Vol 5

Page 2


Welcome again to our little newsletter. This is our 5th edition, we’re now 12 months old, and still the numbers grow, that’s great to see. This edition we’ll run the last of our photos from the reunions of the 20th century, after that, well, we’re relying on you to send us some new material.


We’ve received some correspondence from you (good) on our proposed get together in 2001. Some want to make it an all ex-Radschool event, some suggest making it a Radschool plus invitees night, others for making it an ex-RAAF night. The jury’s still out on that one, but there’s still plenty of time so we don’t have to make a decision right now. Please give it some thought though.


One thing that must be considered—if we are to make it an annual event, and that’s our intention, we will need an organisation with numbers. Not everyone will want or be able to go every year, that just doesn’t happen. To make it work we are going to need an organisation that has several hundred members in order to get sufficient numbers at each event.


We’ve also had suggestions that we should merge our organisation with some other radio/sigs ex-RAAF groups (such as the 19/20 Appy blokes). Others suggest we should bring in elec/instrument blokes and form an ex-queer trades group. Either suggestion would build up our numbers, and would result in a larger and stronger body, however, once again, there’s no need to bolt into any change just yet, but, we ask that you think about it over the next few months, and, please write to us and let us know what you think.


Does any-one know just what these mature, sophisticated grown-ups are up to, shown here at the Brisbane reunion standing around with a glass in one hand and the other stuck to their head? It looks more like a meeting of Ashley & Martin clients on a windy tarmac. One thing they are doing though—they’re having a good time…….


As far as a venue for the night goes, if we’re going to have it in Brisbane, and that now seems to be firming up, we would suggest the Irish Club in Elizabeth St. As mentioned last edition, the ex-PNG people hold their annual there, and have done so for the past 10 years, and it’s a huge success with attendances growing each year. They draw blokes and blokettes from all over Australia. At the Irish Club they are able to provide a large private lounge area, with a good bar, and can put on “all you can eat and drink”, as well as music, a DJ and dancing all for about $40 per head. The Irish Club has excellent service, and as it is in the centre of Brisbane, it is easy to get to from all suburbs.


If that fixes the “Where”, the big question is still “When”. We will do some more research into the “When” question, as perhaps we can arrange to hold it to coincide with some other Brisbane event. Perhaps even a tour of Amberley if it can be arranged. The middle of the year is normally the quietest for the airlines, and they usually have their discount “buy in advance” fares available at that time. We’ll try and plan it so that it coincides with cheaper travel and when there are other events on in Brisbane. Combined that should make the trip to Brisbane for those that have to travel more worthwhile, and not just a one night event. So that we can (try to) tailor it to your liking, we’ve included a questionnaire on page 13. (It will also be on our web page). Please copy the questionnaire, fill it in and return it to us, or you can answer the questions directly on the net and whack it to us via the ether, which ever is the easier for you.


It’s our aim to put together what we hope will be a really memorable “get together”, one that you’ll want to come back to again and again. More on it next issue.


We have another new column this edition, and hopefully you’ll find it informative and we can repeat it in future editions. “Aunty Freda” has agreed to share some of her pizza making knowledge with us. She has been in the pizza business for a number of years, and we have managed to convince her to share some of that know-how with us. Starting this edition, and continuing over the next few, she will give us recipes for some outstanding pizzas, pizzas which you can easily make at home.


At times she mentions brand names when itemising ingredients. This is not because she’s on a particular company’s payroll—it’s just that she’s found these particular items to be the best. If you can find items of comparable quality and/or taste, by all means use them.


Aunty Freda’s column is on page 10. Have a go at making this pizza—it’s a beauty, and we’d love to hear your reaction to it.


We’ve continued with the 20 page format first used last edition, and we hope to be able to continue with that format well into the future, provided of course, we get sufficient material to fill the pages.  The down side to all this is that 20 pages chews up the toner on our little Brother-1040 printer, especially when there’s a lot of pictures amongst the pages, so we’re looking around for a better printing system. Last edition used up 4 toner cartridges. If you do the maths you can easily see why.


At present we print and send out about 210 copies of the newsletter, each one having 10 A4 pages, which means there’s more than 2,000 pages of print. And, anyone who knows the 1040 knows they’ll only print at about 6 pages per minute, flat out. Work that one out. Then there’s the collating and stapling of  pages, envelopes to print, the folding, stamping etc.  It’s a big job, but it’s a helluva lot of fun so there’s no problem. What is a little disappointing, though, is the shortage of material being sent to us (JB??). If it wasn’t for the loyal few we’d find it very hard to fill the pages, but fill them we have, so enough of the whinging, though we really would like some more material—Please!!!


A bloke was a mad keen fisherman, and used to spend every weekend at the beach, regardless of weather. One Sunday, very early in the morning, he went to the beach as usual, but this morning it was especially cold, raining and very miserable so he said “damn it”, and decided to go back home. He went in, up to the bedroom, and hopped back into bed with his wife. It was still dark, the  light was off so he snuggled up to her and said, “Gawd it’s terrible out there today”. “Yes” she said, “and my stupid husband went fishing”.


The Overland.


One thing about reunions and/or the planning for a reunion is it brings back some old memories. Most blokes (I don’t know if the blokettes travelled this way) who enlisted from the eastern states in the 60’s, and didn’t own a car, will definitely remember the trip from the Spencer St RTO over to Adelaide and then back to Laverton in “The Overland”.


How could anyone ever forget it. It wasn’t a steamer, but it wasn’t far from it either. This old train used to hurtle itself across the plains at about 15 MPH, or so if felt.


In the 60’s, if you were given a brief to go out and design then build the world’s most uncomfortable train, you’d come up with the Overland.  And then, if you were told to send this train on a journey and at a time when it could inconvenience its passengers the most, you’d follow the Overland’s timetable to a “T”.  It’s still a vivid memory after 35 years. The trip from Spencer St to Adelaide was usually the worst as you were on your own, normally you didn’t know anyone going that way. At least coming back you had some mates from your Rookies course as company, but it didn’t make the trip any more comfortable.


Mind you, there were probably sections of the Overland that were quite comfortable, it’s just that the RAAF didn’t know about them. The bits we got had hard fixed seats, designed by the Railways to last at least 10 million years, where you had no choice but to sit bolt upright. Then the train was run to and from SA during the night when you couldn’t even waste away a few hours by looking out the window.


Sleep was impossible unless you had at least 2 bottles of 300 proof spirit inside you (the smart ones did), and you could find about 6ft of the floor to curl up on. And if you did manage to nod off, you were woken up again when the train stopped at a little place called Bordertown at about 1.00am where everyone got off the train for a sandwich and a “cuppa tea”.


Wonder if it’s still going???



Bob Hughes


It is with regret that we must inform you that Bob “Bad News” Hughes passed away on the 12 Feb 2000 after losing his fight with cancer. Those that went to the reunion in Brisbane last year will remember Bob, who, although obviously unwell at the time, didn’t complain, but got into the swing of things and had a good time with his mates. He will be sorely missed.


Our sincerest sympathies go to his family.




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