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Sawtell 50th Anniversary Reunion Update

Hi everyone,
I've decided to send out an email as I have been receiving numerous calls and email about certain reunion aspects. To date we have just over 90 folk who have booked and ready to arrive at Sawtell for a great reunion. Fantastic response. Claiming The Date. Carol Dahler and myself were in constant contact with Michelle at the Sawtell Beach Holiday Park (SBHP) from August 2016 onward to secure the best possible dates for our reunion. Unfortunately because we don't hold annual reunions we don't get first opportunity to re-book our same sites/cabins for the same period the following year. On the other hand the rapidly growing Oztag Group hold their annual National Junior Championships (membership of some 3,000) in October. Therefore under SBHP rules Oztag have first choice to re-book their same sites/cabins. That means we had to bring forward our reunion dates which unfortunately coincide with NSW school holidays and NSW long weekend. So it might be a bit busier than usual especially down the main street. We may need to rethink our dates for the 2019 50th reunion of being kicked out of the army.
(1) PROGRAM. The program is a GUIDE only. You don't need to participate in every aspect or function listed. If you have misplaced the program you can view it on
(2) CAMP KITCHEN WHITEBOARD. Please make use of this if you want to inform others of any events. Maybe eating out as a group at the RSL, Fishtales or Bowling Club etc. Make sure you make prior bookings. Other items like Tennis, Bush Walks, Fishing etc will feature as well. Maybe morning or afternoon tea at someone's cabin or site. I will display copies of the Program, the Rules of Cricket as well as the 2018 Cruise in the Camp Kitchen.
(3) BASKET SUPPER in the CAMP HALL. Bring your own drinks, nibbles, BBQ chooks, salads or whatever. During the evening orders will be taken by Peter Beauchamp OAM for the delivery of pizzas at your expense. Please take a look at the pizza menus supplied. I understand the "Sawtell Wallies" are currently rehearsing a skit for us. Music will be supplied for dancing. The general theme on the night is 'GREEN' but not compulsory - dress up in anything you like. A 50th anniversary cake will be cut by the oldest 10th intaker present. Hon Ray Kohn will act as MC.
(4) MEMORIAL SERVICE & WREATH LAYING. Because it is the 50th we have enhanced the service to suit the occasion. It would be appropriate to wear a coat, tie and medals but not compulsory. Hearty breakfast afterwards in the RSL Club - pay as you go. Grahame Gooding OAM (behalf of deceased 10th intake), Carol Dahler (behalf of families of 10th intake) and Jillian Donaldson (behalf of nurses, entertainers etc) will be laying wreaths - maybe others. Please feel free to bring along your own wreath.
(5) PATCHES FOR EXISTING 10TH INTAKE SHIRTS. We have designed and purchased 50 Australian Flag patches and 50 Anniversary logo patches for our existing green shirts at a cost of $1,000. At her own expense Carol Dahler has posted these patches to all attendees.  Any donations will be graciously accepted. I sent you a picture of the anniversary logo patch on 21st February 2017. It looks great and took many weeks of input to create. Take a look at Max Dahler's green shirt when you see him at Sawtell.
(6) 50th ANNIVERSARY WINE. Please contact Perry & Barb Condrick at ( or 02 6736 1322 to place your orders. The Port bottles will be labeled with the 50th anniversary logo. Of course other wines are also available. Perry and Barb will bring your purchases to Sawtell for collection and they have generously donated $4 from each $15 Port bottle sale to the 10th intake coffers.
(7) GOLF at nearby BONVILLE. This is a magnificent golf course located only 10ks from our Park. It is listed as Australia's favorite golf course (awards) and is a par 72. Please liaise with Ian Cox  (0411 436145 or as numbers need to be in early. Very popular.
(8) RAFFLE. There will only be ONE raffle. To assist to defray expenses Jan Drew has very kindly offered to donate a Special Remembrance hand-made (by her) quilt. Three tickets for $5. It will not be necessary to bring along other items to be raffled. There will be no auctions.
(9) NAME TAGS & HOLDERS. Many of us have several name tags in the drawer from previous reunions. Pack the best looking one. If you need a new one one please contact Owen Puie ( or 07 3423 2502. I have already provided him with the names of first timers and he will bring a few spares to Sawtell.
(10) PHOTOS & MEMORABILIA. This is optional. You might like to bring along a photo of yourself taken in 1967 as a recruit - we would all like to see if you have changed much in 50 years! Rob Wiseman has some fascinating Vietnam artifacts. If you have anything similar or something from Recruit days please bring it along for all to see.
(11) UNOFFICIAL GUEST. In July 1969 a young lass got up on the stage at Luscombe Field (Nui Dat) and sang her heart out to brighten our dampened spirits being so far from home in an unfriendly place. I 'tracked' her down and she will be joining us at the Camp Kitchen and elsewhere for a few days. Her husband Mike is a Navy Vietnam Veteran. Please make them both welcome.
(12) MILITARY MUSEUM. Optional. The Frank Partridge VC Military Museum (WW1 to 21st Century) at Bowraville which is located 58ks from Sawtell. Maybe a car convoy can be arranged to include lunch at the nearby RSL. Entry by gold coin donation.
(13) STATE of ORIGIN SPORTS SERIES (NSW v Qld). A bit different this time. Points will be awarded for (a) short version of a cricket match as well as (b) tennis (c) lawn bowls and (d) trivia. Jack Hunter has polished the State of Origin trophy in readiness for the 2017 overall winner of the four events. Points will be calculated for the winners of the Cricket, Tennis, Lawn Bowls and Trivia (not from the other fun games) and collated towards the eventual winner of the sought after 2017 trophy. CRICKET - NSW Captain (Ian Drew), Qld Captain (Trevor Bunney). Umpires - NSW (Geoff Dartnell), Qld (Richard Kelly). Scorers - NSW Fran Williams, Qld (Lynne Puie). LAWN BOWLS - NSW Captain (Geoff Hewitt), Qld Captain (Bob Chettle). TRIVIA - NSW Captain (Barb Condrick), Qld Captain (Pam Elkington - confirmation awaited). TENNIS - NSW Captain (To be announced), Qld Captain (Carol Dahler). Go the Blues!!
(14)  FUN APPOINTMENTS in the FIELD. Lawn Bowls - Sergeants Geoff Hewitt, Bob Chettle & Geoff Dartnell. Tennis - Carol Dahler. Trivia - Emeritus Professor Dick Irons. Fun Games - WO2 Ian Drew and his bride Jan & the lovely Lesley Kruger. Overall State of Origin scrutineer - Sergeant-at-Arms Ray Kohn. Music - CSMs Bill Pearson & Ian (Adam) Cox. Memorial Service - RSM Owen Puie. Photographer - Major James Gordon. They have the power of delegation. 5th Tenth Cruise - Recruit Richard Barry. We now have 33 folk booked for a fantastic cruise to PNG during February 2018 - still not too late to join us.
(15) FUN GAMES. It is NSWs turn to arrange the fun games and I believe Ian & Jan Drew, Lesley Kruger & Co have put together some beauties. In addition, Jo Aubrey has arranged with Jenny at the Sawtell Croquet Club for us to play social matches on Friday 6th October. Green fee is $7 and wear flat shoes. Tea, coffee & biscuits available.
(16) The PORRIDGE bucket hat. A special bucket hat has been made to honor our little mate who passed away suddenly just after our 2015 reunion. It is stone in colour with the 50th logo and Porridge inscribed. It can be purchased from either Alan Kruger or Geoff Dartnell for $20 at the Park. It comes in small or large sizes.
(17) "THINKING of YOU" cards. We have decided to make up a batch of cards to send out to various folk in times of distress. If you have a family bereavement or any distress please let us know. It is only a small token but I think it is a nice way to at least say we are thinking of you at that moment.
(18) LADIES ONLY - secret location (bit of shopping & coffee time). I've been told this event is the most important event of the whole reunion. I am staying well away from this one and as the famous Sergeant Schulz once said, "I know nothing."
(19) Rugby League Grand Final - Will be televised at 7.30pm on Sunday 1st October 2017 - following the Meet and Greet in the Camp Kitchen. In the past many gravitated to the local RSL Club to watch the game on the big screen otherwise it might be possible to organise a television in the Camp Kitchen. Predicting an Eels verses Storm match - no Queensland team in sight!!
The cost of the patches has been partly met from our own resources. In addition the cost of the popular big hot breakfast (condiments, plastic cutlery & plates etc) in the Camp Kitchen (appropriate morning to be arranged) will be met from our own resources plus the anniversary cake etc. Unlike other reunions we don't charge an upfront registration fee etc and we acknowledge that costs associated with attendance is steadily increasing. There has been a fair amount of work in getting this 50th reunion together and a few people are out of pocket for various expenses. Many folk are generous and we like to think everyone really enjoy these reunions so we have decided to pass the bucket around on the last evening. Already we have received a very generous donation from an undisclosed source. Please do not under any circumstances feel obligated. All funds from each reunion are plowed back into the next reunion and Owen Puie (Honorary Treasurer) will be happy to produce any financial statements.
Finally, I'd like to publicly thank all those very positive people who have responded to my many emails and made generous offers of assistance. Of course I need to specially thank Carol Dahler and Owen Puie. I think they quiver in their boots when they see another email lobbing into their lounge room from Richard Barry. Remember it is your reunion and I have to say that the seven reunions since 2005 it was the attendees that made them so memorable, not the individual - everyone pitches in and nothing is too much trouble. Looks like 2017 is the year of the Blues!
With best wishes,
Richard Barry.