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Makan No. 211
Nov/Dec, 1973

OFFICIAL JOURNAL 2/30 Bn. A. I. F. ASSOCIATION

Subscription Rate: $1.50 per Year

Registered for Posting as Periodical: Category A

 

COMMITTEE

CHRISTMAS MESSAGES TO ALL

1973, now in its closing stage, will always remain in my mind as a year in which a recommendation of our Association Committee was spontaneously and generously accepted at an Annual General Meeting of members, culminating at the Battalion Assembly Point for the last Anzac Day March, when our President pinned the Gold Badge of Life Membership on my lapel.

It was a proud moment, and became even more significant when I realised the source from which this grand tribute emanated; when Arch assured me that this was the highest award which the Association could make.

This, from the ex-members of a fine Battalion founded by our late Patron, Sir Frederick Galleghan, which proved itself many times as being second to none in courage, efficiency and loyalty. It made me feel very fortunate indeed to have been appointed as 2 i/c of such a fine Battalion and later, in the last brief period of active service in Malaya, to have had the privilege and honour of becoming its Commanding Officer; and now, the Patron of your Association. I am deeply grateful to you all for your kindly action.

My wife joins me in wishing all members and their families everything they could wish themselves for a happy and healthful Christmas, together with a bountiful New Year.

George Ramsay
PATRON

You will read elsewhere in this issue of a magnificent gesture of Lady B.J. - she is indeed a munificent benefactor to our Association. If one who has so relatively recently joined our Battalion Family feels moved to demonstrate her affection and loyalty in such a practical manner, should not we who have shared so much for so long come even closer together.

It is my sincere wish that as Christmas comes upon us once again, we shall all have a happy festive period in thee bosom of our families and that the New Year will bring us happiness and good health and an even stronger Association.

Arch Thorburn
PRESIDENT

SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 1974

Members are reminded that Subscriptions for 1974 now fall due, and are payable on the basis of:

Ordinary Members: 50c Membership Fee, $1.50 MAKAN Sub. Total: $2.00
Life Members: $1.50 MAKAN Subs.

With the exception of those who have paid their Subs in Advance (for whom a Special Notice is now sent) a Circular is enclosed, addressed to each Member, and prompt attention is asked to the request contained therein.

Although our Present Post Master General (in accordance with the last Federal Budget) threatened to eliminate concessions for all registered periodicals, the Opposition Parties in Parliament appear to have won the day, and considerable concessions (though reduced) still remain. Despite a steep rise in Postage (due to the usual size and weight of MAKAN) on conversion to Metric on 1st October last, and further rises announced with effect from 1/3/74 and 1/3/75, it is still extremely beneficial for us to retain our registration. In order to do so, it is essential that all Subs be paid promptly.

To those who had Subs in Advance and receive the Special Notice advising that they are paid for 1974: Thank you for your cooperation. To those who receive the Circular re Subs: PLEASE RETURN THE CIRCULAR PROMPTLY with the required remittance.

Please remember that in order to save on Postage costs, all receipts for Subs will be sent out with the next MAKAN to issue after the Sub has been received by the Chief Correspondent.

GEMAS DAY, 1974

The Commemoration will be held at the Memorial at Head Quarters 17 R.N.S.W.R., 2 Suakin Street, PYMBLE on Sunday, 13th January 1974 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 in a special MAKAN to Metropolitan Members and Next-of-Kin, which will be sent out early in January. However, it is expected that proceedings will be very much the same as those adopted for the last occasion, and 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 a bit 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 all the children attending.

This is our most important Family Gathering of the year, and as there is ample shelter available, the Commemoration will definitely be held on Sunday, 13th January, irrespective of weather conditions. It is hoped that our Piper, Jim Webster, will be able to attend this year, to supplement the 17 R.N.S.W.R. Pipers and render another solo item.

Please reserve the date now, so that you will be sure to be in attendance on Sunday, 13th January, 1974, at Pymble.

BATTALION BOWLS AFTERNOON.

Jack Maclay and Kevin Ward organised a Bowls Afternoon for Sunday, 21st October last, and Kevin got the job of settling on a venue. He picked on Bankstown R.S.L. Bowling Club, and even though he warned them that it would be a Family Gathering, with probably more spectators than bowlers, the Club still agreed to stage the event, and to match any bowlers we produced with bowlers from their Club, so that a teams competition could be held.

President Alan Croome and his Club certainly turned it on and made us all feel very welcome, even though we swamped the place with our invasion of approximately 50, only 10 of whom were actual bowlers. By borrowing a couple of bowlers, we filled three teams of four, and when it appeared as though we would be well done over, the Club generously decided that Social Happenings had so interfered with the bowling that there was insufficient time to finish the competition; and no conclusion was reached. The Club did, however, award a trophy, which was won by Snowy Mason and Norm Lee, who were teamed with the two ring-ins.

It had been decided to ask Lady Galleghan to be present to see Kevin Ward and Andy Hyslop making good use of the B.J. Bowls which had been awarded to them following the ballot last July; but at the last moment, Andy was called to Brisbane due to family illness, and had to tender his apology. Following afternoon tea, we adjourned to the edge of the green, where Lady Galleghan handed Kevin one of the B.J. Bowls; which he trundled, to him somewhat disappointingly, on a very long head - he did much better with a second shot.

During a most happy gathering at afternoon tea, when President Alan Croome extended a really hearty welcome to us all and presented Club Friendship Pins to Lady Galleghan and her escorts, Vi and Phil Schofield, it was announced that a "B.J. Memorial Trophy" would be presented by our Association Members to the Bankstown R.S.L. Bowling Club, for annual competition between teams from the Club and the Association; and the hope was expressed that the Club would be able to see its way clear to accept the trophy and allow the annual event to be held on a Family Day similar to the Day then in progress.

Fellowship was the keynote of the day, and it extended well into the evening, with Vince Leonard performing on the piano and Snowy Stevens even being persuaded to sing. The day was not without profit for some - Jean Maclay grabbed Jack's change from paying for their lunch and proceeded to crack a jackpot on one of the machines; but there is no record of her sharing the loot with her financial backer. All in all, a most enjoyable day was experienced, and we are deeply grateful for the kindness and fellowship extended to us by the Bankstown R.S.L. Bowling Club. We were represented by bowling members Kevin Ward, Jack Maclay, Snowy Stevens, Vince Leonard, Norm Lee, Snowy Mason, George Gough, John Kreckler, George Winchester and Ken (whose real name is Frank) Forward; with ring-ins Les Portley and Jack Burkhardt. Last minute apologies were received from Jim Dinnen and Andy Hyslop.

ANNUAL REUNION DINNER

The Annual Reunion Dinner was held on 17th November last at the R.A.N. House, Sydney, when a good attendance of 76 enjoyed the excellent food and copious supplies of liquid refreshment.

There was a sprinkling of Long-Distance Runners in attendance, including Col O'Donnell from Dalveen, Q., Jack Collins from Grafton, Frank Webb from Griffith, Jack Clune from Taree, Sid Stephens from Maitland, Jack Fell from Cessnock and Wally Scott and Con Hedwards from the Illawarra.

The Toast of the Evening, "The Regiment" was entrusted to Col O'Donnell, who was very much to the fore in the formation of our Association in Changi in 1943, and was in fact our first Hon. Secretary on our return to Australia.

It is recorded in parenthesis that Col barely occupied the office of Hon. Sec., when he shot off to Brisbane and passed the mantle on to Phil Schofield. Phil occupied it for a matter of months only, but did at least organise the first Anzac Day March after our return and the production of the Association Badge. He was then moved by his Bank, and since Ron Stoner was conveniently situated in the Bank next door, Ron copped the job.

Ron had not held the position very long before his Bank sent him to the Bush, and in order to stop this tossing from one to another, Stan Arneil was appointed as Hon. Secretary. Stan held the job for many years and consolidated the Association into a worthwhile body, and was the first Editor and Founder of MAKAN.

To revert to the Toast of the Evening: Col traced the history of our formation and reminded us of the dynamic personality and driving force of our C.O. and first Patron, B.J. He also reminded us of our first entry into the mutual benefit field, in Changi in 1944, when we commenced a Hospital Insurance Fund, whereby members subscribed to the fund while working and receiving that miserable amount of Japanese pay, so that when they were in Hospital they would receive a regular amount with which to purchase amenities which became available from time to time. Col also reminded us of the 8th Div. Memorial Nursing Scholarships which were founded on our return and still function in the training in Australian Hospitals of Chinese nurses from Singapore.

Col paid tribute to the members of the Executive who continued to work for the good of the Association, with particular mention of MAKAN, which he said was "very aptly named, because it provides food for our memories of our old comrades."

In his response, our Patron also paid tribute to those members who put so much work into ensuring that the Association remained an active, living body; and he expressed his deep appreciation of the Gold Badge of Life Membership conferred upon him at last Annual General Meeting.

Following the formal proceedings, the gathering broke into lots of groups which circulated freely, and the tall stories flowed long into the evening.

NORTHERN RIVERS BRANCH Ex-P.O.W. ASSOCIATION REUNION DINNER

Harry Rhodes reports from Grafton:

Our twelfth Annual Reunion commenced with the usual get-together at the Crown Hotel before the wreath-laying ceremony at 5 p.m., thence to the Dinner at the Grafton District Services Club at 6.30 p.m. where 95 attended and President John Korsch chaired the Dinner in his usual capable manner. Quite a few regular attendees were absent this year, some due to sickness and others on duty at polling booths. 2/30th members and wives present were: Joe and Norma Veivers, Bob and Vera Newman, Arty and Nancy Power, John and Dulcie Korsch, Jack and Gloria Newton, Fred and Jean Winters, Ray Alcock, Merle Rockett, Harry and Ethel Rhodes. Apologies from 2/30th members: Phil Schofield, Arthur Roberts and Jack Collins who attended the Sydney Reunion while on holidays.

The Guest Speaker this year was our newly-elected State President, Mr. Jack Marsh, who spoke of the aims and goals of the N.S.W. Ex-P.O.W. Association and its Branches. He paid tribute to the retiring State President, Col. Jack Williams, and his Secretary, Mrs. Margaret Winter, for their dedicated service of 22 years and 16 years respectively. Later in the proceedings a presentation was made to Col. Williams and Mrs. Winter, on behalf of the Northern Rivers Branch.

'Lucky Ticket Prizes' were won by May Rowe and Jack Newton. The raffle was won by Fred Winters - and thereby hangs a tale - the raffle being a Christmas cake and a bottle of champagne, the cake made by Jean Winters.     Fred said when he bought the tickets he was going to win it back! However, Jean presented the cake to Mrs, Winter and the champagne to Col. Williams. (Fred is showing the strain of a worrying time - his brother, Bob, is very ill and last Sunday was being flown to Sydney per air ambulance.)

Visitors to the Reunion came from Sydney, Wauchope, Kempsey, Kyogle and Inverell, while Branch members attended from Nambucca in the South to Yamba in the North.

I feel sure the evening was a successful one, with everyone pleased to meet and hear our new State President, whom we hope will be rewarded by the co-operation of all. The date has already been set for next Reunion, that is, 16th November, 1974.

Harry added Seasonal Greetings to us all.

LAST POST

ALAN ALBERT THORNCRAFT (HQ Coy). He died suddenly, from a heart attack on 30th September last, at the age of 58 years. He had attended his Church that morning and at the conclusion of the service had entered his car to drive home, when the immediately fatal attack occurred.

An original member of the Battalion, Alan was a corporal in the Bren gun Carrier Platoon. During a training exercise at Bathurst in May, 1941, he was unfortunately involved in an accident when a Carrier, through a mechanical fault, crashed over a bridge, killing the driver and severely injuring Alan; necessitating the amputation of a leg. Naturally, he did not, sail with us.

As his remaining leg was badly crushed, Alan was hospitalised for many months, and he was approached by the Repatriation Dept. to continue his service by learning the art of fitting artificial limbs, together with the operation of their Limb Factory. He accepted the position, and over the next 24 years he became an authority in the field of artificial limbs, rising to the position of Assistant Manager of the Limb Factory. He retired from that position 6 years ago, on account of his recurring heart trouble.

Alan suffered his first heart attack 20 years ago, and recurrence of that condition, together with the condition of his legs, naturally kept him out of active physical sport, but he was a keen bowler. However, he bore his afflictions and him very indifferent health (particularly over the last 6 years) with a cheerfulness and a stoicism which enabled him to continue to take an active interest in affairs around him; and to become Treasurer of his Lodge and Treasurer of his Church Trust.

He and Ellen (better known amongst her friends as Joy, and recently elected as National President of V.I.E.W. Clubs of Australia) were married in 1943, and they have reared a fine family of two girls and one boy. It has been a source of comfort and pleasure to his family that Alan was well enough to be able to participate in the fairly recent marriage of younger daughter Jennifer, and the more recent engagement of elder daughter, Robyn; and to see son, Philip, firmly established as a Chemist with the Lever and Kitchen Organisation.

At his very largely attended funeral service at the Manly Methodist Church on 2nd October last and subsequently at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium, we were represented by our Patron, Colonel George Ramsay, ED, Vice-President Bob Jack, Alan Pryde (who was also a victim of the Carrier accident), Dick Tompson, Alan Penfold, Les Hall, Phil Schofield and Lady Galleghan.

To Joy, his family and his sister, Mrs. Muriel Gregory, we extend our deepest sympathy.

THOMAS APPS (HQ Coy). He died suddenly in Goulburn, at the age of 53 years, on 21st October last.

An original member of HQ Coy, Tommy was of a quiet, retiring nature; and during P.O.W. days he did his stint on the Railway, on “F" Force, and on a Tunnelling Party in Johore towards the end of the War.

Although it was understood that he had returned to his home Town, Goulburn, on his return to Australia, Tommy did not answer our correspondence and remained completely out of touch with the Association. We are accordingly unable to furnish any details concerning him, but it is understood that he worked for the P.M.G.'s Department, and that he was very well thought of, though a modest and retiring member of the Goulburn R.S.L.

Although he was able to arrange a floral tribute from the Association for the R.S.L. funeral on 23rd October, our local representative, Norman King, was prevented from attending, due to a death in his own family which necessitated his presence in Leeton on that day.

We are unaware of what family survives Tommy, but to them we extend our deepest sympathy.

CLARENCE WILLIAM WOOD (C Coy). He died suddenly at Rankings Springs, from a heart attack at the age of 67 years, on 26th October last. Clarrie had suffered from a heart condition for some time past, but he appeared to have learned to live with it and the sudden, fatal attack came as a shock to us all.

An original member of C Coy, Clarrie was one of the 'infamous' quartet, Weiss, Whitbread, Williamson and Wood, who forever got entangled with Harry's imaginary dog, and complained continuously and bitterly about being the tail-end of the Company for all issues and hand-outs. Norm Whitbread was killed in action a few days before capitulation and the remaining trio were together on "F" Force on the Railway; where we were unfortunate enough to lose Harry Weiss and Clarrie Williamson within a few days of each other, in Sep/Oct, 1943. Although he suffered various illnesses, Clarrie Wood survived, and eventually made it back home.

Following his return to Australia, we lost touch with Clarrie, as he failed to answer any correspondence, and it was only a couple of years ago that we learned from his sister, Mrs. Luelf that Clarrie had settled in Rankings Springs in a Bakery business, but had retired some time ago due to ill health. But that did not prevent him from following on with a part-time job at the local hotel; and one of his mates from the Springs was heard to remark at the funeral: "I'll have to but an alarm clock now! Clarrie used to wake me up when passing my place at. 6.00 a.m. every morning." Clarrie did not marry.

At his funeral service at St. Barnabas, West Wyalong, on 30th October, which was conducted by the C. of E. Padres from West Wyalong and Lake Cargelligo, the Church was packed to standing room only; and representatives from Weethalli, Tallimba, Barmedman and West Wyalong Sub-Branches of the R.S.L. formed a large part of the gathering. At the graveside, the R.C. Padre from Weethalli joined the other Padres in the service. We were represented at the services by our Area Representative, Jack Folkard, whose wife, Monica, made up a beautiful sheaf of purple and gold flowers on behalf of the Association, which rested on the casket with the tribute from the family.

To Clarrie's surviving family we extend our deepest sympathy.

WALLACE SPEARE BELL (A Coy). He died suddenly, at Liverpool Hospital at the age of 63, on 25th November last. Like most of us, Wally had his definite ups and downs, but appeared to be able to cope with his various ailments, until his last fatal illness which caused his admission to hospital on 19th November last. His condition deteriorated rapidly and his death six days later, from multiple complications and a heart attack, came as a shock to us all.

An original member of A Coy (where he was the Company cobbler and was known as Wally Mark II) he did his stint during P.O.W. days on Blakang Mati, where he had the misfortune to have an argument with a railway sleeper, and suffered a broken leg; causing his return to Changi for treatment well in advance of the rest of the party.

On his return to Australia, Wally followed his former trade, and set himself up in a shoe repair business, which he conducted satisfactorily until some five years ago - when he reckoned the trade was fast diminishing. So he disposed of the business and joined the Staff of the Civil Administration of the Army at Moorebank. He was still following that employment at the time of his recent fatal illness.

Of a somewhat reserved nature, but a sincere and steadfast mate Wally did not marry, and he lived continuously with his sister, Mrs. Dooley, following his return from the War. It is recalled that he was particularly affected by the loss of his close mate in the Battalion, Harry Brown, who died in February, 1966 at the comparatively early age of 47 years. Although a Life Member of the Association, we only saw Wally on the odd occasion at our regular functions - the last at a Gemas Day Commemoration at Pymble.

At the Service at the Fairfield Chapel of the Funeral Director, and later at the Rookwood Crematorium on 28th November last, we were represented by Jack Black, Les Hall, Ron McBurney, Hank Massey, Johnnie Parsons and Phil Schofield.

To his four surviving sisters, and their families, we extend our deepest sympathy.

We were saddened to learn of the death on 10th October last, at the age of 72 years, of Leonard Roy Eve, brother of Gladys Hall.

Roy went to live at Gwandalan, on Lake Macquarie, in the very early days of the Settlement and was a prominent figure in the formation of the local Bowling Club, Progress Association and the Senior Citizens, being often referred to as "the uncrowned King of Gwandalan."

To Gladys and Les and their families we extend our deepest sympathy.

We were also saddened to learn of the death on 26th October last of Victor Wilkinson Arneil, brother of Stan Arneil.

Victor served in the 1939/45 War as a Battery Sergeant-Major in 2/2 Field Regiment, but earned his fame rather as a swimming coach during the post-war years. His dedication and belief in the greatness of Mike Wenden helped lift the swimmer to two Gold Medals at the Olympic Games in Mexico City; and Victor spent a vast amount of his time teaching spastic and handicapped children to swim.

To Stan and Dorothy and their families we extend our deepest sympathy.

We were also saddened to learn of the death on 16th November last, at the age of 87 years of Katherine Bertha Dingwell, widowed mother of Jack Dingwell.

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

We were also saddened to learn of the death at Taree on 2nd November last of Toni Stone, wife of Mick Stone.

To Mick and his family we extend our deepest sympathy.

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM .

B.J. MEMORIALS

It had been hoped to be able to advise you in this issue of the completion of arrangements for the establishment of two of our memorials to perpetuate the memory of B.J., but it has been a slow, protracted process, involving much letter writing and negotiating.

We have finally received approval for the placing of two plaques in the Changi Gaol Memorial Chapel: One in memory of our 394 members who died during action and as Ps.O.W. and the other in memory of B.J. The plaques have been ordered in cast bronze with raised lettering, the one for the Bn. members bearing the motif of the Bn. Colour Patch in full colour enamel, and the one for B.J. with the Rising Sun for its motif.

Upon receipt from the Manufacturer, the plaques will be forwarded to the Office of the Australian High Commissioner in Singapore for official presentation to the Gaol.

We have obtained a portrait of B.J., in Brigadier's uniform. It is a photographic likeness executed by a special colouring process in oils, in a suitable frame measuring 20" x 25" overall. It was displayed at our Annual Reunion Dinner and received unanimous favourable comment. Unfortunately, our efforts to date have not yet produced what we consider to be a satisfactory location in which to hang it; so finality has not yet been reached with this memorial.

In addition to the foregoing, a "B.J. Memorial Trophy" is to be established with the Bankstown R.S.L. Bowling Club. This Trophy will be displayed permanently at that Club, and will be competed for annually between the Club and our Association members -at a Family Day gathering. Any of our members, particularly those who are bowlers, wishing to be associated with this memorial, are invited to send their donations to the Chief Correspondent, Phil Schofield.

Finally, we have received from Lady Galleghan a most generous gift of $2,000 in memory of B.J., and we are giving thought as to how the funds will be applied.

REPATRIATION BENEFITS

The amendments to Repatriation Benefits, as announced in the recent Federal Budget, came into effect on 27th September last, and in case some of you missed reading the various Press announcements, and the excellent article which appeared in a recent issue of "Reveille" (written by the R.S.L. War Compensation Officer, Mr. W. Newington) it may be as well to furnish a summary of the articles, showing the principal variations likely to affect many of us.

Pensions:

Most of us with a Pension entitlement received a rise in the fortnightly Pension, the only ones who did not being those who are receiving a Pension at the rate of 75% and up to 100%, who were receiving in addition a Special Compensation Allowance. This allowance was introduced in 1969 and was generally understood to provide a means whereby those in receipt of Pensions from 75% to 100% could, in certain circumstances, be given an additional amount of compensation, without affecting the 100% rate, upon which all lesser Pensions are based as a percentage. The decision to phase out this Special Compensation Allowance over a period of two reviews has meant that those who qualified for it and were receiving it prior to 27/9/73 received a rise in Pension at 27/9/73, but a corresponding reduction in the S.C.A., so that the total payment to them remained unaltered. The same procedure will be adopted at the next review, which has been announced will take place in Autumn (March/April) 1974; at which point the S.C.A. will be eliminated. This may be summarised as follows:

 

Amount payable per fortnight

 

Old

From

From Autumn

 

Rate

27/9/73

1974

War Pension - at 100% Rate

$ 32.00

38.00

44.00

Special Compensation Allowance

12.00

6.00

Nil

Total

$ 44.00

44.00

44.00

All other Pensions, not subject to receipt of the additional S.C.A. received a proportionate increase, and will do so again at the review next Autumn.

Tax:

Some confusion apparently exists as to the Government's announcement that Pensions would in future be regarded as Taxable Income. We have been given to understand that it was not intended that War Pensions should become a form of Taxable Income but, that Pensions subject to a means test, such an Age or Service Pensions would become Taxable. This has no doubt been influenced by the granting of these types of Pensions, free of any Means Tests, to persons of 75 years of age and over.

Treatment:

All Boer War and 1914-18 War Veterans are now eligible for free Repatriation treatment services including. medical, hospital, dental and, pharmaceutical services and, subject to a patient contribution of $17.85 a week, treatment in Nursing Homes. Ex-servicemen and women who have served in a theatre of war and who are suffering from malignant cancer are now eligible for free medical and hospital treatment for that condition and, subject to a patient contribution of $17.85 a week, treatment in Nursing Homes. Any person who has lost a limb (not only ex-service personnel and those dependants presently eligible) will be provided with an artificial limb free of charge, through the Repatriation Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre.

Service Pensions and the Means Test:

Service Pensions are now payable, free of the Means Test, to all eligible persons of 75 years of age and over; and for those under the age of 75 years, 25% of War Pension received by them is now exempt income for the purpose of the Means Test. This means that all of our members who are receiving a Service Pension (or Part Service Pension) in addition to a War Pension should have received an increase as from 27/9/73.

Over the years there has also been some liberalisation of the Means Test, and since we all fulfil the first qualification of having served in a theatre of war, all those who have reached the age of 60 years, or those under that age who can no longer work and, upon application, are accepted by Repat as permanently unemployable, ought to examine their position with a view to qualifying for a Service Pension, or a part Service Pension. Apart from the cash benefit, the Fringe Benefits attaching to Service Pensioners who receive more than 72% of the maximum amount payable, are considerable. They include free medical and hospital treatment, fare, and rate concessions, radio and T.V. licence fee concessions and telephone rental rebates.

The maximum fortnightly rates are now $40.50 each for married couples and $46.00 for single persons; and if these maximum rates are payable, a Supplementary Pension may be granted to pensioners paying rent, provided they have no more than $10.00 other income. A further allowance of $10.00 per fortnight may be paid for dependant children.

The rate of Service Pension payable is determined by a Means Test, which takes into account two factors: (a) Actual Income and (b) Deemed Income. When these are determined and added together they become the Means as Assessed (M.A.A.); and this is calculated on a fortnightly basis. In the case of married couples, the income and the assets of each must be added together.

(a) Actual Income:

This is arrived at by adding to any gross fortnightly wages received; three-quarters of all fortnightly War Pensions received. From this total, an amount of $12.00 per fortnight is deductible for each dependant child. Any income received from investments is disregarded, and if any superannuation is being received, it may be converted to an asset, with more favourable treatment being given as the age of the pensioner increases. (b) Deemed Income:

This is arrived at by totalling all assets such as money in the Bank, the surrender value in excess of $1,500 of all Life Assurance Policies, the converted value of any superannuation, investments in shares, bonds, debentures and other property; but excluding any property owned by either husband or wife which is the permanent home and is actually lived in, together with the furniture in it, and any motor car which is used for pleasure only.

To convert assets to a Deemed Income, the total asset value is reduced by $400, and every complete $20 of the balance is multiplied by 7.50 to produce the amount of fortnightly income (In the case of married couples, it is necessary to halve their total asset value).

Thus, a couple with a total asset value of $10,000, or $5,000 each, reduce to $4,600 after deducting $400. This gives 230 complete units of $20, worth 7.50 each, or $17.25 per fortnight. Thus, the Deemed Income for both of them from the $10,000 is $34.50 per fortnight. This figure, when added to the previously obtained Actual Income, becomes the Means as Assessed; and is the basis on which a Service Pension is calculated.

This all sounds very complicated, and an example may be of assistance in explanation of the foregoing.

Let us suppose that a member has been granted a War Pension of 100%, plus the Special Compensation Allowance. He is 60 years of age and has a wife and a dependant child still at school.

He and his wife own their own home, in which they live, and a motor car which is used for pleasure only. He has retired from work and he received a lump sum on retirement which, with his savings, he has invested; so that the total of Bank account and investments is $10,000; from which he receives an income of $30 per fortnight. He further supplements his income by part-time light work, which earns him $40 per fortnight. The age of the wife does not have any bearing on the application.

On applying for a Service Pension, his means as assessed would be arrived at as follows - calculated on a fortnightly basis:

100% War Pension

$ 38.00

 

 

Special Compensation Allowance

6.00

 

 

Wife

8.10

 

 

Dependant Child,$2.75, not included

52.10

Less 25%

39.08

Wages (Gross, including Tax if deducted at source)

 

 

40.00

 

 

 

79.08

Less: Allowance for dependant child

 

 

12.00

(a) Actual Income

 

 

67.08

Total Assessed Assets $10,000 income from which is disregarded)

 

 

 

(b) Deemed Income

 

 

34.50

MEANS AS ASSESSED

 

 

$ 101.58

This would give an entitlement of a Service Pension of $32.25 each, i.e. $64.50 per fortnight for husband and wife, and, more importantly, would entitle the family to fringe benefits - see following.

Fringe Benefits:

The position for entitlement for Fringe Benefits, i.e. free medical and hospital treatment, fare and rate concessions, radio and T.V. licence fee concessions and telephone rental rebates etc, depends upon application of an old Means Test (slightly less favourable than that for calculation of the Pension) under which all of the War Pension received and any Superannuation as actually paid forms part of Assessable Income. Where the Means as Assessed under this system is $66 per fortnight, or less, for a single person, or $115 per fortnight, or less, for a married couple, entitlement to fringe benefits is granted.

In the example given previously, the application of this type of Means Test would result in:

War Pensions

$ 52.10

Wages 

40.00

 

92.10

Less Dependant Child 

12.00

 

80.10

Deemed Income

34.50

MEANS AS ASSESSED

$ 114.60

It naturally follows that if a Service Pension is granted, any subsequent alteration in earnings or assets must be advised immediately to Repat., as the Service Pension payable could be affected. Failure to do so is an offence.

All applications for the granting of a Service Pension must be made in writing to the Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation in the Capital City of the State in which the member resides - in N.S.W.,: to Box 3994, G.P.O., SYDNEY. 2001 - furnishing full name and address, as well as service number, rank and unit.

However, should any member have any doubts about the foregoing, or would like some advice on a proposed application (e.g. the conversion of a Superannuation payment to an asset in calculating the Means as Assessed) if he cares to furnish full particulars to the Chief Correspondent, the latter will endeavour to sort out the problem and provide an answer. Remember, the granting of a Service Pension, or Part Service Pension by Repat is not 'just another handout', it is a just entitlement.

ON DRUGS

In Florida, U.S.A., Judge Alphonsa Sepe had the miserable duty of sentencing a 17 year-old youth to a year in gaol for possessing drugs and assaulting a Police Officer. The Judge's words, in handing down the sentence have been widely circulated in the States and should be worth thinking about, even here. Speaking to the youth, he said:

"Do you know who is going to serve that year? Not you: Your mother and father will serve that year. Your body is in the stockade for a year, but their souls are tormented for a lifetime.

"I have not spent five cents raising you. I didn't know you from Adam. But your mother and father have to put their lives into bringing you up, and now they have to sit in this Court Room and listen to a total stranger, who had nothing to do with your upbringing, scold you and put you in Gaol.

"This is a time when phoney kids your age are yelling: 'You adults have your alcohol, we want our drugs: you have polluted our water and air - you have polluted this and that - and all the rest of the garbage that comes out of your mouths. I want you to think of this for one year; and the reason I say it: If you are sick, a doctor will treat you, and he wont be high on drugs. The lawyer who represents you wont be high on drugs and the people in whose custody you will be, wont be high on drugs.

"Your astronauts are not on drugs, your President is not, and your Legislators are not; and the engineers who built the bridges you drive across and the tunnels you drive through, are not on drugs; and those who built the planes you fly in, and the cars you drive, are not.

"But, in the world of the future, the same may not be true; Teachers, Doctors, Lawyers, Legislators - products of the new drug-oriented generation - may well be high as kites. You wont know whom to send your child to, or whom to trust your life to, Let's see what kind of a world you leave your children, before you talk about the world that we left ours."

(By kind permission of the Editor, Sydney Legacy Bulletin, the foregoing is reproduced as an article of special interest - Ed.)

NEWS, VIEWS AND WHOS WHOS

With the production of this final issue for the year, it may be appropriate to review the achievements (or otherwise) of MAKAN for 1973.

Six ordinary issues were published, of various sizes and totalling 144 pages, while a Special Edition of 8 pages for Gemas Day arrangements was issued and circulated to Metropolitan and nearby Country areas. In addition, Supplements of 12 pages for the Annual General Meeting, 8 pages for a reprint of Dr. Hinder's letter and 32 pages for an up-to-date List of Members and Next-of-Kin have accompanied three of the issues. It may be of interest to record that the Repatriation Commission in Canberra requested the supply of 30 copies of the "Doctor Hinder's Letter" Supplement for the purpose of placing a copy in each of the medical reference libraries of the Department throughout Australia.

The entire output has been produced on the Gestetner purchased 2 years ago, the cost of which was more than covered by the savings in printing costs during its first year of operation. In addition, we have had the facility of printing many Reports & Financial Statements for submission to the Executive at each of its Meetings, as well as Circulars etc for Subs and other items

At this point, your Editor would be lacking in manners and common decency if he did not acknowledge with extreme gratitude the invaluable assistance of that often much maligned and many titled office boy etc (he has gained an additional one - assistant printer) Les Hall. Les spends many hours helping with the production of MAKAN, and without his help, your enfeebled, half blind Editor couldn't possibly do the job. Les has certainly earned the reward of having his present salary doubled for next year.

Every effort has been made to publicise events of interest to members and any lack of information, particularly concerning Reunions in the Country, is due entirely to failure to let the Editor have some notes on the subject. Apart from a couple of stalwarts on the Far North Coast, whose co-operation on all occasions is a source of continuing pleasure, it appears more difficult to extract this type of information from members than it would be to relieve them of a few teeth. The same applies to items for the News Columns, which are considered the main source of interest to our Readers. Without the help of those long-suffering, underpaid secretary/wives, these columns would often be very thin indeed; and it can only be hoped that they will continue to keep up the good work; which has been largely responsible for some reference (however brief and disregarding repetitions of names) to over 500 members and Next-of-Kin during the year.

All in all, your Editor considers the years activities on the MAKAN front to have been reasonably successful, but he would not be following the traditional lines of all Editors if he did not complain about lack of contributions to help him with his task. He therefore begs all of you who have not sent in any news during the year to sharpen up the thumb nail, dip it in the tar pot, and let him know how you are and what you and your family are doing.

Having blown his trumpet and had his moan, 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.

In all of these sentiments and good wishes, your office boy/ galley slave/assistant- envelope machine operator/printer/maker-upper/despatcher, Les Hall, joins; and regrets that the mechanisation of the envelope addressing has made inclusion of his billets deux on the flaps very difficult.

A brief note from Palm Beach, Q. from Jock Logan (D Coy) advised that he had just returned from a three weeks trip to the U.S.A., where he had flown all over the joint (in 8 different air lines) and he rated it as one of the best experiences he has enjoyed. Jock was then on his way to Greenslopes to see Harry Hartnett (HQ Coy) who, in addition to his lack of sight, was having trouble with bones in his leg. Incidentally, the self-same Jock was recently responsible for having a plaque bearing our Colour Patch join the many others in the Broadbeach R.S.L. Club.

Tom Davis (D Coy) who had to have a second stab at sending in his Subs from Cobar (he forgot to enclose the cash in the first letter and, as a matter of fact, forgot to sign the second one) admitted to being a busy boy. In addition to being Superintendent of the Ambulance, he holds executive office on seven other organisations, the most rewarding of which, according to Tom, is Secretary of the R.S.L.

Tom also mentioned that the Country out that way was a picture, but they were plagued at the time of writing with swarms of grasshoppers. Anyone requiring a few million to use as a lawnmower can apply to Tom.

Ross Madden (A Coy) has had an enquiry for Tommy (Brig) Hinton (HQ Coy) but we were unable to supply any information, as Brig has not kept in touch with us. Does anyone know his present whereabouts? Our last address was Wingham.

Vic Gordon (B Coy), in a very short note from Brisbane, sent regards and greetings to all. He reckons that both he and Jeanne are suffering from that arch enemy - those creeping years - though he still plays a few games of bowls.

Tommy Grant (C Coy) and Norma also complain in similar terms - their eldest daughter is being married in December. Tom has not been the best for some time past, and it is taking quite a while to climb back to his old former self, but he has his chin well up.

Young Derek Smith is also beginning to slow down a bit - even to the point where he was quite happy to be twelfth man on the cricket team, as he reckons, amongst other things, he suffers from cartilage trouble and is a bit slow running between wickets. Jut before Sydney's Lord Mayor, David Griffin, retired, Derek called on him and showed him an exercise book Derek had in Changi when David taught him English and Maths in those very early P.O.W. days. They both enjoyed the reminiscences.

Fred Griffiths (B Coy) is not exactly 100%, which prevents him from attending Anzac Day and other functions. Fred reckons that his son, Roger, has a double connection with the Battalion, as he is a grandson of the late Jack Heatley (HQ Coy), who died in 1960.

It is a long time since we heard from Honey and Len Barnes (HQ Coy) but Honey wrote from Miriwinni to advise that what with her hopping down to Sydney, doing the 'grannie' act, plus a trip for her and Len to Fiji and Tonga (where they met up with the Royal Family) and moving to a new home (even though adjacent to their former one) time seems to have passed very quickly. Len has had his ups and downs and may be visiting Sydney for a complete check-up in the near future. Incidentally, Len and Honey can now tally seven in the Grandpa Stakes.

Both Glen (twin brother) and Lorna (sister) of Harry Weiss (C Coy) have joined the 'Naughty but Nice' group by sending in individual donations to MAKAN. Glen has retired from the C.B.C. Bank at Moss Vale, and now lives in retirement at Springwood. Lorna mentioned that another sister, Grace, now 82 years of age, suffers from failing eyesight, but she still enjoys having her copy of MAKAN read to her.

Big George Michell (B Coy) wrote from Perth, W.A., about the time of the International P.O.W. Reunion which was held there. George went to the get-together and found Baden (Sluggo) Jones (D Coy), Bill Hodge (BHQ) and Ege Wightman (HQ Coy). Unfortunately, George wasn't able to get any news from them, as he suffered a bad turn and ended up in hospital - he in fact wrote the letter from hospital. (Here's hoping that you are out and about again, George - Ed.)

When Sybil married Joe Johnston (D Coy) she certainly took over the letter writing chores, which is a Good Thing so far as the Editor is concerned, since Sybil is one of his regular correspondents and really supplies the answers to the queries he often raises about the Far North Coast. When providing the answers to a few queries recently, Sybil mentioned that Joe and son, Ken, were flat out preparing a paddock for cane (sugar) as permits had now been issued in their area. What with cane, pigs, cattle and a dairy (not to mention other activities such as the R.S.L. and Legacy) the Johnston's look like being busy these days.
It was refreshing to receive a letter from down Leeton way, from Jock McKenzie (B Coy) and to have him express his whole-hearted support for the Editor in his campaign to preserve Anzac Day, our Flag and at least "Advance Australia Fair" as a joint National Anthem, if there has to be a change. Jock admitted to not being exactly 100%, due to a bit of ticker trouble; which is not surprising, as he has passed the 70 mark and was told ten years ago to take things quietly after three heart attacks in the one week.

Jock's father, a mere stripling of 95, still gets about under his own steam, which is not such a bad effort, as he was rather badly mauled in World War I; being one of only 14 survivors from a whole Battalion of Gordon Highlanders. Strangely enough when in Hospital at Leeton about 20 years ago, with a badly smashed arm (Jock admits to being the cause of it, with a tractor) his father met up with another of the 14 survivors from his old Battalion - they had not seen one another since Discharge, some 35 years previously.

Jock recounted the story of the Scot from Aberdeen who was sent to London to see a heart specialist, and was told that he was in a very bad way and was liable to drop dead any old tick of the clock.

So, the Scot started on his way back home, and it so happened that there was a lady in the same compartment of the train. Every time the train stopped: the Scot got out and went to the ticket office; and after a few stops, the lady said to him: "Excuse me, but are you a Railway Official?" To which the Scot replied: "No. I have been to London seeing a heart specialist, and he told me I am liable to drop dead at any time. So I am only taking a ticket between stations."

Another who supports the Editor's campaign is Col O'Donnell (C Coy) who wrote from Dalveen, Q., and also expressed his appreciation of MAKAN. Col retired from the business rat race - (but he still retains a Directorship or two, which give him expenses paid trips to Sydney now and then) and he now lives on his property "Mountain Park", which is only a couple of miles off the New England Highway, about 9 miles North of Stanthorpe, Q.

Though basically a fat lamb and wool venture, Col has decided to start a Poled Hereford Stud and is buying in registered Stud cows in calf to a Stud bull. The progeny already numbers four bull calves and one heifer, so it looks as though he is in business already.

Kath and Col paid a visit last June to married daughter, Jill, who lives in Lae, N.G.; but Jill and her husband are returning to Australia next January, as they don't wish to live there after the natives get their independence, and since it will bring her closer to home, Kath and Col don't object.

We have it from a reliable source that Ron Foster (B Coy) has been appointed as an additional Country Organiser on the Staff of the Public Service Association. As his territory covers the Northern half of the State, it involves quite a bit of travelling, but it should present an opportunity for him to blow in on some of our members living up that way. If he could manage to find the time, Ron would make an ideal appointment to the Staff of MAKAN as a Roving Reporter.

Alan Charlton (HQ Coy) wrote one of his usual newsy letters from Port Kembla and advised that he and Yvonne have qualified for the Grandpa Stakes, as Bronwyn, their youngest daughter has a daughter, Ariel.

Alan also mentioned that he had recently received a letter from Les Perry, who mentioned the others from Narrandera and said that they were all well. Also, Yvonne has joined the Shop Assistants' Credit Union and receives a letter now and again from 'Horse' Arneil, though he is not aware that he writes to her.

Alan continued: "Yvonne and I hired a caravan and went to visit my younger brother (a New Guinea Vet) who has retired at. the ripe old age of 52, and is spending his Winters Opal Mining at The Ridge and his Summers, he hopes, looking for gold at Tuena, on the Bathurst Road from Goulburn. I lived at Comborah when I was a boy, and left there in 1925. It is 25 miles from Lightning Ridge, on the way to Grawin Opal Field.

The old Police Station where we lived has been demolished for years, but a pig stye built by my father more than 50 years ago still stands in the corner of the yard.

There is also an opal miner there who went there when I was but a boy. He is now 86 years of age, lives on wild pig, emu eggs, rabbits etc and drives around in a T Model Ford which he bought new when we were out there 48 years ago."

The ranks of the 'Naughty but Nice' group have been joined by Mrs. Merle Rockett of Grafton (widow of Tom - C Coy), Mrs. Esme Luelf of Erigolia (sister of Clarrie Wood - C Coy) and Mrs. Claire Pluis of Parkes (widow of Cyril - HQ Coy), all of whom have sent in donations to our funds with accompanying kindly remarks. We sincerely appreciate this generosity and this practical expression of their continuing interest in our affairs.

ADVERTISEMENTS NOTICES Etc

FAR NORTH COAST Ex-P.O.W. ASSOCIATION REUNION DINNER - LISMORE

Date: Saturday, 16th February, 1974.
Time: 5.30 p.m. for wreath-laying ceremony, and thence to the Dinner.
Place: Flame of Remembrance at Memorial Baths, and thence to R.S.L. Club, Market Street.
Cost: $3.00 each, or $6.00 per double.

Last year we mustered 21 members and wives amongst the attendance of 90, and early notice is given so that the date can be reserved now, to ensure an even better roll-up at next Dinner.

For those who don't like planes or trains, Kirkland's Bus Service now runs a bus leaving Sydney at 6 p.m. and arriving at Lismore at 7.30 a.m. On the return trip, the bus leaves Lismore at 5.15 p.m. and arrives at Sydney at 7.30 a.m. So a Friday night departure and an early Monday morning return is possible.

If any Sydneysiders making the trip and requiring accommodation would care to let Phil Schofield know well in advance, he will make the necessary arrangements for them.

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