Anzac Day Service at Fort Benning USA

ANZAC Day ceremony in Fort Benning USA at the only memorial in the US that lists the names of Australian KIA. Listed are the names of 1 RAR Group members killed while serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade (SEP) in Vietnam in 1965-66.

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Parliament Constituent Appreciation – Maurie Pears

House debates
Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Steven Ciobo (Moncrieff, Liberal Party, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment)  | Hansard source

Official portrait Hon Hon Steven Ciobo MP

I rise to talk about a special community member from my electorate, who was recently awarded a prestigious medal from the Republic of Korea. Korean War veteran Maurie Pears received the Medal of Civil Merit from the ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Mr Kyoung-ha Woo, for his work as a patron of the Queensland Korean War veterans. The Medal of Civil Merit Medal is awarded by the Republic of Korea to one who has significantly contributed to public affairs and development in different areas for the common good.

I’ve had a long association with Maurie Pears. He’s been a tireless advocate for the Korean veterans community, being a chairman of the combined Korean communities and veterans community centre. It’s a great privilege to have had the opportunity to work with him on the Queensland Korean War Memorial at Cascade Gardens in my electorate. It is absolutely beautiful. Maurie and I led an initiative to have this monument declared as a military memorial of national significance. After a long campaign with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, we were able to secure the site as one of eight nationally recognised memorials in Australia—a first for Queensland.

Maurie was the driving force behind the construction of the memorial, which is now a reminder of the 18,000 Australian men and women who fought and a tribute to the 340 who failed to return home.

 

His contribution will ensure that those who served in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953 will never be forgotten. I cannot thank Maurie enough for his valuable work in the community for so many years. His dedicated service to our nation and to our local veteran community makes him a very well-deserved recipient of this award.

Maurie Pears epitomises the very best of our veteran community. Our ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen have made a profound contribution not only to the fabric of Australian society; people like Maurie, who keep on giving for the benefit of their community long into their retirement years, represent what I believe are the values that so many Australians hold near and dear.

For Maurie to be recognised by the Korean government is a testament to their gratitude to him. I can say, after having spoken with so many people in the community, the level of respect and regard for Maurie—for the work that he’s done, for the fact that he is a tireless campaigner not only for the Korean community and the Korean War veteran community but also more broadly for the ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen of Australia—really does demonstrate someone who has, in his beating heart, a great passion and love for his country, for his community and for the men and women that he served beside.

Ends

The RAR Association echoes the Minister’s appreciation and adds that Maurie is an “RAR tribal elder” who epitomises both the Regiment’s motto “Duty First” and the RAR Association’s additional motto “Keeping the Spirit Alive”

Poem – Regimental Square ANZAC Day, 2017

I thought “I’ll march this Anzac Day,”

To Sydney thus I’ll make my way.

But then, to set my medals straight,

I pause a moment at my gate

To ponder ‘neath the starry sky

On where I’m going to and why.

To there, the Square on George Street.

The place where all we blokes do meet.

To greet once more to have a say,

Gathered there on Anzac Day,

To think for moments in that Square

About the men no longer there.

 

 

No longer there but always there

These ghostly memories on the Square.

Their presence felt as we give thanks,

Shuffling, murmuring in their ranks,

And as the bugle calls last post

We proudly stiffen with that host.

Standing tall with all those men

Who link our presence now with then;

Their bayonets, bullets, marching feet

Providing terms on which we meet:

Our bridge, our nexus, common ground

For sharing with them that sweet sound

Which gently fades away.

Brisbane Anzac Square Restoration – Stage 4

As you may be aware, over the last four years Anzac Square has been undergoing significant repairs and restoration to ensure that Queensland’s preeminent war memorial is not only restored, but endures for future generations.

This year will realise the fourth and final stage of this important project, with works scheduled to commence following Anzac Day and the bulk of works completed in time for Remembrance Day 2018 which marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice to end the First World War.

Stage 4 will achieve many vital enhancements including an improved entrance and prominence of memorial elements, upgraded and sustainable landscaping, addition of lift access and improved event spaces. This final stage of work will complement the work completed over the last three years which includes rectified structural defects and water damage, conservation and restoration of the Shrine of Remembrance and Eternal Flame, and the rejuvenation of the WWI Memorial Crypt and WWII Memorial Gallery.

You will see from the plans shared, that considerable effort has been made to ensure our  State’s War Memorial will be restored to the dignified and solemn place of remembrance and reflection that its original ‘founding fathers’ intended.

All Queenslanders are being encouraged to review the information paper on the Anzac Square restoration and enhancement project and provide feedback via www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au before 28 February 2018.

I encourage you to not only participate directly, but consider sharing this information with your colleagues and networks.

Thank you for your interest and ongoing contribution to Queensland’s Anzac Centenary commemorations and ensuring the important legacy of our servicemen and women endures.

Best regards

Captain Andrew Craig RAN (Retd)

Chair, Queensland Advisory Committee for the Commemoration of the Anzac Centenary
31st January 2018

 

Joint Media Release – The Long Tan Cross

Media Release from the PM and DVA Minister Dan Tehan – 6th December 2017

“An important piece of Australia’s military history will find a new home after the Vietnamese Government gifted the original Long Tan Cross to Australia.

Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick received the Long Tan Cross from the Dong Nai Province People’s Committee at a small ceremony at the Dong Nai Museum in Biên Hòa last month. An Australian Defence Force member then travelled with the cross on its journey to Australia.

AWM Group Wed 6 Dec 2017

L to R – Tehan, Dinham, Sabben, Roberts, Turnbull and Nelson.

The Australian Government thanks the Government of Vietnam for its generous gift.

The Long Tan Cross was erected by Australian soldiers as a memorial to their fellow diggers who fought and died at the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966, Australia’s most costly single engagement in the Vietnam War. It was removed from the Long Tan battle site some time after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. It was reportedly used as a memorial for a Vietnamese Catholic priest until the 1980s when it was restored and eventually placed on display by the Dong Nai Province Museum in Biên Hòa in the late 1990s.

Approximately 60,000 Australian men and women served in the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1975, including 521 who lost their lives and more than 3,000 who were wounded.

For many Australians, the Long Tan Cross has come to symbolise our involvement in the Vietnam War. It is a powerful memorial to the service and suffering of Australian soldiers.

Thanks to the generosity of the Vietnamese Government, the Cross will now remain in Australia for perpetuity where it will be honoured, as we honour the men and women who served in the Vietnam War. The Long Tan Cross will go on display at its new permanent home at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra from 6 December.”

For full details of the Long Tan Cross see Dave Sabben’s Pictorial History of the Long Tan Cross 

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

Opinion – Ataturk’s sentiments are junked.

Great vision on junk heap

FOR Australians there is probably no more emotive place on Earth outside their own country.
It is even named after the men who fought there and the many buried in that part of the Gallipoli Peninsula known as Anzac.
For thousands of grieving families there was little likelihood they would ever be able to travel to the small, scattered cemeteries painstakingly recreated at war’s end on the advice of official historian Charles Bean.

The Royal Australian Regiment Place

The Blessing and Dedication of The Royal Australian Regiment Memorial took place on 24th March 2017 at The Royal Australian Regiment Place, Ferguson Park ENOGGERA in Brisbane, it is a public memorial for the people of Brisbane.  It was officially opened by His Excellency, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).

The Regiment’s National Memorial Walk is considered the spiritual home of the Regiment. However recent security restrictions on entry to the Gallipoli Barracks has created a major barrier in allowing the public to be able to visit it.

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As a result it was decided to build a public RAR memorial in a suitable location close to the military base with all its history from the Boer War to the present, with easy access by public transport via Gaythorne Railway Station, 300 meters away and a Bus service which passes the memorial.

Brisbane City Council were very supportive and agreed to Ferguson Park becoming the preferred location allowing The Regiment to co-name our portion of the Park as The Royal Australian Regiment Place.  DVA also were instrumental in the Memorial becoming a reality through their approval of our application for a Saluting Their Service Grant.

The Memorial was designed by RARA (Qld) President Brigadier Neil Weekes AM MC (Retd) who passed away on 6th March just prior to the dedication and offical opening.  He was to host the event with this duty falling to his Deputy and now President RARA (Qld) Lieutenant Colonel EA (Ted) Chitham MC OAM (Retd).

The memorial was erected by Stonemason Peter Wrafter who does all our masonry at the NMW.  On the reverse side of The Memorial are the names and dates of RAR’s operational deployments

A feature of The Memorial is the gold inlay of the images against the black granite, at night, ground lights illuminate the images that from a distance in a moving car on Samford Road attract the eye with a certain spookiness that provokes thought and awareness of service and sacrifice of those who have served in The Royal Australian Regiment and put their “Duty First”.

All gave some, some gave their all, “Lest we Forget”

The Memorial will be maintained by the RARAQ’s Dads’ Army.

All requests to use The Royal Australian Regiment Place at Ferguson Park for a formal activity should be directed to the Secretary RARA Qld ([email protected])

 

 

Long Tan – 50th Anniversary Events – Canberra Honours Vietnam Veterans

 

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The ACT and Districts Vietnam Veterans have collaborated with the Federal and ACT Governments, Australian War Memorial (AWM), Ainslie Football Club and Southern Cross Club to honour Vietnam Veterans.

On this 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan the Vietnam Veterans’ Remembrance Day program of events for August 16th to 19th is listed below:

PROJECTIONS (AWM). Continual images from the Vietnam War will be projected onto the various façades of the Australian War Memorial which will include key theatres of the war and names and ages of the 521 KIAs from the Battle of Long Tan.

HALL OF MEMORY (AWM) Wednesday 17th August 4pm, John Schumann singing “I was only 19” in Hall of Memory. Ref: www.awm.gov.au for expressions of interest, attendance limited to 100.

LAST POST CEREMONY (AWM) Wednesday 17th August 4.55 pm, the story of Private Ken Gant will be read; also “I was only 19”, supported by Australia’s Federation Guard.

VIETNAM VALE (AWM) Thursday 18th August 5.30 am. The Memorial’s Commemorative Area will open and the names of the 521 people on the Vietnam War Roll of Honour will be read. Visitors may like to place a poppy on the Roll of Honour.

RECEPTION at Great Hall Parliament House on Wednesday 17th August 6.30pm. The Australian Government will be issuing invitations to this event. If you wish to attend, an expression of interest is required stating name, address, email, phone contacts for each attendee. There is limited invitations available so get in early by emailing [email protected] with required details.

STAND-TO SERVICE (AWM) Thursday 18th August 7 am. A “stand-to” Service will be held at the Stone of Remembrance in front of the Australian War Memorial. BREAKFAST in the PARK at Reid Oval. Thursday 18th August 7.30 am. Courtesy ACT Government and prepared by Lions Club.

VIETNAM VETERANS’ REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICE Thursday 18th August 10 am at the Australian Vietnam Forces Memorial on ANZAC Parade–. Hosted by the ACT and Districts Vietnam Veterans. The service will include a flyover of familiar aircraft. Seats must be taken up by 9:30 am ready for official arrivals.

CAMERADERIE AFTERNOON Thursday 18th August 12.00 pm at Ainslie Football Club. Food and drinks available. Check the update for details of this event on the website. www.vvaa.org.au canberra-programofevents.docx

LAST POST CEREMONY. Thursday 18th August 4.55 pm at AWM. The Last Post Ceremony will feature the story of Lieutenant Gordon Sharp.

MUSIC by the LAKE. Friday 19th August 12 pm to 3 pm on the lawns at Southern Cross Yacht Club. Wind down with the local band “Old 45” playing Vietnam era rock and roll music. Food and drinks available. Marquee will be available if weather is inclement. For updated information refer website: www.vvaa.org.au or email [email protected]

See also: https://www.awm.gov.au/events/honouring-vietnam-veterans/

Tribute to the Vietnam Veterans Finally Returning Home to Australia

Slideshow Productions tribute to our fallen Aussie heroes of the Vietnam war finally returning home where they belong. R.I.P.

Long Tan Cross Display

As you already know, the original Long Tan Cross, erected by 6 RAR on the 3rd anniversary of the Long Tan Battle, is being loaned by the Vietnamese government to the Australian War Memorial.

 

Harry Smith has advised

 

“I have been told the AWM LT Cross display will be on the afternoon of the 17th August. That date has been set so as to facilitate people attending the Canberra VVAA National Memorial service on the morning of the 18th, as in 2006. This year is devoted mainly to AATTV, given 50 years since the first 30 Advisers went to SVN.

 

As earlier, I am seeking to get all the soldiers at the 1969 Cross ceremony there. They have first priority. I am also seeking to get a representative group, total “about” thirty all up, from, say, Aust A Coy (5), B (3), and D (9) Coy 6RAR, APCs (3) and NZ Arty (3), Aust Arty (3), plus USAF (1), US Arty (1), and 9 Sqn RAAF (2). Former OC Admin then A Coy Maj O’Brien rang me and wishes to be included as he was in one of the ammo helicopters. He has just been in hospital for 2 months.

 

Given the recent reduction in funds by the PM, we may not fare well.”

 

I will advise as I learn of further developments however in the meantime, you may wish to alert members, particularly those of the battalion’s second tour who were instrumental in the erection and dedication of what has become an Australian icon of the Vietnam war.

 

Regards,

Graham Smith