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Secretary’s Report 2000

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Secretary’s Report 2000

From The Secretary’s Desk

When we were young who would have thought that we would still be around to welcome in the year 2000! We must be survivors!
This year I have received plenty of mail from you, also of course many phone calls – thank you – it is great to get your comments and queries. Keep them coming please. Here goes:

A letter from Joan Nicholson advising that husband John is now in a nursing home. Pat Sullivan enjoys the articles and photos in “Take Post”; they bring back many memories.

Len Chadwick finds the distance too great to attend reunions but sends greetings to all.

Thank you Beryl Hawkins, I hope your grandson enjoyed Indonesia and his diet of rice, rice and more rice.

We all enjoyed Gordon Fellows’ article about the returning coin as you did Beryl.

George Roberts [8], writing from far flung Gerang Gerung, will welcome any who can call and see him, he is off the Western Highway on the way to Adelaide.

Stan Walker (9) thanks for your reminiscences of many years ago especially about the “snail soup” prepared by Pancho McDonald when on kitchen bitch duties – Stan didn’t think much of it Pancho!

T. Baker-Williams has shifted from his farm into Echuca.
Hope you have settled in well and look forward to seeing you at a reunion soon.

Allan Read tells of Dudley Gallagher telling a story against himself “l had been ticking off a gunner, he was full of decorum saying ‘yes sir, no sir’. As I was about to dismiss him he asked, ‘May I speak please sir? Of course, said Dud. “ Sir, I have a brother just like you”. How is that? What do you mean? “Punch drunk sir”.

Dan Hawkes, Stan “Blue” Walker and Cliff Cullen represented the 2/3rd at the last Anzac March in Sydney. Dan also reported that Bob McAndrew was in hospital having his other leg off.

I did write to Bob and wished him all the best. Dan also advised a Penguin soft cover book Crete to Korea is available.

Esme Curtis wrote advising of Ron’s death. We too will sadly miss him at our reunions where he was well known and popular.

Phil Roberts [8] phoned from Salisbury England where he has lived and worked for many years. He must have forgotten the time difference as I got the call around midnight! I soon woke up when he said he wanted to send some money to the Association. A very nice letter and a green banknote arrived in due course. Phil and
Mearn’s sons are both doctors, one a surgeon in New Zealand, the other an MD in UK. Have a great holiday in N.Z. this year!

Edie Russell, wife of Jim, advised that he had a bad stroke about four years ago and is now in a nursing home. The Ron Berry you speak of Edie is not “our Ron Berry”, if you would like to contact Ron let me know and I will send you his address.

Isa Fellows also advised of Gordon’s death and Gordon Connors’ great efforts over many years in keeping the members of the unit and their wives together and in contact with each other.

Ralph Hawkey [8] advises that Nathalia now has a 25-pounder and a Bofors in town, apparently rescued from the surrounding district. I hope you have organised some gun drill Ralph.

David Carty sends greetings and insists that “Take Post” keeps coming to his letterbox. Fred Toy [8] has had a trip south and called on Mick Wade, Noel Moulton and Ralph Hawkey. Will look forward to seeing you at the next reunion Fred.

Jean Bell and Evelyn Eaton spent some time with John Ballantine seeing if John could enlighten them of their late husbands’ doings in the 2/3rd.

Ken Welsh sent greetings from Noosa and Cyril Kaighin wrote advising that Jack Henry was very ill – unfortunately Jack passed away a little after that letter came.

Jack Fennessy can’t get to reunions as he is hooked to an oxygen machine.

Ron Walsh in Tasmania sent a long letter and urged any of the unit going to Tassie on holidays to please look him up.
Ron has had three bypasses and sounds ready for another life! He is still very involved with racing and would love to offer Tassie hospitality to members,
(his phone number is 08 6272 8522).

Margaret Dickenson has moved house and enjoys “Take Post” which is also well read by the younger family members.

Dave Humphreys has improved in health I think Margaret.

Bob Phillips [8] writing from Noosa Heads, is green with envy looking at the photos of the “young men” of the 2/3rd – that shows what good living does Bob.

Sorry to know that some of your parts don’t work so well Bob, but it beats the alternative!

Details of Alex Barnett’s book appear on page 10 of this issue Bob.

Lynton Rose, son of Clive Rose advised of his mother’s death and wishes to continue getting “Take Post” you are certainly on the mailing list Lynton.

Jean Bell, widow of Jim, has or is about to move back to the farm where she and Jim lived for many years. Jean will be close to a daughter who now owns the farm.

Kevin Grey, secretary of 2/3 Comp AA Regt Association, of which 9th Battery was the Lt AA component, sends regular newsletters and advises the following dates of their lunches in Sydney. A welcome will be extended to any of our members who may be in Sydney on 13 June, 12 Sept, and 12 Dec at Kiribilli Ex-Servicemens Club from l2 noon in the bistro lounge [drinks and meals of your choice]. Lunch with the ladies on Sunday 6 Aug is held at the same venue from 12 noon for a drink before going to the dining room, cost $25 to $30.

Arthur Kennedy reminds any members when in Sydney, not to miss the artillery museum at North Head, it is well worth the visit.

John Anderson gives a reminder to any member who may be or is extremely disabled, the pension rate is 150%. Talk to John on 03 9725 6934 about becoming a member of the EDA Association for the cost of $20. John states that the association can help you try for EDA status.

One last thing from me – as our age increases, marching on Anzac Day can be a problem, so if you would like to be there but need transport for the march, please advise me immediately. I can then make the necessary application to Anzac House.

Best wishes to you all, and thanks for all the news you send me.

John Campbell.

The Sentry’s Log

Our patron Bert Baglin, as dapper as ever, still appears regularly at Melbourne Legacy, despite two hip operations in recent times. Bert, a foundation officer of our Regiment, was 7 Battery Captain during the battle for Crete in 1941. He was evacuated by the Royal Navy, after surviving numerous bombing attacks on their ship.
On returning to Palestine, Bert was transferred to 2/4 Light AA Regt and as a Battery Commander took part in the Alamein campaign and was wounded. On his eventual return to Australia he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel to command l l2th Light AA Regiment and still went on to other postings.
Bert’s career was detailed in the 1994 Take Post, when he became President of our
Association. He has served Legacy for over 50 years. He is now in his 90th year and we wish him well.

We hear that Jim (Cracker) Hardy, (9 Bty), already a life member of the RSL, has now been named “A Living Treasure.” Congratulations Jim!

Frank Washbourne was noticed walking across the new Bolte Bridge before its opening to traffic. He had accepted an invitation from the Premier for this occasion, and was interviewed on radio.

We don’t usually publish obituaries on our comrades who have passed on as it is generally impractical to obtain sufficient information, and to do it properly, obituaries would take up most of our pages. However, the Age published a comprehensive story on Dick Telford (8) who died on 9th January 1999 and we quote the following extracts:
“Dick Telford led a reformation that defined educational opportunity for people in western suburbs of Melbourne, and contributed to the successful development of the Victorian TAFE system. After the war he completed a science degree at Melbourne University and began a career as a maths/science teacher in the technical school system.

“He introduced a women’s learning centre into the traditional technical trade school to provide access for adult women denied educational opportunity for cultural, ethnic or religious reasons”.

After listing many enterprising projects by Dick, the report stated:
“Thousands have benefited from the magnificent legacy of Dick Telford’s tireless efforts and the inspiration lives on in many who were directly touched by one of the state’s great educational leaders.”

From army news: Brigadier Robert Atkinson recently accompanied an Australian Trade mission to the Middle East to find new clients for Australian technology.

During the Gulf War, Brig Atkinson had occasion to speak to the head of the military hospital in Kuwait and asked about the fate of Iraqi casualties. The hospital chief said they had seen very few casualties, as the Iraqis seemed to have no valid hospital systems. They simply left the severely wounded to die – others were dumped on the Kuwait hospital doorstep.

A chilling reminder of the value of life in a ruthless dictatorship! We suggest to our members that they do not volunteer for service with the Iraqi Army, whatever the pay!