Commemorative Church Service – Townsville

On 18th August 2019, The 31st Battalion, Kennedy Regiment, The Royal Queensland Regiment, held their Annual Church Service at St James Anglican Cathedral Townsville as detailed on the front page of the Church service program (See Below). The service was conducted by both the Bishop, The Right Reverend Dr Keith Joseph, Major RAAMC (Rtd) and the Dean Very Reverend Rod McDonald, both of whom were Army Chaplains .

This year the Service focused on the actions of the 31st/51st Battalion in WWII in the Battle of Porton Plantation on Bougainville, Papua NewGuinea. The Reflections Address was given by Major Kaho Lai OC Army School of Transport- Maritime Wing, Ross Island Townsville. Major Lai gave a brief account of his career and an overview of the WWII Porton Landing operation stressing the links between the 31st/51st Battalion AIF and Water Transport. The Maritime Squadron turned out in strength with around 30 Squadron members attending. A big thankyou to the squadron for its support. The CV for Major Lai is on the back page of the program (See Below).

During the Church Service the first reading was delivered by Mr Garry Edwards, President of the Mackay Branch of 42nd Battalion Association, the second reading was by Mr Felix Reitano, President of the Ingham Branch of 31st Battalion Association. The 31st/42nd Battalion pre-positioned their Colours in the Cathedral prior to the service and provided a cross for the laying of wreaths. The support of the Battalion was excellent, as usual, and the Association thanks the Battalion.

4 Brisbane Branch Members:- Ray Fogg, George Stanger,  Mick James, & Tony Wadeson, travelled up to Townsville to attend the Commemoration Church Service & the Reunion Lunch afterwards.

The Church Service was well attended with the CO – LTCOL Damien Green, – RSM  WO1 John Stafford & Exec. Officer Major Ian Reid, plus other members of 31/42RQR in attendance. A large number of soldiers from the Army School of Transport- Maritime Wing, including the RSM also attended the Service. Representatives from the various Branches of the 31st Bn Assoc. as well as, 42 Bn Assoc. Mackay & 51 Bn Assoc. – Tablelands, provided a good attendance.

After the Service all those present had the pleasure of mixing with over morning tea before heading off to the reunion lunch.

The Reunion lunch held after the Church Service was at the Townsville Yacht Club as the Townsville RSL Club is still recovering from the extensive damage caused by the flood early this year. Photo from the lunch shows the Association President, Col Greg Stokie (Retd) welcoming all with the 31st/42nd Battalion CO and his wife in front of the lectern and the Battalion 2IC and RSM to the right.

You can read more about the Battle of Porton Plantation & 31st/51st Bn here –




Front page of Order of Service

Rear page of Order of Service containing CV of Major Kaho Lai

31st Battalion Colours

31st Battalion Association members L to R Felix Reitano (Ingham), Tony Wadeson (Brisbane), Merrick Lalor (Cairns), Mick James (Brisbane). Maj Merrick Lalor is the OC of the Kennedy Coy.

President of 31st Battalion Association Col Greg Stokie welcoming members and guests to the Reunion

Luncheon at the Townsville Yacht Club


CO 31st/42nd Battalion LtCol Damien Green at the Reunion Lunch


Members and Guests at the Reunion lunch at the Townsville Yacht Club