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Makan No. 218
Nov/Dec, 1974


Subscription Rate: $1.50 per Year

Registered for Posting as Periodical: Category A




Now that Christmas is on us again, I take the opportunity of specially thanking our President, Arch Thorburn, and the members of the Association Executive Committee, for the grand job they are doing in maintaining the interest in the Association on all occasions; and for the co-operation of all members.

My wife and I have very vivid memories of the kindly reception given to us at the Anzac Memorial Club, North Sydney, in June last, which we enjoyed and appreciated very much indeed.

We offer all of you, and your families, our very best thoughts for a Happy Christmas, and for a New Year of Good Health and Prosperity. May God Bless you all.

George Ramsay

It was a joy to meet some of our members whom I had not seen for a long time, and their wives, at Kevin Ward's bowls day, although I am not a bowler. It was good also to see so many familiar faces at the Reunion. I am looking forward to meeting a number of others, this time with their families, at the Gemas Day function. Those who do not go to these affairs just do not know what they are missing.

I hope Christmas and the New Year bring you good health and happiness and an even greater awareness of the bond that keeps us together.

Arch Thorburn


Members are reminded that Subscriptions for 1975 are now due, and are payable on the basis of:

Ordinary Member: 50c Memb. Fee, $1.50 MAKAN Sub, Total $2.00.
Life Member: $1.50 MAKAN Sub.

With this issue of MAKAN each member will receive appropriate advise, to suit his particular case, indicating (1) Transfer has been effected from his Subs in Advance A/c to meet his Subs for 1975, or (2) his Subs in Advance A/c does not have quite enough funds to meet his Subs for 1975, and a further remittance is required to meet the balance, or (3) a full remittance is required to meet his Subs for 1975.

In all cases where a payment requires to be made, it is essential that the advice which you receive is returned with the remittance. Due to being more than half blind, the task of looking up any records is an extremely onerous one for your keeper-of-the-records involving the use of a magnifying glass and the wish that he possessed at least three hands (with which nature hasn't equipped him). Although we only have two classes of membership, when it came to sending out notices for Subs for 1975, six different types of advice were required, which explains why each advice is of a different size and/or colour. Even when writing a letter to accompany your appropriate remittance in response to the notice you receive (and it is hoped that many of you will do that and send in some news) please also bung in the notice, and save your Chief Correspondent a lot of worry, and the use of that annoying magnifying glass.

At the risk of being accused of harping on the necessity for promptness of payment, your Chief Correspondent would again remind you of the Postal Regulation which requires it, if we are to retain our Category "A" Registration. If we lose that Registration, the cost of posting each issue of MAKAN would increase to four times what it is now; and we could not afford that increase without a substantial increase in the Annual Subscription Rate. So please heed the plea and respond promptly.

Please note that owing to the increased cost of Postage (10 an article is really a bit steep) receipts for Subs etc. received will be sent out with the next MAKAN to issue after the remittance comes to hand. This means that the influx expected after you receive this MAKAN will be acknowledged with the Jan/Feb 1975 issue.

Please also accept your Editor's apologies for his inability to acknowledge, by personal letter, all letters received. They will be acknowledged in a MAKAN subsequent to their receipt, but the Editor's poor eyesight makes a personal response somewhat difficult for him.


The Commemoration will be held at the Memorial at Head Quarters 17 R.N.S.W.R., 2 Suakin Street, PYMBLE on Sunday, 12th January 1975 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, 12th 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, 12th January, 1975, at Pymble.


Leading Newspapers throughout the Commonwealth carried advertisements, early in November, advising inter alia that, as from 7th November:

All Australian veterans who were prisoners-of-war will be eligible for free Repatriation treatment services, including hospital, dental and paramedical services and, subject to a small contribution by the veterans, treatment in nursing homes.

Treatment for cancer has been extended to cover all veterans, irrespective of the area in which they served.

So far as can be ascertained, this means exactly what it says, and in future all our members as ex-Ps.O.W., will be entitle d to receive free treatment as specified. The previously unaccepted disability for which you could not receive free treatment will now be accepted for treatment, as will any other complaint you may contract. But it must be remembered that acceptance for treatment does not mean automatic acceptance for pension entitlement. It will still be necessary to follow the usual procedure, as formerly, to have any disability accepted for pension purposes, even though free treatment is being received for it.

The advertisement also advised that medical and hospital treatment benefits are available only from date of application, so don't try to beat the gun by popping yourself into hospital to have some complaint fixed up. Correct procedure must be observed in all matters.

We have been advised that Repat. have made an examination of their files and have selected all those whom they believe to be ex-Ps.O.W. Circular advices have been prepared for prompt despatch to all such veterans, and they will contain information appropriate to each case. Those who do not have a current file with Repat. and do not have an L.M.O. appointed (e.g. those who have not been in touch with Repat. for some years) will probably be asked to furnish particulars establishing their eligibility and requesting the appointment of an L.M.O. for treatment.

These circulars should have been received by all of our members prior to receipt of this MAKAN.

If no such advice has been received, write immediately to the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Repatriation and Compensation in your Capital City, including the usual particulars (File No. - if known - No., Rank, Name in full, Unit, Place of Capture and Date) and request that you be considered as eligible for free treatment as outlined. Repat. will take it from there.

Members should also examine the position regarding their contributions to Hospital and Medical Benefits Funds. If they no longer have dependant children at home, their acceptance for free treatment by Repat. will mean that they no longer require to contribute on a family basis for themselves and their wife - a single contribution for their wife only is all that is necessary. However, where there are other dependants, the family contribution will require to continue.


A most pleasing and enjoyable afternoon was spent at the Bankstown R.S.L. Bowling Club on Sunday, 20th October last, when 14 of our bowling members and 30 members, wives and friends were entertained by the Club. The occasion was the presentation to the Club of the "B.J. Memorial Shield", for annual teams competition between the Club and our Association; and the holding of the first competition.

Kevin Ward had persuaded his friends at the Technical College to co-operate in the manufacture of an elegant Battalion Flag (as distinct from our Battalion Banner) and the Flag was ceremoniously raised at 2 p.m. to the strains of "Amazing Grace", rendered by Jim Webster on his Gordon Highlander's Pipes.

During afternoon tea time, our President, Arch Thorburn, officially presented the Shield to the President of the Bowling Club, Cyril Bulner. Arch prefaced his remarks by extending Lady Galleghan's apologies for her inability to attend the function (she was then in South America) and he read a letter which she had written for the occasion. It had been hoped that Lady Galleghan would make the presentation of the shield to the winners of the first competition, but in her absence, the President of the Bankstown R.S.L. Sub-Branch and Club, Danny Cole who, incidentally, is a brother-in-law of Ray Brown, agreed to officiate.

At the conclusion of the game, with the bowlers gathered at the base of the flag pole, our Flag was ceremoniously lowered to the strains of the Lament, "Flowers of the Forest" followed by the Retreat "Black Bear". Unfortunately, though probably appropriately, the competition proved to be a retreat for us, as the subsequent reckoning of the points showed the R.S.L. Bowling Club as clear winners, by the handsome margin of 115 points to 86.

Paddles Clune (and Una) came down from Taree, Jackie Fell (Vera and her sister) came from Cessnock, Jim Webster (and Pipes) from Newcastle and Andy Hyslop (and brother-in-law) from Umina. They were joined by Kevin Ward, Jack Maclay, George Winchester, Snowy Mason, Vince Leonard, John Kreckler, Snowy Stevens, Norm Lee, George Gough and Ken Forward; with Bob Merian (30 NSW Scottish) and Les Portley (Corps Sigs) as ring-ins, to make up the 4 teams. Undoubtedly our boys did their best, and it would have been nice to have had the Association inscribed on the Shield as the first winners, but, equally undoubtedly, it must have been a real pleasure for President, Andy Cole to present the Shield to the Bankstown Club. Our only consolation lay in the award of the trophy for the outright winners to our No. 1 Team (Jim Webster, Kevin Ward, Andy Hyslop and Jack Maclay) each of whom received a Travelling Clock.

Good fellowship flowed freely after the game, and before he had to leave to catch the Flyer back to Newcastle, Jim Webster demonstrated the versatility of the Pipes (and his agility) by treating the gathering to a selection of War-time songs, followed by a bracket of Irish songs. A Spider conducted during the afternoon raised $40 for Legacy and provided the holder of lucky number 96 with a folding umbrella.

Our organisers, Jack and Kevin, wish to pay special tribute and express their appreciation of the excellent fellowship extended by the Club, together with the arrangements they made (including the decking of the green with bunting) which contributed so much to the success of the afternoon. Kevin also wishes to extend his special thanks to his friends at the Technical College who made the flag possible, and to Roy Fussel (2/20 Bn. and a member of Bankstown) who made the special stand for the Shield.


On Bankstown green old comrades met
In sportive bowling play;
The piper piped our colours down
.In the fading light of day.

In memory turned to other lands
Where comrades do not play,
Their graves the grieving years have claimed
And sorrow wraps their clay.

I called to Honour, lily slim,
Her chaste young breasts were bare;
Fair maid, in your Elysian fields
"Are these men happy there?"

"When love unfolds his golden wing
"No sacrifice is vain.
"They died in Christ's sweet charity
"For life's immortal gain."

"Enriched and new it comes to you,
"You soon will understand
"And cease to grieve - " She moved from view,
Her mantle touched my hand.

In leaden days when old wounds ache
With loss and time's despair
Dear God, the gift of pleasures give
That fallen comrades share.

Umina Beach, 1974.


Held on 9th November last, at our new venue, the Anzac Memorial Club, North Sydney, and despite a rather substantial decrease in numbers attending, the Dinner was voted a whole hearted success.

When we changed our venue to the R.A.N. House in Grosvenor Street, in 1971, we felt that we had found the ideal surroundings; and if everything had been maintained on the basis of the first Dinner, we would have been happy to hold our Dinners there in successive years. But the circumstances altered, and last year we were crowded into a rather impossible situation, which included a discotheque being mixed up with us; and we had to search for a new venue. Exhaustive enquiries appeared to indicate the lack of any suitable place in the City itself, so we finally settled on the Anzac Memorial Club at North Sydney, where we had held a most enjoyable function on 1st June last, in honour of our Patron.

Unfortunately, we had to hold the Dinner on a much earlier date than usual, and that may have been largely responsible for the drop in attendance, but the service and the food were really excellent; and we had no distraction from any outside parties. In order to return to our normal date for holding the Dinner we have already made a tentative booking, at the same location, for the exact day of the 35th anniversary of our formation, viz: 22nd November, 1975.

We had our usual sprinkling of Long Distance Runners in attendance, including Col O'Donnell from Dalveen, Queensland, Terry O'Rourke from Narrandera, Sid Stephens from Maitland and Bull Cody, Con Hedwards, Wally Scott and Curly Simpson from the Illawarra.

Following the Toast to "Fallen Comrades" and the recitation of the Ode by Noel Johnston the Toast of the Evening "The Regiment" was entrusted to Kevin Ward. We have had almost 30 Toasts to The Regiment since our return of varying length and excellence, and Kevin's Toast on this occasion was by far the shortest we have had, but was delivered with sincerity and in a manner which ranks it amongst the best we have heard.

Our Patron was also brief in his response. He paid tribute to the Executive, who had guided the Association through another very successful year, and he took the opportunity of expressing his deep appreciation of the honour accorded him by the holding of the Testimonial Dinner last June.

In parenthesis it is advised that neither Speaker had any notes - they couldn't see to read them, anyway - while your Scribe so often can't subsequently read anything he has to scribble in a hurry, so he didn't attempt to take any notes. It was genuinely a case of "the blind leading the blind".

Following the formal proceedings, the gathering broke into lots of groups which circulated freely, and reminiscences "do you remembers" and tall stories flowed well into the evening.

That wine bibber from Cessnock, Jack Fell, apparently decided that a good way to spread the gospel of the Hunter Valley wines would be to donate half a dozen bottles to the Association. He did just that. Since raffles at the Memorial Club are not permitted Ron McBurney conducted a Lucky Door Spider and his persuasiveness resulted in our funds benefiting to the extent of $20. Our thanks, Jack; and Bob Jack thanks you also - he drew his own lucky number out of the bag.


Our Northern Rivers Correspondent has furnished a report on the event, and we quote:

On the 16th November, 1974, the thirteenth Annual Reunion of the NORTHERN RIVERS BRANCH N.S.W. Ex-P.O.W. ASSOCIATION began with the largest number yet to march to the Cenotaph for the Wreath-laying Ceremony. Later, 119 Ex-Prisoners of War, and wives, attended the Dinner held at the Grafton Services Club.

2/30 Bn. members and wives present were; Ray and Tup. Michell from Tamworth, Jack and Una Clune from Taree, Jack and Vera Fell from Cessnock, Joe and Norma Veivers from Coffs Harbour, Jack and Win Korn from Lismore, Artie and Nancy Power and Bill and Flo Sorenson from Kyogle, Bob and Vera Newman from Woolgoolga, Norm and Raema Watkins, Len and Wyn Clavan and Snow Hampton from Ballina and a local contingent consisting of Jack and Iris Collins, Harry and Ethel Rhodes, John and Dulcie Korsch, Jack and Gloria Newton, Fred and Jean Winters and Merle Rockett. Ted Rickards sent an apology from Mungindi.

The Official Guest Speaker was the Hon. Keith W. Hooper, Ex-P.O.W. 2/10 Fld. Co., Queensland's Minister for Transport, who gave a very interesting address regarding some of the achievements and assets of his State, and about his recent visit to Asia and Japan. We were very appreciative of the effort made by Mr. Hooper in visiting us - apart from his ever-busy schedule, he had suffered the loss of his mother only days previously.

During the proceedings the State President, Mr. Frank Casley, presented Harry Rhodes with a citation and honorary life membership badge awarded by the N.S.W. Ex-P.O.W, Association in appreciation of his work for the Northern Rivers Branch,

Representatives were present from the Grafton Legacy, Grafton R.S.L., South Grafton R.S.L., as well as the Ex-P.O.W. State President, Hon. Secretary, Executive Members and a Member of the Board of Trustees.

The lady's lucky ticket was won by Win Korn, wife of 2/30th member Jack Korn of Lismore.

The Dinner was chaired by our very competent President, John Korsch, who is to be congratulated on his handling of the proceedings. A witty man, our John, with his ditties.


Sorry, but our Tamworth Correspondent has not made the deadline with a report on the Reunion, held on 12th October last, and which we are given to understand was a most successful and enjoyable event.


HARRY STIRLING ABRAHAMS (A Coy). He died on 9th October last, from cancer, at the age of 58.

An original member of A Coy, as a Corporal, Harry earned the respect and loyalty of the Section which he led, and he proved himself an exceptionally good soldier. Possessing that quality of leadership, together with an excellent sense of humour, an insatiable capacity for hard work, and a high degree of sportsmanship - which he exhibited particularly as a member of the Battalion football team - it can be readily understood why he was an extremely popular member of the Battalion, and a true and sincere friend to many.

During P.O.W. days, Harry served on "F" Force on the Railway and "XI" Tunnelling Party in Johore, in addition to the usual other work parties called for by the Japanese. Although he suffered the usual complaints which most of us endured, Harry appeared to weather their onslaught; though they undoubtedly affected his health in later life.

Following his return from the War, Harry resumed his employment with the Mercantile Free Stores, where his industry and his loyalty were rewarded by progress to his appointment as Manager of their two Stores, a position which he held for some years, until ill-health caused his retirement fairly recently.

He and Jean married shortly after Harry's return from the War, and together they have reared a fine family, of whom Harry was justifiably proud. His pride in the announcement of his qualifying entry in his Battalion Association "Grandpa Stakes", with the arrival of grandson Vaughan in 1972, was a source of enjoyment to his friends at the Re-union Dinner that year. It is regretted that he was not able to enjoy the arrival of the second grandson, Beren, the son of Gayle and husband Rick, who was born on 12th October.

But he suffered at least two tragic events, which he bore with the stoicism of the man we knew so well. His brother, Leo, had joined the 2/30th Battalion with Harry, but before sailing, Leo was transferred to the R.A.A.F. Leo was killed in an accident during training. Then, just two weeks before his own death, his eldest daughter, Sharyn, died from a long-suffered complaint.

Harry was a keen and active member of the Association. His last official act was as one of three official representatives to the special Anzac Day Commemoration Service (held last Anzac Day) at the Battalion Cairn, opposite the entrance to the old Camp site, at Bathurst. He was then desperately ill, but few would have known it - he certainly did not exhibit it. He was also an active member of the Matraville R.S.L. Sub-Branch and Club, and the T.P.I. Association. Amongst these, and other Associations, Harry had many true friends, who admired and respected him for his sterling qualities.

At his funeral service at St. Agnes, Matraville, and later at the Botany Lawn Cemetery, we were represented by Eric Arps, Jack Black, Harry Collins, Alex Dandie, Bill Douglas, Garry Evans, Les Hall, Sammy Hall, Jack Maclay, Les Melrose, Bruce Upcroft, Kevin Ward, Doc. Wilson, George Winchester and Phil Schofield. We were joined by a similar number from the Matraville R.S.L., led by President Tom O'Shea, who invited us all to the Club, after the funeral, where we toasted Harry and paid our respects in traditional manner.

To Jean, Leonie and Ray, Gayle and Rick and Barry and their families, we extend our deepest sympathy in these two most tragic losses.

GEORGE SMITH (A Coy). He died on 18th October last, from a heart condition, at the age of 61.

George was an original member of A Coy, and a rather strong forceful character, and a willingness to back his judgment and convictions on all occasions, made him a popular and well respected member of the Battalion. These qualities, and those of leadership and determination, earned him the promotion to Corporal and Section Leader during action; during which he proved himself to be a good soldier.

During P.O.W. days, George served on "F" Force on the Railway and "XI" Tunnelling Party in Johore, in addition to the usual other work parties called for by the Japanese. During those years, he suffered the many privations and malnutrition, in common with his fellow Prisoners of War, which undoubtedly affected his health during his latter years; although they did not appear outwardly to have done so; nor to impair his ability to indulge in heavy manual work.

Following his return from the War, George conducted a Milk Bar business for some time, but then went to work for the Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and, Drainage Board. He remained in their employ until a stroke, a little under 12 months ago, caused his retirement at the age of 60. Since then, he has been far from well, and the death of his long-standing friend, Harry Abrahams, just 8 days prior to his own, must have been a sad blow for George. So much more so, as that death occurred just 2 weeks after the death of Harry's eldest daughter, and George's Godchild, Sharyn.

He and Beryl married some time after George's return from the War, and Garry is their only child. Essentially a family man and a keen home gardener, George was a Life Member of the Association and an active member of the Smithfield R.S.L. and Club.

At his funeral service at the Pine Grove Memorial Park, Eastern Creek, we were represented by Alex Dandie, Les Hall, Ron McBurney, Jack Maclay, Hank Massey, Johnny Parsons and Phil Schofield; and we were joined by representatives of the Smithfield R.S.L.

To Beryl, Garry and Diane, and George's surviving brother and seven sisters we extend our deepest sympathy.

GEORGE WILLIAM LAWSON (D Coy). He died rather suddenly, from Cardiac Arrest, following bronchial pneumonia, on 6th November last, at the age of 53.

Bill was an original member of Don Coy, where he was known as Bill Gray. A teenager at the time, his father declined permission for him to enlist; so he left home, in South Australia, came over to N.S.W. and used the name and age of an uncle to enlist. Although only a comparative youngster (he had his 21st birthday as a P.O.W.) Bill's ready smile and sense of humour made him a popular member of 17 Platoon and his Company, as well as the Battalion generally.

During P.O.W. days, Bill served on "F" Force on the Railway and was one of the many who contracted Cholera. Although he managed to recover, and in due course return to Changi, he subsequently suffered very indifferent health as a P.O.W., and this kept him off further major work parties.

Following his return from the War, Bill's poor health continued and he suffered from numerous complaints, including T.B., which kept him constantly in the R.G.H., and Lady Davidson for approximately ten years. He was subsequently never really fit, and his poor health only permitted rather intermittent occupation. He worked for some time in a clerical capacity for Bonds Industries and latterly for Johnston's Engineers. Bill was a keen bowler, and was a member of the No. 1. Pennant Team of his Club - the Marrickville Memorial Bowling Club. He and Carol married only two months prior to his last fatal illness.

At his funeral service on 8th November at the Metropolitan Funeral Home, Burwood, and subsequently at the Rookwood Crematorium we were represented by Arthur Isaac and Sid Musgrove.

To Carol and her family and to Bill's widowed mother, his brother and four sisters we extend our deepest sympathy.

KARL SINCLAIR (D Coy). He died at Armidale on 22nd November, from a heart attack and after a somewhat protracted illness as the result of a stroke last February, at the age of 71.

Karl was an original member of D Coy, where his natural leadership qualities promptly earned him promotion to Corporal and Section Leader. A little older than most, with a quiet but a very ready sense of humour and a fund of anecdotes and of knowledge, Karl was a very popular member of the Battalion, and particularly of his Company, where his solid nature and steadying influence were appreciated by all in authority. Karl was wounded in action at Gemas on 15/1/42, when a G.S.W. to his left hand necessitated amputation of the index finger.

During P.O.W. days, Karl was a member of "J" Force (our Battalion complement totalling 50) which sailed for Japan on 15th May 1943. After cramped and nauseating conditions for 23 days on the "Wales Maru", during which time the convoy was attacked by the Allies, our Battalion contingent was taken to Kobe and lodged in the Kobe House Camp. Work parties commenced immediately and were sent out each day to work at various locations under most adverse conditions; and the usual Japanese lack of concern for sickness or for adequately feeding the P.'s.O.W. prevailed. Karl's concern for his fellow man and his ever-ready helping hand during that difficult period further enhanced the admiration and respect in which he was held. Mention of this was made in a leading article in MAKAN, May/June 1974 issue.

Following his return from the War, Karl transferred to the Permanent Army for a while, but subsequently returned to his former trade, sawmilling. He continued to follow that occupation, rising to the position of Yard Superintendent, until his retirement some years ago. Karl was made a Justice of the Peace, and was noted for his thoroughness and the propriety with which he carried out those duties.

Karl and Edna had two children, both born after the War, and both of whom hold responsible positions in the community. From daughter, Helen, the mother of two children, they received their qualifying entry in the Grandpa Stakes. A further daughter of Karl's former marriage, Jean, also survives him.

At his funeral service at Armidale on 25th November, we were represented by Alex Dandie, Bill Humphrey, Ross Madden and Kingie Martin. The cortege then moved to the Lawn Cemetery at Tamworth, where we were represented by Phil Bailey, Alex Dandie Wal Eather, Kingie Martin and Reg Napper. At both services the R.S.L. was also represented.

To Edna, Helen, Jolyon and Jean, and their families, we extend our deepest sympathy.

ALEXANDER RICHARD FINLAYSON (D Coy). He died on 12th June last, at Maitland District Hospital, at the age of 60.

Alex was a 2nd Reinforcement to D. Coy - his brother, Arthur (and known as Sam) was an original member of A Coy. He was wounded in action - G.S.W. Right Hip - at Simpang Rengam on 28/1/42, and the effects of that, plus apparently indifferent health, kept him in Changi and off work parties until just near the end of hostilities, when he was stationed at Adam Park on "X8" Party.

Following his return from the War, Alex apparently went to live at Telarah (out of Maitland), and apparently married. But he did not answer any correspondence and failed to keep in touch with the Association; and no information is available as to his occupation or family. It is known that his brother Sam (A Coy) died in 1969.

In 1971, when your Scribe was visiting our members in R.G.H., Concord, he caught up with Alex, then a patient, and persuaded him to join up. That was the last contact we had with Alex, who did not renew his membership; and although MAKAN was sent to him regularly for the next two years he has failed to acknowledge it, or to answer any correspondence addressed to him.

News of his death was obtained through a recent issue of "Reveille", but we have been unable to obtain any further information. To his surviving family we extend our deepest sympathy.

We were saddened to learn, somewhat belatedly, of the death of the brother of Bruce Campbell (HQ Coy) on 16th September last, at the age of 51. The death apparently occurred as the result of an accident while working for the Shire Council at Wauchope.

To Bruce and his family and to his brother's widow and seven children we extend our deepest sympathy.

We were also saddened to learn of the death, on 9th November last, at the age of 93, of Mrs. Marjorie Blow, widowed mother of Stewart (HQ Coy).

To Stewart and Ruth and their family, and to Stewart's brother and two sisters we extend our deepest sympathy.

We were also saddened to learn of the death, on 18th October last, of Edna May Roxburgh, wife of Joe (BHQ).

Edna had been an invalid, confined to her bed and suffering from a heart complaint, for some years past, and she suffered a further and fatal heart attack while Joe was in the R.G.H., Concord, suffering from pneumonia.

To Joe and his three grown-up sons, and their families, we extend our deepest sympathy.



Kevin Ward reports the State as at 30th November:

In R.G.H. Concord:
Jack Graham (D Coy).

In Other Institutions:
Harry Law (A Coy).

Discharged from R.G.H. Concord since last MAKAN:
Jack Boss (HQ Coy), Lawrence Elliott (D Coy) , Fred Griffiths (B Coy), Len Hendy (D Coy), Joe Roxburgh (BHQ), Ray Simmons (BHQ), Mrs. Betty Dawson.

With introduction of the computer and the habit of the admission Clerks to only enquire what branch of the Service patients served in, in order for Kevin to discover that you are in R.G.H. it is essential that you ask the Admission Clerk to specify "2/30 Bn." on your admission card. This information is then most likely to be programmed into the computer and it will then be passed on to Kevin.

Of course, the only way to make certain that Kevin does get to know of your admission - to any Hospital for that matter - is to 'phone him, or have someone do so for you, when you are advised that you are going in.


With the production of this final issue for 1974, our usual review of the achievements (or otherwise) of MAKAN for the year is furnished.

Six ordinary issues were published, of varying sizes and totalling a record 168 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 Report and 32 pages for an up-to-date List of Members and Next-of-Kin have accompanied two of the issues.

The entire output has been produced on the Gestetner, purchased 3 years ago, the cost of which has been more than covered by the savings in printing costs during the first year of operation. In addition, we have had the facility of printing many Reports and Financial Statements, for submission to the Executive at each of their Meetings, as well as Circulars, etc. for Subs and other items. A brief survey of costs indicates that we have covered the printing and making-up of MAKAN at less than one sixth of what it would cost to have the work done by a Printer.

Due to advancing years and worsening eyesight, your Editor found it necessary to obtain the services of a competent typist to type the copy in page sizes, then subsequently decipher the Editor's strange symbols and cut the stencils ready for duplicating, so that the pages carry an even margin on each side. Her services have made possible the production of the king-sized issues during the year, and our special thanks are tendered to Chris for her obvious interest in her work, and in our affairs.

Jul/Aug 1974 MAKAN furnished a harrowing report on the sufferings of the Editor at the hands of the many-titled Office Boy, Les Hall. Without his invaluable assistance, your present Editor could not possibly produce MAKAN, and a special thank you is accorded Les for his continuing good work. As a further mark of appreciation, and reward for his sterling services, Les has had his present salary doubled for next year.

Every effort has been made to publicise events of interests to members, and any lack of information, particularly concerning events 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 and one in the Cessnock area, whose co-operation on all occasions is a source of continuing pleasure, it appears extremely difficult to extract this type of information from our members. 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 keep up the good work. Our special thanks and appreciation are extended to them.

All in all, the Editor considers the year's activities on the MAKAN front to have been reasonably successful. He desires sincerely to thank all those who have helped him during the year, and to 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 and Typist join.

Although I am not personally involved in your happy group - I should like to thank Mr. S. (Your Editor) on YOUR behalf for the fantastic and energetic work he puts into this magazine. I can't start to describe the amount of work involved, but take my word for it - he's worth a million. "Thank you and bless you - from your mates".

As I have typed this of my own accord and it can't be deleted without making a mess of MAKAN, he has no choice but to accept your thanks graciously.

And to you people - thank you for saving a lovely country - hope the politicians don't make a mess of it.

Chris Weyling
Your Typist.

With the folder "Items for inclusion in next MAKAN" completely empty, a short article in last issue, suggesting that Subs for 1975 could be sent in, was prompted by the rough idea that a few Readers might do so and include some news items with the remittance. The ruse worked to a minor degree so, apart from gathering in a bit of loot, we obtained some news items.

After years of silence, Bob McLaren (D Coy) put pen to paper (there is some doubt about this - the writing looked too good, so it was probably Mary) and sent in a cheque of such magnitude from Bondi that your Editor questioned Bob's ability to live long enough to cut it out as Subs in Advance. Bob apparently had the same idea as a 'phone call followed, instructing that the bulk of it be applied as a donation.

Bob apparently manages to carry on, with his main occupation continuing in the breeding of champion greyhounds, though he complains that when he picks up a salt pot these days it looks like an automatic shaker at work. This unsteadiness apparently extends to his legs, as he was out walking a quartet of his Champs, when he stumbled over a rough bit of turf, and broke an ankle; which prevented him attending the Reunion Dinner.

Bob admits to being one of the world's poorest correspondents, as a result of which he has not maintained regular contact with lots of his old mates; but he hopes to improve the position in the future and get back into circulation.

Tommy Yates (B Coy) did the right thing and sent in next year's Sub from West Ryde, with a donation added for good measure; but regretted that he had no items of news to offer. However, his writing was firm and he didn't say otherwise, so he must be O.K.
Ian Pryce (D Coy) was almost as brief when sending in his 1975 Sub, plus a donation, from Wahroonga, but he did use a couple of lines to advise that he expects to retire early next year and that he has spent 24 years in Legacy, where he has been Chairman of the Education Committee for the past 15 years. He and Olga are apparently O.K.

Vic Hamlin (C Coy) couldn't be expected to break a life-time habit of not putting pen to paper, but; fortunately for us, Moyra did. So she sent in a cheque from Narrandera which not only provided for next year's Sub, but included a sizeable donation.

The Hamlins have settled in an older-type house in Narrandera which Vic is doing up, though Moyra reckons he gets more paint on himself than on the house when it comes to painting. They have been busy acquiring caravans, and they hope that the weather will improve over the Summer/Holiday period so that they can earn the odd crust or two from their caravan-hiring business.

Vernon Baynes (D Coy) merely bunged a cheque in an envelope and sent it in from Pymble. He usually manages to indicate that his remittance is for one year's Sub and the balance is a donation, and since the cheque was similar in amount to those of the previous few years, the Chief Correspondent was mean enough to reckon that Vernon merely forgot to enclose the covering instruction. So the cheque was applied to one year's Sub and the balance as a donation. (This should serve as a warning to all members to issue precise instructions to the C.C., control of whom does not come within the scope of the Editor's charter).

Then Helen Kennedy did the usual, fined Tom (C Coy) for his writer's cramp, and sent in his 1975 Sub, plus a donation from Newcastle. Helen advised that Tom is keeping reasonably well, though she has to keep an eye on him. He takes a bit of prodding to get him out on a social engagement these days.

The Kennedy’s thoroughly enjoyed the function at Newcastle for the presentation of B.J.'s portrait to the City Library, and were glad of the opportunity to meet up with some of Tom's old mates.

Betty Dawson, widow of Len (HQ Coy) and Hillarie Clarke, widow of Dave (C Coy) have joined the "Naughty but Nice" group by sending in individual donations from Narrabeen and Collaroy to help MAKAN along. They also had some nice things to say about MAKAN, which the Editor appreciates very much; but he would repeat that we do not expect the widows of our mates to make donations to our funds. We are very happy to keep in touch by sending them MAKAN, but must admit that practical expressions of appreciation, such as these, are very heart warming.

Betty has not been the best of late and requires frequent medical care, culminating in a visit to R.G.H. early in October. Hillarie got so wrapped up with the announcement of the arrival of another grandchild, Patrick David, on 26th August last that she forgot to mention how she was keeping; but it is assumed that she is keeping well.

Both Betty and Hillarie sent Seasonal Greetings and warmest regards to Len's and Dave's old mates.

Leila Hill sent in Jim's (HQ Coy) Subs from Engadine and regretted that she could not report any favourable progress with Jim's health. He has to have regular visits to R.G.H. for treatment, but manages to keep his chin above water. Leila herself has not been well for some time past, requiring regular specialist treatment. (We all hope that 1975 brings much improved conditions for both of you - Ed.).

Clarrie Burgess (A Coy) sprang to it as soon as he got last MAKAN, and sent his Subs in from Redfern.

Clarrie mentioned that he thought he had caught up with Al Grassby at the races recently, but it turned out to be Dinny Lane (C Coy), looking particularly smart and dressed in the latest fashion. Dinny was just back from Hong Kong, where he said he had had a really great trip.

Clarrie has not been the best of late, and had an appointment with Repat. lined up for early October. Although the principal trouble was spondylitis, his main complaint appeared to be that he was warned off the amber fluid and had to make do with apple cider. However, he hoped to make the grade and be able to enjoy a trip to South Australia where he was to spend a bit of time with an old "A" Force mate, Rex Bowman.

Clarrie sent Seasonal Greetings and best wishes to all his old mates.

If Jack Folkard (HQ Coy) keeps sending in Subs in Advance like he has over the last couple of years, he will become another of those who won't live long enough to cut them out.

In his covering letter from West Wyalong, Jack mentioned that he caught up with Spider (Frank) Webb, (HQ Coy) when visiting Griffith for a Golf Match at the end of September. According to Jack, Frank is the Assistant Greenkeeper and General Factotum at the Griffith Golf Club and amongst some of his jobs is that of re-siting the pin positions each weekend, when he apparently gets Ellen to help him. The pair of them did such an effective job for that weekend that Jack reckons it cost him at least 10 strokes. However, they made amends to some degree by entertaining Jack at dinner.

Frank and Ellen are in good health, with Frank very much the same as of yore (though a bit grey on the thatch) and very proud of his family, who are producing enough grand-children to make him a runner-up in the Grandpa Stakes.

Jack was full of complaints about the excessive rain out West Wyalong way, where they appear to be having at least double the usual 17" annual rainfall. However, he did mention that he and Monica were keeping reasonably well, and he sent Seasonal Greetings and best wishes to all his old mates.

Harold French (A Coy) finally put pen to paper from Walcha and sent in enough to put him in a Subs in Advance position for a few years.

He also enclosed portion of a snap of some of the Bn. taken at Bathurst, which had faded somewhat and was difficult to decipher, but appeared to be of some of the Don Company gang.

Harold reckons his health is about 50-50, and he sent Seasonal Greetings and best wishes to all and expressed the. hope that any of the boys passing through Walcha would give him a call.

Our Illawarra Correspondent, Alan Charlton (HQ Coy) bunged in his usual breezy letter but had been so busy driving around the Country-side that he didn't have as many as usual to report on.

However, he was able to report that a brief visit to Mollymook recently found George and Flo Stephenson (HQ Coy) well, and apparently contented with life in that area. He also saw Dave and Esther Baker (HQ Coy), who were well.

At the Wollongong Show, on 26th October, he caught up with Bob Martin (HQ Coy) who had just won the 12" underhand chop. He and Yvonne had Bob home for tea, and they ended up driving him back to Nowra, from whence he could get transport to Huskisson. Motoring appears to be a real pleasure and a hobby for the Charlton's. One of their day trips from Wollongong encompassed numerous towns as far West as Bathurst before turning for home - and they notched up 375 miles in the day.

Alan sent Seasonal Greetings and best wishes to all.

It would be easier to extract a tooth than some information from George Winchester (C Coy) but your Editor trapped Lee on the 'phone at Pymble, and managed to get a bit of news about the family.

Unfortunately, your Editor subsequently could not read much of his scribbling, but it would appear that Donna (24) married Stephen Dobos on 13th September last. Stephen, a Hungarian, has lived here since he was 13 years of age and is now a geologist and a Ph.D. Stephen's father was a Hungarian Presbyterian Minister.

Elder daughter, Paula (26), is still wandering around the Globe. One of her jaunts was a 4 month camping trip from South Africa to England. Another was a bus trip through the Scandinavian Countries to Russia. She had a harrowing experience in a bus accident near Oslo, but came through unharmed and continued on to Russia. Paula got mixed up with Russian Technicalities, experienced some difficulties, and eventually left the Country totally unimpressed by anything Russian.

Ron Ollis (HQ Coy) did his bit to help the News Columns along, and we quote from his letter from Pymble of 14th October last:

Fairly recently, "Red" and I decided we'd like to get away from the cold of Sydney and enjoy the warmth and scenery of North Queensland. We'd never been north of Brisbane before, so decided to drive up to Cairns.

One item of our itinerary was a 5-day cruise out of Townsville, so I dropped Rod Anderson advice, and he very kindly met us and drove us round the sights and places of interest.

We were very pleased to see Rod again and most delighted and impressed with how fit and smart he looked and sounded. He was tremendous. It appears that Rod decided to retire some time back from the Fire Equipment business, but apparently a life of ease didn't match his energy; and time started to drag. This soon lost its appeal, so he promptly set about getting himself some good agency lines from down South.

Now he's back in harness, in his own business, working a territory roughly from Rockhampton to Cairns and out to Mt. Isa, Hughenden etc., and loving every mile of it. He did say he'd probably settle down at Cardwell one day, but from present indications we'll see a lot more reunions before Rod sees Cardwell.

With regard to our trip, it was all very good, and we enjoyed being comfortable in short sleeves etc. while Sydney shivered. We visited nearly all the Barrier Reef Islands, the Atherton Tablelands etc., but for me I think I liked a week on Heron Island best of all.

I enjoyed a bit of fishing and there I had the loveliest fishing I've ever had. But they're such fish snobs! If I caught a 31b or so bream down here I'd be really happy, but up there it's 'toss him in the bait box'. Or when I enthused about a 10-121b Yellow Sweetlip, I was told 'be alright for a mornay I s'pose'. Its Coral Trout and Red Emperor, but not under 5 lbs. Oh, happy days!

Had planned to call and see as many of the blokes as we could, but unfortunately we had to hurry back, as suddenly petrol started to really dry up and we didn't want to find ourselves without gas or accommodation.

Barbed Wire and Bamboo, October 1974 edition, carried quite a bit of information concerning the members of the Battalion.

Under the title "Lets Look Back" the address given by our Gentleman George (our Patron). to an "A" Force Camp at the 26 Kilo peg was printed in full. This appeared in Jan/Feb 1973 issue of MAKAN under the title "The Parable of the Two Birds", with appropriate acknowledgements to the Sydney "Sun" of 19/12/ 1972 and the Bank of N.S.W. Sub-Branch R.S.L. "Bulletin" Christmas 1972 issue. None of the prior Publishers received any acknowledgement from "Barbed Wire and Bamboo", but none of them is likely to object, as the article is an excellent one.

A further article in the same issue of the Journal, under the title: "Mr. Harry Rhodes. Hon. Secretary/Treasurer, Northern Rivers Branch" advised (without stating what the award was):

The citation recommending the award was presented by the President of Northern Rivers Branch - Mr. John Korsch, ably supported by Past State President, Col. Jack Williams, and stressed the wonderful individual effort, over the years, carried out by Mr. Rhodes. His work for the Branch, particularly in fund-raising and in connection with the Yamba holiday cottage have been quite outstanding, and he is held in very high personal regard by all Northern Rivers Branch members, and also by members of the State executive who realise the tremendous job of work he has done over such a long period. (We congratulate Harry on his citation - Ed.).

A further item of interest in that issue was a photo of 7 Sec., 15P1., C Coy which had been sent in by Frank Silver (a member of that Section) who admitted to having reached a stage where he could no longer remember the names of the rest of the Section. He has since been advised full particulars as to names and how they are situated at present.

The "Sun-Herald" of 10th November last carried an article by "Di” in its "Happenings" Columns which explains why Lady Galleghan was unable to attend the presentation of the B.J. Memorial Shield to the Bankstown R.S.L. Bowling Club on 20th October last. We quote:

Persia (Lady) Galleghan is back from South America with a whole kaleidoscope of mental pictures of the things she's packed into her 37-day trip.

She went along as an observer at the invitation of Dr. Joan Redshaw, of Tuncurry, to a Medical Women's Conference in Rio de Janeiro, and also joined in the tours of eight South American States.

In Rio she was shown the blood-donor system by Mrs. Osorio, wife of the legendary Marshal Osorio, who has herself enlisted 10,000 volunteer donors. And instead of eating out in style, they had the usual blood donor lunch - a glass of orange juice, two slabs of unbuttered bread with a hunk of cheese, a hardboiled egg and a cup of sweetened cocoa.

Then there was Brasilia ("a city of buildings, not people"), a trip down the Amazon, a look at the ruins of Machu Picchu. And for souvenirs Lady Galleghan settled for just one big buy: a long woollen cover-up, (rather like a poncho that wraps around) with a great sun emblem on the back... "just the thing for cold nights at the Opera House."

We seem to be indulging in a bit of pinching news items from other papers, but an article which appeared in "Sydney Morning Herald" of 17th September, 1941, under the title "Japan and her next move" appears worthy of repetition especially in view of subsequent happenings. Somehow or other the "observers" seem to have been way out in their pronouncements, with the possible exception of those who thought it would take up to three months for Japan to make a new move. We quote:

Some observers say it will take only three weeks for Japan to complete her bases in Indo-China, while others think it will be up to three months before she is ready to make a new move.

These conflicting opinions are mainly due to differing views of what the next move will be.

If Japan drives against Thailand, it is pointed out, the use of her naval forces would not be as important as if she sought to gain a foothold in the outer islands of the Netherlands East Indies, such as Halmahera, Ternate, Ambon, or Celebes, or if she chose to attack Malaya or Borneo.

If she attacked lower Malaya, in the vicinity of Singapore, or Borneo, on which to establish air bases in order to bomb Singapore, or if she attacked the outer islands of the Indies, her fleet would necessarily be called on to play a large part.

The time necessary to complete a satisfactory base at Camranh Bay, therefore, would be an important factor, since any of these moves would necessitate the convoying of troopships and supply ships through the narrow straits, where British and Dutch and perhaps even United States bombers could operate from islands on both sides with maximum bomb loads because of the small distances it would be necessary to fly.

Opinion differs about the value of Camranh Bay as a naval base. Some naval experts merely regard it as "a good anchorage" lacking the natural facilities possessed by certain British and Dutch naval bases.

Colossal Task

If Japan chose to invade Malaya across the border of Thailand her forces would be faced with the colossal task of driving more than 500 miles down Malaya, through some of the world's thickest jungle, with little chance of support from a landing force on the east coast, as a high jungle covered mountain range separates the two coasts with only a few jungle tracks across it.

Huge preparations would be necessary for an attacking force to hold Borneo, where the centres of population are man's only penetration of the jungle.

A hostile occupying force in Borneo would suffer a severe toll from disease after the defenders had destroyed the few existing utilities and amenities.

Strategists sum up the geographical advantages as definitely on the side of the defenders in any attack on Singapore o r the East Indies.

Frank Silver (C Coy) had proved extremely difficult to track down until he made the mistake of appearing in print, with his address, in "Barbed Wire and Bamboo". That made him a "sitter," and he is now a member of the Association.

Frank has retired from work and lives at Coalcliff on his own, where he finds loneliness one of the problems of advancing years. So he took to writing poetry, and latterly to landscape painting, for which he apparently has some flair, as he has never had any lessons in the art. These two hobbies, plus a spot of gardening and bush walking, occupy most of his time. Having successfully recovered from a heart attack some years ago, he keeps reasonably well these days by following a programme of daily exercise and jogging.

Frank qualifies for the Grandpa Stakes with two grandchildren, born to his daughter who lives a few miles further down the Coast.

Troubles never seem to come singly, and Joe Roxburgh (BHQ) has had more than his share of them of late. Because of ill health he retired from work last Anzac Day.

In September last Joe had a dose of the then prevalent 'flu, which developed into bronchitis and then pneumonia. So his L.M.O. bunged him into Concord. While there, his invalid wife, Edna, suffered a fatal heart attack. Joe was able to be taken to the funeral, and the day after his return to Concord an exploratory operation and a biopsy on his left hip subsequently brought him the shattering news that he was suffering from incurable cancer of the left hip which, because of its location, could not be treated.

Joe was discharged from Concord on 11th November, and when your Scribe 'phoned him, he was greeted by a bright, cheerful Joe, who has accepted all his misfortunes with a fortitude that would put most of us to shame. For the present, Joe is living at his home, on his own, but he assured your Scribe that he is being well cared for by a niece, who lives close by and attends to his wants, while friends and relations attend to the gardening and other chores.

Joe sent his best wishes and Seasonal Greetings to us all, and we can only return them with the fervent hope that the impossible, or a miracle occurs to ease his present affliction.

Harry Hartnett (HQ Coy) hasn't improved in health over the past twelve months, and since he can no longer see to read or write, his wife has to do all those chores for him. When sending his Subs in from Harlaxton, Q., she mentioned that Harry's chief entertainment these days is with the company of his mates at the T.P.I. Club in Toowoomba. Harry sent Seasonal Greetings and best wishes to all his old mates.

From our Cessnock stalwart, Jack Fell (B Coy), we received a breezy letter; and we quote:

I am writing just a few lines to help you fill up a couple of paragraphs in MAKAN.

I had Jack and Una Clune staying with us for a few days, and while they were here they helped Vera and I celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. The four of us travelled to Sydney to take part in the bowls day at Bankstown R.S.L. We enjoyed our day there, but were a bit disappointed that the 2/30th were not able to get their name on the Shield for the first time.

Previously, I had been in Sydney for the State Bowls Pennant Finals, played during the Six Hour Day holiday weekend, and the final day's play took place at Rydalmere Central Bowling Club. Here I spent most of the day with Jack Maclay, who would be possibly East Cessnock's most vocal supporter. As the final stages were reached, and it appeared that we would emerge as the top Club in the State, he became more vocal, with repeated

Shouts of "Up the Goannas !". We had quite a few noggins during the course of the day, and he was most adamant when he saw Vera at Bankstown that I was perfectly sober when he saw us off on the return trip.

We also had Joe and Norma Veivers and their two children for an overnight stay, on their way back from holidays.

My next visitors were Gordon and Nancy McKnight, who came into the Club about 3.30 p.m. one afternoon, saying they were only staying for about half an hour. They eventually got on the road about 9.20 p.m., despite our efforts to prevail upon them to stay the night.

Vera and I went up to Grafton for the Ex-P.O.W. Reunion on 16th November. We had an overnight stop at the "Ranch" Motel in Old Bar Road, Taree. Jack and Una Clune travelled up with us, and our first stop was Coffs Harbour, where we spent a couple of hours with Joe Veivers before going on to Grafton.

We did intend to spend a couple of hours sleeping, in order to gather strength for the night's activities, but I had no sooner lay down than Joe Veivers arrived and hammered on the door to let me know. It was no good laying down again, so we had a shower and adjourned to the bar. Here Jack Clune was able to persuade Arthur Roberts to part with the price of a steer and buy a couple of beers. Len Clavan, Snow Hampton and Norm Watkins arrived from Ballina, and Vera was able to prise a couple of two dollar bills from Norm - for Subs, or something.

After a brief wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph, we adjourned to the R.S.L. Club. Some of us elected to walk, not realising it was so far. Una Clune saw a horse on the way to the Club, and would like to have ridden the rest of the way. However, she was not suitably attired for horse riding, and there being no side-saddles available, she had to walk like the rest of us.

The 2/30th was well represented, and your Correspondent will no doubt have listed them for you, and reported on the Dinner.

The amber fluid flowed pretty freely during the Dinner, and it was during the Dinner that Harry Rhodes was invested with Life Membership of the Ex-P.O.W. Association, in recognition of the work he has put into the Northern Rivers Branch.

After Dinner, we adjourned to the lower floor to enjoy a few more beers and have a couple of dances. Norm Watkins informed us that he had 'phoned the Hotel and asked that a couple of dozen cans be sent up to his room. He got all our room numbers and said he would wake any of us up who went home before him, and give him a can of beer. However, we t-old him that we were in Room No-13, which would be a little confusing when he knocked on the door, as there were two No. 13's, and they were both storerooms.

About midnight, we thought it about time to go back to the Hotel but it took some time to get Paddles to stop in the one place long enough to 'phone a cab.

Next morning on my way to the shower, I was astonished to see two lounge chairs pushed together in the hall. The recumbent form sleeping thus was Snow Hampton, who had neglected to book accommodation.

After breakfast, mine host, Ian McLaren, saved a few lives by dealing out canned beer before the travellers took off.

It was back to Coffs Harbour, where we met up with Joe and Norma again for a last drink. Then on to Taree to drop Jack and Una; and then home.

We had a most enjoyable weekend, and saw a few of the chaps whom I had not seen for many years.

When returning from Karl Sinclair's funeral, Alex Dandie (HQ Coy) thought he had better see how one of the Kobe House Gang was faring, so he broke the journey at Greta, and popped in to see Alfie Carroll (D Coy). Although Alfie was then starting to come good, Alex learned that Alfie had recently been involved in a nasty accident, which almost cost him his life.

Alfie lives with his sister who, incidentally, is a trained Sister and was at one time at Crown Street Womens' Hospital, where she became well acquainted with our John Taylor and the Gunners' Rowley Richards. She is not particularly well, having suffered a stroke a while back, and Alfie is supposed to keep an eye on her. However, a Council workman was mowing the grass on the other side of the Street with a rotary mower and, possibly fascinated by the prospect of watching someone else work (though it is doubtful whether he could see that far) Alfie strolled into the front garden of his sister's home and arrived there just as the workman on the other side of the road hit a large sized stone with his mower. The collision broke a blade off the mower and either that, or the stone, or both sped straight for Alfie's skull, and dropped him cold.

By the time his sister was made aware of the accident, Alfie was in a sorry state and well on the way to joining his Maker. Fortunately, her training proved invaluable, and she was able to apply resuscitative treatment until an ambulance and doctors could take over.

Alfie had a spell in Newcastle Hospital and subsequently in the Singleton Hospital; during the course of which a neuro-surgeon had to operate, to relieve the pressure on his brain. According to Alex, Alfie is now doing well, but he apparently had a very close shave. (Our commiserations, Alfie, and the hope that things are now on the up and up. In future, you had better keep your nose (or skull) out of other people's affairs, or at least keep a safe distance - Ed.)

Sylvia had to do a lot of prodding (which he admitted) to get Bill Rooke (B Coy) to send in a remittance from Brisbane which put him in an advance position. Sylvia wrote out a cheque on 1st November, and we finally received it on 29th. Bill's accompanying note was very brief and contained no news, but he does rate a mention as (1) His remittance was received on the birthday of your Editor's grandson, Robert (15) and (2) Bill's own birthday (22nd November) falls on the same day as the apple of your Editor's eye, granddaughter Kate. The main difference is, however, that Kate was 8 and Bill was 64.

Don't be alarmed if you see Kevin and Dorothy Ward (A Coy) strutting around like a couple of pouter pigeons. Eldest son, Bruce and his wife Thurina have increased the Ward entry in the Grandpa Stakes by producing a daughter, Kim. We were given the opportunity to view the first qualifying entry, David, at last Gemas Day and with any sort of luck we may see Kim on 12th January next.

And there we really must end, as a 36 page issue is a lot more than was intended when collection of the copy commenced, and an over lengthy journal can tend to become a bit of a bore rather than a pleasure to read. Merry Christmas and all that, and God Bless - The Editor.


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: Last Year's $3.00 per head will possibly have to be increased - more details later.

Early advice is given of the event so that the date can be reserved now, to ensure your attendance. It will be noticed that the date is a week later than may have been expected, and this may possibly mean that a further reminder can be given in the next issue of MAKAN.

Last year we mustered 36 members, wives and next-of-kin out of the 130 who attended. Help to swell the crowd, and lets see if we can improve on that figure for this event.

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