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Secretary’s Report 2010

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Secretary’s Report 2010

I wonder if you ever wonder what an Honorary Secretary does between Annual General Meetings and Reunions.

As I conclude my second year as the Association’s Honorary Secretary, I now have a thorough understanding of the range of issues my predecessors dealt with in their capacity as Honorary Secretaries – sadness, appreciation, meeting and event co-ordination and organisation, records maintenance, written correspondence and telephone communications.

My conversations with, and letters from, original members and/or their families have ranged from sadness when advising of the passing of another original, to happiness when I hear how much they enjoy receiving “Take Post” and how much they appreciate the Remembrance Group is continuing to honour the activities and traditions of the 2nd / 3rd.

So, what I have been doing?

2nd / 3rd Web Site

As you are aware from the mid-term report sent to you in September 2009, we were successful in obtaining a $3,000 grant from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs towards the cost of establishing a web site.

During the year, I have had numerous meetings, discussions and correspondence with former Committee members, primarily related to capturing photographs and documents we could place on the 2nd / 3rd web site.

I was provided with access to personal photograph albums and documents, which recorded the activities of the Regiment in each of the theatres in which it served during WW2.

Special thanks go to Ron Bryant, John Campbell, Cec Rae and Dorothy Harris (daughter of Les Harris) with whom I met several times to literally scan hundreds of photos and documents, and which now form such an important part of our web site.

Additional thanks are due to Barry and Bill Stokes (sons of Major Phil Stokes) who provided many photographs and documents relating to their father’s 8th Battery activities.

Alan “Bushy” Read (9th) also sent me photographs and some very interesting “background” notes relating to the Regiment’s history as chronicled in “On Target”. I enjoyed my somewhat lengthy telephone conversation with Alan.

Tom Dusting (9th), Ray Everlyn (9th), Roy East (7th) and Bill Hopkins (7th) were others who contacted me, and with whom I spent time talking about their experiences and recollections whilst scanning their photos.

It is interesting to note that the small cameras carried by many of the Regiment members were actually forbidden, but officers turned a “blind eye” to their possession – apparently on the condition that officers received copies of the photographs.

Remembrance Group

From an initial gathering of 13 interested persons in August 2007, what we now call the Remembrance Group numbers in excess of 80 members, and is continuing to grow.
Not only is the “old guard” delighted with the interest in the Regiment from the descendants of the original members, your Committee is very appreciative of the increasing interest and membership. Thank you to each and every one of you.

The establishment of the web site and the introduction of the mid-term report reflect your interest in the Association and are seen as practical ways your Committee can maintain the momentum.


As part of our long planned overseas holiday to England and Greece in September / October 2009, Ann and I spent four days on Crete (the largest of the Greek Islands), where the 7th Battery of the 2nd / 3rd was engaged in ferocious battles and subsequent evacuation in 1941. The majority of the Regiment’s casualties and prisoners of war were incurred on Crete and there are a number of memorials on the island.

The battle of Crete is well told in the Regiment history “On Target” and has been the subject of numerous articles in Take Post over the years – all of which are accessible through the Association’s web site.

A summary of our time on Crete is contained in this edition of Take Post.

Sentry’s Log

As indicated above, I have had several meetings with Ron Bryant, John Campbell and Cec Rae over the past twelve months. Whilst primarily associated with gathering photos and documents for the web site, I find that whenever I am unsure of facts or events, I can turn to them for advice and clarification. Thank you for your continuing support. Thank you to all of you for the lunches and morning coffees I have enjoyed whilst in your company.

John Hepworth has been another I can rely on if I need any advice regarding the finances of the Association.

Each of these former office bearers has had health problems throughout the year, but is battling on in the tradition of old soldiers.

I spent a very pleasant afternoon with Roy East (7th) at the retirement village where he now lives in North Croydon. Whilst my primary purpose in meeting Roy was to view and scan his photographs and documents, I found him to be a most interesting person with a great deal of knowledge. In addition to joining up his grandson as a member of the Remembrance Group, Roy also made a very generous donation to the Association.

I also met with Tom Dusting (9th) to scan photos. Tom asked if Bert Langley (9th), a member of the Occupation Force in Japan with Tom, and now living in Mornington, was on my membership lists. This was a bonus as Bert was not on any of my mailing lists – he is now.

Bill Garrigan (7th) and a former PoW rang to advise that due to his wife’s dementia, they were now in separate aged care facilities.

Alan “Bushy” Read (9th) sent me a number of photographs and notes relating to his personal involvement in activities described in “On Target”. Alan transferred from the 2nd/2nd Heavy to the 2nd/3rd Light and was a great mate of Jack Berkley and the late Harry Sauerberg

Alison Shields rang to pass on the sad news that Les Shields (8th) passed away on 21 October 2009.

Dave Thomson (9th), the Association’s Banner Keeper, rang to advise that Tom “Jock” Carmichael (9th) had passed away in December.

Stephen Welsh contacted me to advise that his mother-in-law Trish Curry, wife of Jack Hamilton Curry (7th), and who was captured on Crete, had passed away.

During the year I received phone calls, letters or emails from Diane Schubert (daughter of the late Ernest Cope (8th)), Graeme Hawkins (son of Raleigh Hawkins (7th)), Shirley Clay (daughter of Tom Wills (7th)), Marg Woodfield (daughter of KW Elder (RHQ)), and David Crooke (son of JD Crooke (9th)), all seeking to join the Remembrance Group themselves or requesting information be sent to other family members with an interest in joining.

I have enjoyed my role with the Association over the past twelve months and
really 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”, or to expand the photographs and information on the web site.