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Commando News Winter Edition10 June17


2 COMMANDO NEWS ~ Edition 10 I June 2017

Australian Commando Association NSW Inc. PO Box 1313, Sutherland, NSW 1499 COMMANDO FOR LIFE 1941 - 1946 1955 - President: Barry Grant Secretary: Ted Hartley Treasurer: Ivan Kelly 0414 914 615 0408 647 237 0417 042 886 NSW President & Editor’s Report This edition is running late for many reasons and I apologise for my tardiness. ★★★★★ The year started off badly for the Commando family with the death of SGT. Peter Cafe, an excellent soldier much admired by his mates. Our thoughts go out to his wife Gwen and four children. See article in this Newsletter. Ed ★★★★★ The relationship between veterans and Department of Veterans Affairs has quite often been of an adversarial nature. The main complaint is the clerks in DVA don’t under - stand the nature of the veteran’s service. However, the good news is that there appears to be a change in the system. Robyn Collins, the General Manager from Defence- Care, said recently that if veterans are having issues with their claims, they should immediately contact her or her staff at Anzac House in Sydney. However, the injury or issue, needs to be Defence related, not one of arthritis for example, caused by “old age”. Most issues are now accepted without having to prove the injury by medical documents. Many Defence related injuries in the past were never reported to the respective RAP’s or medical staff, and that does cause some delays in the processing of claims. ★★★★★ Earlier this year I was asked to conduct the RSL Funeral service for a Timorese veteran who was enlisted into the Australian Defence Force during WW2. Alexander da Silva Tilman escaped from East Timor during the Japanese Invasion in 1942 to Darwin where it was discovered he had been piloting vessels and knew the southernmost coastline of his country. He made several trips, some of them under fire, between Darwin and the coast of Timor. Interesting, the service was conducted by Gerald Keneally of Keneally’s funerals. His father “Paddy” was with the 2nd/2nd Inde - pendent Company until extracted in late 1943. The entire service, apart from my small part, was conducted in Portuguese. ★★★★★ The Queen’s birth - day list acknow ledged the work and service of John Kinsela, now OAM. John was the first Aboriginal man to represent Australia in the Olympic Games. He competed as a wrestler in Mexico in 1968 and again 1972 at Munich. Former Vietnam vet and Aboriginal elder has been a mentor to many of the Aboriginal youth in his area. He was also a Corporal with the 1st Commando Company after his service in Vietnam. Congratulations John, well deserved. ★★★★ We had a visit from team members from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra last week. They were borrowing selected items from our collection for a featured display of Australian Special Forces past and present. This display will run from October this year for 12 months, should be worth a trip to the Nation’s capital just to see it. ★★★★★ The annual Reserve Forces Day will be held on Sunday, 2nd July this year and marches will take place across Australia. Barry Grant Australian Commando Association (NSW) Inc COMMANDO NEWS ~ Edition 10 I June 2017 3

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