4 RAR Association, Qld Inc Achievements, the Future & an Invitation
All former 4 RAR members for whom the 4 RAR Association, Qld, Inc is responsible; that is those former 4 RAR members residing in Qld, Tas, NT, our members in other states, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, The United States of America, Canada, Austria, The Philippines and South Vietnam. Introduction
Our old battalion, 4 RAR although having differing names to indicate its role in varying campaigns, 4 RAR, 4 RAR/NZ (ANZAC), 2/4 RAR or 4 RAR (Cdo) is still our battalion. 4 RAR exists now on the Order of Battle but in name only and with no personnel, no weapons, no equipment and no home. The Queens and Regimental Colours and Staff Sergeant Frank N. Stein are currently being held at the School of Infantry at Singleton. Its funds and silver are also being held under custodial arrangements. At the moment all we have is our history. We as individuals, sections, platoons and companies caused that history to be made and that history and the specific 4 RAR traditions that came to be within the writing of that history was forged by us and what we did within the Battalion. No matter our rank, posting or employment within the Battalion or where or when we served. It was us that gave and added to the history of our battalion. Remember when we used to gather around to speak of the legends of the Army and in particular the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR); well, the new Diggers are now speaking of you and our Battalion when they gather.
Although the Battalion has no physical home, perhaps the 4 RAR Association, Qld Inc might now be referred to as the home of 4 RAR for its own Association members? We must never forget that many, if not most, of the current soldiers serving in the 2nd Commando Regiment, were members of our Battalion.
Despite all efforts by the 4 RAR Assoc Qld , the individual state 4 RAR Associations have no national body representing us in order to assist us, guide us and to represent us as a united group of state associations at national, government and political levels and that is lamentable. It is apparent that some are relying on the RAR Assoc to do our job for us when we should be supporting ourselves at high levels. We do however, have a national representative David Morris (President, 4 RAR/4 RAR (Cdo) Assoc NSW) who represents us at annual meetings of the Royal Australian Regiment Corporation.
The 4 RAR Association, Qld Inc on behalf of its members, has expressed the intention of doing all in its power to maintain the name of 4 RAR in the public eye and to offer assistance to the Battalion when it becomes again, to our minds, the best battalion in the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) when it is re-activated. It is also our intention on your behalf, to maintain the comradeship and dignity of our former serving members and their families during that process.
What has the 4 RAR Assoc, Qld Inc achieved so far?
The 4 RAR Assoc, Qld conducted a very successful national reunion on the Gold Coast during February 2011 for over 650 attendees. It was acclaimed by many as the best ever conducted and that acclamation was supported by those who had conducted previous reunions.
We fought for and won the right of 4 RAR to maintain the award of the Unit Citation for Gallantry which was awarded to 4 RAR (Cdo) in Afghanistan when it was still a battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment but whose role was as a commando battalion within the RAR. This means that every member who in the future, marches into 4 RAR will be entitled to wear the award of the Unit Citation for Gallantry (UCG) but without the Federation Star in the centre. Only those that were actually in the unit at the time of the award may wear the UCG with the Federation Star superimposed.
The 4 RAR Assoc, Qld fought for and won the right of the Australian public to send Christmas parcels overseas to our troops when the Australian Defence Force stated that Christmas parcels were not to be sent as they would clog up the logistics system. As an immediate result of that win, three new Military Post Offices were opened and at least 4,000 Christmas parcels received by the ADF serving overseas can be attributed directly to your Association and of course our members.
The 4 RAR Assoc, Qld led the revolt against the Chief Military Prosecutor attempting to charge three of our soldiers with murder or manslaughter on the battle field. As a result of that campaign and common sense coming to the fore, all charges against those three warriors were withdrawn.
Gary Chad with our assistance, and Kay Danes independently, are endevouring to gain a Killed in Action medal awarded to the immediate next of kin of all soldiers killed on the battlefield and for a wounded in action symbol, medal or device to be awarded to those Wounded in Action.
Your Association has instituted an annual commemorative service or dinner for the Battle of Nui Le, the last battle fought by Australians in Vietnam and the last battle fought by 4 RAR in Vietnam.
Your Association management committee attempts to attend all funerals of our members to present a eulogy of their military life and to visit many in hospital and we have purchased one wheel chair and another was gifted to the Association for use by our members should they need it. One of our members is using one now.
Thanks to generous donations by members, the 4 RAR Assoc, Qld was able to donate $750.00 to each of two members who suffered great loss during the Brisbane floods.
In September, at the previous request of our members, the 4 RAR Assoc, Qld Inc became incorporated within Queensland
The 4 RAR Assoc, Qld produces, edits and distributes the informative newsletter, The Fighting Fourth, every four months but as of today it will only be sent to financial members’ nationwide and overseas and not placed onto the web site. This is not a decision that was made lightly but we had announced it previously. For approximately twenty six years subsequent committees had been delivering a newsletter free of charge to all those on the national nominal roll and which was produced mainly from the results of raffles but, raffles have died a natural death. We thank those that contributed prizes and who supported the raffle. You were there when you were needed.
The 4 RAR Assoc, Qld introduced and maintains the national 4 RAR web site called; www.4rarassociationsaustralia.com which achieves a strike rate of approximately 60,000 hits and 3,000 actual visitors per month.
The 4 RAR Assoc, Qld has recently been gifted all of the 4 RAR military displays and many associated displays located within the Gold Coast War Museum at Springbrook in Qld. This means that your Association now owns and is responsible for the only dedicated 4 RAR museum open for display. That display is now known as the 4 RAR Annex of the Gold Coast War Museum and contains over 3,000 items but it is displayed as part of the overall privately owned museum presentation. Bob Meehan OAM, the honorary curator of the museum is to be thanked for this wonderful gift. The 4 RAR Assoc, Qld receives no share of entry fees but is appreciative of the space provided by the owner.
The 4 RAR Assoc, Qld is currently liaising and negotiating with the a Queensland local council, another team of ex servicemen and corporations in endevouring to lease and occupy a former lakeside scout camp sitting on over 60 hectares between Toowoomba and Goondiwindi with the intention of developing the site into a veterans’ retreat. Negotiations are very much continuing at the moment and we are confident that we shall be successful.
Membership The 4 RAR Assoc, Qld maintains the national nominal roll of 1,631 members for all state associations including Queensland which has 801 former members recorded and a current financial membership of 161. A determined recruiting drive is currently underway. We are just now receiving membership applications from the Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns mainly from former members of the Battalion who have retired or taken discharge.
The membership base will vary from time to time as former serving members of 4 RAR retire or reach a time in life when they may be more able to join. It is inevitable that serving members may not wish to join the Association due to service commitments and this must be accepted but not after a determined effort to ‘win them over”.
Our widows, widowers or immediate next of kin are granted associate membership for life on the death of our soldier members.
All family members are offered the privilege of applying for associate membership. They are invited to voice and present their opinions, ideas and suggestions and may address any particular subject through our Associate Members’ Representative.
The 4 RAR Assoc, Qld conducts an annual ladies day luncheon where all of our ladies are invited and our widows and widowers are invited as guests of the Association.
The 4 RAR Assoc, Qld is now issuing professionally produced membership cards to all financial ordinary and associate members. These cards have a red background, the badge is coloured and they are produced to the same level of quality as many club membership cards.
4 RAR will rise from the ashes but who knows when or where? We need to be on our toes so that the day when it does become re-activated, we will be there to add our support and to stand before the new 4 RAR Diggers to give them our blessing.
The Association depends on your support morally, physically and through formal membership, financially. We will respond to all requests, ideas, or comments - good or bad. Many of course, will need to be presented to your committee for consideration and action.
Laurie Case, one of our committee members, has offered to make canes for the CSMs of the new 4 RAR. It is intended to offer them to 4 RAR so that the CSMs may have a “symbol of office”.
When 4 RAR was delinked from 2/4 RAR, the 4 RAR Assoc Qld because of the Battalion’s formal association with The Irish Guards, offered an Irish Wolf Hound to 4 RAR as a mascot. Everything was in place; the Irish Guards agreed; the CO agreed; a dog and handler instructor had been organised and the CO was prepared to gain a dog handler. A show class dog had been organised to be gifted to the Battalion when all of a sudden, 4 RAR became a commando battalion of the Regiment and I am sorry to say that reluctantly, the dog may have become a liability to the Battalion and the offer was not accepted. These things happen and the decision was accepted in good grace. That is not to say that we cannot offer an Irish Wolf Hound to the new 4 RAR!
I am sure that there are many ways that we can assist the Battalion when it marches back into the Regiment; especially the Diggers. We just have to ensure that anything that we do offer is with approval and by invitation of the Battalion.
The membership of the Association is the most important part and the mainstay of the Association and is the most important factor to consider in the conduct of our operational procedures. Every effort must be made by us, the management committee and in turn the existing members, to gain and retain members.
This may only be successful if it is shown to both existing and potential members that they are provided with an association that has the interests of the members and their families at heart.
It is up to your management committee therefore, to ensure that the membership of the association is both viable and enjoyable. To do this we, the management committee, must always keep in mind the objects of the association when dealing with our members, your families, eligible potential members and members of the public and that first impressions are the major criteria to wanting to join the Association. The joining or renewing of membership of the Association must be as warm and as attractive as possible, we understand this.
It is also the task of the management committee to ensure that funds received are managed in an open and honest manner. Members must expect that they receive something in return for their money. This will be a mixture of good financial responsibility of the money that you have invested in the Association coupled with the responsible management of your money to ensure that the objects of the Association are addressed properly and that results gained from expenditure are in keeping with your expectations and that of the Association.
The welfare of our members and your families are paramount in the expectations of our members. The Association must ensure that all possible avenues are investigated and implemented towards assisting in the well being of the members and their families. This extends to ensuring that all medal entitlements are known and gained, that all possible pensions and advocacy entitlements are pursued, that all reasonable assistance is offered to those that are sick or incapacitated and that all reasonable assistance is given to families in need or crisis.
A social responsibility also rests with the Association to provide the time, opportunity and venue for members and their families to gather to enjoy each other’s company. It was the spouses and children of the members of the 4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment who also served and who suffered separation and disruption when the soldiers were away. The Association must demonstrate that it recognises and appreciates this fact.
To achieve successes and visions take enormous time, energy and finances. Your professional committee has the time and the energy and have many times given of their own personal money but your Association cannot achieve what we should achieve for you and your families without your dedicated support; therefore we implore you to become a financial member of the most exclusive association in the world, in that one must have served in 4 RAR, have been attached to 4 RAR, have been under command of 4 RAR or supported or been in support of 4 RAR during any part of your military career or service. Time and place, rank or job has no bearing on your eligibility as long as you can proudly say to the world, “I was with 4 RAR”. Your adult family members may also join as associate members and take part in our celebrations and social events.
The 4 RAR Association, Queensland Incorporated management committee meets seven times per year on the second Tuesday in the months of February, April, June, August, September (AGM), October and December at the registered office of the Association at 11 Dellforest Drive Calamvale Qld 4116 (07) 3273 7973, 10.30am for 11.00am. (A light lunch is offered. Our meeting dates coincide with requirements for the planning of major activities but may vary to meet requirements so please ring first if you intend to attend a meeting.
the motto of the Royal Australian Regiment
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