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REVEille caring for the veteran community | SUMMER edition 2013/14

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance


RSL House

Ex-Service Organisations

106 Memorial Ave, Maroochydore Phone: 07 5443 1719 Fax: 07 5443 7551 email: rslhouse@maroochyrsl.com.au

These groups meet regularly in RSL House, please feel welcome to attend.

Office Hours Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.00pm

Museum Hours

For more information about upcoming meetings refer to page 22. Ex-Service Women’s Association - first Thursday, 10.00am chat, 10.30am meeting Legacy Laurel Club - fourth Friday at 9.00am

Monday to Friday 9.00am - 2.00pm

National Servicemen’s Association - second Tuesday, 9.00am chat, 10.00am meeting

LEAGUE MEMBER BRIEFINGS

Naval Association - second Sunday at 10.30am

Third Monday of the month at 2.00pm

TPI Association - third Wednesday at 10.30am War Widows Guild - fourth Monday at 9.00am

Information for members, guests and bona fide visitors. Correct at time of printing.

Women’s Auxiliary - first Monday, 9.30am chat, 10.00am meeting

Women’s Auxiliary Celebrates 80 Years

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Contents Notice to all League Members.....................3 President’s Report........................................4 CEO’s Report...............................................5 Welfare Report..............................................6 Welcome to Paul Hickerton..........................8 Aspiring Women’s Leadership Forum.........9

membersHIP Hello Members. As we wrap up another year, the renewal period for one year League Membership commences on the 1 December 2013 through to the 28 February 2014. The cost of annual membership is $20, or if you would prefer the convenience of a Life Subscription, that option is available to you and is priced according to your age. Please see the table below for information: Life Subscription Age 18-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65+ Cost $300 $260 $220 $180 $140 $120 $100

We currently have 816 members, which has been a slow and steady increase throughout the year. If you know of any current or ex-service personnel that would enjoy the camaraderie of joining the League, please encourage them to join. I wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I look forward to seeing you all at one of our monthly League Member briefings. If you have any enquiries relating to your League Membership, please contact RSL House on 07 5443 1719.

Pip Need Maroochy RSL League Administration Manager and Membership Officer

Stephanie Rides a Tide of Passion Towards Navy Success..............................10 Maroochy RSL Helps Make Overseas Humanitarian Trip Possible........................11 Remembrance Day Photos........................12 Generator Arrives Safely in Kokoda...........14 Papua New Guinea Visit.............................16 Recognition Ceremony Acknowledges Australia’s Contribution in Uruzgan...........18 The Bugle Plays ‘The Last Post’ as a Mark of Respect for the Fallen...................20 Winkie of the RAF Pigeon Service..............21 Meetings.....................................................22

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR EMAILING LIST If you wish to receive emails about current veteran related issues and League information, please subscribe through the link on our website at: www.maroochyrsl.com.au Reveille SUMMER edition 2013/14 | 03


President’s Report As the festive season fast approaches I would like to reflect back on 2013. The Maroochy RSL has continued to provide donations and sponsorships to our local community as well as providing ongoing support and welfare to our veteran community. The Maroochy RSL Board has been well represented at community activities and functions and has forged some strong bonds with our local schools. We have conducted two very successful commemorative activities at our Cenotaph as well as installing a new wreath on the Cenotaph. There has also been some major improvements to our gaming room. The Maroochy RSL Interclubs have all been very active over the past months and I thank them for their ongoing support. Recently two new key personnel were employed to enhance our Management Leadership Team and they are Kevin Stoddart (Operations Manager) and Jenny O’Bree (Chief Financial Officer). They will both be great assets to Maroochy RSL. It is with deep regret that I inform you, recently one of our valued Life Members, Dorris Rixon passed away. She will be sadly missed by our members and the wider veteran community. “Lest We Forget” A reminder to all League members that their RSL League memberships need to be renewed and they may do so during the period 1 December 2013 to 28 February 2014. On behalf of the Maroochy RSL Board, I wish all our members, staff and volunteers a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year. Michael Liddelow Maroochy RSL President

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CEO’s Report Hello Everyone and welcome to the summer edition of Reveille. As we approach Christmas and the new year, let’s take a moment to reflect on 2013, where we have again been focussed on helping and contributing to our veterans and the broader Sunshine Coast community. The monthly veteran outings have become a popular activity for many, along with the many other initiatives our RSL House team of staff and volunteers run. These initiatives and efforts will continue in 2014 and we look forward to more and more involvement. We also have more than 60 different clubs and organisations here on the Sunshine Coast benefiting from Maroochy RSL sponsorships and donations. Every initiative we commit to is important to us and we hope for you, as one of our valued members who plays a part in this achievement, that you can feel proud of this too. Helping the local community also goes beyond our donations and sponsorships. Dining out at Maroochy RSL means you can also feel satisfied knowing that you are supporting our region’s local food producers, growers and suppliers and in turn directly supporting the local Sunshine Coast economy. As we close one year and embark on 2014, it is with great pleasure that we warmly welcome Kevin (Stoddart) and Jenny (O’Bree) who have joined our Management Leadership Team. I say a huge thank you to all of our wonderful staff and volunteers for their ongoing dedication, support and commitment throughout the year and beyond. Each team member plays an integral role in making Maroochy RSL the best it can be, to provide a wonderful and warm venue for our members and guests. To our members and guests, on behalf of the Maroochy RSL Board, Management and Team, I wish you and your families a happy, healthy and safe Christmas, and we all look forward to seeing you at Maroochy RSL in 2014. Clare Paton Maroochy RSL CEO Reveille SUMMER edition 2013/14 | 05


Welfare Report Welcome to the last report of 2013 and what a busy year it has been! The welfare team has been out and about in the community providing support to veterans and their families. A few of the duties carried out during the last 3 months are as follows: Welfare Officer Office Visits

20

Home Visits

41

Hospital Visits No of Visits

31

Patients Seen

404

Nursing Home Visits No of Visits

16

Residents Seen

121

Transport/Social Support No of Requests Carried Out

24

Poppy Service No of Services

7

Cenotaph Maintenance 2 Volunteers

256 hours

Christmas Support Our services over the Christmas and New Year period will be as normal, Monday to Friday 9.00am until 4.00pm. However, due to the festive period, some services may be reduced. There will be someone available to help you, whether it be a transport issue or to obtain an emergency referral to another welfare officer. League Outing - 26 September 2013 With 2 minibuses loaded, off we headed to Caloundra Air Museum for the League outing, then onto Caloundra RSL Memorial Gardens to see the proudly placed “Huey”. Forty people attended on a glorious spring day and everyone had a great time. The delectable morning tea on arrival, kindly produced and provided by the Women’s Auxiliary members Jan and Andrena, went down a treat. This was followed by a guided tour in two groups around the museum with the highlight being the start-up of some very loud ear-piercing engines. Anyone who had decided to take a little nana-nap in the shade certainly wasn’t asleep for very long. The last stop of the afternoon was the Memorial Gardens at Caloundra RSL to see “Huey” with an astounding memoir given

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31 January 2014, with the outcome being provided to individuals in March 2014. For more information check online at www.dva.gov.au. New Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital – Kawana

by our very own Laurie Drinkwater and then upstairs into the RSL for lunch. Overall, another successful outing was enjoyed by all. Maroochydore VAN Forum At a forum recently held by Wendy Latham from the local VAN office in Maroochydore, the following items were put forward for your information: • We have a new Minister for Veteran Affairs. Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson. •

Christmas Payment date: The last DVA pension date was scheduled for 26 December but this has now been brought forward to Monday 23 December.

• My Account - Is an online portal where you can go online and check on any of your pension details, change your contact details, request pension statements, book transport, submit travel claims or perhaps to notify DVA of any overseas travel you may have lined up. For example if you are away overseas for more than 6 weeks DVA must be notified as this may affect your payment allowances such as telephone and pharmaceutical etc. For further information on any of these items please contact DVA helpline on 1800 555 254 or Wendy and her team over at the VAN office, on 5479 5112.

The League has been asked to provide a hospital visitation service for any gold or white card holders, ex-service members and war widows, on a weekly basis, to share a story, bring a smile or perhaps share a song. This service will commence in early 2014 once the hospital is up and running at full pace. However, if you find yourself in hospital or perhaps you know of a fellow veteran and they would love a visit from one of our welfare team, please let us know and we will make sure they get a social visit. I look forward to seeing you all at RSL House and in particular on our League outings in 2014. May I take this opportunity on behalf of the welfare team to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year and we will see you again in 2014. Sharon Moore Maroochy RSL Welfare Manager

• Gallipoli 2015, the Governments of Turkey, Australia and New Zealand have agreed that the maximum number of people who can attend the Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli in 2015 is 10,500. The ballot is now open for registration and closes on Reveille SUMMER edition 2013/14 | 07


Welcome to Paul Hickerton Photo by: Iain Curry APN

Born in Innisfail, north Queensland and growing up in Scarborough, Paul Hickerton always had a keen interest in flying. Paul was the guest speaker at the 2013 Remembrance Day Service at Cotton Tree Cenotaph and his words were moving for everyone who attended the special event. Enlisting in the Air Force at the age of 19, Paul joined to follow his dream to fly and serve in the Australian military. “I joined to fly and do my duty,” Paul says very simply. “I joined the Air Force in 1967 and spent more than 30 years in the Air Force, as well as 15 years in the Reserves. Twenty of those years was spent flying and the remainder I spent ‘flying a desk’ in Canberra.” Joining the Air Force as a direct entry aircrew cadet, Paul successfully completed his No. 68 Pilot’s Course. After a short stint flying Neptune Maritime Patrol aircraft out of Townsville he completed a helicopter conversion and then flew Iroquois, or Hueys as they were known, for most of the next 18 years of service. It was during that time that Paul got to see some of the world from a different angle. He flew across all Australia’s states and territories as well as overseas in New Zealand, New Guinea, and Sumatra and also

over the Sinai Peninsula, where he flew as a Peacekeeper with the Australian Contingent to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in a joint Australian and New Zealand helicopter squadron. In all, Paul served in the Air Force for over 45 years before retiring and now he serves in a new way, by volunteering at RSL House in Maroochydore. Paul said he was proud of the many achievements and milestones of his time in the Air Force. “During my service I was awarded a ‘Queens Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air’ (QCVSA) for service rendered as the Officer in command of the Search and Rescue Flight at RAAF Base Pearce. The award recognised collectively a number of activities performed during my time at Pearce and the presentation is something I will never forget,” he said. “While I didn’t expect an award, I felt honoured that my efforts were recognised.” Paul was also awarded a Chief of Defence Force Commendation for his part in introducing a Preparedness Management System for Defence. Following his retirement Paul and his family moved to the Sunshine Coast and Paul is now a Trainee Pension Officer at RSL House.

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Aspiring Women’s Leadership Forum

On 17 October, Defence Force Recruiting Maroochydore facilitated the inaugural Aspiring Women’s Leadership Forum high tea, which was held in the Events Centre at Maroochy RSL. The event was conceived in line with the Chief of Army’s Women in The ADF policy, intending to develop and support the region’s next generation of female leaders. We were very lucky to have a great panel represented by Mrs Natalie Tink (Owner and Managing Director of Coast to Coast Media); Mrs Ann Donnarumma (Owner and Director of Demi International); and CAPT Fiona Macinante (Army Pilot and Flight Instructor). Whilst Natalie and Ann chose the conventional four wheeled method of transport to attend the event, Fiona decided that it was a nice enough day to sign out one of the Army helicopters and fly herself from Oakey Army base. Nice work if you can get it!

The event was a resounding success with 16 High Schools from the region represented by their senior female student leaders. During the forum, students participated in leadership activities and had the chance to ask the panel questions about their career paths, challenges faced, leadership issues, mentors and what it is like being a young aspiring female leader and manager in their respective industries. Feedback from the event was extremely encouraging, with everyone commenting on how fantastic the High Tea food was. A big thanks needs to be passed to Jade, Jill and the events team for facilitating this function for us, and in particular to the Chefs for making the pastries and petites. We are already planning 2014’s event and can’t wait to see the next generation of aspiring female leaders. For more information on any Defence Force Recruiting matters, please call our office on 07 5459 8700.

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Stephanie rides a tide of passion towards navy success When it comes to a career choice, sometimes a ripple of an idea can become a wave of passion nothing can hold back. And so it was for Stephanie Hourigan, when a family tradition of serving one’s country called strongly enough to make her take action. Stephanie has challenged her body’s physical limits and studied hard, to be accepted into the Royal Australian Navy to train as a Boatswains Mate. The former Nambour Christian College student was unsure of her career path when she left school last year, and was fortunate enough to find a hospitality job she loved when she joined the Bistro Team at Maroochy RSL. But after lots of soul searching, she will leave her family and friends to start her Navy training in January. “I’m afraid of heights so the Air Force was out of the question, and I love the water, so the Navy won out over the Army,” the 18-year-old said. “I’ve always had a passion for helping people and the Navy will allow me to do that, while also experiencing something that is outside my comfort zone – being away from home, travelling and adapting to different situations.” “As a boatswains mate, we carry out a lot of security and combat work, interacting with other ships.” Stephanie’s family is supportive of her career choice. Her grandparents and great uncles have served in the Army.

Another uncle was in the police force. “I’m proud of what my family has done and honoured to be joining the Navy. I feel like I’m connected to them in some way,” Stephanie said. “I guess you could say I’m carrying on my family’s tradition of service.” Working in an organisation such as Maroochy RSL, where service to one’s country is honoured, has also made an impact on Stephanie. “Every time I see people in uniform I feel so much respect for them and for what they do.” Stephanie admits she’ll miss her work colleagues and RSL members with whom she has built a rapport, and she’ll miss her family and friends, the Sunshine Coast’s beaches and great weather. But after undergoing medical tests and interviews, studying for aptitude tests and training for physical tests, Stephanie is now focused on increasing her fitness levels to ensure she passes the final physical. Her initial Navy training will include 10 weeks each of military and employment training and three weeks of sea survival. Stephanie has a message for all school leavers. “I was very shy at school and was not one of the smartest kids in the class. But I’ve realised no matter how well you did or didn’t do at school, you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it.” “I’m proud that I’ve studied for this and I’ve achieved something which I didn’t think was possible.” “Serving in the Royal Australian Navy will be my new job. I’m so excited.”

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Maroochy RSL helps make overseas Humanitarian Trip possible Leon Pope has always had a passion for helping others, but wanted to find a way to do something bigger that would make a larger impact on the people who need it most. In September the Year 12 student chose to participate in the Maroochydore High School Humanitarian Project, travelling to Cambodia for two weeks to stay in an orphanage and work in the nearby school. “The trip appealed to me because it was a chance for me to help make a difference in peoples lives that are less fortunate than myself.” He said As a part of the Maroochydore High School Humanitarian Project, Leon and his other school mates raised over $25,000 for the continued provision of education for the Dalit children in Southern India and the education and housing of orphan children in Cambodia. Leon said his trip would not of been possible without the assistance from Maroochy RSL. “It’s because of Clare and other members of the Maroochy RSL team that I’ve been able to change many aspects of my life and since returning I’ve been able to look at life in such a different perspective,” Leon said. “The humanitarian trip introduced me to the most beautiful children who’ve taught me so much about myself and life in general and I’ve even been able to surprise myself with what I’m capable of.”

Maroochy RSL’s donation helped contribute to the construction of a family home, university fees for 15 students, stationery, bicycles, English lessons and more. While in Cambodia, Leon had the opportunity to participate in activities that most 17 year olds do not get the chance to, including working with other locals and students to construct a family home. “It was such an amazing experience and all the kids were so appreciative, you couldn’t wipe the smile off their faces.” “I made some great relationships with the children while I was there and it was great to see how such a small gesture can make the biggest difference.” He said. Leon sincerely thanks the team at Maroochy RSL for their help that made his life changing trip possible. “Not only has the trip changed my life, it has changed many others.”

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REMEMBRANCE DAY 2013

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Generator arrives safely in Kokoda Maroochy RSL Deputy President Len Thompson travelled to Kokoda in September to assist a team of eight volunteers from Mackay and Grant Robinson from the Sunshine Coast in unloading the one tonne generator donated by Maroochy RSL. Throughout 2012 and 2013 Len and a team of volunteers coordinated the generator donation to the Kokoda Hospital and a shipping container for its transport via donations from individuals and groups throughout the Sunshine Coast and Mackay regions. The container arrived safety in Kokoda on September 20, packed to the brim with medical supplies, clothing, cooking utensils, glasses, bicycles and the vital generator. Len said the entire community, including local government and senior chiefs in the village, turned out excitedly to receive the new generator and donations. “They were ecstatic, so very pleased and thankful,” he said.

Dr Sime from the Kokoda hospital said the village was humbled and grateful for all of the effort that has gone in to make the donations possible and they would make a real difference to supporting local people. “This contribution will enhance our ability to help patients recover and return home and the generator will help us to save lives; it’s hard to express the depth of our thanks for such generosity,” he said. Len said getting the container to Kokoda was a long and stressful but ultimately successful journey. “The shipping container travelled from Maroochydore to Mackay by road where the generator was then taken out, overhauled and serviced to ensure it was ready to be used by the Kokoda Hospital,” he said. “The container was then transported to Townsville where it travelled by ship to northern Papua New Guinea, then loaded onto a smaller ship where it was transported to Oro Bay.”

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Len said he grew concerned when the container did not arrive on time. “We started to panic when the generator didn’t arrive and waited six days before we heard from Oro Bay and found out that it would not be able to be transported to the village – everything had to be unloaded from the shipping container and brought up in trucks.”

Len plans to begin fundraising for the project as soon as possible to ensure all the costs are covered so that the memorials can be in place on 30 August 2014, the anniversary of Butch Bisset’s sacrifice to his country, Australia. Butch died in the arms of his brother, Stan. We all wish Len the best with this next important project.

After such a long mission, the generator and other goods arrived safely by midnight and with the help of volunteers and locals the old generator was removed and the new generator was installed. “Our volunteers included two experts from the Mackay Council, one is a Diesel Mechanic and the other an Electrician, and within three hours the generator was up and running, providing power to the entire hospital,” Len said. Despite the late arrival, it was perfectly timed, as the existing generator broke down yet again just the day before. Len is now planning his next trip to Kokoda for August 2014 when two memorials will be positioned on the Kokoda track for Stan and Thomas “Butch” Bisset who served there with the Australian Army during the Battle for Australia in 1942/43. The commemorative project will require discussions with local landowners and following approval, the memorials will have to be flown in by helicopter.

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Papua New Guinea Visit This is a brief on the escapades of 3 League member’s recent exploits in Papua New Guinea. Most of you would know that Deputy President Len Thompson visits PNG often for philanthropic reasons, meeting with the people in the vicinity of the Kokoda Region. Life Member Laurie Drinkwater and past Chairman Les D’Alton expressed a desire to accompany Len on his next trip, not only to see his work, but to understand the shortfalls of the local people often described by Len, and to further understand how the recent donation of the generator would be of assistance to them. All three of us left Brisbane on the 19 October and returned on the 26 October 2013. On arriving in Port Moresby Len hired a vehicle to travel to Bomana War Cemetery. It is a moving tribute to the many thousands who died in the region and is well maintained by Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Sunday saw us board a small plane (Dash 8) to travel to Popondetta a large town and capital of Oro Province. From there it is normally a 3 or 4 hour drive up to Kokoda (77km) depending on the numerous river crossings and horrendous road conditions. We stayed in the hospital grounds in small dwelling erected by Rotary International. It was interesting to note that there were only a few rain water tanks as the hospital and other dwellings use water from a local dam! The next several days saw us inspecting the generator, lawn mower (flat tyre and flat battery), Len fixing the hospital ice machine and a visit or two to the original village of Koko – da being added and its meaning is “small village”.

From there we continued on to Sogeri where we turned off the main road onto a gravel road heading towards Owers Corner via McDonalds Corner. About halfway between McDonalds Corner and Owers Corner, we stopped briefly in a village called Vesulogo where a large gathering of natives jumped up at the sight of Len and rushed out to greet him. (Rock star status!) We then travelled on to Owers Corner, the beginning of the now “Kokoda Trail” walk.

There are about 50 dwellings and a Community Hall erected a couple of years ago by Rotary International and a group of Len’s friends, mainly from the South Coast of NSW. Long-time friends, Milton Lay, Eric Ashby and Len visited Kou Kou village in 2008 and met with the village chiefs and elders to offer help to achieve something that would be of benefit to the Community. The Villagers wanted a community hall where they could meet, have a learning facility for education of their children, women receiving craft tuition etc.

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It took three years to gather the necessary funds from donations in Australia before the materials could be purchased and the dream to become a reality for the village. Because of his driving force and “never say die” attitude for this project, the Community Hall is called the “Milton Lay Community Hall”. That project has now generated a much larger scale project for the village, over the next twelve months a Kokoda College will be constructed by Australian volunteers and funded by the Kokoda Track Foundation. The footings were being done while we were there. The generator is working well, however a shortage of fuel exacerbates the issue of timing. It only runs from 6.00pm to 10.00pm daily. Fuel costs about K5 per litre (A$2.50).

lot of courage to approach us but you could not refuse such a lovely smile! Markets are on Monday and Wednesday and most of the women start at 1.00am to walk down the mountain tracks to be at the market at 6.00am. Produce sold: bananas (tastes better than ours), cucumbers, betel nut, lime and mustard sticks. We were given a farewell dinner on Thursday night where a presentation of a bark cloth was made to Len to pass on to Maroochy RSL CEO Clare Paton for the donation of a couple of laptops for two senior nurses at the Kokoda Memorial Hospital. Laurie and Les were also presented with 2 billem bags. The fare for the evening meal was cooked chook, corn, choko vines (yum), cooking bananas in coconut milk (yuk) and various types of sweet potato and pawpaw. All washed down with beer or coke! Friday morning at 3.00am saw us ready to depart in heavy rain. The first river crossing saw us wait for about 30 minutes to see if the water would go down. The 75 metre crossing with water over the bonnet did not faze us; it was the prospect of missing the plane at Popondetta that had us on edge.

Laurie fell in love with a little native girl called Lucy (aged 4) who befriended him to fill two coke bottles with our drinking water about twice a day. Lucy’s mother is gravely ill in hospital and Lucy is required to gather firewood each day. It would have taken her a

We arrived home safely on Friday evening about 8.00pm. A very good trip that highlighted the need for: fresh water, power, diesel, laptop computers and reading glasses. The latter being required as most natives have visual problems. Reveille SUMMER edition 2013/14 | 17


Recognition Ceremony acknowledges Australia’s contribution in Uruzgan

Since 2002, more than 26,500 Defence personnel have contributed to Australia’s mission in Afghanistan. A recognition ceremony was held at the Multi-National Base TarinKot to formally acknowledge the contribution of Australia and its Coalition partners to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Uruzgan province. Representatives from Afghanistan, the United States, Netherlands, New Zealand, France, Singapore and Slovakia were in attendance as well as Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Defence Minister Senator David Johnston, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Chief of Defence Force General David Hurley.

Starting in 2005, Australian Defence personnel have worked in partnership with the Afghans to degrade the insurgency whilst training and mentoring the Afghan National Army 4th Brigade and the Afghan National Security Forces to develop the capability they need to accept responsibility for Uruzgan’s security. A succession of Australian reconstruction teams have built or redeveloped hospitals and medical centres; schools; and more than 200km of roads and bridges to enhance health and education and to improve vital infrastructure. The reconstruction effort is a lasting contribution to Uruzgan with tangible improvements that have significantly

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enhanced the quality of life for the people who live in the province. Throughout November, December and early January, the ADF will complete its mission in Uruzgan and the majority of Defence personnel will begin to return to Australia. The ADF, along with coalition forces, have helped put in place the building blocks required for the people of Afghanistan to build a better future. This is the legacy of those military personnel and civilians killed or wounded in the conflict, including more than 260 Australians who were wounded, and the 40 Australian soldiers who were killed in action.

er them.� Paraphrased from defence.gov.au

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The bugle plays ‘The Last Post’ as a mark of respect for the fallen In military tradition, ‘The Last Post’ marks the end of the day, and is also used as a mark of respect for the dead at funerals and commemorative ceremonies. ‘The Last Post’ is one of a number of bugle calls that mark the phases of the day. ‘Reveille’ or the shorter version ‘The Rouse’ signals the start of a soldier’s day and ‘The Last Post’ signals its end. The call is believed to have originally been part of a more elaborate routine known in the British Army as a ‘tattoo’, which began in the 17th century. Doug Bellchambers can’t help getting emotional when he holds the battered bugle in his hands. The 83-year-old knows every dent and tarnish tells part of the 100-year-old instrument’s story. He also knows he has a special part in that story, playing the bugle at RSL ceremonies in two states. “It was always a special feeling,” he said. “Even right now it makes me emotional to think about it. “I know where it has come from and what it went through before it came into my hands.” The copper and brass bugle is kept in the Maroochy RSL Military Museum but its story began in the early days of World War I when it was issued to Private Arthur Gladstone Pride. He went overseas with the 13th/1st Infantry Battalion and inscriptions on the bugle show it was used in Tel-El Kebir, Zeitoun, Heliopolis, Aerodrome, Suez and Cairo.

While Mr Bellchambers did not see active service, he is proud to say he swore his first oath to King and country as a cadet in New Zealand, aged just 13. He spent much of his life in Cobar, NSW, and it was there he first came into possession of the bugle about 45 years ago. Sons of a friend found it on a scrapheap near a deserted house and gave it to him, as he played the cornet at the local RSL services. He played it at many Cobar services before bringing it with him when he moved to the Sunshine Coast 30 years ago. For more than 10 years after that he played it at Anzac Day and Remembrance Day services, as well as at funerals for RSL members. In 2012, he donated it to the military museum. “I wanted to make sure it was in good hands,” Mr Bellchambers said. “It deserved a good home.”

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Winkie of the RAF Pigeon Service Seventy years ago a carrier pigeon performed the act of “heroism” that saw it awarded the animal’s equivalent of the Victoria Cross - the Dickin Medal. It was the first of dozens of animals honoured by veterinary charity PDSA during World War II. On 23 February 1942, a badly damaged RAF bomber ditched into the North Sea. The crew were returning from a mission over Norway, but their Beaufort Bomber had been hit by enemy fire and crashed into the sea more than 100 miles from home. Struggling in freezing waters - unable to radio an accurate position back to base - the four men faced a cold and lonely death. But as the aircraft went down, the crew had managed to salvage their secret weapon a carrier pigeon. The blue chequered hen bird, called Winkie, was set free in the hope it could fly home to its loft in Broughty Ferry, near Dundee, and so alert air base colleagues to their predicament.

the bird - taking into account the wind direction and even the impact of the oil on Winkie’s feathers to her flight speed. A rescue mission was launched and the men were found within 15 minutes. The carrier pigeon had been released as a “last ditch stand” when the crew realised they had no other options. They would have died without this pigeon message coming through. Winkie became the toast of the air base, with a dinner held in her honour. A year later, she became the first animal to receive the Dickin Medal - named after PDSA’s founder Maria Dickin - for “delivering a message under exceptional difficulties”. More than 60 animals have since received the award, including 18 dogs, three horses and one cat. But pigeons still rule the medal roost, with 32 being given medals, all between 1943 and 1949.

During World War II, carrier pigeons were routinely carried by RAF bombers for this very eventuality, though in an era before GPS and satellite locator beacons, rescue was far from certain. But Winkie did make it home, after flying 120 miles, and was discovered, exhausted and covered in oil by owner George Ross who immediately informed RAF Leuchars in Fife. The pigeon was not carrying a message, but the RAF were able to calculate the position of the downed aircraft using the time difference between the plane’s ditching and the arrival of Reveille SUMMER edition 2013/14 | 21


Returned & Service League of Australia (Queensland Branch) Maroochydore RSL Sub Branch Inc. RSL House 106 Memorial Ave, Maroochydore Phone: 07 5443 1719 Fax: 07 5443 7551 e-mail: rslhouse@maroochyrsl.com.au

QLD TPI Association

(Sunshine Coast Branch)

The Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Servicemen and Women (Queensland Branch) Inc. The above organisation is a member of the State and Federal Body operating on the Sunshine Coast and meets on the third Wednesday of each month at RSL House, Maroochydore at 10.30am.

Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.00pm

2013/14 Meetings 18 December 2013 15 January 2014 19 February 2014

Museum Hours Monday to Friday 9.00am - 2.00pm

Please feel free to come along to the meetings, Partners are most welcome.

2013/14 League Briefings 16 December 2013 20 January 2014 17 February 2014

For any additional information please contact Tony Cresswick-Jackson, Secretary on 5493 4719 or 0400 576 118 e-mail: farmerjaxon@hotmail.com

Legacy Laurel Club

Maroochydore

Naval Association of Australia

The Maroochy Waters Sub-Section meets at RSL House, Maroochydore on the second Sunday each month at 10.30am. 2013/14 Meetings 8 December 2013 12 January 2014 9 February 2014 Expressions of interest and all enquiries should be directed to the Secretary at PO Box 615, Maroochydore QLD 4558 Phone: 5443 1719

Meetings are held at RSL House, Maroochydore on the fourth Friday of each month at 9.00am. 2014 Meetings 28 February 2014 All eligible widows are most welcome. Sunshine Coast Legatees are always available to assist with any concerns members may have. For additional information contact: Nita on 5453 4329 or Barbara on 5445 4768

22 | MAROOCHY RSL - caring for the veteran community


National Servicemen’s Association

Maroochydore

Meetings at RSL House on second Tuesday of every odd month at 10.00am. 2014 Meetings 14 January 2014 11 March 2014 For more information call Don Holt, 5446 5953

Women’s Auxiliary

Maroochydore

Meetings are on the first Monday each month at 9.30am for a cuppa and chat, meeting starts at 10.00am. 2013/14 Meetings 2 December 2013 3 February 2014 (AGM) For more information call the Secretary, Andrena King on 5496 9081

Ex-Service Women’s Association

Our meetings are happy ones and well attended. The ‘Healthy Away’ days, the social activity that takes place between meetings, also have a good turnout at Cotton Tree and continue to be an enjoyable outing for all. New members, from all Services are always welcome. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month. 2013/14 Meetings 5 December 2013 6 February 2014 Where: RSL House, Maroochydore is still the place to be for a cuppa and a chat at 10.00am with the meeting commencing at 10.30am. Cost: $5.00 per annum. We look forward to seeing all the older members and many new.

War Widows’ Guild Maroochydore

We aim to protect the interests of all War Widows and offer a program of social activities to promote friendship. Meetings are on the fourth Monday of each month. Morning Tea from 9.00am, General Meeting 10.00am. Members are invited to meet afterwards at the Club for a bite to eat and chat. 2014 Meetings 27 January 2014 24 February 2014 Contact: Shirley Murphy 5437 6560

Come and join us. Contact: Janice on 5444 5248 or Larraine on 5448 6037 The Women’s Auxiliary support students reading program The Women’s Auxiliary recently donated a cheque for $1000 to the Kuluin State Primary School. President of Maroochydore RSL Women’s Auxiliary, Marcia Wilson presenting a cheque for $1000 to the Kuluin State Primary School Principal, Alison Welch on 23rd October. The money will be used to purchase Sunshine Reading resources for the student to use during Guided Reading lessons. Reveille SUMMER edition 2013/14 | 23


The Ode The moving lines of The Ode of Remembrance are synonymous with ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day services across Australia and New Zealand.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

While Australian and New Zealand residents always recognise the touching lines even before the fifth word is read, little is known about the true origin of The Ode and why it’s played at these key services and throughout RSL clubs today.

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

The Ode is an extract taken from the elegy For The Fallen, by English poet and writer Laurence Binyon (1869 - 1943). It is in fact, the fourth stanza of the iconic poem. During World War I, Binyon wrote the poem while working as an assistant keeper of prints and drawings at the British Museum. He was an author of several volumes of verse. For The Fallen was first published in the London Times on September 21, 1914 and later in many anthologies of war verse, including The Winnowing Fan and Poems of the Great War in 1914. The Ode was selected in 1919 to accompany the unveiling of the London Cenotaph and, like so many memorial traditions, was shared across the Commonwealth for similar events. The Ode’s connection with ANZAC Day first originated with the Queensland ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee, which printed the poem on the cover of a collection of sermons and addresses for services. This book was first published in 1921 and was the start of a tradition of associating

At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.”

The Ode with commemoration services in Australia and across the British Commonwealth. Since then The Ode has been printed on War Memorials and is now at the heart of all rites of RSL clubs throughout Australia and New Zealand. Like many clubs across Australia, Maroochy RSL pay their respect to servicemen and women by playing The Ode at 6.00pm every night.


Reveille summer 2013 14 issuu