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From the President
My sincere thanks to all who have made 2016 a successful year for our 7RAR Association. May I particularly thank the National Committee, and its long-serving XO, for keeping us in line. Our Webmaster continues to do a sterling job, especially keeping us up-to-date with the passing of our members Spare a thought for the families of our members that are no longer with us. I'd also like to thanks the various State committees for the great work that they continue to do.
As the year ends I know that you will keep all our members and their families in your thoughts. I ask you to particularly remember those fine soldier of 7 RAR deployed  in harm’s way -  we all pray for their safe return.

Have an enjoyable and safe Christmas and an even better New Year!

Mike O’Brien
On behalf of all Members of the Committee of Management I would like to wish all Members, their family and friends a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2017.
Tony Keech, XO/ED

Page 1
Contents this Issue/Calendar Jan-April 2017

1. President’s Message.
2. Contents this issue/Calendar January - April 2017.
3. Vale.
4-6. From the Editor’s Desk/March Out Bien Hoa Platoon.
7-8. St George’s Defence Holiday Suites Coolangatta.
9-12. Proposed tour back to Vietnam to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of The Battle of Suoi Chau Pha.
13. Obituary Stan Jones 2/7th Bn AIF/A Look at the Long Hai’s 1970.
14-15. Pearls From Victoria.
16-21. The Best From The West.
22-27. Pigs in Paradise.
28. Five to Seven Reunion Caloundra 2017.

Calendar 2017

Thu 26 Jan Australia Day, National.
Fri 7 Apr Cut-off for 1/2017 Newsletter.
Mon 17Apr Email/Post 1/2017 Newsletter.
Tue 25 Apr ANZAC Day, State details in April News.
May/June Association AGM, date and location to be confirmed in April Newsletter.March Out Bien Hoa Platoon.
Page 2


Rest ye oh Warrior, You will battle no more,
No longer to live the horrors of war,
Your duty was done with honor and pride,
Farewell oh brother, until we march by your side.
16296  Graham  David  Pashley, C Coy  1st  tour,  passed  away Saturday 1st October 2016.
215069  Peter  James  Musson,   C 8  1st tour,  passed away  Wednesday  26  October  2016.
3788188  Ronald  William  Thomas,  C9 1st  tour, passed  awa Saturday 5  November  2016.
The President, Committee, and members of the 7RAR Association express their deepest sympathy to Brice Stokes (HQ D Coy 1st)  and family on the passing of his wife Dr. Bronwyn Stokes on the 25th November 2016 following a courageous battle with cancer.

A service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance was held at The Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Merriwa, NSW, on Friday 2nd December. Family, friends, representatives of 7 RAR Association, medical colleagues and former patients, filled the church and surrounding gardens on a hot summer’s morning.

Eulogies from Brice and their three children Hester (a doctor in the RAAF),  Jimbo and Charlie spoke of the warmth of this well respected and much loved medical practitioner who cared for many people in the local district and also in the new Medical Centre in Port Macquarie in recent years.

The morning service was accompanied by music from The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. After the service a wake was held at the Merriwa RSL Club. 
    Page 3    

From the Editor's Desk
Well all, we have successfully negotiated the distribution of our second issue of the Seven News electronically to about 75% of all members. There have been a few hiccup's but overall I think it has been a roaring success as it has reduced the cost of printing and postage by around 66%. The other advantage to all who receive it electronically is that all the photos are viewed in colour via email.

Please note the advertisements on the page’s 7 & 8 for the opening of the Defence Holiday Suites at Coolangatta, if you are planning a holiday up North in the future then it makes sense that you look close to this very attractive venue for your stay in the Gold Coast/Coolangatta area.

I ask all members to keep a close eye on our members close to where you live as some are being notified as being placed in care facilities so please keep in contact with them, their close family or friends and keep me posted as to their progress.

Myself, Bernie and Vicki Hopkins attended the march out of Bien Hoa Platoon, (7 Platoon) on Friday 7 October to present the “Matty Hopkins” Memorial trophy to the Section Commander of the Champion Section, CPL Mathew Vrana, 6RAR. The number of soldiers from this platoon to be posted to 7RAR numbered 19. Photographs on the following pages are of this event.


The articles on pages 9 to 12 is a comprehensive outline of a suggested tour of Vietnam to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Suoi Chau Pha as laid out by Walter Pearson, it is only a suggested tour if enough people are interested, the cost at this stage is listed as $2650 per person, this does not include air fares. If you are interested please contact Walter via details on page 9. 

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From the Editors Desk (cont)
Members, please check your financial status as shown on the address label for those who receive their newsletters via the post, it is the first set of numbers that appear on your address top left i.e. 2014/15 or 16, if it does not show 2017 or above then you are un-financial, if this is you please use the membership form on the inside back page of the cover and return it to me with your cheque, Money Order or if using the direct deposit format please advise me with your renewal form.

If you receive your newsletter via the internet there is an internet system available to all Your financialo status is included in the first paragraph of the E Newsletter.  If you are un financial then click on the link provided, download the form, fill it out and post with your money to  

PO Box 8143,


As we draw close the Christmas and the New year please ensure that we look after all those around us and keep in touch as we of the Vietnam era are getting older and may need some assurance that as your mate we will assist where necessary.

It is notable that our current members from 7RAR who have been serving the Nation in Iraq as part of Operation TAJI will return home early this month. For the members in SA there will be a number of function held at Edinburgh and in the Adelaide area so if interested please contact Noel Biggins as I am sure he will be able to provide information of location and times of activities.

The notice on page 13 is the obituary for a former member of 2/7th BN AIF Stan Jones.

Our $500 donation to the Vietnam Veterans Museum, Phillip Island has finally been made and their general manager is overjoyed to receive it and it will be matched with the large 7 RAR Sign donated by our WA Branch to be part of our contribution to the exhibits with the other Battalions of the RAR on display at the Museum.

You will notice in the Pearls from Victoria report on page 14 there is a 50th Anniversary function to commemorate the Battle of Suoi Chau Pha at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance on Sunday 6 August 2017. If any members from Inter-State wish to attend please advise the two members shown below: Allan McGuiness on:  or Bernie Cox on: (Just click on the addresses - that will open your email program)

Page 5

Above: Left - Vicki presents the trophy to  CPL Vrana: Right:  CPL Vrana with Vicki and Alex (now 7).
Below: The  19 Soldiers  posted to  7RAR with Bernie,  Vicki &  Alex  and  far right Tony.

Page 6
St George's Defence Holiday Suites

Well here we are, twenty months down the track and a mostly complete building now occupies the site at 192 Marine Parade. Practical completion of the building was achieved 23 September so it is now only minor issues remaining to be completed.

Our purchasers are waiting on registration of titles prior to being able to settle and move in to their new apartments; the new “St George’s” has taken shape and is occupying the lower three floors.

St Georges features 4 different room types - 2 styles of Studio apartments. 2 bedroom 1 bathroom apartments and large spacious 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartments. Furnishings for the St George’s units and the its common areas have been delivered and Installed; the remaining work revolves mainly around the office, laundries and recreational areas, so there is not too much more until readiness.

Our Managers have moved in to the building to provide some level of security and to also familiarise themselves with all operational aspects of the building. Landscaping of the site has been completed and the grounds are very impressive.

Boyd’s Bay Garden Centre has developed a very peaceful sub tropical garden area that has received a lot of positive comment from the broader community at Rainbow Bay. Similarly the Memorial Garden has gained wide acceptance with its ‘lone pine’ in place and the masonry walls and rustic signage.
Page 7

 As previously mentioned we are taking guests from 12th December and there are minimal vacancies from that date until mid January 2017. Bookings for the rest of the year are starting to trickle in and we are confident that people will find it a pleasant holiday experience with significant recreation areas to accompany the comfortable surrounds of the suites. This includes BBQ facilities at the pool and also at the social/dining area on the southern side of the building.

Our new web-site,, has proven to be a significant marketing tool and in conjunction with social media (Facebook and Instagram) we believe we have been able to engage a good percentage of our younger veterans and their families. Certainly our booking register indicates that we have engaged with this demographic, this is a positive development for the re-energising of our facility into the future.

In the near future we have a 24 hour live booking button available on both our website and Facebook pages, to allow you to book at your convenience. First time guests we will require a copy of verification of your service, or a copy of your record of service, or a discharge certificate or other Identification for approval to confirm this booking.

Currently you can contact us for enquiries on
Phone: (Business Hours) 07 5536 1261
E-mail :
Facebook :
Tariffs are available on this link -

Landscaping of the site has been completed and the grounds are very impressive. Boyd’s Bay Garden Centre has developed a very peaceful sub tropical garden area that has received a lot of positive comment from the broader community at Rainbow Bay. Similarly the Memorial Garden has gained wide acceptance with its ‘lone pine’ in place and the masonry walls and rustic signage.

Page 8

I have a particular interest in showing people the Viet Nam I know and the war I have discovered during my exploration of the country and the people and my research into the history of it. As a result of this, Jason Cowland, a successful businessman who is also hugely interested in Vietnam and its war history asked me to team up with him in a specialist tour company. Our aim is to try to bring about some better understanding of Vietnam generally and the war in particular. Consequently we have started running specialist tours to Vietnam in history, culture, religion and of course, the war itself.

For some time I have also had a bee in my bonnet about the lack of recognition of the Battle of Suoi Chau Phu. So with the 50th anniversary coming up next year we would like to see if we can get a tour together that will have a bit of a focus on the Battle Of Suoi Chau Pha, combining that with a visit to the Long Tan Cross on 18 August. I figure there is no point in trying to be in VN at the time of the Suoi Chau Pha anniversary, since I presume, most former 7RAR people would prefer to be with their mates here in Australia for the actual date.

I have to say there is not much to see at the battle site these days. The area around it is very developed and of course, it is private land but there are roads that can take us to the vicinity and tracks enough to walk to the southern side of the creek line. I don’t think it would be possible to walk the battle site but we could get very close. So any tour would have to be about the context of the battle and about 7RAR’s tours more generally.

To that end I have drawn up the attached itinerary but I feel it fails to really hit the mark in its current form. I think we could include a drive through the Trang Bom area for a start. One of the reasons I wanted to make contact with 7RAR people was to get some idea of what they might consider important to be included in the tour.

Though there are some things on the plan which I think few Australians have yet had the chance to see. I reckon we can run a very engaging tour that would bring back memories for Vietnam Veterans and would be very instructive for younger members of the unit, their families and friends. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on how we can progress this.

Regards Walter ——————————————————————
Walter Pearson Tour Leader
Ph: 0424 177 590
Page 9

Our tour leader is Walter Pearson—journalist, writer, documentary maker, history expert and two tours of Vietnam.

In the late 60s and early 70s Walter served in Vietnam twice, once as a Forward Observer and once as an Army interpreter. He still speaks excellent Vietnamese.

After leaving the Army, Walter studied Chinese language and East Asian history and philosophy, worked as a radio and television journalist, returned to Vietnam in 1989 to report the dedication of the replica Cross at the famous Long Tan battle site.

Walter lived and travelled in Vietnam from 2000. He played a leading role in the volunteer group Operation Aussies Home involved in the discovery and repatriation of the remains of six Australian Servicemen, Missing in Action since the war in Vietnam.

Walter wrote and produced the acclaimed TV documentary Vietnam Minefield, which related one of the biggest military blunders of the Australian war in Vietnam. He has advised television companies and participated in television programs including, Australian Story, In Their Footsteps, Foreign Correspondent, Who Do You Think You Are and the makers of The Team.

Walter has led tours by car, bus, train, plane and bike throughout Vietnam over that time, including tours with Vietnam Veterans, visiting Australian Navy ships and groups from the Australian Staff and Command College.

Walter has extensive knowledge Asian Philosophy and the history of China and Vietnam. He is also extremely knowledgeable in the post-World War Two era of Vietnam's history including the American military involvement. He has specialised knowledge of the Australian involvement in Vietnam.

Walter is married to a Vietnamese and lived in a rural area north of Ho Chi Minh City for about 4 years. Through his immersion in Vietnamese life, he is fully conversant with the complexities of Vietnamese culture and the breadth of Vietnamese cuisine.
Page 10
Suoi Chau Pha Tuesday,
15 August - Thursday, 24 August 2017
10 days


Day 1: Tuesday, 15 August 2017 - Arrive HCM City
The group arrives in HCM City transfers to hotel for check-in. Welcome dinner. O/night HCM City

Day 2: Wednesday, 16 August 2017 - HCM City Breakfast. City tour of the places of historical significance during the 1945-75 period in Vietnamese history. Late lunch. Afternoon relaxing. Diner O/night HCM City.

Day 3: Thursday, 17 August 2017 - HCM City - Niu Dat - Suoi Chau Pha -Vung Tau. Breakfast. We drive on the new freeway to Ba Ria where we catch some sites and have an early lunch. We go on to Nui Dat to orient ourselves by climbing Nui Dat and seeing the province laid out before us, identifying the area of the Suoi Cha Pha battle. We then take the short drive over new modern roads to the battle site. After a look around at the area we drive back to Ba Ria driving between the Nui Dinh and the Nui Thi Vai mountains. We go on to Vung Tau, getting a quick orientation on arrival, check in to our hotel. Dinner. O/night Vung Tau.

Day 4: Friday, 18 August 2017 - VVD
Breakfast. Visit to Long Hai Hills and the Minh Dam Secret Zone Historical Vestiges. Lunch by the sea. Attend Vietnam Veterans Day gathering at the replica Cross in Long Tan rubber plantation. Return to Vung Tau. Dinner. o/night Vung Tau.
Page 11

 Day 6: Sunday, 20 August 2017 - Bien Hoa - Coral - An Loc (Binh Long) Breakfast. Drive to Bien Hoa to visit original Long Tan Cross at the Dong Nai Museum. Lunch. Drive to the Coral battle site. Drive on to Binh Long, one time An Loc where in 1972 a fierce battle saw the NLF use tanks for the first time in the south. We visit the grave of 3000 people killed in the fighting. Dinner at a local restaurant. O/night Binh Long.

Day 7: Monday, 21 August 2017 - An Loc - Loc Ninh - HCM City Breakfast. Drive to Loc Ninh, the termination of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. We visit the Ho Chi Minh Tail Museum and the Nha Giao Te, where, in 1973, the NLF, RVN, DRV and the US negotiated the implementation the Paris Peace Accords. Visit Ta Thiet, the COSVN Headquarters area 1973-75. Lunch in Binh Long. Return to Ho Chi Minh City. Dinner. O/night HCM City.

Day 8: Tuesday, 22 August 2017 - The Other Cu Chi Breakfast. Morning visit to the other Cu Chi. See the reconstructed tunnels, a model village of the 1960s and the enormous War Memorial Temple. Lunch at a riverside restaurant. Return to HCM City. Dinner. O/night HCM City

Day 9: Wednesday, 23 August 2017 - Ap Bac Breakfast. Day trip to the Mekong Delta, visiting Ap Bac, site of the 1963 battle that raised the first real concerns of the the abilities of the ARVN. Lunch in Ben Tre. Sightseeing in Ben Tre Province. Return to HCM City. O/night HCM City.

Day 10: Thursday, 24 August 2017 - HCM City - RTA Breakfast. Day at leisure. Late check out. Evening flight to Australia. 
Page 12
2/7TH BN AIF Veteran,
lines foreman 3-5-1921 – 10-11-2016
Australia has lost one of its oldest war veterans with the death of Stan Jones, who has died in Stawell aged 95.

He had survived the Battle of Crete, four years as a prisoner of war and the brutal long march with 100,000 fellow Allied forces prisoners.

Stanley Gordon Jones was born in Murtoa, one of 13 children of Bernie and Nellie Jones. After obtaining his merit certificate and leaving school at 13, he worked milking cows and on the railways.

A fine sportsman, Stan played football for Murtoa and was a dab hand at billiards and target shooting.

A look back to the Long Hai’s 1970.
Page 13


50th Anniversary of Suoi Chau Pha

Next year marks the 50th Anniversary of Suoi Chau Pha and initial planning has commenced to mark this event. At this stage arrangements are still pretty vague but it should take the form of a ‘Reunion Lite’. The major element of this weekend will be a Shrine Service on Sunday 6th August at 11.00am, followed by a lunch at Bell’s Hotel. ‘Nobby’ Clarke and Mike O’Brien will be there to give us their perspective on that day 50 years ago.

We are also pleased that 106 Battery members will be also be attending. More details to be advised in the next Newsletter.

Email Tree

As part of the preamble to SCP 50 we are very anxious to develop our email tree further – currently we only have about 147 names on our list and we’ve also received a fair few bounce backs as unknown addresses. We are asking you to ask your mates whether they also received this email. If they didn't, could you please ask them to send an email to us and we will take it from there.
Those that haven't an email address could you please reply to this with their details. If you have mates from the battalion who do not use email – would you be prepared to contact them when we you receive emails from us that will be of interest to them?
If you’ll do this, we can hope to reach everyone; whether or not they are on-line. Why do we need this info?

We, the committee reckon it would be great if we can let ALL our mates know what is happening around our traps. I can promise you we will not be bombarding you unnecessarily nor will your personal details be divulged to anyone else. For our interstate Pigs – please contact us so we can give you up-to-date info as well.

AGM and 2016 Breakup

Our AGM and 2016 breakup is scheduled for 14th December at East Malvern RSL. The meeting starts at 11:00am, with lunch at about 12:00 noon. Allan McGuiness has a Facebook page so you can probably find more details there.

Bell’s Hotel, South Melbourne The hotel has been going extensive renovations and their promise of installing a lift is well on schedule and is guaranteed to be in place for Anzac Day 2017. Bookings have been made for both Anzac Day and Suoi Chau Pha. The upstairs area has been set aside for 7RAR and preliminary discussions indicate that we will be well looked after again.
Page 14
Remembrance Day

Heidelberg Repat runs their own Remembrance Day Service and I went along this year, in part to remember all those servicemen from previous years who were treated there. I’m not good at estimating crowds but there would have been well over the 100 attending.

A highlight for me was the playing of the Last Post on a violin – a surprisingly haunting variation on the traditional bugle. We were also treated to a fly-past by the RAAF. After their appearance the the Shrine they came past us on their way home.

4th/19th Museum Tour

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a visit to the 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse – an Ares unit located in Simpson Barracks, Watsonia. The regiment was formed in 1948 by the amalgamation of 3 other units and through them they have a very interesting lineage. They also served in SVN in 1965 attached to 1RAR in Bien Hoa province. Although small the museum provided a great insight into the main areas of its history – Boer War, WW1 and Vietnam.

I passed on a copy of the picture below in case they wanted to see how Infantry travelled in the ‘old days’.
Parting Shot “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. ― Margaret Thatcher Bill Anderson 0419-877-463
Page 15

2016 has come and gone and it’s been a great year, thanks to all WA PIGS for your support. So, to all PIGS everywhere, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2017.


Well done WA PIGS, great to see such a large turnout for the Xmas PIGS SWILL, which will be our last at RSL for a couple of years due to the construction of the new headquarters building. We had about 70 on deck, tremendous and best numbers yet. We even had a couple of “eastern staters” in attendance who had come over for the D Coy reunion, more on that later.

Don Cruden made a great speech welcoming everyone and thanking those who had helped during the year. We’ve started a tradition at these functions of reciting the honour rolls, quite a solemn and moving addition to the proceedings.

Graham Steele read out the honour roll for the 1st tour, Mick O’Halloran the 2nd tour and Peter Vlachou read out the Afghanistan honour roll, then followed up with “The Ode”. Steve Chamarette then gave us a prayer, followed by Ian McNee’s grace. Then it was down to some serious eating and drinking.

Many thanks to Allan and Betty West for the raffle, great job as usual. Too many attendees to name them all so I won’t attempt it, but thanks everyone for making it a memorable PIGS SWILL.

D COY REUNION (By “Big Jim Wilson”)

D2 Coy Reunion Busselton 28th, 29th & 30th October, 2016.

74 Members and partners gathered at the Legacy Camp, various Caravan Parks and Resort accommodation on the 28th. That evening busses ferried the group to the Busselton RSL for a meet and greet with a light meal. Old acquaintances were renewed with a couple of mates meeting again after 40 years. Peter Vlachou acknowledged apologies and good wishes from absent members, warmly welcomed all who had made the effort to attend and outlined the Reunion activities programme.

On Saturday morning, at 10 am a meeting was held to discuss a range of issues relevant to members. Vic Bartley gave an impressive address concerning his indigenous soldier recognition at the AWM. Vic recalled exchanging a little humorous banter with Keith Payne VC who was acting in an official capacity. Graham Nix spoke of his work in striving to upgrade the membership register, and presented the D Coy mango wood plaque from Taree to Pete, to be presented and displayed at future Reunions.

Merv Hains proposed that the next Reunion be held in QLD at Cairns and Yungaburra, the home of the Afghanistan Memorial. This was accepted by a strong show of hands.
Page 16
On Saturday night, the traditions of the Company and Battalion were upheld over drinks and an excellent three-course meal at the Busselton RSL.

Joe Van der Wal offered thanks for the meal and Bruce Wallis gave an informative talk concerning national service and general military recollections. Johanna and Alana Tye carried in the D2 Banner. Marilyn Laffey was present and daughters, Belinda and Sioban marched in the empty chair symbolizing departed mates. Charlie Matheson led the reading of names of those that have passed on.

Everyone stood for the Ode and observed a minute’s silence. Jim Wilson offered some recalled memories of John Berry, Jack Laffey and Ray Hutchinson, the three Delta mates we lost this year, and proposed a toast to all our departed mates. It was a night of high emotion, humour, camaraderie, memories and shared transcendent elevation of spirit and good will.

Bob Wood who loves to share his humour gave a passionate talk deploring the lack of medals for Infantry Battalions in Vietnam. Bob concluded his emotional reminiscing by offering the toast to the Battalion. The fundraising raffle and Gayle McCartney’s pig raffle were a humorous and another entertaining highlight.

Jeff Askew and Fred Cowan completed the night with a Vietnam era quiz and the comedy duo had all present in fits of laughter in their offbeat raffle and prizes.

Sunday was a Griffo organized bus tour of Margaret River Breweries, wineries and the popular chocolate factory. The day finished at the Legacy Camp with an excellent BBQ, great food, lively storytelling and conversation. The unflappable Macca produced a joke for every situation with ensuing laughter and smiles.

The end of a memorable Reunion, final goodbyes were exchanged on Monday morning with all involved full of enthusiasm and looking forward to the next Reunion. The weekend was a tribute to the putting things together skills by the D2 Team of Peter Vlachou, Griffo Griffiths, Barry Hutchins, Charlie Matheson, Joe Van Der Wal, Colin Tye, Bob Wood and John Burrows along with industrious wives Sandra, Joan, Anne, Pam, Lorena and Caroline.

Big Jim Wilson
November 2016

Page 17

D2 Reunion PIGS

We lost Peter Musson, ironically on his birthday 26th October 2016. Peter was 8 Pl, C Coy, 1st tour and we had 4 of these members in attendance at his funeral in Mandurah on Wednesday 2 November 2016.

Don Cruden took our battalion sign down for the service and Graham Steele, who had served with Peter, recited the “ODE”. As a moving tribute to our member, the 7RAR members in attendance formed a Guard of Honour as the casket left the chapel and his family gratefully appreciated this. Another warrior at rest. Lest we forget.
Page 18


Spunky Fieldhouse has been in the paper again, this time as President of Nollamara RSL for the Battle of Long Tan remembrance ceremony.

SOME 60 people marked the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War’s Battle of Long Tan at a touching ceremony held in Nollamara last week. TS Marmion cadets formed a “Catafalque” party at Returned and Services League Nollamara Sub-Branch’s commemoration. Secretary Bob Wise said they remembered diggers who did not survive and those who did.

The Last Post, Reveille and the National Anthem were played and attendees observed a minute’s silence. Vietnam veteran Doug Fieldhouse, who served in the “pig battalion” in 1967-68 and 1970-71, said it was sad to remember old mates from the war.

Many of Nollamara’s sub-branch’s 249 serving members are Vietnam war veterans. Members of the Veterans Motorcycle Club and Military Brotherhood members also attended the service.

JUNGLING” MEDALS (By Don Cruden) (Otherwise known as "Swing Mounted" - Ed)

I have noticed a few of our members have “jungling” medals – not knowing about COURT MOUNTED and using a MEDAL HOLDER. If any members need to know where to take their medals for court mounting, please ring me on 08 9374 0014 any night after 1800 hrs. Again I can advise on the way to insert a piece of plastic to mount their ICB so any who rings me, I will tell them how to proceed
Page 19

About 20 7RAR members and wives got together recently for a Christmas lunch, mainly 14th intake nashos but a few regs as well, even (shock, horror!) a couple of non-infantry. Thanks for organising it Pete, looks like you all had a great time.

Page 20
NAMETAGS (Note: For BOTH Men and Women)

Our NAMETAGS are available in two sizes, small at $13, large $18, prices include delivery. Contact Geoff Murray as per details below and provide the correct name to be included on the TAG and the correct postal address. To ensure prompt delivery, pop a cheque (made payable to Geoff Murray) or money order in the post when you place your order, delivery is about three weeks.

Post it to:

Geoff Murray
30 Bouvardia Way
Alternatively, you can do an Electronic Funds Transfer to: BSB 066132 Account 00913220

NEWSLETTER Remember, the newsletter is only as good as the contents, so please contact Geoff Murray if you have anything to report, no matter how trivial. Geoff can be contacted on: Home 08 94483109 Mobile 0432253043 Email

Cheers - Geoff Murray

Page 21

Warning Order!

Pigs in Paradise are considering holding an informal reunion on the Battalion’s birthday on Friday, 1st September 2017. Besides the date being the Battalion’s 52nd birthday it is close to the 50th anniversary of the battle of Suoi Chau Pha.

Two relevant words – considering and informal;
Considering will change if I get sufficient interest,  Informal will not change.

We provide the venue and nothing else. No merchandise and no money up front. Venue Sandstone Hotel, 1800 Bribie Island Road. (Alongside the Bribie Island bridge)

Facebook Click on Sandstone Point Hotel or go to
Hotel Website Click on Website or go to

Bribie Island Tourism Click on Bribie Island Tourist website or go to
There are three pubs, three caravan parks, two bowls clubs and a great RS club on Bribie for anyone interested in sub unit get togethers.

Think about it but I will need an indication of those interested no later than end February 2017.

Page 22


One of the least pleasing duties for me is the need to attend funerals of guys, some of whom I never knew but because they served with us, deserve recognition and attendance at their funeral.

I attended the funeral of Charlie Coy 1st tour stalwart, Graham Pashley on 8 October at Buderim. Graham was 74 and had suffered from dementia for some years. In one sense it was a release but as always he will be missed by his family and mates.

L to R: Ernie Gordon,?. Neville Robinson,Spike Jones,?,Jim Hardie, Self, Joe Turra, Stony Bourke, Graham Griffiths and Ted Lewis

Graham’s casket is worth a mention. It was adorned with graphics and looked so amazing I took a photo which typically didn’t turn out very well. I then tracked down the company that made the casket and got a good graphic from them. (see next page)
Page 23
It is a touchy subject I know but pragmatism dictates I make you aware of the facility. We are aging and falling off the mortal coil at regular intervals and this offers a stylish way to go.


The caskets are available with whatever graphics you want from;
Phone: 1300 263 346.

Expression Coffins are personalised, image-covered coffins. Families can choose from a range of existing designs or supply their own photographs that reflect their loved one’s personality, interests and hobbies etc.

Disclaimer. I don’t know the company but thought it worth bringing to your attention.

Page 24

I also attended Ron Thomas’ funeral at Mudgeereeba. Once again, I didn’t know Ron but once again he was a Charlie Company stalwart from the 1st tour.

The crowd at Ron’s funeral.

The plaque on Ron's coffin
Page 25

L to R: Peter Gates, Noel Biggins, Darby Munro, Bob Harrison, Ken Casey, Jim Morris and Barry Fulton.

L to R Jim Morris, Peter Gates, Bob Harrison, Ken Casey, Darby Munro, Unknown (not 9 pl)

The  eulogies  were  moving   and  well  delivered  by  Noel  Biggins   and  Ron’s daughter. The remaining boys  from 9 Platoon, and especially  8 section admired and now sadly miss their great mate Ron "Thomo" Thomas – a mate for 50 years, and a now a mate forever.
Page 26

To lighten the mood…have a great Christmas and New Year.

Page 27
Five to Seven Reunion Caloundra Caravan Park

“In Feb 2016, a group of guys reunited after 40 odd years in Caloundra for a reunion. The group was a draft that went to South Vietnam as reinforcements for 5RAR, then to 7RAR.

Members attending were as follows; Andy Bellingham, Steve Taylor, Jeff Wiseman, Gerry Ireland, Allan Howarth, Kev Carty, Brian Almond,Danny Douglas, Mick MacKenzie Bill Waters,Chris Lee,Ian Gowlett,John Bolt, Also in attendance Bernie Cox, Col Sydor and Terry Bryceson

General feeling was that this should be an annual event and to that another get together is arranged for 10-12 Feb 2017 in Caloundra - a facebook site has been dedicated for this, Five to Seven 2017”

Andy Bellingham
The Reunion will be held at
Caloundra Waterfront Holiday Park
44 Maloja Ave Caloundra Qld 4551
9 - 12 February inclusive. Departing on the 13th.

Further details:
Andy Bellingham:

As Steve Taylor wrote on Facebook prior to the first Reunion in 2015 “Well forty-seven (47) of us ex 5 RAR diggers went on R & C before resuming duties with 7 RAR, of that number one (1) was KIA and five (5) WIA. On RTA it can be assumed that some our our old comrades have succumbed to illness or disease and like Carl have been killed in accidents!! Today we are all in our late sixties (60s) and I have not seen some of you for forty-five (45) years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which in simple English, is far to bloody long, so mark the date on next years calendar and see you in Caloundra.
Regards Steve Taylor”
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Copyright © 2016 7RAR Association, All rights reserved.

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