Table of Contents
Message from the President
Robin Sweet OAM
Rob was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from RSLWA in August 2020. To top that, on Australia Day 2021 Rob was presented with his OAM, a well-deserved award for his service and commitment.
Welcome to our first Newsletter of 2021.
March marks an important anniversary. On 31 March 1921, the Australian Air Force was formed, and on 13 August that year became the Royal Australian Air Force.
Unfortunately because of Covid 19 our first scheduled meeting of the year in February 2021 was cancelled, however the regular Wednesday and Friday Walking, Cycling, Paddling and Coffee group continued when not in lockdown.
Unfortunately, the last months saw the passing of members David Clark, Peter Prunster and Ted Burgess. The sympathy of all our Sub-Branch to the families of David, Peter and Ted. Lest We Forget.
Australia Day saw the announcement that immediate past Secretary Rob Sweet was awarded an OAM. This award was well deserved because of his dedication and service over so many years. His knowledge and advice has been, and is appreciated by not only me, but others in our Sub-Branch.
We are looking forward to a year of activities and member involvement, however last moment cancellations may be a possibility should Covid19 escalate within the community. We had practice with this during 2020 and it is something that all our members understand.
An outline of some of the activities that are planned and being planned are detailed in this Newsletter.
I encourage all of our members to participate in our Sub-Branch as they can, and in particular, to remain in contact with each other. Advice and help is always available to those members who need it by contacting one of our Office Bearers detailed at the end of this Newsletter, our Wellbeing Support Officers or one of the appropriate support agencies, as detailed on our website and in this Newsletter
Lest We Forget
David E Clark ESM
(24 March 1932 – 24 December 2020)
David joined the RAAF in 1950 and was accepted and trained as an Aircraft Engineer / Engine Fitter.
His 22 Year Career saw him posted to Avalon / Point Cook in Victoria, Edinburgh in South Australia, Darwin before returning to Pearce as a Dental Mechanic. He was awarded the Long Service Good Conduct Medal.
David’s was very much involved in Surf Lifesaving and was awarded the Emergency Services Medal. He was also a very active supporter of Freemasonry.
David was married to Coral, who he met in the Air Force, for nearly 70 Years.
Peter Joseph Prunster
(9 October 1939 – 12 February 2021)
Peter Joseph Prunster A55678 served with the R.A.A.F. for 12 years from 1959 as a Radio Technician.
He was very much involved in Swimming WA and the WA swimming community. He was President of the Karratha Swimming Club in the early 1990’s and facilitated the inaugural Northwest Open Swimming Championships.
Shortly after, Peter became President of the Carine Swimming Club.
As a result of Peter’s and his wife’s contributions to the sport, both were awarded Life Membership of Swimming WA
Peter supported the RSLWA North Beach Sub-Branch, attended meetings and commemoration events when able.
Edward Charles Burgess
(7 May 1933 – 19 February 2021)
Ted Burgess 52194 served with 2 RAR in Korea and was with the Army in various roles for over 20 years until the 1970’s.
His last posting as W.O.2 was as Regimental Quarter Master. His reputation, confirmed by two of our members who served with Ted at different times, was that he was knowledgeable, very understanding, supportive and “a true gentleman”.
Ted recently moved to Lady McCusker Home in Duncraig to be with his wife Colleen – a partnership of 63 years. They raised 5 children, have 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Colleen was community minded for more than 50 years and was awarded a Volunteer Service Award. Ted joined her in this, and Colleen joined Ted selling Poppies
Ted was well respected and supported the RSLWA North Beach Sub-Branch. He was a regular attendee at our monthly meetings and commemoration events.
There are many stories from the R.A.A.F. to mark its 100th Anniversary, and the following is an extract from one that was done at the request of RSLWA with their intention of having it published. The full story will soon appear on our website under “Members Stories”.
A Tale of Two Brothers
Two Guildford born brothers both served in World War 2 with 13 Squadron of the R.A.A.F. Notification of “Missing in Action” of one, motivated the other to enlist as soon as he was able.
Francis Norman (Frank) Meyer, joined the RAAF in February 1940 at age 18 and by 30 January 1942, as Flying Officer, was in Ambon, Dutch East Indies, when the Japanese invaded. 11 R.A.A.F personnel did not make the last flight out to safety and were captured by a Japanese Patrol boat, taken prisoner to Laha on Ambon, and executed.
Edmund John (Jack) Meyer, his younger brother, enlisted in the R.A.A.F. at the age of 18 and with some satisfaction was assigned to 13 Squadron, his brother’s squadron. Initially trained on Hudsons, Jack and crew were posted to the reformed 13 Squadron flying Venturas. He said, “On our first flight, approaching take off speed, something happened, and we ended up doing ‘ground loops’, just missing the hanger and other aircraft.”
Jack(bottom left) with air crew.
“Dinkie”, is wearing a harness and flew with the crew
Initially flying escort duties and anti-submarine patrols, the crew relocated to Gove.
They continued with anti-submarine patrols, armed reconnaissance, and bombing raids on shipping and supply barges in and around the then Dutch East. During this time he experienced anti-aircraft, machine gun and small arms fire against his aircraft. He also experienced what it was like being on the receiving end, being caught in Japanese bombing raids in Morotai and New Guinea.
Jack is three years younger than the R.A.A.F. and reflecting on this he said, “I’m proud of the contribution I made, as it was my passion to serve with the R.A.A.F. from an early age”.
It is the service of people like Frank and Jack, that has helped make the R.A.A.F what it is today.
The Australian Air Corps (a temporary Army Unit) was disbanded and the Australian Air Force, A.A.F, created on 31 March 1921. It immediately took possession of existing aircraft and equipment at Point Cook. On 13 August of that year, following receipt of approval from the King, the Governor General signed an order authorising the use of “Royal” making this the start date for the use of the R.A.A.F. name.
Around 240 officers and airmen of the R.A.A.F. returned to the Point Cook air base after completing more than 3 months of non-technical training at the Army’s Central Training Depot, Holdsworthy, NSW.
For more interesting history refer to the Air Force 100 Anniversary Website: https://airforce2021.airforce.gov.au/journey
Family Military and Service History
Searching for the military and service history of a family member can take time and effort. These two links are the more common ones available. A digital copy of their service records may also be available, if not, then information is available on how to obtain them.
What is Being Planned 2020 – 2021
All of our Sub-Branch social events and activities are coordinated by the Social Activities Coordinator Paul McGuinness. For more information contact Paul on 0417 181 025.
Peer Health activities are coordinated by Alex Lennox – 0409 114 298
Events and activities that are in the final stages of organisation include:
Air Force Museum
12 March 2021
Lunch after event
Darwin Travel Group
6 April 2021
North Beach Bowling Club
14 May 2021
Lunch after event at Grosvenor Hotel
Darwin Tour of Duty
4 – 12 June 2021
Dates are fixed
Fremantle Army Museum
13 August 2021
Lunch at Hillarys Marina
4 Wheel Drive Tour
26 September 2021
Destination TBA. Rip Coulston is coordinating
15 October 2021
Lunch after event at Camfield
24 November 2021
Location to be Determined
Other Events and Invites
Silver Salties Triggs SLSC
Silver Salties is a physical activity and social connections initiative for older Australians. It includes accessible, friendly, safe and beneficial activities at the park, clubhouse, beach, pool and surf which cater for older Australians regardless of their age, weight, mobility, fitness and experience. Morning tea afterwards is always encouraged too!
Silver Salties has been designed by Surf Life Saving Australia in conjunction with Surf Life Saving Clubs and is funded by Sport Australia’s. Older Australians are a diverse group and could be any age e.g. 65yr+ or younger!
For more information refer to www.sls.com.au/silver-salties , or contact Alex Lennox on 0409 114 298 or Wayne Koch on 0407 478 963.
Army Museum at Night, Fremantle
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit the Army Museum of Western Australia after dark? Open for two very special evenings on 16 and 17 April when the doors for the very first time at Night. See demonstrations, amazing objects, visit our Victoria Cross gallery and military displays, participate in hands on activities and hear the Army Band of Perth.
Ticket for this event are limited and can be purchased online via https://www.trybooking.com/book/search or in person at the Museum during opening hours. For more information please see our website https://armymuseumwa.com.au/ or contact Julianne Mackay on 0437057388, Richard Bennett on 0421601995 or David Baker on 0414462193.
Italian Dinner 26 March 6pm to 9:00pm for a 5 course Dinner with paired at the ANZAC Club. Ticket price: $99 per person Includes 6-course dinner with paired Italian wines
Breakfast before the March on Level 6 ANZAC House $50 per guest.
Lunch Level 5 from 12:30 to 2:30 $80 per guest. Lunch Level 6 from 12:30 to 2:30 $65 per guest.
Contact ANZAC House on (08) 9287 3799. More details are on this wrebsite at: https://northbeach-rsl.asn.au/nb-events
Veterans’ Mental Health and Crisis Support
Open Arms provide 24/7 counselling and support to current and former ADF members and their families. They also offer face-to-face and video counselling, online or in-person, group treatment programs, suicide prevention programs and crisis accommodation support.
24/7 support on 1800 011 046
37-39 Reynolds Rd, Mount Pleasant WA 6153.
1800RESPECT open 24/7 for national family violence and sexual assault counselling. It’s a free and confidential service. Call 1800RESPECT (or 1800 737 732) or visit their website: https://1800respect.org.au
MensLine Australia provides free 24/7 help, support, referrals and counselling services for men via telephone or online. Call 1300 78 99 78 or visit their website: https://mensline.org.au
Care at Home or Aged Care
DVA offers a range of care services that can help you stay in your home or support your return to home after a stay in hospital. They can help your carer or guide your move into residential aged care.
This website has guides and helpful information on:
- Health and Health Care Services
- Moving into Aged Care
- Aged Care Resources
- Staying in your Home
- Home and Care
- Equipment and modification for you and your home
- Household services
- Aged Care
- Support for Carers
- Home Care packages and other non DVA age care
- Community Nursing
- Convalescent Care
- Commonwealth and other Allied Veterans
- Attendant Care
- Help if you can’t pay for home care services
- Extra funding for your home care package provider
If you do not have access, or have difficulty in accessing this information, ask a family member or a fellow member of our Sub-Branch to print the relevant information out for you.
One of our Wellbeing Support Officers, as well as links to information on our website, will point you in the right direction to get the assistance you may require.
DVA Latest News
The latest news from the DVA’s is available on its website and is accessible from this link:
Included are articles offering information and advice that may be of interest to members. A summary of some of these articles are shown below.
Services that veterans and their families currently use in MyAccount are being moved into MyService.
Over the next six months, DVA will increase the services you can access on MyService. It will also be moving to a single, modern online platform for veterans to manage their business with DVA. To do this, MyAccount services are being moved to MyService over the coming months and it will say goodbye to MyAccount later this year
Pharmaceutical Advisory Centre
The Veterans’ Affairs Pharmaceutical Advisory Centre (VAPAC) is a pharmaceutical phone centre that GPs or other health professionals can contact to get approval for medical scripts under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
The service has been refreshed following the conclusion of the previous workforce contract, with a new workforce that takes effect on 1 April 2021. The service remains the same and will continue to be staffed by a professional team to deliver its services.
The 24/7 (1800 552 580) phone line will remain in full operation out of the DVA Brisbane office.
VAPAC is and will continue to be operated by DVA, and will continue to support eligible Veteran Card holders.
DVA Recovery for Post Traumatic Stress
DVA funds a number of hospitals across Australia to deliver Trauma Recovery Programs.
These programs focus on helping veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other common challenges by supporting psychological growth and recovery.
Each hospital provides a specialised program. To be eligible you must be either a veteran who is a DVA client or a current-serving Australian Defence Force member.
To learn more about the program, contact one of the hospitals and speak to the coordinators directly.
In Western Australia these are:
95 Monash Avenue
NEDLANDS WA 6009
Phone: (08) 9346 6801
Fax: (08) 9346 682
The Marian Centre
187 Cambridge Street
WEMBLEY WA 6014
Phone: (08) 9380 4999
Fax: (08) 9381 2612
If you or a family member needs immediate help, please call Open Arms on 1800 011 046 for free and confidential 24/7 support.
And On A Lighter Note
Some Quotes from Military Staff Appraisals
His men would follow him anywhere but only out of curiosity.
This man is depriving a village somewhere of its idiot.
This Officer can be likened to a small puppy – he runs around excitedly, leaving little messes for other people to clean up.
When she opens her mouth it seems only to change whichever foot was previously in there.
He would be out of his depth in a car park puddle.
Technically sound but socially impossible.
This Officer reminds me very much of a gyroscope, always spinning around at a frantic pace but not really going anywhere.
Since my last report he has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.
She sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.
He has the wisdom of youth and the energy of old age.
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Gates are down, the lights are flashing but the train isn’t coming.
If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean.
Fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.
If brains were taxed, he’d get a rebate.
Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled.
Takes him 1½ hours to watch 60 minutes.
A military function is being held where all officers of the Army, Navy and the Air force are present.
The Army and Navy officers were describing the Air force as the Cinderella of the military.
To this, the Air force officer replied, “I don’t know a lot about Cinderella, except for the fact that she had two ugly sisters”.
Q What do you call a deer that’s enlisted in the Air Force?
How to Identify a Modern Fighter Pilot
Q: How do you know if there is a fighter pilot at your party?
A: He’ll tell you.
Q: What’s the difference between God and fighter pilots?
A: God doesn’t think he’s a fighter pilot
Q: What’s the difference between a fighter pilot and a jet engine?
A: A jet engine stops whining when the plane shuts down.
“Acocdrnig to an elgnsih unviesitry sutdy the oredr of letetrs in a wrod dosen’t mttaer, the olny thnig thta’s iopmrantt is that the frsit and lsat ltteer of eevry word is in the crorect ptoision. The rset can be jmbueld and one is stlil able to raed the txet wiohtut dclftfuiiy.”
Telling the Time
On some air bases the Air Force is on one side of the field and civilian aircraft use the other side of the field, with the control tower in the middle.
One day the tower received a call from an aircraft asking, “What time is it?”
The tower responded, “Who is calling?”
The aircraft replied, “What difference does it make?”
The tower replied, “It makes a lot of difference. If you’re a Virgin Airlines flight, it is 3 o’clock. If you’re a Navy aircraft, it is 6 bells. If you’re RAAF. aircraft, the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3. But if you’re an Army aircraft, it’s Thursday afternoon and 120 minutes to “Happy Hour!!!”.
Why I Joined the Air Force
The Defence Department was conducting an all service briefing and the leader posed this question.
“What would you do if you found a Trapdoor Spider in your tent?”
A Sailor said, “I’d step on it.”
A RAR Soldier said, “I’d squash it with my boot”.
A SAS Soldier said, “I’d catch it, break the fangs off, and eat it.”
An R.A.A.F. Airman said. “I’d call room service and find out why there’s a tent in my room.”
Office Bearers 2020 – 2021
0439 934 036
0417 921 883
0484 323 125
John Rolfe, Chris Rampant, David House, Bernie Egan
0447 730 911
0409 988 803
0407 478 963
Tom May (assistant)
0452 414 108
Stuart Young, Peter Dales, David Makin
0409 317 411
Greg Gough 0417 911 173
David House 0409 317 411
Alex Lennox 0409 114 298
Website & News Editor
Brian Jennings 0413 605 612
Master at Arms
Tune in to The Listening Post every Monday 1800-2000, Capital Radio 101.7 FM, Capital Digital and from anywhere via www.capitalcommunityradio.com Perth’s only radio program specially for Defence personnel, past and present, their families and friends.
If you are not receiving emails from the Secretary advising you of important events, please forward your phone number and email contact to: email@example.com
North Beach Review
North Beach Sub-Branch welcomes contributions and articles that may be used on its website and in the North Beach Review.
To discuss how you may contribute, contact:
Brian Jennings on 0413 605 612 or email Brian on firstname.lastname@example.org
North Beach Review source material is edited to remove inappropriate content, and clarify, shorten or standardise where needed. Although tests for accuracy are undertaken, readers should not rely on any of this material without carrying out your own due diligence. Opinions are not necessarily those of RSL North Beach Sub-Branch or RSLWA.