Angeles City Sub Branch Philippines www.rslangelescity.com ‘Lest We Forget’ President Vice Presidents Secretary Treasurer
James Curtis-Smith Greg Mann Bob Barnes Dallas Drake Ron Parrott
Clubhouse: Ponderosa Hotel firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWSLETTER # 64 ** JULY 2012
The painting left is of soldiers of D Coy 6 RAR at the Battle of Long Tan, in torrential rain, on the 18th of August, 1966. The painting is located in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra ACT. Picture compliments of Department of Veteran’s affairs
Returned and Services League Australia Angeles City – Philippines Sub Branch WWW.RSLANGELESCITY.COM VIETNAM VETERANS DAY SATURDAY 18TH AUGUST 2012 ALL interested persons are invited to attend 1100HRS…….REMEMBRANCE SERVICE AT CLARK VETERANS CEMETERY, CLARK FREE ECONOMIC ZONE (THE BASE) and afterwards: FREE LUNCHEON and FREE DRINKS, AUSSIE MATESHIP, RAFFLES and OTHER ACTIVITIES at: PONDEROSA HOTEL RESORT (entry by purchase book of raffle tickets at P300) WWW.RSLANGELESCITY.COM PRESIDENTS REPORT July 2012
At the last Committee meeting the actions taken by Branch at the Branch Congress was discussed at length. This Sub Branch was denied proper meeting procedures and our delegates shamefully treated with disdain and ignore. As a consequence an Extraordinary Meeting of our members will be held at the Ponderosa in conjunction with our normal General meeting on TUESDAY 18th SEPTEMBER 2012 to receive motions as to what action, if any, this Sub Branch should take. There are a number of different views as to whether charges should be brought against the Branch for their conduct down to treating the so and so’s with contempt and ignore. I am even more concerned about the actions of the Branch continuing to “trade” when insolvent on their own projections, and an advice that the Branch received from their honorary lawyers of accessing welfare trust funds to pay their employees wages and rent of premises to keep them afloat. I find this disgusting and in my view certainly outside the contemplation of the donors of those trust funds if not also a breach of Trust Law.
3 A reminder of our next Childrens Medical Mission at Malabanias Elementary School on Saturday August 4, commencing at 8.00am and concluding at 12 noon. Please attend and assist if you can and bring the WAGS along to assist as scribes and bag packers. (See map on page 4) x The last mission on July 7 was well attended and 1421 children were examined and had medicines dispensed to them. Thanks to all who assisted. Again I must ask for support for our raffles at Emotions on each Wednesday night at 7pm and Phillies on each Saturday night at 6pm. I am perturbed that where we have such a large membership only few attend at the raffles and assist. Finally a reminder of Vietnam Veterans Day on Saturday August 18. Details appear elsewhere in this newsletter and on the wall of most CR’s of business houses along Perimeter Road.
JAMES E. CURTIS-SMITH President
Another member has become smart and joined the ranks of LIFE SUBSCRIBERS: Tony Strong (NSW) * WE welcome the following new members: Paul Lewis (WA) * Terry Smith (A/C) * Richard Newton (A/C) * Welcome back to: Stephen Andrews (A/C) * WHAT’s ON FOR AUGUST
RSL EVENTS SCHEDULE Weekly CHARITY Raffle NOW at EVERY Wednesday at 6.00 PM. Raffle every Saturday at 6.00 PM. Saturday August 4th * Medical Mission MALABANIAS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (see map on page four). Tuesday August 7th *2012 AUSTRALIA DAY FIESTA & General Committee 1.30 Ponderosa* 4.00pm Miss Magic Tuesday August 14TH* 2.00pm Ponderosa * Social Tuesday 3.00pm * 4.OOpm * Emotions & TOC Saturday August 18th *Vietnam Veterans DAY 11.00am Clark Veterans Cemetery * 12.00pm* Function at PONDEROSA Hotel Tuesday August 21st * Monthly General Meeting 2.00pm Ponderosa * Social Tuesday * Gentleman’s* Dr.Holms Tuesday August 28th * 2.00pm Social Tuesday Ponderosa * 4.00pm Eruptions *Wobbly Boot MEDICAL MISSION SEPTEMBER 1st LOCATION TBA
4 Medical Mission Aug 4th 2012 0800 hrs to 1130hrs Malabanias Elementary School
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Centenary of Anzac
THE HON PETER GARRETT Minister for School Education, Early Learning and Youth
Sunday, 1 July 2012
AUSTRALIA’S WORST MARITIME DISASTER MARKED 70 YEARS ON A new memorial marking Australia’s worst maritime disaster, the sinking of the Montevideo Maru during the Second World War, was unveiled at a ceremony at the Australian War Memorial today. (This ship and others became known as the HELLSHIPS) Ed Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Warren Snowdon, and Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, said today marks 70 years since 1,054 Australian prisoners of war (POWs) and civilians lost their lives in the tragedy. “I encourage all Australians to take some time today to pause and reflect on the service and sacrifice of the Australians who lost their lives, and the grief and suffering of the families and loved ones left behind,” Mr Snowdon said. “To ensure the families of those lost have a place of solemn reflection to forever honour their loved ones, the Gillard Government has provided $100,000 towards a national memorial. “The sinking of the Montevideo Maru is a tragic chapter in Australia’s wartime history and I hope, through this lasting tribute, Australians will continue every year to honour those lost.” On 22 June 1942, 1,054 Australian POWs and civilians in Japanese captivity at Rabaul on the island of New Britain (now known as Papua New Guinea) boarded the Montevideo Maru.
Hellships Memorial in Subic Bay Unaware that the vessel was carrying Allied prisoners, on 1 July 1942 the Unites States submarine USS Sturgeon fired torpedoes at the Montevideo Maru, sinking the ship and killing all those imprisoned on board and most of the crew.
5 It was not until after the war in October 1945 that a nominal roll of those on board was uncovered. These records were presented to Australia by the Japanese Government earlier this year. Mr Garrett represented the Prime Minister at today’s event in his role as Patron of the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Society. “My grandfather Tom Garrett was one of those on board who lost their lives. He owned a coco plantation near Rabaul, the capital of New Britain, and was imprisoned by the Japanese army after they gained control of the island in January that year,” he said. “Like many other families, my family was not given the details of the sinking until the war had ended. They lived with three years of uncertainty before learning of my grandfather’s death. It’s hard to imagine the grief and trauma of those families who had no knowledge of their loved ones’ fate and no way of mourning their loss. “Now 70 years on, it is fitting that we remember and honour those 1535 souls on the Montevideo Maru, who lost their lives a long way from home, and whose memory and sacrifice the nation can now cherish.” The complete list of missing prisoners from the ill-fated Montevideo Maru has been digitised and will be available on the National Archives of Australia website www.montevideomaru.naa.gov.au from today. The translation of the list by the National Archives of Australia, over the past months, has revealed an additional civilian internee believed to have been onboard the Montevideo Maru, bringing the total number thought to have perished on board to 1,054.
And Another from the Minister Minister for Veterans' Affairs media release
Monday, 23 July 2012
70 YEARS SINCE AUSTRALIANS BEGIN BATTLE FOR KOKODA The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, today encouraged Australians to reflect on the contribution of those who fought and died on the Kokoda Track in 1942 in defence of Australia. “Today marks the 70th anniversary of the first encounter between Japanese and Australian forces on the Owen Stanley Ranges – a gruelling and bloody battle fought during the Second World War that lasted more than four months,” Mr Snowdon said. Mr Snowdon said in the first engagement of the campaign more than 38 men of the Papuan Infantry Battalion and a platoon of Australians of the 39th Battalion skilfully ambushed an approaching Japanese advance party. The Japanese soldiers regrouped and, in the days following, continued to move inland towards Kokoda. After the fall of Kokoda on 17 September 1942, Australian troops conducted a fighting withdrawal as the Japanese advanced along the Kokoda Track almost to within sight of Port Moresby. Mr Snowdon said over the next four months, between July and November 1942, Australians fought in appalling conditions, in some of the world’s most difficult terrain, in their efforts to halt the Japanese on the Kokoda track. “In mid-September at Imita Ridge the Japanese thrust came to a halt and Australian forces compelled them to withdraw.
6 “By mid-November, following more hard fighting, the Australians had reached the Kumusi River and the battle for the Kokoda Track was finally over. Overall, more than 600 Australians had died and over 1000 were wounded, but they were one step closer to Victory in the Pacific,” Mr Snowdon said. Overall, a further 15,000 Japanese and almost 1400 New Guineans died during the Papua New Guinea campaigns. For more information on Australia’s actions on the Kokoda Track including access to an education resource visit http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/ To access historical images of the Kokoda Track contact the Australian War Memorial at email@example.com
A LITTLE KNOWN HISTORY 2012 marks the 110th anniversary of the end of the Boer War in South Africa. Colonies of Australia, as they were then known sent their own contingents to the conflict. Here is a bit of history about the Tasmanian contingent: FIRST TASMANIAN CONTINGENT TASMANIAN INFANTRY COMPANY/TASMANIAN MOUNTED INFANTRY
Original strength: 84 followed by 47 reinforcements Subunits: one infantry company/later one mounted rifle squadron Commanding officer: Major C. St. C. Cameron Service: November 1899 - November 1900 in northern Cape Colony, Free State and Transvaal; part of Australian Regiment November 1899-April 1900, converted to mounted rifles December 1899; reinforcements from Tasmania sent to north-west Cape Colony where some remained while others joined the contingent in April 1900 Fatal casualties: four killed or died of wounds, five died of disease Decorations: one CB (Cameron), one DCM (J. Costello) Returned: 7 December 1900 on Harlech Castle Useful sources: Bufton Tasmanians in the Transvaal War (1905) chs 3-4 Interestingly, our secretary Dallas Drake’s grandfather was with this contingent and his official army number was 3. He was subsequently KIA in WW1 aged 44. Two medallions have recently been struck to commemorate this anniversary, one for descendants and one for the soldiers who fought in the war. (see left) For more information, and to purchase a
medallion, go to: http://bwm.org.au/site/Comemorative_M edallions.asp
7 HOT TOPICS IN AUSTRALIA CURRENTLY The two main topics doing the public rounds in Australia at the start of July 2012 were: The Carbon Tax, and Refugees
The Federal Government is struggling to convince the local population that their solutions to the subjects are working. Here are three local readers who sent letters to the editor of the Brisbane Courier Mail newspaper and published on the 3rd of July. There is no need to provide their names, although I have them. 1. Malaysia is no place of solace. I was a Vietnamese refugee in Malaysia for 18 months in 1989-90. The refugees there were treated by military rules. I saw soldiers kick a pregnant woman to the ground because she jumped the queue for water. I saw minors put into prison and their heads shaved because of petty crimes. I saw soldiers sell drugs to junkies to make cash, and turn a blind eye to prostitutes for ‘protection’. No, I don’t think it is a good idea to send asylum seekers to Malaysia. 2. Tax Modelling is missing the point. Politicians argue about the impact of tax changes; a per cent of this here, a few cents there. They query why their message does not get through. Yesterday I sat with my neighbour who receives a pension. Last year her rent increased $15 a week, power and gas $7 a week, bus fares $3 a week; her pension $3.35. I can’t disagree with her view that, even with over-compensation for carbon tax, she seems worse off. Clearly her modelling lacks the macro view, elegance and resources of Treasury, the Treasurer and politicians, but she is living the result, not theorising on them. 3. So I took some rubbish to the transfer station on Sunday, July 1. “That will be $31.60” the nice man says. “But the last time it was $19” I say. That was before the carbon tax, sir” he says. So I start to feel the pain in my pocket. I Think: that equates to a hefty increase overnight, let’s do the maths. Factually, I dumped 360kg of mixed waste, but if I had dumped 360kg of pure carbon, the extra tax in my calculation should have been $8.28 ($23/1000x360) but I did not dump 360kg of pure carbon because the stuff is hard to collect being all gassy and floaty. So why do I pay fees as if I had dumped half a tonne of the stuff? Clever people, please feel free to reply, I would love to know the answer to my question. So the confusion goes on, and it doesn’t seem likely to abate any time soon. Ed The Conundrum ………..what’s the difference? If someone was assaulting you and you defended yourself causing the death of the person assaulting you, chances are you'd rightly use the defence of 'self-defence'. However, if you went home and returned to the scene with a weapon and killed the person who assaulted you......It's almost a foregone conclusion, you'd probably be charged with murder.
8 Now let’s take the case of the so called 'poor refugees'. According to my 'Oxford Dictionary' a refugee is someone who 'Escaped to a foreign country from religious or political persecution'. Let’s take the case of a Muslim escaping from 'where-ever'. They enter Indonesia legally (they are now in a country where their religion is widely practised). They have escaped from their own country and are now in a country where they are not being hounded for their political or religious beliefs............They're home, they are refugees living in Indonesia . They decide to leave the sanctuary of Indonesia (remember they are refugees and they entered Indonesia legally). They destroy all their papers, pay big money to jump on a boat and come to the 'lucky country AUSTRALIA' without any papers; upon arrival in Australia they receive all sorts of handouts from the government and if the paint in the refugee camps not the right colour, they can get some arsehole lawyer (on legal aid) to sue the government on their behalf because the colour is effecting their eyesight. But, hang on a minute, what are they escaping from, they are in Indonesia. No one is persecuting them for their religion, no one is persecuting them for their political beliefs; they are safe; why would they want to run away from a country that practices their beliefs? Why would they want to go to a country that practices Christian beliefs when they don't want anything to have to do with it? My gut feeling is: The moment those people step on the boats in Indonesia, they have chosen to 'throw their refugee status away' (they were/are safe in that country). They also chose to break Indonesia's immigration laws by not filling departure forms in (you and I have to). I'd like to know why, upon arrival in Australia, are those 'so-called-refugees' not charged with being 'ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS' and thrown on the first available flight out of the country. Remember, they 'were' refugees whilst they were in Indonesia, they then chose to get rid of their papers; they chose to leave the country that had given them shelter; they chose to pay someone to transport them to Australia; they chose to get on a boat. But above all they chose to leave the country that gave them sanctuary ' INDONESIA '. Why is it, honest hard working Australians have to pay taxes to keep those illegal immigrants (not refugees) in comfort while some do-gooder lawyer makes money out of the situation by trying to sue the government, to get more money for those ‘illegals’ who shouldn't be in this country in the first place. WAKE UP AUSTRALIA, THEY ARE 'NOT' REFUGEES, THEY ARE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. I received this as an email last month, and after reading it, I had to change my perspective on how I viewed this situation, which our government cannot seem to fix. I, like most Australians believe that our country could take tens of thousands more refugees (we have space for millions) and would like to see those genuine refugees sitting in ‘half way’ camps awaiting for their status to be verified get their chance at arriving in a safe environment. They do not have the financial means to fly out of their country to another one, obtain sanctuary then climb on a boat to Australia. Most fair thinking Australians, given the chance to read the article above would have to agree with the author. Ed
SOMETHING THAT CAUSED CONFUSION FROM THIS YEAR’s BUDGET
One of our leading advocates sent an email to Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) asking for clarification of some matters that came out of the federal budget this year. Here is the official answer he received: Good afternoon Mr O'Neill, Thank you for your email to the Secretary regarding what impacts the recent announced regulations in the Federal Budget on restricted time that a government payment may be made to an Australian citizen travelling/residing overseas may have on payments handled by the Department. The Secretary has asked that I respond on his behalf. I have been advised that in the 2012-13 Budget the Government announced that the portability rules applicable to some Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) and Department of Human Services benefits are to be changed. The portability rules are the policies which govern the effect on a person’s benefits of being temporarily absent from Australia for longer than the “portability period”. The portability period refers to the period of time that a person receiving certain payments and benefits can be temporarily absent from Australia without losing or having that benefit reduced. Different portability periods apply to different benefits. Subject to the passage of legislation, from 1 January 2013 all DVA benefits that are currently subject to a 13 week portability period will be subject to a portability period of 6 weeks. This means that the only DVA benefits that will be affected by the changes announced in the 2012-13 Budget are those which are currently subject to a portability period of 13 weeks. These benefits are: pension supplement (payable with service pension and may be paid with the income support supplement, depending on the war widow(er)’s income and assets); seniors supplement; Commonwealth Seniors Health Card; and Clean Energy Advance and Clean Energy Supplement. There will be no change to the rules governing a benefit if that benefit is currently either: subject to a different portability period (for example, rent assistance is subject to a portability period of 26 weeks); or not subject to any portability period (for example, maximum basic rate of service pension, disability pension – including above General Rate – and the war widow(er)’s pension are not affected by a person’s absence from Australia, either temporary or otherwise). Yours sincerely, Fiona McCurdy Executive Officer | Repatriation Commission GPO Box 9998, CANBERRA ACT 2601 P: 02 6289 4832 | F: 02 6289 6257 | M: 0424 588 009 The above information is provided to our members who are in receipt of benefits from DVA. I do not have information for those that are receiving different benefits from Centrelink (Department of Human Services). Those members should contact Centrelink direct for clarification. There are too many different Centrelink benefits for me to provide advice in this forum. (Bold, Italics and larger font were inserted by me, Ed)
10 Thursday, 28June 2012
AUSTRALIAN VETERANS JOIN THE QUEEN IN HONOURING SECOND WORLD WAR AIRMEN A memorial honouring 125,000 brave men who flew with Bomber Command during the Second World War, including more than 10,000 Australians, will be officially dedicated by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in London later today. Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Warren Snowdon said more than 100 Australian veterans of the campaign are among the hundreds of Commonwealth veterans attending the memorial dedication. “Veterans have travelled from across the globe including Canada, New Zealand and Australia to be in London today for this significant occasion, many returning to the UK for the first time since the war,” he said. “I can only imagine what an emotional journey this has been for them; to be standing alongside mates, remembering the 55,000 comrades who never made it home to their loved ones.” “Here in Australia, we will remember the 3,486 Australians killed flying Bomber Command missions and the650 who died in training accidents in the United Kingdom,” he said. Mr Snowdon said the dangerous missions flown by Bomber Command were Australia’s costliest combat action of the Second World War. “This new memorial is a fitting tribute to all those who fell against Italy and Germany during the ventures of Bomber Command and I commend the UK Bomber Command Association for its initiative in constructing this lasting memorial.” “The Australian veterans and their comrades from across the Commonwealth are doing us proud in the UK. The service and sacrifice of so many young men in Bomber Command helped deliver victory in Europe during the Second World War, and that will never be forgotten.” Mr Snowdon said in addition to today’s memorial dedication, other activities have taken place to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Bomber Command including an Australian service at the Air Forces Memorial in Runnymede. A further service will also be held on Saturday at the Australian Memorial in Hyde Park.
AND Tuesday, 3 July2012
BOMBER COMMAND VETERANS ARRIVE HOME SAFELY The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, has welcomed home a group of Australian veterans who travelled to London last week to honour the contribution of the Bomber Command during the Second World War. Mr Snowdon said the 31 veterans who travelled as part of the official mission party returned home safely on Monday after spending a week in London, where they attended the dedication of the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. “These men have been on an emotional journey, joining with comrades from other nations, at the sites of where they served almost 70 years ago, to honour lost mates,” he said. While in London, the Australians joined counterparts from Canada, Britain and New Zealand at the dedication on 28 June. The Australian contingent also participated in commemorative services at the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial and Australian
11 Memorial at Hyde Park. Mr Snowdon said for many of the veterans, it was the first time they had returned to the United Kingdom since their service. “Although this journey would have bought back difficult memories of lost mates and the tragedies of war for many of the veterans, I hope that each and every one of them also came home with new memories and stories to share with family and friends,” he said.
The opening of the Bomber Command Memorial in London with a WW2 Lancaster bomber flying over-head dropping thousands of poppies. Mr Snowdon said more than 100 Australian veterans travelled to London, including an official Australian Government delegation of 31 veterans and more than 70 travelling independently with assistance from the Government, Defence Health, the Royal Australian Air Force Association and the Bomber Command Commemoration Day Foundation. “I am proud that the Australian Government could support so many veterans in making this important journey. I sincerely thank all those involved for their generous assistance and support in making sure this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a very deserving group of men.” Some 125,000 airmen served with the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command during the Second World War, including 10,000 Australians. Of those, more than 4,000 Australians never made it home – making it one of Australia’s costliest combat actions of the Second World War.
A LOOK INTO OUR PAST
(Cyclone Tracey part 2- final)
Evacuation and the public response Major-General Alan Stretton, Director-General of the Natural Disasters Organisation, and the Commonwealth Minister for the Northern Territory, Rex Patterson, arrived at Darwin Airport late on Christmas Day and took charge of the relief efforts. After an assessment of the situation and meetings with the Department of the Northern Territory and the relevant minister, it was concluded that Darwin's population needed to be reduced to a "safe level" of 10,500 people. This decision was made on the advice of Dr. Charles Gurd, the Director of Health in the Northern Territory. Around 10,000 people left Darwin and the surrounding area within the first two days, but the rate of departures then began to slow down. The government then gave support to his position, offering full reimbursement of personal costs, as long as the evacuation took place. The population was evacuated by air and ground; because of communications difficulties with Darwin airport, landing was limited to one plane every ninety minutes. At major airports, teams of federal and territory department officials as well as
12 Salvation Army and Red Cross workers met refugees, with the Red Cross taking responsibility for keeping track of the names and temporary addresses of the refugees. Evacuations were prioritised according to need; women, children, and the elderly and sick were evacuated first. There were reports of men dressing up as women to escape with the early evacuations. Between 26 to 31 December, a total of 35,362 people were evacuated from Darwin. 25,628 of those were evacuated by air, the remainder by road. By 31 December, only 10,638 people (mostly men who were required to help clean up the city) remained in Darwin. Stretton also regulated access to the city by means of a permit system. Permits were only issued to those who were involved in either the relief or reconstruction efforts, and were used to prevent the early return of those who were evacuated. Upon receiving news of the damage, several community groups across Australia began fundraising and relief efforts to assist the survivors. Major reception centers were set up in cities such as Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. Several of the small towns along the Stuart Highway made efforts to assist people who were fleeing by road, supplying them with food, fuel, rest and mechanical aid. At Adelaide River, the small local population provided hot meals to the refugees who stopped there. Approximately twenty-four hours after the storm hit Darwin, the population of Alice Springs had raised over $105,000 to assist the victims of Tracy. In Melbourne at the Boxing Day Test cricket match, members of both teams moved around the boundaries carrying buckets which the crowd threw cash into for the relief funds. Darwin families were also given priority on public housing waiting lists. On 31 December 1974, Stretton recommended that full civilian control should resume in Darwin, and handed over control of the city to its elected officials.
Reconstruction and effects on Darwin In February 1975, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam announced the creation of the Darwin Reconstruction Commission, which was given the task of rebuilding the city "within five years". The Commission was headed by Tony Powell. The damage to the city was so severe that some advocated moving the entire city. However, the government insisted that it be rebuilt in the same location. By May 1975, Darwin's population had recovered somewhat, with 30,000 residing in the city. Temporary housing, caravans, hotels and an ocean liner MV Patris, were used to house people, as reconstruction of permanent housing had not yet begun by September that year. However, by the following April, and after receiving criticism for the slow speed of reconstruction, the Commission had built 3,000 new homes in the nearly destroyed northern suburbs, and completed repairs to those that had survived the storm. Several new building codes were drawn up, trying to achieve the competing goals of the speedy recovery of the area and ensuring that there would be no repeat of the damage that Darwin took in 1974. By 1978, much of the city had recovered and was able to house almost the same number of people as it had before the cyclone hit. However, as many as sixty percent of Darwin's 1974 population were no longer living in the city in the 1980s. In the years that followed, Darwin was almost entirely rebuilt and now shows almost no resemblance to the Darwin of December 1974. Until 1974, the Northern Territory had minimal self-government, with a federal minister being responsible for the Territory from Canberra. However, the cyclone and subsequent responses highlighted several problems with the way the regional government was set up which led to the decision of Malcolm Fraser, Whitlam's successor as Prime Minister, to give self-government to the Territory in 1978. Many of the government records associated with Cyclone Tracy became publicly available on 1 January 2005 under the 30 year rule. NB. MAJGEN Stretton wrote two books about Cyclone Tracey, THE FURIOUS DAYS about the
disaster itself and he followed up with SOLDIER IN A STORM about the politics of the disaster and the way he was treated after he reported and criticised the shortcomings of the government and the defence establishment. Both are a great read. Ed
13 A REMINDER We have passed on information about our sub branch blood register in previous newsletters. We would like to remind members that we are in constant need of blood donors to keep our ‘credit’ of supplies at a usable level. Recently there was a need for a blood donation and contact was made with our secretary on the procedure to obtain the blood. Below is a brief outline on that procedure. The Red Cross section at the Angeles University (AU) Hospital hold our blood:
BLOOD RECIPIENTS When you or a person you are acting for requires blood you must follow this procedure. First of all you MUST get a “Request Form” from the Doctor in the hospital the patient is in – please ensure the request is fully filled out and signed by the Doctor. Then you take the request form along with a small esky (cooler) with ice in it to the AU Hospital Red Cross Department and ask for LIZA or SIR ALVI. If it is after hours there should be someone there as it is manned 24 hours. Explain to them you are there to collect blood from the RSL Blood Bank and present them with the Doctors Request. There will be a service charge of P354 per unit. In the event they do not have the blood type you request, then call the RSL Blood Register number (listed below) and we will attempt to locate donors. If you have any difficulties or need help or have questions, please call the number listed below. (Lindsay 09293365753) PASSING OF A REALLY GOOD BLOKE Those members not on the distribution list or do not have access to DVA News would not have seen the VALE to William (Bill) Slape, pictured left. Anyone who has made a visit to the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum in Thailand would no doubt have run into Bill, who was the Manager of the museum, along with his life partner Ayr who was the Deputy Manager. Bill suffered a fatal heart attack whilst swimming on 12th May 2012. In 2009, the ABC’s World Today journalist, Kerry Percy asked Bill how Hellfire Pass was named and he replied “(When) the men were working at night time, they could hear the hammering and the clamouring and the pith fires down in Hellfire Pass, and all the bamboo lanterns along the wall face of the pass itself, and men up top were saying it just looks like looking into the fires of hell, and that’s where it came from, from the prisoners of war during that period”. Bill was a proud member of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery and served in Vietnam 1969-70. Upon his return to Australia, Bill was posted as a recruit instructor at the 2 nd Recruit Training Battalion (2RTB) in Puckapunyal, Victoria during the National Service days. (This is where your editor first met Bill, both being instructors).
14 Bill was the first civilian to be honoured with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Operations Medal in recognition of his extraordinary assistance rendered to the AFP during the tsunami relief operations in Thailand in December 2004. Bill was farewelled at Christian and Buddhist ceremonies in Thailand, and a commemoration in Redlands. He will be sadly missed by his many friends both in Australia and overseas.
Source: THE ILLAWARRA MERCURY: http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/vietnamese-community-thanks-aussieveterans/2633272.aspx?storypage=0
Vietnamese community thanks Aussie veterans CHRIS PAVER 24 Jul, 2012 04:00 AM Former Vietnamese refugee Teresa Tran, with Vietnam Veterans Illawarra president Peter Mitchell, will mark the 50th anniversary of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War at a special dinner at Dapto Ribbonwood Centre next month. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO
Teresa Tran had not been born when the Vietnam War began, but she is all too familiar with the years that followed. The Wollongong accountant is a former Vietnamese refugee whose family fled the country when she was a teenager in the 1980s, gambling their lives on a leaking boat to escape the communist regime. Now, 50 years after the first Australian units arrived in the country, Ms Tran and other members of Wollongong’s Vietnamese community are extending their lasting thanks to Australia’s Vietnam veterans. ‘‘Even though the war was ended in 1975 with the communist victory ... we never forget the sacrifice of the Vietnam veterans and their families ... to protect that part of the world free from the communists for almost 20 years,’’ she said. In the years after the war, Ms Tran said she was denied a basic education at home because her father had served the South Vietnamese Government. He spent five years in a ‘‘re-education camp’’, leaving her mother with four children and no job. She speaks about Australia’s involvement in the decade-long conflict in the years before with passion and emotion. ‘‘I know that some families lost husbands or fathers and children,’’ she said. ‘‘They may not feel that those men went there for a purpose but to us they did [go] there for a purpose and to me their presence in Vietnam during the Vietnam War was just and right.’’ Gratitude was not always the sentiment Vietnam veterans received in the years after the conflict.
15 But Vietnam Veterans Illawarra president Peter Mitchell said the thanks of the Vietnamese community here was meaningful even 50 years later. He also believed it would be important to the widows and families of veterans who were among the 521 Australians killed in the conflict. Mr Mitchell was conscripted and served as a national serviceman from 1968-69. ‘‘For the Vietnamese community to say we are proud of you and you’ve done a great job, you think well it makes it all worthwhile, you feel there was a purpose in us going,’’ he said. The Vietnamese community in Wollongong has invited veterans, their families and friends to a special dinner next month to mark the 50th anniversary of Australia’s involvement in the war. The event will be held at Dapto Ribbonwood Centre on August 25. Tickets cost $30 with all proceeds to go to Wollongong Legacy. Call 0408446561 for information. ADVERTISEMENT
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Fly-Thru service from Clark International Airport to Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia and to Osaka-Kansai in Japan. AirAsia’s Fly-Thru service offers guests seamless transit, hassle free luggage check-in and other connecting convenience. “Our Fly-Thru service is designed to allow our guests to seamlessly connect on multiple flight legs, on certain flights without needing to pass through immigration, collect bags, re check-in between flights or have a transit visa. Bags will also be automatically checked through to the final destination. This new service is part of our continuous effort to make air travel more affordable, convenient and accessible to all,” AirAsia Inc. chief-executive-officer Maan Hontiveros said. The Fly-Thru service was introduced by AirAsia last year with connecting flight options from selected destinations in the AirAsia route network which spans across 20 countries and 77 destinations. Guests who will avail of the Fly-Thru service will be charged with a minimal fee of ₱900.00 only which will already be included in the all-in fare upon booking via airasia.com while connecting time is expected to take less than five hours.
16 All connecting destinations will come from AirAsia’s transit point in LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) in Kuala Lumpur. “The awesome connectivity and convenience when travelling between Australia and the Philippines as well as Japan and the Philippines will further drive up tourism in the country. We hope to draw tourists from these countries and at the same time encourage our OFWs to come home as often as possible” Hontiveros added.
GIVE THIS SOME THOUGHT Many years ago when I was still serving in the Australian Army (my second enlistment) I had one of our corporals approach me for some advice. The Australian government was introducing a new superannuation scheme and issued out big glossy prospectus showing old and new schemes. All those affected had to make a decision to opt for the old or go to the new. This corporal was a smart operator but he was seeking advice from me, a Warrant Officer (who everyone think knows everything). I was in receipt of the old scheme and was not given the glossy prospectus. My advice to the corporal was: a. Anything initiated by the government will not be to his advantage. (I was subsequently proven right) b. Firstly I would work out what I my intentions were with the army, whether I was going long term or not. Once that has been decided, do the comparisons, apply the maths and make your option. He came back to me the day prior to the deadline to tell me that he was intending to stay long term in the army, applied the maths and the old scheme came out to his advantage by many thousands of dollars. Having read thus far, I would like our members to be like our corporal above concerning membership of the RSL. Unlike a government initiative, our proposal will be to member’s advantage. We have offered LIFE SUBSCRIPTION to our members on many occasions. Life Subscriptions have only been available to SERVICE members, that is, to those that served in the military forces, but a branch in Australia has set a precedent by allowing AFFILIATE members to obtain Life Subscription. Likewise, Angeles City Sub Branch is now offering Life Subscription to our affiliate members. So, as the corporal did when he took my advice, work out what your long term intentions are concerning membership to the RSL, do the maths. I am positive that Life Subscription will be to your advantage. I took my own advice and took out Life Subscription a couple of years back. Secretary Dallas Drake will be happy to work out a price for you. He is contactable by his email address shown in the newsletter masthead or on +63 916 524 3084. If calling within the country, drop the +63 and add 0 before the 9. AND WHILE I AM ON A ROLL………….. This is the second newsletter to be published at the end of the month rather than coinciding with our monthly meeting, as voted on by our members at a monthly meeting. In my opinion, this new arrangement is a dogs breakfast. Newsletters advise members of coming events but mostly record past events. Therefore it serves its purpose. BUT I have tried to identify advantages to the new arrangements and have come up with NIL. The previous arrangement had the following advantages: 1. Provided those members without computers a hard copy at the monthly meeting. (They now have to wait an additional three weeks to get a copy at the next meeting. Information is very old hat). 2. Adequate advice to members what is happening next month. ( have a look at page three and the first activity for August, four days notice only. How can we advise members where the next medical mission is located, occurring on 1st of September if the newsletter is published the day prior). 3. Articles in the newsletter may become a general business item at the meeting for discussion. 4. Major notifications like Vietnam Veteran’s Day 18th Aug and ANZAC Day April 25 have a shorter lead in time, therefore less likely members will forget the date and not turn up. In this newsletter they will have to remember that in 18 days they will be attending Vietnam Veterans Day on the 18 th.
17 I for one would like someone at the next monthly meeting to put in a motion that publication of the newsletter return to its old publishment timings. As editor I will be quite happy to accommodate you. I have had my say. Ed AND DON’T FORGET…. that we have two other means of communicating to our members (in fact anyone who wishes to read about us), being our website www.rslangelescity.com and our Facebook: www.facebook.com/rslacity Whenever someone logs into our website there is an automatic counter that records that logon. This gives us feedback on how many people are accessing the website. But not so with our Face book. We therefore ask anyone who log onto our face book, please hit the ‘I Like’ icon. This will record the logon and give us some feedback on how many people are accessing the site. Our Face book has a mass of information there and also pictures. It offers instant information and is allows the reader to leave a message or pictures, or anything really. So do not be shy, click the I Like and record your presence at the site. This will also keep our member who manages the face book site to get feedback on his efforts. FINALLY At the bottom of page eight is an advertisement for Dr PC. Dr PC is our own webmaster Gerald Slide. Gerald offers hassle free computer software repairs and adjustment, mostly by remote assistance. By downloading his program he can access your computer from anywhere in the world, and get to work sorting out your problems. Locally he can call around to your place and sort out software and also hardware problems. He has just spent yesterday at our secretary’s place where our sub branch computer containing a massive amount of info and files suffered a major hardware breakdown. The first man Dallas called was Gerald. So give Gerald a call when there is a problem with your computer. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com SKYPE address: gerald slide Face Book www.Facebook.com/drpcph Dr. PC Computer Services Website: www.drpc.ph AU Phone #: (02) 8006-1578 * US Phone #: (845) 445-7516 PH Phone #: 0906-273-4403
DISCLAIMER The Angeles City Sub-Branch of the R&SLA, the Committee and the Editor take no responsibilities for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies contained in this newsletter. Nor do they accept any liability for loss or damage suffered directly or indirectly for use of information contained in this newsletter. Nor do they warrant that articles or opinions published in this newsletter are necessarily the opinions held by the Sub-branch, the Committee or the Editor
“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance”
Lest we forget
July RSL Monthly Newsletter