August 18 - 24, 2013: Issue 124

 Pittwater Honours Those Who Have Served Australia: Vietnam Veterans Day 2013

 Vietnam Veterans (Northern) March from Palm Beach Ferry Wharf to Palm Beach RSL last Sunday. Picture by A J Guesdon, 2013.

 Vietnam Veterans (Northern) Day 2013

On Sunday 11th of August 2013 the Vietnam Veterans (Northern) branch held their annual March, Commemorative Service and lunch at Palm Beach RSL (Club Palm Beach). Our Pittwater Vietnam Veterans were joined by many who have served and serve in Australian Army, Navy and Air Force branches as well as veterans from Dee Why, Wangi Wangi or those who were part of the National Serviceman’s Association, many of these gentlemen travelling from the Central Coast and further to join in honouring each other and those who did not come home.

A beautiful blue day greeted those who gathered at Palm Beach Ferry wharf, some who had not been able to catch up since this time last year. This great idea, to get together nearer to where those who are Vietnam Veterans live, has spread in recent years with many other suburban RSL’s holding their own Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Services and get togethers over great food throughout the Sydney Metropolitan area.

The drums corps leading the March was provided again this year by the wonderful students of The Avalon School Drum Corp – Juniors, as too was the trumpets for the Last Post and Reveille. The support of this school and the children’s parents always brings a smile to the faces of the veterans attending, many of them grandparents themselves now, while the sound of their drums stirs the heart of all Marching and all on each side of Barrenjoey road who attend this Commemorative service each year.

Today, Sunday 18th of August 2013, marks the official Vietnam Veterans Day and Commemorative Services, remembered each year on the day known as Long Tan Day, and chosen to commemorate the men of D Company, 6RAR who fought in the battle of Long Tan in 1966. On that day, 108 Australian and New Zealand soldiers fought a pitched battle against over 2,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops in a rubber plantation not far from the small village of Long Tan. The Australians prevailed, but only after fighting in torrential rain for four hours. Our Vietnam Veteran Profile for 2013 is a gentleman who was part of this battle. 

Mark Ferguson, who started Vietnam Veteran’s (Northern) at Palm Beach RSL in 2002 with Ian Traveller and John Roxburgh, was on hand once again, as was President of Vietnam Veterans (Northern) Peter Rumble. Patrons Hon. Bronwyn Bishop and Hon. Rob Stokes and representatives from Avalon Beach RSL Sub-branch, Pittwater RSL Sub-branch and Wangi Wangi RSL Sub-branch laid wreaths to commemorate those who fell in this conflict.

We would like, this year, to share the opening words spoken by Mr Rumble, president of Vietname Veteran’s (Northern) so that you who could not attend last Sunday can hear what should be remembered of those who left their homes to defend the freedoms and rights of the peoples of South Vietnam:

On this day above all days we recall those who, in the great tragedy of war, gave their lives in the battlefields of Vietnam. Names such as Coral, Long Hais and Long Tan will live forever etched, never to be forgotten by Vietnam Veterans on this day of remembrance.
Today, as you stand to salute them, they too will be here at your side.

Rest ye, of warrior, you’ll battle no more
No longer to live the horrors of war
Your Duty was done, with honour and pride
Farewell, oh Brother, until we march by your side
Well done, thou good and faithful Friend
We can never forget


Michael Mannington’s Volunteer Photography Vietnam Veterans (Northern) 2013 Public Gallery

 Meeting at Palm Beach Ferry Wharf

Peter Rumble, President Vietnam Veterans (Northern), Graham Sloper (Cmdr. Rtd.) Avalon Beach Sub-Branch, Robert Dodds, Vice-President Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch. 

Left to right: National Servicemen's Association of Australia, John McGuigan, National Servicemen's Association of Australia-Sydney Northern Beaches Sub-Branch, Barry Andrews, National Servicemen's Association of Australia-Sydney Northern Beaches Sub-Branch, Tom Warne

Left to right; Len Brown, Wayne Edwards, Stuart Brown. 

Left to right: Deborah Hendy, Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch, John McInerney, Vice President Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch, Michael Carrodus, Vice-President Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch and Inez John.

 The March

 Commemorative Service 

Wreath: Peter Rumble, President Vietnam Veterans (Northern). 

Wreath:  President of the Wangi Wangi RSL Sub Branch, Mr David Edmonds

Wreath:  on behalf of  National Servicemen's Association of Australia - NSW Branch, Dennis Moran.

Wreath:  Bryan Webster President Palm Beach RSL Sub Branch

Wreath: Hon. Bronwyn Bishop, Federal Member  for Mackellar.

The Last Post .


Vietnam Veterans(Northern) - Originators

 Left to right: Peter Rumble, Mark Ferguson, John Roxburgh, Ian Traveller and Russel Marsh.

Photos by A J Guesdon, 2013.