NMW Report – 19 December 2020

A very thirsty Walk welcomed 130mm over the week and more since. It will do wonders for the place but in other ways be a hindrance such as it is too wet to have the turf cut and delivered and the Western Bank will now have turf laid in the new year. Another downsize is Wombat’s nemesis, the dreaded weeds: they are everywhere. 

A small price to pay I suppose but on a positive note we have spread Searles Lawn Booster on all green areas and madly spraying the gardens with Searles 5 in 1 Fertilizer. And it has softened the lawn for aerating.

The strong winds that came with the rain has done minimal damage apart from ripping the ridge cover off the BBQ shelter and stripping all the bark off the gum trees. The area between the Korea and Vietnam Gardens looks like a brown shaggy carpet has been laid. It will take some doing to get rid of it but will have to be done before it dries out completely as it will make the perfect fuel for a fire.

Last Monday it teemed with rain but a few of us turned up anyway. Me, mainly to assess any damage, and as you can see in a couple of photos four or five of the usual suspects turned up. You can see Rod Newham with his power washer going, he didn’t think the place was wet enough. And I am sure, a bit like Arthur Willemse , Mick Vanburgh needs his weekly spin on the shoulder blower. I give him an A for determination as he got rid of most of the dead leaves. However, it was impossible to mow so all the leaves are on the lawns, but we did manage to rake up most of them and put into bins.

All in all, everyone, as usual is chipping in and achieving their tasks as well as additional ones. For example

  • Therese Muggeridge (Muggy’s widow) has done a mighty job up at NMW southern entrance (the 1 Division end) cleaning up and planting begonias in all the bare patches.
  • Ken Cupples continues to amaze us with his dedication: he is always there and keeps coil and spark plug dry and working in his little Red Tractor and trailer – he is everywhere picking up deadfall and tree debris.

On our sick list we report:

  • Darryl Backwell is back in the Mater hospital with another recurrence of his scoliosis. 
  • Mal Black took a fall at home and hit the back of his head. I just rung him to find out how he was and he replied in his inimitable conversational way “I’m vertical. Hoo Roo” so I guess that means he is OK!!  
  • Margaret Deveroux is continuing her treatment. We all send our regards to Margaret and miss her presence: not to mention her delightful smoko treats.
  • Ron Woodrow is still recovering and healing. I am having trouble getting him a gate pass. We would dearly love to see Ron and Ivy next Monday, I can come down to the Lloyd St gate and sign them in.

On Monday 21st December Dad’s Army will, after its normal work, have its Break- Up BBQ smoko. It gives me the opportunity to thank all our Dad’s Army volunteers for their dedicated loyalty and commitment in this Covid 19 year to our RAR Family to keep the memory of our fallen warriors and our Regimental Spirit Alive.

Suicide Concern

We were terribly saddened by the news of the two young soldiers from both the Battalions here at Enoggera Barracks that took their own lives recently.

We at DA keep the memory of our fallen warriors alive under the RARA’s National motto “Keeping the Spirit Alive”. But that motto also encompasses both current and past serving living members of the Royal Australian Regiment and their families (The Regimental Family) through our duty to care for each other.

Sadly, we as the Regiment missed the crack that these young blokes fell through.

As part of our Regimental Family, we have a “mob” called Kilcoy Diggers (KD). This “mob” is ably led by Rod Slater an ex RSM of 8/9 RAR. They assist the Kilcoy Race Club (KRC) to conduct all races on its calendar by setting up prior to, assist where needed on the race day and then dismantle and stow everything after the event.  In return KRC donates an amount of money to KD who distributes it to worthy causes of like-minded Ex Service Organizations. Many of DA are members of KD.

A Go Fund Me page was set up for Shane Holt of 8/9 RAR and KD donated the $1000.00 from KRC to Shane’s family. After all it is what families do!

Rod wrote the following to accompany the donation: 

“Kilcoy Diggers is a volunteer group of primarily ex Diggers & Partners, many of whom served in 8/9RAR. We assist Kilcoy Race Club to conduct their major race days for which we receive a donation which we in turn then donate to a worthy Ex Service Organisations or Groups. Our donation from the race meeting on 29 November could not go to a more worthy cause. We extend our most sincere sympathies & condolences to the Family & Friends…DUTY FIRST”

Open Arms – Veterans and Family Counselling –  #Check5

This year has presented significant challenges for everyone, in the way of natural disasters, the COVID pandemic and with particular impact on the veteran community – the release of the IGADF Report. These have resulted in an increased focus on maintaining mental health and wellbeing and a recognition of the power of connection.

Over the holiday period, we’re encouraging all current and former ADF personnel and their family members to square away their mental health and check in with 5 people in their lives. #Check5

Connect with them, yarn with them and motivate them to act.

For more on how to connect and start a conversation: https://www.openarms.gov.au/check-5

In closing I would like to wish you and yours a very happy and joyous Christmas and a well earned break. To me Dad’s Army people are the epitome of everything held dear in the Regiment: your loyalty, your mateship which includes the camaraderie often shown by the ANZAC spirit that we possess and are all rightly proud of and your commitment to the task in hand to achieve what we do in Keeping the Spirit Alive for Warriors past and present. The hope a new year without the rigors and trials of the present is one to bring you peace and happiness to all.

Remember another one of my sayings – out there are ex politicians, ex teachers and ex whatever but there is no such thing as an ex veteran. Stay proud of what you did and stay safe and see you all in 2021

Duty First

Dave McDonald

 19 December 2020


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