper and supplied an address for Don Frith (A Coy) with whom we have not been in touch for many years, and who has had a rather rough spin over the last few years. Ted even provided some vital statistics for the Skuse family. He and Edna can proudly claim four children, and a definite entry in the Grandpa Stakes with 10 grandchildren, ranging in ages from 15 years to 6 months.
Eldest daughter, Carol, lives at West Kempsey, where her husband runs the Motor Registry. Eldest son, Noel, lives at Macquarie Fields and second son, Paul, lives at Redcliffe, Q. Youngest daughter, Ellen (18) is still at home, so the Skuse family can probably look forward to further Grandpa Stakes nominations in the future.
Ted also mentioned that when visiting Carol, on an occasion when she lived in Murwillumbah, he caught up with Tom Grant (C Coy) and the widow of Jimmy Baird (D Coy) who was on "A" Force, and went down on the "Hell Ship" on the way to Japan. He has also called in on Big Mac (Ernie McNiven - A Coy) at Bangalow from time to time.
From his former Landlady in Newcastle, we received some disturbing news of Harry Law (A Coy) who has been very ill of late. Contact was immediately made with Tom Kennedy (C Coy) who lives in the area, and it was most gratifying to have Tom's prompt reply advising that everything possible had been done to place Harry's affairs in good condition. Meanwhile, Kevin and his team maintained contact with Harry, who had been transferred to R.G.H., Concord. Unfortunately, Harry's condition deteriorated and he is at present receiving treatment in a mental institution. We can only hope for the best.
From a Far North Coast Correspondent, we received an interesting Press cutting from the Brisbane Sunday Mail of 24/9/72, and from which we quote:
"Tomorrowland and Fairyland combined yesterday afternoon for Queensland's first Space Wedding - in a "flying saucer" - outside Beenleigh.
"To the piped sound of the "Trumpet Voluntary" the bride, formerly Miss Janice Jones, arrived by a helicopter from Eagle Farm Brisbane, for her wedding to Mr. Cliff Moore.
"She was accompanied in the helicopter by her father, Mr. Baden Jones of Ipswich, and the Minister, the Rev. R. L. Gilmour of Moorooka Presbyterian Church. The Bride wore a space helmet, topped by dozens of waving silver balls. Over her side-slit silver lame dress she wore a flowing white veil.
"Five hundred adults and two hundred children, wearing leis and casual clothes, crowded into the amusement park, Fantasyland, which Mr. Moore owns. The cockpit of the flying saucer was too small, so the guests watched the wedding ceremony on ground level on closed circuit television, and applauded as the couple appeared afterwards.
"A Hawaiian style feast followed for the adults, while the teenagers were entertained by a rock band, and the youngsters watched a magician show.
"A huge black Daimler carried Mr. and Mrs. Moore to the reception area near the swimming pool. They posed for photographs near a 3ft. high wedding cake in the shape of another flying saucer."
A large sized photo with the article showed a most attractive young lady emerging from a helicopter, with an obviously admiring father standing by, who was clearly recognised as Sluggo Jones (D Coy). As an old Don Companyite, before he was shanghaied into C Coy, your Editor had no idea that Sluggo revelled in the name of Baden, and privately, your Editor wouldn't mind receiving a gift of the cheque Sluggo must have signed to pay for the Space Wedding things must be on the up and up with the Jones family.
A further Press cutting from the "Australian Army" of 2/11/72 is of interest, and warrants reprint:
"A rarely encountered C. M. F. long service award was presented at the E. Comd, Wallgrove, recently.
"The third clasp to the Efficiency Medal - for 30 years service was presented to W.O.11 Reg Napper, a training Warrant Officer at O.C.T.U. The presentation was made by the Chief Instructor, Lt-Col J. Hart, during a special Unit parade.
W.O.11 Napper has had 24 years service with the C.M.F. preceded by six years with the A.I.F. during W.W.2. He joined the Army in 1940 at the age of 22, and joined the 2/30 Bn., sailing for Malaya in 1941.
W.O.11 Napper was interned in Singapore after the Surrender in February, 1942, and from Changi P.O.W. Camp was taken to work on the notorious Burma-Thailand railway, where he estimated half the men of the 2/30 Bn. died.
After the War, W.O.11 Napper continued to serve in the Army, at Training Bns in the Greta area, before being posted to Singleton where he took his discharge in January, 1947. He joined the C.M.F. as a Sergeant in July, 1948, serving with the 17/18th Bn., The North Shore Regiment, and 2 R.N.S.W.R before going to O.C.T.U. in 1965.
In the 1965 New Year Honours,W.O.11 Napper was awarded the M.B.E. in recognition of his services to the C.M.F. (Our congratulations to Reg, who is the last member of the Bn to be still on the active list. - Ed.)
The Printer's Devil/Office Boy/Assistant Despatcher, Les Hall, (HQ Coy) was observed taking a little longer than was considered necessary in addressing the envelopes for despatch of MAKAN, and was in danger of being sacked for loafing, until it was discovered that he was writing little "billets doux" on the flaps of the envelopes; with satisfactory responses in some cases. Les has been good enough to pass on the substance of the information he received in a letter from Steve (Steamboat) Kirton (HQ Coy) from Canada, where Steve has been since 1957, except for a brief spell in Sydney about 6 or 7 years ago. Steve's letter was most interesting, and rates for substantial quotation in full:
"I have been across Canada twice, and also across the States to Chicago and Detroit. I find the East Coast much more interesting, with beautiful rolling Countryside, well settled and prosperous.
The Maple trees in the Fall are something you have to see to be believed. Every day they are different, and even in the Winter, they are coated in ice and look like glass trees.
You would be amazed at the many hundreds of miles you can travel across fertile, empty land with not a soul in sight. America and Canada have lots of good land to expand in for the future.
America has lots of dry country in the Western States and California, but Canada has only a few dry, hot valleys in Southern B.C., where it goes up to maybe 110 degrees in a short Summer, and rapidly drops off to Winter, which in the same spot can be 40 degrees below zero six weeks later.
In most parts of Canada, you have local pockets of Red Indians, who live on Reserves and keep to themselves. There are a few who come to Town, become tradesmen and settle down, but they are in a minority. I get the impression that most of them are waiting for the buffalo to come back, and the white man to disappear from the area.
The Indian Races seem to stay put and intermarry locally, so that even a hundred miles or so, or a mountain range, brings up a very different type and probably a different language; although the Government makes them all learn English or French, and they have every opportunity to have any education they want or can assimilate.
The French in Quebec want their Province to be self-governing and a separate Country, and it seems they will get it before long. This will cut Canada in three pieces and could mean absorption by the U.S.A., in total or in part, within 10 or 20 years. Some people are very anti-American and would fight any take over, and others would not give a damn. Personally, I think it would be a shame, as I believe Canada and the U.S.A. are better as separate Countries.
America is rapidly running out of oil and natural gas, and a graph of her shortages is a graph of Canada's surplus commodities. U.S.A. is running short of fresh water, whereas Canada has enough in the Great Lakes alone to cover Canada 12' deep; also huge watersheds running North, which could be dammed and pumped South. B.C. also has a great rainfall. So you can see why some people want it to be one Country.
Before I bore you to death, I must tell you about Disneyland, Los Angeles, California. We took the two youngest down there this Summer. Disney sure was a master of entertainment and everyone, from infant to old age, has a lot to see and enjoy there. One thing I was fascinated with was Laser Photography, which is the next thing to T.V. Can you imagine someone in a room, full size and talking to you - only the person is not there? It is only a three dimensional projection which you can walk right around. Or a live human head inside a glass bowl on a glass table, with no drapes - and it talks to you!
Another thing was a circular theatre with full projection 180 degrees all round, showing scenes from Alaska to Florida - and it is as if you were there. One other very remarkable show was "Its a small World". You get into a boat and travel through caves and tunnels, and the show consists of thousands of dolls singing, and all animated. It would be a winner at the Royal Show in Sydney.
There were other shows, all of a very high standard; none of them expensive; some of the best of them free - including the parade of light at the final, which was something like a Mardi Gras, only more professional. It was a spectacle worth the 3,000 miles round trip. In fact, the whole show was almost beyond description.
the best to all the boys in the 2/30th, especially the Sigs
Les Hall also managed to drag a letter out of John Korsch (C Coy) who had done some sketches of P.O.W. conditions for Les, and in answer to a query as to whether he was keeping up the sketching, John advised that on his return to Australia, he redrew a lot of his sketches on decent paper, and eventually sold them to the War Museum. He then got stuck into a C.R.T.S. Carpentry and Joinery Course, and what with getting married in December, 1946 and building his own home, then setting up in his own business, he doesn't seem to have had much time for sketching Johnnie went on:
"Eventually, in1965, I became interested in rocks and gemstones collecting and then polishing them. So what little artistic ability I have has gone in that direction. So far, apart from the making of many cabathons, I have carved a frog and a turtle from rocks, and I have done four gemstone paintings. These are done first in pencil, and then glue is applied where required, and powdered gemstones (of a multitude of colours) are sprinkled on to give the required colour; and when dry, the surplus is shaken off. I have more ambitious projects in mind, on which I hope to embark in the near future.
Our only daughter, Veronica aged 17, is in 5th Year at Grafton High, and is aiming to be an Art Teacher. She dabbles in oils, and doesn't take long to complete each painting, doing most on masonite. However, her major aspect of art is copper enamelling and jewellery making, of which she does quite a lot.
Barry, who will be 20 on 30th November, is the only one of our three sons to be drawn for National Service. He is in 2nd Year at Armidale Teachers College, where he will be doing three years possibly four, and come out as a Junior Secondary Teacher of Science.
Ken, the second eldest, did three years at Armidale Teachers College for Primary Teaching. However, he developed a love of pottery, and majored in that in his 3rd Year. He tried to get a full time Course in Ceramics at East Sydney Tech, but later he found out that they didn't have a course for 3 year trained students. However, he was appointed to the Art Department at Granville Boys High at the beginning of this year, and taught mainly pottery, with some woodwork also. Then the day after Anzac Day, Lithgow was short of an Art Teacher, and he was transferred there. He married in August - the only one to take that step so far.
Russell, the eldest, has been at the University of New England Armidale, since 1965 on a Teachers' Scholarship. He got his B.Sc. after three years, 1st class honours in geology in the next year. Dip.Ed. was secured at the end of 1969. For the last three years he has been doing his PhD. in structural geology. Early this year he did some part time lecturing at the Teachers College, Armidale, until they ran out of money. Now he has been offered (and accepted) a position of acting lecturer (I.E. on 12 months- trial before he becomes a permanent lecturer) to start next year. This is in geology. The principal and two of the geology lecturers pulled some strings to get him there, as he has not had any teaching experience to speak of. He will complete his PhD. in his spare time.
He is also fortunate that for three weeks early in 1969 he was in Antarctica, assisting a professor from the U. of N. E. They were working for the United States Antarctic Research Programme. They touched down first at McMurdo Sound and were taken away, just the two of them, by helicopter, and set down in three different areas for about a week each; and the helicopter would come along later and pick them up. One time they were confined to their tent for four days by a blizzard, and the 'chopper was unable to get them until the weather cleared. He brought back quite a lot of rocks."
Wally Scott (A Coy) was recently over in Perth, and though he didn't have much spare time available, he managed to make contact with our one and only Ron Stoner (B Coy). Wally provided the information that if you want to catch up with Ron during Business hours, you call at A. R. Thorogood & Co., 256 Albany Highway, Victoria Park. 6100, or 'phone him at 61 1246. Ron's home 'phone is 30 1485
Kevin and Dorothy Ward (A Coy) married off their daughter on 14 Oct., and had barely recovered from that when son, Bruce, announced his engagement; to be followed shortly afterwards by the news that he and his fiancée were marrying on 9th December.
Kevin's and Dorothy's pleasure at these happy events was dampened somewhat by the death (though at the ripe old age of 85) of Dorothy's father, Clifton Burns, at Narromine. Dorothy's father was a famous foot runner in his early days, and later on used his experience to train several Stawell Gift runners He was also one of the Pioneers in Narromine, where he had a brick making business, and his bricks appear in many of the substantial buildings in the Town. (Our congrats to the Wards, and our sympathy to Dorothy in the loss of her father. - Ed.)
It is comparatively easy to rope coves back into the fold if the poor unfortunate wretches can be cornered where they can't escape. For instance, Kevin Ward found Horrie Cody (A Coy) pinned down in a bed at R.G.H., Concord, and he was a sitter. Poor Don Schumacher (D Coy) was well hemmed in at the Tamworth Reunion Dinner when the Chief Correspondent caught up with him (and with his happy feet, Don couldn't run, anyway); while Les Hall hogtied Frank Rampling (HQ Coy) with a bit of Sig. wire, and dragged him along at the Reunion Dinner. Although he extracted some cash from Frank, it is obvious that your Editor is in his dotage, on the decline, and other similar expressions, and ought to be replaced by a young man with an active brain, as the notebook shows a complete lack of vital statistics.
The same remarks apply following his effort at the Reunion Dinner, where some 64 coves were milling around with limpid eyes, lips bubbling over with glowing tales and a willingness to give freely of information about themselves and their mates. Yet, again, the notebook is lacking in information.
However, your Scribe did notice some Long Distance Runners were amongst the gathering, with pride of place probably going to Dick Andrew (B Coy) from Bethungra and Keith Richardson (HQ Coy) from Lismore. Neither sported the suntanned bronze Anzac look and they hadn't put on much weight around tale middle, but they both affirmed that they were fit enough. Stewart Blow (HQ Coy) was up from Berry, which place he reckoned he had to quit, as Ruth was having some of her Army cobbers down for the weekend, Stewart looked as fat, as one of his prize bulls and was in fine form, so there can't be much wrong with him.
Freddie Butt (C Coy) came down from Terrigal, looking very fit, and reckons he has found the ultimate in living, at his Terrigal home which is in the course of erection. It ought to be a decent sort of a joint when finished, as Freddie indulges in building activities in the Central Coast area.
Then Arnie Trusler (HQ Coy) tore himself away from his Gwandalan (on Lake Macquarie) and persuaded Elsie that she ought to have a brief visit to Sydney. Trus has retired, looks very fit on it and swears that he actually catches fish in Lake Macquarie, all of which is a surprise to your Editor who reckons the place was fished out years ago - maybe they are returning.
Wally Scott (A Coy) and Con Hedwards. (C Coy) were up from the Illawarra, both looking A.1; and Con, who had the cataracts on his eyes done over some short while ago, had some reassuring remarks for your Editor, who is now half blind and is looking forward (albeit with some trepidation) to the time when he can follow Con's lead.
Snowy Stevens (HQ Coy) was strutting around like a prize pouter pigeon - and with some justification. Snowy recently got stuck into it at Arncliffe R.S.L. Bowling Club, where he won the major Singles Championship and was runner-up in the Pairs. Fellow Bowling Members were noticed according him some respect.
Another couple of proud old gentlemen were Harry Abrahams (A Coy) and Eric Arps (A Coy). Harry and Jean qualified for the Grandpa Stakes about four months ago, when No. 2 daughter produced a grandson. Eric and Rhona weren't going to let A Coy down, and followed suit a couple of months ago, when No. 1 son produced a grandson for their qualifying entry. Although Harry is a couple of years older than Eric, their birthdays are in the same month - nine days apart - and it is a pity that their respective children didn't arrange to produce their grandsons at least in the same month.
Bill Douglas (B Coy) hasn't let his shadow grow less, but he is looking very fit these days, nevertheless. When Kevin (the Bar Steward from R.A.N. House) wanted a break, or when things got a bit busy, Bill hopped in and dispensed the good cheer with a dexterity that must have come from experience. Bill came up with the suggestion that it might be worthwhile giving some thought to the fostering of a father and son movement, as in the R.S.L., and some of our Sister Units. (Have any others got any ideas on this subject, which has been mentioned tentatively from time to time? - Ed.)
Somebody mentioned that Nugent Geikie (B Coy) had been in bad shape a while back, necessitating a major operation, but he was now on the up and up; which is good news.
Stuart Peach (BHQ), who hasn't shrunk very much in size even though he declares that he has lost quite a bit of weight, has finally received his retirement from the Army, and before giving serious contemplation to another job, he is going off to New Zealand in early December, as one of the crew on a 42' yacht. It is expected to be a leisurely trip, by way of Lord Howe Island, which will give him time to have a look around N.Z. (I wonder if he counts as two in the crew, and whether they have lengthened and widened a bunk to accommodate him when he is off watch? - Ed.)
Arthur Piper (B Coy) was pinned down in the R. G. H., Concord, when last seen by one of Kevin's Hospital Visitation Group, and has since recovered and returned to his home Town, Orange. He didn't provide much news, but did come up with the information that he seriously contemplates a trip to Perth next year, when he will include attendance at the National Reunion of P.O.W.’s which is to be held in that City round about September. (Are there any other prospective starters for this event? - Ed.)
We also heard from our Y.N.C. Correspondent that Bob and Bette Wells (D Coy) journeyed up that way and had a few days with Joe and Sybil Johnston (D Coy) at Knockrow; when the opportunity was taken to tote them around the area and call on a few Don and HQ Companyites: Ossie Jackson at Binna Burra, Ernie Stratford at Main Arm, Harry Riches at Brunswick Heads and Martin Wallwork at The Pocket - unfortunately, Marty was out, so Betty had to sub for him. Artie Power was over from Kyogle, working with the Ballina P.M.G., so they caught up with him too. Although Bob is in the pink, Bette has not been the best of late, but is now hopefully on the up and up.
A late arrival from Alan Charlton (HQ Coy) from Port Kembla advised that he had been able recently to call in and see Jimmy Hill (HQ Coy) at Engadine. Although Jim was in good shape, Leila was a bit out of sorts, having suffered a fall recently; but a short spell for both Leila and Jimmy at a Motel down the Coast had improved her considerably.
Yvonne and Alan also paid a visit to see Mrs. Brown (widow of our late mate, Harry - A Coy) and son, Richard. The Browns are reported as being well, and the view on the way up Dunsters La. Dunmore is well worth the trip.
Frank Hannan (HQ Coy) came back into the fold, after a lapse of a few years, and assures us that he won’t be found lagging in future - he sent in enough from Wollongong to place him in a 'Subs. in Advance' position. He sent his regards and 'Seasonal Greetings to "The Mob".
Big George Michell (B Coy) sent his regards and Seasonal Greetings from Wembley (W.A.) and enclosed a clipping from the "West Australian" concerning the naming of the W. A. Baseball Team to play in the Interstate Carnival to be held in Perth in January next. George and Shirley have every reason to be proud, as 18 year old son, Ray (who plays for Wembley) has been chosen in the team as a pitcher. To make an Interstate team at the age of 18, and as a pitcher, is not a bad achievement, and we offer our congratulations.
Penfold (BHQ) was kind enough to send in a further extract from his Changi
Diary, of topical interest as it reported the events and menu for
Christmas Day, 1944. Unfortunately, 28 is the maximum number of pages your
Editor can manage, and it is only possible to quote the menu in the
limited space available:
Do you remember? Our poor shrunken stomachs couldn't eat it all, and we had to save some of it for supper etc.