No. 36 December 2008 - RSL Tasmania

No. 36 December 2008 - RSL Tasmania

No. 36 December 2008 - RSL Tasmania


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No. 36 December 2008

Official publication for Returned & Services League of Australia

Tasmanian State Branch (inc.)

Inside this


From the Presidents Desk 2

From the Editorial Desk 2

Chief Executive Officer’s Comment 3

Report - David Moles 4

Report - Bill Kaine 4

Report - John Van Der Hoek 5

Report - Chris Oakes 5

Membership 6

And the Guns Fell Silent 7

National President’s Address to RSL National Congress 8

In Memory of the late Anne Drake 11

Frank MacDonald MM Memorial Prize 2008 - Part 2 12

Fallen Remembered 90 Years On 15

Search for Centaur 16

Meeting a Different Kind of Veteran 16

Rifle Company Butterworth Revisited 17

RAAF Engineering Apprentices Celebrate 60th Reunion 18

Aussie Gunners Provide Vital Support in War Zone 19

Arouned the Sub Branches 20

New Shop for RSL Members 25

Medals for Long Tan Veterans 27

Distinguished Tasmanian Accepts Patronage 27

Launceston Based Accommodation for Patients and their Families 28

$4900 State Grant for Launceston RSL Brass Band 28

A Message from the Governor General to the RSL 29

Implementation of the Korean Post-Armistace Service Review 30

Bonus for 326,000 Veterans’ Affairs Pensioners 30

RAAF C-130 Hercules - 50 Years of Outstanding Service 31

Reunions 32

Just ask a Blonde 32

The On Service magazine is produced

by the Returned & Services League of

Australia (Tasmania Branch) Inc and

issued three times per year.

Submissions of articles of around

300 words, with accompanying

photographs (in digital format),

or items for the Notices section

are encouraged. Submissions

should be emailed to


or mailed to:

On Service, RSL (Tasmania

Branch), ANZAC House,

68 Davey Street

HOBART Tasmania 7000

Submissions should be free of personal views, political bias and must be

of interest to the wider membership of the RSL.

Short requests seeking information or contact with ex-Service

members are welcome for the Notices section.

All enquiries relating to On Service may be forwarded to RSL (Tasmania

Branch) Editorial Team of Phil Pyke on 0408 300 148 or to the Chief Executive

Officer, Noeleen Lincoln on (03) 6224 0881.”

We reserve the right to edit, include or refuse any submission. Articles based

on personal views will not be included unless in the form of Letters to the

Editor with name and address of the author.

Disclaimer: RSL (Tasmania) State Branch advises readers who are

contemplating agreements with advertisers in this magazine to seek

independent financial or legal advice.

Editorial Team

Phil Pyke – Editor

Mobile: 0408 300 148

Noeleen Lincoln OAM – Chief Executive Officer

RSL (Tasmania Branch) - (03) 6224 0881

Publisher and Advertising


Resilience Marketing Pty Ltd

Warren Leahy

Level 1

19 Magnet Court 63 Wentworth Street

SANDY BAY Tasmania 7005 South HOBART Tasmania 7000

(03) 6224 6888 0404 097 188

General Manager: Gail McCulloch

gail@ resilience.com.au


Membership renewals are due on 1 Jan 2009. Members, please

ensure your renewals are on time as from January 2009 you will

receive exciting new benefits with your RSL membership card.


The Catafalque Party at the Hobart Cenotaph on Remembrance Day,

11th November 2008 at the completion of the wreath laying ceremony.

December 2008 RSL On Service 1


I look back over the past twelve months and

reflect on what has taken place within the

RSL in our state.

During the year we continued to receive

great support from our counterparts in

the larger states. Support also came from

our State Government when, in the State

Budget, $100,000 dollars was allocated to RSL

(Tasmania Branch) to assist in maintaining

the objects of the League here in Tasmania.

I take this opportunity on behalf of all

members to thank the Premier, The Hon

David Bartlett MP and his Government for

their ongoing support the RSL over the past

twelve months.

To gain members and the support of the

community we, the RSL, must promote

ourselves better and ensure the community is

made aware of the valuable work done by the

RSL and in particular, by the Sub Branches

and members within their local communities.

How many would be aware of school

bursaries and scholarships given to local

schools to assist the education of our youth

and the scholarships available at a National

level for children of veterans. There is also

the excellent scholarship offered by our RSL

Women’s Auxiliary and awarded annually at

their Annual Conference.

From October 2008, the RSL has a presence

at Derwent Barracks, Dowsing Point on the

first Tuesday of each month and on some

weekends to support those serving men

and women of the ADF in areas we can

assist with. We will also be offering all ADF

members who have not yet joined the RSL,

FREE membership for 2009 and hopefully

they will take up this offer and start a long

association with the League.

It has been very pleasing over the past twelve

months to see Sub Branches who have been

struggling, rebounding and through the hard

work of their committees and members, now

looking at a bright future. Well done to you


Remembrance Day, 11th November 2008

marked the 90th Anniversary of the signing

of the Armistice which heralded the end

of hostilities in World War One. It was

very heartening to see the crowds at the

Hobart Cenotaph. On such an important

anniversary, the participation of school

children marching with the World War One

banners accompanied by the Australian

Army Band – Tasmania made the day

a memorable one for all. I extend our


to the Premier,

the Hon David

Bartlett MP

for suspending

Parliament Tony Scott

on the day,

which allowed

politicians to attend commemorative services

around the state.

I join with other members in expressing my

condolences to the family of our immediate

past State President of the Women’s Auxiliary,

Mrs Anne Drake who passed away in

October. Anne’s dedication to her role was

unsurpassed and she will be sadly missed.

My personal thanks must go to our team

at State Branch; Noeleen, Wayne, David,

Tamara, Carol and Peter for all their hard

work and efforts during the year and for their

personal support to me.

To the members of the League I take this

opportunity to wish you and your families a

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Kind regards

Tony Scott


As we approach the end of yet another year,

I thought it was time that I pushed my way

into having a column as well! This is the last

edition for 2008 – another year has sped by

and we all wonder where the time went.

On Service remains a special publication for

me and has been so ever since former State

Secretary, Jock McRobbie, decided to develop

it into a newspaper style back in 2003 and

asked me to come on board.

Noeleen and I enjoy putting this magazine

together and seeing a classy finished product

that is enjoyed by members and has drawn

positive comments from other ex-service

organizations around the country.

My only complaint is that often there’s never

enough room for all the great stories out there

and so some often have to be held over. As

the editorial committee, Noeleen and I have

decided to do as little editing as possible on

members’ submissions; except for spelling,

grammar and for space. These are the stories

we want to see – as Bruce Scott’s excellent

story on Kokoda in the previous edition

highlighted. It doesn’t have to be great

journalism – the best yarns never are. But

they are fantastic personal stories.

So for 2009, let’s see more submissions from

members. Keep articles to 300 – 400 words

with some good images, preferably digital

and in .jpg format. It’s your magazine so let’s

fill it with member and Sub Branch stories.

For those who did contribute regularly with

articles or features over the year, many

thanks. On Service is not just read by RSL

(Tasmania) members, it is also read by the

public, other veterans, media and serving

members of the Australian Defence Force

both here and overseas.

The end of the year comes with some

important things to consider over the

festive season. Australia remains a country

at peace with its defence force at war or on

peacekeeping operations. As you celebrate

Christmas and the New Year, take some time

to remember those ADF members around

the globe on


– especially

members of

the 12th/40th

Battalion, The Phil Pyke

Royal Tasmania

Regiment, who are currently serving in the

Solomon Islands under Rotation 17.

I wish to give my sincere thanks to Noeleen

(who suffers my theft of her peppermints

often). As I said, we have a lot of fun

putting On Service together but her support

and friendship has been invaluable and


To you and your families, I wish you all a

Merry Christmas and a very safe New Year

and I look forward to producing On Service

again next year.

Phil Pyke

Editorial Committee


RSL On Service

December 2008


This is our final edition for 2008 which I

believe wraps up a year of great stories and Sub

Branch participation in the production of On


You will have noticed our newest column

“From the Editorial Desk”. I am delighted that

Phil has his own space. Why hasn’t he before?

As Phil says, both he and I thoroughly enjoy

putting together the magazine for you. I’ve

yet to solve his peppermint addiction but Im

working on it, its tough!!

Where previously I have included editorial

comment in my own column I will now leave

this to Phil and concentrate more on what’s

happening administratively with the League in


Thank you readers for your understanding with

the distribution of our September On Service.

We only received a hand full of phone calls and

very few magazine returns. With Sub Branch

diligence in the accuracy of their membership

details on our new online database we should

have no further issues with distribution.

In the last issue I outlined our achievements

during 2008 in terms of benefits to Sub

Branches. What I can now tell you about is an

exciting new agreement we have entered into

with the Ambassador Card.

The Ambassador Card is an Australia

wide company which offers discounts to its

members on a vast range of goods and services

including discounts at such outlets as Coles,

Woolworths, Caltex, Dick Smith, Tandy, and

Big W to name a few. Also discounts are

available at many hotels, restaurants, jewelers

and retail outlets. There are huge savings to

be had from some of these businesses.

RSL Victoria, South Australia and Queensland

are on board with the Ambassador Card from

January 2009. RSL (Tasmania) State Branch

has signed an agreement with the company

and is meeting the cost of the Ambassador

Card for all financial Service, Life and Affiliate

members commencing in January 2009.

There will be no administrative action required

by members with the exception of renewing

your membership. Once State Branch

receive confirmation of your renewal, or any

new memberships you will be issued with your

new RSL plastic membership card which will

have the Ambassador Card logo imprinted

on the bottom right of the card. There is no

requirement for you to carry another piece

of plastic as your RSL membership card does

this for you. When seeking benefits from

the Ambassador Card simply show your RSL

membership card - simple!!

The Ambassador

Card benefit is

available to all

Service, Life and

Affiliate members.

It is not available Noeleen Lincoln

to Social members.

This may be an

appropriate time for Social members to look

closely at their eligibility to become Affiliate

members of their Sub Branch. There are

many benefits of Affiliate membership which

Social members are not currently able to

access and this new venture is definitely one

of them.

Christmas is upon us and State Branch will

be closed from Monday, 22nd December and

reopen on Monday, 5th January 2009. I take

this opportunity to thank our State Branch

staff and volunteers who give up their time to

come in and give us a hand. To Tony, Wayne,

David, Carol and Tamara who support me on a

daily basis, many thanks.

To all our members and readers, I wish you all

a healthy and safe Christmas and New Year.


Noeleen Lincoln

Defence Service Homes

Insurance Scheme

Home & Contents insurance for Veterans (their widows

or widowers) or ADF personnel who are:

Veterans Entitlement

Act 1986 (including AASM qualifying service)


plus thecare

To see if you are eligible

and to compare the

features call

1300 552 662


December 2008 RSL On Service 3


Greetings All,

It has been a hectic time for me these past

months; I will endeavor to explain some of

the events I took part in as your Deputy State

President. I attended a service at Sheehan

Walk, Latrobe for the planting of a Lone Pine

tree followed that evening by attendance at

the Latrobe Sub Branch Annual Dinner. I

also attended the Annual Luncheon at the

Deloraine Sub Branch. I represented the

State President at a Defence Reserve Support

Function, and attended a meeting in Sydney

on Veteran’s Aged Care. On Vietnam

Veterans’ Day I attended the opening of the

Vietnam War display at the Army Museum

at Anglesea Barracks in Hobart followed

by a wreath laying service at the Hobart

Cenotaph. I also attended the Ulverstone

Sub Branch Dining In night and the Battle

of Britain commemorations. I visited the

Rosebery Sub Branch and presented Life

Membership to the Honorary Secretary,

Peter Morgan. Congratulations Peter.

As you would all be aware the last soldier

missing in Vietnam is finally home. I knew

David Fisher as we in 9 Squadron did a lot of

work with the SAS in Vietnam. On the day

that he was lost, the 27th September 1969 I

was crew on a RAAF Gunship Bushranger

71. We received a call to say that a SAS

patrol was in big trouble as they were being

pursued by 100 plus ‘Charlie’, and had asked

for an extraction which became a “hot

extraction.” The gunships gave covering fire

whilst the Slick came to a hover over the

five man patrol and lowered ropes. The SAS

patrol hooked on

to the ropes and

was lifted out of the

jungle the chopper

then flew off to a

safe pad followed

by the Gunships David Moles

giving cover. At

about 500 feet, sadly David fell from his rope.

I attended David’s funeral which was held in

Sydney and it was a very moving service.

By the time you receive your On Service it

will almost be Christmas. I wish you and

your families a very Happy Christmas and a

very healthy New Year.

Kind regards

David Moles


In July, at the initiative of our State President,

Tony Scott OAM, all major Ex-Service

Organisations (ESO) in Tasmania were

invited to consider the possibility of forming

a Kindred Organisation Committee (KOC)

in the State, along similar lines as those

operating in some other States. I was

invited to chair the meeting of northern

representatives in Launceston while Tony

chaired the one held in Hobart.

While the deliberations of such a Committee

would not be binding on all participating

ESO the intention would be to develop a

common approach, wherever possible, on

matters that affect most of our ex-service

community members. In this way we could

have a much greater impact on decision

makers when representing the needs of our

members than has been the case in the past.

The old military adage ‘united we stand –

divided we fall’ is also true.

At these meetings it was generally agreed

that a KOC in Tasmania could be beneficial

in representing the interests of the serving

and ex-service community and that

representatives from all interested ESO be

included. It should be a single committee,

rather than one in the north and one in

the south and meet probably twice a year

at a central location. The chairperson of

the Committee would be elected by the

Committee, on a rotational basis, with the

administration being undertaken by one

of the larger ESO with permanent staff

members, probably the RSL. A draft Terms

of Reference is currently being prepared

for circulation to all ESO in readiness for

consideration at an inaugural meeting to be

held early in the New Year

Welfare and Pensions Officers. The

League is established for the principal

purpose of promoting the interests and

welfare of former and serving members

of the Australian Defence Force and their

dependents and for this purpose one of its

main ‘Objects’ is “To assist and care for

the sick, elderly and needy by providing,

or assisting to provide, pensions, benefits,

accommodation, medical treatment,

rehabilitation and other forms of welfare.”

While it is noted that some Sub Branches

do this well, there are a number within

the Division that have not been able to

get volunteers to undertake the training

needed to prepare them for these tasks.

(This training is a pre-requisite for personal

liability coverage under VITA.) It is worth

noting that by applying to join the League

we all have an

obligation, within

our capacity to

do so, to meet all

of the ‘Objects’,

especially in

relation to

Bill Kaine


I strongly urge any member who has the

capacity to carry out these essential tasks for

your ex-service community, to register your

interest with your Sub Branch Secretary so

that the necessary training can be arranged.

While on this subject, I note with regret,

the passing of a number of our more senior

members in recent months and would like to

pass on my condolences to all who have lost

loved ones.

Finally, Kevin Knight and I trust that you will

all have an enjoyable Christmas and New

Year holiday break, with family and friends,

and that you enjoy health and prosperity in

the New Year.

Contact me on email bill.kaine@bigpond.

com or telephone 6425 7111.

Keep safe and well.

Bill Kaine


RSL On Service

December 2008



Well, we have come to the Yuletide season

and we all hope that we get the gift that

we are always after however, do not be

disappointed when you receive the usual

socks and handkerchiefs, it’s the thought that


Now that I have that of my chest, it’s back to

my report. Both Don Grace and I have been

active in attending the Sub Branch functions

in the South and also attending to various

other official duties.

In my last report I stated that things were

quiet in our area and nothing has really


I have had the privilege of attending the

RSL National Congress in Townsville as a

delegate and whilst I have attended many

State Congresses and similar functions, the

National Congress was certainty a step above


With the New Year looming, my thoughts

go to our State Congress and how all Sub

Branches should start thinking about

items of concern to members, and submit

motions to the State Branch for inclusion in

the agenda. Ensure that any motion to be

submitted has been passed through your Sub

Branch committee before forwarding it to

State Branch and please make your rationale

as detailed, clear and concise as possible.

On a high note,

after visiting

Maydena, it has

been resolved

that there is to

be no closure of John Van Der Hoek

the Maydena Sub

Branch. A new Committee was elected

thereby enabling the Club the continue

operating in an area with an eye on tourism.

I wish the new Committee well and hope to

get up there in the New Year.

On behalf of my wife, Irene and I, we

wish you a Merry Christmas and safe and

prosperous New Year.

John van der Hoek JP


Since the last issue of On Service I have

become increasingly aware of the need for

all Sub Branches to have a Welfare Officer or

two (trained by TIP) to assist our Members

and their dependents. Welfare is one of our

major core objectives. Some of the smaller

Sub Branches may find it difficult to find a

person willing to undertake the position but

please ask your members.

At a recent Sub Branch annual dinner

(lovely meal) the legs of the table seating the

official party were masked by the Australian

National Flag. This practice is a definite

No No but to make it worse the Flag was

displayed in reverse, Oh dear. A Google

search is recommended. There are numerous

sites with advice on the protocol dealing with

the flying and displaying of the Australian

National Flag. The Australian National

Flag should not be used as a covering of a

statue, monument or plaque for an unveiling

ceremony (a plain cover should be used); as a

table or seat cover, or as a masking for boxes,

barriers or intervening space between floor

and ground level on a Dias or platform.

State Congress is not too far away. Any

member of the League who has any concern,

idea or suggestion that could be presented

as a motion for consideration at Congress

should start their homework now. Do not

forget the rationale is a very important

part of the presentation. Tasmania has

been highly commended for their motion/

rationale in the past so let’s keep it up.

Recently I received an email from a former

shipmate with an attached photo of the

communications section. The average age

was about 20 years.

Of the sixteen

depicted in the


only ten survive.

All six were

diagnosed with

cancer, five of Chris Oakes

those with bowel

cancer. When you next visit your GP please

ask for a referral to have the appropriate

blood tests at the very least. I guess the

next option is dreaded by us Butt we should

consider that as well.

The silly season is upon us right now. Enjoy

your Christmas, stay safe and well.

Chris Oakes

Ph: (03)6243 5338

December 2008 RSL On Service 5


In anticipation of final State Executive

approval on 3rd December 2008, State

Branch have been negotiating with the

Ambassador Card representatives to provide

free to all Service, Life and Affiliate members

annual membership of Ambassador Card,

which will give our members a huge

array and variety of discounts not only in

Tasmania but Australia wide. RSL Victoria,

South Australia and Queensland will all be

joining the Ambassador Card with effect

January 2009.

It is intended that our green plastic RSL

Membership Card be imprinted with the

Ambassador Card logo, which will be

widely recognized at all Ambassador Card

participating outlets.

Your Sub Branches have been provided with

a brochure from Ambassador Card showing

but a few of the businesses who offer great

discounts to their members. In Tasmania

particularly are Coles and Woolworths

supermarkets and Big W and substantial

discounts on petrol from Caltex, not to

mention the accommodation, dining, retail

and other companies on board which can

be accessed Australia wide. Please log into

the Ambassador Card website at www.

ambassadorcard.com.au to see the huge

variety of discounts available.


As stated above, once approved by the State

Executive, the Ambassador Card benefits

will be made available to Service, Life and

Affiliate members through their plastic

RSL membership cards. With effect from

January 2009 all members renewing their

membership and all new members will be

issued with a new plastic membership card

imprinted with the Ambassador Card logo

on the bottom right corner.

As at 8th December State Branch printed a

full financial membership list for 2008 which

will be the basis of the order for replacement

cards in 2009. Any member who’s name

does not appear will not have a new card

ordered in the first card run and issue of

their card and benefits will be delayed. In

order to begin taking advantage of this

new opportunity, any member who has

not renewed their membership is urged to

do so as soon as possible.

A Reminder to Sub Branch Secretaries



Sub Branch Secretaries are requested to

undertake the following database action:

a. All entries must be in capital letters

(uppercase) except email addresses.

b. First names are to be included. If this is

not known after checking the application

form, insert the first initial.

c. Other names such as nick names or pet

names should not be entered in the ‘First

Name’ field. This only causes confusion

and may duplicate records. These names

should not be placed in brackets next to

the first name in this field.

d. Addresses must be included. Please

ensure this information is added.

e. Commence checking with members of

their dates of birth and dates of joining

the League if it is currently incorrect.

Members’ full names will be recorded on the

magnetic strip on the reverse side of the new

membership cards; therefore it is imperative

that this information is correct.

Please make

every effort

to chase up


who have not

renewed for

2008 and make Carol Batten

them aware of

the benefits soon to be provided to them as a


The benefit is not available to Social

Members. This is a timely reminder to your

Social Members that they more than likely

qualify to become Affiliate Members and

this should be encouraged. They would then

be able to enjoy the same benefits as your

League members are about to.

Carol Batten

State Branch Membership

Hearing Link consultants are now

available by appointment one day

every fortnight in our Hobart and

Launceston offices to discuss your

hearing needs

We are able to provide:

Free Hearing screenings and appropriate


Information about technology options and any


DVA Assessments

Student Assessments

Industrial Screenings

Information about:

Questions to ask when buying hearing aids for

optimum value

How to get the best out of your aids

Tinnitus –what is possible

Meniere’s disease

Your entitlements, including the Telstra and

Office of Hearing Services

Just call 6249 5144 or email reception@tasdeaf.org.au

to make an appointment


Find out about your


Collect your free Tasmanian Government Concessions Guide from all

Service Tasmania outlets, Centrelink, a range of community organisations

or your local council chambers.

Also available online at www.dpac.tas.gov.au or by phoning 1300 13 55 13.


RSL On Service

December 2008


Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day as it is

better known, saw commemorative services

held in many centres across the State.

The two main commemorative services were

held in Launceston, where the Governor of

Tasmania, His Excellency Peter Underwood,

lead the wreath laying ceremony, and at the

Hobart Cenotaph where school children

participated in a parade of World War One

banners accompanied by the Australian

Army Band – Tasmania. The parade was led

by Steve Cocker, President of the Hobart RSL

Sub Branch who officiated as Parade Marshall

on the day.

Banners Arrive at the Cenotpah

Chief Justice Ewan Crawford gave the address

in Hobart to an audience that included

Premier David Bartlett, Opposition Leader

Will Hodgman and Green’s Leader, Nick

McKim. Also in attendance in Hobart were

senior representatives of the Australian

Defence Force and Tasmania Police, Veterans

Affairs and other ex Service organisations.




Chief Justice Ewan Crawford Delivers his Address

Although Remembrance Day isn’t as

identifiable as ANZAC Day, the good weather

saw good crowds attend the services to mark

the 90th anniversary of that first Armistice

Day on the 11th November 1918 when the

carnage of the Western Front finally ceased.

Premier joins School Children

We take this opportunity to acknowledge

and thank the State Government for their

contribution to the commemorative activities,

in the lighting up in red of Parliament House

in Hobart on the nights leading up to and

including the 11th November. The site was


Stock up for


The wristband is manufactured with silicone with a natural

essence of Citronella Oil to be effective against mosquitoes

and bugs. The wrist band has been conceived to contain

natural Citronella oil in a special compartment which makes

it highly durable, waterproof and convenient for use.




School Children with WW1 Banners

“Mailhouse Tasmania, specialises in providing

a professional, efficient, flexible, discounted

bulk mailing service for all Tasmanian businesses.”

Russell Stevens – Manager

School Children with WW1 Banners

Parliament House, Hobart

cda 7345

21 Pitcairn St, Glenorchy Ph: (03) 6271 0400

December 2008 RSL On Service 7

National President’s Address to RSL National Congress

Townsville – 9 September 2008

MAJGEN Bill Crews AO (Retd)

The year concluded

Much has happened over the past 12 months

– globally, nationally, and within the Veteran


At our last National Congress in Melbourne,

the then Prime Minister announced his

Government’s intention to immediately index

all disability pensions using a formula similar

to that which applies for the Aged and Service

Pensions – with reference to both CPI and


The then Opposition Leader, now Prime

Minister, immediately endorsed the proposal.

As a sign of serious bi-partisan intent, the

Legislation passed through both Houses

of Parliament within the week, and the

arrangements came into effect in March this


There can be little doubt that the Federal

Election of November 2007 focussed all

political minds on issues long outstanding

in the Veteran Community. Those who have

served our nation with distinction, and at

considerable personal cost, were the major


I have separately paid tribute to Bruce Billson

as Minister, then Prime Minister John

Howard, then Shadow Minister and now

Minister Alan Griffin, and the dedicated team

at Department of Veterans’ Affairs for this

major beneficial outcome, and for a number

of other initiatives equally important to the

servicemen and women, and war widows


The RSL has contributed substantially, but not

exclusively, to these outcomes. While we have

nationally maintained a balanced, credible

and constructive approach to working

through these issues with the Government,

the Opposition, and the Department, the

real value added has come from the work

of our wider membership scattered across

Australia. It is our State and Sub-Branch

members, working with our communities in

enhancing widespread understanding of the

special place Servicemen and Women have in

Australia, together with your diligent efforts

with local Members of Parliament and visiting

Ministers, Opposition Shadow Ministers, and

departmental officials, who can claim most

credit for these outcomes.

And before my small band of vociferous

and generally ill-informed critics rush to

their keyboards to churn out more vitriol,

let me also acknowledge that other Ex-

Service Organisations have played a role in

raising awareness of the issues and focussing

particularly on the special needs of their


The change of government in November

last year did not present the League

with any particular concern. We had an

excellent working relationship with the

Shadow Minister and were pleased to see

him appointed to the Veterans’ Affairs

portfolio. In turn, we have confidence in

the Honourable Bronwyn Bishop as the

new Shadow Minister, recognising her

considerable ministerial and broader political

experience, and her characteristic tenacity in

pursuing worthy causes. The Prime Minister

has said, at least twice in my presence, ‘There

can be no higher calling in this nation than to

wear the uniform of Australia’. That indicates

the strength of his commitment, and it is

matched by that of Dr Nelson who has always

been most considerate in listening to our

views and who demonstrated his credentials

in his previous role as Defence Minister.

May I take this opportunity to express our

sincere thanks to all political parties of the

Federal Parliament for the generous access

we continue to enjoy, and for the fantastic

working relationship we have with the

Repatriation Commission, the Department of

Veterans’ Affairs, and its supporting agencies.

Of course the year hasn’t all been about

politics. I spoke earlier of the effective

contribution to our enduring objectives by

our many sub-branch volunteers; often

unheralded but critical to the welfare

of veterans and the well-being of our

communities. I am privileged to have been

able to witness the impact our sub-branches

have in many parts of rural and regional

Australia. The activities are numerous and

diverse, and include:

• the conduct of commemorative services,

pleasingly with increasing community


• the restoration of local war memorials,

so important to providing a tangible

reminder of the sacrifices of those who

served, and a focal point for community


• welfare work, providing advice and

support to veterans and their families

in need or in hospital, and extending

well beyond the important pension

and advocacy work which continues to

demand commitment and dedication

from those trained to assist;

• the provision and support of aged-care

facilities and programs, particularly

the extensive network of Day Clubs for

our elderly

veterans and

citizens who

live alone; and Bill Crews

• active engagement with local schools

and cadet units, encouraging our young

people to better appreciate our rich

military heritage; indeed to a large

extent understanding how our national

character has been forged. We want

to see our young people appreciate the

responsibilities of citizenship and service

to others.

I could go on, but I want to pay tribute here

to all our members for their outstanding

contribution to the work of the League

throughout Australia. You are the ones who

are truly maintaining the faith and carrying

on the legacy of our founders.

Challenges for the Future:

I would not want my positive reflections of

the recent past to mask a critical acceptance

of the many challenges which the League and

the wider ex-service community faces into the

future. Let me briefly mention some of these


Serving and Recently Serving Men and


The League maintains its strong interest in

the capabilities of our Defence Force and

particularly its people. Let me acknowledge

here that Australia’s Defence Force continues

to be a credit to our Nation. Our serving men

and women are outstanding professionals on

whom have been placed significant demands

in recent years. They have not been found

wanting in meeting these demands.

The challenge for us in the League is to

offer them encouragement, support, and

advocacy for their service conditions, to offer

every assistance to support them and their

families, and to facilitate their transition

from the Service when their time has come

to leave. We need to ensure that there is

comprehensive support and assistance to

them to respond to any difficulties which may

arise as a consequence of their Service.

Here I must express great admiration for

the solid relationships forged between

Townsville RSL and particularly 3rd

Brigade. Here we have a sub-branch directly

engaged in practical, meaningful assistance

to members of the ADF and their families.

This relationship, as do some others around

Australia, is a model of how we in the League

can enhance our relationship with the men


RSL On Service

December 2008

and women serving today. If we take nothing

else away from this Congress, I hope we at

least take away this positive message and


Increasing numbers of serving men and

women are joining the League. We welcome

them, respect their service wherever it

may have been, and offer them continuing

encouragement. Our AFOF parcels sent

to deployed troops have been a tangible, if

modest sign of our concern for their welfare.

A record 3600+ parcels were despatched

on the last occasion in May this year. We

must follow through on their return from

overseas service – even if all that is required is

extending a hand of friendship. And we must

ensure that our in-service and repatriation

arrangements are responsive to their needs –

which may well be different to those of earlier


The RSL has been given principal Ex-

Service carriage of the support to transition

management for those leaving the Service.

Let us get this right. And it requires presence,

commitment, and a demonstrable willingness

to be pro-active and to respond to needs

arising. A close association between subbranches

and proximate ADF units will

enhance our capacity to do this. This is core

business for us. It is vital that we do it well,

and critical for our future.

Beyond the direct personal engagement at

local level, the League needs to take an active

role in following through on issues affecting

Defence Force Superannuation, to support

Defence Families, and those brought forward

in the various younger veterans consultative

forums now in place

Mental Health

For some time we will have a legacy of

mental health issues with our older veterans,

including particularly, our Vietnam

Veterans. But we have not given up on

offering assistance to those needing help

and encouraging them to take personal

responsibility to seek and accept it.

In recent times, the Department has put in

place ‘Operation Life’, a suicide prevention

strategy; the ‘At Ease’ Program, a mental

health awareness program; and a host of

other initiatives. These have been progressed

in consultation with the National Veterans’

Mental Health and Wellbeing Forum in which

the League plays an active role. They have

been comprehensively supported by a range

of other agencies, most notably the Australian

Centre for Post Traumatic Mental Health.

It is for all of us to be aware of this work;

actively promoted through web-sites and

printed articles; and to not only enhance our

own mental wellbeing but support our mates

who may need some help.

This work embraces the needs of our serving

and recently serving men and women, many

of whom have experienced the traumas and

stress of overseas deployments, in combat,

peacekeeping operations or humanitarian

assistance. The Mental Health Forum has

been concerned at some issues surrounding

the mental health and well-being of those still

serving, and on behalf of the League, and as

Chair of the Forum, I have made a submission

to the current Review of Mental Health in the

ADF. We can do much better in this area.

Aged Care

Veterans and Service Widows are remarkable

people. But we can’t help getting old!

The League has played a dominant role in the

provision of quality aged-care facilities. Some

of these are world class. However, there is

never enough to meet the demand.

It is a sound policy to encourage people to

remain in their homes for as long as possible.

Most elderly people want to do this. Our

challenge is to ensure that the programs and

support are in place to allow our people to

age with dignity. That is surely not too much

to ask.

This is not solely the Department’s problem:

although Government has a responsibility to

adequately resource and manage home care

programs. We in the League already play a

role – one which we need to keep working on.

We particularly need to maintain personal

contact with our elderly veterans to ensure

that they not only have the physical support

to live at home, but the emotional support

which is critical to their well-being. Let us

never have a veteran’s or widow’s remains

being found well after they perished because

no-one cared.

Budget Restraint

My concluding key challenge to highlight this

morning concerns funding.

On taking up office, the Government has

placed great emphasis on containing inflation.

A 2% so-called ‘efficiency dividend’ has been

imposed on most Government Departments,

as one element of containing expenditure.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is

directly affected.

While this should not impact directly

on medical support or compensation

entitlements, it has affected the rules

governing Partners’ Service Pensions, and

is impacting directly on the capacity of the

Department to sustain its services.

Let me record here that we are becoming

increasingly concerned at the Department’s

capacity to maintain appropriate levels of

support to the veteran community.

We have great confidence that the Department

will conscientiously face up to this challenge

and do the best they can. Minister, we know

you personally have great empathy for the

T he Sta m p P la ce


Strength training program

for all older people.

Southern Providers

PCYC: Clarence 6230 2832

YMCA: Glenorchy 6272 8077

Fitness Domain: (Aquatic Centre) 6222 6962

PCYC: Hobart 6230 2246

Endorphin: Kingston 6229 8338

Ezy Beat Fitness: Kingston 6229 3898

Oceana: Mornington 6244 6999

Friends: North Hobart 6234 2949

University of Tasmania: Sandy Bay 6226 2084

Northern Providers

Healthglo Fitness & Leisure 6431 4708

Lifestyle Fitness 6331 1426

Northern Midlands Sports Centre 6391 1055

Theogenes Health & Squash Centre 6331 7399

You are NEVER too old to benefit from


Living Longer Living StrongerTM program.

For further details contact

COTA (Tas) on 6228 1897

December 2008 RSL On Service 9

veterans’ cause and you are already aware that

we have expressed concern that there should

be no degradation in the quality of support

offered to veterans and eligible dependants.

There is general acceptance that the number of

people being supported by DVA is declining.

But there is also general acceptance that the

complexity and hence cost of that support is


The League did not openly challenge the

budget decisions on Partners’ Service Pensions.

While we broadly accepted the rationale for

these decisions, we remain mindful that such

decisions will have adverse impacts for some

veterans and their partners, and we intend

to bring forward proposals to address some

of those concerns. However, this move is a

reduction in established entitlement. We trust

Minister, it will be the last.

We in the RSL will continue to work with

Government in a constructive and purposeful

way – as we have done in the past. Our focus

will continue to be on those most in need. We

must here express concern at any notion that

we will willingly trade off existing benefits in

the course of improving the lot of Australia’s

Serving and Ex-Servicemen and Women

Our Legacy

Let me move to a conclusion.

At this time 90 years ago, the Great War

was drawing to a close. After four years of

conflict, the guns were to fall silent.

The impact on Australia and Australian

families of this conflict was enormous.

60,000 lives were lost;

another 152,000 wounded; and countless

returned veterans struggled for the rest

of their lives with the traumas and other

consequences of such horrific experiences.

The RSL grew out of the desire of those who

experienced that War to remember those

who did not return; to support those who

needed help; ensure that we maintained a

capable and effective Defence Force; and to

impress upon Government their obligation to

provide assistance, support, and employment

opportunities for those who had answered the

call and done as they were asked to do.

From the tragedy of World War I grew an

enviable military reputation. Our serving

men and women maintain that reputation

today, and do it remarkably well.

Also from that War came a repatriation

system which is now world class. Certainly,

it needs more work, but the fundamentals are

sound, and it is the envy of our allies.

We in the League are the beneficiaries

both of the security provided by successive

generations of servicemen and women, and

the repatriation arrangements which out

forebears worked so hard to establish.

On us falls the responsibility to preserve and

enhance the legacy we have inherited. We can

honour those who have gone before by our

commitment and diligence in pursuing those

enduring objectives which are the foundations

of our organisation.

We are not short of skills, ideas, or willing

volunteers. As many would attest, great

personal satisfaction is to be found in helping

others less fortunate than ourselves; helping

those who have suffered as a consequence of

their service to the Nation.

Our successors will judge us most favourably

if we bequeath to them a reputation for

dedication to the cause and a comprehensive

framework of entitlements and support

programs which recognise the sacrifices they

have had to make in defending our nation.

Let us commit to the challenge.

Bill Crews

S7218_Systane S7253_Systane Ad-Senior AD .indd Resize 1 190x130.1 1


RSL On Service

14/09/2007 8/08/2007 7:18:29 1:00:06 AMPM

December 2008



The West Coast traveled north on Wednesday,

22nd October 2008 to farewell one of its

most valued gems. More than 800 attended

the funeral of long-time Rosebery identity,

Anne Drake at the Parkside Funerals Chapel

in Burnie. The gathering spilled outside as

family, friends and West Coasters – past and

present- came to celebrate her life.

Mrs Drake passed away at the age of 57 after

a long battle with cancer. Delivering the

eulogy, her son, Iaon Drake, recounted that

Mrs Drake often said “You never know how

popular you are until you’re dead” There

were nods all round at Mr Drake’s comment

that ‘mum’s work in the community was

second to none.” Drawing laughs, Mrs

Drake’s former boss at the Rosebery mine,

Brett Fletcher, said he remembered making

the mistake of asking what she did outside


The late Anne Drake

Among many roles, Mrs Drake was: a West

Coast councilor and Deputy Mayor; President

of the Wee George Wood Steam Train; a

driving force behind the building of the

Rosebery Basketball Stadium; immediate past

State President of the RSL Women’s Auxiliary;

and organizer of the Rosebery Christmas

Parade. In spite of it all, Mrs Drake still had

plenty of time for her family. Mr Drake

implored those present to ‘take something

back to their communities” from the example

of his mother’s life.

At the Parkside Funerals Chapel, Burnie

On behalf of the State President and members

of the RSL in Tasmania we mourn the loss

of our friend, Anne and will treasure her

valuable contribution during her time as State

President of the RSL Women’s Auxiliary. Rest

in Peace.

Photograph by courtesy of the Advocate


December 2008 RSL On Service 11



From the Memories of Noeleen Lincoln OAM

1. Tyne Cot Cemetery

I concluded the first part of this story in our

last edition as we boarded the plane from

Istanbul, bound for Brussels to commence

our journey through the battlefields of the

Western Front. Our six students were excited

and looking forward to seeing Belgium and

France and finding the final resting places of

the soldiers they had researched for the past

nine or so months.

For this leg of our journey we were

accompanied by our tour guide, Mary, a

remarkable and very memorable lady, and our

coach driver Ron who hailed from Holland.

We took in some city sights in Brussels and

very noticeable was the aroma of chocolate,

in fact, in Belgium chocolate was everywhere

and in everything!

During the following days we visited

numerous Commonwealth War Cemeteries,

filled with neat white headstones sometimes

in their thousands; row after row of them,

many unmarked and inscribed “Known

Only to God”. We found these particularly

sad. Our first cemetery was Tyne Cot at

Passchendaele, the largest Commonwealth

cemetery in the world. At this cemetery there

were more than 12,000 graves. We located

the grave of Sgt Lewis McGee, a Tasmanian

Victoria Cross recipient. We walked up and

down the many rows of graves and reflected

on what had happened. We then traveled

to Ypres known today as Ieper, the home of

the Menin Gate. The Menin Gate was huge

and inscribed upon its walls, the names of

55,000 soldiers with no known grave. We

were extremely fortunate to participate in the

nightly Service of Remembrance, an event

which has occurred every evening at the

Menin Gate since the end of WW1, except for

a short interruption during WW2.

Menin Gate with Buglers

Menin Gate Ceremony

Our Government representative, the Hon

Alison Ritchie MP laid a wreath on behalf

of the State Government and people of

Tasmania. The students, teachers and

RSL representatives all laid poppies. Our

group drew huge interest from the crowd

of hundreds which gathers every night with

many photographs being taken as our group

looked so impressive. We were indeed

fortunate to have photographs taken with

the four buglers from the local fire brigade

who play The Last Post in unison during the


Next day we visited Hill 62 trench museum.

It was preserved trench and the shell holes

around it hadn’t been filled in. We walked

along the zigzagging mud filled trenches

through the puddles. The students found some

tunnels which went right under the trenches.

They were not lit up and went for about 50

meters and connected with other tunnels.

After our exploration outside we went inside

to where there were many artifacts.

Menin Gate Ceremony

There were machine guns, rifles, uniforms,

shells, shell heads and shovels. There were

also many graphic pictures inside from

original pieces of film which brought home

very quickly the appalling conditions our


RSL On Service

December 2008

soldiers faced month after month here. From

Hill 62 we traveled to Polygon Wood to the

Australian 5th Division cemetery.

We went on to Hill 60. There had once

been many underground tunnels there and

over time they have collapsed. During the

following days as we traveled through Belgium

we were in awe at the lush green fields and

struggled to imagine the black and white

landscape that was once there made up of

mud and burned countryside and unthinkable

human carnage.

On the 2nd May we left Belgium and headed

to France. On the way, we were able to stop

at a little Belgium town called St Maur. St

Maur was very special to me as it was the final

resting place of a great uncle, Sapper Dan

Corkery. His grave is located in the town

churchyard and is the sole Commonwealth

War Grave. He was buried there by British

troops and the date on his headstone reads

‘2nd November, 1918’. How sad to think there

remained only 9 days left of the hostilities

when Dan was laid to rest.

Resting Place of Sapper Dan Corkery

I placed poppies, the Tasmanian State Flag,

and photographs of his family. The students

were in awe of the fact his was the only

Commonwealth War Grave, but we were at

peace in our belief that he had been adopted

by the town folk and was looked after.

The very next stop, once across the border

into France was the Tincourt New British

Cemetery near Peronne. There I visited the

grave of Sapper Dan’s brother, great uncle

Corporal William Corkery. ‘Bill’ died on the

18th September, 1918 during a final assault on

the Hindenburg Line when many Australians

lost their lives. With Bill I left poppies, the

Australian National Flag and photographs

of the family also. That day will forever

remain one of the most emotional of my life

and my family is able to have closure on many

unanswered questions over the past 90 years.

We traveled on that day to Villers Brettoneaux

and spent some time at the Australian School.

Our students performed a puppet show

spoken entirely in french, called “Wombat

Stew”. They then spent some time with the

children playing Aussie rules football and

teaching them bush dancing.

During the next days we visited Mouquet

Farm where Jesse, Paul and Stephen honoured

their relatives and researched soldiers. We

spent time at Vimy Ridge, the home of the

Canadian memorial which is a massive awe

Mouquet Farm Memorial

inspiring structure that can be seen across the

countryside for miles. We traveled through

Bullecourt, where our own Harry Murray

earned his Victoria Cross. On through Poziers

where the students roamed some fields and

found shell heads, bullets, barbed wire and

other pieces.

It amazed us to think that 90 years on, these

bits and pieces were still being unearthed in

the fields. The final memorial we visited was

the Thiepval memorial which was higher than

the Menin gate. It contained 73,000 names of

British soldiers who died or were missing in


Our travels were drawing to a close and

we headed to Paris, the final stop before

commencing our journey back to Australia.

We all enjoyed the many attractions of

this fascinating city, the Eiffel Tower, Arc

de Triumph, Champs Elise. Julian’s one

wish in Paris was to successfully complete

a backwards somersault in front of the

Eiffel Tower. Well done Julian! With good

intentions of adding some culture into our

visit we three RSL representatives set off

underground on the Metro train bound for

the Louvre Museum.

Having successfully negotiated that we arrived

at the Louvre only to find it was closed on

Tuesdays! We took a photo of it, found a

print of the Mona Lisa in a souvenir shop and

decided that would have to do.

Julian Cook in full flight

Finally we said goodbye to our coach driver,

Ron, and our tour guide, Mary and boarded

the plane bound for Dubai and commenced

our journey home. No one slept a lot on

the way home; our minds were too full of

thoughts of the incredible journey we had just

experienced. In early December, our group

has its final get together. It will be difficult for

me to say goodbye to them all. To Luke, Tom,

Declan, Julian, Bianca and Katie, I wish you

all the very best for your futures. You have

all been great ambassadors for remembrance

since your journey and I know your lives are

enriched for having had the experiences you


The 2008 Frank MacDonald MM Memorial

Prize student winners have been announced,

the teachers and RSL representatives selected

and to all of you I wish you a wonderful

journey in 2009 and I know it will be one that

you will never forget.

FMMP Tour Group 2008

No time to

put it



.. ’

Assembly Services

We’ll make up anything in FLAT PAC for you.



Outdoor furniture


Play sets

Dining & Coffee tables


TV cabinets


Office furniture

Bikes and

Storage units


CD towers

Personal Gyms

(1300 93 55 36)

December 2008 RSL On Service 13

soldiers faced month after month here. From

Hill 62 we traveled to Polygon Wood to the

Australian 5th Division cemetery.

We went on to Hill 60. There had once

been many underground tunnels there and

over time they have collapsed. During the

following days as we traveled through Belgium

we were in awe at the lush green fields and

struggled to imagine the black and white

landscape that was once there made up of

mud and burned countryside and unthinkable

human carnage.

On the 2nd May we left Belgium and headed

to France. On the way, we were able to stop

at a little Belgium town called St Maur. St

Maur was very special to me as it was the final

resting place of a great uncle, Sapper Dan

Corkery. His grave is located in the town

churchyard and is the sole Commonwealth

War Grave. He was buried there by British

troops and the date on his headstone reads

‘2nd November, 1918’. How sad to think there

remained only 9 days left of the hostilities

when Dan was laid to rest.

Resting Place of Sapper Dan Corkery

I placed poppies, the Tasmanian State Flag,

and photographs of his family. The students

were in awe of the fact his was the only

Commonwealth War Grave, but we were at

peace in our belief that he had been adopted

by the town folk and was looked after.

The very next stop, once across the border

into France was the Tincourt New British

Cemetery near Peronne. There I visited the

grave of Sapper Dan’s brother, great uncle

Corporal William Corkery. ‘Bill’ died on the

18th September, 1918 during a final assault on

the Hindenburg Line when many Australians

lost their lives. With Bill I left poppies, the

Australian National Flag and photographs

of the family also. That day will forever

remain one of the most emotional of my life

and my family is able to have closure on many

unanswered questions over the past 90 years.

We traveled on that day to Villers Brettoneaux

and spent some time at the Australian School.

Our students performed a puppet show

spoken entirely in french, called “Wombat

Stew”. They then spent some time with the

children playing Aussie rules football and

teaching them bush dancing.

During the next days we visited Mouquet

Farm where Jesse, Paul and Stephen honoured

their relatives and researched soldiers. We

spent time at Vimy Ridge, the home of the

Canadian memorial which is a massive awe

Mouquet Farm Memorial

inspiring structure that can be seen across the

countryside for miles. We traveled through

Bullecourt, where our own Harry Murray

earned his Victoria Cross. On through Poziers

where the students roamed some fields and

found shell heads, bullets, barbed wire and

other pieces.

It amazed us to think that 90 years on, these

bits and pieces were still being unearthed in

the fields. The final memorial we visited was

the Thiepval memorial which was higher than

the Menin gate. It contained 73,000 names of

British soldiers who died or were missing in


Our travels were drawing to a close and

we headed to Paris, the final stop before

commencing our journey back to Australia.

We all enjoyed the many attractions of

this fascinating city, the Eiffel Tower, Arc

de Triumph, Champs Elise. Julian’s one

wish in Paris was to successfully complete

a backwards somersault in front of the

Eiffel Tower. Well done Julian! With good

intentions of adding some culture into our

visit we three RSL representatives set off

underground on the Metro train bound for

the Louvre Museum.

Having successfully negotiated that we arrived

at the Louvre only to find it was closed on

Tuesdays! We took a photo of it, found a

print of the Mona Lisa in a souvenir shop and

decided that would have to do.

Julian Cook in full flight

Finally we said goodbye to our coach driver,

Ron, and our tour guide, Mary and boarded

the plane bound for Dubai and commenced

our journey home. No one slept a lot on

the way home; our minds were too full of

thoughts of the incredible journey we had just

experienced. In early December, our group

has its final get together. It will be difficult for

me to say goodbye to them all. To Luke, Tom,

Declan, Julian, Bianca and Katie, I wish you

all the very best for your futures. You have

all been great ambassadors for remembrance

since your journey and I know your lives are

enriched for having had the experiences you


The 2008 Frank MacDonald MM Memorial

Prize student winners have been announced,

the teachers and RSL representatives selected

and to all of you I wish you a wonderful

journey in 2009 and I know it will be one that

you will never forget.

FMMP Tour Group 2008

No time to

put it



.. ’

Assembly Services

We’ll make up anything in FLAT PAC for you.



Outdoor furniture


Play sets

Dining & Coffee tables


TV cabinets


Office furniture

Bikes and

Storage units


CD towers

Personal Gyms

(1300 93 55 36)

December 2008 RSL On Service 13


It was almost hard to believe that 90 years

before, around 10,000 people had gathered on

the Queen’s Domain in Hobart to remember

those who had fallen in WW1.

The event was the establishment of the

Soldier’s Walk and many of Hobart’s

townspeople came to plant a tree and

establish a plaque in memory of their loved

ones. The small State of Tasmania saw

approximately 12,900 young men serve, with

around 2,500 never to return to their home


DVA Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Quinn,

and RSL State President, Tony Scott OAM unveil

a plaque to Private Victor Larson of the 12th


The idea was originally proposed by the

Hobart Sub Branch of the then, R.S.S.I.L.A.

who saw that, even while the war was still

raging on the Western Front, many of the

families of the fallen would never be able

to travel to Europe to see their battlefield


Of course the horror of WWI and the mass

use of modern weapons ensured many would

never have a grave and their loss was strongly

felt in Hobart’s small community.

The first planting took place in 1918 with 390

trees dedicated, followed by another 120 trees

in 1919 and the final dedication in 1926 saw 20

more trees extended out towards the Hobart


Although the Avenue of 530 trees and plaques

provided a focus for the grief of Hobart

families, the years passed and the Soldier’s

Walk fell into disrepair – becoming cut off

from the Cenotaph as the Tasman Bridge was

built and opened in the 1960’s. And in an

unbelievable move, the Hobart City Council

of the time turned the northern section on the

Queen’s Domain into a tip. These soldiers had

indeed become forgotten.

In early August this year, the citizens of

Hobart, along with 200 descendants of the

WWI fallen, again gathered at the now

renamed Soldier’s Memorial Avenue to

rededicate 53 plaques and trees – the area

which was originally the tip area and later

known as the Cross Roads Oval.

During the ceremony, which took place on a

sunny but chilly winter day, His Excellency,

The Governor of Tasmania, Peter Underwood,

read out each individual name of the 53

soldiers to whom the latest plaques were

dedicated. The Mayor of Hobart, Rob

Valentine, apologized for the past actions of

the Council and highlighted that the Cross

Roads Oval would be renamed Soldier’s

Memorial Oval.

At the sound of the 25 pounder gun,

descendants, cadets, RSL members, DVA

representatives and invited guests moved to

unveil the plaques before laying a sprig of

rosemary on each. An Ode was read at each

Army Cadets gather at the plaque of Captain Ivor

Stephen Margetts of the 12th Battalion. The single

white cross marking Capt Margetts’ grave is on

the front cover of Les Carlyon’s book, The Western


Descendants of Captain Ivor Stephen Margetts of

the 12th Battalion gather at the tree dedicated to


site as this simple commemorative service took


The Friends of Soldiers Memorial Avenue

(FOSMA) has driven the restoration of the

Avenue in partnership with the Hobart City

Council, with the Avenue now cleared of all

invading vegetation, the pathway refurbished

and over 400 plaques installed.

The FOSMA team of volunteers, in particular

Adrian Howard and John Wadsley, deserve

strong congratulations for their ongoing efforts

to ensure that these soldiers are remembered

90 years on and into future generations.

For further information, donations or

sponsorship: www.soldierswalk.org.au

Rivendell Clinic

holistic mental health

Inpatient and Outpatient Service North West Private Hospital

Treating depression, anxiety, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, psychosis,

post traumatic stress disorder and other stress related conditions.

Phone: 64326002

December 2008 RSL On Service 15

Search for


The Queensland State Government is

assessing what assistance can be provided to

find wartime hospital ship the Centaur, which

was torpedoed off Brisbane 65 years ago.

Premier Anna Bligh said while the sinking

was a little-known part of Queensland’s

wartime history, it had affected people

deeply because of the loss of so many health

professionals working on the ship.

“I’m very interested in the Centaur, it’s

something I think that’s a very unique and

interesting part of our history,” she said in an

interview with the Courier Mail.

“I’ve certainly asked for some work to be

done on what the possible costs might be and

what sort of assistance we might be able to


The Queensland RSL also has thrown its

weight behind efforts to locate and protect

the Centaur.

“We would support any effort that was made

to find the wreck but we would want to make

sure it was protected, and left alone as a war

grave,” President Doug Formby said.

The sinking was a “significant event that

involved a lot of Australians and brought the

gravity of the war home because it happened

just off the coast” he said.

Veterans were pleased that HMAS Sydney

was found off Western Australia as a way

of bringing closure to family members and


Mr Formby said the Centaur’s search

should be “reasonably” funded by the

Commonwealth Government. The

300-member AHS Centaur Association has

been frustrated by a lack of government

support for the search.

“We are just a small organization. We need

some government leadership on this issue,”

association President Tom Evans said.

Used with acknowledgement of the Courier


Meeting a Different Kind of Veteran

By Phil Pyke

It was a warm Saturday afternoon in central

Dili. On the concourse in front of the

Government Palace the Australian Army

Band – Melbourne played in a very different


With them and playing on borrowed

instruments after theirs were stolen several

years before, was the band of the Timorese

Police. This was their first concert in nearly

three years and the joy of making music again

was evident on their faces as they played

and sang in the Tetun language before an

appreciative home crowd.

As the concert progressed throughout the

afternoon, I noticed a group of older men

in very distinct camouflage uniforms and

berets sitting under a nearby tree. Having

worked with the Timorese Defence Force, I

knew these men weren’t wearing the uniform

of that organization. Being inquisitive, I

approached the lead singer of the Timorese

Police band and asked who they were.

“They are veterans,” he said with pride in his


“And that man” – he pointed at one who was

approaching – “is my father.”

I looked at the short greyed hair man as he

came up and threw a salute, realising that

in Timor a recognised veteran is someone

who fought in the resistance as a FALINTIL

guerrilla against the Indonesian occupation.

I spent some time talking with the veteran

through his police officer son who translated

for me.

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Timorese Police officer and his veteran father

Veterans are highly respected in Timor Leste

and the government is taking steps to ensure

they are looked after through a pension

system – but this is not without problems.

Current Timorese government policy says

only veterans over 55, or those who fought

for more than 15 years, are entitled to the

pension, which can be up to $550 a month.

The state secretary for veterans and national

liberation, Mario Reis, told Radio Australia

in a recent interview that the government

is working to recognize all of the nation’s

resistance heroes. “The government has a

plan based on our constitution in Article

11 which said that says we must recognize

people who participated in a struggle,” he


“But many of those who can make claims are

yet to because they still don’t have the right


The Timorese Government says it is

developing a plan for 2009 to recognize and

give financial support to veterans who were

involved in the resistance struggle for more

than three years.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and Timor’s

Defence Chief, Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak

are two of the Timor’s better known veterans


RSL On Service

December 2008



Recently Examiner journalist, Mark Baker

and photographer Will Swan travelled to

Malaysia to meet up with Tasmanian and

South Australian soldiers who were based at

Rifle Company Butterworth (RCB) for a threemonth

training deployment.

The contingent was led by Major Greg

Webster from A Company, 12th/40th

Battalion, with the contingent being made up

entirely from the 9th Brigade.

The Examiner team were in Malaysia as part

of Exercise Boss Lift, an operation where

employers of Army Reservists travel to the

field to see their employees in their Army role.

Major Greg Webster

Conducted under the Defence Reserves

Support Council, similar tours have been

previously taken to Timor Leste and the

Solomon Islands. Employers are giving a

greater understanding of the Army Reserve

and the role their employee undertake in their

“second” job.

Brigade soldier leans against a wall marked with

the Unit Insignias of those who have served at RCB

RCB Facts:

Rifle Company Butterworth (RCB) is an

Australian Army infantry company based

at RMAF Base Butterworth in Butterworth,

Penang, Malaysia.

9 Brigade soldiers during jungle training in the

southern Malaysian state of Johor Bahru

It was established in 1970 to provide a

protective and quick-reaction force for RAAF

Base Butterworth during a resurgence of the

Communist insurgency in Malaysia.

While RAAF Base Butterworth was handed to

the Royal Malaysian Air Force in 1988, and the

insurgency officially ended in 1989, RCB has

been maintained as a means of providing both

Reserve and Regular Australian soldiers with

training in jungle warfare and cross training

with the Royal Malaysian Army.

On Service has been supplied with these images

and uses them with grateful acknowledgement

to The Examiner.

December 2008 RSL On Service 17

RAAF Engineering Apprentices Celebrate 60th


Ten members of No.1 Engineering Apprentice

Course, together with their partners, gathered

in Hobart in March ‘08 for the sixtieth

anniversary of their enlistment in the Royal

Australian Air Force.

In February, 1948, the first group of

apprentices were inducted to begin three

years of trade training as either engine fitters,

airframe fitters, instrument makers or aircraft

electricians at the RAAF School of Technical

Training at Wagga Wagga, NSW. These 15 to

17 years old “rookies” were paid five shillings

per week, less two shillings for a deferred

payment on completion of their training.

The apprenticeship was to be followed by

twelve years service so, after graduation; some

forty-eight tradesmen were subsequently

posted to units throughout the Air Force.

Eventually, while some went on to achieve

senior engineering NCO rank, others went

into aircrew or were commissioned as

engineering officers. While some opted to

be discharged after their twelve years, many

stayed on with the RAAF as their life time


The reunionists came together for two days

Back row: L-R: Wal Bowles, Alan Forrest, Ted Bushel, Bill Gregory and Graeme Semken.

Front row: L-R: Duncan Buchanan, Kevin Anfruns, Doug Kerr, Barrie O’Callaghan and Ian Carswell.

in Hobart to enjoy tours of local areas and

fine dining and wining, in beautiful autumn

weather. The strength of the friendships

engendered by their years of service together

was evident in the almost tearful farewells of

the group as they went their separate ways.

Later, on April 24th, a bronze plaque

commemorating the inception of apprentice

training in the RAAF and the formation of

the No.1 Engineering Apprentice Course was

dedicated at the Hughie Edwards Memorial

Park on the outskirts of Canberra. This

was followed by ANZAC Day celebrations

in Wagga, where members of No.1 Course

led the march through the city. Some 580

“ex-appies” formed a significant part of the


The sixty-two year reunion of No.1 Course, to

be held in Melbourne in 2010, is already in the

early stages of planning.

Complete Quality Care

for Our Veterans

Hobart Private Hospital is a Department of Veteran Affairs Tier One Veteran Partnering hospital

• Convenient location with 2 large car parks close at hand;

• Pick-up and drop-off on our ramp (entry via Argyle Street);

• On site pharmacy and Xray services

Full cover at our 24 hour Department of Emergency Medicine.



Hobart Private Hospital now operates a full

Rehabilitation Unit offering:

• Private and shared rooms

• Purpose built gymnasium facility

• Multipurpose therapy kitchen and dining room

• Individualised Rehabilitation programs

For more information please contact

Lisa Sproule, Rehabilitation Unit

Coordinator on 6214 3268


For all your Pathology needs - comprehensive quality pathology services are

offered by Gribbles Pathology Tasmania. Our Laboratory is based at St Helen’s

Private Hospital, right in the heart of Hobart and offers full service to all

Tasmanian DVA clients. Contact us on 6221 6555

Hobart Private Hospital is participating in the

‘Better Discharge Planning Program’ – working

with DVA clients to improve the transition from

hospital care to home.

Tailored to the individual needs of each client

Offers information on support programs and

assistance with access to Transport Access Scheme

• Comprehensive discharge follow up for eligible clients

For more information phone

Hobart Private Hospital - 6214 3000


RSL On Service

December 2008

Aussie Gunners Provide Vital Support in War


Sixteen ‘Gunners’ from the Darwin-based 8/12 Medium Regiment are

providing vital fire support to the International Security Assistance

Force (ISAF) and Afghan National Army troops in the Helmand

Province of Afghanistan.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Gunners have fired over 140

fire missions involving over 2500 artillery rounds so far in the first

deployment of Australian artillerymen in their primary role since

operations ceased in Vietnam in 1972.

Since late March, the Gunners have been serving with the British 7th

Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery. They provide accurate and timely

artillery fire as part of the wider Task Force Helmand organization.

Prior to this deployment, the Gunners completed six months training

in the UK preparing for their deployment. The Australian gunners

employ the 105mm L118 Light Gun, a similar weapon to the ADF’s

L119 Hamel Gun.

The deployment is conducted under a bilateral arrangement and will

enhance the training and experience of the Australian Gunners,

according to the Department of Defence.

By the time the December issue of On Service is printed, this

deployment will be followed by a similar embedding of Gunners from

Townsville’s 4th Field Regiment.

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For over 55s

December 2008 RSL On Service 19


Devonport RSL Club - Jack

Mason Museum Official Re-


The Jack Mason Museum at the Devonport

RSL was officially re-opened by Norma

Jamieson MLC on the evening of the 22nd

October 2008. The museum was originally

opened in 1995 and has recently undergone

refurbishment with new displays created.

The injection of funds with grants from the

Devonport City Council and Department of

Veterans’ Affairs has enabled the museum

to purchase display cabinets as well as

mannequins to exhibit the many uniforms

that have been donated.

Grant Munday, the Sub Branch President

spoke to about 40 invited guest explaining

the history of the museum and the efforts

put in by past and present members. Special

mention was made of the late Bob Wells,

past President of the Sub Branch, who was

the instigator in getting the museum up and

running again with a view to opening it to the

public on a regular basis. He also thanked the

volunteer curator, Julie Best, who has spent

many hours cataloguing the collection and

setting up the exhibits

Guests included Colonel Geoff Howard

(Retired) who officiated at the original

opening and who has donated many uniforms

and other memorabilia from his long and

distinguished military career. Ald Lynn

Laycock, Mayor of Devonport, was also in

attendance as well as Mrs. Bev Mason, widow

of the late Jack Mason who the museum was

named after.

Many of the guests were recent donors of

memorabilia to the museum with some

viewing the museum and their donations

on display, for the first time. Mrs Anne

Denney, who donated her late husband’s naval

memorabilia, looked up her husband’s details

in the museums handwritten ledger of WW2

enlistments from the Devonport area. She was

startled to find her husband has enlisted on the

exact same date, 22nd October, 68 years ago.

Mr Ken Blyth who has donated many of his

father’s military items including a Kodak

Eastman camera carried during WW1 in the

French battlefields, chose the opening night to

donate an original glass plate negative, taken

with that same camera.

The museum will now be opened to the public

every Thursday between 10.00am and 2.00pm

and other times by arrangement. To arrange

an appointment, call Julie Best on (03)6428


Guests at the official re-opening of the Jack Mason


Guests at the official re-opening of the Jack Mason



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George Town Sub Branch


On the 24th of September 1918, an Avenue

of Oak trees was planted in the township of

Lefroy, in Northern Tasmania, to honour the

young men from Lefroy who lost their lives

during WW1. Over the last 90 years it has

become largely neglected and forgotten. During

a conversation with locals, the President of the

George Town RSL Sub Branch, Lyndon Bolton,

learned of the significance of the remaining

old Oaks growing in a long reserve in the small

town’s centre. Those locals could remember,

as children, the line of trees known to them as

“soldier trees”. As kids, they used to nail acorns

from the trees to their boots as stops when

playing football on the reserve. These days

only four of the original remain. Two of those

still have the steel spikes protruding from the

trunks from which plaques commemorating

each soldier killed were once fixed. It became a

passion of Lyndon’s that the Avenue is brought

back to life and once more be known for that

which it was first dedicated.

During early 2007 the Sub Branch approached

the George Town Municipal Council to seek

their assistance in transforming the site. A

commitment was obtained to have an arborist

inspect and prune the remaining trees and to

slash and level the reserve to a point where

Avenue of Honour Plaque


RSL On Service

December 2008


ongoing maintenance would be easier to

conduct by both members and locals. Grants

were obtained from the DVA and the TCGF

to enable the Sub Branch to commence phase

1 of the restoration project. Local contractor

Pat Coffey also donated a considerable amount

of his staff’s time and product used as fill for a

planned memorial monument.

When the weather suited and time became

available, volunteers from the Sub Branch,

assisted by some of the local residents,

constructed a memorial between two of the

existing trees at the Southern end of the site.

The memorial consists of a stone monument

bearing a plaque stating the significance of the

site and a flagpole. A concrete base surrounded

by 10 posts linked with a chain represents the

10 soldiers linked forever in death.

Lefroy Memorial

Council have resurfaced the roadway

surrounding the area, removed the accumulated

rubbish and slashed the reserve. The trees worth

saving have had the lower branches pruned

to a height that will allow future machinery

access. Council has also promised to provide

topsoil to fill and level the uneven ground. A

school bus shelter situated in the centre of the

reserve will be moved to the opposite side of the

surrounding roadway when approval is granted.

They hope to be able to supply us with a quote

for six new Oak trees and some steel tree

protectors for a planned replanting.

During phase 2 of the project, if and when

further funding becomes available, we envisage

involving local school children and, if possible,

descendants of the original soldiers’ families

in a replanting ceremony to bring the number

of trees back to the original ten. Each tree

will then have an individual plaque stating

the “number, rank and name”, place and date

of death and memorial details of each soldier,

placed on a plinth at its base. Finally an

Interpretive sign explaining the 1918 event will

be placed at the Northern end of the reserve

nearer to the town’s main street.

During our research, we discovered that there

were two sets of brothers from Lefroy who

gave their lives and were commemorated with

the tree planting in 1918. This brought the

total to eleven and we are not sure why the

documentation states ten trees, yet eleven


Since the building of the new monument,

the Sub Branch has supplied the community

with a flag that is flown proudly on days of

remembrance. Local residents tell us that

considerable interest is shown by people visiting

the old mining town which is steeped in history

in its own right. Well done to the volunteers,

both Sub Branch and residents who now claim,

indeed with some pride, ownership of the

historical site.

Lest We Forget

Vietnam Veterans Day - Lilydale



Earlier this year at the RSL State Congress in

Hobart, five Sub Branch Presidents from the

Tamar and North East districts put their heads

together and decided that on the 18th of August

they should hold a group commemoration of

the Battle of Long Tan at one venue instead

of a few small gatherings in various locations.

Sub Branch Presidents

Those five Presidents included (from left to right)

Peter Edson (Bridport), Bruce Scott (Scottsdale),

Peter Leonard (Lilydale), Lyndon Bolton (George

Town) and Colin Smee (Beaconsfield. This

year the anniversary of the battles for the fire

support bases Coral and Balmoral was also to be

recognised and commemorated, so it was only

fitting that Peter Leonard, a veteran of Coral,

should host the service at Lilydale.

The day dawned fine and sunny and as buses

from George Town and Beaconsfield, together

with private travellers, arrived at the RSL

clubrooms situated opposite the memorial in

Lilydale’s main street it promised to be a top day.

A fair amount of fellowship and tale swapping

set the scene for a memorable service led

by President Peter. Around 50 veterans and

visitors gathered in the sunshine as Peter

introduced the padre of the day, the Reverend

Cole and the guest speaker Mr. Gerry Coret

of Lalla. Reverend Cole spoke of the respect

and mateship forged during the hard times

of conflict that must continue during the

following years to enable veterans and their

families alike to survive the traumas of war.

Vietnam veterans, once young men from all

districts and all walks of life, including those

communities represented at this service, some

40 years on, share a bond that only they can


Gerry Coret, a veteran of Delta Company 5

RAR, spoke of his time in Vung Tau on R&C

at the time Delta Company 6 RAR were at

Long Tan. He and others from his Company

gave blood at the hospital for the wounded

arriving by helicopter. He asked us to not only

remember all those who fought at Long Tan,

Coral, Balmoral and other battles, but all the

soldiers, sailors, airmen and the woman who

served this country in times of conflict. The

service concluded with the “Last Post” and “The

Ode” followed by the “Reveille”. Visiting Sub

Branches were then invited to lay a wreath.

More fellowship and a sausage sizzle followed

the service in the clubrooms. This included a

power point display of the Artillery in Vietnam

during Coral and Balmoral overlaid with music

of the era, a most fitting tribute to conclude the

day. The Presidents again put their collective

heads together and decreed that the day was

a resounding success and should continue

into the future, with Bridport Sub Branch the

elected host for 2009.

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December 2008 RSL On Service 21


Huon Sub Branch



The 90th Anniversary of the Huon RSL Sub

Branch was celebrated on 12th October 2008

at their Anniversary Luncheon. The inaugural

meeting of the Sub Branch was held on the

14th December 1918. Members and guests

were welcomed at the Luncheon by the Huon

RSL Sub Branch President, Mr Neville Bennett.

The Huonville Explorer Guides helped serve

the three-course meal to guests while the

Huonville Scouts assisted in the kitchen.

Mr Bennett thanked the many businesses

in the district that donated prizes for raffles

and lucky door prizes. He also thanked

Peppermint Ridge Catering.

Guests included Deputy Premier the Hon Lara

Giddings MP, Leader of the State Opposition,

Will Hodgman MP, Mrs Elizabeth Quinn,

Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs

and Mr Tony Scott OAM, State President RSL

(Tasmania Branch).

Mr Scott presented the Sub Branch with a

State Certificate of Appreciation for reaching

the milestone of their 90th Anniversary.

Extract and photograph by courtesy of the

‘Huon News’


When Mr Kevin Turvey was contacted by a

digger serving in Afghanistan and asked if

two Tasmanian Flags could be sent, the Huon

Sub Branch President, Neville Bennett set

about granting the request. The flags were

presented by Senator Eric Abetz and will now

be forwarded to Afghanistan.

Oatlands Sub Branch

The Oatlands Sub Branch held their Annual Luncheon on 12th October 2008. Official

guests included the Mayor of the Southern Midlands Council, Tony Bisdee and Mrs Helen

Watling, representing the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Numerous other Sub Branches

were represented. The Sub Branch President, Mr John Hinchey said they try and hold their

anniversary luncheon as closely as possible to the date of the original granting of their Charter

and the event has been held in the same building now since 1954. Mrs Anne Shea was the

lucky lady on the day winning lots of prizes.

Tasman Sub Branch

On Sunday, 9th November 2008 the Tasman Sub Branch at Nubeena held its Annual Luncheon.

An excellent day was had by all with guests including the State President, Mr. Tony Scott OAM

JP, CEO, Ms Noeleen Lincoln OAM, State Treasurer, Mr. Wayne Cargill and also joining all

on the day Mr. John Cullen, State Treasurer of RSL Victoria. Ms Anne James represented

the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and there were representatives from other southern Sub


A delightful meal was presented by the Women’s Auxiliary, which was enjoyed in a perfect setting

on a perfect day. For those who haven’t traveled to Nubeena please make the effort. There is a

little bit of paradise tucked away in the far south. Congratulations to President Fred and his

Committee for a very successful and enjoyable day.

L to R: (back row) Tony Scott OAM, Terry

Thompson, Eric Seabrook, Graham Knight, Neville

Bennett and Will Hodgman MP

L to R (front row) George Goodwin, Cecil Oates,

Gilbert Voss and Phil Skinner

L to R: Senator Eric Abetz, Kevin Turvey, Neville

Bennett and the Hon Paul Harriss MLC

Oatlands Sub Branch host their Annual Luncheon

Tasman Sub Branch Annual Luncheon at Nubeena


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RSL On Service

December 2008


St Helens-St Marys Sub Branch



The Remembrance Day service in St Helens

was attended by about 200 people who also

stayed for the unveiling of WW1 Nominal

Roll and Honour plaques on the new St Helens

Memorial Wall. The plaques were unveiled

by Break O Day Mayor, Robert Legge and Mr

Graham Cameron, the man responsible for the

research and who was the driving force behind

the concept of the new Memorial Wall).

Mr Graham Cameron

The Speaker of the House of Assembly,

the Hon Michael Polley MP, unveiled the

Vietnam War plaque. The Memorial Wall will

eventually have Nominal Roll and Honour

plaques of all persons from the Break O

Day municipality for all conflicts including

a plaque with the names of Peacekeepers/

Peacemakers. Fund raising continues for the

remaining plaques which are yet to be added

to the wall.

Break O Day Council donated $15,000

towards the Memorial Wall and WW1 Plaques

and their donation is gratefully acknowledged.

The Hon Michael Polley MP

After the St Helens ceremony was concluded

the St Helens-St Marys Sub Branch President,

Chris Munday joined Mayor Legge and

Graham Cameron at Fingal for a service

at the Fingal School to unveil the Nominal

Roll and plaques of Honour of persons from

Fingal who fought in WW1. Those plaques

will now be attached to the Fingal cenotaph.

They continued the day at St Marys for a

Remembrance service at 3.00 pm and the

unveiling of Nominal Roll and Honour plaques

for persons from St Marys who fought in


All services were well attended and the

increasing interest in veteran history was

obvious at all services.

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December 2008 RSL On Service 23

Easy savings.

Easy service!

digital technology

kitchen appliances

small appliances

It’s so easy ® to see why Clive Peeters is the

preferred electrical appliance and computer

retailer for RSL members here in Tasmania.

Clive Peeters has a long established, enviable reputation for making it easy for

RSL Members. First, RSL Members can access exclusive pricing * on our

enormous range of electrical appliances and computers.


We also offer half-price delivery in the greater metropolitan area for RSL

Members. To make it even easier, we can even arrange installation of your

new appliance.

Simply visit our Moonah store and ask for your exclusive RSL Tasmania

Member pricing. How easy is that?

home entertainment

Proudly supporting the RSL Tasmania


We’ll even deliver to Launceston – now that’s easy!

Excludes DeDietrich, Gaggenau, Jenn-Air, Miele, Neff and Asko Vara.

Members must show their Association membership card to receive

special pricing and privileges. Discounted delivery to Launceston

not applicable.



The RSL has launched an exciting new shopping facility to boost the

organisations fundraising efforts.

RSL President, Bill Crews said the new RSL Shop will give members

access to a huge range of RSL and military products, gifts and


RSL Shop has thousands of products ranging from clothing such as

jackets, shirts, and hats to lapel pins, travel bags, golf items and many


RSL Shop also has an impressive range of products that you can add

your own brand to.

“If you are hosting an event or conference or simply looking for that

perfect gift for a friend or family member, RSL Shop is the place to go.

“The RSL Shop will ensure members have access to quality products

at the lowest possible price, will help raise important funds for our

ongoing work on behalf of our members and assist in promoting a

consistent, professional RSL image.

“All RSL branded products have been authorised for production by the


“I encourage all RSL members to assist our fundraising efforts by

supporting the RSL Shop”, he said.

The new facility has been developed on the RSL’s behalf by the

Official RSL

Fundraising Shop

Open for Business

Visit www.rslshop.com.au or

call 1300 883 130 for your free

94 page catalogue

Extensive Range

RSL and Australian Military

branded products available

Quality at

Great Prices


Australian promotions and marketing company Brandnet Pty Ltd, the

team behind initiatives such as the Sands of Gallipoli series and poppy

fundraising products.

Brandnet Managing Director, Stephen Davie said he was delighted to

be working with the RSL again to enhance their fundraising efforts.

“We have had a long association with the RSL and military community.

It gives us great satisfaction to know that our products and services

are going towards supporting the RSL in the fantastic work they do on

behalf of their members.

The RSL Shop will be open for business on the 28th November 2008

and can be found at www.rslshop.com.au. Hard copy catalogues are

available by contacting RSL Shop team on 1300 883 130. Staff can also

provide expert advice in product selection and branding design.

Trade Travel prides itself on providing itineraries for active

retirees, are the National Sponsor for Probus and have an

Area Sales Manager based in Tasmania to look after you.

Introducing our newest Area Sales Manager based right here in Tasmania

– Kaylene Murfet. Kaylene has many years experience in the Travel

Industry and is passionate about her home State Tasmania and of course

travelling to new destinations. Kaylene looks forward to working with

your club on some exciting travel destinations.

Have you thought of Norfolk Island for your next group getaway?

Norfolk Island Paradise

All inclusive 8 day/7 night itinerary from $2166.00 per person.

Bookings made for travel with Trade Travel will result in a

donation being made back to the RSL welfare fund.

Freecall: 1800 645 103

Kaylene 0427 506 729


Lic No TAG1170

December 2008 RSL On Service 25


Never too Young to Learn, Never too Old to Start

Grey Medallion Program

A water safety and lifesaving skills program for the over 55’s

There are four main components of the program:

• Water Safety Knowledge

• Resuscitation and Emergency Care

• Aquatic Exercise

• Personal Survival and Lifesaving Skills

The Grey Medallion program will be provided at swimming pools

throughout Tasmania and is scheduled to start mid January 2009.

For more information including venues and course dates please contact

Royal Life Saving Tasmania on 03 6243 7558

or visit www.tas.royallifesaving.com.au



Recently announced changes to military

awards in response to the independent review

of Battle of Long Tan recognition will see

veterans receive long-overdue recognition.

The Federal Government has also announced

its response to the review of service

recognition for RAAF Ubon (1965-68).

Cabinet Secretary, Senator John Faulkner,

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin

MP, and Parliamentary Secretary for Defence

Support, the Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM

MP, have carefully considered the reports of

the independent review panel and a number

of public responses to the reports.

Key decisions, approved by the Governor-

General, are:

• Harry Smith, Commander D

Company 6RAR, will be offered the

Star of Gallantry (equivalent to the

Distinguished Service Order), and

Platoon Commanders Dave Sabben and

Geoff Kendall, will be offered the Medal

for Gallantry (equivalent to the Military

Cross). This restores the original

award recommended for Smith by his

commanding officers, and accepts that

the intention was to award Sabben and

Kendall higher honours.

• The strength of D Company 6RAR in

Vietnam on 18 August 1966 will receive

approval to wear the former Republic of

Vietnam’s Gallantry Cross with Palm

Unit Citation Emblem.

Any other unresolved concerns regarding

individual awards for Long Tan will be

referred to the independent Defence Honours

and Awards Tribunal. The Government

will consider itself bound by the Tribunal’s

recommendations on these matters.

Implementation of these recommendations

will properly recognize the individual and

collective gallantry of these men on 18

August 1966, provide an equitable mix

of awards for the battle, and will confer

considerable honour on all the men of D

Company 6RAR in Vietnam who fought in

the Battle of Long Tan.

The independent panel reviewing service

recognition for RAAF Ubon found that

that the close working relationship that

Australian personnel developed with the

Americans at Ubon, in Thailand, does not

translate to an intention by the Government

to deploy assets as part of the Vietnam War.

The Government has accepted this finding.

It is open for the Ubon veterans to seek a

review of this matter by the independent

Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal.

On the matter of the South Vietnamese unit

citation, the Government has formed the

view that the evidence of an intention by the

former government of South Vietnam to offer

this award is compelling.

DVA Veterans Medical Transport

Do you have a medical

condition where nonurgent


transport could assist

you with medical


Ambulance Private is approved by DVA to provide

non-urgent ambulance transport statewide to Gold

Card holders and other elligible recipients requiring

transport for medical purposes

For the cost of a local call, speak

with an Ambulance Private

operator to place your booking or

to enquire about this service.

1300 363 911


& enquiries

24 hours a day,

7 days a week



Frank Hesman OAM, BEM, JP has accepted

the offer to be patron to the annual BOER


Hesman is well known within historical

military circles within Tasmania and has

been involved with community affairs for

many years and is a former Citizen of the

Year for the Glenorchy Municipality.

The Boer War Commemorative Day is now

an annual event, held on the first Sunday in

June in Hobart and the second Sunday in

June in Launceston.

Organizer for the event, military historian,

Reg Watson, said that the event is the only

one of its kind in Australia and it is held to

honour those Tasmanian soldiers and nurses

who served in the long forgotten war in South

Africa between the years 1899-1902. “The

event has been going now for six years and

every year there is an increased involvement

by various groups and members of the

general community,” said Mr. Watson. “It is

now becoming an accepted fixed part of the

annual calendar,” he added.

“It is clear that the day warranted a patron,

so an approach to Mr. Hesman was made.

Mr. Hesman has been involved with the Boer

War Commemorative Day since its inception

and is a well known, respected member of

Tasmania. His enthusiasm for the event and

others like it is well recognized,” Mr. Watson


Mr. Hesman said that it was a pleasure to

accept the nomination and he was “deeply

touched by the request”.

“His patronage will establish acceptability

and the concept of permanency on the

ceremonies,” said Mr. Watson. “Choosing

a patron was not done lightly and I am

personally delighted, of course, that Mr.

Hesman was positive in his response. “His

acceptance will be heralded, I am sure, by

those who know Mr. Hesman,” Mr. Watson


December 2008 RSL On Service 27



Veterans from across the northern part of

the State requiring hospital treatment in

Launceston will now benefit from the recent

opening of St Vincent de Paul’s Marillac House

in Brisbane St.

Marillac House provides a subsided

accommodation and support for patients,

and their families, while undergoing medical

treatment in Launceston. Once a former bed

and breakfast, the Victorian era building has

now been developed into ten self contained

rooms which can cater for single visitors or

entire families.

St Vincent de Paul State President, Mr Peter

Lyall, said the facility will provide hospital

visitors with long and short term budget

accommodation. “Marillac House is a special

project of the St Vincent de Paul Society in

Tasmania,” Mr Lyall said. “One of the main

goals of the Marillac House project is to

provide to provide comfortable and homely

surroundings at minimal cost to patients and

their families.”

“It has taken a national fund-raising effort,

coordinated by the Society here in Tasmania, to

raise the funds to purchase a suitable property.”

Mr Lyall said the Society is working closely with

medical specialists and general practitioners

to identify the areas of highest need. “This

includes liaison with hospitals around the

State to coordinate services with their patient

transport staff.”

Marillac House was recently opened and

blessed by the Archbishop of Hobart, the Most

Rev. Adrian Doyle, who commended the Society

for responding to this very significant need in

the Launceston area

Room rates range from $40 - $80 per

night. For accommodation bookings please

phone(03)6331 0405.

$4900 State Grant for

Launceston RSL Brass Band

The Minister for

Environment, Parks,

Heritage and the Arts, the

Hon Michelle O’Byrne MP,

recently announced $4921

in State Government

funding for the City of

Launceston RSL Brass


Ms O’Byrne said the funding would allow the band to purchase

several new instruments.” This grant will secure the brass band

much needed new instruments, including two baritone horns, three

cornets, two tenor horns and a trombone.

“Having a new instrument purchase program is an important part of

any large band’s operation, and I am pleased to have been able to help

secure money to help the band continue entertaining the people of


Ms O’Byrne said the City of Launceston RSL Brass Band was a

regular feature at parades and community events in the city. “After

starting 68 years ago when it was known as the Invermay School

Band, the band is now formally appointed by the Launceston City

Council as Launceston’s official band.

“In 2000, the band won the national B-grade band championships

hosted in Launceston, and remains the highest-graded band in

Northern Tasmania.

“The talented musicians who make up the band are serving the

community of Launceston every time they pull on the band’s

distinctive red and black uniforms, and their performances are a

highlight of many community events.

“I am confident that with this State Government grant, the band

members will be able to keep entertaining the people of Launceston

and beyond well into the future,” Ms O’Byrne said.


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RSL On Service

December 2008

December 2008 RSL On Service 29



Approval for a new medal, which recognizes

those who served in Post-Armistice Korea,

is being sought from Her Majesty, Queen


Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support,

the Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM

MP recently announced that the Government

would seek Royal Assent to create a new

medal to recognize those who served in Post-

Armistice Korea.

Eligible veterans would also receive the

Return from Active Service Badge (RASB).

The Korean Post-Armistice Service Review

was established in 2005 to investigate

and recommend an appropriate level of

recognition for those veterans who served in

post-armistice Korea from 28 July 1953 to 19

April 1956.

The recommendations relating to recognition


As the December issue of On Service arrives

in letterboxes, more than 326,000 Veterans’

Affairs pensioners across the country will

receive the Rudd Government’s bonus


“This action of providing $1400 for singles

and $2100 for couples is an immediate down

payment on long-term pension reform”,

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin

MP said.

Approximately $407 million in total will be

paid in the fortnight beginning 8th December

to all Department of Veterans’ Affairs:

• Service Pensioners;

• Income Support Supplement recipients;

• Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Holders; and

• Gold Card holders, including war widows,

over Service Pension age who receive the

Seniors Concession Allowance or Utilities


Around 4000 people receiving a benefit from

the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme will

also receive a one off payment of $1000.

People who are receiving Carer Allowance

• An Australian General Service Medal-

Korea (GSM) should be instituted for this

service; and

• The service warrants recognition by the

Returned from Active Service Badge


The Department of Defence will shortly make

the administrative arrangements to issue the

RASB to eligible veterans.

Striking of the new Australian GSM-Korea

requires Royal Assent, and Dr Kelly said that

the Government would write to The Queen

seeking assent for creating the new medal.

"Implementation of this review was an

election commitment and the Rudd Labor

Government has delivered,” Dr Kelly said.

“The service these veterans rendered was

unique and warrants the recognition they are

being offered today.”

"The conditions under which these people

served were at least as arduous and dangerous



from Centrelink will also receive $1000 for

each eligible person they care for.

Payments will be tax exempt and will not be

included for income-testing purposes.

“These measures are designed to support

veterans and their families on low incomes

who are suffering in the current economic

climate, while strengthening and stimulating

Australia’s economy,” said Mr Griffin at the

announcement in October.

“It was clear to the Government that aged

veteran pensioners and others in the veteran

community who depend on income support

needed financial relief. This Government

values the contribution veterans have made to

Australia, and appreciate that they also need

financial support and security”.

Mr Griffin said the $10.4 billion package of

measures announced by the Prime Minister

will ensure a healthy economy and future

stability for those veterans, as well as the

wider community.”

The Government remains closely monitoring

the global financial crisis and its impact on

the general community.

Smoking in Cars

with Children

The Department of Health and Human Services would like to

thank Tasmania Police for its assistance with the enforcement

of the law banning smoking in cars where children are


Since enforcement commenced, 5 infringement notices and

13 cautions have been issued.

The law was introduced on 1 January 2008 to prevent

children from being exposed to passive smoking in the close

confines of a car.

For further information on the law visit www.dhhs.tas.gov.au

For assistance with quitting smoking visit www.quittas.org.au

or call the Quitline on 137848

as many subsequent operations which have

attracted similar recognition and 18 members

lost their lives while engaged in this service.

"These proud servicemen deserve the

gratitude of our nation for their contribution

to world peace in one of the more dangerous

international situations since World War II,

which had the potential to escalate into a

nuclear confrontation.”




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RSL On Service

December 2008



In early November, the Royal Australian Air Force

celebrated fifty years of outstanding achievements

by its enduring ‘work horse’ the C-130 Hercules


“Various models of Hercules aircraft have been

the backbone of many of the Australian Defence

Force’s most important operations during the past

50 years,” said Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mark


The Hercules has provided combat air lift capability,

including tactical transport of troops and cargo as

well as Special Forces insertion, parachuting and

air drops.”

“In marking 50 years of C-130 service, we recognize

the dedication of the thousands of air crew, ground

and support personnel and contractors who have

worked hard to fly and maintain the Hercules in

Australia and in deployed locations around the

world. In recent years, our C-130 Hercules has

seen more active duty than any other aircraft in the

RAAF. This service has been widely appreciated

across the ADF.”

“Today three RAAF Hercules are based in the

Middle East, and continue to provide vital air lift

support to Australian and Coalition forces,” Air

Marshal Binskin said.

Some of the more memorable achievements include

service during the Vietnam War, the emergency

response to Cyclone Tracy, the Katherine floods, the

Boxing Day tsunami and the Bali bombings.

“The C-130 fleet ran regular services to Vietnam

during that war and most importantly conducted

medevacs of ill and wounded service personnel.

They were also tasked with refugee relief at the

end of the conflict. In 2005, the C-130s delivered

humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of

thousands of people affected by the Boxing Day

tsunami and they brought home the Australians

injured in the Bali bombings in 2002.”

The C-130 Hercules began service with the RAAF in

1958, with the arrival of twelve C-130 A models. The

success of this acquisition was followed in 1966 with

twelve C-130 E models. Twelve C-130 H models

arrived in 1978 to replace the 20 year old A model

and the latest version; the C-130 J model arrived to

replace the E model in 1999.

RAAF currently has a fleet of 24 C-130s, comprising

J and H models. While the C-130 has undergone

several modifications over the past 50 years, its

fuselage shape has largely remained unchanged.

The 50th anniversary celebrations included a flypast

of Sydney, and a reunion at RAAF Richmond.

December 2008 RSL On Service 31




The 50th Anniversary reunion to celebrate

the formation of 2 Control and Reporting

Unit, RAAF Lee Point will be held in Darwin

from 18th – 26th September 2009.

Details on www.angelfire.com.au or email


Telephone: (08)8945 1547



With the festive season upon us, Blondie has decided

this is a great time to share her recipe for marinated

Christmas turkey.

Go buy a turkey



A reunion is planned for all former members

of 8 RAR in Tasmania on the 8th August

2009. Expressions of interest are called for.

Please notify Mr. Stephen Cocker

Email: stephenjc@southcom.com.au










Step One (very important) - Take a drink

of whiskey (scotch) OR JD

Put turkey in the oven

Take another 2 drinks of whiskey

Set the degree at 375 ovens

Take 3 more whiskeys of drink

Turn oven over

Take 4 whisks of drinky

Turk the bastey

Get another whiskey of bottle

10. Stick a turkey in the thermometer

11. Glass yourself a pour of whiskey

12. Bake the whiskey for 4 hours

13. Take the oven out of the turkey

14. Floor the turkey up off of the pick

15. Turk the carvey

16. Get yourself another scottle of botch

17. Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of



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RSL On Service

December 2008

At Parr we not only give you a

choice of quality heat pumps

but we also offer friendly, expert

advice to help you choose the

best heat pump for your home

Southern Tasmania’s Premier

Heat Pump & Airconditioning Specialists

Fax: 6272 8040

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