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President's Report 2006

Best wishes to all members of our association, and to your families, in the 66th year since our Regiment was formed.

Last year, following the loss of our venue at Air Force House, we held the 2005 reunion at that well known old hotel, the Victoria. Being well satisfied with that venue, we tried to book it again for this year's reunion. Unfortunately, the Victoria had been booked out for major events.

After viewing a couple of alternatives, we were very pleased to be able to make a booking for the Naval and Military Club. This Club is most suitable for our purpose. The location, 27 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, is in easy walking distance of Parliament Railway Station, and tram stops.

It is 60 years since the Regiment's first reunion at North Melbourne Town Hall. We have members who attended early meetings and are now in their nineties, still soldiering on at our reunions.

So, come along and enjoy some times with old mates at this heavily subsidised lunch at a first-class venue. Eventually, we will bow out; but in good style! Booking and payment up front is essential. Dress: jacket and tie are essential. Many of our members are familiar with the Naval and Military Club. If you are not, don't miss this opportunity of enjoying the Club, with its military atmosphere. See the enclosed booking slip and return it to John Campbell as soon as possible to enable us to have a firm booking.

Last year’s Anzac March

The number of members of our association at the March was disappointing. There were ten members and 20 descendants and friends behind our banner. If we can't improve on the number of members marching, we will be compelled to join with other anti-aircraft units, in which case there will be some loss of identity for our Regiment. This will eventually happen; but let us defer it.

I'm pleased to report that Hon. Secretary John Campbell has improved in health and has been well and truly back on the job. On your behalf, I thank him, Treasurer John Hepworth, the members of your Committee, and Ron Berry who looks after our computer records, for keeping the show going.

I am sad to advise that Max Parsons of 2nd/12th Field Regiment (who with his wife Linda setup so professionally our Take Post newsletter in a voluntary capacity for 14 years) passed away on January 2006 following a serious illness. Max has been a good friend to our Regiment and to me - always ready to assist us. There is further comment on Max and Linda elsewhere in this newsletter.

Take Post

In this issue, we are pleased to reproduce a most interesting letter from Major Simon Hawkins, grandson of the late Raleigh Hawkins who was a member of our 7th Battery. I mentioned this letter at the last Reunion and have taken the opportunity of including it for the benefit of members who were not there.

If you can recall events associated with our Regiment or men that should be recorded in next year's Take Post. please send your notes in to me.

On behalf of our association, I send our best wishes to the men and women who have been representing Australia in conflicts, peacekeeping and policing abroad. I think the word 'heroism' is more applicable to service people, firefighters, medical and scientific researchers and others who devote their lives to humanitarian service, rather than to highly rewarded sporting people and corporate high fliers.

I realise that many of our members are unable to be at the March for many reasons, but we want as many of our members as possible with us before time runs out for us. Good luck to you and your families for the remainder of 2006.

Ron Bryant