President’s Report 2010
This year marks an important anniversary in respect of the 2/3rd. In July 2010 it will be seventy years since the 2/3rd Australian Light Anti Aircraft Regiment was formed in Melbourne during those dark days of 1940.
I’m sure for many of the original members whose memories of that time are still so keen today, it would be hard to believe that seventy years have passed since they joined up as young men back in 1940.
Their experiences and recollections of their time in the 2/3rd provide us with an invaluable link to the past and form an integral part of Australia’s war-time history.
With each year that passes the importance of preserving and communicating the 2/3rd story increases.
Recognising this fact themselves a small group of original members proposed the writing of the unit’s history and in 1987 the book “On Target – The Story of the 2/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment” was published.
The decision to produce a book of this significance was an enlightened one and today the remaining copies are valued possessions of original members or their families.
The downside of this however, is that because most books still in existence tend to be tightly held within the extended 2/3rd family, the opportunity to communicate the rich history and heritage of the unit to a wider audience is diminished.
Hopefully this is about to change as we prepare to launch the official website of the 2/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment. This has been a key objective of your committee since taking over the running of the Unit Association in 2008.
The website will make the history of the unit, theatres of operation, personnel and much more, available to anyone who can access a computer, be that computer at home, in a state or municipal library or an internet café.
It is expected to have wide appeal but significantly it should resonate well with the younger generation who take this method of accessing information for granted. Clearly it is the young we need to reach with our story to ensure it lives on into the future.
Assuming the website evolves into the kind of vibrant entity we anticipate, it would be nice to think that at some point in the future, 2010 and the creation of the official unit website might be viewed in the same positive light and of similar significance to the decision taken in 1987 to publish ‘On Target’.
As we prepare to ‘go live’ with this venture, I must pay a special tribute to our Honorary Secretary Colin Bragg for the hours of work he has put in to gathering material from original members and their families and scanning hundreds of photos and documents for inclusion on the website. A super job. This in addition to the many other tasks he has carried out so effectively during the year in his role as Secretary.
Whilst on the subject of technology and communications, I want to congratulate committee member Anne Rae for the wonderful powerpoint slide show she has produced comprising over 120 photos of the unit. Initially this was designed for screening at the AGM/Reunion Lunch but on seeing the final product the committee felt it should also be incorporated into the website when possible.
As is customary at this time each year, I would like to acknowledge all members of the committee for their time, involvement and commitment to the cause, Secretary Colin Bragg, Vice President Matthew Heddle, Treasurer Ann Bragg and committee members Ann Rae and Graeme Heddle, not forgetting our valued Canberra correspondent David McDonald. My thanks to you all.
To the most important group – the original members. On behalf of myself and the Committee, thank you as always for giving so freely of your time, for your wise counsel and for your encouragement. You and those of your comrades no longer with us are the reason we do this.
In conclusion I want to draw attention to one other significant anniversary for the 2/3rd. In July of this year the Unit Association will turn 65 having been formed in July 1945.
On page 335 of “On Target” at the bottom of the page headed ‘The Association’, the entry concludes with the words written in 1987: “The Association continues in strength”.
I am pleased to be able to report that in 2010, sixty five years after its’ formation, the same can be said :