The 31st Battalion Association Reunion Lunch was held at the Sherwood Services Club at Corinda on Thursday 24th October. The Secretary of the Brisbane Branch of our Association, Tony Wadeson, briefly covers the meeting:
This year we were honoured to have a special guest, Alf Cumberland who, at 102 years old, is one of the few surviving members of the wartime 2/31st Battalion. A number of the descendants of members of the 2/31st Battalion were also present.
The photos (below) were taken at the lunch meeting by our one & only 51st Battalion member Wendy Seymour. Wendy is of Papua Newguinea Heritage but was living in Cairns when she was with 51st Battalion. She now lives in Brisbane. She is pictured below with Alf Cumberland. The Lunch was very successful with 42 Attending – Biggest we have ever had. The Townsville based President of the Association, Greg Stokie was in attendance.
Guest Speaker – WO1 Peter Thatcher provided an excellent talk on the Kokoda Track & the battles that took place – His DVD display – Illustration was brilliant, best I’ve seen. There’s a good photo of him with Alf Cumberland. Great day & we have moved a step closer in working together with 2/31st descendants to ensure the 2/31st Bn History will be forever preserved.
Report on Battle for Australia Commemoration on Wed 4th Sept 2019
For those who don’t know, The Battle for Australia Commemoration is for all those who served between 1942-45 in the north of Australia and to our north/ it includes the Fall of Singapore, Bombing of Darwin, Battles of Milne Bay & Coral Sea, 2 Campaigns in New Guinea and Borneo. We honour & remember all those who fought and especially those who died.
It is dedicated by the Australian Govt as the 1st Wednesday in Sept each year and ranks 3rd in Commemorations after ANZAC Day & Remembrance Day.
This year we held the 3rd Commemoration at our new home at the Chermside Historical Precinct at 61 Kittyhawk Dr Chermside, just north of KWRSL Club car park with the Qld Governor & his wife again in attendance. The Official Address was by Commander Gerald Savvakis RAN ADC on behalf of the Chief of Navy Vice Admiral MJ Noonan AO.
This year we also had a student presentation from Aspley High School on Cpl JA French VC. This student presentation will be an annual one and part of our commitment to involve young people in learning and remembering about our Battle for Australia history and those who participated.
Morning tea was provided after the Commemoration and those present were invited to enter the Milne Bay Library & Research Centre adjacent and peruse the exhibits.
Our Assoc continues to be represented on the Battle for Aust Committee with Merv Hazell re elected as Sec and myself as Vice President at our AGM on 30th Sept.
I urge all Members & Guests to consider attending next year (Wed 2nd Sept) and I have a number of this year’s programmes that you can take. They explain the Battle for Australia in more detail. There are also 2 photos of this year’s Commemoration in the montage on the screen.
Finally I have a limited number of “Battle for Australia New Guinea” pins available for sale at $5 each. If you’d like one please see me after the meeting. If I haven’t enough, you may be able to buy one in the lead up to Remembrance Day.
Video of 2019 Commem – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDeWrfQEjp8