Sad day Rammers,
I have been forced into the position to have to CANCEL our 107 Battery Assn R20 Townsville Reunion. The venue cancellations and restrictions that have been and likely will be further tightened before 23 April, will make a six-day Reunion gathering of 60 ageing Rammers and partners an unacceptable risk and unworkable.
Warren and I made the sad decision earlier today.
Over the last three days, number of those fully registered and paid, have advised they need to cancel on medical advice and personal reasons. I totally support their decisions. Chris & I, on advice of our respective GPs yesterday, are among those.
There are a small number who plan to attend Townsville over the Anzac week. I also accept their decision and their varying reasons.
I am negotiation for the Herbert Hotel to provide some gathering capability, with each attending as individuals under whatever restrictions on numbers may be by then. With our Committee’s approval and if those still visiting Townsville over this time so wish, I will arrange for whatever part of the $1,000 allocated by the Committee to me for local bus hire and is not yet committed and not refunded, to be available for food and bar services at the Herbert, to be used as we subsequently decide.
Rammer, Paddy Durnford has offered to assist with small scale visits to the Regimental Museum. The Regiment and BK 107 Battery (acting BC at this time), has offered to assist with the visit of small groups, under whatever restrictions are in force by Anzac week. So if planning to attend Townsville over Anzac week, please keep me informed so I can ensure you are in the information loop.
Full refund is available. A number have indicated that they would like their R20 payments to be credited to the Association’s general account. The Committee appreciates their generosity.
Due to the significant effort involved in refunds, I will credit each member’s account with all R20 payments made to date. Later, when less time stressed, I will talk with each and you elect your preferred refund method and appropriate account details.
This decision has been made after two weeks careful consideration and much personal distress. Over the last 16 years I have, with the assistance of local Rammers, gained much enjoyment in arranging a number of very successful gatherings. I was a driving force for the official formation of the Black Sheep Association which resulted in Tweed 2004, Townsville 2005, Adelaide and Meredith 2006, Werribee and Batemans Bay 2007, Sydney 2008, Hobart 2009, Townsville 2010 including the publication of our Book, Mildura 2012, Darwin 2014, Canberra 2015, Malaysia 2017 (with great acknowledgment to Jon Eaton) and finally Seymour & Phillip Island 2019. With Wendy Grant’s (nee Wright) driving force, look forward to Reunion Vietnam Anzac fortnight 2021.
I advised after a number of the above Reunions, that the next was my last. I must sadly confirm that Reunion Townsville 2020 is my last Reunion that I can organise. The effort, while younger, was enjoyable. But now, closer to 75 than 70, I find the stress and worry taking its toll. But should anyone from the younger generation of Rammers wish to step-up, I would gladly give my support and expertise than I have gained over the last sixteen years.
I will remain as Secretary and Treasurer of our Association, until someone would like to take over.
My work in DVA Advocacy, extending back over 35 years, has become my priority. There are so many younger Veterans who need assistance. And so few qualified ATDP (DVA Advocacy Training and Development Program) to provide the advice and guidance to get them through the minefield of the DVA legislation and procedures.
On a personal note, this week Chris & I moved into what we expect will be our final earthly residence: LDK Greenway Views at Tuggeranong. We have an independent living two-bedroom apartment on the fourth floor (yes there are two lifts per building), in a brand new large facility described as a land based cruise ship. Our current and future Aged Care and DVA entitlements can be delivered to us without the need to ever move again. With five months of couch surfing after selling our Canberra home of 22 years behind us, we now feel particularly comfortable and pleased with our timing
As usual, comments and criticisms on this decision and any aspect of the Black Sheep Association administration are always welcome and may even be enacted.