Vol 48

The Magazine by and for Serving and Ex-RAAF People,

and others.

Page 15

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Sale Equipo’s and Friends’ Reunion,

7th to 9th November, Nov 2014.


Click each pic for a bigger and better quality view.


Over the years blokes and blokettes who worked at East Sale in the Equipo mustering kept in touch with each other by sending out Christmas cards and sometimes including a little note on how life and families were progressing.


As time moved on, a lot of these people scattered to towns and villages all over Australia and face to face contact between a lot became very infrequent and contact dropped off. This was apparent when a few old friends did meet and the conversation eventually became: “what’s old so-and-so doing these days” – sadly no-one knew!! It was a no-brainer when some-one suggested, “let’s plan a reunion so we can all get together again”. So the search began.


As was the norm in the years they served, as mates they knew a lot of personal facts about each other, they knew where their mates came from, where each of them grew up and in a lot of cases knew their mates’ families. Knowing all that personal info made it a lot easier to find people, they contacted people in some of the small towns their friends came from, white-pages on line was very handy as was word of mouth, some-one knew some-one who knew some-one and eventually a sizeable contact list of names was put together.


Virginia and Ralf Faber and also Mick Hawryluk (right) led the push and eventually it was decided to hold a reunion for Ex Sale Equipos and friends and to hold it over the weekend 27th to 29th October 2006 at the Gippsland Veterans Welfare Centre in Sale. Fliers were sent out and 75 people positively responded – and it was on. The reunion went well and people came from all over Australia.


At the 2006 reunion it was decided that they would hold the reunions every two years and that would call for a volunteer(s) to put the next reunion in place. Neil and Kay Short took up the baton and made an executive decision to hold reunion number 2 over the week-end 10th and 12 October, 2008 and that everyone would travel to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with the venue being the Coolum-Peregian RSL. 56 people made the journey.


At Coolum, the baton was once again passed, this time to Ian and Julka Shaughnessy (right) who decided to hold the 2010 reunion at the Adelaide Shores Caravan Park with the Saturday night dinner to be held at the Westward Ho Golf Club. This time they had 64 attendees.


The baton then passed to Jack and Pam Simpson who elected to hold the reunion on the 2nd to 4th November at Rathmines RSL. 56 people made the journey to Rathmines which also co-incided with the Catalina Festival which drew thousands of people.


At Rathmines everyone stepped back, except for Ralph and Virginia Faber (right) who were left with the organisation baton and to Jim Birrell who was volunteered to be the PR man.


This time, the reunion was held back at Sale, back to where it all began, with the venue being the Greyhound Club (below) on Sale Road. 78 people arrived and all had a great time.


As people move into their twilight years, it is noticeable that they enjoy coming together in true mateship to talk about the times when they served their country. They all look forward to 2016.



Part of the crowd at the Friday night’s meet and greet.



People at the Sale reunion included:


Bev and Harry Allie.


Bob Mietus, Graham Poole and Tom Fehily.  (Even Radtechs got a guernsey).


Brian Smith, Marie Roberts and Gloria Logan.


Carol Jewell and Pat Anderson.


Barry and Marie Roberts.


Cath Griffiths, Daphne Hopping, Lyn Mitchell, Marj Dixon, Maureen Kerr.


Glen Smith, Rosa Wallis.


Greg and Carol Eastwell.


Jenny Allwood, Ann Steele, Pat Lynch.


Jenni and Bob Eising.


Kay Short, Julka Shaughnessy, Lorraine Adam.


Kevin Kerr, Laurie Lindsay, Ian “Mitch” Mitchell.


Here’s an after and before photo, the one below was taken at Frognall back in 1966.


Back L-R:  Laurie Lindsay, Kevin Kerr

Front L-R:  Andy Esler, Elio Grohovaz , Graeme Moore


Anna Smith.


Kevin Adam, Ian “Rabbit” Shaughnessy.


Marj Dixon, Ann Steele.


Laurie Lindsay, “Ug” Anderson.


Peter “Moe” Mowlam.


Margaret Flaxman, Jean Marsh, Joan Ramsay.


Marian Low, Keiran Gagan.


Ray Allwood, Harry Wyatt.


Noel "Dangla" Lynch, Vicki Wyatt.


Ron Smalley, Richard Low.


Ronald Ramsay, John Wilson, Dean Hopping.


Trevor and Beryl Teis.


Virginia Faber and Jenny Hawryluk.


Virginia and Jenny were the gate-keepers at the Friday night’s “gay and hearty” and no-one got past these two intrepid ladies without the correct paid up union card.



Below, some of the people who got together on the Saturday night to share a meal, to tell huge lies to each other and to promise to meet again in 2 years’ time.





We’re not normally a suspicious sort of person, but we’re sure we saw and heard Harry walk over to Jim, slip a few dollars under the table and say “Hop up there and say a few nice words about me mate, will you?”






Harry Allie


Jim Birrell.


We can’t be sure that’s the way it went, but Jim did take the stand and did say some nice words about his mate, Harry Allie and being forewarned and forearmed, we were able to capture it on the little camera.


Click the video below.





Unfortunately, as is normally the case, the night went far too quickly and with a good meal and a few drinks under the belt, it was time for all these weary old friends to head back to their dongas to catch up on some beauty sleep. How times have changed, years ago these people would still be celebrating, Sale would be rapidly running out of alcohol and everyone would be speaking Braille.


Contrary to popular belief, age does weary them.




Before the walking sticks and walkers were collected for the trip home, Jim managed to stir troops and got them all together for a group photo. 


And below, all the girls who came and brightened up the reunion and whose presence ensured the evening wasn't just a boring old boys' club.




We don't know for sure, but we believe the next reunion will be organised by Neil (Shorty) Short and Kev Adams and it will be somewhere in Queensland, we'll let you know as soon as it's finalised.








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