Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 46

Page 20

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News and Reunions!  




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Scootarbor Challenge.



Scootarbor Proposal.


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.


Mary Windsor, looking after the

financials for the proposal.


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 "Jake" Jacobsen (right), a 70 plus something Queenslander. Jake 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.


The event  will 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 will be winning hearts all across the Nullarbor on his souped up machine.


Ian has spent hours checking out the route – you can see it all HERE


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



If God had intended us to fly he would have made it easier to get to the airport.





Mary Windsor.


Mary Windsor, who many moons ago was Mary Moore, has already bought her trusty horseless carriage on which she intends to smash the Nullarbor in the Scootarbor Challenge. She has also bought a great bunch of survival gear from Army disposals and has tricked up the beast as she is determined she will hit the checked flag a day or so in front of all others.


Mary says the pink woollen seat covers, white wall tyres and fluffy dice hanging from her rear view mirrors will surely give her an edge. She says the feel of the leather jacket and the sexy blue denim jeans takes her back to the 60’s when she used to roar through the suburbs on her BSA Bantam.


Many say years ago she trained with Evel Knievel and we know that spectators across the Nullarbor are in for a treat as Mary has let it slip she intends to complete the whole course on the back wheel. 



Spitfire project.


The Friends of the RAAF Museum at Pt Cook have taken on the challenge of obtaining a fibreglass replica of a World War 2 Spitfire and then mounting it on a pole in front of the museum. The cost of the project is expected to be about $100,000 and they need our financial support. If everyone gave just $10, that would go a long way towards reaching their goal. If you can spare a little, please do, you can see further information HERE.



Drinks on ANZAC Day.


Just prior to ANZAC Day this year we received many emails telling us about the directive from Army telling all Army Personnel that, after the ANZAC Day march and while in uniform, they are not permitted to enter a licenced premises and consume alcohol. We thought this was just another one of those urban myths that fly though the web ether every now and then so we checked with Defence Media and as usual, they were very quick to reply to our query. They said:


“Australian Army members, both Regular and Reserve, are permitted to wear military uniform while marching or spectating on Anzac Day, whether deemed to be on duty or participating on an unpaid voluntary basis. Army personnel are not permitted to consume alcohol in a public place or licensed establishments in military uniform. After completing their duties on Anzac Day, Army members can change into their civilian attire and can then consume alcohol. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) maintains a strict policy and constantly reminds all ADF personnel on the responsible consumption of alcohol. Army continues to strongly encourage maximum Army participation and representation on Anzac Day 2014, while wearing our uniform in a proud, respectful manner in the public domain."


This is obviously not an ADF order as, after the March, most hotels and clubs play host to hundreds of RAAF and Navy blokes and blokettes quietly enjoying a drink with their mates, as they should be allowed. It is a very serious restriction, one that Army would not have issued without a lot of consideration - there obviously has to be a reason for it. One wonders what.


We did hear from a senior RAAF officer who said


“This is no different to the approach taken by Army over the past two or so years. In respect of any flow on to Air Force, I have confirmed that the approach taken last year and prior remain. Air Force members may engage in a moderate consumption of drinks while in uniform on Anzac Day as an element of those celebrations. Moderate would mean two or three drinks. Those members who feel they may extend their involvement beyond that, should use good judgement and undertake to change from Uniform to civilian attire. Please note this is simply applying common sense and reflects the approach we have taken in the past.”


You have to feel sorry for the Army Blokes and Blokettes, does Army seriously think that their personnel would bother to take a set of civvy clothes with them in which to change after the march, it’s shades of Singapore in the late 1960’s all over again. ANZAC Day is a wonderful day. Most people march because they are proud of their service, of what they or their unit has done and the feeling you get when you and your mates march through the streets of your city with hundreds, sometimes thousands of people cheering and clapping.


That feeling is hard to beat.


What a huge let down it is not to be able to get together after the March, over a few drinks and relive all those memories again.


It’s a shame really.





To mark its Centenary as an Australian company on 9 April 2014, Coles has pledged to raise $5 million for the Australian Defence Force Assistance Trust to assist current and former members of the armed services and their families who are in need of the nation’s help. Over the next 12 months in the lead up to Anzac Day 2015 - when the nation commemorates 100 years since Australian troops landed on Gallipoli - Coles will raise $5 million through corporate and customer fundraising in its stores across the country.


On April 9, which was officially 100 years since GJ Coles established his first store in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, Coles announced its multi-million dollar Centenary Pledge and will seek customer donations to salute our heroic Australian families. Donations can be made at all Coles’ supermarkets and online to the Australian Defence Force Assistance Trust.


In addition to this fundraising, Coles will also provide “Digger Discounts” in all of its supermarkets on selected days over the next 12 months, to give all serving, returned, or retired members of the Armed Services and their families a 10% discount on their groceries. To obtain your discount all you need to do is present your valid Department of Veteran Affairs card or Defence Personnel Card.


Selected Days” is the small print here, we have no idea what days Coles has in mind.



Atheism is a non-prophet organisation.




Rolling Thunder.


We received the following from Defence Welfare.


A powerful new Australian concert drama “Rolling Thunder Vietnam” will world premiere in Brisbane on 14 August 2014 prior to a national tour.



Set in the Vietnam War era, the evocative and stirring production showcases some of the greatest rock songs ever produced performed by some of Australia’s greatest singer-actors and musicians.


The Vietnam War was the world’s first televised war. More than any other conflict it produced some of the most popular and enduring songs of the 20th century. The show features the music of Steppenwolf, Joe Cocker, Buffalo Springfield, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Gladys Knight, Billy Thorpe, The Rolling Stones and Curtis Mayfield just to name a few.


Rolling Thunder Vietnam brings to the stage a new generation of young musical talent under the esteemed music direction of Chong Lim (Dancing With The Stars, John Farnham Band).


Rolling Thunder Vietnam is set in the late ‘60s, a period of immense cultural and political change, but its stories are universal and resonate at a time when the cost of war continues to be counted.”


Rolling Thunder Vietnam is generously offering a special discount for all ADF staff ($20 off Adult price in Capital Cities and $10 off in Regionals Toowoomba / Caloundra). Click HERE to see the dates the show will feature in your town and to find the links to purchase discounted tickets.


Click HERE for further and better particulars.




Long Tan Cross.


Dave Sabben, who was a Second Lieutenant with 6 Battalion in Vietnam (08June1966 to 14June1967) where he earned the Medal for Gallantry and also an MID, maintains an excellent web site dedicated to Long Tan. You can see it HERE.


In 1969, 6RAR-NZ (ANZAC) Battalion placed a concrete Cross in the Long Tan rubber plantation. The original idea of the placement of a Cross as a memorial came from a meeting in late 1968 at HQ, 6RAR, Lavarack Barracks, Townsville. Present at the meeting were the CO, Lt Col David Butler, the 2IC, Maj Leonard Johnson and the Adj, Capt M Harris. Once in Vietnam for 6RAR's second tour, a special operation was mounted for 18 August 1969. The 6RAR Pioneer Platoon Cpl Barry McAvinue constructed the cross, supervised by Sgt Allan McLean. RAEME Nui Dat provided the brass plaque and wording by RSM, WO1 Jim Cruickshank was inscribed.


It said:


“In memory of those members of D Coy and 3 Troop, 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron who gave their lives near this spot during the battle of Long Tan on 18th August 1966. Erected by 6RAR/NZ (ANZAC) 18 August 69”.


The nine foot unpainted concrete cross was helicoptered in and planted in the position that 11 Platoon had defended for most of the battle. The original plaque faced south (as does the replica at the site today).


Dave says, “Landowners of the rubber plantation at Long Tan determined that the trees around the Cross had suffered damage resulting from recent Cyclones and that they would remain stunted and undersized and thus under-productive, and so needed to be replaced. They were cleared and new trees will be planted. It will be five or six years before they even start to resemble the plantation which hosted the battle of Long Tan. Pity about the timing, with the 50th anniversary in Aug 2016 bound to draw a significant crowd, but the plantation is, after all, a working plantation and needs to remain profitable. We can expect some site restrictions around the Cross in the next few years including the ANZAC Days as the trees will be young and susceptible to damage”.



Childhood: That period when nightmares occur only during sleep.



Caribou Anniversary, 8th - 9th August, 2014.


Stew Bonett is organizing a commemorative weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the RAAF obtaining the Caribou.


The prototype aircraft first flew on 30th July 1958. Eighteen aircraft were ordered for the RAAF in May 1963 and the first aircraft, A4-134, was handed over at the DHC plant at Downsview, near Toronto, Canada, on 25th February 1964. Three aircraft were then ferried by 38 Squadron crews for the 25,700 km (16,000 miles) to Australia, via the Atlantic, Europe and Indian Ocean, arriving at Richmond on 22 April 1964.


The celebration will be held at the Opal Cove Resort Coffs Harbour (see HERE) and will include:



Friday. 8th August.


Commencing on the Friday, Pre Dinner drinks at 5.00pm, then a BBQ Meet and Greet, commencing at 6.00pm. Cost of the Barbecue is $22.00 per head and tickets can be purchased on the night.


Drink tickets will be sold in books of 5 @ $22.50, ($4.50 each), however, Stew will put his hand in his pocket for some freebies early in the evening.


Drink prices are:




Red and white wine






Soft drink or OJ



The Bar cannot give you cash change for your drink tickets, so if your order comes to an odd number eg; $5.50, the barman will accept $1.00 in cash plus one ticket.



Saturday. 9th August.


After pre-dinner drinks and canapés you will move in to dinner and there will be wine on the table. Additional and/or different drinks can be bought using your tickets.


If you wish to go, please complete the registration form (HERE) and email it to Stew HERE. This form should be completed and sent off by the 15th June but if you're late you could still get a guernsey - give Stew a ring.


If you have any queries or problems, call Stew 0410 518 712.


Click HERE to see who is going (as at 01July2014)



Always keep your words soft and sweet in case you have to eat them.



East Sale Reunion.


Lyn Mitchell would like everyone who was East Sale during their RAAF career to know that a reunion is planned for the 7th – 9th November 2014.



A meet and greet is planned for the Friday (7th) at the Criterion Hotel in Macalister St. For those who haven’t been back to Sale for a while, the Criterion has had a total facelift and is now a quality eating spot. A Bistro Dinner and drinks will be available but not organised so if you wish to partake, it is at your own leisure.


The organisers are still working on activities for the day light hours of the Saturday and would welcome any suggestions. Some may wish to tour some of the favourite sites from the old days. There are the parking spots around Lake Guthridge that will most certainly bring back memories of watching the ‘wildlife’ well into the night as will the Swing Bridge, which also involved a good deal of wildlife and is now a designated as a “Historic Site”.


The reunion Dinner will be held at the Criterion Hotel on the Saturday Night. These dinners usually turn into an opportunity to tell a few “truths” about our early days and it is certain that this one will be no different.


On Sunday morning there will be the usual farewell Breakfast sick parade at the hotel. Further details will be made know as they are finalised.


There is plenty of accommodation around Sale and the surrounds. The Caravan Park on the highway to Melbourne and the Stratford Motel do not seem to have changed since 1967.


A good cheap place to stay is the Gippsland Hotel, below, it’s close to everything and although it’s not 5 star, the beer’s cold, counter lunches are great, the beds are comfy and the rooms are clean and cost only $40/night, though we reckon it would be a good idea to book as there aren’t a lot of them.



Click HERE to see the list of those attending (as at 1July2014)


If you want to know more, contact Jim Birrell at jim.birrell@bigpond.com



The 2014 Federal Budget and you.


Laurie Lindsay sent us this, he wrote to Kelly O'Dwyer MP, the Federal Member for Higgins, asking Ms O’Dwyer to clearly explain the benefits or costs ex-Service men and women will experience due to the recent Budget. There is always a lot of party political argy bargy from the opposition following a budget and it is hard to sort the wheat from the chaff.


She wrote back:


Hi Laurie,


Thank you for your email regarding the 2014-15 Federal Budget. The Coalition recognises the unique nature of military service and the sacrifices military personnel and their families make on behalf of all Australians. This Government will continue and strengthen vital services for veterans and their families.


Unfortunately, the Labor Party has made dishonest claims with regards to changes to veterans’ affairs.


Contrary to Labor’s inaccurate claims, the Abbott Government has honoured its commitment to index military superannuation pensions from 1 July this year. This is something Labor failed to do. This affects Defence Force Retirement Benefits (DFRB)Scheme, Defence Force Retirement, Death Benefits (DFRDB) Scheme superannuants and reversionary (widow) pensioners.


Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Gold and White treatment card holders are not impacted by GP co-payment measures. Under DVA arrangements, the DVA fee will continue as the full payment to provider with no charge to the card holder. Veterans eligible to access the Veterans' Pharmaceutical Reimbursement Scheme will continue to receive a reimbursement for out of pocket pharmaceutical expenses, following changes to the co-payment announced in the Budget.


In addition, the Abbott Government has restored advocacy funding for the veteran community which was cut by Labor. We will provide an additional $1 million per year to the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) programme over the forward estimates. This funding will support the work of veterans’ advocates, pension and welfare officers, in helping veterans to access important information and services.


There is a comprehensive service system that stands ready to meet the mental health needs of the veteran and ex-service community. The Government recognises that more effort is needed, which is why we are proceeding with the implementation of a number of mental health initiatives from 1 July 2014. This year we will spend more than $166 million on dedicated mental health services for veterans and their families.


These mental health initiatives include:


·       greater access to the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service for ex-serving members and their families, for those with border protection service, service in a disaster zone either in Australia or overseas, and members medically discharged;

·       greater access for eligible veterans to treatment for diagnosed post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression, without the need to establish that their mental health condition is related to service;

·      from 1 July 2014, DVA will also pay for treatment for diagnosed alcohol and substance use disorders; and more categories of peacetime service will also become eligible; and

·       funding under Medicare for a new physical and mental health assessment for ex-serving personnel to help their GPs identify any mental and physical health concerns early and to treat or refer appropriately to other services.


The new look Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on veteran mental health, which the Minister announced on 13 March 2014, elevates and highlights the Government’s determination to address the mental health needs of the veteran and ex-service community.


The Government will deliver $6.9 million to develop a detailed business case for the construction of an Australian Western Front Interpretive Centre at Villers-Bretonneux in France to be an enduring legacy of the Centenary of Anzac. The Centenary of Anzac is the most significant period of commemoration in our nation’s history.


To support activities at the grass-roots level we have increased funding under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Programme to $125,000 per electorate.


Efficiencies in delivering services to veterans include aligning the indexation of DVA funded services for dental and allied health care providers with current arrangements for Medicare and DVA medical services. This will not change how veterans access these services, but will ensure consistency across health care providers.


The Government will continue to respond to the changing needs of veterans and their families. We are proud to deliver our election commitments for veterans and their families in this Budget.


Thank you again for your email. Please don’t hesitate to contact me again in the future if I can be of assistance.


Yours sincerely,


Kelly O'Dwyer MP

Federal Member for Higgins."



So now you know!!



Radar Banner.


This is the new Radar Banner which NSW people marched under on ANZAC Day in Sydney.




It will be used for all further marches and for other formal occasions. 




Veterans’ Ex-Service and Services Expo.


We cordially invite your group/organisation to take part in the 2014 VETERANS’ EX-SERVICE AND SERVICES EXPO.  “All things Military – Now and Then” is the theme for the 2014 EXPO.


WHEN:         Saturday 18th October 2014


WHERE:       Australian Army Infantry Museum, Lone Pine Barracks, Singleton


TIME:           9:00 am – 2.00 pm            (Access for exhibitors from 8.00am)


 Further info can be found HERE




75th Anniversary Celebrations for RAAF Rathmines. NSW


Howard Campbell would like everyone to know that the Friends of Rathmlnes Inc, a local volunteer community group, are organizing the 75th Anniversary of the formation of RAAF Rathmlnes, a WW2 flying boat base, and the Anniversary of 100 years of Military Flight.


This event will take place at Rathmines Park on 27 and 28 September 2014. 



The Friends of Rathmines Inc, together with Lake Macquarie Council and Land Care have been slowly clearing the bush from the site on the edge of Lake Macquarie. They also do talks in local schools re this WW2 Flying Boat Base and run free tours of the base. They are interested in people who did Officer Training there and people who did the Junior Equipment & Administrative Courses there.(JEAT's).


If you have any knowledge, photos, or memorabilia (we will copy photos and return other items) regarding these times, please contact Alec Howard via email HERE or by phone 02 4975 1973.


Onion breath is only a problem for others.



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