Secretary’s Report – 1989

 
CONGRATULATIONS WESTERN AUSTRALIA BRANCH OF OUR ASSOCIATION
 
Good news! We now have a W.A. Branch. The main office - bearers are President Gordon Connor, Vice President Ian Grieve, Hon. Secretary Gordon Fellows, Treasurer George Howat and Auditor Theo Fitzhardinge. Committee members are Mrs. Isa Fellows, Mrs Beris Sleigh and Charles Sleigh. Twenty gunners and ten ladies attended the inaugural meeting. Clive Rose (RHQ) and his wife Phyl attended the next meeting, were warmly welcomed and gave helpful advice.
 
A banner is being made by members to march behind on Anzac Day. Lunch meetings, ladies included, are planned for the year ahead. News of some of our gunners we left in the West follow:
 
Good golfers are Theo Fitzhardinge, Jim Moyes, Alan Rowe and Bob Vansittart.
 
Many are bowlers, the most fanatical being Allan Cook and his wife Daphne. They spend so much time at Rockingham Bowling Club that it's necessary to write for an appointment if you wish to call on them.
 
Norm Anderson and Evelyn converted their tennis court into a vegetable garden and have fine flower gardens. Norm's friend takes the grapes from his vine on the pergola to make a modem version of jungle juice which tastes like furniture varnish.
 
Gordon Fellows and Isa, with 4 wheel drive and caravan, search the goldfields for that elusive metal, with detectors. They don't let on how much they get or where they get it in case they push down the gold price. Apart from gold, Gordon seeks fish at Wambro Sound.
 
Wally Parkinson delves back into the history of his forbears. He's back as far as the Norman invasion. Arthur Harper, not content with playing his part in World War 2, heard the bugle blow for the Korean War. He fronted up again and served with 3 Battalion, RAR. Presently he is much involved with his RSL Sub-Branch.
 
Good soldiers battling on are:
 
Keith (Flame-thrower) Dyer, has had a couple of strokes, is paralysed down one side, but still drives a car with hand controls.
 
Jack (Nap) Croft has had an operation for tummy ulcers but is OK at present. Nap lost his wife a few years ago, but has a fine family who keep an eye on him.
 
 
Harry Harper gets treatment for emphysema.
 
Cliff Scott and Charles Sleigh have both had problems but stay on parade and attend meetings.
 
Lost in the West are Barry Buck, Billy Glatz, Jock Mentiplay, Mick Parnell and Vic Sharp. If found, will they report in to Gordon Connor, 6 Exton Place, Spearwood, 6163.
 
Haven't heard of him in ages!
 
ALEX BARNETT (8) - retired pharmacist, now at 2 Hassal Street, Port Macquarie, N.S.W 2444. (Telephone: 065-820-609)
Has boat, goes fishing - would welcome old friends.
 
SYD HAMBLING (RHQ) has had a stroke, and would like to see old friends. 187 Forest Road, Orbost, Vic, 3888
 
Apologies to members who submitted other stories, which we hope to produce later. Meanwhile, send any further news to the Editor.
 

 Secretary’s Report 1990

 
WHERE IS HE NOW?
 
Colin McNaughton (8), at Bool Poole, Metung. He's lord of all he surveys, with a hundred kangaroos on his front lawn, and bream available when the moon is in its right phase, the tide is right, gales are not blowing and floods are not coming down the rivers.
 
Frank Hands (8) Retired jeweller is at Hughesdale. Can still set a diamond forever. He and wife Shirley both saw too much of hospitals in 1989, but they are thriving again, coping with their descendants.
 
Harry (Avro) Anchen. During a visit to his daughter at Miami (Q'ld.), Alf Sutherland found Harry recuperating in hospital after a knee operation. (Harry's address is 5 Landau Crescent, Miami, 4220.
 
George Young (8) is still farming at Baynton, near Kyneton. Has had a bad run with shingles, but can still skin a rabbit in less than a minute.
 
Clive Hughes-Hallet (deceased). OIC 9 Battery. Business Review Weekly of 18/8/89 had a story on "Kims" on the beach at Toowoon Bay, north of Sydney. “Kims” is an up-market seaside resort purchased by Clive in 1944 and later joined by the Strachan family in 1957 and who now own it. Clive died in January 1988. The Strachans kindly purchased several copies of "On Target".
 
John Grimwade (8), in his eighties, as sprightly as ever, still lives in his old family home at Mount Eliza. All copies of the little book "Eleven Troop Ships, or Ezeddedit" have been sold. The book included stories of troopships on which our Regiment sailed. Melbourne Legacy benefited from the proceeds of sale of the book by an amount of $2,960.
 
Mick (M.J.) Geary. Stan Sullivan of Coffs Harbour was looking for Mick. A study of the Melbourne telephone directory and a couple of phone calls later, and Stan and Mick were re-united.
 
"Bluey, the Sig." (On Target, p.2al) Bluey Yeo (9) was no parade ground soldier. Short, stocky, freckled and with flaming red hair he would never have won the
award for the best turned out digger in the AIF; but when the heat was on at Milne Bay he was one of the unsung heroes. Night and day he saw to it that vital lines of communication were kept open with no thought for himself. Haven't heard of
him since the war, but we hope he's still "kicking on".
 
 
Communiqué from the W.A. Troop.
 
W.A. President Gordon Connor visited Victoria in 1989, but found our 'flu virus so troublesome that he retreated smartly back to the clean, pure air and sunshine of W.A.
Charles Sleigh had a major operation and later suffered a mild stroke; but he battles on as usual, and is now in fine form.
Gordon Connor and George Howat attended a Memorial Service at Guildford for fallen members of the Royal Australian Artillery. George acted as Standard Bearer and Gordon laid a wreath to the memory of the men of our Regiment. The wreath had been made by Gordon and his wife Gwen from red carnations, blue cornflowers, and with a band made up of dove grey, cardinal red and royal blue ribbons.
 
Nap Croft had a bit of heart trouble, but is feeling better. Some of the West
Australians are going to try and get to the 1990 Re-union in Melbourne.
 
(Who will ever forget the hospitality of the W.A. people, the wonderful climate, the attractive girls and the great welcome extended to the “sun-bronzed desert warriors” of the Regiment who returned from the Middle East to save West Australia from the Japanese.)

 Secretary’s Report 1992

 
BY THE WAY
 
Alex Barnett (8) came to Melbourne with his wife Lois, from Port Macquarie, NSW last year to attend our re-union. Unfortunately he became ill and didn't get to it. Last report is that he is 0.K.
 
John Grimwade (8) has had several sojourns in hospital, at one stage suffering a mild stroke. He is now at Hawthorn Grange, Hawthorn.
 
Alan Taunton (7) died about l0 years ago. Last year his son Ray, Captain of a Dragon
Airline 737 called on Gunner R. C. Vansittart (8). Gunner Vansittart had a beef farm at Margaret River, W.A. for 28 years, where he became Shire President. Some 10 years ago he retired from the farm to live at Como, W.A.
 
George Young (8) who farmed at Baynton near Kyneton lost his wife Vera last year.
 
George has had a stroke and is presently in Kyneton Hospital. He doesn't think he will be able to carry 10 pair of rabbits on one arm while shooting any more. George is reasonably mobile in his electric powered wheel chair, but fell out while speeding!
 
Our sincere sympathy goes to Len Morgan (8), who lost his wife Barbara last year.
 
Harold (Mutt) Hallett (8), well into his eighties, lives at Mount Eliza with his wife Enid.
 
His nephew Brian Jolly, has drafted up a fictional story with Mutt as the main character and with Mutt's experiences in the 8th Battery as part of the story. If the story is published "Take Post" will inform you on it.
 
Why the 2nd/3rd A.A. Regiment sailed to the Middle East in December 1940 ('Take Post", 1991).
 
John Rhoden refuted this story.

 Secretary’s Report 1991

 
BY THE WAY
 
Charles Kruger (8) had a major operation last year but with plenty of determination, in his old athletic style, came up at the 1990 re-union in good form.
 
Jim Bourke (8) now lives in Katamatite, Vic., since he retired some years ago from farming. Sadly, Jim lost his wife in January this year.
 
Bert Cox (8) had a bad tum with illness, but fought back and is in fairly good shape again.
 
Whereabouts, or what happened to Norm Littler? If you know, please contact Peter Jensen, 399 South Street, Samson, WA, 6163, Tel. (09) 3375767.
 
One of our men had occasion to visit another of our old gunners recently, by appointment. On arrival at his mate’s place he found the gunner with his digger hat on, brim turned up neatly at the side, with his service rifle at the slope ready for action. After smartly presenting arms, they agreed that we 70 year olds should have been going to the Gulf War as we oldies had a shorter time span to risk losing than the young men!
 
What happened to the men transferred to:
·      The 109 Anti-aircraft Regiment September 1942.
·      The 121 Aust Light Anti-aircraft Regiment March l943.
·      The 235 Light Anti-aircraft Battery October 1942
 
Could anyone please let us have the stories?
 
South Australian members of the Regiment!
 
There is a 2nd/2nd A.A. Regiments Club (S.A,) If you wish to make contact, attend a re-union, or to march on Anzac Day, get in touch with Jim Allen, 9 Strathspey Avenue, Hazlewood Park, S.A. 5066, (Tel. 379 l876).
 
Good to hear that Stan Baker (8) is still going strong _ now living at Tweed Heads, NSW, and he may get to our re-union. Stan mentioned that Artie B. (Crash) Hillman is living at Bridgewater (Vic). Bill hasn't been crash hot lately, but we hope to see him at future re-unions also. Bill sold a two-stroke motorbike to the gunner who used to let his girl-friend drive the bike while the gunner rode pillion. The gunner must have liked the position to take that risk.
 
Tom Hill 7th Battery died July 1990. At Tom’s funeral at Yarra Junction on the 12th July, Roy East was asked to speak by the family. He referred to his long association with Tom from the day at Werribee when Tom starred as full forward against Roy in a football match.
 
Later, they shared experiences as P.O.W. and especially during the long winter forced march before the advancing Russian forces - an association concluded at the graveside.
 
INTERSTATE WIVES
 
How many members of the Regiment met their wives as a result of the army service? Les Harris, who caught up with a former gun-crew member Laurie Brown (7 Bty) and his wife on a recent visit to Adelaide' was interested to learn that Laurie's romance blossomed when, on his return from the Middle East, he was billeted at the home of Shirley's parents in Paradise.
 
There were many more marriages in Perth of course, which accounts for our strong troop in that fair city.
 

 Secretary’s Report 1993

 
W.A. STYLE HOSPITALITY
 
Ron Bryant (8) and wife Doreen called in to Perth on a recent 17,000 km caravan journey from Melbourne to Darwin into the Kimberley Region and down the West coast, eventually returning home across the Nullabor.
 
Gordon Connor, our WA President, on learning of their imminent arrival in Perth, at short notice rallied several of our Perth members to take the Bryants to lunch and a very pleasant afternoon at Anzac House. Amongst those present were George Howat, Jim Moyes, K Walton, Nap Croft, Bob Vansisttart, Theo Fitzhardinge and of course Gordon Connor and several of their ladies.
 
Gordon Connor presented Ron with a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his efforts with "Take Post”. Ron and Doreen appreciated the traditional WA hospitality, particularly being at such short notice, and enjoyed meeting old friends and their ladies who join in on many of their social occasions.
 
BY THE WAY.
 
Dave Humphreys reports on a few old Gunners:-
 
Bill Dellar (7) has been living in Rochester for a couple of years after moving from Lilydale, and had a recent "do you remember" session with Dave.
 
Alec Hough (7) calls in occasionally when visiting Bendigo. Alec who is approaching 80, lives with his wife at Moama.
 
Dave sees Tom Williams (7) often as he is in Echuca Group of Legacy. Tom is fit, working hard at his golf handicap.
 
Len Morgan (7/8) lives with his daughter Penny at Echuca.
 
Herbie May is now in Bendigo. Herbie said Les Stephens wanted to get hold of a Bofors gun. Can anyone find one for him?
 
Dave Hunphreys himself is retiring from the Board of Bendigo Hospital after many years service during which time he has seen it become a leader in country base hospitals. Dave and his wife spent August / September 1992 in Canada and the USA.
 
While in New York they were burgled losing a camera and some jewellery.
On reporting the matter to a policewoman Dave had to spell "Australian” for her. She didn’t have a clue where it was. However Dave did meet some people who had seen Crocodile Dundee.
 
We heard that Les Coutts had not been very well, so trust that he is back in good form again.
 
Phil Bishop (RHQ/7) is a remarkably fit 84 years of age, and divides his time between Surrey Hills and Mornington.
 
Our Greek Friends: During the calendar year representatives of the Association attended ceremonies connected with the anniversary of the Battle of Crete and the anniversary of the Greek Heroes.
 
When visiting Sydney, The Secretary of 2/3 Aust. Composite AA Regiment Association is Kevin Grey. He lives at 5 Dalwood Ave, Seaforth 2092 (907 9l0l).
 
On Anzac Day the members assemble in Castlereagh Street near Hunter Street about 8.30 a.m. under the banner with the 1st Corps Artillery colour patch displayed. It is suggested that you call Kevin when in Sydney as the Association has several functions during the year and he assures us that you would be very welcome.
 
Murray Takasuka (7) is still going well at Afterhead SA despite he and his wife having had a few health problems in recent years.
 
Clive Greenhill (9) now in his 80th year has still been busy with Missions to Seamen Chaplains Conference, Legacy, interstate and overseas travel, despite needing a wheelchair.
 
George Howat (8) has had a couple of spells in hospital but at the last report is going well.
 
Col Reilly, probably the Regiments youngest officer in 1941, again made the journey down from Sydney to our 1992 re-union and march. Col still swims early mornings at Balmoral Beach and in 1000 & 1500 metres swimming races.
 
We were there! In the excellent TV series “When the War Came to Australia” shown again by the ABC during 1992, one of the commentators said: “In 1942, Western Australia was left undefended”. Only until those magnificent 7th and 8th Batteries of our Regiment arrived to protect the girls in Perth, the US Navy's Catalinas and canteen at Crawley Bay, the RAAF with their WAAF’s and the Bullsbrook Hotel at Pearce, the Avro Ansons and the Italian tomato growers at Geraldton aerodrome, and the RAAF’s 76 Squadron at Onslow.
 
No wonder the enemy didn’t come down the West coast!
 
Nonagenarians! Congratulations to Tom Evely (7) and to
Hugh Roger Taylor (8) on reaching their 90th and 9lst birthdays
respectively. Both have kept remarkably good health. How many
other members of the Regiment are in their nineties?
 
Did you get one of the 75 cent stamps bearing a picture of one of 9 Bty guns which co-operated with 6 HAA Bty in the defence of the Port Morseby, Milne Bay area?