2019 AGM Minutes of Meeting

                                                      2nd/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regt Association

                                             AGM held at the RACV City Club on 27th April, 2019 at 11.45 hours

Preface

Meeting agenda, minutes of the 2018 AGM, Financial reports and regiment's deployment on the 27th April, 1944 were distributed to attendees prior to the meeting.

1.0                   Meeting Call To Order

President  Anne Rae called the meeting to order at 11.52 Hours.

Anne welcomed all 50 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 acknowledge our original Regiment member John Campbell (8th Battery), and Dorothy Donelly and Doreen Bryant widows of original members for attending this year's AGM and Reunion.

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

Peter and Janine Cliff                                                           Geelong

Foster, Katherine and Alasdair Crooke                                    Maffra

David McDonald                                                                   Canberra

Dorothy Donelly and Allan Donelly                                         Bairnsdale and Officer

Russell Luckock                                                                    Ballarat

Dot Harris                                                                            Bendigo

Kaye Huggins                                                                       Warragul

Anne Rae                                                                             Flinders Island

Jim Rae                                                                               Neerim South                 

Anne also welcomed as first time attendees,  Alasdair Crooke (Grandson, JD Crooke (9th Battery), Geoff Easson, Ken Easson, Jim Easson,(All Nephews of Bill Wrigglesworth, (7th Battery) Ian Pike, (Vietnam Veteran), Fred Snelling, (Son Frederick Snelling, (8th Battery), David Snelling, (Grandson Frederick Snelling,(8th Battery) Tish Slattery (Daughter, Ian Rutter (7th Battery) and Ann Sylvester (Niece, Bill Wrigglesworth, (7th Battery).

2.0                  Present ( 50)

Service Members  - John Campbell.

Others- (47)

 Rob Bennett, Gaye Berry, Colin Bragg, Ann Bragg, John Campbell, Peter Campbell, Alison Campbell,  Peter Clift, Janine Clift, Foster Crooke, Katherine Crooke, Tim Crooke, Alasdair Crooke, Joyce Curnow,  Alan Donelly, Geoff Easson, Jim Easson, Ken Easson, Dot Harris, Graeme Heddle, Matt Heddle, Emma Heddle, Kaye Huggins, Russell Luckock, David McDonald, Ian Pike, Robert Prideaux, Anne Rae, Ian Rae, Jim Rae, Lynton Rose, Rhonda Rose, Trish Slattery, David Snelling, Fred Snelling, Roger Stephens, Lyn Stephens, Bill Stokes, Jenny Stokes, Craig Stokes, Dianne Stokes,Pauline Stuart, Ann Sylvester, Daniel Wanders, Luke Wanders, Malcolm Wrigglesworth, Margaret Wrigglesworth.

 

3.0                  Apologies

From the Original members (0)

From Widows of Former Deceased Members (2)

Elizabeth Loughnan and Valda Malloch.

From Remembrance Group Members (39) - including 14 "Regulars"

Toni Boyce, Ian Brown, Ian Campbell, John Carter, Lyne Chitts, Simon Coghlan, Lisa Foran, Stuart Edwards, John Fryer,  Graeme Hawkins, Robert Knight, Jill McKenzie, Donald Mclean, Carol McNairn, Jan McNeill, Andrew McPherson, Doug Nicholson, Anne Payne, Robin Payne, Leigh Prideaux,  Diedre and Peter Robinson, Adam Rose, Jonathan Rose, Helen Rossiter, Dianne Schubert, Susan Schuhman, Alison Shields, Lyndell Shields, Rod Smith, Robyn Spry, Barry Stokes, Jeanette Tilney, Lyn Walsh, Barbara and Darryl Wells, Stephen Welsh, Jenny Welsh,Mary Woodfield.

 Moved Daniel Wanders, and seconded by Lynton Rose, "That the apologies be accepted."

4.0                  Lest We Forget

Reading of:                  - Ode For The Fallen.

                                  - Names of deceased Members (Since Previous reunion)                 

Dot Harris, daughter of Lt. AL Les Harris, (7th and 8th Battery)narrated Ode To The Fallen and Anne Rae read out the names of former members of the regiment who had passed away since the previous Reunion. They were:

Edward James Wellsted                               VX21937                  9th Battery

Allen Grantly Martin                                     VX109471                9th Battery

William Ernest (Bill) Schack                        VX25412                  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 2018 AGM

The minutes of the 2018 AGM held on Saturday 21st April, 2018 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 2018 Annual General Meeting be accepted and approved.  Carried

There was no business arising from the 2018 minutes.

6.0                  President's Report

A full text of Anne Rae President's report is included in "Take Post" 2019, and was distributed at the Luncheon.

Anne spoke to her report, in regard to Peace in the wake of the devastating Christchurch shootings this year, mentioning it is a timely reminder what it was that our fathers and grandfathers fought for. Anne's father Cec Rae explained to her the reason why he enlisted after the fall of France, the loss of troops at Dunkirk and possible invasion of Britain. If Britain should fall where would Australia be? We young, fit and able chaps felt we should do something about it. Anne recalls on a number of occasions, Cec warning of the danger to democracy and our way of life posed by right wing extremists.

These men believed that it was their duty to fight against fascism, Nazism and later Japanese supremacy- extreme right wing ideology that lead to genocide, murder, torture and privation.  They witnessed this and many succumbed in the name of war.

Anne, also made mention of the deployment of the Regiment 75 years ago today, 27th April, 1944. The regiment had disbanded as an entity, with members of the Regimental Headquarters comprising part of the newly - created 102 Composite AA Regiment and based at Corunna Downs, W.A., Camp 319 Australia.

Research Officer, David McDonald has uploaded information regarding the 2/3rd ALAA Regiment plaque to the Australian War Memorial website: Places of Pride, the National Register of War Memorials. The plaque is situated under a Simon poplar tree was dedicated to the regiment in 1997 and can be found on the Shrine Reserve, between the south east corner of the Shrine of Remembrance and St Kilda road, near the Park street intersection.

Sales of the label badges for the Association have gone particularly well and they are now sold out.

Anne made mention that Colin Bragg has once again produced another exceptional job of preparing this year's edition of  "Take Post". I commend it to you.

Anne thanked the Committee for their hard work throughout the year. As usual it has been a delight working with them.

In 2020 we will be offering a Proposed Commemorative trip to Papua New Guinea to visit some of the sites where each of the batteries were stationed. A proposed detailed itinerary was distributed to members will those who may be interested, to complete a expression of interest on this form and return with no obligation. 

Moved AnnBragg, seconded Malcolm Wrigglesworth "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" 2019, 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, Banner Repairs, 2nd/3rd Website, Remembrance Group, Opening of a Exhibition at the Shrine and Take Post to bring members an update on the Associations activities over the past 12 months.

There are on occasions been correspondence via phone call or email and  I will pass on a couple of these:-

.                  We heard from Foster Crooke informed me they are intending to travel to New Guinea in May, seeing Kokoda Track, Gona and Buna. Milne Bay was also intended, but proved too difficult to visit. Foster also asked for assistance in interpreting some army records of his father - refereed to David McDonald.

.                  Bruce Stewart contacted the Association informing us that he had a mint copy of Ön Target"book, and asked whether we wished to purchase it and how much we would be prepared to pay. We advised Bruce that we had no need to purchase this book as "On Target" book is available on our website for anyone to peruse or download.

The Year in Review

                  As has been the case in recent years,  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 enquires 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.

Banner Repairs

The Association was fortunate in having Graeme and Matt Heddle arrange the repair of the Regiment banner. Materials and repairs were sourced from Geelong City businesses. The original banner has not been altered in anyway, but is significantly stronger. Thank you to Graeme and Matt for arranging repairs to the Banner.

Donations

The Association continues to 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, Dot Harris and Tish Slattery.

Web Site

The Association web site is working well. We do receive a lot of spam emails on this site, which are dealt with by Treasurer Colin Bragg and Research Officer David McDonald, who maintain a regular watch on a day to day activities. Website / server updates when necessary such as Joomla updates procedures are referred to 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 and eradicating corruptive software, and installing new and important articles for all the remembrance group and others to view.

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

Remembrance Group

The Remembrance Group continues to grow and currently numbers are approximately 90 members, of whom 53 attended the 2018 AGM and Reunion lunch ... a very good attendance.

Last year we had two original service members, John Campbell and John Marshall who thoroughly enjoyed AGM / Reunion and of course the Luncheon.

At the date of writing, only 4 original service members that we are aware of from the Regiment are present.

Opening of an Exhibition at the Shrine

 On the 10th August, 2018, I had the opportunity to represent the Association at the opening of an exhibition at the Shrine of Remembrance titled "Resistance Australians and the European Underground 1935-45."This exhibition is open until the 4th August, 2019.

Please take this opportunity to visit this exhibition, especially those members whose fathers were POW's who were associated with the partisans and on the run in the northern provinces of Italy.

Take Post

At our mid-year Committee meeting, we discussed the production of some or all of "Take Post" in colour, and we elected that 2019 issue be partly coloured..... a first since Take Post was produced in 1988. This year's "Take Post" news letter will consist of 16 pages and is a excellent read. I would like to thank Colin Bragg for his tremendous effort and valuable time in obtaining interviews with veterans and  trip reviews from members of the Remembrance Group in formulating and preparing this year's Take Post. 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 Kaye Huggins and seconded Matt Heddle  "That the Secretary's Report be accepted. "Carried.

8.0                  Treasurer's Report

The Financial Report for the twelve months ended 31st December, 2018 had been distributed prior to the AGM.

Receipts

Reunion Lunch

A total of 53 members and partners attended the 2018 AGM and Reunion Lunch - a 47% increase in attendance when compared to the 36 members who attended the 2017 Reunion.

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.

The RACV have recently advised that commencing in 2019, unless we have a minimum of 45 attendees, we will be levied a surcharge of $400 for the hire of the Bourke Room.

We have not been charged for the room since we held our first AGM at the RACV in 2009.

Subscriptions and Donations

Subscriptions and donations received from members for the year ended 31st December, 2018 fell by $375 (12%) compared to 2017, which also reflected a fall of $460 (13%) over 2016. These falls primarily reflect 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 was certainly arrested in 2018.

LAPEL BADGES

The production and sale of lapel badges made a important contribution to our revenue in 2018 and more than offset the fall in donations.

The small surplus of $356 would not have been achieved without the sale of the badges.

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 84% of our Remembrance Group members were financial as at 31st December, 2018 and 53% of our surviving original service members and widows of formal original members are financial.

Payments

Reunion Catering

Reunion catering costs rose by 52% in 2018, reflecting the 47% increase in attendees at the AGM. The RACV has been generous in keeping the catering cost increases to a minimum, and providing the Bourke Room and its facilities at no charge to the Association. The 2018 cost of $4,525 includes a first deposit of $776.25 for the 2019 reunion.

The committee has been able to hold the cost of the Reunion Lunch (and membership subscriptions) at the same cost for the past four 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 continue to reduce.

Web Site Maintenance Costs

The website  maintenance costs in 2018 reflects the fact that for the second consecutive year 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 2019, at the princely rate of 2.65%. (significantly better than the previous rate of 1.8% when the Honorary Treasurer was overseas in 2017, and was not able to "negotiate" with the Bank)

In Summary

2018 was a good year, particularly in terms of member support and reflects the committee's continuing efforts in pursuing subscriptions payments, a steady level of donations and the sale of Association lapel badges.

Whilst our income increased by $1407, our expenses increased by $2,065, resulting in an operating surplus of $356 for the 2018, compared to an operating surplus of $1074 in 2017.

The Association continues to be in a healthy financial state at 31st December 2018, with an investment balance of $7,000 and an operating account balance of $4067.

Treasurer is pleased to present the 2018 Financial Report  for adoption by members.

Moved Lynton Rose and seconded Robert Prideaux. Carried

9.0                   General Business

There was no general business brought to the attention of the committee or raised by the remembrance group members in attendance at the AGM / Reunion. 

ANZAC Day March Arrangements

Anzac Day was commemorated on Thursday the 25th April, 2019 two days prior to the AGM. A email letter to all members specified time and place of assemble for Anzac Day march arrangements. This was sent with  subscription notice to all members on the 22nd February, 2019.  The Treasurer informed the meeting that those intending to participate in the March should assemble outside at Swanston Street East between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane at 9.00am. with a view to commencing the March at 9.30am. It is recommended those intending to march arrive early in the event the Organisers / Marshalls vary the step-off time.

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 Daniel Wanders and seconded Colin Bragg 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 photo's 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 WW2 campaigns in Europe and South East Asia.  Matt and Emma and Graeme Heddle provided a photo display and information on their military hardware associated with the 2nd / 3rd LAA Regiment Association.Matt also displayed articles of equipment, uniform and weapons  that WW2 veterans wore. This display supported and coincided with the commemoration of the 75 Anniversary of the Regiment. 

John Campbell talk on the formation of the original committee with members forming this committee originating from the Melbourne area. John has been very pleased with the proceedings of the remembrance committee and it's continuance since the formation from the old guard. The recordings and historical information provided for safe keeping to Canberra and techno ledge to do so, has been first class according to John.

John provided a run down on the 8th Battery, and it's deployment from what he can recall 75 years on, during WW2 campaign. John has documented a lot of his stories via diaries, and with help of his son Ian and other family members these memories will be recorded and presented to the remembrance group in the future.

12.0                  Take Post"" Distribution

This  2019 "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 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 2019 issue of "Take Post"

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

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, 27th April 1944, and The Regiment Association 75 years ago 27th April, 1944 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 The Associations Research Officer, 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.  Many descendants have already accessed these resources before contacting the Association for further details.

 A number of helpful web sites and / or resources have been provided by David in accessing the person's service records at the Australian Archives. These contents and abbreviations are in Take Post 2019, that maybe of some help as most service records are hand written and sometimes close to illegible.

David McDonald, the Association's Research Officer, also presented his annual History Talk.

The topic this year was the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and the eulogy that was given by the then Prime Minister, Paul Keating, at the time of the burial of the Unknown Australian Soldier on 11 November 1933. The Association's Committee chose this topic because, at the time of Remembrance Day 2018, it was 25 years since the Unknown Australian Soldier was buried in the Hall of Memory at the War Memorial, and there was quite a bit of discussion then, in the media, about the origins of this important memorial.

It is more than 25 years since then Prime Minister Paul Keating gave one of his most rousing speeches, and stands as one of his finest speeches. He gave it at the burial service for an Unknown Australian Soldier exhumed from the 1st World War cemetery at Villers-Bretonneaux in France, after lying in State in King's Hall in Old Parliament House.

50,000 people visit the unknown Australian soldiers grave, open for a week each year.

 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.