Art from the 7RAR Facebook page
Art from the 7RAR Facebook page
Go here to view the photos from the reunion
Jim Bourke looks frail but dignified in a comfortable chair. To a steady drumbeat, unseen equipment delivers oxygen to the retired lieutenant colonel’s cancer-ridden lungs. Bourke is in a buoyant mood on a grey day in Melbourne. His missions in life are now largely accomplished.
His daughter, Sarah, and a few good mates — Gordon Peterson, Peter Aylett and Paul Darrouzet — sit by his side, smile gently at his jokes and anecdotes, and nod respectfully at the war stories.
“Every day is a bonus — it’s been my mantra since then,” Bourke says. By way of explanation, he points to a Vietnam War photo of him getting battlefield treatment for a bullet that tore through his mouth and exited below his left ear in January 1966.
“It took my mind off sex for a few minutes,” adds Bourke. A glutton for punishment, he recovered and returned to Vietnam in 1968 for a second tour.
The AGM, as noted in the Newsletter, is scheduled for Saturday 13 June 2015 at the Mittagong RSL club commencing 11:00 hrs. All members are invited to attend.
Proxies. As allowed by the constitution, members who can’t attend are requested to send their Proxy to Tony Keech. This becomes very important if not enough members attend the meeting to form a quorum. Go here to download a Proxy form, fill it out and send to Tony at
PO Box 8143,
WERRINGTON COUNTY, NSW 2747, or,
if computer literate, scan and send to email@example.com
7RAR ASSOCIATION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
TO BE HELD AT
MITTAGONG RSL CLUB NSW
ON SATURDAY 13 JUNE 2015 AT 1100hrs
(d) Treasurer; and
(e) Executive officer.
Now that registration has closed for the Reunion the numbers are a little disappointing however we can be assured that the organizing committee has done an excellent job in the activities and since COL David McCammon took command of the Battalion the cooperation from 7RAR has been great.
(b) Purchase of New Gonfalons for the States; and
(c) Other business.
(1) Life Membership, (parameters/process/reason for LM/how nominated & 2nd/in writing to Nat Executive.
(2) Website, (recognition of efforts & latest updates/additional input, (CSM’s & others/ Nat Exec to follow up).
(3) ANZAC Day – Sydney
(i) Garrison Church Service back on;
(ii) The March;
(iv) Breakfast Venue after Dawn Service; and
(v) Lunch Venue.
(4) Red Support our Troops Badges;
(5) Gurkha Support;
(6) ANMC petition push;
(7) 2/7th men still standing;
(8)` 7RAR members who may benefit from our (moral) support; and
(9) Raising of members subscriptions.
11 MEETING CLOSURE.
Our mate Graham Cornes and 7RAR in the news
Graham Cornes OAM (born 31 March 1948 in Melbourne, Victoria) is a former Australian rules footballer and coach, as well as a media personality. Graham Cornes is also a Vietnam veteran, having served in Vietnam as a soldier with the 7th Battalion of The Royal Australian Regiment in 1968. An annual football match is been played between 7 RAR and 16 ALR for the Graham Cornes trophy, in recognition of his service to the Battalion, AFL, and the nation
The Town of Victoria Park WA has named a park after Pte Alec Bell, ( 7RAR 1st Tour ) KIA 29 January 1967 .
Sgt Bourke, page 113 “Conscripts and Regulars”, describes Alec’s actions as “the bravest act he saw in Vietnam”.
Above are photos taken by his niece Lisa and a video of the address given by Ian Garthwaite aka( Lt Ian Gay ) Alec’s Platoon Commander.
Hopefully similar dedications of those KIA in SVN will be followed by other shires, cities and towns in Australia.
From Steve Chamarette
Kapooka K-Series Sports – 7RAR represents 1 Bde at K-Series
By Sgt Dave Morley
ARTC is a great place for combat brigades to mix it up with the rest of the Army in physical contest, according to OC B Coy, 7RAR, Maj Von Lambert.
Maj Lambert led a team of 7RAR rugby players on an almost 2000km road trip from Adelaide to Kapooka and back to take part in the Kapooka K-Series Rugby 10s on March 7.
He said this was the first time 7RAR had had the opportunity to participate on behalf of 1 Bde and he was hoping the unit would become a regular contender in the future.
“I am really proud of our soldiers and the way they have represented 7RAR and 1 Bde,” he said.
“It is a great way to showcase our sporting talent.
“We should try to do this more often to raise the profile and participation from within the brigades.
“7RAR intends to commit to future K10s competitions and maximise the number of players that can represent 1 Bde in sport.”
Maj Lambert said the battalion’s participation in the Kapooka Summer Series was the first since it moved to Adelaide in 2010, and demonstrated a commitment can be made to this type of event despite a busy training year.
He said the team travelled via Mildura utilising C Coy, 8/7RVR’s Depot, which further strengthened the working relationships between the two battalions.
“7 RAR Vietnam veterans were engaged through the Mildura RSL and the soldiers were regaled with tales from their own history during their stay,” he said.
“For the players, there was much more to be involved in than simply the time spent on the field, which is a good way to ensure that sport can engender many good things for the battalion’s culture.”
Maj Lambert said participation in the K10s competition was the starting point of the overall plan for 7RAR to generate a consistent sporting presence in South Australia as part of 1 Bde’s community engagement.
“This will give soldiers the opportunity to participate in what was a very enjoyable event,” he said.
“The playing squad of 17, with a small support staff, saw the South Australian-based unit miss the finals by five points in the for and against tally.
“7 RAR also loaned players to the home side, Riverina Army Rugby Club, in a show of goodwill to ensure that the team was able to field a worthwhile interchange with some of the 7RAR players also scoring on their behalf.”
The trip was made all the more significant when 7RAR’s LCpl Mike Lowrie was named player of the tournament.
From Chris Ashenden
Congratulations to LT Curtis Tofa, from 7 RAR, on being named captain of the ADF ice hockey team @AustralianArmy
From 1st Bde twitter. Joe Turra sent me the link.
NSW RSL is marketing a badge commemorating Mathew Hopkin’s death in Afghanistan whilst serving with 7RAR (although they omit that fact on the card). If you want one then go to The Poppy Shop where you can purchase it online. The silver fern refers to his NZ birth and the gum leaf, his service with the Australian Army.
It is the only occasion, in my knowledge, where the RSL has specifically featured a 7RAR soldier.
Yes, I know it’s a bit late for me to bring this to your attention but I just found out where I could by it myself. It’s not dated so I intend to wear it every ANZAC Day with Hoppy representing all of our dead…so to speak.
Leon Gray was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his bravery and his leadership when his section encountered intense fire in the Chora Valley on 29 December 2008. Gray was serving in Afghanistan with 7RAR as part of Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force 1.