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Secretary's Report 2021

From The Secretary's Desk

Hearty greetings to all members of the 2nd / 3rd LAA Regt Association and welcome to the Association's Annual General Meeting and Reunion Luncheon.

As has been the case for several years (since our web site was established), most enquires are received through our website or by email. The Association Research Officer David McDonald handles the more detailed responses. (Please refer to the Sentry's Log for some examples of enquires in this year's Take Post)

This past twelve months little correspondence has directly come across my desk apart from the odd phone call or email towards the end of the calendar year in 2020.

One such phone call was from Kate Houghton who had a copy of On Target given to her parents by former President and joint author Ron Bryant. The book, signed by all three of the joint authors - C.J.E Rae, A.L. Harris and R.K. Bryant - also contained a typed history letter from Ron. Further to some discussion, Kate donated this valuable and rare signed copy of On Targetto the Association for safe keeping, and for passing on to a descendant of an original service member of the Regiment. We are very grateful for this generous donation.

The Year in Review

I continue to receive phone calls from descendants of members of other anti-aircraft regiments seeking identification of former war veterans. These calls are usually received after family members have researched the Internet, and frequently reflect that:

                  . Most WW2 Associations have been wound up, or Regiment Associations have not existed.

                  . Very few Associations have a website, particularly Australian Anti-Aircraft Regiment Associations.

                  .  A Web search under "Anti-Aircraft" will invariably bring up our 2nd / 3rd web site.

Whilst we are unable to answer all these enquires, we do endeavour to provide sufficient information for them to be followed up by the enquirees. The repetitive nature of many enquires are now handled via our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) component of the Association's web site.

During the year 2020 / 2021 the Association was advised of the passing of the following original service members.

John Marshall                                                      (NX20486)                                    8th Battery                 

Dave Humphreys                                                 (VX35094)                                    7th Battery                  

Ian Barker                                                           (VX31735)                                    7th 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 future generations.

The passing of these veterans leaves the Association with only one surviving original member of the Regiment with whom we are in regular contact - out of 1,935 members who fought with the 2nd / 3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment during WW2. There are possibly another four surviving war veterans, but we have been unable to contact them, and have not received any information regarding their whereabouts or passing for several years.

Donations

The Association continues to receive donations from members, enabling us to continue to underwrite the cost of the AGM / Reunion, and undertake maintenance of our web site, produce Take Post and to fund any unscheduled technical up-grade to our site.

Thank you to all members who have made donations throughout the year, and in particular Dot Harris, Doreen Bryant, Dorothy Donelly, Trish Slattery and Anne Rae.

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 A.L.A.A. Regiment.

2nd/3rd Website

The Association web site is working well. The number of spam emails has significantly reduced since the inclusion of RECAPTCHA requirement for the website in 2019. The remainder are dealt with by Treasurer Colin Bragg and Research Officer David McDonald who maintain a regular watch on day to day activities.

Website / server updates and security procedures are referred to Malcolm Romano from Designsense Web, for any necessary action.

Remembrance Group

The Remembrance Group continues to remain the around the same numbers, approximately 90 members, of whom 50 attended the 2019 AGM / Reunion Luncheon...... a very good attendance. In 2020 the Association AGM/Reunion was cancelled in April, due to the Government Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings and distancing measures for meetings in venues such as the RACV. These restrictions have now been eased, and we are now able to conduct our regular AGM / Reunion for 2021.

In 2019 we had two original service members, John Campbell and the late John Marshall, who thoroughly enjoyed AGM/ Reunion and Luncheon.

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. 

 

Shooting Through

Shooting Through is a book written by Katrina Kittel on Campo 106 escaped POW's after the Italian armistice. On Saturday 29th February, 2020 I attended Katrina's book launch at (ROTA) Tobruk House, Victoria Avenue, Albert Park in Melbourne on behalf of the 2nd/3rd and my father who was one of 90 POW's in this Campo 106. The launch was well attended, a bit like a writers festival panel.

This book is also dedicated to the late Bill Rudd who died on the 29th October, 2019, whose POW experience parallels the authors father and many of the POW's on the run in Italy. Bill Rudd was an authority on POW history in Europe.

Shooting Through, is thoroughly researched and well written, presents a window into the soul and decision making of the POW's in their relationships with themselves, authorities and local Italians.

The book gave me an insight and better understanding of how my father and others survived as a POW, while trying to cross over the Alps / Italian border to freedom in Switzerland. My father never discussed his war experiences with family...... sworn to secrecy amongst the veterans, and he always kept it to himself.  

For orders, and signed copies of this book, email the author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. buy through online re-sellers listed here: https://www.echobooks.com.au/history/shooting-through/

Thank you and kind regards to all. Malcolm Wrigglesworth, Honorary Secretary.