Formal Dining Night, Greenbank RSL Club, Brisbane, 2009.
2009 REGIMENTAL MIXED DINNER REUNION.
1939 - 2009. 70th Anniversary of the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles.
1989 - 2009 20th Anniversary of the NGVR/PNGVR Ex Members Association.
The Mixed Dining Regimental Dinner reunion was held on Wed 22 Apr in the Memorial Room of the Greenbank RSL, Greenbank, Brisbane. 63 members and guests enjoyed pre-dinner sherry followed by a three course alternate drop dinner. Dining president was Capt. Phil Ainsworth with special guests Maj Gen John Pearn AO. RFD. and PNG Consul General Mr Paul Nerau, LLB. OBE.
Among the guests were several executives of the Greenbank RSL Sub-branch, including Harry & Pearl Mee, Carol & Tugg Wilson, Noel Brown, Ron & Bev Lord, Keith & Estelle Woods and Linda and Eric Cavanaugh. The Greenbank RSK Sub-Branch have been very supportive of the Association over the years, and it was indeed a pleasure to have them as part of our Regimental Dinner.
The "Haus Cook" put on a wonderful dinner, and the service was first class. It has been decided to make a booking for the Memorial Room for our 201o Dinner. If you have not attended one of our pre-Anzac Day Dinners, please pencil in the week before Anzac Day into your diary. There is also a quality Motel juts 100 metres from the RSL.
During the evening SGT Trevor Connell, who had travelled all the way from the Top End, presented the Association with a navigational map of the Madang area which was found during a final clean-op of the Madang depot prior to PNGVR disbandment in 1973. Trevor had the foresight to rescue the map from the rubbish heap, had it framed and presented it to the Museum Curator John Holland to be held in the Museum. He also presented a Patrol Ration Pack menu sheet. These were developed for PNG. The menu was in Pigin on one side and English on the other.
Towards the end of the evening the traditional Kangaroo Court was held with SGT Colin Gould presiding and S/Sgt Barry Wright acting ass the ever efficient Court Bailiff. Several members and gusts were called before the court, including RSL Sub-Branch Executive Harry Mee. Harry's charge sheet deserves a mention:-
MEE. Harry, Service No 28586m, SGT, Infantry - formerly of the Irish Armed Forces, English Army and Australian Army. Arrived Australia 1965. No one told him there was a war on. Posted to Vietnam 6 months later. One of the first into Nui Dat and involved in clearing operations with D&E Platoons and 5 RAR and 173 Airborne. Moved into harbour position at last light. Found ground very hard to sleep on. At first light discovered that he was in the middle of a Vietnamese cemetery. Sleeping on a concrete grave was not conducive to a good nights kip. SGT Mee returned to base and headed straight for the canteen where he is alleged to have partaken in an unknown quantity of alcoholic beverage. As the evening progressed, SGT Mee departed the canteen to answer the call of nature. Night vision was not one of SGT Mee's strong points and he fell into a gun pit that had 3ft of water in it. Not being a strong swimmer, Harry held his SLR rifle across the pit and held on screaming out for help, telling his rescuers to get him out of this %%% gun pit slop. Harry was also not too strong at navigation as he had missed the actual gun pit and fallen into a nearby stinking latrine.
Special thanks to Vice President Bob Collins, Barry Wright, Paul Brown, Treasurer Doug Ng and John Holland for all their pre and post dinner assistance.
The two photos below. The setup for the Regimental Dinner
Before the Dinner. Paul Nehru PNG Consul General, Les Irvine ANGAU, Maj Gen John Pearn AO RFD
Above. The Piper piping in the Flags.
Below. Paul Brown with the PNGVR flag.
Below. Paul Brown with the PNGVR flag.
Dining President Phil Ainsworth. Sitting. PNG Consul General Paul Nehru LLB
Association Patron Maj Gen John Pearn AO RFD and wife Vena
Maj Gen John Pearn AO, RFD, and
Phil Ainsworth respond to the toast
"Departed friends and absent comrades".
SGT Trevor Connell presenting the framed map of Madang to Museum Curator John Holland.
Joyce and Gerry McGrade
Janice Jenner and Bob Collins
Jesse and Mary-Ellen Chee
Douglas and Fran Ng
John Holland and Jessica Harrington
Trevor Connell and Chris Lawrey (Chris was a civilian Peace Monitor on Bougainville
Barry and Pam Wright
Heather and Ted McAllan
Glen O'Brien and Maria Lifu. Maria was a Gold Medal winner for the Marathon in the South Pacific Games.
Harry Mee facing his charge before Mr Dining Vice. S/Sgt Barry Wright the escort.