2018 AGM Minutes of Meeting

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                                                       2/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regt Association

                                              AGM held at the RACV City Club on 21st April 2018 at 11.45 hours

Preface

Meeting agendas, Minutes of the 2017 AGM, Financial reports and the Regiment's deployment in 1943 were distributed to attendees prior to the meeting.

1.0                   Meeting Call To Order

President Anne Rae called the meeting to order at 11.45 Hours.

Anne welcomed all 53 members present, and expressed her appreciation of the number in attendance, and to be patient while she proceeded to outline the Agenda of the AGM.

Anne acknowledged our original Regiment members John Campbell and John Marshall for attending this year's AGM and Reunion.

Anne acknowledged those members who had travelled from the country and interstate. (13)

Peter and Janine Cliff                                    Geelong

Foster, Kathy Crooke                                     Maffra

David Crooke                                               Wagga Wagga

David McDonald                                           Canberra

Dorothy Donelly and Allan Donelly                 Bairnsdale

Russell Luckock                                            Buninyong

Robin Spry                                                   Barwon Heads

Kaye Huggins                                               Warragul

Anne Rae                                                     Flinders Island                 

Pat Thurlbeck                                                LaI LaI

Anne also welcomed as first time attendees Andrew Bell (Son, David Bell, 8th Battery), Peter Clift (Son, John L Clift 7th Battery), and Janine Clift (Daughter-in-law, John L Clift 7th Battery), Peter and Bruce Campbell (Son's of John Campbell 8th Battery) and Alison Campbell, (Daughter, John Campbell 8th Battery), Craig Stokes (Grandson, Phil Stokes 8th Battery) and Dianne Stokes (Grand-Daughter-in-law, Phil Stokes 8th Battery)

2.0                  Present (53)

Service Members  - John Campbell, and John Marshall.

Others- (50)

 Andrew Bell, Gaye Berry, Colin Bragg, Ann Bragg, Ian Campbell, Peter Campbell, Bruce Campbell, Alison Campbell, Lyne Chitts, Peter Clift, Janine Clift, David Crooke, Foster Crooke, Katherine Crooke,  Joyce Curnow, Dorothy Donelly, Alan Donelly, Graeme Heddle, Matt Heddle, Emma Heddle, Kaye Huggins, Brian Jungwirth, Pauline Jungwirth, Russell Luckock, David McDonald, Jill McKenzie, Robert Prideaux, Ann Rae, Jim Rae, Ian Rae, Lynton Rose, Rhonda Rose, SusanSchuhman, Alison Shields, Lyndall Shields, Robin Spry, Bill Stokes, Jenny Stokes, Craig Stokes, Dianne Stokes, Fiona Thomas, Pat Thurlbeck, Daniel Wanders, Luke Wanders, Barbara Wells, Daryl Wells, Stephen Welsh, Jenny Welsh, Malcolm Wrigglesworth, Margaret Wrigglesworth.

 

3.0                  Apologies

From the Original members (4)

Alan Martin, Ian Barker, Dave Humphreys, and William Schack.

From Widows of Former Deceased Members (3)

Doreen Bryant, Rosemary Weatherly and Valda Malloch.

From Remembrance Group Members (29)

Rob Bennett, Ian Brown, John Carter, James Coghlan, Lisa Foran, John Fryer, Dot Harris, Graeme Hawkins, Annette Hyde, Robert Knight, Griff Loughnan, Don Mclean, Carol McNairn, Andrew McPherson, Doug Nicholson, Anne Payne, Robin Payne, Anne Peckham, Diedre Robinson, Sorrell Robinson, Byron Robinson, Adam Rose, Jonathan Rose, Dianne Schubert, Trish Slattery, Rod Smith, Pauline Stuart, Jeanette Tilney, Mary Woodfield.

 Moved Graeme Heddle, and seconded by Colin Bragg, "That the apologies be accepted."

4.0                  Lest We Forget

Reading of:                  - Ode For The Fallen.

                                  - Names of deceased Members (Since Previous reunion)                 

Original War Veteran John Marshall narrated Ode To The Fallen and Anne Rae read out the name of former members of the Regiment who had passed away since the previous Reunion. They were:

John McKenzie Hilliard (8th) Battery

Dr Edward, J. Wellsted (9th) Battery

 Members stood whilst the Last Post was played, a minutes silence was observed and the Rouse played with the assistance of Anne Rae.

5.0                  Minutes of the 2017 AGM

The minutes of the 2017 AGM held on Saturday 22nd April, 2017 had been distributed prior to the meeting, and there being no amendments, it was Moved by Colin Bragg, Seconded Graeme Heddle, that the minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting be accepted and approved. Carried

There was no business arising from the 2017 minutes.

6.0                  President's Report

Anne spoke to her report, about 75 years ago at the time the Regiment had separated, and where the Regimental Headquarters, Signals and Workshop Sections were at, and where the 7th, the 8th and 9th Batteries were providing AA defences around Australia, Europe and Milne Bay in Papua, a full text of which is included in "Take Post" 2018, anddistributed at the Luncheon.

A most fascinating article is featured in this year's "Take Post" news magazine, relating to President Anne Rae and her brother Ian's incredibly fortunate selection to travel to Milne Bay to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle of Milne Bay.

Also, in the Presidents report there is mention of the Regiment's handwritten Nominal Rolls gifted to the Australian War Memorial organised by David McDonald.  David during his visit to the 2/3rd ALAAR's memorial plaque and Simon Poplar tree in the Shrine Reserve on Remembrance Day last year noticed that the base of this plaque has deteriorated. Upon request to the Shire Trustees they have arranged for the plaque to be reinstated in a new concrete base.

The Committee commissioned the manufacture of a small lapel badge in response to a strong support at last year's AGM. The colour patch is not unique to the Regiment, being the colour patch of the Australian Artillery, 1 Aust Corps, of which the 2nd / 3rd LAA Regt was just one unit. The Badge is available to members at this year's Reunion and AGM Luncheon.

Despite instructions to the contrary from the RSL, 16 descendants marched behind the Regiment banner on Anzac Day in Melbourne in 2017. Our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers, the original members of the Association would have wanted to march behind the Regiments banner, and this will continue at this year's march. I hope that the RSL will reconsider their instructions in the future. Anne urged that we continue to join together in the memory of the men of the Regiment and in particular those who did not return.

Anne made mention that Colin Bragg has once again produced another excellent "Take Post" assisted by Malcolm Wrigglesworth. Colin's recent interviews with Dave Humphrey and Allen Martin, and John Purcell's description of the desperate situation of the bombing prior on Crete to the invasion provide an insight into the desperate times prior to evacuation of our veterans on Crete.

Anne thanked the Committee for their work over the past year and it is a real privilege and pleasure to work with them.

Moved Ian Rae, seconded Colin Bragg "That the President's Report be accepted."Carried

7.0                  Secretary's Report

Malcolm spoke to his report, the full text of which is included in "Take Post" 2018, distributed at the Luncheon.A brief summary of correspondence via phone calls, emails directed to the secretary are mentioned in "Take Post" together with report headings The Year in Review, Nominal Rolls, 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Milne Bay, and Remembrance Group,to bring members an update on the Associations activities over the past 12 months.

There is, on occasions, correspondence received via phone call or email and I will pass on a couple of these:-

                  . We heard from Foster Crooke and family, thanking the committee for a great lunch and commenting that the 2017 issue of Take Post was an excellent read. Foster also brought to our attention an error with the spelling of a veteran's name. A check of On Target and Australian archives verified that the name was incorrectly spelt. Our web site and alphabetical roll section has been amended.

                  . The late Alan Read's daughter, Vivienne and family had recently sorted through diaries, calendars, photos and memorabilia from K.A. "Bushy" Read's collection. We subsequently received two cartons full of books, as Bushy's family have decided that the Remembrance members and 2nd / 3rd LAA Regiment Association would benefit more from holding onto these articles.

As has been the case in recent years, Secretary Malcolm Wrigglesworth reported that the majority of correspondence is conducted by email and the previous twelve months is no different to the past year. This year a lot of the correspondence and enquires from members and relatives of members that are more technical continue to be referred to and answered by the Association's Research Officer, David McDonald. The majority of these enquiries received from members and interested persons are received through the web site.

The repetitive nature of many enquires are now handled via our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) component of the Association's web site.

The Association has again received donations from members, which enables us to continue to do what we do, and to provide for unscheduled technical maintenance of our web site. We thank all members who have made donations throughout the year, and in particular Foster Crooke, Doreen Bryant, Midge Donelly and Dot Harris.

We continue to have an excellent relationship with the website developer.... Designsense Web Design, and this is very much appreciated. Thank you again in particular to its principal, Malcolm Romano. We are very appreciative of David McDonald and Colin Bragg for making time available to oversee and attend to the removal of corruptive software, and installing new and important articles for all the Remembrance group and others to view.

Visits to the web site reveal that we have a lot of page views in any given month, with a large proportion of these views being from new visitors.

At the date of writing, there are only 9 original surviving service members of the Regiment.

This year's "Take Post" consists of 16 pages and is an excellent read. Front page consists of The Battle of Milne Bay - Then and 75 Years On. Our president Anne and her brother Ian Rae were fortunate to participate in a trip to Papua New Guinea in August last year to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Milne Bay. Notes written by Les Harris relating to a pocket diary kept by John Purcell, plus interviews with Allen Martin and Dave Humphreys make an excellent read.

I would like to thank Colin Bragg for his tremendous effort and valuable time in obtaining interviews with veterans and formulating and preparing this newsletter, David McDonald for his overall vetting and ensuring that articles in this edition of Take Post are correctly authenticated with dates, times and places, and any spelling mistakes or phrases are corrected, that myself, Anne and Colin have presented for Take Post.

Moved Matt Heddle and seconded Anne Rae  "That the Secretary's Report be accepted. "Carried.

8.0                  Treasurer's Report

The Financial Report for the twelve months ended 31st December 2017 had been distributed prior to the AGM.

Receipts

Reunion Lunch

A total of 36 members and partners attended the 2017 AGM and Reunion Lunch - down from 42 members who attended AGM and Reunion Lunch in 2016, and the 48 members who attended in 2015.

From a peak of 60 members attending the AGM in 2011, numbers have been steadily declining to the point where the Committee has been required to consider options should the numbers fall to a critical level - in the immediate future, the Committee has determined to continue to hold the AGM / Reunion Lunch at the RACV, even if the numbers only justify the use of half of the Bourke Room.

Subscriptions and Donations

Subscriptions and donations received from members for the year ended 31st December 2017 fell by $460, a decrease of 13%,  primarily reflecting a reduction in donations from the outstanding level of donations received in 2016.

Whilst this reflects a continuing support from both new and existing members and a number of very generous donations, the gradual decline in the number of members attending the AGM continues to be serious concern.

Subscriptions and Donations received from members are very important factors in enabling this Association to limit annual subscription increases, to continue to underwrite the cost of the Annual Reunion, to produce and print Take Post, and to pay for printing and stationary, communication and website maintenance costs.

We have continued our policy of removing members from the database if we have not received their subscriptions for two consecutive years.

On a positive note, the addition of new members throughout the year has been encouraging.

Over 80% of our Remembrance Group members were financial as at 31st December 2017 and 78% of our surviving original service members and widows of formal original members are financial.

Payments

Reunion Catering

Reunion catering costs fell in 2017, reflecting the reduced number attending the AGM. The RACV has been generous in keeping the catering cost increases to a minimum. The 2017 cost of $2968 includes a first deposit of $620.13 for the 2018 reunion. The committee has been able to hold the cost of the Reunion Lunch (and membership subscriptions) at the same cost for the past three years.

Printing Costs

With the majority of our members having email address and choosing to receive communications and Take Post by email, our printing costs are reducing.

Web Site Maintenance Costs

The reduction in website maintenance costs in 2017 reflects the fact that we had no major maintenance or software update requirements - we are fortunate to have to support of Designsense Web Design, and particular its Principal, Malcolm Romano, for technical enhancements and for monitoring the site throughout the year. Minor web site content updates (new photos and articles, data base amendments, web site links) continue to be undertaken by Honorary Treasurer Colin Bragg and Research Officer David McDonald.

Investment

The Association continues to roll over the $7,000 CBA Term Deposit, which is currently invested until May 2018, at the princely rate of 1.8%. (The Honorary Treasurer was overseas when it became due for renewal in October, 2017, and was not able to "negotiate" with the Bank)

In Summary

2017 was a good year, particularly in terms of member support and reflects the committee's efforts in pursuing overdue subscriptions

The operating surplus of $1014 for the 2017 year, was up on 2016, and is a reflection of the significant reduction in costs, maintenance of our member subscriptions, and the continuing support from members by way of very generous donations.

The Association continues to be in a healthy financial state at 31st December 2017, with an investment balance of $7,000 and an operating account balance of $3712.

Treasurer is pleased to move the adoption of the 2017 Financial Report and statement of receipts and expenditure, which was Moved Matt Heddle and seconded Anne Rae. Carried

9.0                   General Business

2nd/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Association Lapel Badge

The Association has a limited number (50) of lapel badges produced for sale to members. The badges have a magnetic clasp and are readily available for purchase at the AGM / Luncheon, or via an order form supplied with this year's invitation to the 2018 AGM / Reunion Luncheon at a cost of $25.00.

ANZAC Day March Arrangements

The Treasurer informed the meeting that those intending to participate in the March should assemble in Swanston Street East between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane at 10.15 Hours, with a view to commencing the March at 10.55am. It is recommended those intending to march arrive early in the event the Organisers / Marshalls vary the step-off time.

Despite the RSL recommendations it has been decided to all march behind the 2nd / 3rd Regimental Banner as this is what our WW2 veterans had wished us to do every year on this very memorable Anzac Day. The Committee and the Association's President urge that we continue to join together in the memory of the men of the Regiment and those who did not return.

10.0                  Nominations / Elections

Election To The Committee

No nomination forms have been received, for committee positions, and none of the present committee had advised they were standing down. Therefore the present Committee have been nominated for a further twelve month term.

Appointment Of Office Bearers

There being no additional nominations from members, and the current Committee members all having indicated they were prepared to continue as Committee members, all current Committee members were re-appointed for a further period of twelve months.

Moved Foster Crooke and seconded Ian Campbell that the present committee members be re-elected for a further term of twelve months.

The proposal was carried unanimously.

11.0                    Lunch

A Power Point presentation with new and different photos was run as in previous years, and Anne and Ian Rae's spoke about their trip to Milne Bay to commemorate the 75 Anniversary of  the Battle Milne Bay, and Matt Heddle's display of WW11 equipment  provided a very informative luncheon.

Anne and Ian Rae provided the Remembrance group during lunch a very in depth view of their trip on the 75th Anniversary of Milne Bay where their father (Cec Rae 9th Battery) was deployed to defend Milne Bay. Using notes from Cec's war diaries Anne and Ian where able to retrace actual places and experiences on their recent trip that Cec and other 9th Battery veterans endured during the Battle of Milne Bay.

Matt Heddle arranged and displayed signals and telecommunications utilised in WW2 and equipment that the 2nd / 3rd soldier would have carried during campaigns in Papua New Guinea, especially at Milne Bay.

Matt and Emma Heddle provided a photo display and information on their military hardware associated with what our 9th Battery wore during and providing AA defences at Milne Bay and Papua Territory. Matt Heddle of the Remembrance Group committee demonstrated replica weapons and uniforms. Matt explained and showed articles of equipment, uniforms and weapons linked to the Pacific that WW2 veterans wore and the conditions they experienced during this brutal campaign to defend Milne Bay and Territory of Papua. This display supported and coincided with Anne and Ian's talk on their trip to Milne Bay to commemorate the 75 Anniversary of the Battle. 

12.0                  Take Post"" Distribution

The 2018 "Take Post" was distributed after the main meal and during dessert.

13.0                  Research Officer Report

Association Research Officer David McDonald summarised web site activity over the previous twelve months and to the extent to which the web site is attracting interest.

Many emails covering a variety of enquiries have been received. Some examples of these email enquires received from members and interested persons are included in the 2018 issue of "Take Post"

Backup of the Association's website is initiated every six months, and if necessary, more frequently by Designsense Web Design.

Sentry's Log

David has responded each month to requests for information about the Regiment, of which many are quite straight forward, with descendants seeking information about their relative who served in the Regiment or in other ant-aircraft units. He is usually able to inform them or guide them about how to find out what they are looking for via accessing the Australian Archives web site. Many descendants have already accessed these resources before contacting the Association for further details. A number of helpful web sites have been provided by David in accessing records and contents and abbreviations in Take Post 2018, that maybe of some help as most service records are hand written and sometimes close to illegible.

David also receivedan enquiry and was contacted by the TPI Association South Australia. They have in their possession an Italian flag captured in Tobruk by members of the Regiments 8 Battery. This flag is in rather poor condition, and the TPI Association are proposing to have it restored and mounted in their museum in Adelaide. The flag has the names of five 8th Battery men, whom we presume captured the flag. A list of these men is mentioned in the edition of Take Post, 2018, page 15. The Association is keen to contact any members of these men's families to invite them to participate in the ceremony to unveil the flag.

Other Business

Date set for next committee, and place - to be determined

14.0                  Meeting closed  

The President declared the formal component of the AGM closed at 12.45hours.