Part One-Inspection and Service of Thanksgiving.
We were blessed to have a cold but sunny June morning for our Parade and Inspection. The Challenge Band provided inspirational music prior to and during the Parade.
On parade were members of the Association with a myriad of headdress shape, colour and type accompanied by our Association Standard, our Association Union Flag and Australian National Flag Standard and the Standard of the British Ex Services Association. The Inspecting Officer was our Patron David Abols DCM who was escorted by our President Mick Coyle OAM. Following our inspection we were led in service by St George’s Clergy where prayers, readings and hymns were accompanied by the Act of Remembrance including Last Post, Reveille, and Laments.
Part Two-Lunch at the Duxton Hotel.
Following on from our Inspection and Service of Thanksgiving members and their guests assembled at the Duxton Hotel for our annual Airborne Forces Day Lunch extravaganza. We wined and dined on fine fare; we were entertained by the Drums and Pipes of 51 Army Cadet Unit Swan Regiment; we were tempted by fantastic raffle prizes, and wooed into spending big by our Auctioneer Doug Gillespie. And of course there was great banter between the Paras and the Marines.
Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Association were presented to Mick Clifford as Welfare Officer and Jeff Moorcroft as Secretary. In addition Patrick Ward was awarded Honorary Life Membership for outstanding Military Service and his many years of commitment to the Association. Mr and Mrs Ray Timmons were presented gifts for their outstanding management of the ever changing lunch seating plan.
A very, very special part of our day was witnessed when our Patron Dave Abols DCM and his wife Diane stepped up to the podium to host a question and answers session from a Military Wives perspective from Diane on how she coped as a young Mother and pregnant Wife of a Paratrooper deploying to the Falklands Conflict in 1982. It was honest, candid and emotional and a memorable occasion for all those in attendance.
Past President Eddie Carnegie gave a moving account of his involvement as a volunteer with Jurien Bay Marine Rescue when he recently deployed in mountainous seas to help rescue 5 people thrown from their yacht.
Our feedback from this years lunch was that it was the best yet. We thank all who made it so. For those who were unable to attend this years lunch we hope you are able to be with us next year.
All these moments captured by our photographer of the day William Moorcroft.