Dear Members and Friends,
We usually send out our newsletter in February each year but this year we are sending it out early to ensure that all our members are made aware in plenty of time about the Combined ACS National Reunion to be held at Tweed Heads on Friday and Saturday 11- 12 March 2011. The Program and Registration forms are enclosed with this newsletter, so we hope to see you there, if it is at all possible. The Queensland Branch is conducting and subsidising this reunion so it is up to our members to give it their support.
Many interesting things happened during the year and were passed on to those members on email but as many members do not have this facility I will repeat some of them. Firstly in March we heard from Lionel Allen in Western Australia that the ACS Memorials on Cocos Islands that we reported on in our last newsletter, had been successfully moved to a safer resting place by the action of the good people on Cocos Island led by Mr Rosly Arkrie the Managing Director of Cocos Manpower Pty Ltd. This was an excellent conclusion to a problem that had threatened the safety of these historic memorials and we expressed our gratitude to Mr Arkrie, Lionel Allen and all the others who had assisted in this operation.
This is a photograph of the Cocos Island ACS Memorials neatly set up in the new location, in time for the 2010 Anzac Day Services, thanks to Mr Rosly Arkrie and his band of helpers.
LES MITCHELL’S STORY
In July 2010 Les Mitchell represented our branch at the RAAFA Assembly and AGM at the Bankstown Sports Club and he was asked by the President Gordon Johnstone to submit a story about the ACS for publication in “Wings”. Les has done this and a copy of his “A Grandfather’s Story” accompanies this newsletter. Those members on email have already seen this story and I have received a number of very complimentary reviews from several members. It was very well written in language that people should be able to understand and we hope it will be published in the Summer edition of “Wings” due out in December.
Ron Lopaten, WA Branch President, had a story on Air Commodore W A C Dale published in the April/ May edition of “Air Mail” the WA RAAFA publication and the Spring edition of “Wings” has a review of Ian Croft’s “We Prepared The Way”. Reading about WAC Dale’s involvement in the landing at Guadalcanal reminded me of a story I wrote about that landing on 7th August 1942 coinciding with our arrival at Port Moresby on the Abiel Foster and a proposed Japanese air–raid on Port Moresby being diverted to Guadalcanal, which could have been disastrous for us.
FLTLT Dane Carter of RAAF Butterworth was made aware of a brass plaque which commemorates the finalisation of No.2 Airfield Construction Squadron RAAF redevelopment finishing in 1958 of the Butterworth Airfield. He located the plaque, which was on the ATC tower that the RMAF occupy.
FLTLT Dane Carter contacted the RMAF earlier this year that the RAAF was keen to have the plaque for the new HQs that were finished in 2008 - He was the RAAF Project Engineer for the Project. The RMAF indicated that it was of interest to them as it forms part of their history he asked to take the item and have it copied. The RMAF agreed and he had had two copies made, all from ADF brass that was made available to him. Of the three one will go back on the RMAF ATC Tower, the other will go on the new HQ and the 3rd to go to 2ACS representatives. The plaque when means of transport can be arranged will be forwarded to Gordon Dunn in Darwin. When it is received, and at a suitable time Tom Wilson and Gordon will make arrangements for it to be installed in the Malaysian Emergency Section at the Australian War Memorial.
We continue to hear of the passing of our good members, this year we learned of the death of Rees Brown in January, Bill McNeven in February, Eddie Tull and Phil Mogridge in April, Joyce Blattmann in May , Peter Reilly and Ronald Groube in June, Betty Beohm in July, Reg Skews in September and Harry (Horse) Park in October. Reg Skews was one of our “original” members who completed both tours from 1942 to 1945 and was a member of the Victorian committee for many years. “Horse” Park was a very well known member and treasurer of the Victorian Branch. We extend to all their families our deepest sympathy and to those who are experiencing health problems our best wishes for a prompt recovery.
AUSTRALIAN NUCLEAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION
I continue to receive emails from Gordon Beckwith regarding the progress they are making with their claims for consideration by the DVA and according to an article in the latest “Vetaffairs” at last some benefits should be forthcoming. It has been a long battle and full recognition of our claims is very hard to come by. It is only by the efforts of Ric Johnstone and his committee that any progress has been made.
Our meeting on 10th November 2010 will have Laurel Campbell as our guest speaker telling us about the early days of the 5 ACS Association in NSW. Laurel together with Ray was our treasurer and PR agent for over 40 years, she knew every member personally and put little notes in with her receipts, especially to those who were ill. The meeting will be followed by a luncheon in the restaurant of the Combined Services Club Barrack Street Sydney and it should be a very happy occasion. Our meetings for 2011 will be on the 2nd Wednesday of February, May, August and November 2011. If you have not been to one of our meetings before, we would be delighted to welcome you as we need more people to help us keep our association going, as it has been all those years.
ANZAC DAY MARCH AND LUNCHEON.
We assume we will form up as usual in Elizabeth Street opposite David Jones, no later than 10-30am when the banners should be in place Current squadrons are permitted to march with WWII and Post WWII squadrons if there is some affiliation between the respective squadrons. So we can all march together once again but descendents can only march with us if they carry the banners. As we have 2 banners and each has 4 ropes we need 12 people to carry our banners, if you would like to volunteer to carry out this task please let me know prior to Anzac Day.
After the march our reunion luncheon will be at City Tattersall’s Club in Pitt Street Sydney. The cost of the lunch will be $45 per head and our ladies and friends are welcome. Bookings must be made and paid for by Sunday 10 April 2010 to our treasurer Don Lynch, 6 Careya Crescent Woodford NSW 2778. Phone (02) 4758 7116, please use cut-off at the bottom of this page.
The subscriptions for 2011 are now due and as these subs have not been raised for many years it is essential that all NSW and ACT members send them in on time. We send this newsletter out to 180 members by mail and an extra 80 by email as well as running the branch and conducting 4 meetings each year, it all costs money and we need you continuing support to keep our branch operating in the manner we have done for many years. Please make cheques out to “The Flying Shovels”.
We hope you enjoy reading Les Mitchell’s story and we wish you all the compliments of the coming Christmas season. We trust that 2011 will be a healthy and happy one for each of you.
Syd Kildea, Secretary.
Please return to Don Lynch, 6 Careya Crescent, Woodford NSW 2778. By 11 April 2009.
I will / will not be attending the Anzac Day Lunch at City Tattersall’s Club and enclose: --
Name…………………………………. $……..for…….people ($45 per head)
Address………………………………. $……..for 2011 Subs. ($5 P/A if due)
……………………………….. $..……... Donation.
………………………………. Total $……… Payable to “The Flying Shovels”
E-mail address (if any)…………………………………………………(We now have over 80 on email)
If you are receiving this newsletter by mail and have an email address, please let us know and please forward a copy to any ACS members who may not be on our mailing list.