2017 AGM Minutes of Meeting

2/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regt Association

AGM held at the RACV City Club on 22nd April, 2017 at 11.45 hours

1.0                   Meeting Call To Order

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

Anne welcomed all 36 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 member John Campbell for attending this year's AGM and Reunion.

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

Foster, Kathy and Tim Crooke                  Maffra

David McDonald                                     Canberra

Jan McNeill                                            Castlemaine

Alison and Lyndall Shields                       Foster

Susan Schuhman

David Crooke                                        Wagga Wagga

Anne Rae                                              Flinders Island                 

Pat Thurlbeck                                        Lal Lal

Anne also welcomed as first time attendees, Jan McNeill (Daughter, Roy East 7th Battery), Alison and Lyndall Shields and Susan Schuhman (Daughters of Les Shields, 8th Battery)

2.0                  Present (36)

Service Members  - John Campbell.

Others- Gaye Berry, Colin Bragg, Ann Bragg, Doreen Bryant, Ian Campbell, David Crooke, Foster Crooke, Katherine Crooke, Tim Crooke, Joyce Curnow, Graeme Heddle, Matt Heddle, Emma Heddle, David McDonald, Jan McNeill, Robert Prideaux, Ann Rae, Jim Rae, Ian Rae, Lynton Rose, Rhonda Rose, Susan Schuhman, Alison Shields, Lyndall Shields, Bill Stokes, Jenny Stokes, Pauline Stuart, Pat Thurlbeck, Jeanette Tilney, Daniel Wanders, Stephen Welsh, Jenny Welsh, Malcolm Wrigglesworth.

3.0                  Apologies

From Original Service members (3)

John Hilliard, John Marshall and Alan Martin.

From Widows of Former Deceased Service Members (2)

Valda Malloch, Dorothy Donelly

From Remembrance Group Members (41)

Heather Beasley, Rob Bennett, Ian Brown, Peter Clift, James Coghlan, Simon Coghlan, Alan Donelly, Stuart Edwards, Lisa Foran, John Fryer, Alan Gorman, Mark Haarse, Dot Harris, Graeme Hawkins, Kaye Huggins, Robert Knight, Griff Loughnan, Russell Luckock, Jill McKenzie, Don Mclean, Andrew McPherson, Doug Nicholson, Anne Payne, Robin Payne, Leigh Prideaux, Diedre Robinson, Sorrell Robinson, Byron Robinson, Adam Rose, Jonathan Rose, Helen Rossiter, Dianne Schubert, David Snelling, Fred Snelling, Robin Spry, Roger Stephens, Lynette Stephens, Barry Stokes, John Washbourne, Barbara Wells, 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)                 

Committee member Graeme Heddle narrated Ode To The Fallen and read out the name of one former member of the Regiment who had passed away since the previous Reunion. This was:

P.J. Phillip Hurst (8th) 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 2016 AGM

The minutes of the 2016 AGM held on Saturday 23rd April, 2016 had been distributed prior to the meeting, and there being no amendments apart from incorrect spelling of one remembrance name from Stubbs to Stokes, it was Moved by Anne Rae, Seconded Colin Bragg, That the minutes of the 2016 Annual General Meeting be approved. Carried

There was no business arising from the 2016 minutes.

6.0                  President's Report

Anne Rae thanked remembrance people for attending the 2017 reunion - a total of 36 including, a service member, 1 widow of former members and 34 Remembrance Group members.

Anne provided an outline of the days procedures as per Agenda supplied for the AGM and subsequent luncheon to follow closure of the AGM.

Anne then spoke to her report, about a special anniversary of the 2nd/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, the full text of which is included in "Take Post" 2017 and again the fascinating articles that are featured in this year's Take Post distributed at the Luncheon.

Anne thanked the Committee for their work over the past year and stated that she believed that the Association is in a very good position.

This year will also see a different format for the Anzac Day March in Melbourne with descendants instructed to walk at the rear of the march rather than behind our Regimental Banner. This is not what our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers, the original members of the Association would have wanted, and 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.

Moved Anne 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" 2017, 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, Donations, 2nd / 3rd Website and Remembrance Group,to bring members an update on the Associations activities over the past 12 months.

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 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 during the past twelve months.

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

8.0                  Treasurer's Report

The Financial Report for the twelve months ended 31st December 2016 had been distributed prior to the AGM.

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

Treasurer Colin Bragg reported an operating surplus of $611 for the 2016 year, whilst down on 2015, reflects the increase in member subscriptions and the continuing support from members by way of very generous donations. 

Receipts

Subscriptions and Donations

Subscriptions and donations received from members for the year ended 31st December, 2016 increased by 24%, which is a reflection of both the continuing support from new and existing members and a number of very generous donations. The continuing decline in the number of members attending the AGM is a serious concern.

From a peak of 60 members attending the AGM in 2011, numbers have been steadily declining to the point where the committee will be obliged to evaluate the location and format of the AGM and Annual Reunion in future years.

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.

Approximately 80% of our Remembrance Group members are financial at the beginning of the financial year commencing 1st April 2017, and 75% of our surviving original service members and widows of formal original members are financial.

Payments

Reunion Catering

Reunion catering costs were increased slightly in 2016, reflecting the ever increasing catering cost and the requirement to pay advance deposits. The 2016 cost of $3,449 includes a first deposit of $818.75 for the 2017 reunion. We are grateful to the RACV for maintaining the cost of the luncheon at a affordable level, and as you are aware, the reunion luncheon continues to be generously subsided by the Association.

Web Site Maintenance Costs

The substantial increase in web site maintenance costs in 2016 reflects the fact that a necessary upgrade to our website content management system (Joomla) was required. Day to day maintenance and updating requirements (new photos and articles) continues to be undertaken by Honorary Treasurer Colin Bragg and Research Officer David McDonald.

We continue to have an excellent relationship with our web site developer, Designsense Web Design, and in particular with its principal, Malcolm Romano.

Investment

The Association continues to roll over the $7,000 CBA Term Deposit, which is currently invested until March 2017, at 2.2%.

In Summary

2016 was a good year, particularly in terms of member support and reflects the committee's efforts in pursuing overdue subscriptions.

The Association continues to be in a healthy financial state at 31st December 2016, with an investment balance of $7,000 and an operating bank balance of $2,698.

Treasurer requested the adoption of the 2016 Financial Report and Statement of Receipts and Expenditure, which was Moved Graeme Heddle and seconded Lynton Rose. Carried

9.0                   General Business

ANZAC Day March Arrangements

The Treasurer informed the meeting that those intending to participate in the March should gather on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Street at 0915 Hours, with a view to commencing the March at 0930 to 0945 Hours. This year the arrangements are that the banner with six members from the remembrance group march with other unit banners with the remaining remembrance members to march some two hours after the initial banner has left the gather area mention above.

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 additional 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 Pat Thurlbeck and seconded Foster Crooke that the present committee members be re-elected for a further term of twelve months

The proposal was carried unanimously.

11.0                    Lunch

There was no guest speaker at this year's AGM. However, a Power Point presentation with new and different photos was run as in previous years.

 Matt Heddle arranged and displayed signals and telecommunications utilised in WW2 and equipment that the 2nd / 3rd soldier would have carried during campaigns in north Africa. Matt provided a photo display and information on their military hardware associated with the Avalon Air show. Replica of Bofors and arsenal were on display and the function of a Bofors gun. A short 40-second shown in 1943 cinemas of the 2nd / 3rd 9th composite was also shown at the AGM.

12.0                  Take Post"" Distribution

The 2017 "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 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 2017 issue of "Take Post"

Backup of the Association's website is initiated every six months, and if necessary more frequently by Malcolm Romano. The Committee noted that independent separate files maybe required in case backup fails, if relying on Malcolm Romano to back up.

At the Associations AGM and Annual Luncheon, Agenda notices and previous years AGM minutes are distributed together with Research Officer David McDonald's information sheet on the deployment of the Regiment 75 years ago, 22nd April 1942, and The Regiment Association 71 years ago 22nd April, 1946 recognising the first official annual reunion. This information background sheet brings to the attention to the Association members what action our 2nd /3rd Regiment were involved 75 years previously.

Sentry's Log

David has responded each month to requests for information about the Regiment to 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. A number have already accessed these resources before contacting the Association for further details. A number of helpful web sites has been provided by David in accessing records and contents and abbreviations in Take Post 2017, that maybe of some help as most service records are hand written and sometimes close to illegible.

David also received enquiries from widows of deceased Veterans and descendants requesting copies "On Target". David mentioned that he had been contacted by Matt Telfer - a service journalist who is writing a feature length screenplay and who requested information on gun crews at work and their relative positions around the Bofors guns. Part of the action takes place in Crete in 1941 with key characters being a gunner in the Regiment's 7th Battery 2nd / 3rd LAA and another being a German paratrooper.

During our luncheon, David provided a comprehensive and very informative talk and power point diagram with photo presentation on the 2nd / 3rd LAA Australian Regt., Campaign medals and Ribbons, Honours and Military Awards, awarded to servicemen for service in the regiment.The medals are worn in the sequence as indicated and shown on David's presentation.

The Australian Service Medal 1939-45 falls within the Australian System of Honours and Awards.

The others are Imperial medals, i.e. awarded under the British system of honours and awards, as Australia did not have its own system in the 1939-45 period.

David point out that many individual members of the Regiment received, and wore with pride, medals not listed as mentioned above.

They include those that recognise their service in Crete and Tobruk, and others related to POW experiences.

The medals and stars shown on David's presentation are those awarded to all eligible members of the Regiment within the Imperial and subsequently Australian systems of honours and awards.

The Military Medal (MM) was awarded to warrant officers and other non-commissioned ranks for gallantry in action against the enemy. It was an Imperial, not Australian, award.

Other Business

During David's talk John Campbell provided information / stories of his experiences during WW2. John mentioned that he has a diary and if possible may present this at our next AGM. The Committee undertook to follow up John's offer at its next meeting.

Date set for next committee - to be determined.

14.0                  Meeting closed  

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