Everyone well? I hope so.
Healthwise, I am aware of Kiwi and Margaret in RSL Care’s Fairview, Ron Woodrow still limping around at home, Margaret Devereaux still fighting on at home with Norm healing after his op. However, on the bright side Rod Wyatt turned up last week and looked resplendent astride his trusty steed, the red Ride-On Mower. Between he and Kucksy they had the lawns looking neat and trim in no time. The other good news is that Darryl Backwell has finished his stint in hospital and is convalescing back home. And Bob Kyte is back as a brand new man after an expected overnight stay in hospital extended to 10 days.
The old and bold and the usual have turned up over the last couple of weeks and as usual the Walk is looking as well as it can be although a bit messy in some areas where work in progress is ongoing mainly the Western Bank: the turf delivery has been delayed till the second week in December. The Northern Garden is still awaiting the Poinsettias to arrive from Mexico and the Russellias (Firecrackers) to start flowering but the Rosemary is doing well. All that will be needed then is a watering system to be installed and some fresh mulch and it will look a treat.
Our special Remembrance Day service at the NMW for the 145 pupils of the McDowall State School went well. A full report will be presented in the December Report. Over the years we have built a special relationship with the School which has a good number of Defence family children.
I am still persevering with lawn in front of the Contemplation Building (CB) and it is doing reasonably well although it is suffering from heavy foot traffic. I have mentioned this before that Defence were going to put in a pedestrian path there but they started at the other end and apparently ran out of money or materials when they got to the far side of Kapyong car park driveway hence the hapless hordes instead of crossing the road to the other footpath across our grass then they have to navigate the Military Police car park until they find another footpath to continue their journey. I am tempted to plant Murraya as an all-round hedge but might run into a bit of trouble as there are gas cocks, water cocks and electrical manholes that all need access by emergency services.
Here is Doug Spice, our Waterman. We presented him a small knick knack made of wire, nuts, washers and bolts that represents his job. Ted donated it for presentation in appreciations of Doug’s never-ending quest to direct water (with pressure) to where it is needed. The cost/benefits of a timed irrigation system is being assessed
Here I am giving the new IET march ins to 8/9 RAR a briefing on the Regimental’s NMW and with the 8/9 RAR Padre Leo Orreal reciting and introducing them to The Regimental Prayer.
Greg Decker, the NMW’s Project Officer getting some help from a 6 RAR IET work party. The help from both units 6 RAR and 8/9 RAR is very much appreciated and the new soldiers leave with a fair idea of what is The Royal Australian Regiment and its Regimental Family. They see the Regimental motto Duty First expanded on by the RAR Associations and the National Memorial Walk to a motto of Keeping The Spirit Alive.
But as we all know it can’t be done in half an hour or so as it is a long learning curve which must be lived to be appreciated.
Today at the Walk a lot of small jobs like re-staking of leaning trees as well as the normal raking of leaves among the trees were completed. Which will soon be a serious job when both Battalions training allows as the fuel (leaves and branches) among the trees will need to be removed as the fire season is soon to be here.
A major task that is taking some doing is the discovery and removal of carpet in certain areas of the trees. No mean feat as the roots, over the years, have claimed the carpet as their own and are loath to give it up. A job needing to be undertaken because when and if it rains it needs to naturally soak into the ground and not the carpet.
All in all, things are progressing and the area looks as well as it can be expected with the general lack of rain.
Today with Ted, I escorted our Patron Major General Stuart Smith and DVA’s Repatriation Commissioner Don Spinks on a show and tell visit of The Walk. It was Don’s first visit and he was impressed with its purposes, presentation and the dedication of the Regiment and particularly Dad’s Army to keeping the spirit alive. Stuart expressed concern at the reducing number of visitors by the entry and escort limitations being imposed.
Here is the latest Dad’s Army photograph. What a fine bunch of elder retired warriors. Ages range from 72 to 94
Front Row: Left-Right- Ken Cupples, Dan Penman, Ken Falvey, Dave McDonald, Doug Spice, Ted Chitham, Theresa Muggeridge, Rod Shaw, Derek Nixon-Smith.
Back Row: Left-Right – Cec Zabielo, Arthur McDonald, Louis Kucks, Mick van Brugh, Alan Wendt, Rod Newham, Trevor Pond, Allan Wayne, Bob Kyte, Mal Black, Barry Shipway and Robert Cross
That about wraps it up for the month. Keep safe, look out for a mate and remember by your actions you are Keeping the Spirit Alive.
Happy 72nd Birthday to the Royal Australian Regiment (23 November 1948)
Manager RAR NMW