Secretary’s Report 1996
THE SENTRY’S LOG
Apropos prostate problems mentioned opposite, one of our Gunners has had tinnitus (ringing noise in the ears) for years. More recently, he was also unfortunate enough to develop prostate trouble. Our worthy Gunner said he had so many fingers and instruments poked up his rear end that it seemed to have done his tinnitus the world of good! We reported this to his prominent Ear, Nose and Throat specialist in case he wishes to publish this information in the medical journals.
“Take Post” again received many interesting notes and welcome donations from widows of our old comrades and members who were unable to attend the last Reunion – including Joan Paton of Shepparton, Ida Worsley, Margaret Dickinson, Geoff Clucas (now OBE – Over Bloody Eighty), Tom Chadwick in Echuca, Ron Walsh in Montrose Tasmania, Terry Gleeson, Mario Takasuka in Peterhead SA and N Anderson of Mudgeeraba.
Gnr J C Ballantine (9) advises that he has moved to Collaroy Plateau, NSW. He recalls a couple of incidents in how he won the war. En route to Lae in October 1943 in a LST, he was on aircraft spotter duty late at night. He drew the attention of the bridge officers to a silver light far up overhead. Later an officer came down to congratulate him on his dedication to duty, and explained that it was a star.
Later again, on landing from the LST, the gun crew’s cat Tiddles, which had been sleeping in the gun tractor was one of the first to set foot on the beach-head to lead the crew to its position near Jacobsens.
The WA troop still get together now and then. It was great to see Gordon Connor (7), Gordon Fellows (8) and George Howat (8) at our 1995 Reunion. The two Gordons represented the Regiment at the WA Victory parade in August last.
Later, Gordon Connor unfortunately joined the Club of Retired Gentlemen Who Have Fallen Off Ladders, resulting in the need for a new hip.
Gordon Fellows and Frank Wallis (Sig Sgt) were nominated to attend the Royal Show to take part, with banner, in the Grand Parade as a tribute to War Veterans on the 50th Anniversary of WW2. As Frank’s son was Chief Administrative Officer of the Agricultural Society, Gordon and Frank were treated with the respect due to veteran anti-aircraft men.
Jasper Coghlan (9) visited WA and was welcomed at the Anzac Club by several comrades in usual WA style.
Bob Little who has been ill on and off for years has been holding his own lately, working in his garden of prize roses.
Ralph Hawkey (8) still farms at Nathalia and soldiers on within the limits imposed by age and his old gsw.
Clive Greenhill, now well into his eighties, attended a family re-union in Adelaide, and then travelled up the east coast, across the top, and down the west coast to home.
At the WA troop’s pre-Christmas lunch (with twenty three attending), Theo Fitzhardinge was appointed President and Honorary Secretary, following Gordon Connor’s resignation as President due to ill-health.