Autumn 2012 - RSL Tasmania

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Autumn 2012 - RSL Tasmania

No. 45 Spring 2012

Official publication for Returned & Services League of Australia

Tasmanian State Branch (inc.)


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Statewide

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or visit our website at www.onecare.org.au

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Inside this

ISSUE:

From the Editorial Desk 2

From the Presidents Desk 2

Chief Executive Officer’s Comment 4

Deputy President’s Report 5

Vice President’s Reports 6

State Welfare Coordinator’s Report 7

ANZAC Day 8

20 th Intake Army Apprentices (Vehicle Mechanics) Reunion 10

Tribute To Bruce Ruxton AM OBE (1926 – 2011) 11

2012 Australia Day Achievement Awards 12

RSL (Tasmania) Women’s Auxiliary Annual Conference 2012 12

Veterans News 13

A Birthday Befitting A Barracks 15

Caribou Propeller Centrepiece For Clarence Memorial 17

Long Tan To Afghanistan 18

Ship Losses Remembered 19

Serving Tasmanians 20

‘Lady Soldiers’ – A Glimpse Of Life In The WRAAC 21

Around The Sub Branches 22

Navy Dentist Sinks Teeth Into Dog Surgery 24

Notices 26

Just Ask A Blonde 28

Travel 30

Book Review 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

rsltasceo@bigpond.com

or mailed to:

On Service, RSL (Tasmania

Branch), ANZAC House,

68 Davey Street

HOBART Tasmania 7000

No. 45 Spring 2012

Official publication for Returned & Services League of Australia Tasmanian State Branch (inc.)

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

Layout

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Warren Leahy

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General Manager: Gail McCulloch

gail@ resilience.com.au

STOP PRESS - MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS

Members are reminded that subscriptions for 2010 are due on the

1st January 2012.

Cover: XENA, ex Military Working Dog - Service Number - EDD399 has been

a familiar sight for many years at the ANZAC Day services at St Helens.

Zena was in service from 1999 to 2006 which included Malaysia, the

Olympic Games 2000, CHOGM 2002 and the Rugby World Cup 2003.

Zena retired into the care of Mrs Beryl Elliot of St Helens, whose son,

Cameron was Zena’s handler. In recognition of her service, Zena was

awarded the Canine Service Medal and the War Dog Operational Medal.

Sadly, Zena passed away in 2011.

RSL On Service 1


FROM THE EDITORIAL DESK

The other day, while working in Canberra, I

asked a younger veteran with service in Timor,

Iraq (twice), Middle East, Afghanistan and

Bougainville what he was doing on ANZAC Day.

I was surprised to hear that he wasn’t going to join

the March but instead watch from the sidelines –

not knowing where he fits into the ANZAC Day

commemorations. I wonder how many people

don’t feel a part of ANZAC Day either not having

served overseas (but efficient long service) or

have served across a range of operations, they’re

unsure of where they belong.

This ANZAC Day, the two Tasmanian based

Battalions aren’t marching – instead providing

catafalque parties around the State. Therefore

there are many younger veterans, many being

Reservists with peacekeeping service in the

Solomon Islands or Timor, wondering where

they belong.

In this my final report in “On Service” I wish to

again say what a privilege it has been to have been

given the opportunity by you, League members

in Tasmania, to serve as your State President for

the past three years. It has been an honour to

represent you at State and National level and

I trust you have not been disappointed with

my performance or the outcomes achieved. I

have visited most of the Sub Branches in the

State, many on more than one occasion, and

have enjoyed your hospitality, camaraderie and

advice. I have also taken on board criticism and

suggestions on how to represent you better and

endeavored to make changes where such has

been in the interests of the whole of the League,

but not necessarily those that had limited or

personal application.

That said, three years in the position is long

enough and it is now time for me to make way

for new ideas from a successor who must be

in touch with the needs and aspirations of the

younger members of the serving and ex-service

community who, after all, represent the future

of the League.

Living on the North West Coast, some 300km

distant from ANZAC House in Hobart, has

not been without some difficulties; but with

the support of a very capable CEO, Office

Administrator and a group of volunteers at

ANZAC House, the business of the League

in Tasmania has, in my view, been managed

efficiently and effectively.

In the case of our CEO, Noeleen Lincoln, I made

the statement at the commencement of my term

in office that, as CEO, she ran Tasmania Branch

and that I was the pretty face (some might dispute

that), trouble shooter, media contact and final

This is an opportunity for RSL Sub Branches

to show leadership and have someone ready to

welcome those coming through the door for a

beer or two on ANZAC Day. At the Marches,

keep an eye out for younger veterans standing

in the crowds and invited them to participate

before coming back to the Sub Branch. Many

stories abound about younger veterans entering

an RSL for the first time and walking out because

they weren’t welcomed. I was one such younger

veteran and if it hadn’t been for the later efforts of

other RSL members, I would never have become

a member based on that first experience.

ANZAC Day provides the RSL with a significant

presence across the State. The commemorations

have been the focus of local communities since

they commenced on that first ANZAC Day in

1916. And it is a time when veterans come together

usually at a Sub Branch somewhere. A warm

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK

arbiter of decisions as endorsed by the members

you elected to the State Executive. I believe

this has worked well and Noeleen probably has

appreciated me not looking over her shoulder

all the time and thereby distracting her from

the other, normally more important, work she

was doing. Noeleen and we in the League in

Tasmania have also been very well served by the

only other paid member of the staff, our Office

Administrator, Tamara Harper. No task, it would

seem, was too difficult for Tamara to undertake

and she proved to be a fountain of knowledge

on League matters within her purview. Finally,

I need to acknowledge the excellent work carried

out by David Skinner in his capacity as Pensions

Officer/Advocate in the State Branch. Although

primarily funded by DVA he works from ANZAC

House so we look after his administration and

receive the benefit of any free capacity he may

have, which may include switchboard operator

and cook.

I have also been very lucky to have had the

support and assistance of a number of dedicated

volunteer workers at State Branch. First of all

I would like to acknowledge the excellent work

done by our Honorary State Treasurer, Wayne

Cargill in keeping our finances in order and

maximizing returns from our investments.

It is with much pride that I can say that the

Branch finances are in a very sound position as

a result of his administration and timely advice.

Secondly, I must acknowledge the efforts of our

former Membership Officer, Carol Batten, who

has had the demanding task of setting up our

membership database and the training of Sub

Branch representatives in their responsibilities

to maintain it on behalf of their members.

Carol has unfortunately had to step away from

this task recently to focus on other avenues.

welcome and

quick tour of the

facilities may

see a younger

veteran return as

a member – all

through a simple

welcome, whereas

ignoring them may see them never become

members of the RSL. A simple process but one

often overlooked in our Sub Branches.

As we commemorate ANZAC Day 2012, let’s

raise a glass to the sacrifices of our forebears,

the mates we served with and those currently on

operations around the world – and let’s welcome

those potential new members through the doors

of our Sub Branches.

Phil Pyke

My predecessor,

Tony Scott, is

another volunteer

who provided

invaluable

Phil Pyke

assistance in Bill Kaine MBE

coordinating

matters relating to

licensed Sub Branches and clubs until this was

handed to Deputy President Chris Munday and I

am eternally grateful to them both as I lacked the

knowledge or time to undertake that role. I must

also thank Peter Hind for taking on the duties of

the RSL Tasmania Training Consultative Group

representative. Other members who regularly

volunteer to assist us around the office are

Elizabeth Dolan and Imelda Cooper and their

support (and supply of bickies for morning tea)

has been greatly appreciated.

I would also like to express my appreciation to all

those other volunteers who have supported State

Branch from time to time, as and when needed,

to sell poppies and memorabilia, stuff envelopes,

represent State Branch on various committees,

and so on.

To all the Sub Branch committees and members

of the League from whom I have sought and

received support, input and encouragement

during my time on the State Executive and as your

State President, thank you. To my colleagues on

the State Executive both past and present, I trust

you have enjoyed the journey. Your support and

encouragement has certainly been appreciated.

And finally, for my successor and the soon to be

elected State Executive I wish you well for your

future endeavors furthering the ‘Objects’ of the

League in Tasmania.

2

RSL On Service


So, what has been achieved during my tenure?

Most pleasing has been the granting of Tax

Concession Charity (TCC) status to RSL

(Tasmania Branch) Incorporated and all our

complying Sub Branches, by the Commissioner

of Taxation, on the 3rd of November 2011. The

terms and conditions of the ‘Deed of Agreement’

took effect from 1st January 2011. Under the

‘Deed’, the CEO is required to warrant that each

Sub Branch granted TCC status has complied

with criteria and protocols of the ‘Deed’ and to

this end a process has been initiated whereby

State Executive members will undertake

periodic checks of Sub Branch documentation,

in consultation with Sub Branch executives, to

ensure compliance requirements are being met.

In the event that the Commissioner does not

receive this Warrant in relation to any Sub

Branch or is not satisfied as to the determination

under the Warranty, he/she retains the right to

revoke the endorsement and issue assessments

against the relevant Sub Branch. The benefits

of the ‘Deed’ are substantial and I strongly

encourage all Sub Branches to ensure they

meet their obligations, especially in relation to

providing substantial resources to the welfare

and wellbeing of the serving and ex-service

community in particular and needy in the wider

community.

This achievement resulted from the tireless

and very time consuming efforts of the CEO,

Noeleen, and our lawyer, Bruce Curl, and with

the cooperation of all of those Sub Branches

granted TCC under the ‘Deed’. I congratulate

you all on a job well done.

Despite one of my ambitions being to visit all Sub

Branches during my tenure there were a number

that I missed. Unfortunately, some of our smaller

more remote Sub Branches are not in a position

to hold social functions but they do continue

to maintain the RSL presence in their area and

carry out the ‘Objects’ of the League, particularly

in relation to commemoration and welfare. That

said, by my reckoning I have managed to visit all

but nine of our 52 Sub Branches and for those

that I have missed I sincerely apologize. I will

give my list to my successor and perhaps he can

make it up for me. In some cases I was only able

to visit a Sub Branch once, normally as a result of

clashes of dates between functions and I would

strongly urge you all to place you activity dates

on the RSL Tasmania ‘Events Calendar’ on our

web site (rsltas.org.au) and, wherever possible,

try to avoid clashes between Sub Branches in

your region. A big part of the RSL ethos is the

camaraderie associated with social interaction

between Sub Branches. I see this all of the time

when there are often more visitors attending a

function than members of the host Sub Branch

– and all seem to enjoy the experience.

I have covered most of the other issues in previous

reports in “On Service” so see little benefit in

repeating them here. I believe the League in

Tasmania continues to enjoy good health and see

no reason for this not to continue in the future.

Some changes to our structure and Constitution

are being put to the Annual Congress in May

and I see these as positive steps for the future

administration and membership growth leading

up to the centenary of the establishment of the

League in 1916.

I wish you all well and while my ability to

influence the way ahead will be reduced to that

of an ordinary member you can rest assured my

interest in the League will not wane.

Kind Regards

Bill Kaine

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RSL On Service 3


CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER’S COMMENT

We are nearing the end of another chapter in the

life of RSL (Tasmania Branch) with our upcoming

elections for State Office Bearers. As you will

have read in the State President’s column, Bill

Kaine is stepping down after State Congress in

May after three years as your State President. I

wish to formally acknowledge Bill’s dedication

to the Presidency during his three years in office

and publicly thank him for his friendship, his

support and for having the confidence and trust

in me which allowed me to get on and do my job

during his term in office. I am sure Bill will not

miss that Midlands Highway and to he and his

wife, Margaret I wish you both every success in

life’s next venture.

The year commenced with a bit of respite for me

as I took annual leave throughout the month of

January. However, that resulted in February

being a very busy month with lots to catch up on.

We held the first of the State Branch Workshops

in February around the island and I was very

pleased to see the Sub Branch attendances were

around the 85% mark. Workshops will continue

to be held in the future as they have proved to

be a very worthwhile exercise in the passage of

information both to and from the State Branch/

Sub Branches. With time on the Saturday

morning of State Congress being dedicated to

an open forum, and an avenue to ‘workshop’ any

issues, it is likely that the next full Workshop will

be in November this year.

I would really like to see some more stories and

pictures coming in from the Sub Branches. Please

remember this is your magazine and please think

about getting some more local content into it.

Also, we wish to continue our ‘Profile’ section

and would be glad to hear of anyone you consider

worthy of having an article dedicated, similarly

to the one printed last year on the good Bernard

Hodgman OAM, former President of the King

Island Sub Branch.

Our Sub Branches are progressing well with their

responsibilities to the Tax Concession Charity

(TCC) status and many with properties have now

been successful with General Rates exemptions

from their local Councils. As the round of

Annual General Meetings comes to a close I

would urge all those new Committee members

to please ensure that

you are aware of the

requirements of the

TCC status and what

your Sub Branch

responsibilities are.

I will be closely monitoring Sub Branch activity

throughout the year.

As ANZAC Day approaches I remind the Sub

Branches that we have permission to sell ANZAC

tokens from the 19th – 25th April, so please take

maximum advantage of the entire week. I wish

you all a very Happy Easter and may the Easter

Bunny be kind.

Regards

Noeleen Lincoln

Noeleen Lincoln OAM

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4

RSL On Service


REPORT FROM DEPUTY STATE PRESIDENT -

CHRIS MUNDAY

ANZAC DAY is upon us once again and I

would be surprised if the crowds did not

continue to increase. One thing I get

asked quite often in country areas is “are

kids allowed to march?” I suspect the

question comes because some cities having

to cut down the number of marchers, as

processions can take too long. I know

that a lot of people believe that everybody

who supports our Service people, past

and present, should be allowed to march.

Personally, I agree but, with the caveat

that we have to remember that our WW2

and Korean veterans are now at an age

where standing or even sitting around

for a very long time waiting for all the

marchers to arrive at Cenotaphs can be a

bit of a problem, and at the end of the day,

we must consider these folk first. So, in

areas where potentially very large numbers

might march, sanity must prevail. In all

other areas, where numbers are not huge,

then we should do all we can to swell the

numbers of supporting marchers.

It is great to see family members of older

veterans and those who have past away,

wearing medals (on their right side) and

showing they are proud of their relative’s

service.

Replica medals are readily available from

James Grice at Foxhole Medals and I can

personally vouch for the quality of work

and “turnaround time” from that particular

business.

In country areas, school students, sea scouts,

cubs and the other like organizations, could

be welcomed to march, once again keeping

in mind the comfort of our aging veterans.

Personally I believe that one of the most

important duties of Sub Branches is to have

somebody go around to their local school/s

and give informative, interesting talks on

Australia’s military history. This is best

done as close to ANZAC DAY as possible.

I am sure that most Australians are still

unaware that more bombs were dropped on

Darwin, than on Pearl Harbor. In the age of

the computer, there should be somebody in

every area capable of putting a Power Point

presentation together, and it is also a good

idea to try to include a little “contemporary

speak” in the presentation. You would be

surprised how

many drowsy

teenagers will

suddenly become

Chris Munday

alert at the

mention of “South

Park” or a band that is currently doing well.

Whether I am still a member of State

Executive or not, after this coming May’s

State Congress, I intend to put together

Power Point presentations on various

conflicts and “Peace Keeping” missions, and

have them distributed to Sub Branches who

may feel they could use them at schools etc.

Simply, if you want to get something

across to anybody, with lasting effect you

have to think “entertainment”. Colour and

movement are two words that should be at

the forefront of any presentation.

Let’s hope this ANZAC Day is the best at

every Service across the State.

Keep well and drive safely.

Chris Munday.

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RSL On Service 5


REPORT FROM VICE PRESIDENT SOUTHERN

DIVISION – KARREN WALKER

Some members would know by now that

I did not stand for a position on the State

Executive this coming year as I have been

struggling with a few personal issues.

Most recently the in-laws were the victims

a vicious home invasion leaving both with

serious injuries. So I encourage all members

to lock your doors and windows when alone

or retiring for the night.

I will continue with my Welfare work for

the Claremont Sub Branch and I will still

run my day group, which is for the female

members and wives. The day group meets

from 10am to 3pm every Wednesday. It

gives the ladies a day away from their

partner and a chance to clear one’s head by

talking things over with others who may be

experiencing similar issues. It is also a time

to catch up on those craft projects. Most of

the ladies quilt but some knit while others

do embroidery all are welcome. If you live

in the area and would like to join in please

come along - the more the merrier.

I have enjoyed my time on the State

Executive and I do intend to stand again in

the future, but for now I do need some time

to sort things

out. I would like

to thank all the

members that I

Karren Walker

have met whilst

working in this

position as you have made it a joy. I would

also like to thank the members that have

supported me over the past two years.

Without your support I would not have been

able to achieve as much as I have.

Yours in Service

Karren Walker

REPORT FROM VICE PRESIDENT NORTH WEST

DIVISION – KEVIN KNIGHT

2011 has been and gone and we look forward

to 2012 being a year of good health for

everyone. I am aware that some of us have

started off on the bottom of the scale but

we can be optimistic and look forward to a

brighter year ahead.

On the 7th December the Penguin Sub

Branch, War Widows and friends (26 in all)

had a bus trip to Low Head Pilot Station

Museum followed by lunch at the George

Town RSL. It was a pleasure to visit my old

stomping ground. I believe a good time was

had by all. I have continued with visits to

several of the coastal Sub Branches however

I am still finding it difficult to arrange visits

with the West Coast Sub Branches. Could

all North West Division secretaries please

advise me of the dates of your monthly

committee meetings, the dates of your

Annual General Meeting and the dates of

your Annual Dinners? This would assist

me greatly when scheduling a visit to your

Sub Branch. On the 25th January, Graham

Deacon, North West Division Executive

Member and I visited Rosebery, Zeehan

and Queenstown. Hopefully our next visit

will include Strahan. Congratulations to

the Zeehan Sub Branch for the extensive

improvements they have made to their

building and also for being successful with

their acquisition of the adjoining properties.

The Queenstown Sub Branch is moving

ahead with planned meals on Friday and

possibly Sunday nights and I urge all locals

to take advantage of this. Queenstown Sub

Branch members, Mick Moran and Joyce

Marshall are working on a memorial project

with the Queenstown High School and

Mick also has plans for a memorial precinct

adjacent to the entrance of the Sub Branch.

The Penguin RSL Sub Branch held its Annual

Luncheon on Sunday, 26th February at the

Penguin Sports & Services Club. 110 guests

and members attended. Official Guests

included Bill Kaine MBE, State President

and his wife Margaret; Sue Smith MLC;

and the Mayor of Central Coast, Jan Bonde.

Representatives of the Sheffield, Ulverstone,

Burnie, Wynyard, Latrobe and Zeehan RSL

Sub Branches also attended.

The Penguin Sub Branch President, Graham

Deacon welcomed all in attendance. A

beautiful luncheon was provided by the

Penguin Bowls Club and a wonderful

afternoon was had by all.

The State President ‘pulled swifty’ and

made a presentation of a State Certificate

of Appreciation from the League to me. It

was totally unexpected and those who know

me will understand when I say I was stuck

for words. I thank all those who made the

award available to me and most of all I thank

my wife, Marlene. She is very tolerant of me

and all my volunteer work.

On a sad note, on Friday, 23rd March

2012 Graham Deacon and I attended the

funeral of the late

Mr Barry Giani,

former President

of the Burnie RSL

Kevin Knight

Sub Branch who

passed away after

a long illness. I was very proud to see the

very large RSL presence, which included

the State President, Deputy State President,

Chief Executive Officer, former State

Presidents and Presidents from every Sub

Branch on the North West coast. Members

came from Queenstown, St Helens and

the south. To Beverly and to Barry’s four

children I offer my sincere condolences. I

trust that you can take great comfort in the

knowledge that Barry was highly respected

and will be greatly missed by us all.

As your representative on the State Executive

please feel free to contact me if you have any

problems that need attention from the State

level and I will assist as best I can. I can be

contacted on Mob: 0407-297187 or by mail

via PO BOX 387, Penguin, 7316.

Kevin Knight

6

RSL On Service


REPORT FROM EASTERN VICE PRESIDENT -

PETER WOOLFORD JP

Greetings to you all. State Congress and

election time is drawing near and I wish to

thank the members of Eastern Division for

giving me the privilege of serving on the

State Executive. My special thanks go to

President, Bill, CEO, Noeleen and the rest

of the State Executive for their guidance. It

has been a wonderful learning year.

Depending upon the outcome of the current

elections this could be my final report so I

will keep it short.

Several members have commented about

receiving two ‘On Service’ magazines. This

will happen if there are two members in

the same household, ie, a Service member

whose spouse may be an Affiliate.

Every financial member is entitled to a copy

of the magazine. If this happens and you

do not both want the magazine see your Sub

Branch Secretary and have them annotate

the membership database to this effect.

Alternatively, please feel free to drop your

second copy into your local doctor’s surgery

or similar community based facility.

For all those diabetes and arthritis sufferers

who do not receive full DVA benefits, there is

a Medicare scheme operating whereby up to

$4200 over two years is claimable for getting

your dental work done. Please discuss with

your local GP about this entitlement.

I wish all the members standing for the

State Executive all

the best and good

luck and I am

looking forward

Peter Woolford JP

to seeing many of you at State Congress in

May.

Peter Woolford JP

STATE WELFARE COORDINATOR’S

REPORT – CHRIS MUNDAY

As I go from place to place in our beautiful State,

I am always surprised at how little is known of

the fantastic services offered by the VVCS team.

Firstly, this acronym originally stood for “Vietnam

Veterans Counseling Service”, but has since been

changed to stand for “Veterans and Veterans

Family Counseling Services”.

The name change reflects the fact that services

are no longer limited to only “Vietnam Veterans’.

VVCS services can now be accessed by Australian

Veterans, peacekeepers, and eligible members of

the Defence Force and their families.

VVCS offer many and varied services and I will

list some below:

1. Help improve your physical health (Try

“Heart Health”)

2. Develop your quality of life (Try “Residential

Lifestyle”)

3. Help with transition from the ADF (Try

“Stepping Out”)

4. Help with emotional Regulation (Try “Doing

Anger Differently” or “Beating the Blues” or

“Mastering Anxiety”)

5. Help you get a better nights sleep (Try

“Sleeping Better”)

6. Be in charge of your alcohol intake (Try

“Changing the Mix”)

7. Improve your relationships (Try “Building

better Relationships”)

8. Help you take care of your mates (Try

“Operation Life”)

Other groups include “Mindful Yoga”, Woodwork

Program” and “Walking Groups”, “Partners Self

Care”, Veteran’s Stress Management”, and more.

For those of us with a computer, simply Google

“VVCS”. The “Generic phone number” is

1800 011 046 (for any query on eligibility, or to

access any service). Or call in person to 254-

286 Liverpool St Hobart, or, 29 Elphin Road,

Launceston.

Neither Depression or Anxiety or any other

mental illness is to be ashamed of in any way,

but every effort should be taken to “manage” any

problem. I have no hesitation in yelling that I have

personally used the services of VVCS and I cannot

recommend these services

strongly enough.

Don’t forget that the

suicide rate of children of

Vietnam Veterans is much

higher than the average

population and that services are available for these

folk from VVCS. If you are a Vietnam Veteran and

feel you have a child who may not be travelling too

well please gently suggest to them that they may

try to seek help from VVCS.

Welfare Officers, please get in touch with VVCS

to keep up with courses being offered. Janet and

I recently did an “Operation Life” (Suicide Assist)

course in Hobart and I feel the knowledge gained

would benefit every Welfare Officer in the State.

Keep well

Chris Munday

RSL On Service 7


TRIBUTE TO BRUCE RUXTON AM OBE (1926 – 2011)

Mr Bruce Ruxton AM OBE passed away in

December 201. His funeral took place on the

Sunshine Coast in January 2012 and a Memorial

Service was held at St Paul’s Cathedral in

Melbourne on Wednesday 18th January 2012.

The following words have been taken from the

Eulogy at the funeral and also from the address

given at the memorial service by Major General

David McLachlan AO, State President, RSL

(Victoria Branch):

“Ian, Jill and Family

Our State Executive and members of the League

in Victoria, and I am sure right throughout the

Nation, extend to you our sincere condolences on

the loss of your dad, and grandfather of Vivien and

Ingra-Marie, your husband, Jill, and the Waugh

family your mothers brother and your uncle.

Bruce was born in Caulfield on the 6th February

1926, almost 86 years ago. He enlisted in the

Army as soon as he could – eleven days after his

eighteenth birthday. Nearing the end of World

War 11, he served with the 2/25th Battalion in

Borneo and the 65th Battalion where he saw

service with BCOF in Japan. He remained actively

involved with the 2/25th Association and the

welfare of his battalion mates all his life, serving

as Association Secretary for 54 years.

Bruce was one of life’s most enigmatic men and

for many he was simply known and recognised

throughout the country as either ‘Mr RSL’ or

‘Mr Bruce’. He joined the RSL in 1946 whilst still

serving in the AIF. He was an active member of

the Beaumaris Sub Branch and was elected to the

Victorian Branch State Executive in 1964. He was

a State Vice President from 1969 to 1975 and was

elected Senior Vice until 1979 when he became

State President. Bruce served his Branch in that

role for 23 years making him the longest serving

President of the Victorian State Branch.

He was Deputy National President of the League

from 1988 to 1997 and a member of the National

Executive from 1979 to 2002.

In all these roles he was tireless worker for the

entitlements and welfare of his fellow veterans

and their families – compassionate and fearless

in these pursuits.

In his role as State President he fired salvos

about any issue that took his fancy –

immigration, The Republic, The Flag, gays

in the Defence Force, the plight of citrus

farmers competing against the importation

of cheap citrus concentrates to name but a

few. To some, he was a bigot and xenophobe.

To others, a plain speaker and protector of

the Australian values he believed the diggers

fought for and when confronted by the media

on any issue, and regardless of the questions,

his answers nearly always made the headlines.

Despite the thousands of words written or

spoken about B C Ruxton by journalists and

columnists over four decades, very few have

ever been able to capture the true person he

was and Les Hancock, a mate of Bruce’s for

over half a century, summed it up with the

words ‘No one really knew Bruce Ruxton’,

because he is a very soft bloke underneath’ and

that he was. Nothing however, can detract

from what he achieved on behalf of veterans

and their families. He put his heart and soul

into fighting for their rights and welfare. He

was also intimately involved earlier in his

life in the establishment and operation of

the Sandringham Hospital and the Beaumaris

Community Centre, both of which remain in

operation today. He had the extraordinary gift

of making the seemingly depressing task of raising

money for a project such as a nursing home into an

exciting event. He was very successful in having a

number of high profile people purchase Victoria

Crosses so that they would remain in Australian

hands and all are displayed in the Australian War

Memorial.

A great communicator, Bruce would reply to every

letter he received as he always believed that to

do so was very important to the people who had

written.

Bruce was recognised by the League with Life

Membership in 1966, Life Membership with

Gold Badge in 1977 and the League’s highest

honour, the Meritorious Service Medal, in 1996.

Our Nation honoured him as a Member of the

British Empire (MBE) in 1975 for service to the

community and veterans, and as an Officer (OBE)

in 1981 and then he was made a Member of the

Order of Australia (OAM), again in recognition of

his work for veterans and their families.

He helped thousands; he worked long hours doing

“The Job” as he called it. Many have not always

agreed with Bruce’s way. Bruce was very fond of

his clubs – the Melbourne Club, MCC, his beloved

Collingwood Football Club and his favourite, the

West Brighton Club. Bruce Ruxton is one of a

wonderful generation of men and women who

fought to achieve for the causes they believed in

– in his case the welfare of those who fought for

their country and their dependants.

Farewell Private Ruxton you have done your

duty – now you may Rest in Peace. As a great

Australian we salute you in death as we did in life.

LEST WE FORGET

I had the honour of representing the RSL

(Tasmania Branch) at Bruce Ruxton’s memorial

service in Melbourne and, on your behalf I passed

on our condolences to his son, Ian and the rest of

the family in attendance.

Tony Scott OAM JP

Strictly Ballroom

03 6248 5383 Studio Rear of 22 Newtown Road Hobart

RSL On Service 11


2012 AUSTRALIA DAY ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

In January this year the RSL (Tasmania Branch) awarded four Australia

Day Achievement Medallions to businesses and individuals who have been

major supporters to us or whose dedication to their duties has gone above

and beyond what has been expected of them.

Australia Day Achievement Medallions, presented by State President, Bill

Kaine MBE were awarded to:

Pura Foods Pty Ltd – for the donation of eggs over many years to Sub

Branches for ANZAC Day Gunfire Breakfasts.

Resilience Marketing Pty Ltd – for services to the RSL in the production

of the ‘On Service’ magazine and continuous assistance in other areas of

marketing.

Mrs Janet Munday – for her dedicated service to the East Coast Veterans’

Support & Information Centre, St Helens.

Ms Noeleen Lincoln OAM JP – for services to RSL (Tasmania Branch),

particularly for efforts resulting in the granting of the Tax Concession

Charity status for all Sub Branches.

The staff at Pura Foods Pty Ltd

Gail McCulloch, Director, Resilience Marketing

Mrs Janet Munday, St Helens

Ms Noeleen Lincoln OAM JP

RSL (TASMANIA) WOMEN’S AUXILIARY ANNUAL

CONFERENCE 2012

A very successful 63rd Annual RSL (Tasmania)

Women’s Auxiliary Conference was held in

Rosebery on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th March 2012.

Ladies traveled from all over the State to attend

Conference, the first on the West Coast for over

20 years. Friday night started with the opening

ceremony and welcomes by the Mayor of the West

Coast, Mr Darryl Gerity and the President of the

Rosebery RSL Sub Branch, Mr Peter Morgan. RSL

State President, Mr Bill Kaine MBE and the State

Women’s Auxiliary President, Mrs Lyn Morgan

presented Life Memberships to the following

ladies:

Mrs Julie Poulson; Mrs Nancy Herdwicke; Mrs

Joy Grey; Mrs Peg Dwyer; Mrs Lea McKenzie;

Mrs Julie Brooks; and finally to Mrs Lyn Morgan.

Congratulations to everyone.

Saturday saw the business part of the Conference

take place at the Rosebery District High School.

Saturday night the Conference dinner was held at

the local football club rooms with the theme being

the Wild West. Costumes ranged from Cowboys,

Indian Squaws, Miners, Ladies of the Night,

Undertaker, Bank Robber, and Miner’s Widow to

many others and a lot of work and effort was put

into each costume. Breakfast on the Sunday was

held at the Rosebery RSL Club Rooms.

This year saw the return of knitting, crochet

and sewing items for donation to our hospitals.

Thanks to all who participated. Thank you to

Rosebery RSL Women’s Auxiliary for hosting

a great Conference and we will see you all at St

Helens in March 2013.

Julie Brooks

State Secretary

RSL (Tasmania) Women’s Auxiliary

12

RSL On Service


VETERANS NEWS

Gold Card Holders

Earlier this year after submissions had been

made to me at an AVADSC meeting in Brisbane

I approached the Deputy Commissioner in the

Queensland Consultative Forum regarding Gold

Card holders being required to pay for Medical

Vaccinations prior to overseas travel; I have now

received a positive outcome.

Prior to 1st Aug 2010 DVA has not provided

coverage for medical vaccinations for DVA clients

travelling overseas, the approach was that these

were privately incurred expenses. DVA has now

released a new Business Line where in it now states

that as from the 1st Aug 2010 all GOLD CARD

holders are eligible for all required vaccinations

to be covered under the Gold Card arrangements.

Any Gold Card holders that may have incurred

charges from 1st August 2010 are able to seek

reimbursement via DVA. I would expect a fact

sheet covering this to be issued shortly. I ask

that you make this information widely available

to your friends and association membership, I will

send you a copy of the DVA Fact Sheet once it

becomes available. If you or anyone else has any

questions ask them to contact their nearest DVA

VAN office.

Gordon Blake

Chairman

QLD State Advisory Council

Australian Veterans’ & Defence Services Council

DVA Veterans Medical Transport

Do you have a medical

condition where nonurgent

ambulance

transport could assist

you with medical

appointments?

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

Jet Fuel Exposure Syndrome Study

I recently attended the Jet Fuel Exposure

Syndrome Study Meeting held at DVA. Defence

is seeking F111 Deseal/Reseal participants who

worked on F111 aircraft between 1972 and 2000

to come forward and participate in the Jet Fuel

Study urgently. Participants only need to supply

a blood sample.

Defence currently have 35 personal who have

volunteered and they need at least 200 for the

study to go ahead. Volunteers do not need to live

in Brisbane. They can live anywhere in Australia.

Please spread the word far and wide. Contact

details are: Rachelle Warner on Mobile 0467

722 025 or email: rachelle.warner@defence.gov.au

Viv Quinn

Veterans Affairs Advisor

RSL (Queensland Branch)

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

Bookings

& enquiries

24 hours a day,

7 days a week

RSL On Service 13


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RSL On Service


A BIRTHDAY BEFITTING A BARRACKS

series of displays around the precinct with the

Australian Army Band - Tasmania providing

popular musical entertainment.

Overhead the RAAF Roulettes showcased their

flying skills in the skies over the Barracks in one

of the most impressive displays ever seen over

Hobart.

Staff from the RSL (Tasmania) State Branch

set up a stall underneath the verandah of Navy

Headquarters Tasmania, and were kept busy

all day selling merchandise and answering

membership and general questions.

Her Excellency, the Governor-General Ms

Quentin Bryce AC, CVO reviewed a parade by

the Australian Federation Guard and Australian

Army Band – Tasmania before unveiling a plaque

marking the event.

Her Excellency, the Governor General of Australia, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO inspects the

Australian Federation Guard during the Anglesea 200 commemoration

It was a birthday befitting Australia’s oldest

continually occupied barracks – an event its

founder, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, would

certainly have approved of.

As the gates of Hobart’s Anglesea Barracks

opened on the first weekend in December, record

crowds came to join the bicentenary of this unique

historical precinct.

“The bicentenary saw the Barracks and the skies

above host the largest display of the Australian

Defence Organization ever held in the State,”

said Anglesea 200 Project Director, Lieutenant

Colonel Helen Macpherson.

“With many Tasmanians having personal or

generational links to Anglesea over the past 200

years, we wanted to invite as many as possible to

become a part of this historical event.”

Interactive displays were provided by the three

Services and included a number of displays with

DMO providing a Bushmaster Protected Mobility

Vehicle as well as the latest equipment through

the Diggerworks program.

Navy presented an Agusta A109 helicopter on

the helipad, while RANR divers from CDT10

demonstrated their skills in a large dive tank,

attracting many fascinated children.

Around the precinct, Tasmanian based Reserve

and cadet units and ex-Service groups hosted a

Project Manager for Anglesea 200, Lieutenant

Colonel Helen Macpherson, said it will be at

least another 30 years before another barracks

will celebrate a bicentennial achievement.

“Anglesea Barracks is the oldest Barracks still in

continual use by the ADF and while Anglesea 200

is about celebrating this history, it is also about

acknowledging the role the Barracks plays today

as the centre of Defence in Tasmania.”

“The success of the bicentenary highlights that

Anglesea Barracks remains closely linked with the

Tasmanian community.”

The occasion was marked by the release of a book,

Barrack Hill – A History of Anglesea Barracks

1811 – 2011 by authors John Lennox and John

Wadsley which remains available through the

Military Museum of Tasmania.

Lieutenant Colonel Tony Bidgood (Rtd) and Lieutenant Colonel Owen

Winter (Rtd) at Anglesea 200 – the two men have had connections with

Anglesea Barracks over the past five decades.

Members of the Australian Army Band –

Tasmania perform at Anglesea 200

RSL On Service 15


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RSL On Service


CARIBOU PROPELLER CENTREPIECE FOR

CLARENCE MEMORIAL

13 Brisbane Street Launceston

Tasmania 7250

Tel +61 (03) 6332 4666

Fax: +61 (0)3 6331 5707

www.commodoreregent.com.au

The Clarence City Council recently extended

its publicly acclaimed Memorial Precinct in

ANZAC Park, Lindisfarne, with the dedication

in early December of a Memorial to those who

have served in the Royal Australian Air Force.

The memorial was dedicated by Air Commodore

Christopher Sawade, CSC, current Commander

Combat Support Group of the RAAF and

Alderman Doug Chipman, Mayor of Clarence,

Air Commodore (Retd) - both of who piloted

Caribou with the RAAF.

At the centre of the new RAAF Memorial at

ANZAC Park stands a propeller from a Caribou

aircraft.

The DHC-4 Caribou, used as tactical air

transport in support of the Australian Army,

have now been decommissioned from active

service with the RAAF. Caribou were a vital

part of Australia’s service in the Vietnam War,

where they were flown by the No. 35 Squadron

and affectionately known as Wallaby Airlines.

The park also contains a memorial to

Tasmanians who died in the Vietnam conflict.

“We are proud that ANZAC Park can be a

centre for remembrance of each service and

particularly that it highlights the service of

Tasmanians in conflicts such as the Vietnam

War,” Alderman Chipman said.

“This Park is unique in Tasmania and

contains several poignant memorial precincts

surrounding the Cenotaph built in 1922.”

“Council is now working toward finishing the

interpretation shelter that will offer visitors

added understanding about Tasmania’s

participation in the Australian Defence Force

and the impact war had on local communities.”

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Fax: (03) 6231 0898

www.hobartmidcity.com.au

RSL On Service 17


LONG TAN TO AFGHANISTAN

A Review by Phil Pyke

There are the inevitable comparisons drawn

between the battle of Long Tan in 1966 and

contemporary warfare in Afghanistan through

the eyes of Long Tan veterans, young soldiers,

and the families who support the soldiers from

back home.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon

said Long Tan to Afghanistan gives Australians

an insight into the motivations and emotions felt

by our Australian Defence Force members in the

lead up to deployment to Afghanistan.

“Most Australians will never know exactly what it

feels like to wear an ADF uniform and prepare to

enter a conflict zone, but this film gives us some

insight into the challenges our serving men and

women and their families face.”

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As Delta Company 6 RAR is warned for

deployment to Afghanistan to form the nucleus

of the Battle Group that made up Mentoring Task

Force 1, the Company prepares for the tough

training that lies ahead. A few travel to Vietnam

to walk the battlefield of Long Tan — to walk in

the footsteps of soldiers who served proudly and

heroically on that day in August 1966.

As their departure draws close, the members

of the Company prepare those who will be left

behind as best they can. But certainly as many

younger veterans can attest to, nothing can allay

the concern of an anxious mother or a fearful

wife — and the grief of a family whose son will

not return.

Long Tan to Afghanistan is the deeply personal

story of soldiers preparing for battle and the

anguished wait of loved ones at home from whom

duty and service can demand the ultimate price.

The documentary has been described as a

powerful, insightful journey into the lives of

the soldiers of ahead of their deployment, their

families at home and the heart-wrenching impact

of war.

The emotions of leaving, the parallels of Vietnam

and Afghanistan, the trauma of losing mates

as the result of battle, operating in a hostile

environment and the eventual return home as

very different soldiers. It is a story that has been

unequalled in recent times except perhaps by

Chris Master’s A Careful War.

Michael Callan, Director General of the Defence

Community Organization that provides support

services to Defence families, said the documentary

examines the emotional investment of partners,

family and friends.

“It also looks at how the Defence Community

Organization prepares partners and families for

an operational deployment and how it supports

the families when their loved one is away.”

“This documentary is a celebration of the strength

and courage of the families supporting the men

and women who serve Australia’s national

interests,” Mr Callan said.

Produced under a partnership between the

Defence Community Organisation and Big Sky

Productions, Long Tan to Afghanistan, narrated

by Bryan Brown, is a documentary well worth

seeing. The commendable work of Denny Neave,

Adam Dodd (camera man) and the contribution

of Long Tan veterans and the soldiers and

families of 6 RAR brings an insight into a conflict

that many Australians remain ignorant about.

Sadly the major networks will never show this

must see documentary that is also wonderful

tribute to those who never returned home and

to those who did bearing injuries and scars.

Long Tan to Afghanistan is available from Big Sky

Publishers at www.bigskypublishing.com.au

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RSL On Service


SHIP LOSSES REMEMBERED

Seven survivors of HMAS Perth, which was sunk

off Java during World War II, have attended a

commemorative ceremony at the Australian War

Memorial to mark the 70th anniversary of the

ship’s sinking.

HMAS Perth was sunk on 28 February 1942

during the Battle of Sunda Strait. The battle

claimed the lives of 351 of HMAS Perth’s ship’s

company. American cruiser USS Houston was

also sunk in the battle, with a loss of 638 lives.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs attended

the commemorative ceremony and presented the

HMAS Perth veterans with an image of HMAS

Perth and USS Houston.

Members of the Royal Australian Navy also

paused on the first weekend in March to

remember the crew of the HMAS Yarra II,

which was sunk while escorting a small convoy

from Java to Australia when a superior force of

Japanese warships came into view.

The Australian sloop bravely turned towards the

enemy to defend her charges, but was mortally

out gunned. 138 Australian sailors died making

a final stand under the command of Lieutenant

Commander Robert W. Rankin. This act of

courage has since drawn national admiration and

praise. Yarra had a crew of 151 men of whom

only 13 survived. They spent five days in a life

raft before being rescued by a Dutch submarine.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AM,

CSC, RAN attended along with the sole surviving

witness to that day, Mr Bernard Higgins. Now 88,

Mr. Higgins was serving on TS Anking which

was part of the convoy being escorted by Yarra.

His vessel was also sunk that day. Vice Admiral

Griggs said the anniversary of HMAS Yarra’s loss

underlined the importance of the protection of

shipping and the importance of our sea laws.

“Last week Navy celebrated its 111th birthday

and it is appropriate that we remember our

journey to this point. On this important day, we

acknowledge the lives lost, the sacrifices made

and the selfless service given by tens of thousands

of fellow Australians.

“The story of Yarra is a special one. The ship had

seen action in the Mediterranean, the Middle

East and the Indian Ocean. This commemoration

also reminds all of us in this uniform what can be

asked of us as part of a combat force.”

The loss of the two ships in early 1942, immediately

after the bombing of Darwin and Broome, had a

significant impact on Australia’s morale

Pictured are Gavin Campbell and Fred Skeels, two

of the remaining survivors of the Battle of Sunda

Strait at the commemorative service during the

70th Anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait,

held at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

The commemorations followed other 70th

anniversaries in the fall of Singapore and the

bombing of Darwin.

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RSL On Service 19


OUR SERVING MEMBERS

KRYSTAL SMITH - HOME ON THE RANGE

New Norfolk’s Corporal Krystal Smith never

really caught the travel bug when she was

younger, but now her Army job has taken her

halfway around the world to Afghanistan —

again.

Krystal, 29, has specialized as a quartermaster.

These days she’s normally based in Townsville,

Queensland, but she deployed to Afghanistan’s

Uruzgan province in May 2011 and before

returning to Australia in February.

Krystal and her comrades in the task force are

mentoring the Afghan National Army so they

can better protect the Afghan people and enable

effective governance and development.

“I really enjoy being in the Army but I miss my

horses,” said Krystal.

“This is my second deployment to Afghanistan.

I was here for around six months in 2009 and

I really enjoyed that deployment. “I’ve also

deployed to Solomon Islands and I went to Papua

New Guinea for an exercise a year or so ago.

“But I’m really a home body and love nothing

more than spending time riding my horses and

heading bush with my dogs,” Krystal said.

Krystal is one of around 1550 Australian Defence

Force personnel currently in Afghanistan as part

of Australia’s contribution to the international

campaign against terrorism. “It was my mother

who suggested I join the Army. I thought she

was crazy, but seven years later I haven’t looked

back,” Krystal said. “In Afghanistan, I do the

purchasing for Tarin Kot base. When guys need

something it’s my job to get it from Dubai or

somewhere like that.

“I get a lot of satisfaction when I’m able to source

it, get it shipped into Afghanistan and out to

some remote patrol base a few days before the

guys are expecting it.”

When her deployment ends, Krystal is making

a beeline for Townsville to see her Arabian

gelding, Widgey. “Horses are my life. I miss

riding like crazy. My pride and joy and my life is

Widgey — he’s a 15-year-old chestnut Arabian.

“Home in Tasmania, I used to do a lot of dressage,

eventing, cross-country, show jumping,

anything involving horses,” Krystal said.

But Krystal has no plans to head home to New

Norfolk right away. “My family understands I’m

an infrequent caller, but I’m sure I’ll get down

there as soon as Widgey and I have become

reacquainted.”

JENNA DEAN - SILENT SERVICE IN SINGAPORE

When Jenna Dean left Devonport in Tasmania

to pursue a life of adventure and excitement she

didn’t dare dream that would include crashdiving

in a submarine and torpedoing ‘enemy’

warships.

After leaving Scotch Oakburn College in

Launceston, in 2006, Able Seaman Dean

joined the navy and is today a communications

specialist with the Collins class submarine,

HMAS Farncomb.

Able Seaman Dean recently sailed with

Farncomb from its base in Western Australia to

Singapore, to participate in a major multinational

exercise featuring some 18 warships, two

submarines and 60 combat aircraft. Farncomb

is one of five Royal Australian Navy vessels

participating in Exercise Bersama Lima, which

is being conducted on the Malaysian Peninsula

and in the South China Sea during October 19

to November 4.

Able Seaman Dean said Farncomb is here to help

the naval task-group to test and evaluate their

Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities. “It’s been

a fantastic experience to be a submariner and

sail to exotic destinations,” she said.

Able Seaman Dean, 25, said she joined the

Navy after leaving school and transferred to

the ‘Silent Service’ in pursuit of more career

challenges and rewards. She joined Farcomb

in August, and if the submarine could speak it

would sound just like Able Seaman Dean, who as

a communicator uses voice and data systems to

facilitate communications between the Collins

class submarine and other warships.

“It’s been a really cool exercise, allowing us to

‘sink’ enemy warships while evading detection

by sub-hunting aircraft,” she said. When not

involved in training serials with Farncomb, Able

Seaman Dean has enjoyed seeing the sights and

sounds of Singapore, which includes sampling

the local culture and cuisine. “It’s been very

exciting for a young person such as myself to

explore a different culture in a strange and exotic

land,” she said.

Able Seaman Dean said even though she is fully

occupied learning his trade as an Electronic

Warfare technician, his thoughts often turn

to home in Devonport, where her mother runs

Lyn’s Hair-dresser.

“I enjoy going home because I get a free haircut

from mum,” she said.

However, while training hard with Farncomb

Able Seaman Dean is already counting down

the days to her wedding to another submariner,

on January 12, 2013, after a courtship spanning

seven years.

Able Seaman Dean was one of 750 Australian

Defence Force personnel involved in Bersama

Lima 2011, which is being conducted by the Five

Powers Defence Agreements which includes

Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, the UK and

Australia

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of a

successful Five Powers Defence Agreements

(FPDA) illustrating the long-term commitment

of the founding members to Defence cooperation

and regional stability.

With over 80 per cent of the world’s trade seabound

and with nearly a quarter of it passing

through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore,

the FPDA continues to remain as an important

regional multilateral arrangement.

20

RSL On Service


OUR SERVING MEMBERS

CATHERINE STURGE - HOWRAH

Late October was a busy one for Howrah’s

Catherine Sturge, 45, with her mother, Gwenda,

and sister, Jennifer, definitely thinking of her.

The Army Corporal was in South Korea as part

of Australia’s Federation Guard contingent

at ceremonies to commemorate the 60th

anniversary of Australian involvement in the

Korean War (1950-53).

The UN-led international force’s first task

was to help South Korea push back the North

Korean invaders, and later it had to contend with

human wave attacks by Communist Chinese

reinforcements.

“After Elizabeth College I started work in

Accounts,” said Catherine. “By the time I was

32 I wanted to escape the nine-to-five. I was

looking for something more interesting and I

wanted to travel!”

After basic training Catherine first specialized

as Helicopter Ground Crew, before becoming

a Transport Specialist. She has already served

in Bougainville, the Persian Gulf, Iraq and

Afghanistan. Catherine then volunteered for

the Canberra-based Australia’s Federation

Guard. The ceremonial unit includes Navy,

Army and RAAF members, who all are hand

picked to represent the ADF.

“Korea was my first overseas trip with the Guard,”

said Catherine. “It included a number of highprofile

events so it was pretty nerve-wracking

— but exciting too. “It will be good to see the

country where Australians risked their lives as

the South Koreans were being overwhelmed.

“In Australia they call it the Forgotten War but

over here it’s a very different story. I was proud

to be there.”

‘LADY SOLDIERS’ – A GLIMPSE OF LIFE IN THE WRAAC

On 27th April 2012 the documentary film ‘Lady

Soldiers’, telling the stories of 16 women who

served in the Australian Army from the 1950s

to the 1990s, will be launched at the Gratwick

Club, Campbell Barracks, Swanbourne Western

Australia by Dr Sandra Wilson, Professor

of History at Murdoch University with an

introduction by Major Barry Willoughby,

Manager of the Army Museum of South

Australia.

Director and Producer and former Women’s

Royal Australian Army Corps (WRAAC)

member, Lyn Kane Dale, received a grant to

make the film from the Department of Veterans’

Affairs ‘Saluting their Service’ and she and

Cinematographer Samantha Bergersen, have

used the recorded voices of the women overlaid

with visual context composed of photographs

of them taken during their service plus Army

recruiting posters and brochures, newspaper

clippings, letters, postcards and other

memorabilia.

In the past women’s stories have often been

overlooked, especially the lives of ‘ordinary’

women. The majority of the women Lyn

interviewed said that they had not told their

families much about their Army service. Many

said they had never spoken of it at all and were

grateful to at last have the chance to talk about

that period of their lives.

They tell of the excitement at leaving home

for the first time and the great adventure of

travelling to Sydney for basic training. Once

there they had to deal with homesickness and

the difficulties of adjusting to Army life. They

tell of the training they received, doing jobs

that they loved, learning to live in barracks with

complete strangers, making friendships, many

of which have endured over the years, and being

given responsibility at a very young age.

A nurse tells of working overseas with wounded

soldiers during the Vietnam War. Another

young woman worked in signals in Singapore

in the 1970s. Others were scattered all around

Australia and they tell of interesting, funny

and sometimes sad times. One young woman’s

husband died of malaria in Vietnam without

ever seeing his baby daughter who was born

2 days after he left Australia. His 24 year old

widow was left to bring up their child on her

own. The women talk of living and working

with other women, romances and marriages and

sadness at having to leave the Army when they

wanted to marry. Some tell of being Army wives

and going on overseas postings with husbands

and children, some speak of problems associated

with being married to Vietnam veterans,

marriage break-ups and life after the Army. The

common thread running through their stories

is the camaraderie amongst the women and the

fact that they had to stand on their own two

feet at a very young age. All but three of the

16 women interviewed were teenagers when

they enlisted and all express gratitude that the

training and experience they had in the Army

led them to much better jobs back in civilian life.

Thirteen of the 16 women whose stories have

been recorded will be travelling from all over

Australia to Perth in April, to march in the

ANZAC Day parade and to attend the premiere

of ‘their’ film. Libby (Flemming) Perkins, former

President of the Ulverstone RSL Sub Branch, is

the only Tasmanian represented on the DVD.

In 2013 Lyn plans to use the transcripts of these

interviews with additional material from other

former servicewomen in a book also entitled

‘Lady Soldiers’ which will tell of the women’s

Army experiences in more depth.

“Lady Soldiers” DVD will be available for

purchase from the 27th April 2012 for a cost

of $30 (includes packaging) by contacting the

Director & Producer, Lyn Kane Dale on her

email lyn.dale99A@yahoo.com.au or Ph: No:

08 9418 3002.

RSL On Service 21


AROUND THE SUB BRANCHES

BEACONSFIELD

The Beaconsfield RSL Sub Branch Annual

Dinner was held on the 17th December 2011 at

the Rivera Hotel, Beauty Point. At the dinner

Long Service Awards (50 Year Certificates) were

presented to four members; Mr J McKenzie, Mr

R Watt, Mr TR Manion and Mr J Torney.

The Beaconsfield Sub Branch has recently

received a grant from the Department of

Veterans’ Affairs to have a protective coating

put onto its newly acquired decommissioned

Leopard tank and to also construct a safety

fence around the tank. These are the final

details which will complete a superb display.

The tank is located adjacent to the Beaconsfield

Memorial. The support from the West Tamar

Council in assisting the Sub Branch with this

project is gratefully acknowledged.

L-R: J McKenzie, R Watt, TR Manion and J Torney.

BRIGHTON GREEN PONDS

On Australia Day this year the Brighton Green

Ponds Sub Branch located at Kempton were

recognized with an award from the Southern

Midlands Council. Mayor, Tony Bisdee

presented the Sub Branch with a Certificate

of Appreciation from Keep Australia Beautiful

Tasmania within the category of Health and

Well Being. The certificate was annotated

with the words “With many activities, it is fast

becoming the social centre of Kempton.

Over the past few years the Sub Branch, through

the tireless efforts of its volunteer committee

and members has upgraded the rooms it

occupies adjacent to the Kempton Memorial

Hall and has largely increased its membership.

For a small ‘traditional’ country Sub Branch

the members do remarkable work to maintain

commemorative services every year at Kempton,

Bagdad and Pontville.

Mayor, Tony Bisdee making the presentation to

Sub Branch President, Ken Clarke

SPRING BAY

A Memorial Wall is just one of the many new

additions to the re-emerging Spring Bay RSL

Sub Branch. Unveiled late last year the State

Government funded Memorial Wall is seen

as a wonderful asset for the small regional

Sub Branch. In the past few years the Sub

Branch has completed a number of projects to

improve the look of its premises and increase

membership.

The then Club Secretary, Howard Harris said

the Sub Branch is extremely thankful for the

support it has received in completing the $4300

project. “We are totally happy with the outcome

as it looks exceptional from the road and it is

everything we wanted” Mr Harris said. “The

Council put in a lot of work towards the end,

putting concrete around the edges for us which

was much appreciated, on top of the money the

State Government gave us and the hours that our

fellows put into it. There would be well over 150

hours put into the whole project”.

The design of the Memorial Wall honours the

services of many groups that have given their

lives for our nation. Four life-size photos on the

wall and a wooden cross depict the additional

services from all wars and more modern

conflicts of Indonesia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Memorial Wall was officially opened by

Rebecca White MP representing the Premier.

The unveiling was performed in front of a

large gathering including the RSL executive,

members, friends and the public.

It now stands as a beacon of entry into the town

of Triabunna with illumination at night and

the life-size photos make a strong reminder of

people our Service personnel being involved in

conflicts. Congratulations to President, Murray

Watson and his committee at the Spring Bay

RSL Sub Branch for their exemplary efforts.

22

RSL On Service


AROUND THE SUB BRANCHES

SOUTH ARM

SOUTH ARM RSL SUB BRANCH TURNS 60

On Sunday 25th March 2012, The South

Arm RSL Sub Branch celebrated its very own

“Diamond Jubilee” birthday.

106 people attended the lunch to help South

Arm RSL Sub Branch celebrate this important

milestone of 60 years service, looking after its

veterans and serving the wider community.

The highlight of the lunch was the attendance

of His Excellency, The Hon Peter Underwood

AC, Governor of Tasmania who delivered the

main address and proposed a “Toast” to South

Arm RSL Sub Branch.

Other dignitaries who attended were The

Premier of Tasmania, The Hon Lara Giddings

MP, the Leader of the Opposition, The Hon

Will Hodgman MP, the Mayor of the City

of Clarence, Alderman Doug Chipman, the

Deputy Commissioner of DVA – Tasmania,

Ms Jan Hyde, Deputy State President, Mr Chris

Munday, Base Support Manager - Tasmania,

Mr Phil Spehr, our Patron, Mr Eddie Marlowe, a

Life Member of the League and “Rat of Tobruk”.

Presidents and representatives from the

following RSL Sub Branches included:

His Excellency, the Hon Peter Underwood AC with

Sub Branch President, Terry Roe

Lindisfarne

Huon

Cygnet

Greater Hobart

Primrose Sands

Kingston Beach

Lenah Valley

Sorell

Clarence

Claremont

His Excellency, the

Hon Peter Underwood

AC with Sub Branch

President, Terry Roe

During the lunch, two

significant presentations

were made. The first, an RSL State Certificate of

Appreciation was presented by His Excellency,

The Governor of Tasmania to Mr Morris

Larkins for ‘his outstanding commitment to

the South Arm RSL Sub Branch over a long

period of time’.

The second presentation was made to Clarence

RSL Sub Branch. It was a framed copy of the

original Minutes of the inaugural meeting held

on 23rd June 1952 when South Arm operated

as the South Arm Section of the Clarence RSL

Sub Branch. The Minutes were presented

to Clarence RSL Sub Branch President, Mr

Kerry Petrie. Making the presentation was

Mr Eddie Marlowe (Oleszkiowicz – as he was

known in 1952), and we believe Eddie to be

the last surviving founding member from that

inaugural meeting. He was assisted by South

Arm Sub Branch President, Terry Roe.

Standing: Allan Langley, Roy Whale; Tony Alexander; Peter Bruce OAM;

Mel Cooper (Kingston Beach); Terry Roe (South Arm); Robert Dick (Huon);

Kerry Petrie (Clarence) and Robert Fisher (Lindisfarne). Front: Eddie

Marlowe, Patron, Life Member of the League and “Rat of Tobruk”

Another highlight during the lunch was the

induction of three new members, Mr Hans

Willink and Nicholas Brooks – both Service

members) and one Affiliate member, Mrs

Pamela Banks-Smith.

Thank you to Deputy State President, Chris

Munday who represented the State President

and also assisted us with the photography.

All in all, everyone enjoyed themselves and once

again, the meals and hospitality shown to our

visitors by the RSL and Community Club were

first class.

ST HELENS-ST MARYS

St Helens-St Marys Sub Branch held their

annual luncheon on Sunday, 18th March with

a good attendance. Guests included Speaker of

the House of Assembly, the Hon Michael Polley

MP (a dedicated supporter of the East Coast

Veterans Centre), Tania Rattray MLC and the

new Mayor of the Break O’Day Council, Sarah

Schmerl.

Mr Max Franks, Mr Barney Fletcher and Mr Ray

Coltman were awarded with their Long Service

Awards (50yr certificate). Max and Barney

were not well enough to attend the function

and were given their certificates later in the day.

Hopefully they will be well enough to attend

the St Helens-St Marys Annual Luncheon for

“Over Eighties”, where the official presentation

will take place.

All St Helens-St Marys members who receive

Long Service Awards automatically become Life

members of the Sub Branch and their capitation

fees are paid from the Sub Branch Welfare

account.

Pictured L-R: Deputy State President, Chris

Munday, the Hon Michael Polley, Tania Rattray

MLC, Ray Coltman, Mayor Sarah Schmerl and

Sub Branch President, Wayne Cubitt.

RSL On Service 23


NAVY DENTIST SINKS TEETH INTO DOG SURGERY

The Navy and Air Force have combined with a

veterinary hospital to ease the painful toothaches

of a young Military Working Dog.

“Rocco” requires root canal surgery to repair

an existing injury and prevent future teething

problems.

would have been forced into a costly interstate

trip and longer period of recovery––until Navy

dentist Lieutenant Commander Daniel Allan

took on the challenge.

LCDR Allan said it was not unusual for uniformed

dentists to carry out urgent specialized procedures

on animals which provide the opportunity

to hone professional skills and build valuable

relationships with a local veterinary clinic.

Leading Aircraftwoman Teagan Bowden

and Rocco

Unfortunately with no currently qualified animal

dentists in the Northern Territory, Rocco and his

handler, Leading Aircraftswoman Tegan Bowden,

“I was approached by the RAAF working dog

section to assess one of their dogs with a dental

problem as there are no veterinary dentists in

Darwin,” Lieutenant Commander Allan said.

“After a thorough evaluation, we recognized that

the injury needed attention and worked through

a solution with the Parap Veterinary Hospital.

“Personally, it is giving me the opportunity to

work with other health care providers, albeit

animal ones, so that we can both learn from

each other and benefit our clients. It is also an

opportunity to work beyond the scope of normal

practice while still contributing to the dental

health of our ADF members.

“Undertaking this surgery also helps establish

links with the wider community and gives an

opportunity to show the ADF values all of its

members and the capabilities they provide.”

Parap Veterinary Hospital Practice Manager,

Alison Lawlor, said today’s cooperation was

Lieutenant Commander Daniel Allan

another example in a long history of supporting

Air Force in Darwin. “Our surgery has been

supporting the Air Force dogs for last 20 years

and we are pleased to be able to support them on

this occasion,” Ms Lawlor said.

LACW Bowden and MWD Rocco are employed

within 13SQN Security Police Flight to protect

assets and operations around the clock at RAAF

Darwin. This includes the provision of afterhours

security, crime prevention patrols and

emergency response.

Assembly Services

Are the proud service providers for

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Strictly Ballroom

03 6248 5383 Studio Rear of 22 Newtown Road Hobart

24

RSL On Service


Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia

Vietnam Veterans’ South West NSW and Wagga Inc

Email vvsouthwestnsw@gmail.com

P.O. Box 6323 Wagga Wagga NSW 2650

ABN 20 673 022 996

Established 2002 Honorary Member Kay Hull MP (ret)

TREASURER PRESIDENT Hon. SECRETARY

David Williams JP. Keith Poole Des Davie

(02) 69226014 (02) 69261214 (02) 6922 3855

0408 489 974 0418 692 566 0427 223 855

To all ESO’s, Veteran and Peacekeeping Organisations and Defence Force establishments

The “Murraguldrie Veterans Retreat” in the Murraguldrie State Forest and is managed and operated by the

VV South West NSW & Wagga Inc. The sub-branch committee manages the retreat and arranges Working

Bees and the general maintenance schedule. The retreat is funded through Visitor donations and at the present

time some sub-branch money as well as DVA grants for major projects; so all donations received from those

that use the retreat are spent on the retreat.

We are the only Veteran group in the South West NSW and Riverina running a retreat for Veterans, this

retreat started as a Vietnam Veterans Retreat in 2005 and we have now completed most of the facilities

planned for the retreat now being time to review our achievements and formulated an ongoing strategy for the

retreat. The members decided in October 2010 that we needed to extend the retreat availability to the wider

Veteran community and also to have an access umbrella that allows all War Veterans including those that

have served in the more recent conflicts and peace keeping theatres as well as those who have and are

currently serving in the defence forces so to signify this change the retreat name was changed to ‘The

Murraguldrie Veteran Retreat’. This change was officially launched in December 2010 at our Christmas

Luncheon where we were privileged to have the Commandant of ARTC Col Finney and RSM Buster Bettye

to unveil the new sign, this special occasion was celebrated by a large gathering of Veterans and their

families.

On completion of the shelter shed and toilet block in 2007 the retreat was opened to other than sub-branch

members; since then there has been a steady increase of visitors to the retreat.

We have seen visitors from all states and territories and many use it as their preferred stop over when

travelling the Hume Highway on their summer/winter migrations as well as a rest spot for a few days between

trips.

Its close proximity to the Highway and nestled in the foothills of the “Australian High Country” and only a

short drive to the High Country towns and dams with their spectacular scenery has seen many visitors change

their previous travelling routes to include the retreat this has seen most of our retreat visitors returning on

numerous occasions.

It has been good to see that the younger service personnel from the current conflict using our retreat as we

recently had a group of 60 stay for a couple of days and they are planning a return visit later in the year, it’s

great to see these young guys using this retreat.

To gain access to this retreat you need to contact one of the three designated retreat contacts whose names are

listed on our flyer. They will inform you about the retreat and any restriction in force during your intended

visit. Since this sub-branch is required to carry the public liability insurance for the retreat we need to record

your name in our register if you are not a members of the sub-branch; however all people using the retreat

must sign the visitors book and peruse the retreat rules which are located in the shelter shed.

On behalf of the committee

Keith Poole

President


NOTICES

BOER WAR COMMEMORATIVE DAY.

Heralding remembrance of those Tasmanians who served in South Africa (1899-1902)

The annual Boer War Commemorative Day is to

take place again at the usual venues and times.

Hobart - Sunday 3rd June 2012 at the Boer War

Memorial, Queen’s Domain, Hobart commencing

at 12 noon. It is planned that a plaque to the

memory of Nurse Elizabeth Orr will be unveiled.

Launceston - Sunday 10th June 2012 at the Boer

War Memorial, City Park, commencing at 12

noon.

Members of the public are invited to attend and

there will be an opportunity to lay a wreath or

floral tribute.

For inquiries (both venues) contact Organiser,

Reg Watson on Mob: 0409 975587 or Email: reg@

regwatson.com

Seeking Information on 1st Australian Armoured Division

Cate Clark is seeking information about the 1st

Australian Armoured Division 1942-1945. Having

recently published To Fight and Do Our Best –

a book devoted to dealing with the Armoured

Division during its stay in the region of Gunnedah

NSW in 1942/43 – Cate is now looking to expand

on the Division’s story.

In 1942 units of this elite Division took part in the

most extensive land exercises (manoeuvres) that

Australia had ever witnessed. In November of that

same year the 20,000 men of the Division were

then reorganised with half of the soldiers going to

Western Australia to guard Australia’s ‘back door’

and the remaining sent onto Queensland and to

a new Division – the 3rd Australian Armoured

Division. Cate intends to follow the soldiers and

to recount their story.

Cate is seeking any veterans that have not already

been contacted by her and also any residents of

the many towns that the Units passed through,

or called ‘home’, who would be interested in

contributing their recollections or photographs

of that time.

Contact Cate at: 0408 425564 or info@

writerightmedia.com.au. The sample chapter of To

Fight and Do Our Best at: www.writerightmedia.

com.au will illustrate the type of information

required and ‘Latest News’ at the same site will

detail the concept a little more fully.

Commendation For Gallantry For Service During World War II

The following was noted from the Defence

Honours & Awards website.

Looking for next-of-kin.

The men listed below have been posthumously

approved for the award of the Commendation

for Gallantry for their service during World War

II and to date their award has not been claimed.

If you are related to any of these men, or know

of someone who may be related, please contact

the Directorate of Honours & Awards’ telephone

enquiry line on 1800 111 321.

PTE Alexander John BELL

SGT Joseph Kenneth BELL

PTE Joseph BELL

GNR Thomas Stephen CUMMING

SGT Clifford Edmund DANAHER

PTE Victor Lawrence GALE

SIG Howard Frederick HARVEY

MAJ Alan MULL

GNR Arthur REEVE

Wanted: National Servicemen

Did you complete National Service between 1951

and 1959?

Are you interested in participating a research

project about your experiences?

I am an academic at the University of Sydney,

conducting an oral history project on the

experiences of men who participated in National

Service between 1951 and 1959. The project has

been funded by the Australian Army History

Unit. I’d like to talk to you about what National

Service was like and how it has affected your life.

You would be asked to either attend an interview

or focus group with other former National

Servicemen. Alternatively, I’m happy to send you

a list of questions for you to answer in writing.

If you’re interested in participating, please contact

me:

Dr Fiona Gill

Department of Sociology and Social Policy

University of Sydney

ph: (02)9351 6889

email: fiona.gill@sydney.edu.au

26

RSL On Service


NOTICES

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST TO PURCHASE

‘Artillery In Tasmania, 1901-2011’

Over the past 12 months Keith Glyde and I have been researching, documenting and compiling

a detailed history of ‘Artillery in Tasmania, 1901-2011’.

The final document comprises some 264 A4 pages containing text, supported by over 260

photographs (black & white & coloured), as well as maps, plans, documents, and tables.

It is proposed to publish a limited edition this book and we are seeking your support by

submitting an expression of interest to purchase a copy for $45 (plus $10 P&P if applicable.)

We have based the cost of this publication on a limited print run of 200 copies. Should there be

an interest in excess of this number; the cost per item will be reduced accordingly. Your copy

will be signed by both authors.

There is no requirement to pay for your copy at this time. We are only seeking your expression

of interest to purchase in an endeavour to ‘test the market’ and determine the number of copies

to print. Discount is available to bulk sales in excess of 10 copies per transaction.

See the attached flyer and order form as well as a copy of the Preface. Also see www.dmwyatt.

com/ for additional details.

Doug Wyatt and Keith Glyde

Phone: 03 62278840

Mobile: 0427 278840

Web: www.dmwyatt.com/

HISTORY OF THE 4TH FIELD AMBULANCE, 1st AIF

As we are presently midway through preparing

the History of the 4th Field Ambulance, 1st AIF,

we would like to take this opportunity for relatives

of members of this Unit to make contact with a

view of proofing their relatives entry in the Unit’s

pending Nominal Roll which will appear with this,

as yet unreleased Unit History. Those relatives of

Unit members who would like to see a photo of

their particular family member/members who

served with the 4th, included in the publication,

are asked to make such available, or advise that

such may be available for inclusion.

The 4th Field Ambulance was an original medical

Unit raised in1914 which sailed for Egypt, from

whence they later served throughout Gallipoli.

The unit later moved onto the Western Front and

Flanders where this Unit tended to the thousands

of wounded caused by some of the most vicious

fighting to take place during their three years

service in France & Belgium.

Along with a detailed narrative history of this

forgotten Unit’s war service between 1914-1919,

the Unit’s story will be accompanied by one of the

most detailed Nominal Roll’s yet provided for a

medical establishment of the 1st AIF.

Queries re inclusion of material, proofing of

material already on file and items for a permanent

display should be marked for attention to the

compilers, Sarah Wells and Carl Johnson via

email; carl.j@live.com.au or for phone enquiries:

Mobile 0457-428-631

The accompanying photograph is of the 4th Field

Ambulance’s football team taken in France 1918

Carl Johnson & Sarah Wells

2012 Signal Squadron Reunion In Hobart

The Tasmanian RA Sigs Association is sponsoring

the milestone 25thAnniversary Reunion for

former members of the Hobart Signal Squadrons

which were disbanded following changes to

Federal Government policy in 1987.

The reunion will be held over the annual Corps

Commemorative weekend 13/14 October 2012

and the Association is looking to contact as many

of the former ARA Cadre, CMF and AARES

Squadron members as possible to invite them to

join in the activities planned.

Former members seeking further details or

wishing to update a contact point should contact

the Association Secretary - Dick Goodwin on

(03)6229-6124 or email dickieg19@hotmail.com

RSL On Service 27


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VALENCIA

MSC ORCHESTRA - 7 NIGHTS

SPAIN

Valencia

Ibiza

FRANCE

Villefranche

Côte d’azur

Tunis

TUNISIA

Livorno

Florence

ITALY

Naples

Catania

FRANCE, SPAIN, TUNISIA, ITALY

CRUISE DEPARTS LIVORNO 14/10/12

DAY PORT OF CALL ARRIVE DEPART

1 Sun Livorno (Italy) .................................. - 19:00

2 Mon Villefranche (France) ..................... 07:00 14:00

3 Tue Valencia (Spain) .................................... 12:30 17:30

4 Wed Ibiza (Spain) ............................................... 01.00 13.00

5 Thu Tunis (Tunisia) ......................................... 13.30 19.30

6 Fri Catania (Italy) ......................................... 13.30 19.30

7 Sat Naples (Italy) .......................................... 09.00 17:00

8 Sun Livorno (Italy) .................................. 09:30 -

-

Cat

Cabin type

TWIN

SHARE

SINGLE

1 Inside cabin

$4,798 $5,627

4 Ocean view

$4,898 $5,827

6 Balcony cabin

$5,018 $6,067

12 Balcony suite

$5,593 $7,217

TOUR DEPARTS HOBART 09 OCTOBER 2012.

14 night fly/tour/cruise package from $4798pp*

This Tuscany Discovery tour package will be a truly unforgettable holiday! Fly to

Pisa with Qantas and enjoy 4 nights of pre cruise accommodation in San

Gimignano, plus exciting day tours with professional tour guides. Indulge in

local cuisine and soak up glorious historical sights before embarking on

MSC Orchestra for a stunning 7 night Mediterranean cruise.

PACKAGE FARES INCLUDE

FLORENCE

Economy airfare from Hobart to Pisa via London Heathrow with Qantas







Tuscan Hills with wine and music.












PHONE MSC CRUISES ON 1300 028 502 OR VISIT YOUR LOCAL TRAVEL AGENT.





Non

refundable/non transferable deposit of $850pp is due within 7 days of booking.


BOOK REVIEW

ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE OF

AUSTRALIA 1911-2011

Celebrating 100 years at Duntroon

By the Commanding officer and members of

the Royal Military College Duntroon

Publisher: Big Sky Publishing.

Paperback edition: $49.95

Book Review by Reg. A. Watson

RRP

It is a magnificent book; one which will amply

compliment the best of coffee tables. It’s 336

pages not only contains, Honour Boards

(including that of all cadets who have served

over the past one hundred years), historical

facts, the College’s structure, education, its

Spirit, traditions, values and modern day life

of the cadet at Duntroon.

The pages are full of quality photographs,

both old and new, adding to the exceptional

attraction of this volume, (2297mm x

254mm) vital to military historians.

The book is split into Seven Sections,

each containing its own sub-section. The

introduction is by Michael Jeffrey AC AO

(Mil) CVO, MC. Major General (Retired).

As an ex Governor-General of Australia,

Jeffrey made a number of visits to the Royal

Military College Duntroon.

In part he writes of the College, “Broadly

speaking, Duntroon’s charter has been to

produce battle leaders trained initially to

command thirty combats soldiers in war

and peace and to have developed in that

process a graduate’s future capacity to lead

companies, battalions, brigades, division,

other commands and supporting services”.

The Foreword is from Her Majesty, Queen

Elizabeth II, in which she states, “Since its

establishment in 1911, the Royal Military

College, Duntroon has held an esteemed

position in the training of Australian troops

for war and peace time service.”

The history of Duntroon goes back to the

Campbell family who had an original land

grant of 4,000 acres in 1806.

The property was named Duntroon, after the

Campbell family’s ancestral castle in Argyle,

Scotland.

After federation, Major General Sir Edward

Hutton KCB, KCMG, recommended that

the government establish a military college,

based on West Point, USA, The Royal

Military College of Canada (Kingston) and

Sandhurst, England.

Lord Kitchener, who came to Australia to

review the new nation’s defences, shared Sir

Edward’s vision. In 1910, Colonel W.T. Bridges

became the college’s first commandant.

Legislation was passed to allow admission

of New Zealand cadets.

The property Duntroon was leased 7th

November 1910 and the construction of the

College began. On the 27th June 1911, the

College was officially opened by Governor-

General, Lord Dudley with an intake of

42 cadets, which included ten from New

Zealand. Sadly, the first Commander, Major

General Bridges, when Commander of the

Australian Imperial Forces was killed at

Gallipoli, 15th May 1915. His final resting

place is at Duntroon.

From the very historical sections, the book

moves to highlight every aspect of Duntroon,

past and present.

Interestingly enough, because of financial

cuts, the College was moved to Victoria

Barracks in Sydney in 1931, only to be

relocated at the present site in 1936.

Everything is covered, from the cadet’s

life, the Chapels of Duntroon, its Colours,

Duntroon artistry, and much more. Its

international connections are strong,

accepting cadets from many countries within

the Australian region. The College enjoys

close ties with military colleges from Great

Britain, the United States of America and

Canada.

The Royal College of Duntroon is a place

of great tradition, some of which is very

colourful; nonetheless it has moved with the

times and has long established itself as one

of the greatest of such colleges in the world.

There are numerous photographs of the

100th anniversary celebrations; many of

those appearing in the photographs can be

easily recognised.

Two ex Duntroon graduates are honoured

in the book who have died whilst on service

in Afghanistan; Lt M.K. Fussell and Captain

B. Duffy.

There is also a limited edition hardback

presented in a custom designed Saifu cloth

hand bound and hinged box. The book is

gilt edge and includes satin ribbon marker.

RRP $179.

REG. A. WATSON.

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