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President's Report 2003

For the information of those members who were not at the Annual General Meeting in April 2002, Jack Crittenden advised us that he had decided not to stand for re-election as President of our Association. I was duly nominated. As there were no other nominations, I was declared President.

My first duty was to congratulate Jack Crittenden on his three year term of Office. He carried out his obligations with dignity, represented our Association at functions and presided over our meetings with patience and a minimum of fuss.

I am very sorry to have to report that Jack passed away on 23rd August 2002 after a short illness. In this issue of Take Post you will find obituaries on Jack, and also on Gordon Connor who was leader of our Western Australian group. I feel honored to be President, particularly as I am the first member of 8th Battery to hold that Office. I did reflect that World War 2 organisations such as ours would be amongst the few in which men in their eighties can still get a job!

Our 2002 Reunion was successful despite the inevitable sad decline in numbers. About 45 members and a few relatives of members had an excellent lunch, with drinks, served by friendly staff in the attractive Air Force House dining room. The Unit's red and blue colors brightened the decor. Our reunions in recent years have been in great contrast to those held just after World War 2 in the old drill halls. Air Force House is a fine venue for us as we get older.

The Anzac March: The members who marched behind our Banner on Anzac Day were well down in number - about 25, including some relatives. Despite rain, we cheerily survived, encouraged by the wonderful crowd of well-wishers who braved the weather. The large number of people of overseas origin was obvious, and praiseworthy.

If you are well enough, do take the opportunity to attend the forthcoming Reunion and Anzac Day March. Seize the day!

Time is running against all of us. Your mates want to share memories with you.

In view of the reductions in numbers, suggestions have been made to merge with other Units in the March, but we prefer to march behind our own banner.

As mentioned in an earlier Take Post, the leader of our Regiment in the March is now selected by the Committee from those of our ranks who have contributed time and energy to our Association's affairs over the years, and who can in fact, march. This year John Hepworth and Cec Rae have been invited to lead us.

The Regiment has a proud history of service in World War 2.

With the aid of our Secretary and Committee, I look forward to helping to sustain the Association, with its memories of our Regiment and mates.

Ron Bryant