New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory . . . Northern Territory . . . Queensland . . . South Australia . . . Tasmania . . . Victoria . . . Western Australia 4 RARASSOCIATIONS OF AUSTRALIA THE FIGHTING FOURTH
MALAYSIA/BORNEO - SOUTH VIETNAM - EAST TIMOR/TIMOR LESTE - IRAQ - AFGHANISTAN
ANZAC Day 2017
4 RAR Colours
RAR Cap Badge
On Friday 21 April, the 4 RAR Assoc, Qld Inc was again invited to share the ANZAC Day celebration by the Mitchelton High School in Brisbane. We have been invited to their ceremony now for some ten years. It is a double honour for us to be invited as Private Victor Neils Petersen who was Killed in Action in Vietnam with us on 16 February 1969 was an old boy of the school. Victor's father was, for years, a teacher and the principal of the school and he was one of the leaders of the 4 RAR Reunion parade at Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera in 1994. It was a pleasure to be in the audience of approximately 800 students who presented a very solemn but beautifully presented service. The address was delivered by a serving RAAF officer who was an old girl of the school and students from the local cadet unit provided a flag party. Reveille and the Last Post were played by a music class member from Grovely State School.
Alan attended in the company of one of our committee members, Rick Male who although belonging to RAASigs was attached to 4 RAR during our Borneo days and associates himself more with 4 RAR than his signals units. Alan remembers that during his days as an instructor on Battle Wing at the Jungle Training Centre that all of the RAA Sigs posted there also cast their allegiance with the Infantry and were even designated as belonging to the local corps of "Sigfantry", such was their professionalism, knowledge and ability as Infantry. Rick is such a "Sigfantry" member.
Alan laid a wreath in keeping with ANZAC Day but which was dedicated to Vic Petersen. After the service we were invited to share morning tea with the school staff and student leaders and invited to attend next year.
Helensvale Primary School
The ANZAC Celebration continued on Monday 24 April with Alan being invited to deliver the address at the Helensvale Primary School on the northern edge of the Gold Coast. This was to be the 12th time that Alan had delivered the address in 15 years of attendance at the school.
Again Alan was accompanied by our "Sigfantry Corps" committee member Rick Male with treasurer Maureen Price and they along with the other distinguished guests, were piped into the auditorium.
Students at the service totalled more than 1,100 and included approx 50 teachers and another 50 family members and friends. A very large contingent by any means. Again, like Mitchelton High School the students presented the whole service and the school choir sang a beautiful song regarding the ANZACs. It was a wonderful presentation.
As well as the laying of wreaths by the school, invited guests, and the school classes, a contingent of approximately 50 students of the North Gold Coast RSL Sub Branch RSL Community Link project laid individual floral tributes to the soldiers that they represented.
That brought back a lot of memories for Alan and Maureen because it was they who continued the Qld State RSL Community Link project when the original chairman died and Alan was invited to take his place. Alan and Maureen held the helm for six years before reluctantly surrendering the project back to the RSL after gaining some 5,000 members from the original 300 from the Bribie Island schools. Members included those from, from all states of Australia and other countries including the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Malta.
Gratefully the school has elected to continue the project with the senior students writing letters to our ADF members serving overseas. Those letters are part of the English curriculum within the school as part of letter writing lessons and are assessed. The original project was the writing of letters to members of 4 RAR (Cdo) and then 2 Cdo Regt and has continued since.
The North Gold Coast RSL Sub Branch have agreed to share their project of sending parcels to the sailors, soldiers and airmen of the ADF with our letter writing project within the school.
The Dawn Service
The Dawn Service at The RAR National Memorial Walk was a cool morning with over 150 representatives of the RAR from all units present. Chelsea Wintour accompanied her grandfather Alan Price and also in attendance were Major Chris Smith (Retd) and his family, Michael Martyn, Adrian O'Bryan, committee member Rick Male and Ken Carter our welfare officer.
After laying a wreath for 4 RAR at the RAR NMW, Alan then laid a wreath at the new RAR Place memorial adjacent to Ferguson Park on Samford Rd. Enoggera.
Redlands RSL Sub Branch
Ray Moore (4 RAR and RAAMC) one of our committee members, laid a wreath on behalf of 4 RAR at the parade conducted by the Redcliffe RSL Sub Branch, where Alan Harcourt (4 RAR) is the sub branch president and his wife Linda is the Welfare Officer. We thank all those who marched and laid wreaths in all other areas including Townsville, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Well done! It is amazing how many RSL sub branches are administered by former 4 RAR members all around the country.
ANZAC Day Brisbane
ANZAC Day in Brisbane saw 4 RAR present one of the largest RAR contingents with approximately 50 marching including descendents of deceased members including the Max "Yogi" Upton (LM) family members who represented Max and who wore his RSL Community Link Badge as well as his medals and the Mountney family members who marched for their great, grandfather and great, great, grandfather from World War Two and One wearing their medals.
Our patron, LTCOL Brian Avery (Retd), Major John McGhee (Retd) and his granddaughter rode in jeeps as did a 1 RAR Korean veteran, the former Pte Evan Bond who by invitation, marched with us with his grandson as carer. Actually, because of a marshal who refused to listen to Alan's pleas on the spot that Brian in his jeep lead the 4 RAR contingent as notified, Pte Evan Bond, 1 RAR actually led the 4 RAR contingent followed by Brian Avery our patron, followed by John McGhee and then the contingent but, under marshal instructions, the marching contingent was kept some 30 to 40 metres behind the vehicles. The 4 RAR summary from the broadcasters was disgraceful in the extreme in that they referred to us a training battalion, (we never were but another 4 RAR was) did not mention that we served in Borneo and somehow neglected to mention that 4 RAR (Cdo) or "C,D,R" as stated by the broadcasters, (They did not understand that Cdo was the abbreviation for commando but twice called it "C,D,R" despite it being written in long hand in the submitted script) was
awarded the UCG in Afghanistan. They did not refer to the submitted script at all. They will be receiving a letter of complaint from the Association.
Private Bond, 1 RAR Korea, requested that he march with us to show his appreciation for Alan having his medals mounted, he had never worn them nor marched and, for assisting him in receiving the Ambassador for Peace Medal from the Korean Government. None of us knew that he was going to lead the contingent, but well done Evan, you did well and we are proud of you. Perhaps we should send Private Bond an application for transfer from 1 RAR to 4 RAR and a request that he be promoted to LtCol as the new CO?
The march itself was a good one but the band within earshot played so slowly that we could have slow marched for the entire way. It was remarkable but totally expected that we were all in step as we passed the saluting dais. The end result however was that we started the march as an association, welcomed the absolute adulation of the supporting crowds and we finished the march as an association together, before we all split to our separate watering holes to enjoy each other's company and to remember. It was an excellent day and one shared with other members of 4 RAR including those from East Timor and Afghanistan and the other veterans that we met during the course of the day. We especially remembered and raised a glass to all those who could not make it or did not make it. Well done!
28 April 2017
Their Service . . . . Our Heritage We Will Remember Them
the motto of the Royal Australian Regiment