Secretary's Report 2017

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Welcome and hearty greetings to all members to the 2017 2nd / 3rd LAA Regt Association AGM and the Regiments Annual Luncheon.

This is my third year as Secretary, and again this year has flown quickly. For me personally last year has been rather eventful, with the hospitalisation midyear and passing of my mother Betty Wrigglesworth, in  early October 2016. Betty was the wife of  deceased Veteran W.A. Wrigglesworth of the 7th Battery. She often attended our AGM and Annual Luncheon up until last year when due to health reasons was unable to attend. Mum enjoyed these luncheons and catching up and renewing friendship formed with war widows and remembrance members over many years.

Towards the end of last year and in particularly early this year my thoughts have turn to the preparation of this year's AGM, annual reunion arrangements and Anzac Day March, and of course the preparation and production of "Take Post " and what information I have for the Secretary's report.

Well it turns out that Colin Bragg, the Association's Treasurer has accumulated through his  various contacts enough articles, photo's and information to produce another well presented 'Take Post' newsletter for us this year.

From the Secretary's Desk

As has been in the case in recent years, most of the enquires are received electronically through our website or direct to myself, Treasurer Colin Bragg or Association's Research Officer David McDonald.

This year a lot of the correspondence from members and relatives has been attended to by David McDonald via email, webmail or telephone conversation, which has made the Secretary's job a lot easier.

On occasions  usually after Anzac day, there has been via a phone call or email direct to myself, enquires regarding the 2nd/3rd or even the 2nd/ 4th, and so I will pass on some of these  'happenings'.

We heard from Alison Shieldsto advise a change of address and telephone number, and also to mention that will not be attending last year's Anzac Luncheon, but hopefully will get there in 2017.

Best wishes for both the lunch and Anzac March.

When I return home from 2nd/3rd's L.A.A. Anzac day march last year, in Melbourne, I had a message on the phone from Joshua Thomas eldest grandchild descendent of John Alexin Confait VX44338 requesting information on the remembrance group and how he could be involved in representing his grandfather at up and coming Anzac day events, meeting other people or relatives who served with this regiment. Information has been past on via myself on a return phone call and also from David McDonald the Association's Research Officer.

Annette Hyde emailed to inform the remembrance group that her Dad Laurie Brown was in the 7th Battery, and that she is a descendant member. In 2016 Annette is off on a cruise which when ended will allow her to fly to Crete to spend some time looking around at areas where her father was stationed etc. Annette has The On Target book, so has some background information, however requested that we advise her of some must see spots that would be helpful.

David McDonald the Associations (Research Officer) has provided such helpful information to Annette.

Annette also mentioned to say that her mother Shirley Brown has had a stroke and is now residing in a nursing home.  There is no need to send mail, as Annette can print off "Take Post" for her mother. That's the beauty of the Associations web site.

The committee received a congratulations letter from Doreen Bryant which was written soon after ANZAC day 2016

Here is a extract of Doreen's letter:-

            It is high time I put typewriter to paper and dropped you a line to compliment you and the committee on the excellent effort at last Saturday's A.G.M. and luncheon. It was so well planned with interesting interludes to keep us all on our toes.          The effort you all put into the event - such planning and attention to detail. Matthew with his presentation - I, for one, had never given much thought to the intricacies of what a service person has to wear/carry, and young Emma with her air warden act - so good.

            I also found David McDonald's talk about the Australian involvement in Assyria most enlightening, I don't think I ever knew about that either. Well there are many other things I could note - the effort put into "Take Post"- excellent - the             "Welcome Committee" as we entered plus the running of the Association throughout the year.

            Well done and my thanks and congratulations to all of you. The "boys" would be proud of you.

Ian Curtis emailed to advise that he is the grandson of Sgt RR Curtis (Deceased) NX20298 and to inform the association that his Grandmother Mrs Esme Curtis had passed away on the 5th July, 2016 at Gosford hospital. As the regiment still corresponded with his grandmother he felt it important to advise us of her passing.

Kim Taunt telephoned and also followed up with a email to say that he had photo's that may be of interest to the 2nd / 3rd LAA 7th Battery. Kim also contacted our Research Officer David McDonald for photo's to be included on our Website.

The Year in Review

On a couple of occasions I have received telephone calls or emails from family members who no longer have a need to hold onto photo memorabilia. The Association is always receptive to obtaining such memorabilia depicting our 2nd / 3rd LAA war veterans. 

Throughout the year, we received the advice of the passing of original service members.

We learnt of the passing of the following servicemen:-

Philip Hurst                  (VX5862)                                    8th Battery

These are sad and regrettable events and we should be grateful that these men returned home to their families to live and lead long lives, and provide inspiration for the future generations.                 

 2nd/ 4th and 2nd / 3rd Discussion

In July committee members, Malcolm, Colin, Ann and Anne Rae met with Peter Davidson after contacting David McDonald about a possible joint activities / merger with the 2nd/ 3rd. Peter has an interest in the 2nd/ 4th ALAA Regiment Association as his father was a member. At this meeting it was explain to him, that we would determine if there were any areas of common interest, which we would take back to our committee. Any changing the nature or objects of our 2nd/3rd Association would need to be made at an AGM by all members through a change in our constitution.

A small number of members of the 2/4th association decided to disband it in 2015, as there were only a few original members remaining, and associations funds were subsequently given to charity. A number of descendants marched behind their banner last year 2016, ANZAC day march and met as they have in past years, after the march, for their reunion. A number are keen to continue and don't wish to have the their Association disappear.

Suggestions from David Macdonald and ourselves where discussed with Peter, and a follow up letter was sent via our 2nd / 3rd LAA President to Peter clarifying our suggestions, and recent discussions for Peter to discuss within his 2nd /4th Association with a reply and / or advice to ourselves if they intend to take this any further. At our committee meeting held in October, 2016 there had been no further information or progress in obtaining membership details and what the 2nd / 4th group think of our suggestions. (Please see Presidents report details and update information)

Donations

The Association has again received donations from members, which enables us to continue to do what we do, and to provide for unscheduled technical maintenance of our web site.

Donations also allow us to keep the Association up and running and provide support  funding for the AGM and Luncheon.

I would like to thank all members who have made donations throughout the year, and in particular Foster Crooke, Daniel Wanders, Trish Slattery and her sisters Georgia and Sally, Lynne Chitts, John Hillard and Rosemary Weatherly.

The Association is very grateful and appreciates all donations to enable the continuance of this wonderful Association in remembrance of the original members of the 2nd / 3rd LAA.

2nd/3rd Website

Over the past 12 months Malcolm Romano has continually kept an eye on the Association web site, and any alterations or amendments that need to be attended to are usually corresponded with David McDonald or Colin Bragg.

Remembrance Group

The Remembrance Group continues to grow and currently numbers approximately over 100 members, of whom 48 attended the 2016 AGM and Reunion Luncheon. This year unfortunately we did not have any originals, due to other commitments on the same day or unwell at the time of the AGM / Reunion.

A very satisfying number, as early on in April, acceptance numbers were down compared to previous years.

As mention above, the committee and widows of past originals were very pleased with the attendance who thoroughly enjoyed a well presented and entertaining reunion.

Please remember to advise myself or Colin Bragg (Treasurer) of any changes to your address, email and phone numbers, so we can keep in touch with further developments or events that maybe forthcoming later in the year.