ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE VIETNAM VETERANS ASSOCIATION
Minutes of the 23rd Annual General Meeting Held at the RAAF Association Headquarters On Sunday 8th February 2009 1.
Opening The President opened the meeting at 1400 hours.
Ode The President recited the Ode.
Presidents Welcome The Association President, Nick LeRay-Meyer, formally welcomed members and observers with special reference to the attendance of Geoff Way who is not in the best of health and David Weeks, the State Treasurer who acted as the official Vietnam Veterans Association (Vic Branch) observer.
Attendance Register The attendance register was signed by all 30 persons in attendance â€“ the same number as 2007.
Apologies Alan Reed Gary Jarvis Tony Pahl Ron McMullen Alan Greig Barry Noonan Owen Preece
Ken Ewin Mike Lewino Ron Glew Mac Weller Geoff Forsyth Rex Bean David Grover
Andy Lapins Chick Mercieca Kev Sharpley Denis Nicol George Bielby Stan Wicks
Acceptance of previous Minutes Moved Gill Coughlan seconded Geoff Rose that the minutes of the previous AGM be accepted. Carried.
Business Arising from previous Minutes Nil.
Financial Report for the year ending December 2008 Treasurer Maree Jongkryg presented the Financial Report for the year ending 31 st December 2008. Moved Alan White seconded Brendan Lynch that the Financial Report as presented be accepted. Carried. See ANNEX A.
Correspondence The Secretary presented the correspondence report with particular emphasis that no email traffic is included. Reference was made to the Thank you Letter for two members of the public Eric Williams and Ray Zarb, who, on the 18th August donated a tidy sum to the RAAFVVA. See ANNEX B.
General Business (a) Membership Report for 2008. The Membership Officer presented his report. The year finished with 1 second member, 16 associate members and 104 ordinary members. As of the 8th February 2009, 1 second member, 5 associate and 47 ordinary members are still unfinancial. Membership Officer is chasing them up. At this point the President observed that on the subject of declining membership the committee is learning too often and frequently too late of ex RAAF people who need assistance and cited the case prior to Christmas of one of our members who had passed away. His widow had a copy of our Newsletter and contacted the President. Welfare Officer Lee Scully was able to sit down with his family and ensured that all appropriate entitlements were secured for them. (b) Badge Week Report for 2008. The Secretary presented the Badge Week Report for 2008. Three locations were staffed (Highpoint, Southlands and Sunbury). Takings were up at Highpoint and Sunbury whilst Southland remained static. Committee to investigate and discuss with Centre management at Southland re the best location for 2009. Due to a misunderstanding of the term “on consignment” the RAAFVVA received a much larger account for Museum stock in 2008 than anticipated. President discussed situation with the Museum President and a satisfactory outcome for both parties was achieved. No Badge Week stock will need to be purchased for August 2009 but the amount of funds available for Welfare tasks in 2009 was considerably reduced. See ANNEX C. (c) Recognition of Donations. The President gave, on behalf of the committee sincere thanks to those who made donations to the RAAFVVA during 2008. These donations provided the necessary extra funding required in addition to our normal fundraising activities. See ANNEX D.
President’s Report All attendees received a copy of the President’s report and were given 5 minutes to read it through. President made particular mention of Plaque Dedication ceremony on the 18 th of August 2008. A memento of the occasion was presented to Snow Coughlan CGM. President also made mention of Ron Betts, a pilot with No 9 Squadron KIA and the unveiling of the Tasmanian memorial to the 16 Tasmanians who lost their lives during service in Vietnam. See ANNEX E. The President then called for questions from the floor: one query re ANZAC Day. It would appear that the RAAF contingent will now commence the march starting in Flinders Street on the NE side of Swanston Street. This will be confirmed in due course.
Election of Office Bearers Past President Graeme Dodd acted as returning officer and declared all committee positions vacant. One nomination for committee was received from Neil Morgan, elected unopposed. All other committee members agreed to serve another year and were also elected unopposed. The committee (and executive) for 2009 is: President Nick LeRay-Meyer AM Vice President/Welfare Lee Scully Secretary Rick Holmes Treasurer Maree Jongkryg Asst/Sec Membership Gareth Davis Committee Alan White Committee Pieter Jongkryg Committee Bob Brackin Committee Andy Lapins Committee Geoff Rose Committee Neil Morgan Special Projects
Graeme Dodd OAM
At this point the President advised assembled members that 2009 would be his last year as President. In his opinion it is essential that we have new members on committee to generate fresh ideas and fresh enthusiasm. 13.
Honours and Awards A Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to Alan White for his many years of commitment to the RAAFVVA and for his untiring work in the Mens Health programme. Alan then presented a short talk on the subject of mens health and requested that all attending members spread the word amongst other members and friends who may not be aware of this programme.
Closure Prior to closing the meeting, the President stressed the need for new welfare officers and requested that all members who may have some time on their hands consider assisting our current welfare officers. At this point mention was made of all our current welfare officers, both local and country, who have done much to improve the welfare of our members. President, on behalf of the committee, thanked them all for their untiring efforts. Moved Rick Holmes seconded Pieter Jongkryg that an amount not to exceed $150.00 be spent on refreshments. There being no further business, the President declared the meeting closed at 1450 hours.
N LERAY-MEYER PRESIDENT
RICK HOLMES SECRETARY
RAAF Vietnam Veterans Association
ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT (for year ended 31 December 2008) Presented at the AGM 8 February 2009
Enclosed are the Financial Reports for the RAAF Vietnam Veterans Association, covering the period 1-January 2008 to 31 December 2008. Enclosure 1 â€“ RVVA General Account Year-End Financial Statement Enclosure 2 â€“ RVVA Welfare Patriotic Fund Account Year-End Financial Statement The enclosed Annual Financial Statements are supported by DEFCREDIT Statements, Association Account Books, Association Receipt Books and Invoice/Bill Books. All documents are available for perusal on application. Financial Position When viewing the reports the following points should be noted: a.
Welfare Patriotic Fund (WPF) Number 492. The RAAF VVA operates a Welfare Patriotic Fund Account. Patriotic Funds are trust funds, administered by legally appointed trustees, to be used for any purpose in connection with any proclaimed war and in particular for the relief, assistance or support in necessitous circumstances of ex-service personnel who served in any proclaimed war, or their dependants. The Welfare Patriotic Fund, subject to the value of assets (>$10K), may be required to be audited by an authorised auditor. 4
Association Representative Costs. Costs associated with Welfare and Pensions Office duties and Delegates duties (telephone, travel, and accommodation associated with attendance at VVC, State Council and Melbourne Metro Sub-Branch meetings and in the performance of Welfare Officer duties) may be partially reimbursed by payments from the Welfare Account. Any reimbursement depends upon the financial position of the RAAF VVA WPF. Where justified (and dependant on the circumstances of the representative incurring the expense and the financial position of the Association at the time), general committee expenses (or part of) that are not considered to be Welfare related may be met from the General Account.
Newsletter Paper and Production Costs. Newsletter paper and some production costs have to be met by the RAAFVVA. Overall the cost of the Newsletter is increasing, primarily through increased postal charges. This year we have been fortunate to receive financial assistance from the RAAF Association in the amount of $650 towards the cost of our Newsletter; which offset increased postage charges through Australia Post. Note: Members can assist in reducing our postage costs by electing to view the latest issue of the Newsletter “posted” on our website – this version is also larger and in colour. Our production costs remained almost the same thanks to the continued support of “OnDemand Pty Ltd – who print and collate the Newsletter for a small “donation”. The Association is most grateful for their continued support and urge you to contact them (www.ondemand.com.au or 03-8699 2200) should you require professional yet economical assistance with any printing requirements.
Supplemental Income Requirements. To remain solvent, the Association must obtain income from various fundraising activities such as Badge Week, bar sales at annual functions, raffles and the sale of various merchandise. Your continued support and assistance will go a long way to ensuring that we meet our goals. Your consideration in making the RVVA your charity would assist greatly.
General Financial “Health”. There has not arisen in the interval between the end of the financial year and the date of this report, any item, transaction or event of a material or unusual nature likely, in the opinion of the Treasurer, to affect the operations or the state of affairs of the Association in this or subsequent financial years. While our total available funds are not huge we are able to contribute effectively to the overall welfare of our colleagues. As detailed in the attached financial statements, the Committee has been able to reduce overall administration costs with a consequent increase in available funds for welfare activities.
Maree Jongkryg Treasurer
RAAFVVA MAIN CORRESPONDENCE 2008
09/01/08 20/02/08 24/02/08 27/02/08 29/02/08 05/03/08 06/08/08 07/03/08 12/03/08 12/03/08 16/03/08 12/04/08 12/04/08 20/04/08 29/04/08 19/05/08 19/05/08 22/05/08 23/05/08 28/05/08 30/05/08 12/06/08
In Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out In In Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out In
(B Hurlock) Sec RAAFVVA Sec RAAF Assoc State Secretary VVA ANZAC Day Chief Marshall AVM Weller AM Precision Badges President RAAFA Shrine of Remembrance Sec RAAFA AVM Weller AM DVA State President State President Highpoint, Sunbury, S’land AVM Weller AM VVA QLD Market Link Solutions Melton Aust Post Shrine of Remembrance Mrs Anne Farrell State President John Filmer –
30/06/08 01/07/08 07/07/08 03/08/08 03/08/08 03/08/08 03/08/08 03/08/08 03/08/08 03/08/08 03/08/08 03/08/08 03/08/08 03/08/08 01/09/08 15/09/08 15/09/08 17/09/08 08/12/08
Out Out In Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out
Bob McIntosh (SA) President VVA Vic Viet Culture Heritage Cnt Minister Veteran Affairs Chief of Air Force Patron Shrine Trustees President RAAFA President VVAA National President VVA Vic President 2 SQN President Vic 9 SQN President Vietnamese Co RAAFVVA Chaplain Highpoint, Sunbury, S’land Defcredit VVAA Museum Laurie Hollier Ted Maxwell
SUBJECT Bereavement Chubby Chandler New RAAFVVA Committee New RAAFVVA Committee ANZAC Day Commentary Patron Continuance Lapel Pin Order Thank You Newsletter Grant Proposed Plaque Inscription Approval for Newsletter Grant 2009 ANZAC Day Canberra Invite Shrine Plaque Grant Approval Attendance at Sub Branch AGM’S 3 Tier Welfare Approach Badge Week Request Presentation Lapel Badge Badge Week Stock Key rings Badge Week Stock RAAF Crests RAAFVVA Treasurer PO Box Authority App for Approval PLSVCE Letter of Condolence Donation to Vietnam Culture Centre Dandenong RSL Request Donation Viet Culture Centre Contact Details RAAFVVA SA Official Dates Vietnam War Thankyou $100 Donation Plaque Dedication Ceremony Invite Plaque Dedication Ceremony Invite Plaque Dedication Ceremony Invite Plaque Dedication Ceremony Invite Plaque Dedication Ceremony Invite Plaque Dedication Ceremony Invite Plaque Dedication Ceremony Invite Plaque Dedication Ceremony Invite Plaque Dedication Ceremony Invite Plaque Dedication Ceremony Invite Plaque Dedication Ceremony Thankyou Badge Week RAAFVVA Signatories Badge Week Report Chubby Chandler RAAFVVA Plaque Grant Info
ACTION President Secretary Secretary Secretary President Secretary President President Secretary Secretary Sec/Pres NFA Committee Secretary President Secretary Secretary Secretary President President President President Secretary President NFA President President President President President President President President President President President Secretary Sec/Treas Secretary Secretary Secretary
RAAFVVA BADGE WEEK AND VIETNAM VETERANS DAY REPORT 2008 Badge Week All 3 locations (Sunbury, Highpoint and Southlands) started with identical kits. These “kits” included the following stock: 200 Slouch Hat Key Rings 200 Crossed Flags 200 Long Tan Crosses 100 RAAF Crest Lapel Badges 300 Orange Lapel Pins Results
Highpoint Sunbury Southland
2008 2007 $1332.00 $ 848.05 $1850.00 $1116.35 $ 713.75 $ 704.30 Total = $3895.75 Total = $3370.80 An overall gross takings increase of $524.95
Stock Costs: 300 RAAF Crests 600 Digger Hat Key Rings Long Tan Cross - (189 @ $2.60) Crossed Flags - (104 @ $3.00) Orange Lapel Pin (carry over 2007) Total
$ 957.72 $1200.00 $ 491.40 $ 312.00 $ 0.00 $2967.72
Stock On Hand for 2009 254 ($811) 370 ($740) 411 ($1068.60) 496 ($1488.00) 609 ($305)
Volunteers:- Nick LeRay-Meyer, Rick Holmes, Pieter Jongkryg, Ron Douglas, Geoff and Noela Rose, Stan Wicks, Ron McMullen, Alan and Fiona White, Gareth Davis, Andy Lapins, Peter Rayment and Kevin O’Neil. Other Income Lee Scully - donation Pimba Williams Eric Williams (public) Ray Zarb (public)
$325 $ 50 $100 $100 th
Sale of Merchandise on the 18 August Grand Total Summary Badge sales Merchandise Donations Total Less Cost of Crosses & Flags (Museum) Cost of Stock on Hand Total Amount made available for Welfare
$3895.75 $ 300.00 $ 575.00 $4770.75 $3150.00 $1856.00 $5006.00 -$235.25
DONATIONS RECEIVED 01/01/08 TO 31/12/08
J & E Scully
D Del Fabbro
Eric Williams (Butt Out)
National Vietnam Veterans Museum
Ray Zarb (Highway Tyres)
THE PRESIDENT’S REPORT 2009 AGM Ladies and Gentlemen It has been an interesting year for the Association touched with some sadness since we met at the last AGM. The year started off with the election of two new Life Members, Graeme Dodd and Brendan Lynch, to join our initial Life Member, Snow Coughlan CGM. The two main memorial marches (Anzac Day and Vietnam Veterans Day) saw a reasonable turn-up of members, colleagues and friends; a number of who travelled from interstate to join us. An enjoyable reunion lunch was held after each of the marches. A sizeable contingent also attended the RAAF Association pilgrimage to the Australian Flying Corp Memorial at Pt Cook. On the ceremonial and commemorative scene, the dedication of our plaque, beneath a large tree and close to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in the Garden of Reflection at the Shrine of Remembrance, was, for me, clearly the highlight event. Nearly 70, including Shrine, RAAF and Vietnamese Community dignitaries, assembled for a simple but moving ceremony that received much praise from those who attended. Details of the ceremony along with photos of the ceremony and Tony Pahl’s beautiful poem (that he wrote especially for this ceremony) are on our website and will remain there. With our Patron joining us from Canberra, we took the opportunity to have him present a well-deserved Certificate of Appreciation to our honorary Padre – George G Ashworth OAM – who also dedicated the plaque. The plaque will become a key part of our ceremonial calendar, as both an assembly point for the key Memorial Days as well as an opportunity to gather and collectively remember our service and those who are no longer physically with us. On November 11th, I, along with Garry Jarvis and Norm Goodall DFC travelled to Hobart to attend the unveiling of individual plaques and a Memorial to the 16 Tasmanians who lost their lives during service in Vietnam. FLGOFF Ron Betts, a pilot with No 9 Squadron KIA, was the sole RAAF casualty. As a result of our attendance, along with Peter Ruston (Associate Member) and several RAAF veterans who reside in Tasmania, Ron’s sisters have finally gained closure and have extended their gratitude to all concerned. A Certificate of Appreciation has subsequently been presented to Chris Parker, Immediate Past President of the Lindisfarne RSL, for his commitment to and leadership of the plaque dedication team. Before leaving the subject of memorial plaques, I am pleased to advise that the RAAF Association (Vic) Board of Management has approved a project to dedicate a plaque to those RAAF personnel who served in Vietnam. Although details have yet to be finalised the ceremony is scheduled to be held in 2010 on the RAAF Anniversary Day with the plaque sited adjacent to the Korean War plaque at the Pt Cook Memorial. More details will follow throughout the year. Your Committee members have done sterling work throughout the year. Rick Holmes as Secretary has spent many of his leisure hours attending to the myriad of paperwork that seems to flow from just about every corner! Lee Scully has devoted much time to the Welfare tasks that are becoming more frequent as our membership age, having assumed the role from Brendan who while still active is having a well-earned rest. Lee also accepted the task of being our Delegate to the VVAA State Council (leaving me some time to for my RAAF Association Board of Management duties). Maree Jongkryg, despite the passing of her Father, has performed splendidly as our Treasurer. Maree and Gareth Davis, our Membership Secretary, are a formidable team and their individual and collective efforts deserve our special appreciation. Geoff Rose took over the role of Newsletter Publisher and for mine it appears to be going from strength to strength. The remaining Committee members (Andy Lapins, Alan White, Pieter Jongkryg and Bob Brackin) have also devoted much of their spare time assisting with projects and the tasks that we need to undertake on your behalf. To them all I offer my sincere appreciation for their continuing and unselfish support of the Association’s objectives.
Through the efforts of the special project team (which includes Golda Holmes and Fiona White) we now have distinctive RAAFVVA lapel badges, cuff links and car stickers. These projects also boosted our welfare coffers, though that was not the main objective. The project team members all deserve a “Well Done”. A special thanks goes to Tony Pahl, our webmaster for his efforts in improving our web site and who travelled from SA for the plaque dedication. His poem was a special moment! A special thanks also goes to the Management and team at “On Demand” who print our Newsletter as their ongoing contribution to our welfare. On the subject of Welfare, all too often we belatedly learn that an Association member or former member of the RAAF is in declining health or in need of assistance. If you are aware of someone who is in need of assistance please contact us as soon as possible so that we can respond quickly, effectively and discreetly (where necessary). Don’t leave it too late!!! Sadly, the following RAAF Vietnam Veterans, a number of them Association members, have passed on since February 2008: Greg Aleckson Geoffrey Carter Bernard Farrell Michael Quibell
Robin Bingley David Cooper Frank Korbel MBE Chris Sugden DFC & Bar
Charles Buchan Greg Currie Anthony Pitt Tom Ward DFC
As I write this we have learnt of the passing on the 2nd February of Cliff Dohle, one of the two Iroquois Captains decorated for their action during the Battle of Long Tan. As part of our changing approach to Welfare we have started to organise informal lunches. Although we have only had two to date at the Hotel Palmerston, they provide a great opportunity to sit and talk about whatever you want to with colleagues who can both understand and assist. Apart from that, a nice lunch break does wonders for the morale. Give it a try; I’m sure you won’t regret it!! Finally, I note that at the last VVAA State Council the President’s forum workshopped the future of the VVAA; what do we do with the assets etc before there is no one left to “turn off the lights”. The RSL and the Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Association appear to be the main contenders to assume the assets and task now conducted by the VVAA. This topic is also relevant to us; and to the RAAF Association as well! Without a major increase in membership, starting with our support, there will soon be few left to keep the RAAF Association going. If you have any particular strategies or concepts feel free to drop us a line (Email is great) or discuss them with us whenever you have the time available. Cheers
Nick LeRay-Meyer AM President 5th February 2009