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JUNE 2007

Richard Parker and Peter Gillson came home after 42 years

Trevor Hagan OAM is one Vietnam Veteran many in the Central Queensland region will remember.  Trevor is a man who never gives up, especially if it is to do with a fellow Veteran.  Many of us in this area can thank Trevor for his persistant enquiries into our well being and what stage our disability pensions were at.

But Trevor has been doing more than that, he has for the last 42 years never given up on bringing home the bodies of two Australian men killed in Vietnam. Both Gillson and Parker were members of A Company 1 RAR in 1965. 1 RAR was attached to 173rd Airborne Brigade and were operating out of Bien Hoa.
During a brigade sized operation about 18 miles northeast of Bien Hoa on 8 November 1965, A Company encountered a VC force dug in. Both Parker and Gillson were hit by enemy fire and were not able to be recovered from the contact area. It was confirmed that Gillson did not have a pulse and those present were of the opinion that Parker also died during the contact.

 After 40 years and two tours of Vietnam, Trevor returned to the village of Dong Nai near Saigon to search for the men.  After three years of research and investigation we excavated over 30 suspected locations, he said in the Nui Gang Toi Hills over the last four weeks and I believe we have enough evidence to indicate that we have located the burial sites of Parker and Gillson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Mimi and Geoffrey Cave

 

 Vietnam Veterans Harry Mimi and Geoffrey Cave are both well known local identities living in Rockhampton and along with Trevor Hagan OAM were all part of the illfated
1 RAR patrol when Parker and Gilson were lost.

Trevor belongs to a group known as “Operation Aussies Home” lead by retired Infantry Lieutentant Colonel Jim Bourke who have successfully discovered the remains of Lance Corporal Richard (Tiny) Parker 213963 and Private Peter Gillson 37857 MIA on the 8th November 1965.

For a full story and magnificent photos find a copy of The Morning Bulletin Friday 4th May 2007 and a story put together by reporter Adam Wratten

Services have been held in Melbourne and Canberra since the return of Pvt Gillson and L/C Parker

Lest we Forget


ANZAC Day also brought a special celebration and much happiness to Samantha Hayter and Barry Collett.  For the second time in three years Samantha has given birth to a baby on ANZAC Day.  Kallum was born on 25th April 2004 and Madisyn was born this year 25th April 2007.  The Central Queensland Vietnam Veterans Association present each year a bouquet of flowers to mum and a certificate and teddy bear for the first born baby on the day.

ANZAC DAY BABY 2007 - L to right – Nick Quigley OAM ex 104 Sig Sqn, Samantha Hayter, Madisyn Collett and Phil Aplin ex 1 RAR

ANZAC DAY BABY 2004 - Mum Samantha Hayter with teddy & flowers and Phil Aplin ex 1 RAR with Certificate
 
 

ANZAC DAY in Rockhampton

Years and time goes by, but our memories linger.  Each year we remember ANZAC Day with a special passion.  It was not only our sacrifices in Vietnam, but years of wars before us that Australian men and women had laid down their lives to pave the way for peace and the existance and relative safety that we all enjoy today in our great nation, Australia.

In Rockhampton ANZAC Day generates a frenzy in organisations long before the actual day.  Schools across the region learn about the Great War and of Galipolie and the 2nd World War.  There is so much to learn and there are so many different views and perceptions of what happened.  It is impossible for students of today to “feel” the loss of a family member, or to “feel” the hard times created by war.  But they can relive the ANZAC tradition and they can carry the banner and the memories of the fallen and lost soldiers of war.

Lakes Creek School remembered ANZAC Day on Tuesday 24th April at 10:20am.  The School service was carried out by the senior students in a well rehersed and well researched mannor.  I spoke to the school assembly on the team spirit, mateship, leadership and loyalty and how similar the military training is to the leadership and team work required to win the school footy match.


ORGANISING ANZAC DAY

The general organisation of ANZAC Day by voluntary members including CQVSC Inc, the Rockhampton City Council, Schools, City bands, interested groups, the Central Queensland Military Museum, local Police, CWA and the public made this years ANZAC Day a huge success.

ANZAC Day in Rockhampton was a great success.  The public turnout was tremendos, with Quay and Victoria Parade lined both sides all the way from Archer Street to the reception area on the riverbank.  Local schools and our own City band and to top it all off, beautiful weather.

 

Alan Fuary and family add to the day with authenictally dressed uniforms.  Alan is seen here dressed as a Queensland Rockhampton Scotish Corp 1886 and his son Joshua as a 2nd World war Lieutenant

Alan Fuary is a collector and has a great collection of uniforms and military memrobilia.  He also raises funds for Rockhampton and CQ  Legacy fund

     
 

Senior Constable Sasha Roberts stationed in Rockhampton was one of many people carring the memory of a Veteran.  In Sashas case the Veteran was her Grandfather George Henry Wragg 52420 Ex Det 2 AFCU and who passed away  in June 2006

 

2UP RETURNS TO THE DRILL HALL

After going into retirement after 25 years of running the  2UP games at the ANZAC Club, Jim Drever Ex 2 Sqn RAAF came back for the last spin.  But as luck has it Jim went out written in the history books along with a novice spinner David Robbins an Engineer with MRD who through eleven heads in a row

Money raised was greatfully accepted by the Central Queensland Military Museum, who have just recently moved into the Drill Hall at 40 Archer Street

Jim Drever looks on in disbelief as lucky Robbins spins another.

  Clarry (Beatle) Bailey a Vietnam Veteran and still in uniform.  But this time for the fun of it and as a member of the Mounted Rifles sits here with Caron Barber and young Connor during the ANZAC Day lunch at the CQMM new Headquarters at 40 Archer Street, the Old Drill Hall and home of the 42nd Royal Queensland Regiment 

The Rockhampton TPIs started their ANZAC Day well and continued after the service.  If you are a TPI, you should consider joining the local group.  You’ll find their office in the Drill Hall at 40 Archer Street Rockhampton

Local secretary of TPIs Charlie Bartkus top left along with Jim Drever and John Elson top right and on the bottom Allen Rae and Alan Parr

 
 

GRAY NOMADS

Directly after ANZAC Day, Helen & I took off for 6 weeks in the caravan.  A most enjoyable holiday and a good learning curve towing the van along with 5 dog ore trucks and three dog cattle trucks on the oneway bitumen roads of central western Queensland.  But I have to report that in 6882 Kilometers we did not see one traffic accident.  We also found most western truckies to be very curtious, even though they don’t get off the road.  But you can understand why they need the good section of the road and it is just very sensible and safer for other drivers to get off and give them a free go.

We also decided along the way that our 18’6” poptop van was too small and we’d have buy a new full size van and it should be here at the end of September.  Hence again you wont be seeing the Quigleys again for a month or two again, we’ll be off to the south west and maybe the Hunter region where we were headed last trip, but went north west instead.  In all that 6000k we were still in Queensland

 
   
 

Well you might ask, this is the Cockscomb Chronicle and up to now there hasn’t been a word on the Camp.

Many things happened between August last year and ANZAC day this year.  Many Veterans have visited and stayed overnight.  The caretaker Gene Owens has settled into his very well appointed abode and Gene keep a good eye on the general operation of the project.  In the not to distant future Genes fruit trees will be bearing and he and others will be able to eat the fruits of the land.

Forty two members of the Probis club visited in March and while there planted a tree in memory of Pvt Jim Cox who was killed in Vietnam. 

     
 

 Amid the parched land, little to no grass grows, but well established iron bark trees seem to flourish.  A very seldom seen plant which only grows in the Mt Wheeler area seems to have had a good season.  The Stackhousia tryonii has flowered well and now is producing seeds.  It is well known to accumulates more nickel in its leaves than any other plant in Australia.

 
 

While touring in the van we visited Alaric Homestead.  GPS S26 04 33 E144 12 45 It is now a Veteran Retreat for all Veterans.  Located south west of Adavale and north west of Quilpie on an all weather two wheel drive gravel road.  Call the Duty Officer on 0746564740 for booking arrangments or email for more information.

While there go fossicking for boulder opal.

 

Boulder Opal
 
   
Alaric Homestead

Up the Old Red Rooster
 

Front of Homestead

Library in Homestead
     

The Central Queensland Military Museum moved out of 156 Bolsover Street with no certainty as to where it would reopen, even if at all.  Storage was gratfully accepted from the Singapore Army and QBuild.  After one trip to Qbuild, I was amazed at the amount of boxes already stored, the museum is bigger than we all think.

The Drill Hall and environs was put up for public auction by the Government and sold to Mike Wagner from Springsure.  The Wagners must be congratulated for their great support for the Military Museum.

 

After negoiations the TPI and the Museum moved into the Drill Hall at 40 Archer Street.

With a great effort on behalf of members and volunteers the Museum was able to open on ANZAC Day with a few appropriate displays. 

With exercise Talisman Saber 07 on our doorstep the Museum has been able to tap into some very willing US troops.  US Navy, Marines and Army under the leadership of Chaplin Garrett US Navy, a large number of items were moved from storage to the display areas.

We certainly enjoyed working with such a happy group within the serving US military

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