A snapshot of the events and milestones in our 2023 calendar
January is a month that our Sub-Branch does not have a General Meeting, however our weekly sessions of walking, kayaking, cycling and coffee continue without a break.
On Saturday 14 January a group our kayakers and members met at Hillarys Yacht Club where our kayaks are stored to affix waterproof identification stickers. Following the hard work, welcome refreshments were enjoyed overlooking the Marina.
Organised by our Peer Health Coordinator Eric Atkins, the highlight of our February General Meeting was a presentation by Deb Palacios, a Strokesafe Ambassador, from the Stroke Foundation.
Deb, a former US Army Captain and Stroke Survivor was accompanied by partner ex- RAN Submariner Colin Pryer.
The presentation was comprehensive and provided an overview that gave our members an understanding of Strokes in their various forms.
Coming from a stroke survivor and an ex-military veteran added to the power and professionalism of the presentation.
Members are encouraged to be aware of F.A.S.T. and other stroke relating factors, Read more HERE
Also, visit their website HERE
Sunday 19 February had a group of our Kayakers down at the Yacht Club taking delivery of our new Kayak Trailer, thanks to the Stronger Communities Grant. This allowed us to donate our old trailer, that no longer met our needs, to TS Marmion to carry the kayaks we donated to them late last year.
It was pleasing to see our members supporting not only our Sub-Branch, but also the Sea Cadets of TS Marmion. Well Done All
The 2023 Tour of Duty was to Esperance – between 22 March to 27 March. After a short bus ride from Perth (10 hours) the group of 35 arrived all fit and ready to tackle the sights of Esperance. Check our Facebook to see all of Jon McKenzie’s photos and the story of the Tour.
The group toured Woody Island, and all enjoyed the boat ride over, and as can be seen from the following photo, all were looking forward to the day.
North Beach and Esperance RSL Sub Branches
On Saturday 22 April at the oval, Charles Riley Memorial Reserve, the North Beach Tigers play Kingsley for the 30th Graham Edwards Football Match. Perth Now was present at our Memorial on Wednesday 29 March to take photos for an article to be published prior to the match.
ANZAC Day Dawn Service
The Dawn Service Tuesday 25th April attracted between 8,000 to 9,000 community members, serving ADF personnel, and veterans.
The Service was followed by a Gunfire Breakfast and this also well attended.
Well done to all those members attending, and involved in organising and participating in this significant event.
Legacy Australia is 100
Read all about Legacy and their significant achievement and support they have given over the last 100 years. Click on the link:
Mike Ruffin OAM passed away Wednesday 7 June 2023
Esteemed member, past RSM of SAS, past President of the SAS Association, Legacy supporter and a highly respected Australian veteran.
Michael John (Mike) Ruffin OAM passed away 7 June 2023 age 81. He was born in Victoria and raised in Tasmania.. At 18 he enlisted in the Army, and served with honour for 26 years. He deployed to Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam between 1961 and 1969 and served as:
- Instructor, Officer Cadet School Portsea 1976-78
- CSM, 6 RAR 1978-79,
- Instructor, School Infantry 1980,
- RSM, Special Action Forces Directorate 1981, and the SAS Regiment 1982-86
The AWM has this information on Mike and incorporates part of his address that he gave at the Canberra Dawn Service last year. View this address here: Veteran recalls encounter in Vietnam during Anzac dawn service in Canberra (9news.com.au)
Wednesday 21 June a number of our members toured HMAS Stirling on Garden Island and were privileged to be allowed on the base for a guided tour because of high security.
All had a great day and came away with a better understanding of the history of the base, and of our Navy.
It is with thanks to our Sub-Branch organisers of this Tour, to our members for understanding the high security requirements, and of course to the Navy.
Christmas in July 2023
Christmas in July held Wednesday 26 July at the Hillarys Yacht Club overlooking the Marina.
It was a well attended function with over 100 enjoying good food, good company and great surroundings. Thanks go to Vice President Peter Bowring and Sub-Branch Warden Lez Young for their organising skills.
Korean War Memorial
The Korean War Memorial was unveiled in Kings Park on 27th July and was attended by representatives of our Sub-Branch. Read More Here. The Memorial stone was donated by the Government of South Korea, and was from the Kapyong Valley, the site of the battle in April 1951 where 3 RAR gained the Presidential Citation. Kapyong Day is commemorated by 3 RAR each year on 24 April.
Sandakan Memorial Kings Park
On 15 August each year, Sandkan is commemorated to remember the more than 2,400 Australian and British prisoners of war and the estimated 16 per cent of Sabah’s civilian population who died during Japanese occupation. This is known as Sandakan Memorial Day.
From 1942 to 1943, some 2,700 Allied servicemen were interned at Sandakan and used as forced labour to build a military airstrip. Some were transferred but, by 1945, more than 1,000 had already perished.
In January 1945, with the imminent defeat of the Japanese Army, about 1,000 British and Australian POWs were sent on 3 separate forced marches from Sandakan to Ranau, a torturous 260-kilometre march through mountainous jungle terrain.
The men were severely malnourished, suffering from tropical illnesses and subjected to brutal ill-treatment and torture. About half died during these death marches and those who did survive succumbed to starvation and illness. The prisoners who remained in Sandakan died in appalling conditions or were executed. Only 6 Australians survived. They escaped with the help of local villagers, and eventually returned home to tell their story.
Sandakan remains one of the worst atrocities committed against Australians in war.
Carine Senior High School are the custodians of the Memorial in Kings Park and conducted a memorial service on Sunday 20 August.
Ken McHarrie 30 December 1923 to 16 August 2023
Kenneth John (Ken) McHarrie WX36207 Staff Sergeant 29th Infantry Brigade Bougainville
A respectful funeral for Ken was held Friday 1 September 2023 and members provided a guard of honour.
Read Ken’s Story HERE
Bush Bash 2023 4 Wheel Drive Adventure
The 4-wheel drive adventurers set off late September for a 14 day excursion to the northern most destination of Mount Augustus. The journey included stops at the Landor Races, Kennedy Ranges, Wooramel Hot Springs, Monkey Mia and Milligans Beach out from Greenhead.
Each year in September a different route is selected. This year Jon McKenzie and Les Young were the key organisers. As always the Sub-Branch’s satellite phone and full medical kit with defibrillator was firmly strapped into the lead vehicle.
This year the group was joined by Sub-Branch member Peta Connelly and her very able assistant, Vince, who took some time off as CEO RSLWA.
As always a good time was had while experiencing the wonders of our outback, although a couple took their own 5 star hotel with them..
For more photos refer to our Facebook Page
Government House Tour
A group were fortunate to have a personal tour of Government House where they learnt its history, and also met the Governor.
This tour was followed by Lunch at the ANZAC Club
Veterans’ Transition Centre – Jarrahdale
A group of North Beach RSL Sub-Branch Veterans recently visited the Veterans’ Transition Centre in Jarrahdale for DVA’s Veterans Health Week. John Rolfe, President of the Sub-Branch, said, “it is part of our ongoing programme of events aimed at raising the awareness of facilities and services available to our veterans.”
The VTC is a not for profit registered charity that has a property in a natural bush setting nestled in the Darling Ranges on approximately 17 hectares near Jarrahdale in Western Australia. The state forest is on the eastern border and Medulla Brook runs through the property. It is approximately 45 minutes drive from the Perth CBD, is located close to the South Western Highway, and provides:
- Respite short-term accommodation for veterans and their families at Jarrahdale, Western Australia,
- Assistance with transition to civilian employment,
- Provision of confidential counselling services, including mental health, lifestyle, financial.
Members were greeted by Executive Officer of the VTC, Greg Green, who provided an overview of the Centre and the support and services provided. Greg explained how members may benefit and get involved, and also how that involvement will positively impact the future of the Centre.
Greg guided members around the Centre explaining the facilities available, those under construction, and the plans for the future. Members were all impressed by the Centre and its natural bush setting, and this started conversation amongst the group of how the Sub-Branch may become more involved.
Following a healthy BBQ lunch members roamed the Centre enjoying its setting before returning home.
All members agreed that the Veteran’s Transition Centre is a great initiative and that the visit was an education in the services available for those veterans in need of assistance and respite.
All agreed that the VTC was well worth the visit and encouraged other Sub-Branches visiting and getting involved.
Each year in April, the North Beach Football Club plays its Graham Edwards AM ANZAC Match. North Beach RSL Sub-Branch conducts an ANZAC Service prior to the match, and chooses the player that our Sub-Branch considers shows determination, spirit and team-work.
Egan Brookes was chosen to receive the trophy this year, and it was presented at the North Beach Football Club’s Champions’ Dinner 2023 at Optus Stadium. Well done Egan.
The Planting of Poppies
1 November was the planting of Poppies at Kings Park Memorial in preparation of Remembrance Day. The Sub-Branch was represented and the end result was magnificant.
Sub-Branch Member Maud Bown celebrated her 100th Birthday on Monday 6 November 2023
Maud was presented with a bouquet of flowers from our Sub-Branch, and a Certificate from RSL National congratulating her for this achievement, and service to country.
Read Maud’s Story in Members Stories
Poppy Collection and Remembrance Day