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Secretary’s Report 2002

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Secretary’s Report 2002

The Sentry’s Log

On a visit to the Australian War Memorial at Canberra in November last, Ron Bryant was pleased to see on display an Italian 20-mm. Breda Light Anti- Aircraft gun, as used by the 8th Battery in Tobruk.

After studying it with great interest, he demonstrated his love/hate opinion of it by saying. “What rotten equipment. Who will ever forget clearing those frequent stoppages while in action”.

Nevertheless, as there was not a lot of information about the gun, he sent to the AWM details and old news-cuttings about the use of the Bredas by 8th Battery and of the results obtained with them [including the score of 23 enemy aircraft shot down, 14 more probably destroyed, 60 badly damaged and 100 others hit.] He also suggested that a better location for the gun would be in the North Africa – Tobruk display [near a captured German anti-tank gun].

Ron received a letter of thanks for the information on the Breda. Its permanent placement is to be considered by the AWM Head Curator who took the opportunity of reporting that their collection of artifacts and relics from North Africa is not large. In particular, their holdings for Tobruk and El Alamein are quite small.

In case our members can assist, we quote from the Head Curator’s letter:

“Should you, or any of your comrades hold material that would benefit the collection, you might like to consider donating it to the Memorial. Items of an historical or human interest nature, particularly anything with a story attached, are still sought. I would be pleased to discuss this further with you if you wish”.


2002 is well on the way, I wonder how many of us thought we would ever see another century! I have had plenty of correspondence again this year [keep it coming] and I will endeavour to pass on snippets of it to you’.

On a visit to Melbourne from Perth, Alan Lowe (8th) rang me. Alan has been AWL for many years. Hopefully he has been able to contact George Howat (8th) by now.

Ralph Hawkey (8th) sent me the front page of the Cobram Courier. Ralph was honoured with an article and photo. He also placed the wreath at the RSL service on Anzac Day.

Ursula Clements (7th) keeps in touch with Tom Tootells’ daughter Maree, and recently loaned her copy of “On Target” to Ralph Callister’s (8th) grandson.

Bob Phillips (8th) writes from Noosa, ‘Take Post is a credit to the Editor, it renews the spirit of mateship and personal relationships developed many years ago’.

Terry Gleeson (Sigs) sends greetings to Cec Rae (9th) and Frank Washbourne (8th). Have you caught up with Arthur Spiller (RHQ) yet Terry?

Rex Emmett (7th) is not able to attend our reunion as he runs the Ouyen Dawn Service. Good on you. Being a devil for punishment, Rex rejoined the services in 1949 as a Sergeant Instructor and later became the RSM, [Hamilton “Horsey” Hayes was the RQMS]. Rex then became a member of the 1953 Coronation Contingent, spending 6 months travelling the world and having the opportunity to visit, [to name a few places] Tobruk, Malta and Gibraltar. You certainly won the raffle Rex!

Laurie Bell, our 2/1st AA Regiment [Composite] odd bod, wrote expressing his pleasure in being able to march with the 2/3rd, Laurie also enjoys “Take Post” – I hope you are with us this year Laurie.

Margaret Warren, daughter of Jack Phillips (7th) was excited to see the 7th Bty photo in the last issue. Jack was KIA and Margaret did not know her father and wasn’t able to find Jack. If any member can identify him please let me know.

Linda George writes to say that Geof (9th) is in Allawah Special Care Hostel in Yarrawonga. Members would be welcomed but Geof can’t remember names.

Bob Westcott (9th) through illness, cannot get out, but sends his regards and congrats to the Editor.

Dan Hawkes (9th) found the article in last year’s “Take Post” brought back many memories of Cec Rae, “Chook” Carmichael, Darkie Patterson, Keith Wilson and the Coghlan boys, all of 9th Bty.

Ida Worsley (7th) tells me of her 3 generations of Defence Force personnel – Frank her husband WW2, son Ian a Vietnam veteran, then her grandson Adam is a Duntroon graduate and now of Captain’s rank. Ida also keeps in contact with Joyce Ritchie, [John Hipworth’s daughter] , Beryl Hawkins (7th), Win Parker and a number of others. At 87, you are doing very well Ida.

Patricia Sullivan (9th) saw in the last issue of “Take Post” that Grif Weatherly still has a twinkle in his eye.

Dick Coggins is hoping to get respite care for his wife and be with us this year. We look forward to seeing you then Dick.

Gwen Tonkin (7’h) relived the “Prisoners Dream of a Good Dinner” printed in the last issue, as she was there and still has the original pencil written menu.

George Roberts (8th) missed his usual visit from Bluey Page (8th). Where did you get to Bluey? George was able to get to Doug Simson’s (8th) funeral in Casterton, as the Regiment’s representative.

Jessie Esler (7th) enjoyed seeing the photo of Doug Davis (7th) as one of our nonagenarians.

Terry Butler (9th) sends greetings to his old mates – Alan Rundle, Ted Guiness, Darkie Patterson, Frank O’Toole, [the billy tea man] and Cec Rae. Ron Walsh (7th) writes from Tassie, “have a drink for me”.

Thank you Howard Vippond, l was pleased to be able to send back issues of the magazine, and yes, my health is OK now.

Gwen Kruger sends greetings on behalf of Charles [now in full time care] to Ron Bryant and Bluey Page (8th).

David Carty (9th) has cleared up a mystery – the “tall, young kid” in a last issue story was not Ron Bryant but our President Jack Crittenden.

Ted Guiness (9th) now 92 recalls being in A Troop with Neil Anderson as gun sergeant followed by Arthur McClintock. Good memories.

Roy McLaren (7th), a POW, sends his regards to all members. John C Ballantine (9th) could not make the reunion last year so sent $5 in memory of “Killer” Curtis.

Joyce Ritchie sent a donation in memory of her dad John Hipworth.

George Bartlett (workshops) sends his best wishes to all.

C.D. Farrow sent a photo of a ‘Typical Desert Camp’.

Greetings were sent by many more, including Alan Read (9th), K. Walsh(7th) , Joan Paton (9th) and Constance Little (7’n).

Thank you for the many donations to the funds, these are vital in keeping the Association going and enabling us to communicate with you all.

My personal regards to you all.

John Campbell
Honorary Secretary