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Report on Sawtell 2017 Reunion by Owen Puie

10th INTAKE celebrate 50th Anniversary since Call up on 4/10/1967.
What a celebration it was at Sawtell Beach with a new 50th Anniversary patch organised by Carol Dahler, to remember the occasion. A super attendance of 92, our best so far, included 2 very special guests, Jillian Donaldson (nee Smith) & Michael Donaldson also a Vietnam Veteran who served in the R A N. Jillian was an entertainer in Vietnam for 12 months & performed with a band called The Swinging Kangaroos. We enjoyed their show with other artists at Luscombe field during 6 RAR’s tour & what a great boost to our morale it was.
Our daily 4 pm happy hour at the camp kitchen was the hub of conversation, where drinks of all kind washed down numerous tall tales & true. New faces, wives, partners & old diggers mingled in the usual friendly atmosphere. Carol Dahler’s white Board was once again a success in the passage of information for the following day’s activities.
Much needed rain moved our Memorial Service to the Princess room inside the R S L & our appreciation goes to the Club for their help & hospitality . Richard Barry delivered an address on the 10th history & read the names of the deceased. Geoff Yeoman’s said a prayer commemorating the fallen. Wreath’s were laid by, Carol Dahler, Jan Drew, Lynne Puie, Jillian Donaldson & Graham Gooding O A M. John Bailey from the Sawtell Sub Branch played the Last Post & Reveille. It was a special live & professional tribute to our missing friends.
In the Park Hall a Fancy Dress theme of Green was the dress of the evening. Entertainment by the Wallies performing 2 skits, Jillian Donaldson, spoke of her experience entertaining in Vietnam then danced & sang a series of old songs we all knew. Richard Barry & Lynette Bunney showed female Soldiers were an intregal part of the Army. The 10th Intake cake was cut by Max Dahler & Owen Puie. Great music provided by Adam Cox made the night
The State of Origin sports was this year won by N S W. Activities have become quite sedate since 2007, however the enthusiasm in Ball games, Trivia, Lawn Bowls(washed out) Cricket (too hot) tennis have not altered. Win at any cost?@#$%&^*() Age shall not weary us!
Jan Drew presented her hand made Poppy Quilt, a beautiful work of art which was raffled, defraying our expenses for the reunion. We also acknowledge Rod & Pam Elkington from Standown Park for their fantastic support.
Many thanks go to all those who volunteered in any way during the week. Without your contribution our gathering would not be a success. A special thanks to Richard Barry who never stops organising & Carol Dahler whose energy for the 10th is amazing.
Have a look on our website to check out the Sawtell reunion on
Regards & keep your powder dry, Owen Puie