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President’s Report 1989

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President’s Report 1989

The 1988 Annual Re-Union was a resounding success. We are fortunate to have such a fine venue at the Air Force Convention Centre with its staff who look after us so well.

As we age, we mellow, and our re-unions are all the better for that. The majority decided that we should continue to have afternoon re-unions so it is easy to use public transport if there is a .05 concern and it avoids a late night out.

Over 100 members attended; a couple for the first time, several from interstate and many from the country.

Anzac Day itself saw a record number of marchers in total; but we were light on with only 35 members. I’ve heard all the reasons why some don’t march. Some reasons are good, such as physical disability, being interstate or on holidays; but some reasons aren’t so sound. Watching the March on TV, do you ever get the feeling, “I should be there”!?

As time goes on and memories fade, it seems important not to allow the sacrifices which have been made by servicemen to be forgotten. Tens of thousands of men, women and children, including numerous new Australians believe this and attend the Anzac march to assure us they do.

I saw several inspiring placards held by children like the one that stated “It was your courage which enables us to live safely here”.

As we march and approach the Shrine, it’s then uphill, but we straighten our backs, hold our bead high, put our chest out further than our waist, the band music stirring us, the wonderful people cheering and the kids waving flags. We right dress, march to attention, and for a few moments we are young again, being carried back to nearly 50 years ago.

We pass the official dais, look the Governor and Premier in the eye, then suddenly, left wheel steadily on our axis, march another hundred yards and it’s over. Coffee is served by the Army. It’s time to talk, to go back and watch for mates marching with other units, to give the Vietnam men a cheer, to stare in wonder at trim Army girls with rifles and bayonets, intermingled with the fine boys of the Reserve and to clap the great bands so willingly inspiring the marchers and the crowds.

Of course, there is an impressive service at the Shrine after the March. God willing, what about planning to “Take Post” behind our proud banner in 1989.

To close off this note I draw your attention to the year 1990 which will mark the 50th Anniversary of the formation of our Regiment. Your Committee is already thinking about how we will celebrate this event at the 1990 Re-Union and we will keep you informed of what is planned.

Meanwhile interstate and country members, I suggest that you think about your travel and accommodation plans to attend that important reunion.

Jim Paton