Wishing all a very Happy New Year, be safe, healthy and enjoy yourself with family and friends!
Our reunion seems so long ago now, must be time for another one! This is Pony writing these few words in the hope that we will have not one but two scribes, Bouncer and Colleen. The website administrator (me) has been slow in finalising the details.
It is sad to report that one of our Mighty 3rd. members, Norman Hutchings R93380 – 3rd intake Junior Recruits HMAS LEEUWIN 1961, is not very well at the moment (4 April 2012) suffering fro liver cancer and other issues. Get well Norm.
Report on the Reunion 8th – 10th July at Maroochydore
Men of the Mighty 3rd Intake!
Well, you would hardly say that the reunion weekend was a riot – a surprise to many. Maybe we have always pegged our reputation to be higher than our reality. Or maybe the real ragers didn’t show up. Or maybe, simply, due to our age, we’re all now pussy cats, not lions!
The truth of the matter is that after the Memorial Service at the Cenotaph on The Esplanade at the Cotton Tree on Sunday morning, the organising team received ample feedback from those in attendance that the weekend had certainly been satisfying all round, for example….
From Greg (Stretch) Beck
…a bloody good reunion..
It was just about the right mix, not too full on with activities and I thought the numbers made for getting round to saying hello to everyone, rather that reunions I have been to in the past with a cast of ‘thousands’..
The boss also had a good time and she wasn’t short of persons to chat to.
and Stan Walters
….my deeply felt thanks for the work you and your team put into making our reunion a great success. Please pass onto the other members of the organising team my sincerest thanks for a job well done!
The Meet and Greet on the Friday night was a highlight with many of us struggling to even recognise each other…for a minute or two anyway. The ecstasy of renewing the bonds that are now 50 years old! Followed by the enjoyable Dinner on Saturday night with a thousand ancient photographs flipping over on the screens around us, and that bolt from the blue, Chris Jensen’s CD of the 8 mm Standard movies he took while we were JRs at LEEUWIN. We were grateful to the Maroochydore RSL for waiving the facilities fees for these two nights. The food was superb.
Then on Sunday morning, the combined memorial celebrating the Centenary of the RAN with the Maroochy Naval Association, the local RSL, and 2 Naval Cadet units TS ONSLOW & TS CENTAUR, at which Kit Carson laid our wreath. Followed immediately by our own Memorial Service paying homage with floral tributes of Australian wildflowers to each of the 15 of our 3rd Intake shipmates (that we know of) who have crossed the bar. This was clearly the poignant experience for us all. Our sincere thanks to the two padres (Ian Thomas & Graham Wiseman), and to our own David Adams for delivering his moving address. Nature played its part by providing an absolutely beautiful & sunny Queensland morning. Many of us were mindful that all of this was occurring only around 5km as the crow flies, from the scuttled hulk of HMAS BRISBANE.
HMAS Brisbane Memorial Alexandra Headland
The weekend was crowned by a very warm and friendly BBQ hosted with great generosity by President Vic Sforcina, and his great band of members of the Maroochy Waters Sub Section of the Naval Association. Bravo Zulu Maroochy Waters! With Wal Leslie and Mac Macartney winning the Decanter and the Hip Flask of Original Pusser’s Rum respectively.
There was also much feedback, about the need to have further reunions in the future, although there were many different views about where, when, who, how, etc. Watch this website!