Secretary’s Report 1995
THE SENTRY’S LOG
Alex Barnett (8) is still going reasonably well at Port Macquarie. He is compiling a history, which includes stories on the prisoners-of-war of 7 and 8 batteries.
Our WA boys still get together occasionally with their ladies for social outings. Although no longer a formal association, over the years, they have become a close knit group.
Bob Little (8) has been very ill as an in-patient at Perth, but has returned home to Albany.
Allan Lowe (8), who only recently made contact with our WA group, was pleased to find so many of his comrades-in-arms still on deck in Perth. Allan had surgery last year but his last report was good.
Les Harris (8) with his wife Win and daughter Dorothy visited Perth and were welcomed by Gordon Connor, Norm Anderson, George Howat, Jack (Nap) Croft, Bill Fitzhardinge, Gordon Fellows, Keith Walton, Gwen Connor and Bunny Timmens with traditional WA hospitality.
Keith Wallace also visited Perth and met some of the troops. We are hoping that some of the West Australians might get to our Anzac Re-union this year.
Reg Dickson M.L., (degree of Master-in-Life gained at the Oxford Hotel, down Leederville way) holds court with his mate and veteran of Korea – Billy Harrison, at the Oxford and is always prepared to comment on civic affairs.
Murray Takasuka is still living at Peterhead, South Australia. The Sunday Herald Sun, May 1 last, had an interesting full-page story about his Japanese father Jo’s pioneering efforts with growing rice in Australia in 1906. Much of this story was covered in our 1989 “Take Post”.
Murray is now in his 80’s and both he and his wife have been having health problems.
In the 1992 “Take Post”, advice was given that bilateral cataracts had been accepted by the Department of Veterans Affairs in the particular circumstances of a veteran who had significant operational service in tropical areas and was subjected to bright sunlight.
Since that report, at least two of our gunners have been successful with applications to the DVA that their crystalline lens opacities were war-caused. Anti-aircraft gunners would have had a particularly hazardous vocation, staring into bright sunny skies, looking for aircraft.
We had some optimists on our side – at Milne Bay, one of our men was firing his Tommy gun at an attacking Zero, which was at 2,000 feet! Then there was the bloke at Tobruk who was seen firing his Bren at a Stuka together with about a hundred other guns ranging from 20mm Bredas up to 3.7inch guns.
As the Stuka dived into ground, bombs and all, the Bren gunner shouted: “I got him, that’s fixed him!”
Ron Walsh is in Montrose, Tasmania, and would be glad to see any old friends passing by. (R J Walsh, telephone OO2 728 522). He is a lover of the sport of harness racing. Ron says Tassie has it all.
It has been rewarding to receive many letters expressing thanks for “On Target” and “Take Post” from old comrades, some of whom don’t feel able to get to re-unions, because of distance or ill-health.
We have also received letters from widows and relatives of our old mates, some of course bearing bad news. The letters have been most appreciated and have encouraged us to keep the Association and Newsletters going as long as we can. Some of these old comrades and widows of old mates have mentioned that they have not been so well.
To them especially, we express our very best wishes and better health.
Constance Little, widow of Charles Little, is well known by name to all of us through her pithy comments in letters to the press. We send her our love too.