2018 in Detail

 
 

 

 

Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia 2018 February Victorian State Conference

On Saturday February 24th, 2018, Geelong hosted the 2018 V.V.A.A. Victoria State Conference. This has conducted at the Geelong R.S.L. and was attended by delegates from all over the state.  The conference was opened by the  Federal Member for Corangamite, Ms. Sarah Henderson.

A highlight of the conference, was the awarding of Life Membership to G. &D.V.V.A.A. Vice-President Ken Baker.

 

 

 

 

 

Local Federal Member Ms. Sarah Henderson opened and addressed the conference, obviously to the amusement of G&DVVAA President, Rieny Nieuwenhof.

State President Bob Elworthy addresses the conference

 

Ken Baker receiving his Life Membership from Ms. Henderson

Ken Baker displaying his Life Membership with Bob Elsworthy

Life Membership Presentations

On Friday March 2nd, 2018, Dorothy Cunningham and Kevin Benson were both presented with Life Memberships to the G & D.V.V.A.A by President Rieny Nieuwenhof.  A very special and thoroughly deserved recognition of the service they have both given to the branch.

   

 

Bruce Tarticchio receiving the Tommy Simpson Award from G&DVVAA President, Rieny Nieuwenhof, on March 16th, 2018.

Thomas (Tommy) Simpson was a local Geelong lad (born in 1939) and served in Vietnam with the Royal Australian Artillery with 105 Field Battery.  He was killed on December 9th, 1965. The award is named in his honour.

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Below are images of aspects of the Anzac Day March, Geelong, 2018. A day of reflection and pride, made better when shared with family, friends and comrades.

 

Marching as a group behind a proud banner.

A show of appreciation.

Branch Secretary Aivar plays “the Pied Piper”.

A proud moment for President Rieny with his son-in-law (ex Navy)

A time to reflect

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 Bernard Clancy and family

A proud moment for Peter Jager with his wife and daughter – almost 40 years of combined service with the Army, Navy and Air Force.

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Vietnam Veterans Day 2018

On Sunday, August 12th, 2018, Geelong and District Vietnam Veterans Association Sub-branch held their Rememberance March along the Avenue of Honour, North Geelong.  Approximately 40 members took part in the march, which was lead by members who had seen active service during the battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral, and were accompanied by the City of Geelong Brass Band. The march was then followed by a Commemorative Service at the Memorial Park, where about 200 people attended, including Federal Members Sarah Henderson and Richard Marles, State Members of Parliament, local Councillors and representatives of local and district service clubs and organisations.  The key note address was given by Mr Graham Christie, JP, RSL Vice President, and who was involved in the FSB Coral battles.  Grahams address can be found on this website.  This was followed by a wreath laying ceremony.  On Saturday August 11th, the Vietnam Veterans Day, Match of the Day was played between North Geelong and Bannockburn, with medallions for best on ground performances presented to Leigh Potter (Bannockburn) in netball, and Blake Miller (Bannockburn) in football.

President Rieny’s Opening Address

Above and below are a series of photos taken during the march and the commemorative service.

Graham Christie – Key-note speaker

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On Sunday August 18th, a group of veterans also travelled to Melbourne to attend the Gunfire Breakfast and Commemorative march to the Shrine.

 

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On Sunday August 18th, a small contingent also attended the Commemorative March and Service in Queenscliff, conducted by the Queenscliff RSL.  (The  photo (centre) of some of those who attended, is normally only seen on a wanted  poster with a reward offered)

 

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Commemorative Service at St Paul’s Cathedral on 3 October 2018

On Wednesday 4 October at 1.30pm around 27 Vietnam Veterans, partners and supporters gathered in the vicinity of the Vietnam Commemorative plaque in St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne. The gathering was to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Battles of FSB’s Coral and Balmoral, the 8th Anniversary of the dedication of the plaque and the 56th Anniversary of the deployment of Australian service personnel to Vietnam.                                                               The service also gave us the opportunity for our own personal reflection on the time that we spent as a part of the Australian Vietnam Forces.                                                                                   The Rev’d Canon Christopher Carolane conducted the service and the first reflection which was given by Coral and Balmoral Veteran Graham Christie, was powerful and quite moving. This was followed by a second reflection given by Canon Christopher, which was excellent and showed considerable empathy to us as Vietnam Veterans.                                                                                                                                                                 We were fortunate to have Norm Harris from Outer Eastern Metro Sub-branch of VVAA present with us to play the Last Post and Rouse following the Ode. Norm is a fine musician and did a great job.                                                                                                                                                            Among the attendees were VVAA members, RSL members and those from other ESO’s. Included in these were George Skell, VVAA Vic State Secretary, Rieny Nieuwenhof, President Geelong and District Sub-branch VVAA and John Poland, President TPI Victorian Branch.                                                Prior to the Service, the Geelong contingent, who had travelled to Melbourne by train, enjoyed lunch at certain establishment across Swanston Street from St Paul’s.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A big thank you goes to all those who were in attendance, especially to State Secretary George. Hopefully, this commemoration will be able to be continued into the foreseeable future. 

Nigel Wilson

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Two volunteers – Kevin Benson and Chris Schaper – from the Geelong Vietnam Veterans, outside Westfield, supporting the RSL in their veteran fund raising campaign.

 

 

 

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On Saturday, November 24th, our Association held a Dinner Dance at the Grovedale Hotel which was attended by over 50 members and their wives, partners and family members. A great night was had by all who attended, with the combination of good food, liquid refreshment and enthusiastic story telling contributing to the evenings fun.  Below are some photographs taken throughout the evening highlighting the event (with apologies to anyone snapped with someone they should not have been seen with).