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President’s Report 2015

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President’s Report 2015

Profile of new President – Anne Rae

Elected as President at the 2014 AGM, Anne is the daughter of the late Cec Rae (9th Battery). Cec served on the Regimental Association from 1949, was the Honorary Secretary from 1969 to 1996 and President from 1996 to 1999. He was awarded life membership of the Association in 1987. With Les Harris (7th Battery) and Ron Bryant (8th Battery) he co-authored “On Target”, the history of the Regiment.

Anne was brought up in Mentone with her sister Pat (Thurlbeck) and brothers Jim and Ian and was educated at Firbank Grammar School, Monash and Melbourne Universities. She was a secondary teacher and school Principal, later working as a senior education officer and most recently a senior advisor in the North Western Victoria Region of the Department of Education and Training. Anne lives with her partner and having both retired in 2014, they spend half of the year in at their home in Heidelberg and the remainder on Flinders Island, Tasmania.

President’s Report 2015 AGM

The changing of the guard

In 2008 the 2/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Association revised its Constitution to enable relatives and descendants of the original members of the Regiment to be full members and office bearers of the Association. The foresight and initiative – and trust – shown by the original members to keep alive the history and ideals of the association as their numbers dwindled, has proved to be well founded. Our previous President, Lynton Rose, wrote in Take Post 2008 “We cannot promise to do the job as well as the “originals’ but we can promise to give it our best shot, working together to keep the 2/3rd flame burning.”

Lynton, as well as previous Honorary Secretary Colin Bragg and previous Treasurer Ann Bragg and Matt Heddle Vice President, Research Officer David McDonald and committee member Graeme Heddle have all played a most significant role in continuing the work of the association through building a unique organisation and utilising current communications technology.

Keeping the 2/3rd flame burning has included:

  • In order to further the interests of the association and to assist younger generations to understand the history of the regiment, the development and maintenance of the website of the Association provides a repository for information, records, stories, historical facts and photos, sourced from the diaries and photo albums taken by original members, and from the War diaries and Australian War Memorial.
  • The continuation of the annual reunion and AGM which brings together our remaining original members, descendants and new members and provides both social and educative functions.
  • The continuation of the annual publication of Take Post, the newsletter of the Association. The publication offers interesting articles about original members, their wives and widows, their descendants as well as items of a more general but related nature.
  • The digitisation of On Target  The story of the 2/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment and inclusion on the website has made the Regiment’s official story accessible to all remaining members, their descendants and the general public.
  • The timely and accurate responses to descendants and the general public’s requests for information regarding the Regiment and its members, has greatly assisted those with personal or academic interests.
  • During October 2014 we were successful in organising for The Australian War Memorial to archive the Association website through the PANDORA Archive. This permits the National Library to retain and provide public online access to the website in perpetuity and allows the National Library to make reproductions or communications of the website to preserve it and make it available to the public.  In providing permission on behalf of the Committee and members, I wrote to the Australian War Memorial saying “We believe that archiving the website will ensure that the sacrifices and achievements of the members of the Regiment, our fathers and grandfathers, will be preserved for those who come after. “

It is now seventy years since the end of World War 2 and the disbanding of the final Batteries of the Regiment. The men of the Regiment saw active service in many of the theatres of war in Tobruk, Crete, the Western Desert, Syria, Port Moresby, Milne Bay, Lae, Buna and Borneo. Some of these battles have yet to gain recognition in the public mind as to their importance in Australia’s history. The Association continues to inform those descendants of the original members and the public at large through our website, Take Post and our AGM and Reunion.

I believe that the Association owe a huge debt of gratitude to our Past President Lynton Rose and Past Honorary Secretary Colin Bragg for their work in realising the Associations achievements.

Lynton embodies the qualities for which the Regiment stood – integrity, leadership, sense of responsibility, generosity of spirit and genuine friendship. Colin’s tireless commitment, many discussions with original members, the conversion of hundreds of photos into digital form, and day to day attention to the organisation, have ensured that 2/3rd flame continues to burn brightly.

I am privileged and honoured to continue this work along with the committee.