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VIETNAM VETERANS DAY 2003

Tony Stepney 2781795, first intake National Service 1965-1967, served with 6 RAR D Company at the Battle of Long Tan.
Tony went to Vietnam on the 8th June 1966 and returned to Australia on the 14th June 1967. Tony laid the first wreath at the Cockscomb Veterans Camp Vietnam Veterans Day on behalf of his mates and 6 RAR D Company.

Numbers grew as cars filled the parking areas, buses rolled up and a general buzz of Veterans meeting old buddies and mates grew louder and louder, an estimated 180 – 200 Veterans and families took part in this years service at Cockscomb.
Calling together the service Tony Dawes Ex 104 Sig Sqn., took control of the morning. The Catafalque party mounted the Memorial at 1055 and at 1100 the sound of a helicopter could be heard. Not just a coincidence, but a special flyover by Lieutenant Ryan Marr of 162 Recce Sqn Townsville. The Kiowa made several circling passes over Cockscomb and brought back some incredible memories for those on the ground. Hairs raised on the neck, tears in the eyes and incredible smiles on the faces of Vietnam War Veterans. No doubt the highlight of the morning and something our Veterans will remember for weeks to come.

Our thanks to Range Control Shoalwater Bay, Task Force Head Quarters 1 Brigade Darwin, 162 Recce Sqn Townsville and pilot Lieutenant Ryan Marr - mission accomplished

 

 


Tony Stepney 2781795

 


42nd Battalion Catafalque Party


A Matius Wust lays a Wreath (Great Nephew of Don Wust)


Phil Aplin, Dan Connerly, Nick Quigley, Des Soley


After the service


Kiowa A17 - 027 circling Cockscomb from 162 Recce Sqn and flown by Lieutenant Ryan Marr Townsville. A17-027 First Flight 18/09/74. Delivered 1974. Flown with 161 Recce Sqn and 171 Operational Support Sqn. This aircraft was the first Kiowa to fly its 10,000th hour on 06/04/03, while on operations in Timor Leste with 162 Recce Sqn as a part of UNMISET. It was piloted by Maj Brendan Dwyer OC of 162 Recce Sqn and Capt Brian Cunneen, who flew the first mission in East Timor in 1999. This aircraft has served several times in Timor and will be the last Kiowa out of Timor at the end of June 2003. The Kiowa is planned for retirement in 2005.


As the Service unfolded, Tony Dawes spoke of Australia’s involvement and of the ongoing 10year war, of the casualties and the cost in human life. Why we recognise the 18th August as our Day of Remembrance and then he read out the names of the ten new plaques for the Cockscomb Memorial
Chaplin Kaye Ronalds, a Major with 11th Brigade and a serving member of the Uniting Church told us that she was at primary school while the Vietnam War unfolded and that a member of her family was drafted for National Service.

Tony recited the Ode to the Fallen, a chilling reminder that has sent many a man to remember his mates at war.

The last post echoed though the campsite and surrounding bush; played by Graham Ivers Salvation Army. A minute of eerie silence and then Rouse.

Piper Lester Soblusky played the Lament and our service was ended with the National Anthem.


Ron Robertson Ex 8 RAR and Councillor Rose Swadling

 


Left to Right - Graham Ivers Salvation Army, Piper Lester Soblusky, Tony Dawes Ex 104 Sig Sqn and Chaplin Kaye Ronalds

Our thanks to 42 Battalion for providing the Catafalque party and tents and chairs. 42nds efforts on the day make our day more enjoyable and provide some comfort for our older visitors.


Visitors to Cockscomb, Don Sutherland & Rosie (Peter) Thorne both Ex 104 Sig Sqn enjoyed an overnight stay on their way home from Pandanus Park


Ron Wenitong Ex 7 RAR and Rocky Wallace Ex 2 SAS

Thank you Ladies with your assistance our BBQ lunches have become well known in the Veteran world. You all work well together and we can’t thank you enough for the quality and quantity

 

NEW GENSET FOR COCKSCOMB
Robroy MacGregor Ex 104 Sig Sqn and now Generator Management Systems Mt Gravatt Brisbane has donated a 6KVA Onan Genset to Cockscomb. Rob drove up from Brisbane especially to install the Genset. Not only that, but he took away for repairs our 3KVA Genset and the Meadows.
Our heartiest thanks to Rob and Generator Management Systems. This new Genset means that we can now weld, have a variety of lights at night, charge the batteries and pump water all at once. With push button Start and Stop, Cockscomb has moved ahead to a new era.


A Service at Kershaw Gardens Vietnam Memorial on Friday the 15th August

Left Phil Aplin Ex 1 RAR, Robert Busch Ex 1 Fld Regt, Des Soley Ex 42 RQR, and not in the photo Rockhampton City Councillor Rose Swadling and Nick Quigley Ex 104 Sig Sqn planted an Australian native Harpulia tree at the Kershaw Gardens Vietnam Memorial. The new tree is well established and in a prominent position. Our thanks to the Parks & Gardens Staff for their assistance.


Phil Aplin (left) and Harry Mimi Both Ex
1 RAR 1965-66

 

Now this is the way to go, fill your own…
Dan Connolly Ex 17 Const Sqn


Mick Beeston (left) and Pat Wilson both Ex 104 Signal Squadron 1968 - 69
 

One of the raffle prizes donated by Gene Owens Ex 21 Sup Pl was won by Brian Abrahamson Ex 7 Sig Reg seen here being presented with the watch by Tony Dawes

Each year on ANZAC Day and Vietnam Veterans Day the Central Queensland Vietnam Veterans Association presents the first born baby of the day with a Teddy Bear, mum a bouquet of flowers and a Certificate
Baby Kerry Nyree Missingham became our first baby born on the 18th August 2003 at the Rockhampton Base Hospital. 2910Grams at 0629am a sister for Tyler and second child for Lesley Schembri and John Missingham.
 



Approx 180 - 200 people attended Cockscomb for this years service


Tony Dawes addresses the gathering at Cockscomb


Nadeane Curnuck & Edna Goodwin from the Veterans Affairs Network agency Centrelink Rockhampton Phone 4938 5406
 
RockyWallace Ex 2SAS, addresses the Yeppoon Vietnam Veterans Day Service
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