2019 – In Detail

 

On Monday February 18th, 2019, the Geelong Sub-branch held its Annual General Meeting, and your committee members for the coming year are below:                     

President:                  Rieny NIEUWENHOF                Vice President:         Brian O’HARA                  Vice President:                 Bernard CLANCY              Secretary:                  Gary RYAN                                    Treasurer:                  Mick HOARE  

Committee Members:       David SIKORSKI (Mercandising), Ken BAKER (Avenue of Honour Project), Frank CUNNINGHAM, Kevin BENSON (Catering), Nigel WILSON (Tennis/Commemorations), Aivar MIKELSONS (Minutes Secretary), Chris SCHAPER, Les FULLER (Museum), Neil DAW (Webmaster/Newsletter).

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These photos were taken at the February 2019, Darwin Defenders Memorial Service, conducted at the Geelong R.S.L.

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During the last week of February, some members of the sub-branch and their wives journeyed to Beachport, Sth Australia, for a week of well earned R & R, relaxing with some golf, a winery tour, swimming, and some touring through the local districts.  Great company made it easy to enjoy a social drink and meals together.  Below are a few snap shots of the happy campers working hard:

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The 2019 recipient of the Tommy Simpson Award is Graham Christie.  Graham  has been a long time member of the Sub-Branch and has worked tirelessly for many years in Queenscliff and Geelong regions on behalf of Vietnam Veterans. He received the 2018 Shrine of Remembrance Medal in recognition of his service.

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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ANZAC Day 2019

ANZAC Day 2019 dawned cool but clear for the Eastern Beach Park Dawn Service, and with an estimated 6000-7000 people attending, was another very moving and successful event.  The Dawn Service continues to grow in popularity.  The Dawn Service address by the Jager Family, (Peter, his wife Helen (both ex-RAAF) and daughter Natasha – currently RAN Reserve acting as Aide de Camp to the Governor of Victoria), detailed their family history of service, and can be viewed on our website.  Below are some images of that service. (A full transcript of the address can be viewed on our website.)

 

Later in the morning, a large contingent of past and present service personnel, as well as local service clubs and emergency services, marched along Malop Street to Johnston Park in Geelong, for the annual ANZAC Day Commemorative Service.  The march and service were well supported by enthusiastic locals.  Again, some photos of the service and march are below.

 

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On Friday May 8th, a very special event took place at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, North Geelong, with the unveiling of nine (9) interpretive panels.  This is the final stage of the Vietnam Memorial/Avenue of Honour Project, and even though the weather was not particularly kind, the event was well attended, with representatives from Federal, State and Local Governments, local councils and community organisations, and many of our members and their families. The formal part of the event was conducted indoors, but right on cue, the rain eased and the unveiling of the panels was able to be completed onsite. These interpretive panels add a new dimension to the information on display complementing the existing 6 large perforated panels erected along the western boundary of the Avenue of Honour.  State President of the VVAA, Bob Elworthy attended and unveiled a panel, and the remaining panels were unveiled by President Rieny Nieuwenhof, Patron Ted Heffernan, David Weeks, Kevin Benson, Rod Tilley, and Alan Woodyard.   An outstanding achievement by the Avenue of Honour Committee, all those involved in the project, and especially to Committee Chair Ken Baker for his outstanding work in see the project through to completion.  Congratulations to all involved, especially to Ken Baker(Chair of the Avenue of Honour Committee) and all of his Committee members.

The photos below are(Left to right): 

President Rieny Nieuwenhof;   Avenue of Honour Committee Chair, Ken Baker;  VVAA State President Bob Elworthy/  Representatives of Federal State and Local Government and guest; Patron Ted Heffernan;some of the members who unveiled panels – Kevin Benson, Rieny Nieuwenhof, Alan Woodyard, Rod Tilley, Ted Heffernan and David Weeks/   Alan Woodyard;   Rod Tilley;   David Weeks/   Rieny Nieuwenhof;   Kevin Benson;   Bob Elworthy.

 

 

 

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On Saturday August 3rd, North Geelong Football/Netball Club played Inverleigh Football/Netball Club at the North Geelong Oval, as the Vietnam Veterans Week Commemorative matches for 2019.  Prior to the football game, a commemorative service was held, and at the completion of the football and netball games, a Best on Court medal were presented to Kelsy White (Netball), and Best on Ground Ryan Garrad (Football), both players representing the Inverleigh F/N Club.  Medals were presented by G&DVVAA President Rieny Nieuwenhof.  

 

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Geelong and District Vietnam Veterans Association Sub-branch held their 2019 Memorial Service on Sunday August 11th, at the City of Geelong Bowls Club.  The service was transferred from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, North Geelong, to the indoor venue due to the inclement weather, and had to forgo the march prior to the service.  Approximately 100 veterans, family members and guests attended, with the Guest Speaker, Colonel Rowan Martin addressing those present on his involvement with the Invictus Games.  The 2019 Commemorative Services mark the 50th Anniversary of 2 major actions of 1969, the Battle of Binh Ba and the 78 day Operation Goodwood in the strategic Hat Dich area.  The success of the service was achieved with the great assistence of the Army Cadet Catafalque Party (32 Regional Cadet Unit), RAAF Cadet Flag attendants ( 417/428 Air Cadet Squadron), Rev. Elizabeth Bufton (Chaplain), soloist Ms Eva Hay (National Anthem), and Mr Vin Healy, who sang his song “The Mist of Long Tan”, as sung at the 2019 ANZAC Day Geelong Dawn Service.  All wreaths laid during the service were later relocated to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, North Geelong.