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Secretary’s Report 2009

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Secretary’s Report 2009

From the Secretary’s Desk

In this, my first year as Honorary Secretary, I spent a great deal time of time worrying about where I was going to obtain the raw material from which my report and “Take Post” was to be assembled. I need not have worried!

A direct approach to a number of original Regiment members as well as some direct approaches to myself, offers of contributions from Committee members and letters from members and families of members found us struggling to contain both the size of “Take Post” and my report.

We have probably got enough material either in hand or promised for half of next year’s “Take Post” already. My sincere thanks goes to all contributors.

I received a letter from Joan Anderson, wife of John Anderson (7) in which she advised John would not be able to attend any more reunions due to his ill health. However, Joan did want us to know how much John had looked forward to the reunions and thanked the Association for their work.
Pat Delves (7) also advised he was unable to attend but wished us a “nice night”.

Elizabeth Goddard, wife of Jim Goddard (7) similarly wrote to advise that Jim was unable to make the trip, but that he wishes everyone well and to be remembered to mates that served with him. Elizabeth went on to write: ”His war service means more to him than words can describe and he is sorry not to be with you at this time.”

Betty Spiller advised that Arthur Spiller (RHQ) at 95 years is in “Special Care”. Betty wished the Association a “great reunion”.

Frank Hands (8) apologised for not being at the reunion, but advised he was off on a three-month holiday starting on 1 April!

Committee member Anne Rae is also an apology as she will be holidaying in the Galapagos Islands

Call For Material
Unlike my Secretarial predecessors, I do not have that long association with the Regiment going back to its formation in July 1940 or the close connection with the members and families of the Regiment that one develops over a period of more than 60 years.

The Committee is fortunate in that it continues to have close contact with former Committee office bearers in Ron Bryant, John Campbell, Cec Rae and John Hepworth.

While this enables us to resolve administrative and protocol issues as and when they arise, (as well as asking what must seem to be some pretty dumb questions) we cannot substitute the 60+ years of contacts and knowledge enjoyed by the former Committee.

For this reason, I really would appreciate receiving information about former members of the Regiment, anecdotes, stories, extracts of diaries and/or letters and/or photographs that individual families may know of and which we could use as the basis for articles in future issues of “Take Post”.

Call For Archival Material
Because of the proposed creation of the website and the digitisation of archival materials, it was agreed the Association needed to appoint a person to co- ordinate the projects, and to assume the role of Association Historian.

To this end, David McDonald, son of Robert McDonald (Signals), accepted the role of Association Historian and was seconded to the Committee. At the same time, Graeme Heddle, son of Charles Heddle (9th Battery) volunteered to assume responsibility for archiving and storing any materials collected and not provided to the War Memorial.

In due course, we will be calling for archival material, but in the meantime, if you have old photographs, souvenirs or written material you would like to provide to the Association for cataloguing and storage, we would be pleased to hear from you.

Regimental Rolls
When I was elected as Honorary Secretary last year, I “inherited” two rather substantial boxes of files and records from my predecessor, John Campbell.
John also passed over the original hand written Roll (which is in poor condition), and a hand written copy of the original Roll (which has some additions to the original Roll).

Because of concerns about the condition of the hand written Roll (its proper name being The Australian Military Forces Name Index and Record), we have created an electronic copy of the original Roll (all 1,935 members) which we plan to place on the proposed 2/3rd website.

Similarly, it is planned to digitize extracts of the original Roll and original photos for subsequent placement on the website.

Proposed 2/3rd Website
In late 2008, the Association prepared and lodged two funding applications with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA), each seeking a Grant of $3,000 to:

  • Create its own website with appropriate links to a variety of related sites.
  • Digitise old Regiment records and photographs.

Irrespective of the ultimate outcome of these applications, the Committee proposes to pursue the establishment of a website, and is currently exploring a number of alternative options.

Email Addresses
When our website is up and running, the annual “Take Post” publication will be available (in full colour) online to all members of the Association and to the general public.

In the meantime, if you would prefer to receive “Take Post” and other communications electronically, could you please advise me by email.

Colin Bragg, Hon Secretary