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Secretary’s Report 1994

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Secretary’s Report 1994

Western Australia Troop Report

The WA Branch has disbanded its formal organization due to declining membership, sadly through disabilities and the grim reaper. However the remaining members intend to meet socially from time to time.

They did that before Christmas with members and their ladies having their annual trip by boat down the Swan River to Fremantle and return.

While in Victoria recently, Gordon Connor visited Cec Rae’s home at Shoreham with Ron Bryant, Les Harris and wives for a happy day. Gordon returned to WA by bus – a long haul – and it took him a while to get back to full duties again.

Gordon and Gwen celebrated their 5Oth wedding anniversary in December. 50 years!
We’re quite sure Gwen deserved the gold watch!

Cliff Scott hasn’t been well.

George Howat has had problems too, including having to get a couple of pins in his ankle to fuse the bone, but now gets around well. George came to Victoria in May to attend his mother’s funeral.

His mother, Flora Courtney, widowed twice, was a wonderful lady. She served 47 years with the Country Women’s Association, 75 years with the Red Cross, received a Long Service award for work with the Healesville branch of the Eye and Ear Hospital and worked for numerous other organizations and clubs.

Apart from many other awards, Her Majesty the Queen bestowed her with the Medal of the British Empire (MBE) “for her service to the community”.

Mrs. Courtney died at the great age of 97 years.

Clive Greenhill had a bad accident in Bunbury, his car being hit head-on by an l8-year-old driving an old “bomb”. Clive suffered a broken sternum and his new Pajero was wrecked. On last report he was recovering well but had to take things carefully.

Our condolences go to Jim Moyes who lost his wife Elsie who passed away after a long illness.


Mac McGillivray who celebrated 50 years of marriage recently was in touch with Phil Roberts (8) who was best man at the wedding. Phil is still a Canon at Salisbury Cathedral. We hope he can return to Australia, preferably at reunion time, so that he can meet up with old friends.

Jim Dennis (8) of Benalla is always busy enough as sub-branch Secretary of the Rats of Tobruk Association and as a member of Legacy. He occasionally sees W J Clifford living the quiet life in Echuca and Jim Bourke of Katamatite who visits his daughter in WA and Hughie Hill of Numurkah.

Hugh was honoured with a life membership of the 9 Aust. Div. Association (SWR & NE Region) for three decades of work.

Noel Moulton, a retired butcher is a bit restricted in life style through health problems but has been visited by old mates.

Plonk Stephens and Chook Russell who stir him up. Mick Wade retired to Benalla and settled down to bowls and the quiet life- but was washed out of his home in the October floods.

Fred Toy lost his wife suddenly and sadly. He is now living at Soldiers’ Point, NSW with his family.

Ralph Hawkey (8) of Nathalia sent in a news cutting being an obituary on Leo Slattery (8) who died on Anzac Eve 1993, aged 9l years. Leo had been Managing Clerk of the firm of Morrison & Sawers, the 113 year old legal firm at Kyabram. He handled a multitude of voluntary community interests in executive capacities, so will be missed. Ralph would like to hear about Jack Milligan. Where is he? Ralph has a brand new knee, which now gives him two straight legs.

He says to tell Lin Davis how much he enjoyed the tin of Ardmona pears given to him while resting with his gunshot wound at Tobruk hospital.

George Roberts (8) still lives at Gerang Gerung.
Having first got that name right who could ever forget it! George no longer actively farms, but has a house on the property and puts himself on light duties.

Dave Humphreys (7) says that Bob Marmion’s Artillery Museum mentioned elsewhere has been set up, so when passing through Bendigo, look for it.

Tom Baker-Williams (7) is still lively – he was Chairman of the Echuca Group of Bendigo Legacy in 1993.

Les Harris (7) now into his eighties, is as alert as ever. Obviously his wife Win and daughter Dot look after him. Les will still handle Youth Education matters for Melbourne Legacy this year- in addition to his normal contact work.

Congratulations to John Bright (8) who is still at Baxter Retirement Village. John was a widower, but has married May, a long time friend from teenage days.

Cec (Blue) Palmer met Mac McGillivray recently and they fired a few shots at Stukas again.

At a recent function, John Campbell happened to be sitting next to Harold Earle and his wife. John and Harold were both surprised to learn that each had been a member of 2/3rd Regiment. We hope to sec Blue Palmer and Harold at the Reunion.

Miss Beryl Williams, sister of the well-known and respected BSM of 8 Battery, Roy Williams, appreciated the attendance of many men of the Regiment at Roy’s funeral service, particularly Les Stephens and Clarrie Cuttriss who were both members of Roy’s gun crew at one time or another.

Roy in his very individual job of BSM was neither one of the Sergeants nor of the Commissioned Officers but never had any hesitation in bringing to order those of lesser or higher rank than himself.

Les Stephens still lives near the tall timber in Healesville and Clarrie is still at Surrey Hills. Both look fit and well as ever.

Dick Hawting (8) has been ill again with more heart trouble. We trust he is on the mend.

Les Shields (8) looks too urbane to cope with the problems and vicissitudes of being a farmer, but that is what he does successfully – farming in South Gippsland near Foster.