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On Service Spring 2011 - RSL Tasmania

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No. 44 December 2011

Official publication for Returned & Services League of Australia

Tasmanian State Branch (inc.)


Inside this

ISSUE:

From the Editorial Desk 2

From the Presidents Desk 2

Chief Executive Officer’s Comment 3

Deputy President’s Report 4

Vice President’s Reports 4

RSL Clubs and Licensed Sub Branches Report 7

Bernard Hodgman - After the War 8

Acknowledgement of Donations to RSL (Queensland) Flood Appeal 10

Younger Veterans’ Memorial 10

State Congress 2011 11

Boer War Commemorations 13

RSL Tasmania Discount Rewards Scheme 14

Just Ask a Blonde 15

Howitzers 15

Conspicuous Gallantry Cross Awarded 16

Inaugural Tasmanian RSL Golf Challenge 17

Frank MacDonald MM Memorial Prize Tour 2011 18

Serving Tasmanians 20

Around the Sub Branches 22

NOTICES 25

Book Review 27

Anglesea Saved for Now 28

60th Anniversary of the WRAAC 30

HMAS Melbourne Disrupts Pirates 31

Farewell to Tasmanian World War II Hero 32

Spitfire Pilot Identified 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

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.

RSL Tasmanian Branch reserves the right to refuse or withdraw an

advertisement before publication if this advertisement is deemed to be in

conflict with the RSL or of an obscene nature.

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

Layout

Resilience Marketing Pty Ltd

Level 1 Level 1

19 Magnet Court 19 Magnet Court

SANDY BAY Tasmania 7005 SANDY BAY Tasmania 7005

(03) 6224 6888 (03) 6224 6888

Director: Gail McCulloch

gail@ resilience.com.au

COVER: “Poppy Man” with Elise Bird and Lauren von Wald of Albuera Street

Primary School at the Hobart Cenotaph prior to Remembrance Day

RSL On Service 1


FROM THE EDITORIAL DESK

As I write this column for the last edition

of ‘On Service’ for 2011,

I will admit that I am saddened.

As a younger veteran, I am saddened at the

three recent deaths in Afghanistan and

the wounding of seven other soldiers. I am

saddened about the death of Craftsman

Beau Pridue, the Army Reservist who

died in East Timor and Private Matthew

Lambert who was killed in Afghanistan in

August this year.

Of course there are those who have been

wounded in action and the families left

behind.

But what has really saddened me was that on

our worst day of casualties since Vietnam,

the media almost completely ignored the

incident because of the Qantas dispute.

ABC National News ran 18 minutes of

the Qantas shut down before switching

to the three deaths in Afghanistan.

There was nothing in the Qantas story

to prevent it being the second story but

the national broadcaster didn’t see it this

way. Newspapers, regional television and

radio also ran it further in their pages and

bulletins.

Perhaps it is my own perception but an

angry man waving his Qantas club card and

vowing never to board the Flying Kangaroo

again doesn’t constitute sacrifice. 68,000

people had their travel plans disrupted.

Since August five Australian soldiers and

their families have had their entire life plans

ended. 68,000 flyers will see their loved

ones again eventually – five Australian

soldiers won’t.

Phil Pyke

As this is the last edition for 2011, it is time

to wish everyone well for Christmas and

New Year. As you spend time with your

friends and families, take a few moments

to raise a glass of your favourite beverage to

those Defence and police personnel who are

serving somewhere on Australia’s borders

or overseas.

Until next year – stay safe.

Phil Pyke

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK

Welcome to this 2011 Christmas edition of

On Service”. Again, it has been a very busy

and challenging few months since my last

report, but I have enjoyed the opportunity

to meet many of you at the various functions

I have been able to attend. My aim to visit

most, if not all, of our sub-branches during

my term in office has progressed to 38 of

our 51 sub-branches, some on more than

one occasion. Hopefully, I will get to see

a few more in the next six months but as a

result of date clashes and because some subbranches

only hold functions on ANZAC

Day, or not at all, it is unlikely that I will get

the opportunity to visit you all before I step

down in May next year.

To better facilitate the coordination of

League activities in Tasmania, we have

set up an “Events Calendar” on the State

Branch web site (www.rsltas.org.au) with

the intention of promulgating the dates of

Annual General Meetings, Annual Dinners/

Luncheons and other significant functions

being held by all of our sub-branches. This is

designed to avoid clashes of activities in each

region so as to facilitate inter- sub branch

socializing. Such coordination, designed

to overcome social isolation particularly for

our older members, is an important facet of

the Leagues welfare obligations.

It is very pleasing to note that through the

efforts of our CEO, Noeleen Lincoln, our

solicitor, Bruce Curl, and the support of

all sub-branches of the RSL in Tasmania

we were recently granted Tax Concession

Charity (TCC) status. I congratulate you

all for a job well done. Our task now is to

make sure we achieve our TCC welfare

obligations and meet the Taxation Office

reporting requirements.

At the RSL National Congress in Melbourne

on the 20th & 21st of September our two

motions requesting that Governments

and private enterprise recommit to the

observance of one minutes silence at

11am on the 11th November; and for the

placement of a Memorial Plaque at the site

where LtCol Harry Murray VC, CMG, DSO

and Bar, DCM, Croix de Guerre, Companion

of the Order of St Michael and St George

won his Victoria Cross at Gueudecourt in

France (amended to be located at Pozieres

as investigations have determined the site

at Gueudecourt to be unsuitable); were

carried while our Motion in relation to the

extension of the Long Tan Bursary to sons

and daughters of post 1975 serving and exservice

members of the ADF was lost.

You may recall that in the last issue of “On

Service” I raised a couple of matters that had

received a fair degree of media and internet

coverage in recent times.

The first was the indexation of Military

Superannuation. A summary of the RSL

National Executive submission to the

Government on the 22nd of February 2010

is included elsewhere in this edition of “On

Service”. As I write this report we have still

not received a response and, as you are no

doubt aware, indexation continues to be

based on the CPI. Despite their pre and

post election rhetoric the Independents

and Greens in both Houses of the Federal

Parliament have failed to support or

initiate any actions to seek redress of this

iniquity. Should you wish to read the

complete submission it is available on the

RSL National web site at www.rsl.org.au . I

hasten to add; however, that indexation of

Military Superannuation is the number one

priority in the

RSL National

submission to

Government

for inclusion in

their 2011/2012

Budget.

Bill Kaine MBE

The second concerned an apparent lack

of respect for memorials erected to

commemorate the sacrifices made by

veterans who have paid with their life for the

freedoms we enjoy as a nation. After seeking

guidance from the State Executive and Sub-

Branches I have written to the Premier and

Leader of the State Opposition requesting

that they consider enacting Legislation

which would require those found guilty of

such offences to be subject to:


damage they have caused to the memorial

and its surrounds and that this obligation be

maintained until the debt is fully recovered,

regardless of their financial or family

situation;


of their age;


the local community at a public meeting

called for that purpose;


community service in the locality in which

the offence occurred;


conviction; and


acts of desecration.

I further recommended that the often used

defence of ‘under the influence of alcohol or

2

RSL On Service


FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK Cont.

drugs’ be disallowed for acts of this nature

as the decision to partake in such substance

abuse is a personal one and should not be

available to be used as a defence against such

acts of desecration.

On a broader note, I am sure that you are

all well aware that 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 dependants. This includes

representing the whole serving and exservice

community, not just those veterans

who have entitlements under Veterans

Affairs (ie. those who have qualifying service).

Most of our ex-servicewomen, until recently,

were not afforded the opportunity to qualify

and nor were most of those male members

who served in the ADF between the two

world wars and during the period following

Vietnam and up until our involvement in

Namibia in 1989. But all undertook to do

their duty as directed by the Government

of the day.

That having been said I feel that I need to

reiterate that the RSL, unlike many of the

other ESO, does not have a discrete group to

look after but must advocate for the welfare

and well-being needs of the whole serving

and ex-service community, including

members of the other ESO. To this end,

it is essential that the RSL maintain a nonpartisan

or Apolitical stance when dealing

with parliamentarians from the various

political parties - only the government of

the day is in a position to improve the lot

of our community, and who knows which

political party/parties will be in office

after each election. You may also be

aware that the RSL did not openly support

the ‘marginal seats’ campaign at the last

election, as advocated by many of the other

ESO, because of our need to stay Apolitical

as required by our Constitution. When all

political parties, other than the Government,

supported the case for fair indexation, it was

pretty evident that the campaign targeted

marginal seats held by the Government. The

worst case scenario was always going to be

that the Government was returned with

a tenuous hold on power. It is reasonable

to assume that the ‘Fair Go’ campaign

had some effect with the result being the

current situation of political uncertainty.

Under the circumstances, the Government

probably doesn’t think it owes the ex-service

community any favours anytime soon.

As the year draws to a close, I would especially

like to acknowledge all those members of

the Australian Defence Forces who have lost

their lives in the past year, and to those who

have suffered both physically and mentally

as a result of such service. And, of course,

the price paid by their families. On your

behalf, I thank them all for defending the

freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis.

“Lest we Forget”.

Finally, as the Christmas and New Year

holiday season approaches I would like to

thank all of you for your on-going support

to myself, the staff at State Branch and the

League membership throughout Tasmania.

May you all have a happy festive season and

a prosperous and healthy new year!

Keep safe & well.

Bill Kaine, State President

Footnote: In a recent private email

addressed to my colleagues on the RSL

National Executive I referred to a small

group of people, who continuously use the

internet to deride the RSL in a less than

complimentary manner. The resulting tirade

of abuse from some members of the group to

whom I referred, when my email was leaked

to the wider community, certainly justified

the concerns mentioned in my original email.

To that I make no apology. However, I do

apologize to any member of the wider serving

and ex-service community who may have

taken offence.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER’S COMMENT

Its year’s end – and again, what a year it’s been.

Congratulations to all our Sub Branches

who officially received their Tax Concession

Charity (TCC) status on the 3rd November,

2011, the date the Deed of Agreement with

the Australian Taxation Office was formally

signed by them.

We can now move ahead into 2011 and

concentrate on abiding by our obligations

of the Deed of Agreement, fulfilling our

charitable Objects and spending our money

for those recognized charitable purposes.

We have had a year of practice and now it’s

down to work. Sub Branches now need to

focus on maintaining their Volunteer Hours

Diaries and providing statistics as they are

called for, ensuring that a Welfare report is

tabled in their monthly Committee meetings

and getting on with doing all those things,

charitable and patriotic, the purpose of which

is our very existence.

Having spent almost three years on the TCC

exercise I can now look forward to completing

some tasks that have been put on the back

burner. I will be continually improving and

updating our RSL (Tasmania) website at www.

rsltas.org.au with as much information as I

believe is necessary for our members and

readers and of course, the general public who

need to research some information from time

to time.

We have had printed, by generosity of

RSL (SA Branch – thanks Sam), new

Corporate Sponsorship brochures which

will be distributed in December this year to

organizations and businesses who we believe

hold the RSL ideals highly and hopefully, will

come on board with the sponsorships. It is

an innovative way to bring some funding into

the State Branch and one which we have not

attempted previously. There are three classes

of Corporate Sponsorship, Gold, Silver and

Bronze. Each class has its own list of benefits

to the businesses who decide to take up the

sponsorship offer. We are confident that we

will receive some favourable responses early

in the New Year.

We will now move ahead with the restructure

of the State Executive having had a very

successful special meeting of our Sub Branches

recently at Longford. Hand in hand with

the restructure is the drafting of amendments

to our State

Constitution.

Once the

amendments

are drafted

legal opinion

will be sought

Noeleen Lincoln OAM

and the draft

amendments will

be circulated to all Sub Branches at the next

State Branch Workshops scheduled for early

February, 2012. This will allow plenty of time

for discussion and any further amendment if

necessary so that the agreed amendments can

be put into a motion in time for State Congress

2012.

There are some changes happening in 2012 at

the State Branch, namely the stepping down of

our State Membership Officer, Carol Batten.

Carol has volunteered her time for a number

of years in this role and it’s time for her to

have a well earned rest. We are not losing

Carol as she will still be assisting us on the

marketing side of the house. From January

2012 Tamara Harper will be taking over the

bulk of the State Membership Officer duties

and will be available to assist all Sub Branches

RSL On Service 3


CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER’S COMMENT Cont.

with any membership queries they may have.

We believe this is a good decision as Tamara is

present on a daily basis and her work schedule

will be amended to reflect the additional

duties. I wish to take this opportunity to

publicly thank Carol Batten for all those years

of dedicated service to the State Branch and

membership.

Thank you to our membership for your support

during the year. I wish to say a big thank

you to State President, Bill, to the dedicated

staff and volunteers at the State Branch and

thank you also to my counterparts and their

staff in the other RSL State Branches who

have assisted us. I would like to wish each

and every one of you a very happy and safe

Christmas and all the best for 2012.

Regards

Noeleen Lincoln

A WORD FROM THE DEPUTY STATE

PRESIDENT – CHRIS MUNDAY

As I write this, the poppies are on the streets

and it is two days to Remembrance Day. What

a year we have had. With the work our CEO,

Noeleen has done with our lawyer, Bruce

Curl putting in place the new Tax Exempt

Charity status for Sub Branches it would be

fair to say that RSL Tasmania Branch is now

in the best position it has ever been. Credit

where credit is due - Noeleen has done an

extraordinary job and we can now face the

future with a lot more confidence than we

have ever had in the past.

The majority of Sub Branches have returned

the questionnaire I sent out recently, and,

the results are:

1) The overwhelming majority of Sub

Branches want to see the introduction of a

“Junior Membership”. Having said that, this

is still going to a hard one to push through

at National level, but I will keep pushing. I

must reiterate here that this will always be

a matter for individual Sub Branches to run

with, or not.

2) More than 95% of Sub Branches want to

see a pin for our members who have Long

Service Award (50 Year Certificates). Once

again this will take work at a National level

and again, I will push very hard to see this

through.

I have had the pleasure of going to a few

Annual lunches this year and I must mention

one sad thing. John Hinchey, the President

of the Oatlands Sub Branch is leaving Tassie

for the North Island next year. John has

done a great job for Oatlands over the years.

He’s an ‘all round “good guy”, and will be

greatly missed.

Just a little reminder here to reiterate what

President, Bill was saying about registering

the dates for your Annual lunches/dinners

with ANZAC HOUSE, so that we can keep

others informed and where appropriate,

let Sub Branches know when they clash

with others having theirs on the same date.

The more you separate the dates, the more

chance you have of getting not only visitors

and guests, but State Branch representation

to your event.

Annual Lunches are a good way of catching

up with mates and running ideas past

others, as well as gaining some ideas that

may be very useful to you. If you have not had

an “annual” for some time, you may consider

even a simple BBQ for your members.

As I pen this, I have just packed up the

gear from the Remembrance Day service at

St Helens and I am very glad to be able to

report that numbers are still increasing. It

is fantastic to see the way schools are getting

more and more involved and indeed, how Sub

Branches are calling for this involvement.

As one of your Delegates at the recent

National Congress in Melbourne I found it

very interesting and informative.

Christmas is upon us so please be careful

out there, and have a safe and happy one.

Chris Munday

Chris Munday

REPORT FROM VICE PRESIDENT EASTERN

DIVISION - PETER WOOLFORD JP

Merry Christmas to all. Yes, that time is

here again as we all say the older we get the

faster the years go by. I represented the State

President at South Arm RSL to present State

Certificates of Appreciation to the ladies

that volunteer their time on ANZAC Day.

Congratulations to Sub Branch President,

Terry Roe for what was a great idea. I urge

all Sub Branches to give consideration to

rewarding their volunteers as we all know

they are the backbone of many Sub Branches.

.It has been a very busy three months with

Workshops and meetings. I believe the new

structure for the State Executive discussed at

the Longford meeting can only be beneficial

for the Tasmania Branch.

I have attended several Sub Branch luncheons

and enjoyed some good company over the

last few months. It is great to see the great

support from other Sub Branches at these

luncheons. To all the Sub Branches I have

not visited yet I will

make a concentrated

effort to visit you all in

the very near future.

I wish you and your

families a very Merry

Christmas and a great

New Year.

Peter Woolford JP

4

RSL On Service


REPORT FROM VICE PRESIDENT

SOUTHERN DIVISION - KARREN WALKER

Remembrance Day was well attended. It is

great to see the numbers have not dropped

off over the years and in fact they seem to

be increasing. This is a great testament

to how much people appreciate what our

Service men and women have done and are

still doing for Australia.

It seems that of late that some Sub Branches

have not been responding to invitations

from other Sub Branches so I remind you

all to remember your social etiquette. When

you receive an invitation to a function or

event please reply, as catering requires

exact numbers. It is very embarrassing for

the host if they do not have enough seating

arranged or God forbid, run out of food due

to unexpected guests.

As Christmas is now upon us please take

care as there will be more traffic on the roads

and as we know it can get wet at this time of

the year. Also be on the look out for family

and friends on the hot days as sunstroke and

dehydration can be deadly to both the young

and old.

So have an

enjoyable time and

watch over each

other. We will see Karren Walker

you all in the New

Year.

Yours in Service

Karren Walker

Ph: 0409471112

karren.walker@bigpond.com

REPORT FROM NORTH WEST VICE

PRESIDENT - KEVIN KNIGHT

I believe I have visited most Sub Branches

during the year and hopefully I am able visit

more before 2011 has slipped by. I have had

social visits to Wynyard, Devonport and

Smithton Sub Branches attended Dinners at

Burnie and Latrobe. By the time this edition

of the “On Service” reaches the members

Remembrance Day will have passed us by

and I hope all Sub Branches had a successful

day.

Reminder to all members that membership

will be due on the 1st of January. Sub

Branches - please forward capitation fees

to the State Branch when the invoice is

received for them. Your early attention to

this matter would be greatly appreciated by

the staff at headquarters. I feel obligated to

point out that some Sub Branches have been

extremely slow in attending to capitation fees

and I again request your early attention. If

your Sub Branch is having a problem please

feel free to contact me and every effort will

be made to correct your problem.

Zeehan Sub Branch recently hosted a

Welfare Course which was conducted by

TIP to give those members on the West

Coast an opportunity to qualify. Attending

for a refresher was also the State President,

Bill Kaine. I would have liked to attend

but other matters took precedent and I

was unavailable. I thank Zeehan for their

hospitality.

Many members would know that I have

more than an interest in the North West

and State RSL Bowls.

I regularly

attend the

North West RSL

Kevin Knight

Bowling day on

Mondays. It’s

a great way of keeping social interaction

between members and now that Affiliate

members have been accepted on the greens

it has become a greater social event for the

Diggers and in many cases wives/partners.

The North West has a regular attendance

of around fifty, if you are looking for a good

social day please contact me and I will point

you in the right direction.

Graham Deacon and his wife Sharyn, my

wife Marlene and I wish every one all the

best for the festive season. We trust that

you and your families will have a wonderful

time, good health and keep safe.

Regards to all

Kevin Knight

Strictly Ballroom

03 6248 5383 Studio Rear of 22 Newtown Road Hobart

RSL On Service 5


REPORT FROM VICE PRESIDENT NORTH

EAST DIVISION – KENT LUTTRELL

With the festive season fast approaching this is the

time of year when we are all busy with Christmas

functions and family gatherings. I would like to take

this opportunity to wish all a Merry Christmas and

Happy New Year.

The Launceston Remembrance Day ceremony was

well attended with local politicians and city council

members, the general public and local school children.

The luncheon at the Launceston RSL was enjoyed by all.

Thank you to those members who gave of their time

to prepare the lunch.

Within the next few months I plan to visit all sub

branches in regards to the new requirements for the

Tax Concession Charity status. I can be contacted

by mobile 0417474343 or email rokelutt@hotmail.com.

Regards to all

Kent Luttrell

Kent Luttrell

John King

Hearing Aid Clinics

80 George St, Launceston

1800 244 080

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Permanent sites:

Devonport - 8a Wenvoe St, 7310

Launceston - 80 George St, 7250

Moonah - 81 Main Road, 7009

Visiting Sites:

Blackmans Bay | Burnie | Claremont | Deloraine

Huonville | Longford | New Norfolk | Smithon | Ulverstone

RSL (TASMANIA) CLUBS AND LICENSED SUB

BRANCH REPORT

Chris Munday – Liaison Officer, RSL (Tasmania) Clubs and Licensed Sub Branches

By now all Clubs and Licensed Sub

Branches will be aware that the next “RSL

Tasmania Clubs and Licensed Sub Branches

Convention” is to be held at the Country

Club, Launceston 7th/8th February 2012.

Leah Freeburn has very kindly offered to help

me with the organization of the event and

in fact Leah is doing at least half the work.

Bare with us as we ask you to direct your

correspondence to us both, as then the left

hand will know what the right hand is doing.

The overwhelming consensus was to have

a one day Convention rather than two

days. We have taken that on board and are

organizing the Convention in this format.

Don’t forget to book your accommodation

soonest. There will be a “Meet n Greet” at

the Country Club, Launceston on Tuesday,

7th February 2012. The Convention starts

at 9am, Wednesday, 8th February finishing

with Dinner and dancing that evening. It

is highly recommended that you book

accommodation for both nights.

By the time this magazine goes to print the

details will be with you. I look forward

to your full support and attendance at the

Convention.

Regards

Chris Munday

6

RSL On Service


STATE WELFARE COORDINATOR’S

REPORT – CHRIS MUNDAY

G’day all.

Well, the big man in the bright red suit

will soon be among us again. It feels more

like 12 weeks rather than 12 months since

we last saw him. Please let me take this

opportunity to wish all our members a very

merry and safe Christmas.

Now that the new Tax Concession Charity

status is in place for the Sub Branches, it will

soon be time for committees to work out

how to spend their excess money. Obviously

how individual Sub Branches choose to

disperse funds is completely up to them but,

can I just point out that it may be time to

have a fresh look at this, as some of the old

ways are getting a little, well, old.

As we all agree, the first cab off the rank

should be ex Service persons in need. Now,

here we come to the first thing I would like

to point out. In the past, as a Sub Branch

President, I have been guilty of “ticking

and flicking” a request for help from an

individual, only to find out later that the

individual did not really need financial

help. There are folk out there who wore the

uniform and are only receiving the dole or

its equivalent. A little known fact is that the

dole, disability pension, old age pension and

Service Pension are exactly the same dollar

value, or so close to it as not to matter. These

folk, if that is all they are getting, are doing it

tough. Even someone on a Service Pension

and a low rate of disability “percentage” is

doing it tough, and, we need to be ready to

help them. A lot of them will be far too

proud to ask for help but a little bit of quiet

enquiry will normally turn up the required

information.

After that, we could look at the youth in our

areas. The local football or cricket clubs are

a good place to start. These days many of the

sporting clubs need help, particularly out in

the country.

The youth in rural areas have very little or

nothing to keep them “off the streets” and

before we complain about their attitude

etc. maybe we could extend the hand of

friendship to them. (What goes around, may

well come around).

In rural areas, quite often your local football

or cricket teams do not have an office or base

of any kind to work from. The concept of

them “pooling” resources is a good one.

Everyone can save money and it brings the

separate units closer.

You will find most

elderly service persons

in your area will have

played football or

cricket often on the

oval in their home

town. Taking an

elderly digger out to the football or cricket

can be very beneficial to both the digger and

the sporting club.

If Sub Branches have not already asked the

local football team about the concept of

an “ANZAC” game around the 25th April

you might like to try that. Get the oldest

digger involved with tossing the coin and

suddenly you have involvement between the

elderly and our youth. This concept has been

proven to work.

Don’t forget to make sure that no person who

wore the uniform is alone this Christmas.

Eat drink and be merry, but leave your car

keys at home. Once again, remember -

Courtesy and Care make accidents rare.

Regards

Chris Munday


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RSL On Service 7


REMEMBRANCE DAY AROUND TASMANIA

At the Hobart Cenotaph on the 11th day

of the 11th month in the year 2011 a large

crowd paid their respects to the fallen at the

RSL Tasmania Remembrance Day Service.

The wreath laying ceremony was led by

His Excellency, the Hon Peter Underwood

AC, Governor of Tasmania and following

him were representatives of Federal, State

and Local Governments, representatives

from Defence, DVA and numerous Ex

Service Organizations. The Australian

Army Band – Tasmania provided musical

accompaniment for the service and they

were joined by choirs from the Albuera

Street Primary School and the South Hobart

Primary School.

Making his debut this year during the

annual RSL Poppy Appeal in the lead up to

Remembrance Day was ‘Poppy Man’, a life

sized model covered in red poppies. Meeting

Poppy Man at the Hobart Cenotaph were

Elise Bird and Lauren von Wald from the

Albuera Street Primary School. Poppy Man

only arrived in the State a few days before

Remembrance Day so it is intended that he

be a busy lad next year and will appear in

various locations around Hobart during the

RSL Poppy Appeal.

Scottsdale

More than 250 people attended the

Remembrance Day service at the Scottsdale

Cenotaph, including a contingent from the

Tasmanian Light Horse Historical Troop.

The Light Horse Troop led the marchers

from the RSL Club. Sub Branch member, 89

year old George Willrath recited the poem

On Flanders Field” and Father John McKay

gave a short address. The Scottsdale Choir

led the singing of the National Anthem

and the hymns. Chainsaw sculptor, Eddie

Freeman, who had previously carved the

military figures at the Cenotaph, carved

and donated a wreath of poppies, with the

words “We Will Remember Them” across

the centre.

St Helens

More than 150 people attended the St

Helens Remembrance day Service to pay

their respects to the fallen. The 100 year

centenary of the Royal Australian Navy

was the theme of the service and speeches

were given on this topic by Ms Anne James,

Executive Officer, Department of Veterans’

Affairs, Joel Haley and Kirsten Forrest of

the St Helens High School, and RSL Deputy

State President, Mr Chris Munday.

The St Helens High School band entertained

with two songs which were both warmly

received by the crowd. “Pack up your

troubles” had most of the attendees singing

Mr ‘Curlie’ Peters and Mr Eric Newman lay a

wreath on behalf of the RAN

along.

As is the custom in St Helens, Australian

Flags were given to the families of Service

members who had passed away during the

past year and also on behalf of ‘Xena’ the

Explosives Detection Dog who has led the

St Helens Parade for several years but sadly

passed away during the year. Once again St

Helens drew larger crowd numbers than the

average around the State and Mr Munday

said he believed this was because of the

involvement of students and also because

St Helens did things at their Remembrance

services that other towns did not. Mr.

Munday told the crowd he was looking

forward to seeing a new President at the

helm of the St Helens-St Marys RSL Sub

Branch as he is stepping down in January

2011.

New plaques have been added to the rear

of the Memorial Wall and the poppies were

once again in full bloom along the mural

wall. A free sausage sizzle was again offered

to all who attended, and the St Helens RSL

Women’s Auxiliary also baked cakes etc.

which were laid out for the guests. The

general consensus was that this had been the

best Remembrance Day yet, and everybody

looked forward to ANZAC Day.

Beaconsfield

Former Senator, Guy Barnett LLB, LLM,

FAICD gave the Remembrance Day

address in Beaconsfield where a good crowd

attended the service which was conducted

by the Beaconsfield RSL Sub Branch. The

bugle calls were played by Mr Ray Veevers.

About twenty pupils from the Beaconsfield

Primary School attended. Mr Greg Amos,

the Sub Branch Secretary/Treasurer carried

out the dedication. Local churches were

represented by Mr Ian Partridge, Mr John

Schrale, Sister Francis, and Ted Woolf, the

Sub-Branch Chaplin. Sub Branch President,

Mr Colin Smee carried out the opening and

introductions

Left: Guy Barnett, Colin Smee and Sister Francis

8

RSL On Service


FRANK MACDONALD MM MEMORIAL PRIZE

WINNERS - 2011

Six Tasmanian students will visit significant

war sites in France and Belgium next year

after winning the Frank MacDonald MM

Memorial Prize. On the 4th October the

Minister for Education and Skills, Nick

McKim, announced the winners of the prize

which honours Tasmanian’s last World War

1 veteran, Frank MacDonald MM who died

in 2003 at the age of 107.

Mr McKim said “The prize was created by

the State Government and RSL Tasmania

to honour Frank’s memory and ensure

that Tasmanian students learn more about

our history and keep the ANZAC spirit

alive. Through this prize, students come to

appreciate not only the historical time and

dates of important events, but the stories

of courage, mateship and the finer details

of day to day life on the battlefields. To

date 39 Tasmanian students have had the

opportunity to experience this once in a

lifetime trip through the Frank MacDonald

MM Memorial Prize. The 2011 Prize was

open to year 9 Tasmanian students from

government and non-government schools,

as well as home-schooled students in the

same year level.”

In this year’s competition students had the

choice of two questions:

The questions were:

1. Approximately 8 million men died in

battle, 21 million were injured, and over 6

and a half million non-combatants were

killed in what is called “The Great War.” A

whole generation of men came to be known

to history as the “lost generation.” Outline

the main impact on Tasmania of such loss

and injury, both at the time and across

subsequent years; or

2. What evidence is there that the values

associated with the ANZAC Legend still

exist in Tasmania today?

Mr McKim said students were able to

The 2011 Frank MacDonald Memorial Prize Winners are:

Samantha Beswick (Wynyard High), Molly Cordwell (Ogilvie High), Robert Evans (Riverside High),

Nikayla Roach (Sacred Heart College), Jacqueline Smedley (Marist Regional College); and Josie Thompson

(Devonport High) Teachers accompanying the winners are Tim Dunham (Riverside High) and Wendy

Frost (Ogilvie High). RSL (Tasmania) representative – Mr Geoff Leitch

respond to the topic in either essay format or

an audio-visual/ICT format. “Schools short

listed three entries from the many received,

with 45 students from 37 government and

non-government schools throughout the

state entering the competition. Eleven

entries were then short-listed by The

History Teachers Association. The Frank

MacDonald MM Memorial Prize Steering

Committee then selected the final six

winners. I’d like to congratulate all of the

finalists and winners on their outstanding

entries.”

Mr McKim went on to say “the Frank

MacDonald MM Memorial Prize is of

significant benefit to all Tasmanians,

promoting the continuing remembrance,

knowledge and understanding of Tasmanian

and Australian war history and significant

events in history in general.”

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RSL On Service 9


INDEXATION OF MILITARY SUPERANNUATION

PAYMENTS

A Submission to Government by The Returned & Services League of Australia

(The following extracts are from a

comprehensive submission by the RSL

National Executive in support of fair

indexation of Military Superannuation.

The submission was forwarded to the Prime

Minister, with copies to the Minister for

Finance and Deregulation and the Minister

for Veterans Affairs on 22 February 2010.

At the date this report was prepared for this

issue of “On Service” the Government had

still not responded. The full submission is

available on the National RSL web site at

www.rsl.org.au. )

“1. Introduction

1.1 Indexation of payments to beneficiaries

of Australia’s three military superannuation

schemes is provided for in relevant legislation

and reflects a long standing intention of the

Commonwealth Parliament that military

superannuation pension entitlements should

not erode in purchasing power over time.

1.2 This aim has not been achieved because

Governments have used the Consumer Price

Index to adjust military superannuation

payments. This index is a measure of

inflation and does not adjust for cost of living

increases.

1.3 A consequence is that military

superannuants have experienced a steady

decline in the purchasing power of their

pensions with some having to resort to

demeaning requests for financial assistance.”

“2. Executive Summary

2.1 . . . (omitted – see paragraph 12.7

below.) . . .

2.2 This submission arises from the

legitimate concern of RSL members that the

decision of Government to continue using

the measure of inflation, the Consumer

Price Index, when indexing military

superannuation payments, is unfair and

fails to recognise the difference between

civilian and military service. It shows by

way of a comparison of indexation figures

for the Consumer Price Index and the Male

Total Average Weekly Earnings Index for the

half decade 2002-2007 the extent to which

military superannuants are disadvantaged.

2.3 The submission identifies the

inconsistency that the indexation of military

superannuation is virtually the only issue

related to service in Australia’s armed forces

aligned to civilian standards.

It shows that since Federation, Members of

the House of Representatives and Senators

have legislated for almost all aspects

of service in the nation’s armed forces,

including superannuation schemes, because

of the separateness of the requirements of

military service. Of equal importance, the

submission reminds readers that former

members of the armed forces remain

members of the “Defence Family” after

completion of full time service, with many

continuing on as members of the Defence

Reserve.

2.4 In addition, the submission shows that

Parliamentary inquiries have supported

indexation matching cost of living increases

whereas Government inquiries have backed

the continued use of indexation geared to

inflation, and demonstrates the impropriety

of using the civilian wage setting determinant

“productivity” in making judgements about

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10

RSL On Service


INDEXATION OF MILITARY SUPERANNUATION

PAYMENTS Cont.

the activities of those serving in the armed

forces.”

“12. Summary

12.1 This examination of an intractable

issue impacting adversely on citizens with

past service in the Australian Defence

Force brings into sharp focus a fundamental

question about the Australian democracy.

Which body is paramount? The Parliament

elected by the Australian people or the

government appointed by those elected in

the lower house of Parliament?

12.2 The RSL holds that Parliament is

paramount and contends that only this

representative body of the people has the

authority to make decisions on issues such

as that raised in this submission not least

because they impact on the long term

security of the nation.

12.3 The extraordinarily explicit Terms

of Reference provided to the ministerially

appointed 2007 inquiry into military

superannuation is an example of the

determination of Governments seeking to

circumvent the will of the Parliament. There

is no indication in these Terms of Reference

that the

Minister paid any heed to the findings

and recommendations of the Senate Select

Committee less than half a decade earlier.

12.4 As has been previously noted, the

Australian Defence Force experienced

great difficulty in retaining trained and

experienced personnel particularly in key

technical specialisations in the period

immediately prior to the authorisation of the

2007 review. The manning situation in some

musterings and specialisations was critical

and one of the disincentives to continued

service was a perception amongst serving

members that the military superannuation

benefits on offer after leaving the Australian

Defence Force after a long period of service

were less than reasonable. Why otherwise

would the Government of the day have

authorised an expensive review of this

matter when, as has been recorded above,

a Senate select committee had done almost

the same thing only a few years earlier?

12.5 In making this point of principle,

the RSL intends no explicit or implicit

criticism of the three Australians who

undertook the 2007 review of military

superannuation – or of Mr Matthews who

undertook the more recent 2008 review of a

smaller aspect of the same subject. Instead

we make the point that these reviewers were

constrained by their Terms of Reference as

to what they could examine – and that this

was not the case for earlier Parliamentary

inquiries where Members of the House of

Representatives and Senators were free to

inquire much more broadly.

12.6 It is therefore no surprise that both the

Joint Select Committee of the Parliament

in 1972 and theSenate Select Committee

of 2001 reached the conclusion that the

indexation of military superannuation

pensions should be undertaken by reference

to an index such as average weekly

earnings that more accurately reflected

the costs of living than did the Consumer

Price Index. Nor it is a surprise that this

strong recommendation of the elected

representatives of the Australian people

was not mirrored in the superannuation

indexation review reports of 2007 and 2008

undertaken by unelected appointees of the

Commonwealth Government.

12.7 The RSL:

a. advocates the adoption of an indexation

regime for military superannuation pensions

matching cost of living increases;

b. contends that the nexus between

military superannuation schemes and

other Commonwealth superannuation

schemes for indexation of payments is a

policy aberration, is inconsistent with the

legislative base of the schemes, is unjust and

recommends it be abandoned;

c. considers that the findings of the 2008

review of the indexation of superannuation

are questionable and its recommendations

unsafe because the inquiry terms of

reference did not recognize the fact that

the Commonwealth Parliament has thrice

legislated for military superannuation

schemes separate from civilian

superannuation schemes;

d. believes there is a divergence between the

intent of the Parliament and the actions of

Governments in dealing with the indexation

of military superannuation and with the

need for separate boards of management for

military superannuation schemes to include

military representatives;

e. acknowledges that an extra cost to

the taxpayer is involved and suggests an

innovative means of obtaining a partial

financial offset for this; and

f. forecasts further RSL submissions about

other less than satisfactory aspects of

military superannuation schemes.”

RSL POPPY APPEAL 2011

This November was the RSL (Tasmania)

State Branch most successful Poppy Appeal.

This was overwhelmingly attributed to the

number of volunteers, and particularly our

Servicemen and woman who answered our

call for help to sell the poppies for us in and

around Hobart.

As a very small State Branch, we are very

light on numbers on the ground when it

comes to appeals, but thanks to the soldiers

of the 12/40th Battalion RTR and the sailors

from the Tasmanian Detachment of the

Australian Navy Band we were able to have

people selling poppies on the streets for

the full week leading up to and including

Remembrance Day.

This was the first year that we have enlisted

the help of our local uniformed personnel

and their support and enthusiasm was

amazing.

Between them they raised over $12,000

which will go towards our RSL Welfare

Funds.

On behalf of the State President, and member

of the RSL (Tasmania) State Branch we wish

to formally thank all who gave generously of

their own time to assist us. State Certificates

of Appreciation have been presented to those

units and individuals who participated.

RSL On Service 11


STATE BRANCH VISIT TO KING ISLAND

It had been many years since anyone from the

State Executive had visited the King Island

RSL Sub Branch. Sub Branch President,

Bernard Hodgman OAM was becoming

very insistent, and as anyone knows, when

Bernard is insistent, one has to act! So, plans

were made for the State President, Bill Kaine,

Deputy State President, Chris Munday, State

CEO, Noeleen Lincoln, and Honorary State

Treasurer, Wayne Cargill to visit the island

for two days in early August this year.

Herein lay the dilemma…how to get there?

Now it is no secret that the CEO isn’t a great

fan of ‘teeny weeny’ airlines, but it became

apparent very quickly that the Deputy State

President isn’t either! The choice was – fly

domestic to Melbourne then from there to

King Island on REX about as teeny weeny as

the CEO likes to get, or fly very teeny weeny

airlines by way of Tasair out of Devonport

direct to King Island. Common sense

prevailed and the direct flight was booked.

To our surprise, it was probably one of the

smoothest flights we’ve ever undertaken,

even though the CEO didn’t open her eyes

until we landed. The funniest part of the

flight was prior to take off, watching the

pilot wind up the propellers and hoping to

Heaven that it was a decent rubber band.

Upon landing on the island, we hired a car

and headed for the Parers Hotel in Currie

and once settled in we set off to meet with

Sub Branch President, Bernard who lives in

the town. Bernard took us on a little tour of

the Sub Branch rooms and memorial. We

were astounded at some of the memorabilia

and made a commitment to assist with some

grants for some upgrades etc when we got

home.

After joining Bernard for coffee we set off

to explore some of the island with the CEO

at the wheel. Now apparently the local

custom has it that the driver must raise the

fore-finger at all oncoming traffic by way of

a greeting. The CEO was managing this

very well despite the ever present danger

of roaming peacocks and kangaroos, and

worse still, the constant interjections

from the three male passengers. On the

odd occasion she forgot the greeting and

was promptly chastised by the Hon State

Treasurer from the back seat and called ‘that

snooty tourist’. Our visit to the King Island

Cheese Factory was delightful. There is a

cheese tasting room where one can sample

some fabulous local cheeses and have the

opportunity to buy on the way out at heavily

discounted prices. We all probably took

much longer sampling the goods than what

would be considered polite! Having made

our selections to be collected the next day,

we again hit the road.

That evening Bernard had arranged a dinner

for us at the King Island Club with the Sub

Branch members. It was a wonderful

evening with lots of laughs. The members

of the King Island Sub Branch are a very

dedicated group of people and we have no

fear that the Sub Branch will be in good

hands and survive well into the future.

On day two we again explored the

island. This time the State President

was the dedicated driver. Despite his best

Dinner with the King Island Sub Branch members

Cape Wickham Lighthouse

attempts, he too was called ‘snooty tourist’

from the back seat passengers. But in his

defence we drove across to the eastern

side of the island to Naracoopa which is

most definitely ‘kangaroo hell’ and it was

impossible for President Bill to take his eyes

off the road, much less concentrate on the

one finger greeting to the locals. Never had

we seen so many kangaroos, they were on

the sides of the roads by the dozens. We

also drove to the northern tip of the island to

Cape Wickam, where still stands Australia’s

largest lighthouse.

Having met many of the Sub Branch

members the night before at dinner, we had

been given many invitations to ‘drop in for

coffee’ during our travels on day two. We

were afforded wonderful hospitality from

a very dear lady, Mrs Pearl Copeman who

resides on an alpaca farm, and also from

the Sub Branch Treasurer and his wife,

Frank and Maureen Williams who live at

Yambacoona which was on the way back

from the Cape Wickham Lighthouse.

All in all, our two day visit ended much too

briefly with our second to last stop being

back at Bernard’s for a farewell coffee. We

headed to the airport via the King Island

Cheese Factory to buy our goodies that we

had selected the day before, and when ready

to leave had to go in search of our Hon State

Treasurer who was once again in the cheese

sampling room.

Thank you so much, President Bernard and

all the members of the Sub Branch who we

met for making our visit one of the most

memorable we have undertaken.

12

RSL On Service


COLOURS PRESENTED TO ROYAL MILITARY

COLLEGE

Her Majesty inspects the Royal Military College Honour Guard

In front of over five thousand spectators,

the cadets and staff of the Royal Military

College of Australia conducted a parade

fit for a Queen to mark the presentation of

new Queen’s and Regimental Colours to the

College, in its centenary year.

During the parade, Her Majesty, Queen

Elizabeth II formally handed over the

Regimental Colours to Under Officer

Samuel Goldspring and Senior Under

Officer Darran Charles.

Commandant of the Royal Military College

of Australia, Brigadier David Luhrs, said

the Colours, which were last presented to

the Royal Military College in 1988, are the

symbol of the military unit and bear the

battle honours granted in recognition of

gallant deeds performed by its members.

“The Colours are a treasured College

possession, they represent the faith of the

Monarchy in an institution that has for one

hundred years produced Army officers and

leaders who have served Australia on the

world stage,” Brigadier Luhrs said.

“They are also a reminder of the men and

women who came before us and who

also served under these colours; this link

through time is what makes it such a special

day, particularly given the number of former

graduates who were able to be here. We have

graduates from as far back as the class of

1954. For me personally as a graduate of

Duntroon it is such a privilege to return

as the Commandant and experience

such a significant occasion with the next

generation of leaders.”

His Majesty King George VI first

presented Colours to the Corps of Staff

Cadets on 10 May 1927 when, he visited

Australia, as Duke of York.

However while it is a rare occasion for

Her Majesty to present Colours to an

Australian Army unit, the Queen has

previously presented Colours to the Royal

Military College at three parades since

ascending to the throne.

On 17 February 1954 Her Majesty Queen

Elizabeth II presented new colours to the

Corps. These, in turn, were replaced on 27

April 1970. Her Majesty presented a further

set of new colours on 10 May 1988.

Commanding Officer of the Royal Military

College, Duntroon, Lieutenant Colonel

Jason Hedges, said the ritual of parading

the colours is always a special occasion

that serves as a reminder of Duntroon’s

rich history.

“That we got to perform this particular

parade for Her Majesty, in our centenary

year, makes it even more spectacular and it’s

a memory the cadets will cherish long after

graduation,” Lieutenant Colonel Hedges

said.

The New Queens and Regimental Colours that are draped over the drums

from the Royal Military College Band that made up the Alter for the blessing

of the Colours.

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II formally hands over the Regimental Colours

to Under Officer Samuel Goldspring and Senior Under Officer Darran

Charles

RSL On Service 13


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IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL BEING

A new booklet to help current and former

serving Australian Defence Force members

manage the challenges in transitioning to

civilian life was launched in October in the

lead up to World Mental Health Day.

“With many servicemen and

women being deployed, often

more than once, the Government

recognises the potential for

mental health issues to arise.”

Mental Health and Wellbeing after Military

Service provides information and advice

for current and former serving personnel,

and their families, about mental health and

wellbeing after military service.

“Monday is World Mental Health Day— and

in the lead up to that it is only appropriate

that we promote mental wellness, resilience

and how to cope with life’s significant

changes,” said Veterans’ Affairs Minister,

Mr Warren Snowdon.

“Experience shows us on average non-officer

ranks separate from the ADF in their late

20s, most go on to pursue diverse careers

outside the military.

“Many are in long-term relationships and

have children so it’s important to address

the challenges of transition not just for

themselves, but their families too,”

Mental Health and Wellbeing after Military

Service was developed in consultation with

the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic

Mental Health and includes an extensive

section on self-help management strategies.

Mr Snowdon said the book was written

to target younger veterans and addresses

a broad range of mental health problems,

incorporating evidence-based treatments

and strategies.

“With many servicemen and women

being deployed, often more than once, the

Government recognises the potential for

mental health issues to arise.

“We are now doing more than ever to

help current and former serving members

identify and manage issues before they

escalate.

“It is our hope that resources such as the

Mental Health and Wellbeing after Military

Service booklet will encourage ADF member

and veterans to consider their mental health

and seek assistance, should they require it,

from one of the many professional support

structures available to them,” he said.

Veterans’ Health Week (24 to 30 October)

this year focuses on mental wellness, with

activities planned around the country

encouraging members of the veteran

community to continue to build resilience,

strengthen friendships and promote

leadership.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has a

range of tools to help the veteran community

with mental wellness. They include an

interactive website to help address the

challenges of transition, the Wellbeing

Toolbox, mental health portal At Ease, and

The Right Mix, to help manage issues with

alcohol.

“I would like to thank the Veterans and

Veterans Families Counselling Service

(VVCS) for its tireless work providing

support to almost 20,000 veterans and

family members each year.

“As we approach Veterans’ Health Week

we recognize the specialized, free and

confidential services provided by VVCS and

remind veterans and their families that help

is available 24 hours a day across Australia

by phoning 1800 011 046,” Mr Snowdon

said.

The Support to Wounded, Injured and Ill

Program (SWIIP) is now providing support

to ADF members dealing with injury and

physical and mental health issues and

helping them with the transition to civilian

life.

For more information about mental health

and the new booklet, visit www.at-ease.dva.

gov.au

14

RSL On Service


JUST ASK A

BLONDE...

13 Brisbane Street Launceston

Tasmania 7250

Tel +61 (03) 6332 4666

Fax: +61 (0)3 6331 5707

www.commodoreregent.com.au

It’s the time of year when Blondie

is all out of anecdotes, wise words

and details of life’s little moments.

All that is left to do is for her to wish

each and every one of her readers

a very safe, healthy and happy

Christmas Season and a wonderful

and prosperous New Year.

Until 2012…….

Commodore

Regent and

Midcity Hotel

are very happy

to quote for

Vet’s Reunions

for groups.

As well as

offering free

room upgrades

to next room

type

(subject to availability)

Betty and Marj played cards every day at their Sunnyside Retirement

Home. They had been playing cards every day for years and were

both now well into their 80s. This particular day, as usual, they had

been playing cards for an hour or so, chattering away and laughing as

they always did. Then all went silent. The silence lasted about five

minutes. Betty said to Marj “are you alright? You’ve gone very quiet”

Marj looked at her friend with a blank expression on her face and

eventually said “well yes and I know this sounds awful, but I can’t

remember your name? what is it again?” There was another moment

of silence and then Betty said “how soon do you want to know?”

Cnr Elizabeth and Bathurst Street

Hobart 7000

Tel: (03) 6234 6333

Fax: (03) 6231 0898

www.hobartmidcity.com.au

RSL On Service 15


‘DUST OF URUZGAN’ DEFINES YOUNGER

GENERATION

Take a public servant, add in a mix of

unique experiences with Australian forces

in Afghanistan and other operational zones,

overlay these elements with a love of music –

and you have talented Australian songwriter

Fred Smith.

Recently returned from an 18 month stint

working for the Dept of Foreign Affairs

and Trade in Uruzgan, Fred has produced

album of songs called Dust of Uruzgan. The

album has been getting rave reviews, and

is raising public awareness of the realities

for Australian and coalition soldiers on the

ground in Afghanistan.

He was the first Australian DFAT Officer to

be posted to Uruzgan in July 2009, serving

for 18 months in the province alongside

members from 1 RAR, 6 RAR and 5 RAR,

working for a year at the Multinational Base

in Tarin Kowt before leading a PRT District

Team up to FOB Mirwais in the Chora

Valley following the Dutch withdrawal.

From this very unique experience, Fred has

written a collection of powerful songs from

his experiences, now released on a CD Dust

of Uruzgan.

I first heard Fred on ABC Radio when a

channel change broke into the title track

of Dust of Uruzgan. Without knowing

anything about Fred, I knew immediately

from the words that he was writing from a

very personal perspective.

To me, Dust of Uruzgan is as defining to the

younger veteran generation who have served

in the MEAO as John Schumann’s I Was

Only Nineteen is to the Vietnam generation.

Fred is currently on tour promoting the

album, with his performances conducted

against a backdrop of images taken by the

talented Defence

photographers of

the 1st Joint Public

Affairs Unit –

arguably the ADF’s

most deployed (and

overlooked) unit.

Youtube has a unique

rendition of Dust of

Uruzgan where Fred

performs a rendition

with a group of

Afghan musicians.

Although the vision

is shaky, it is a

great version and

well worth a look.

Fred states in the attached blog, the local

musicians returned to Kandahar and were

never seen again.

Through the title track, Fred takes the

listener into a deep insight of the complex

environment in which Australia finds

itself in Afghanistan. Australia is a nation

at peace with its Defence force at war and

that most of the public fail to understand

the personal challenges of those soldiers

on these operations, including the loss of

mates. Listening to Dust of Uruzgan and the

other eleven tracks gives the listener a raw

exposure unlike any other generated media.

Taliban Fighting Man takes the listener into

the unique perspective from a US officer

heading home on leave between completing

operations in Iraq and commencing

operations in Afghanistan.

A tribute to two engineers, Sappers Jacob

Moerland and Darren Smith is played out

in Sapper’s Lullaby – a song guaranteed to

bring the tears to

one’s eyes.

Stephen Fitzpatrick

of The Weekend

Australian Review

“Cover Story” (July

30 2011) wrote that

Fred “continues

a tradition of

profoundly affecting

Australians-atwar

ballads that

includes Eric Bogle’s

and the band played

Waltzing Matilda,

Don Walker’s

Khe Sanh (Cold

Chisel) and John

Schumann’s I was only 19”

When one considers the many war ballads

generated out of the United States, Australia

has very few. But these few are very

memorable in the psyche of a particular

generation. I believe Dust of Uruzgan has

already become part of that unique club and

tragic recent events in Afghanistan reinforce

this perspective.

All younger veterans, irrespective of whether

they’ve served on war-like, peacekeeping or

humanitarian operations, should get along

to catch Fred in concert or at least get hold

of the CD.

His tracks are also available on iTunes or

via Fred’s website www.fredsmith.com.au

where tour dates and venues are also posted.

Other reviews:

“These 12 songs have a singular power and

emotional honesty, because Smith was

actually there”

Warwick McFadyen, The Saturday Age, 30

July 2011

“an exceptional songwriter and certainly the

equal of Bogle, Walker and Schumann,”

Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald

‘Review of the Week’ 6–7 August 2011

“There’s so much vacuous BS around, it’s

a delight to hear songs well-crafted, with

something to say.”

John Schumann (ex Redgum)

Images: courtesy Fred Smith.

Photographer: Leading Seaman Paul

Berry 1JPAU

16

RSL On Service


FROM VIETNAM TO THE SOLOMON ISLANDS

Image and text courtesy of Department

of Defence

Not many people can say they have deployed

on two operations over 40 years apart but

for Keith Moodie, it’s true.

Army Reservist, Keith celebrated his 61st

birthday on 14 July while deployed in the

Solomon Islands some 43 years after his

time as a Tank Gunner in Vietnam.

He said he could not compare the two

operations.

“Vietnam was an undeclared war,” he said.

“You knew you could get hit because there

was an active war going on between the

north and south. Here in Solomon Islands

we are peace-keeping and trying to help the

country to become self-reliant.”

During his Vietnam tour Keith was a Tank

Gunner in C Squadron with the Centurion

tanks. During two different incidents in

1968 and 1969 his section was hit by land

mines.

“We had our share of good times and bad

times but no matter where you go freedom

costs. The day after the first incident in

1968, one of my mates, Mick Hannaford

was killed by a mine. The following year

in Long Hai, a guy in my tent, Jimmy Kerr

also died. War costs lives.”

Following Vietnam, Keith discharged from

the Regular Army but, feeling something

was missing, he joined the Reserves in

1987 and was posted back to C Squadron,

1 Armoured Regt.

“The recruiting officer told me they had

become a Reserve unit,” he said. “I was in

C Squadron in Vietnam — and I was one of

the first guys to go in as a Reserve member.”

Since re-enlisting in the Army, Keith has

spent time at Bandiana as an Everyman,

worked at the Olympics for ‘Operation

GOLD’ and is currently deployed to the

Solomon Islands.

“I’ve been blessed to be able to travel around

with the Army and do different things. I‘ve

had the privilege of doing things others have

never done. The cream on the cake for me

would be to also do a Timor deployment

because of what my dad went through there

during the Second World War. He didn’t

talk much about it, but one day he told me

he was ambushed by the Japanese and had

to throw his Bren gun away to escape — and

was lost in the bush for two days.”

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RSL On Service 17


EXHIBITION SHOWCASES INDIGENOUS WAR

SERVICE

Lieutenant (Lt) T.C. Derrick, VC DCM (right)

shaking hands with Lt R. W. Saunders (left),

as they congratulate each other following their

successful graduation from the Officer’s Cadet

Training Unit at Seymour. Lt Saunders was the

first Aboriginal commissioned in the Australian

Army.

Image (courtesy Dept of Veterans’ Affairs):

Stories of Indigenous men and women who

have served Australia from the Boer War

through to Afghanistan form the focus of

a new travelling exhibition across Victoria.

The highly-acclaimed Shrine of

Remembrance ‘Indigenous Australians at

war: from the Boer War to the present’

was launched at the end of October by

the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren

Snowdon.

At the launch in Mildura, Victoria, Mr

Snowdon said the exhibition will help

increase Australians’ understanding of the

important role Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander people have played in our wartime

history.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have

served in all major wars, conflicts and peace

operations since the Boer War and a number

have received medals and commendations

for acts of bravery.

“This exhibition highlights the courage,

tenacity and resourcefulness of Aboriginal

and Torres Strait Islander Australians who

served in the armed forces by presenting

individual and family stories of service and

sacrifice,” he said.

While an individual’s ethnicity was not

identified on service records, there were

some units in the Second World War, such

as the Torres Strait Islander Light Infantry

Battalion and the Northern Australian

Observer Unit, specifically included

Indigenous Australians in their ranks.

In the post-war years the North West Mobile

BEING IN CHARGE OF BIG EQUIPMENT

Few 22 year olds are given the responsibility

of looking after multi-million dollar

equipment. Most employers would consider

this too big a risk, but not the Navy where

individuals are encouraged to take charge

from an early age.

“Ever since I was 7 years old and my

uncle Martin left Tassie to join the

Navy, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. It’s

a great way to see the world and earn

a decent living doing it,” Jared said.

According to Jared Duggan, a Marine

Technician in the Navy, the best part of his

job is, “…having the confidence to work on

multi-million dollar pieces of equipment,

and being trusted to do so.”

Jared, who grew up in the Huon Valley’s

Cradoc, joined the Navy in 2007 after

graduating from the Kingston High School.

He was an active member of the Cygnet

Football Club and Slab Road Cricket Club

and his parents, Lorraine Ashlin and

Andrew Duggan, still live in the local area.

Jared attributes his decision to join the Navy

to his uncle Martin.

“Ever since I was 7 years old and my uncle

Martin left Tassie to join the Navy, it’s all

I’ve ever wanted to do. It’s a great way to see

the world and earn a decent living doing it,”

Jared said.

After almost two years of training, Jared

became qualified as a Marine Technician,

specializing in maintaining the helicopter

recovery device. Having been promoted

to Able Seaman, Jared is keen to keep on

learning, and is currently studying to

become a Marine Systems Technician.

Currently, Jared is serving with HMAS

Toowoomba in the Middle East as part

of ‘Operation SLIPPER’, Australia’s

contribution to the international campaign

against terrorism and counter piracy in the

Gulf of Aden. This is his second overseas

trip. Last year, while serving on another

ANZAC Class frigate, HMAS Anzac,

Jared visited New Zealand, Singapore,

and Cambodia. Jared says that travel and

Force, 51 Far North Queensland Regiment

and the Pilbara Regiment are among the

units that have continued to rely heavily on

the skills of Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islanders.

“Their readiness to enlist particularly in

the early part of last century, in the face of

discrimination and the lack of any official

recognition, demonstrates the willingness

of Indigenous people to serve this country,”

Mr Snowdon said.

“It is important to recognize the contribution

of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to

the defence of Australia and I am pleased

that the Australian Government has been

able to support this new exhibition,” he said.

Opening in Mildura, the two-year exhibition

will tour to Beechworth, Hamilton and

Portland before moving to other regional

areas of Victoria.

The Australian Government provided

more than $53,000 towards the travelling

exhibition and the development and

implementation of an Australian schools

based education resource based on

the landmark exhibition Indigenous

Australians at War, displayed at the Shrine

of Remembrance in Melbourne last year.

friendships are the best parts of his job.

“The friendships I’ve developed while on

deployment and the locations you visit are

for me, the standout reasons why I enjoy life

in the Navy so much,” Jared said.

Not surprisingly, Jared is looking forward

to November when HMAS Toowoomba

returns to Australia after the six month

deployment.

“I’ll definitely catch up with family and

as many friends as possible when I come

home. I miss Tasmania, so visiting some of

my favourite places will also be high on my

‘must do’ list,” Jared said.

18

RSL On Service


SORELL LAD MISSES LOCAL FOOTY CLUB

Two years ago Fred Barratt was wearing the

blue and gold of the Sorell Eagles Football

Club. Now he is in Army camouflage and is

earning his living working with ammunition

in Afghanistan.

Fred joined the Australian Army less than

two years ago, in March 2010, and already

he is on his first deployment to Afghanistan.

Initially, Fred didn’t put too much thought

into a career in the Army.

“It was a spur-of-the-moment decision - I

was looking for something different and

something exciting,” Fred said. But within

three weeks of joining the

Army, his brother, Cody

Barratt (two years older),

was also signing up.

After completing their

basic trade courses, the

brothers were both posted

to the 3rd Combat Service

Support Battalion at

Townsville, Queensland,

as an Operator Supply

within the Field Supply

Company.

However, it was Fred

who was lucky enough to

have been nominated for

deployment with Force

“The people are great, really easy

to get along with. You don’t

know what is going to happen

each day – it is always different.”

Support Unit Five. The tri-service Unit

provides logistic and distribution support

to Australian force elements across the

Middle East.

Fred is currently based with Force Support

Team Kandahar Air Field, which is one of the

biggest US bases in Afghanistan. His role

encompasses data entry, issue and receipt

of ammunition in support of the Mentoring

Task Force – Three and Special Operations

Task Group. As part of his role Fred will also

have the opportunity to witness significant

amounts of demolitions and ammunition

disposal.

“I can’t believe how quick things can change.

Almost within one year and I’m deployed to

Afghanistan.”

While it is early days in his eight-month

deployment, Fred’s favourite experiences

so far have been his relationship with his

colleagues and the physical training.

“The people are great, really easy to get

along with. You don’t know what is going

to happen each day – it is always different.”

When Fred does get back home to Australia

next year, he is looking forward to spending

time with his mates in Townsville and also

making a trip home to Sorell during his post

deployment leave.

“I just want to catch up with friends and go

to the Sorell Football Club.

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RSL On Service 19


NEW EDUCATION KIT TO TEACH STUDENTS

ABOUT WAR HISTORY

Nick McKim MP with school students Gabrielle Jacobs and Tuscony Ohl.

Tasmanian students are now able to access - A replica Australian Infantry Force

a new education kit to teach them about uniform

local war history thanks to the efforts of

the Friends of Soldiers Memorial Avenue - Rations and a personal kit (cutlery and

and the RSL.

sewing kit)

The Minister for Education and Skills, the - Medals, badges and other artefacts

Hon Nick McKim MP, recently launched - Biographical information about soldiers

the ‘Avenue Discovery Box’, which contains

commemorated on the Soldiers’ Memorial

a variety of resources for schools including Avenue and photographic resources

a replica Australian Infantry Force uniform,

rations and a range of posters, medals,

- Materials on commemoration through the

badges and other memorabilia.

years

“In Tasmania we greatly value history - A tree round from a replaced dead tree

as a discipline and want our students to showing tree rings

understand the really important events and

dates in history, why they have occurred and Mr McKim said that the important historical

how decisions were made,” Mr McKim said resource would be a valuable addition to

at the launch at New Town Primary School. the resources available for schools studying

“We also want history to connect students the Great War from a Hobart community

to their local communities and help them perspective.

understand history within a real life context. “It also adds to the awareness of the Soldiers

The Avenue Discovery Box, developed by Memorial Avenue – which is the largest

the Friends of Soldiers Memorial Avenue, is surviving Great War Avenue in Tasmania.

another fantastic opportunity for students It’s also the second largest Memorial Avenue

to really find out more about historical in Australia where trees are planted for

significance of war from a local perspective.” those who died. It will be extremely useful

The Discovery Box – contained in a 1917 for students undertaking inquiries into

pattern Medical Kit – includes:

World War One, Australian and Tasmanian

military history and local history. It will

be of particular value in the context of

the Australian History curriculum, which

schools have started to implement” said Mr

McKim.

The kit will be made available to schools for

a week on a basic booking system, with the

contents varying depending on age group.

“Ogilvie High School is the first school in

the State to book the Avenue Discovery Box,

and I’m sure the students of Ogilvie will be

amazed on their journey of discovery about

the ultimate sacrifices these brave young

soldiers made,” Mr McKim said.

“The State Government has been a strong

supporter of the restoration of the Soldier’s

Memorial Avenue over time, and today’s

launch represents a reaffirmation of our

support, and of the program’s educational

value in the Tasmanian community.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the RSL for

their valuable contribution in making

this important resource a reality and

also to the Tassal Group Ltd, which has

generously supported the project. This

really is a fantastic resource and I’m sure

will be the inspiration for historical studies

by Tasmanian students for many years to

come.”

A replica military uniform is worn which impresses

student, Nick Golley.

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Sitro, Gasmate and Chimeneas Chapala

20

RSL On Service


AROUND THE SUB BRANCHES

BEACONSFIELD

The Beaconsfield Sub Branch recently

donated two wheel chairs to the Beaconsfield

Health Service. The wheel chairs will

greatly assist patients during their recovery

phases. Pictured using one of the chairs

is Mrs Sue Amos, wife of the Sub Branch

Secretary/Treasurer, Greg Amos (right) and

Sub Branch President, Colin Smee (left). At

the time the photograph was taken Sue had

just been released from hospital after an

operation on her leg. “The wheelchairs will

be very beneficial to the local community

which the RSL assists as often as we can”

said Mr Smee.

BURNIE

THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE

More than 70 people attended the Battle for

Australia Day luncheon at the Burnie RSL

on the 7th September 2011. Burnie RSL

President and organiser, Barry Giani said

the event was to commemorate those who

lost their lives fighting for Australia during

1942 and 1943.

Mr Giani said 36 local veterans, who fought

against the invasion of the Japanese had

been invited, with 21 attending.

RSL State President, Bill Kaine said the

Australian Government’s appointment of

the first Wednesday of every September

as Battle for Australia Day four years ago

was long overdue. September is significant

because it’s when Australia repelled the

potential for invasion”, Mr Kaine said.

Guest Speaker and veteran, Tom Wragg said

“Battle for Australia Day would be as widely

recognised as ANZAC Day”. He said “it was

important young Australians were aware of

what happened during the period from 1942

to 1943 when even Tasmania was not safe.

There was a Japanese submarine submerged

off the East Coast and a plane flew over

Hobart.” We should spare a thought for

those that died and pray the same situation

never arises again”.

The Federal Government proclaimed

Battle of Australia Day a day of national

observance in June 2008.

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RSL On Service 21


AROUND THE SUB BRANCHES

KINGSTON BEACH

On Sunday 20 November, Kingston Beach

Sub Branch held a lunch at the Kingston

Beach RSL. The Club is a converted cottage

and because there is no dining room, there

was only just enough space for diners in the

bar. Nevertheless, with a good sprinkling of

guests from other Sub Branches, the lunch

was a great success.

The highlight was the awarding of

Certificates of Merit and Gold Badge to

two Women’s Auxiliary Members, Mrs.

Imelda Cooper and Mrs. Elaine Hawkins.

RSL Deputy State President, Chris Munday

made the presentations. The awards are

the highest that can be made by the RSL

to persons who are not members of the

League and are very well deserved by the

ladies concerned.

At its Annual General Meeting on 27

November, the Kingston Beach RSL Club

also wished to reward the contributions

of the two ladies by awarding them Life

Membership. Mrs. Elizabeth Dolan, also

a Kingston Beach Women’s Auxiliary

Member, was also recognised with Club Life

Membership as she had been awarded the

Certificate of Merit and Gold Badge some

years ago.

L-R: Mrs Imelda Cooper and Mrs Elaine Hawkins

MAYDENA

On Saturday, 12th November the State

Membership Officer, Carol Batten and

Deputy State President, Chris Munday

visited the Maydena RSL. The Maydena

RSL was hosting a ‘Chainsaw Competition”

which brought many locals along to enjoy a

BBQ and a ‘coldie’. Whilst there, they were

able to present the new Charter the Maydena

RSL Sub Branch Inc. and a new sign for

the outside of the building. On previous

visits it had been noted that the Sub Branch

badly needed some professional signage. In

jeopardy of closure a few years ago due to

lack of Service members and membership

numbers the Maydena Sub Branch came

back to life after a big recruiting drive in the

area. Insurance Broker, John McMurray

showed his continued support for the RSL

by attending with his partner Debbie.

The Charter was presented to Sub Branch

Secretary, Mrs Katrina Marriott as the

President was unable to attend. Maydena

members should be very proud that they

have turned what was a Sub Branch about

to close, into one with a vibrant future and

we wish them the very best in for the future.


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22

RSL On Service


AROUND THE SUB BRANCHES

SOUTH ARM

complimentary cocktail drink in recognition

of their dedication and support to the South

Arm RSL Sub Branch. Mr Peter Woolford

JP, Vice President Eastern Division (seen

here pictured with the ladies), presented

each one with their certificates on behalf

of State President, Mr Bill Kaine, MBE

During the evening the RSL Sub-Branch

also inducted twelve new members and

Pictured L-R; Margaret Eiszele, Debbie Gwinn,

Leonie Rusdon, Pam Banks-Smith, Vice President

Eastern Division Peter Woolford, Elizabeth Burgess

(sitting) Judy Alexander, Sally Morley & Leslie

Gore. (Absent on the night were Kerry Graves,

Wendy Quinn & Leanne Webb)

61 people attended a Black Tie Cocktail

evening on Saturday 8th October 2011 at

the South Arm RSL & Community Club.

Each year the Sub-Branch hosts an event

of this type to thank a group of dedicated

ladies who every ANZAC Day, organise

& cook a Gun Fire Breakfast for the Sub

Branch and community, which is enjoyed

by all who attend.

Eleven ladies were presented with State

Certificates of Appreciation with a

Pictured L-R; Donald Burns, Philip Dunkerley,

Joyce Taylor, Jennifer Jacobs, Sue Gourlay,

Membership Officer Michael Eaton, Jacinta Leahy,

Brett Johnson, Linda Waterhouse & Ros Smith.

(Absent on the night was William Pepper, Margaret

Allan & Tony Richings)

presented each one with their badge,

membership cards and a complimentary

glass of champagne.

A highlight of the evening was the induction

of Joyce Taylor, born in January 1919 and

served in the Second World War as a

Corporal. Joyce is seen pictured with Vice

President Eastern Division, Peter Woolford,

JP and Sub Branch President, Terry Roe.

Joyce remains a very active individual,

“young at heart” and everyone was endeared

to her that at age 92 she wanted to become

a Service member and join the Sub Branch.

Congratulations and well done Joyce!

REMOVAL OF RESTRICTIONS ON COMBAT ROLES

FOR WOMEN

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

Warren Snowdon recently announced that

the Government has formally agreed to

the removal of gender restrictions from

Australian Defence Force (ADF) combat

roles.

Women will now be able to work in any

position in the ADF, including combat roles,

provided they have the ability to meet all of

the demands of the role.

Women currently are eligible to serve in

93 per cent of employment categories, are

now serving in command positions and

on military operations overseas. More are

reaching senior levels.

This decision follows on from the Minister

for Defence’s announcement on 11 April

that the Chief of the Defence Force would

bring forward for implementation by the

Government the opening up of all roles

in the ADF to women on the basis that

determination for suitability for roles in

the ADF is to be based on their ability to

perform in the role, not gender.

Roles to be open in the future to women from

which women were previously excluded are:

Navy Clearance Divers and Mine Clearance

Diver Officers; Air Force Airfield Defence

Guards and Ground Defence Officers; and

Army Infantry and Armoured Corps and

some Army Artillery roles.

Mr Smith said a comprehensive

implementation plan will now be finalized

by Defence for the integration of women

into combat roles. This will be considered

by Government by the first quarter of next

year.

Defence will draw on the experience gained

from opening more categories and positions

to women over the last two decades and

undertake additional research to enable

implementation of the Government’s

decision.

This new policy will be fully implemented

within five years. Implementation is a

high priority for the Government and for

Defence, and Defence will provide regular

reports to Government on implementation

progress.

Mr Snowdon said women have a long

and proud history of serving in the ADF.

“This decision is a positive step, enhancing

equality among the men and women who

proudly wear the uniform.”

“Defence is committed to creating a work

environment where all personnel are

treated fairly and with respect. Developing

the implemented plan is central to this,” Mr

Snowdon said.

As at 1 August 2011, 335 women were

serving on current overseas operations

representing more than 10 percent of the

total overseas deployed force.

RSL On Service 23


WWII AMMUNITION RENDERED SAFE IN PNG

Photograph: RAN Clearance Divers and RAAF Armament Technicians with the assistance of Papua New Guinea Defence Force members, Royal New Zealand

Navy and Army personnel, empty a World War Two Japanese Tunnel of almost 100 Type 92 15cm High Explosive Projectiles as part of Operation RENDER SAFE

2011

Photograph by courtesy of Dept of Defence

More than 150 personnel from the

Australian Defence Force, New Zealand

Defence Force and Papua New Guinea

Defence Force began Operation RENDER

SAFE, an explosives ordnance disposal

activity aimed at unexploded World War

Two ammunition in Papua New Guinea

over October - November.

The ADF’s ongoing peace-time mission,

Operation RENDER SAFE 2011, was

conducted over the period 18 October – 4

November in Rabaul, PNG, and involved

the identification, assessment and rendering

safe of unexploded ordnance.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence,

Senator David Feeney, said the operation

was vital to providing a safe environment in

Rabaul, which relies heavily on international

tourism.

“Unexploded ordnance such as torpedoes,

grenades, bombs and projectiles are regularly

discovered in very public locations such as

domestic yards, the local police station and

along the shoreline. These remnants of war

are an enduring and unpredictable threat

to the safety of locals and tourists and we

are pleased to play an active role in making

the Rabaul area safer for all.” Senator Feeney

said.

Royal Australian Navy Commander Scott

Craig, Commander of the Combined

Joint Task Force 663, said the operation

would be bolstered by Australia’s HMA

Ships Gascoyne and Diamantina and

New Zealand’s HMNZ Ships Resolution

and Wellington, providing important

underwater surveying capability.

“The cooperation between the three

participating nations will provide a great

service to the people of Rabaul as well as

provide Defence personnel an opportunity

to work side by side. Working closely with

local communities to recognise and identify

items of unexploded ordnance will be a key

part of the operation.” Commander Craig

said.

Operation RENDER SAFE 2011 also

involved a tasking to clear unexploded

ordnance from the Kokoda Track. Although

the ADF has historically conducted

explosive ordnance disposal in the South

Pacific, including Kiribati and the Marshall

Islands, Operation RENDER SAFE is the

first enduring operation of its type.

In 2009, Operation RENDER SAFE provided

explosive ordnance disposal assistance to

the Solomon Islands.

24

RSL On Service


NOTICES

RSL LIFE MEMBERS ASSOCIATION

- TASMANIA

It was very disappointing to travel all the

way to George Town for the Annual General

Meeting only to have sixteen members turn

up. It was decided at the meeting that the

association be wound up next year if you, as

members don’t support it.

The 2012 Annual General Meeting will be

held at the Longford RSL Memorial Club.

Times and dates will be forwarded at a

future date. If any member has any idea

of how to keep the association viable please

feel free to contact me.

Email peter.colleen@iinet.net.au or phone

0362655674, Mob 0437-589718.

Your input will be appreciated.

Peter Woolford JP

President, RSL Li fe Members A ssociat ion

END OF WW2 – BRIDAL TRAIN

I’m a journalist with the Fairfax Sunday

newspapers (the Sun Herald in Sydney and

the Sunday Age in Melbourne) and I’m

researching a story on women who caught

the so-called bridal train across Australia at

the end of World War 2 so they could meet

up with their American husbands/fiancées.

I would like to find some women who were

part of the journey as a story for ANZAC

Day next year.

People can contact me at this email address

srpeatling@hotmail.com or in a letter

addressed to:

Stephanie Peatling

The Sun Herald

Press Gallery

Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600

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www.welldoit.com.au

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RSL On Service 25


BOOK REVIEW

OUT OF THE DARKNESS, SANDERS

DFC by FRANK MADILL

A conversation in his doctor’s surgery was

the inspiration for Frank Madill’s latest

book, Sanders DFC Out of the Darkness.

It tells the story of Max Sanders, born and

educated in Launceston who was a navigator

on Lancaster bombers during World War 2.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying

Cross (DFC) for Gallantry in action.

The casualty rate was horrendous – six

out of every ten who flew were killed. In

a foreword to the book Air Vice-Marshall

Peter Scully noted that “Considering the

crews had to fly 30 missions across enemy

territory before being allowed to rest, being

shot at from the air and from the ground and

battling awful European weather we

can only begin to admire that courage and

sense of duty. Their chances of survival were

300 percent less than ANZAC Corps”.

Sanders and his wife owned the family

leather and canvas goods business at

Invermay for many years, but did not begin

to retell his wartime memories until 45

years after he returned home from the war

front. Max Sanders was the sole Australian

member of the Canadian squadron, and

every one of his bomber operational sorties

are outlined in this book in amazing detail.

Sanders DFC Out of the Darkness is the well

told story of an ordinary young man and

his brave comrades who endured one of the

most deadly conflicts in World War 2.

I CONFESS - A Memoir of the Siege of

Tobruk

- Major General Joseph Murray, DSO &

Bar, MC, VD.

Major General John Joseph Murray DSO

& Bar, MC, VD was a great man. Born of

Irish immigrants at The Rocks in Sydney

(1892) he enlisted in the AIF in 1915 and

saw a great deal of action during WWI.

His first taste of combat was at Fromelles,

19th July 1916, where just in one night,

5,533 Australian soldiers were either killed,

wounded or captured. Murray was awarded

the Military Cross for his deeds. He survived

and between the war years, he went into the

transport industry. At the age of 47, when

World War II was declared in 1939, he

volunteered for service. In October 1940 his

brigade left Australia bound for the Middle

East. He was to be awarded a DSO, and a

bar was added when he delayed the advance

of the Germany forces at Mersa Brega and

Er Regina, as the 9th Division withdrew to

Tobruk in North Africa.

The book I Confess, is Murray’s memoirs. He

wrote it in April 1945 recording his amazing

life, especially his experience as Commander

of the 20th Brigade, 9th Division, during

the siege of Tobruk. His grandson, Andrew

Murray is the editor. John Murray originally

wrote the work on an Army typewriter, while

his memory was still fresh.

Tobruk is now etched into the nation’s

military consciousness and stands with El

Alamein, New Guinea, Gallipoli and many

other battles as outstanding examples of

our military successes and endurance. The

siege of Tobruk was about courage and selfsacrificing

and according to Murray, what

saved Tobruk was “This sticking power, this

refusal to give way, no matter how black the

outlook.” (P104). The overall commander of

the Australian troops in North Africa was

General Morshead, but when he was absent,

such as travelling to Cairo, John Murray was

placed in sole command of the garrison. His

description of conditions and battle are first

class, but he always had a humorous side

and a soft touch. Murray preferred to sleep

under that stars as “I always did have kindly

feelings for the stars, as I lived mostly with

them.”

Murray was recalled to Australia as the

threat from Japan loomed, but Tobruk was

always in his mind. When he sailed from

the port, he felt remorse in that he simply

was not there to help. Movingly he wrote:

“Aboard my ferry I sought out a quiet place

and, as we stole out of Tobruk, I felt the need

to be alone; looking back into the night, the

distant gun flashes made me think first, ‘I

could help if I was there.’ Then I thought of the

friends I had left behind forever, their bones

to bleach in lonely desert graves. And so,

with the steel deck of the destroyer beneath

my feet, I looked back over the expanse of

the desert that had been our home for so

long. I did not think then, but do now, that

it stands as a monument to British courage

and endurance.”

Murray ended his war days as General Officer,

Commanding the Northern Territory Force.

He died in 1951 after a short diplomatic

career. The book contains many excellent

photographs from the personal collection of

Murray. It would be a wonderful addition to

any military library. Review by Reg Watson.

26

RSL On Service


BOOK REVIEW Cont.

BARRACK HILL – A History of Anglesea

Barracks 1811-2011

Barrack Hill is a fitting tribute to the vision

that Governor Lachlan Macquarie had for

the barracks site he established on his tour

of Van Diemen’s Land in 1811. Meticulous

research by John Lennox and John Wadsley,

accompanied by an amazing collection of

images maps and plans, has resulted in a

work that comprehensively details each

stage of Anglesea Barracks’ history in a

manner that also pays respect to many of

the individual lives and stories enmeshed in

that history.

The book details the importance of the

Barracks site in many of the central

narratives of Tasmanian history such as

the early bushrangers, The Black War and

Tasmanian self-government, as well as world

events such as the Boer War and the major

20th Century world conflicts. Barrack Hill

also introduces readers to the many nonmilitary

roles the site has housed, including

the manufacturing of rope in the 1870s by a

German immigrant rope maker, a number

of schools and a girls’ reformatory.

Sections of the book on the British regiments

that occupied the site up until 1870 show,

not only how those regiments connected

to broader military history of the period,

but also introduce us to some of the largely

forgotten individuals of those regiments,

including Jeremiah Corbett of the 40th

Regiment of Foot who carved details of time

spent in the Military Prison on his cell door.

There is also the unnamed young soldier of

the 18th regiment who married without

permission and left with his regiment,

promising to return to his wife and young

child when his enlistment was up.

For those who have an interest in 20th

century conflicts and peacekeeping missions

the book details the vital role that Anglesea

Barracks has played and continues to play.

Many have a personal link to Tasmanians

who served their country and through

reading Barrack Hill they will learn

more about how the experiences of such

individuals connected to the roles played

by Anglesea Barracks.

Barrack Hill clearly demonstrates the

ongoing importance of the site as Australia’s

oldest surviving defence establishment and

one that provides an unsurpassed collection

of intact buildings reflecting Tasmania’s

19th and 20th Century history. It also

provides a powerful demonstration of why

the reader should take heed of the authors’

wish for Tasmanians to “reclaim their

connection with this place.” Barrack Hill is

essential reading for anyone with an interest

in military, Tasmanian or Hobart history.

David Boon, President Tasmanian History

Teachers’ Association

Barrack Hill is available by contacting the

Military Museum, Anglesea Barracks.

Assembly Services

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RSL On Service 27


VALE

Private Matthew Lambert was killed in action during operations in Afghanistan on 22

August 2011.

Private Lambert was a member of the Mentoring Task Force - Three and was from the 2nd

Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) based in Townsville, North Queensland. Private

Lambert is survived by his spouse, parents and family.

Private Lambert was born in Kogarah, NSW in 1985. He joined the Army from southern

Queensland enlisting in the 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment in August 2005,

transferring to the Australian Regular Army in February 2007 and posted to 2RAR in

Townsville.

Private Lambert is described as a well respected soldier who excelled in any task he was

assigned, and was looking forward to serving his country in Afghanistan. Private Lambert

has been awarded the following honours and awards: Australian Active Service Medal with

clasp International Coalition Against Terrorism, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Australian

Service Medal with clasp Timor - Leste, Australian Defence Medal and the Timor – Leste

Solidarity Medal. During Private Lambert’s service in the Australian Army he deployed on

the following operations:

OPERATION ASTUTE (East Timor) - June 2009 – November 2009 and OPERATION

SLIPPER (Afghanistan) – June 2011 – August 2011.

Craftsman Beau Pridue died from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident near the town

of Baucau in East Timor on 15 September 2011.

Craftsman Pridue was on his first deployment with the Timor Leste Task Group Rotation

Three. He enlisted in the Australian Army Reserve on 15 December 2007 under the Army

Reserve Traineeship and Apprenticeship Program as a Fitter Armament. On enlistment

he was posted to 111 Workshop Company, 8th Combat Service Support Battalion and was

deemed qualified within his trade in December 2010.

Craftsman Pridue was a well respected and much liked member. He was a young, professional

soldier who could be relied upon to always get the job done. He consistently dedicated his

time and effort in support to tasks and events within the Battalion. Craftsman Pridue was

awarded the Company’s Most Efficient Soldier for 2010.

Corporal Ashley Birt was killed on operations in Afghanistan on 29 October 2011.

Corporal Ashley Birt was born in Nambour, Queensland in 1989. He enlisted into the

Australian Regular Army in June 2007 and was allocated to the Royal Australian Engineers

as a Geospatial Technician.

Following his Engineer Initial Employment Training and Specialist Technical Geospatial

Basic course in December 2008, he was posted to the 1st Topographical Survey Squadron

(1 TOPO SVY SQN) as a Geospatial Technician. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in

February 2011 and to Corporal in April 2011.

Corporal Birt was part of Combined Team Uruzgan and is survived by his parents and brother.

His colleagues describe him as being a proud and well-liked soldier of the 1 TOPO SVY SQN.

He maintained a very high level of physical fitness and played hockey at the highest levels.

Due to his natural leadership style, maturity, hard work ethic and dedication to his specialist

trade, he was quickly promoted through the ranks.

He was a great mate to his many colleagues and well liked by all. He was a larrikin and

someone who was always smiling. His mates remember him as a great bloke, a distinguished

sportsman and an excellent soldier. He will not be forgotten and will always remain a part

of the sapper family.

28

RSL On Service


VALE Cont.

We will remember them...

Corporal Birt has been awarded the following honours and awards:




(ICAT)




medallion.

During Corporal Birt’s service in the Australian Army he deployed on the following

operations:




Lance Corporal Luke Nathan Gavin was killed on operations in Afghanistan on

29 October 2011.

Lance Corporal Luke Gavin was a member of the Mentoring Task Force—Three and

was from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) based in Townsville,

North Queensland.

Lance Corporal Gavin is survived by his wife and their three children.

Lance Corporal Gavin was born in Manly, NSW, in 1982. He enlisted in the Army

in 2004. On completion of his basic training and initial employment training he was

posted as an infantryman to the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, in

Townsville in 2005. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in January 2009. He was a

highly-qualified soldier, having completed specialist training as a combat first-aider,

Pashtu linguist and infantry support weapons operator.

Lance Corporal Gavin was a highly-respected member of the 2nd Battalion. He was

acknowledged by his superiors for his positive attitude and loyalty. His subordinate

soldiers were motivated by his professionalism, mateship and outstanding specialist

skills. He was also known for being a devoted husband and father.

Lance Corporal Gavin has been awarded the following honours and awards:






During Lance Corporal Gavin’s service in the Australian Army he deployed on the following operations:





RSL On Service 29


VALE Cont.

Captain Bryce Duffy was killed on operations in Afghanistan on 29 October 2011.

Captain Duffy was a member of the Mentoring Task Force – Three and was from the

4th Field Regiment, Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery (RAA) based in Townsville.

Captain Duffy is survived by his partner, parents and family.

Captain Duffy was born in Sydney, NSW, in 1984. He was educated in Brisbane. He joined

the Australian Defence Force Academy in January 2003 and completed a Bachelor of

Science. He graduated from the Royal Military College in December 2006. He was then

posted to 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery based in Brisbane.

He served with the 1st Field Regiment between 2007 and 2010. He was transferred to the

4th Field Regiment in Townsville in January 2011 as the Assistant Operations Officer,

before his second deployment to Afghanistan in September.

Captain Duffy was a well known and highly-regarded young officer. He was recognised

by his commanders for his strength of character, determination and diligence. His peers

remember him as an officer who maintained the highest possible personal standards.

His selfless dedication to duty was demonstrated by the fact that he had volunteered

for his second tour of duty in Afghanistan at short notice, after a fellow officer was

wounded in action.

Captain Duffy has been awarded the following honours and awards:



30 October 2010




(ICAT).

During Captain Duffy’s service in the Australian Army he deployed on the following

operations:




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30

RSL On Service


HISTORIC WWII SPITFIRE WRECKAGE ARRIVES

IN AUSTRALIA FOR PRESERVATION

The Minister for Defence Science

and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, has

welcomed the arrival of an historic WWII

Spitfire aircraft found in northern France

in November 2010 to the RAAF Museum

“The conservation work is essential

to ensure the aircraft’s long term

preservation and prevent further

deterioration of this special piece of

our wartime history,” he said.

at Point Cook, for extensive conservation

treatment.

The Spitfire aircraft was flown by Flight

Lieutenant Henry ‘Lacy’ Smith from Sydney,

NSW, when it was shot down by anti-aircraft

fire on 11 June 1944.

“The Spitfire MJ789 crashed into the River

Orne, near Caen, in northern France, where

it was recovered almost 70 years later,” Mr

Snowdon said.

“The wreckage of the aircraft will now

undergo extensive conservation before being

placed on display at the RAAF Museum at

Point Cook, Victoria next year.”

A team of RAAF Museum technical and

curatorial personnel will mechanically clean

all items of the aircraft, to ensure maximum

desalination of the engine and fuselage, a

process that is expected to take more than

six months.

“The conservation work is essential to ensure

the aircraft’s long term preservation and

prevent further deterioration of this special

piece of our wartime history,” he said.

Once the Museum is satisfied with the

desalination process, the wreckage will be

prepared for display.

After the aircraft was recovered in November

2010, Flight Lieutenant Smith was buried with

full military honours at the Commonwealth

War Graves Cemetery, Ranville, Normandy,

France in April this year.

‘Lacy’ Smith was part of the Number 453

Squadron, which following the D-Day

Invasion carried out operations that included

harassing the retreating enemy, attacking

enemy convoys, bombing missions, armed

reconnaissance and bomber escort duties.

They were the first Australian squadron to go

into action on 6 June 1944 and operated from

advanced bases at the beachhead providing

tactical support for the troops landing on the

Normandy beaches.

The squadron ceased operations over Europe

in October 1945.

Today, No. 453 SQN is a Joint Battlefield

Airspace Control (JBAC) squadron

headquartered at RAAF Base Williamtown,

New South Wales (NSW).

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RSL On Service 31


When returned serviceman Ralph O’Neill*

recently came across an advertisement for

a bidet toilet seat, he honestly felt, from the

things he was reading, that this could quite

possibly be the answer to his prayers.

From the time he had spent in Japan and

Korea on rest and recuperation from active

service in Vietnam, and on subsequent visits

with his wife Caroline*, he knew that there

were some great toilet seats available that

provided so many more features than those

generally found in Australia.

He felt that with some of

the medical conditions

he’d long experienced,

including hemorrhoids

and some personal

issues for Caroline,

the fact the bidet

could wash and dry

them both without

the need for toilet

paper, would prove

very benecial

and provide some much needed relief and peace

of mind.

Making some initial inquiries, Ralph and

Caroline were amazed to see the features that

were now available. Apart from comfort and

health factors, the warm seat, warm water wash,

and a warm air dryer could all be operated and

adjusted via a simple-to-use remote control unit.

It was also explained to Ralph that as the bidet

seat simply replaced his existing toilet seat and

it was so simple to install, he had the choice of

easily installing it himself or arranging for a

trained technician from The BIDET SHOP ®

to drop around for a very reasonable rate.

After some discussion together, Ralph and

Caroline purchased a bidet toilet seat and

Ralph decided to install it himself. The bidet

arrived a few days later and Ralph got to work

immediately. A couple of beers later, Ralph had

it up and running and took it his new bidet a

test drive straight away.

Ralph feels the bidet is the best investment

he and his wife have made for their personal

health and hygiene. Now after years of

toileting problems, neither of them nds going

to the loo an issue. Their only regret was that

they hadn’t seen the bidet toilet seat sooner!

For more information or to purchase, call

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32

RSL On Service


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