Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 44

Page 20

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News and Reunions!  




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The proposal is for a group of Australian older persons, aged 65 years and over, to ride 50cc motor scooters east to west across the Nullarbor via the Eyre Highway, from Port Augusta to Norseman, and then continue on to Perth. The event will be financed through sponsorship and donations and marketed, with media support, to promote public awareness and acceptance that older persons are indeed an asset in today’s modern society. It is a desire that a flow-on benefit from this event will be that older persons regain a sense of adventure, which is a necessary part of life for all ages. All net proceeds from the event will be donated to Beyond Blue - a charity dedicated to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety in the community by raising awareness and understanding, empowering people to seek help, and supporting recovery, management and resilience.



Rationale for proposal.


Australians are now retiring from the workforce earlier and living longer. Increasing longevity is one of humanity’s greatest achievements. People live longer because of improved nutrition, sanitation, medical advances, health care, education and economic wellbeing. Some sources suggest that the world needs to take urgent action to cope with the impact of a rapidly ageing population. It is estimated that the number of people over 60 will surpass one billion within a decade. These growing numbers of the elderly presents significant challenges to welfare, pension and health care systems. This bemoans the fact that the skills and knowledge that older people have acquired are going to waste in society rather than being used to their full. Many of them are under employed, underactive and become a drain on a nation’s resources.


Successive governments tend to indulge in hand wringing about the cost of caring for the elderly, rather than exploiting what they have to offer. Many have skills that would be immensely useful in the volunteer sector but have been hardly tapped on a mass scale. Now is the time to seek opportunities to turn that around so that aging becomes a longevity dividend to a nation.


The concept for this event is the brainchild of Ian Jacobsen (right), a 70 plus something Queenslander. Ian had a varied and challenging life in both military and civil aviation and as an Antarctic expeditioner. He has met far too many older persons who openly admit they are merely filling in time until they die. He now wants to help, in this small way, to change that thinking. This proposed event is entirely about capturing the imagination of Australian seniors all around the country to try and get back some form of the adventure of their youth and make them feel useful. To make them laugh more often and make others laugh.



Timing of the event.


It  is  proposed  that  this  event  should  be  conducted  during  September  2014.  Subject  to  dates  clashing  with  other  events  during  that  month,  the  departure  date  from  Port  Augusta  would  be  Tuesday  9  September  and  arrival  in  Perth  just  under  two  weeks  later  during  the  morning  of  Sunday  21  September  2014.


The Radschool Association has entered the event and Ted McEvoy and Trev Benneworth will be winning hearts all across the Nullarbor on their souped up machines. We’ll devote a magazine to the event so you can read all about it – but you’d be better off entering yourself.


You can see more on the website - www.scootarborchallenge.com




Australia at War.


Big Sky Publishing, in conjunction with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Australian Army History Unit, are developing a mobile and tablet application of Australia’s wartime sites.  It will be available to the public free of charge from iTunes and Google Play in 2014. Information will also be available on a website that is being developed:   They need your help to create the most comprehensive record of Australia’s wartime sites, they are seeking support from local councils, military associations, historical societies, community groups and members of the public to: 

  • Identify sites of wartime significance in their local area.

  • Provide a brief history and a photograph if possible.

  • Supply contact information and opening hours if needed for public access.


Sites can include:  

  • shrines, memorials and plaques.

  • Statues, monuments and stained glass windows.

  • Wartime bases, bunkers, tunnels, gun placements etc.

  • Memorial avenues and parks.

  • Wartime airfields and crash/wreck sites.

  • POW and internment camps.

  • Local museums with wartime collections.

  • Heritage trails.

  • Wartime graves of significance (VC recipients).

  • Collections of wartime memorabilia that can be viewed by the public. 


See THIS flyer for more information on the App functionality.    



TPI Gold Card.  

Blue Ryan  


“In recent times there has been some reports of Specialists not accepting the Gold Card. In the past the TPI Federation has had an input into addressing this issue by providing information to DVA and Government. We need accurate details when this occurs to enable us to compile a submission to DVA/Government. If you are made aware of this could you please provide the following:   


  • the doctors’ name,  

  • the date it occurred,  

  • the town/city and the specialist area IE: vascular, orthopaedic etc   


and pass this information to me. This is an important matter and the sooner it is dealt with the better.”


If you’ve got some info please send it to Blue at this address  blueryan@iinet.net.au



Point Cook Air Pageant.


The dates have been announced for the 2014 Air Pageant at Point Cook. This will be a two day event held over the 1st and 2nd of March. The show will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Australian Flying Corp as well as the centenary of RAAF Point Cook. While it's too early for a list of participating aircraft there is one machine certain for its first public outing - the Bristol Boxkite replica aircraft.


It had its maiden flight on Wednesday 11 September 2013 at Point Cook with former Air Force Test Pilot Air Vice Marshal Mark Skidmore (retired) at the controls,. The brainchild of Group Captain (retired) Ron Gretton, AM, and Wing Commander (retired) Geoff Matthews, the Boxkite replica was painstakingly built at the Museum and will eventually be a showcase display for the public. The Boxkite has a rich history in the evolution of military aviation in Australia and was the first official military aircraft built in Australia that was used to train Australia’s military aviators.


You can see the Boxkite in action HERE.




Discounts for old buggers


Australian Partners of Defence launched a nationwide discount website to all serving and retired military personnel (including reservists and APS employees), and their families. These discounts are available through a membership program called APOD. Products discounted include attractions, dining, accommodation, fashion, jewellery, alcohol and more are added each week. To become a member for 2013, (membership is free), click HERE and sign up to have immediate access.


There is a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AustralianPartnersofDefence) which you can join and keep up to date with new discount offers as they come on board.


APOD is a private organisation, run by partners of Defence for the whole defence community, so any help you can offer to get this message distributed will benefit us all. APOD is not a charity nor is it supported in any way by the Commonwealth Government. For any further information or should you have any queries about the program please contact hello@apod.com.au





The Canberra.


If you are an old 2 Sqn bod and did a bit of time at Phan Rang, you might be interested in this AWM Video.




Vietnam Tour.


The RTFV/35 Sqn Association, in conjunction with Travel Indochina, is organising a “Return to Vietnam” tour. The tour will depart Australia on the 22 August 2014.


You can see further details HERE




Remembrance Day.


Remembrance Day (held each year at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month) marks the anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War (1918). World War One started in 1914 and lasted for four years. More than 416,000 Australians volunteered for service and of these 324,000 served overseas. Tragically, more than 60,000 Australians were killed, 45,000 were killed on the Western Front (France and Belgium) and more than 8,000 were killed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.


As well as the men that served, more than 3,000 Australian civilian nurses also volunteered for active service. The Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) had been formed in July 1903 as part of the Australian Army Medical Corps and during the war more than 2,000 of its members also served alongside the civvy nurses.


These women worked in hospitals, on hospital ships and trains, or in casualty clearing stations closer to the front line. They served in locations from Britain to India, taking in France and Belgium, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. Many of them were decorated, with eight receiving the Military Medal for bravery. Twenty-five died during their service.


By war's end, having faced the dangers and demands of wartime nursing and taken on new responsibilities and practices, nurses had proved to be essential to military medical service.


We should never forget these courageous women, there would be a lot of men a lot worse off if it hadn’t been for the care of these wonderful dedicated women!


In Australia, and in other allied countries, the 11th, of the 11th of the 11th is commemorated with a service followed by a 2 minute silence to remember that terrible conflict. Services are held at various monuments, memorials, RSL and Ex-Service Clubs, churches and schools right throughout the country.



The Kedron Wavell Services Club, which is in a northern Brisbane Suburb, in conjunction with the Kedron Wavell RSL Sub-Branch, (the largest Sub-Branch in Queensland,) is one club that holds a well-attended service. This year the attendees numbered in excess of 400.



Both Serving and Ex-Service people, along with the general public, gather at the club from 10.30 am to pay their respects and to lay a wreath in honour of those who gave their all.



Left, Danny Foster with his horse, “Big Max” (a retired pacer) and Peter Riches with his mount, “Trooper Jones”, a Waler. Danny, Peter and their horses are members of the Qld Mounted Infantry Historical Troop.


The Waler is an Australian breed of riding horse that developed from the horses that were brought to the Australian colonies in the 19th century. The name comes from their early breeding origins in New South Wales; they were originally known as New South Walers.


The Waler combined a variety of breeds; particularly the Thoroughbred, Arab, the Cape horse (from the Cape of Good Hope), Timor Pony and perhaps a little Clydesdale or Percheron. It was originally considered only a "type" of horse and not a distinct breed. However, as a landrace bred under the extreme climate and challenging working conditions of Australia, the Waler developed into a hardy horse with great endurance even when under extreme stress from lack of food and water. It was used as a stockman's horse and prized as a military remount. Walers were also used by bushrangers, troopers and exploration expeditions that traversed inland Australia.


The preferred Walers for cavalry duties were 15 to 16 hands high (152 to 163 cm). Those over 16 hands were rejected as were those with grey and broken (spotted) coat colours. The selected horses had to be of a good type that could carry sixteen or seventeen stone (101 to 108 kilograms) day after day.


The Walers carried the rider, saddle, saddle cloth, bridle, head collar, lead rope, a horseshoe case with one front and one hind shoe, nails, rations for the horse and rider, a bedroll, change of clothing, a rifle and about 90 rounds of .303 rifle ammunition. The gaits of the Waler were considered ideal for a cavalry mount; it could maintain a fast walk and could progress directly to a steady, level canter without resorting to a trot which was noisy, liable to dislodge gear and resulted in soreness in the horse's back. The cavalry horse required docility, courage, speed, and athletic ability, as it carried the rider into battle. The infantryman’s horse was used as a means of transport from one point to another, for example, from camp to a battle ground, where the horses were kept back from the fighting. Heavier animals were selected and used for draught and packhorse duties.


Most of the early Walers carried a fair percentage of Thoroughbred blood, with some recorded as race winners and a few being registered in the Australian Stud Book. While in warfare service in North Africa, some Walers proved successful in races against local Egyptian horses and assorted Thoroughbreds. In 1919 horses from the ANZAC Mounted Division won five of the six events at Heliopolis, near Cairo.


In the First World War, 121,324 Walers were sent overseas to the allied armies in Africa, Europe, India and Palestine. Of these, 39,348 served with the First Australian Imperial Force, mainly in the Middle East, while 81,976 were sent to India.  Due to quarantine restrictions, only one Waler is known to have been returned to Australia; "Sandy", the mount of Major-General W.T. Bridges, an officer who died at Gallipoli in May 1915.



Peter Cairnes, ex-Army WO 2 Engineer and universally known as “Fatcat”, is now the Welfare delegate for the Sub-Branch. Laying a wreath.



Michael Dann, The State (Qld) President of the Aircrew Association laid a wreath on behalf of the Aircrew Association.




After the service, the President of the Sub Branch, Rod Single, invited everyone to a morning tea in the memorial hall and although the bar was open, not a lot of people stayed on. Years ago, with a bar open and a dry till, you would have been hard pressed to hunt people out of the room by mid-night.  They say - “Age shall not weary them”  - wanna bet!!!


The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem "In Flanders Fields". These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.


Another ‘ritual’ that is followed religiously is the speaking of the “They shall not grow old” Ode of Remembrance though not a lot of people know from where this originated. The "Ode” is taken from Laurence Binyon's poem, "For the Fallen", which was first published in The Times in September 1914.





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