We have had a busy period since the last ENews, some good and some sad.
Remembrance Day at The Walk and Contemplation Building for the last eleven years has been one of the highlights on our calendar. We host the Year 6 Class from McDowall State School (136 pupils) for a Remembrance Day Service. I say it is a highlight because since I have been involved with The Walk over the last seven years I have been involved with Ted in hosting the teachers and students.
Part of their curriculum is the study of Australian History which includes our involvement in all wars. Their enthusiasm and knowledge is amazing and they appreciate the chance to be able to visit The Walk and understand the meaning of Service and Sacrifice.
Conversely, only a few people turned up for the 1100 hour service. Other units within the Barracks are now conducting their own service. As a consequence, one of my targets for 2020 is to encourage greater attendance at both the Remembrance Day and the ANZAC Dawn Service at the Walk.
We are well advanced with transitioning from RARA Old to The Royal Australian Regiment National Memorial Walk Association by 1st January 2020. My Management Team of Greg Decker, Phil Challands, Peter Brennan, Trevor Pond and Ted Chitham will implement the transition until the end of the 2019-2020 financial years. At that time the RAR Corporation Board will decide from the applications received, appoint the Manager of the NMW entity.
On a personal note this year I have written a Concept Paper on the History of Infantry in Australia from our first deployment in Sudan to the present time. It covers our Colonial Forces, our Militia and the formation of The Royal Australian Regiment. The paper is aimed at teaching the soldier/junior officer our proud history and achievements and lays a platform for all NCO/Offr to gain information to pass on to the soldier. Our Head of Infantry has approved its distribution.
The sad news is that we lost a soldier and a proud member of the Regimental. Many of our comrades have passed on but this bloke had a special place in my heart – Alan Norcott aka Corncob. My appreciation of him is recorded later in this News.
At this Christmas/New Year holiday season I wish you and your families the compliments of the season. And remember to ask your mates RUOK
The National Memorial Walk
Remembrance Day Service – McDowall State School
Appreciation from David Pedwell, Deputy Principal McDowall State School.
“The staff and student of McDowall State School thank the Royal Australian Regiment Association for hosting their visit to the National Memorial Walk. This is a valuable experience for the students. They learn a lot as you can see from some of their reflections that I have included in the attached letter of thanks.”
McDowall State School – National Memorial Walk – Remembrance Day 2019
Thank you for spending your own time showing us the
amazing people who die protecting our beautiful
country that we are lucky to be living in now. Looking
through the gardens makes me feel grateful of what
those men and women have done. In the future on
Remembrance Day I would take a walk through our
country, be silent, and then say we will remember
The Walk of Remembrance was a great excursion but a serious one as well. I really enjoyed hearing about what happens at the army barracks and looking at all the memorials of fallen soldiers. I think planting a tree for every man and woman that died in a war is a very respectful and nice action for the families of those soldiers. 6C3 is very thankful for having such a pleasant opportunity to learn about the wars and mottoes of the army barracks. Braedon
The walk of remembrance was a very touching excursion, showing us the amount of lives lost in certain battles. My favourite area we went to, it would have to be just the overall commemoration of the soldiers that meet their demise away from home. I learnt that the soldiers died not in vane as they sacrificed being with their loved ones to protect what was important to them. Having known they protected their country and the future generations meant our country could thrive and live on in peace. Thank you for your service. River W
Thank you for letting the whole of Year 6 come to this special commemoration. I felt sad looking through the gardens of soldiers who have passed helping our country. My favourite part was walking up and down and seeing some of the soldier’s favourite things lying against their post. I hope Remembrance Day is a special day forever. Thank you for making it possible for us to come to your wonderful place. Sincerely Indiana
Thank you so much RSL for organising for McDowall to go to the memorial. I learnt so much at the barracks. Without you, this would not be possible. When I walk through the gardens, I felt really sad for all the people that fought for our country. Thank you so much again for making this possible. Max
It is my pleasure to thank you welcoming us to the Enoggera barracks to learn and commemorate Remembrance Day. Seeing the names still being commemorated to this day, really touched my heart. Preston
Thank you to the people who gave us a trip to the barracks and thank you for the service you gave at the start. Benjamin When I was walking through the garden, what I felt was a deep, sad feeling that would never be forgotten. Brynley I think planting a tree for every soldier that died in battles is a very respectful and nice action for the families of those soldiers. Tanish
Dads’ Army continues to keep the Walk in good shape while Margaret Devereux continues to provide her gourmet cakes and biscuits and the lads go about their tasks without supervision. Ken Cupples is so well programmed that he still appears to assist us
Getting ready for the transition is well underway in the documentation field with the assets register and projects schedules being updated. There will be no change to the operations of Dads’ Army with necessary approved support from the designated RAR resident Battalion. Our sincere thanks for their support.
During the “official” Christmas break there will be some stalwarts who will continue to closely maintain watch over the Walk, essentially to keep it watered.
The Walk is a showpiece included on the itinerary of visiting military dignitaries and in 7 Brigade’s Orientation Program for senior school students considering a military career. We provide an Escort from one of our team (Dave McDonald, Ted Chitham, Glenn Willman and Alan Price) for these “show and tell” visits. The visit has been extended by the students working on NMW maintenance tasks.
Weekly Event. Every Monday 6.00 – 9.00 am Dad’s Army at the NMW. All welcome
30 Dec 19 – Kilcoy Racing
04 Jan 20 – Kilcoy Races
17-19 Jan 20 – 8/9 RAR Association Camp Out
20 Jan 20 – NMW Commences
28 Jan 20 Kilcoy Races – Australia Day
03 Feb 20 – Flag Pole Service NMW
07 Feb 20 – Rifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba
10 Feb 20 – NMW Orientation Day
27 Feb 20 – Long Hai Day visit to NMW and 8/9 RAR
28 Feb 20 – Long Hai Day Service at Tweed Heads
02 Mar 20 – Flag Pole Service NMW
06 Mar 20 – Rifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba
August- November 2019
Alan Norcott – 6 RAR, 8 RAR & 8/9 RAR
Peter Madden – 6 RAR
Robert “Bob” Powell – 3 RAR
Bill McDonald – 2 RAR, 4 RAR & 9 RAR
Brian “Father” Bourke – 6 RAR
Lyndon Bolton – 9 RAR
James Saxton – 4 RAR
Harry Brayley – 2/19 INF, 1 RAR
Geoff Thomas – 6 RAR & 7 RAR
Phillip Gould – 2/4 RAR, 9 RAR, SASR & 1CDO REGT
Wally Buckland – 6 RAR
Tim Fischer AC – 1 RAR
Clifford Bruce Cornish – RAR
Jim Townley – RAA
A Warrior’s Farewell
Go now and travel beyond the void
Seek the green column and when you meet
See once more those smiling faces
Hear again laughter and sounds of marching feet
No more the visions of the bloody past
Gone are the nightmares and lingering pain
Soon you will be home at long, long last
United with fallen comrades once again
And when the final roll is called
Another page of history complete
You will rest with brave spirits such as they
In a camp where you will find restful sleep
Go swiftly now and seek your past
Your duty done for all to tell
With pride of who and what you were
And now we bid you a fond farewell
George Mansford – December 2007
RARA Qld – End of an ERA
As we close this chapter of the RARA’s history we look back to recognise and appreciate the contribution of those men and women who made the RARA Qld the leader and custodian in the formation of the RARA National Memorial Walk, the National Secretariat of the combined RAR National Associations (State/Territory and Battalion Associations) and ultimately today’s RAR Corporation
In 1968 the GOC Northern Command Maj Gen F G Hassett called a meeting of all serving and past serving RAR members living in South East Qld to be held at the United Services Institute building in Victoria Barracks Brisbane. The purpose of this meeting was to establish the amount of interest there was in forming a “Royal Australian Regiment “Association.
He spoke of the associations formed by Infantry units after WW1 & WW2 and stressed that the time was right for the RAR to do the same, and to be able to march behind our own banner on occasions such as ANZAC Day. Those present agreed.
Maj Gen Hassett appointed a steering committee (Maj David Kayler-Thompson, Maj Bill Chitts and WO1 “Tiny” Dugan) to ascertain the feasibility of forming such an organization.
The steering committee reported that it was feasible and desirable.
An implementation committee was appointed whose initial members were Maj Kayler-Thompson President, Maj Bill Chitts, WO1 “Tiny” Dugan & WO1 Sammy Beam Fees were set at $5.00 per annum for ordinary members or a “Life Membership”for $15.00.
The roles of the Association developed over the years are:
- to provide camaraderie with social activities for the members and their families;
- to commemorate RAR unit battle honours and preserve the memories of those who died on overseas service;
- to provide an advisory and delivery pensions and welfare support service; and
- to protect our members/families service entitlements by representation where necessary to the Government and relevant authorities.
Highlights of RARAQ history include:
- The construction of The RAR National Memorial Walk in 1996 and from that the volunteer maintenance group known as Dads’ Army.
- The establishment and operation of a Federal Secretariat in 2007 for the combined RAR State/Territory and RAR Battalion Associations, specifically to advocate as the RAR united voice of our RAR Family to the Government for their well-being and protection of their service entitlements.
- In 2009, the establishment from the RARA National body to the Royal Australian Regiment Corporation with the same roles.
- The establishment of ADSO in 2010 with other major ESOs to advocate with one voice to Government for the Defence Community’s well-being and protection of their service entitlements.
- In 2017 the unveiling of the RAR Memorial in Ferguson Park Samford Rd Enoggera. BCC approved the Park to be jointly named The Royal Australian Regiment Place
The success of RARAQ is the result of the dedication of many people (men, women and their families), too many to name in this brief article, who selflessly volunteered themselves to fill many of the roles on management committees, maintenance groups such as Dads’ Army, special projects and our representatives on Government Committees. But here are some named:
Presidents: David Drabsch, David Kayler-Thompson,“Tiny” Dugan, Scruffy McGovern, Ray Towie, Neil Eiby, Alf Handley, Ted Chitham, Kel Ryan, Alf Vockler, Neil Weekes and Dave McDonald
Secretaries: Sammy Beam, Ron Organ, Ken Dunn, Neil Bremner, Allan Whelan, Rick Hollingdrake and Greg Decker.
Treasurers: Sammy Beam, Kiwi Gibbons, John Stevens, Ron Goodall, Phil Challands and Trevor Pond
NMW: Mick Servos, Murray Blake and his Committee (Laurie Hall and John Carauna), Kiwi and Margaret Gibbons, Paul Gallagher, Peter Brennan and Theresa Muggeridge
Other Notables: Darcy Dugan, Rod Slater, Ken Cupples, Padre Gary Stone, Ron and Jerry Woodrow, Barry Stalder, Arthur Willemse just to name a few
Women: Margaret Gibbons, Barbara Handley, Patricia Eiby, Gail Dugan, Margaret Devereux, Selma Cupples to name a fewThe Regiment: The RAR Council (all Battalion COs and RSMs) and particularly the resident Battalions in Gallipoli Barracks 6 RAR and 8/9 RAR
We thank all those named and un-named who have contributed to the success of our RARAQ Association and for their dedication to service and sacrifice for The Regiment, Australia and our people and to Keeping the Regimental Spirit Alive. You are true exemplars of the Regiment’s motto DUTY FIRST
We ask for your contribution to continue with our new entity dedicated to the promotion and maintenance of The Royal Australian Regiment’s National Memorial Walk.
This brief article will be expanded on and become registered with the RAR Bibliography to be part of the Regiment’s recorded history.
A tribute to the volunteers of The Royal Australian Regiment Association – Still Soldiering On in Mufti
“Soldiering is a life experience and for most never to be forgotten. From the very moment that the oath is sworn, you are for the time being, just another unfortunate creature whose mother sold you to the military for a silver coin.
What the recruiting sergeant conveniently did not mention is that a total and rigid obedience to military regulations was obligatory.
Incredibly as each uncoordinated
group experienced the wrath of instructors at varying level of rank, slowly and
surely the rabble became a team with instinctive obedience to all commands
Military history records the deeds of units in both peace and war yet often fails to recognize those who made it so and the powerful spirit of unit pride and mateship which old soldiers carry to the grave and perhaps beyond. Such spirit and loyalty to unit did not just happen, but began with the very first shrill bark of command by a non- commissioned officer.
In time, with hard and demanding training, strangers became friends and then comrades. Individual views and uncoordinated action were transformed into a team with clear purpose and action.
No one can determine exactly when the
precious brother and sister hood arrived to embrace both unit and regiment.
However, there is no evidence whatsoever it came to be with a wave of a
General’s baton or a space age politician making promises.
What we do know is that the military
family gathered strength with each demanding challenge and recognition of
achievements in peace or war. We do know the demands of high standards were
met, and with it came even more confidence, battle discipline, individual and
collective pride. With all of these assets was the most valuable legacy of the
It is not surprising that as each
column converts to mufti, there are many volunteers who continue to shepherd
the thinning ranks with sharing and caring and reminding society of who and
what they still are.
Thus my compliments to all volunteers of all military associations and in particular those I have seen at first hand being The Royal Australian Regiment Association (RARA), The Australian Training Team Vietnam Association (AATTV) and 51st Battalion , Far North Queensland Regiment Association”
Old Soldiers Never Die
Time has aged those who once wore the proud badge of the Roo
The gaps in the ranks of old warriors are more than a few
Gone the spritely step and strong pulse beat
No more the singing round campfires on readymade seats
Yet still the memories of roll calls for so many brothers
Still young soldiers at heart, so ready to help each other
Beat the drums and sound the bugle call
All for one and one for all
Soldiers grow old yet always a powerful regimental spirit is there
Thanks to volunteers who are seen to be everywhere
They’ve traded rifle for names and addresses of mates in strife
No need of compass to find the home of a widow, once an army wife
Work parties maintain walls with proud names of fallen to be seen
Reunions, charity, funerals and telling school kids what ANZAC means
Beat the drums and sound the bugle call
All for one and one for all
In turn, each generation of the Regiment marches on and on
Until at last it blurs and fades on distant horizons and is gone
In each passing column, volunteers step forward to seize the flame
Dressed in mufti, armed with pen and phone, are on duty again
Old and new sentries have changed and the relief is complete
With mateship, sharing, caring, and despite weary shuffling feet
Beat the drums and sound the bugle call
All for one and one for all
Check your Mates
Please check your mates as a standard procedure. There are some who find it difficult to cope due to a number of factors, mainly they are alone so reach out to a mate and ask RUOK: one phone call can make a huge difference.
DVA – Men’s Health Peer Education (MHPE) Magazine — Vol. 18 No. 2 2019 — Mental Health Edition
Overview: Inside this issue: PT with the Governor-General of Australia, Gardens, great for the soul and body
Do you ever wake at night and find yourself worrying about life and trying to problem-solve issues, unable to get back to sleep? We now know what’s happening in your brain to cause it.
RAAF’s secret drone selection criteria
It has been revealed [to me in a vision] that the Royal Australian Air Force’s selection criteria for its new armed drones included…
Former Army officer appointed AWM Director
Former Army officer and diplomat Matthew Anderson will replace Brendan Nelson as Director of the Australian War Memorial.
READ RSL NEWS ONLINE
Edition 4 of Queensland RSL News can now be read online:
- 20 years of peace in Timor
- Meet our refreshed Executive
Explore the Barracks – gates thrown open for family fun day
FINDING VETERANS A PLACE TO CALL HOME
Safe, permanent housing is one of our most basic needs but sadly, some veterans are lacking just that.
Whether couch surfing, living in your car or living rough, we can help you find a place to call home.
Since launching in late 2017, our Homelessness program has helped 130 veterans find secure, stable accommodation.
NATIONAL ADVOCACY NEWS
The RAR Corporation (RAR Association National), advocates to Government to protect the service entitlements and well-being of the Defence Family (current and past serving military persons and their families). It does this directly in its own right as well as through the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO). By being represented on the PM’s Advisory Council on Mental Health PMAC (Mike von Berg), DVA’s ESO Round Table (ESORT) (Mike von Berg), the Younger Veterans Forum (YVF) (Phil Thompson) and the Operations Working Party (OWP)(Clem Russell) we have direct input into DVA.
Visit the ADSO website here
VETERANS who currently have to pay for their medical treatment upfront and wait to be reimbursed will only need to present their Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) health card to pay for their treatment under changes to the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) passed through Parliament yesterday.
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said around 4000 MRCA veterans and their families would benefit from the change, which is part of DVA’s transformation program to make processes faster and easier for veterans and their families to gain access to the support they need.
OMBUDSMAN’S INQUIRY INTO DFRDB COMMUTATION DECISION – APOLOGY BUT NO COMPENSATION
The Ombudsman’s office (11th December) released a Media Statement on the outcome of his inquiry into DFRDB Commutation. A copy of that Statement and the Ombudsman’s Report is here.
The Government acknowledges the release of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s independent investigation into the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) scheme. The Government listened to the concerns of the ex-service community in initiating an independent review of the DFRDB scheme, which focused on the accuracy of information provided about commutation by the Department of Defence (Defence), the Australian Defence Force (ADF) or the scheme administrators, such as the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC).
While the investigation found that some information provided by Defence in the 1980s and 1990s regarding commutation was incorrect, the Ombudsman concluded that the decision to commute was, and still is, the more financially beneficial option.
The Australian Defence Force Retirees Association (ADFRA) acts on behalf of Defence Force retirees and their military superannuation grievances. DFRDB […]
This month we saw the 30th Anniversary of the end of The Malaysian Counter Insurgency War (1968-1989) and early next year the 50th anniversary of the initial deployment of a combat infantry rifle company to protect the RAAF assets at Air Base Butterworth against the communist insurgent threat.
It’s almost 14 years since the RCB Review Group formally exercised it’s fundamental right to the truth and contested the Government’s decision that RCB service was unwarlike similar to peacetime garrison duty in Australia . It that time despite the overwhelming evidence discovered under FOI which revealed a deception and that the RCB RG has been denied a fair and just process that has been well documented and begs the question of a breach of the PM’s Ministerial standards.
Thus far, it’s been another successful and satisfying year, providing support to Kilcoy Race Club. The Xmas Cup meeting on Saturday 30 November was a great success with the new ($1M) facilities completed that will be envied by all other Tier 2 SEQ race tracks.
At this latest meeting we again saw three grass track trotting/pacing races, the only place in Queensland where this occurs.
As well as the major race days on a weekend, Kilcoy Diggers also provides limited support to mid-week meetings when entry is free.
These events are also a great social picnic day opportunity to experience. So in the New Year get your social group together and come enjoy the experience
Here is the KilDigs dressed for their support activities
YULETIDE FESTIVAL OF RACING AND PACING
From Con Searle, President
“Kilcoy racing officials have introduced exciting new concepts for the Yuletide Festival of Racing and Pacing. Following the unveiling of a brand new cafeteria and attractive improvements to the betting ring and surrounds late last month, the Kilcoy Race Club will stage its first standalone harness meeting on Monday December 30.
Also, Athletics officials have embraced the inaugural running of the $5000 Kilcoy Gift, a professional sprint over 120 metres to be staged on Australia Day. There will be four heats early in the day with the final to be run late afternoon. Bookies will bet on all events.
“We hope this event will become the Stawell Gift of Queensland,” “This first running will be a highlight of what we hope will be a family
day. It’s a Sunday and it will be free entry for kids who no doubt will be interested in the mini-trot races which are run between the gallop races.”
The Yuletide Kilcoy racing gets under way on Friday 20TH December with free entry for a seven event TAB meeting followed by the all trots meeting ten days later.
The New Year gallop meeting of eight events will be held on Saturday January 4. National and international television coverage of this meeting will no doubt attract favourable comments on the lush state of the turf track. “We are blessed to be allocated 140,000 litres of treated water daily and even through the drought of recent months the Kilcoy track has been bright green,”
“I’m really excited by the package of racing and entertainment we have programmed over the Festive season and on to Australia Day. The Somerset Regional Council have been wonderfully supportive of all the events staged at the Kilcoy racecourse including the annual Show and polocrosse matches.”
Note that Con is a great supporter and benefactor of the RAR National Memorial Walk
Honorary Life Member – Ken Cupples
For his outstanding service over a long period of time to the RARAQ and particularly the National Memorial Walk, Ken has been granted this honour. Congratulations from all to our senior active 92 years young Ken Cupples
Westfield’s North Lakes Qld Local Heroes 2019 – Glenn Willmann
Westfield announce its 120 Westfield Local Heroes for 2019. In March, their communities across Australia and New Zealand told them […]
Christmas Blessings and a Happy New Year
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. Happy New Year.”
STAY IN TOUCH
To stay current with RARA events and actions that may affect you and your family we suggest you frequently visit our RARA National website and RARA facebook site and our own new NMW web and facebook sites
The Enews is issued quarterly. Give us your suggestions for content and improvements and send articles for publication to Ted Chitham [email protected]
24 December 2019