LEEUWIN 63 - Travel Stories 
BARRY AND KAYMARIE ANDREW TRIP TO THE MILDURA REUNION OCT 2011

Hi
As we leave Mildura thoughts went back to the great time we had and the new and old friends we met. First stop was coffee in a little town called Robinvale, I was surprised to see so many people from so many nations in the one place all eating in the cafe. Lunch we stopped at Hay rest area, a great place for an overnight stopover by the river.
Moving on for the overnight stop at Forbes at the Apex caravan park on the rivers edge ( a great spot) asked the lady behind the desk about the fishing? She replied I should take a bag for the cod and put them straight in it .(memory tells me it might closed season) , The next days travel would be split into two days of 400k and we stop at Narrabri out of a Lake Yarri, the lake was only small and round in shape, very peacefull (avoid weekends due to water sports) fishing yes carp.
The next night stayed at Lake Leslie Resort near Warwick, cost $20 for a powered site nice grassy site complete with a few Roo's and a view over the water.Nice place but resort? $20 worth yes,the night campfire we enjoyed very a friendly group .
Home again 5,400k travelled, great time,great places and met a lot of great people. A little sad to stop moving, but glad to see the kids whoand start planning the next trip already.
Buy for now
Barry & Kayemarie


Hi
On our way to Mildura 870 k approx.The Weather so far has been good and we have had little rain and only one cold night in Canberra of two degrees the rest have been eight degree and above at night. We moved on up through Yass then onto Harden,Cootamundra and Junee where we were going to stay the night at the Top Tourist Park, got to reception and the lady behind the desk was giving the chap in front of me a hard time asking a lot of question that would not normally be asked, so I decided to give the place a miss moved on through to Wagga Wagga, I was surprised at what a large city it was, another community hub. Moving on (day lite saving allows this) we eventually came to rest at Narrenderra a nice quiet place built on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River the caravan park is located next to the town weir and water park, by now the beer was tasting great sitting down over looking the water watching the sun fade away. No need to rush left at ten and proceeded on through Hay stopping for coffee and a walking tour of the town. On the move once more to Balranald where we had decided to stay the night, a great little town with a top caravan park on the banks of the river, on checking in I meet an old friend Les Allan who I had lost contact with and not seen for many years, great night talking and the next day set off for Mildura.
We have been in Mildura for a week now meeting up with old friends from the RAN Class 63 HMAS Leeuwin in WA we all spent our first year in the navy together before we all started our separate journeys in the navy and the various ships in the fleet. It has been great catching up with a meet and greet, paddle river steamer cruise, dinner dance and many other activities having a great time.
Mildura a great city and well worth a visit, centered on the banks of the Murry River and located in Victoria, a big agricultural district strong in wine making and Saturday nights mass a strong Italian influence, even Kayemarie said she could live here.
Tomorrow we move on the homeward journey
See you soon
Barry & Kayemarie



Hi
The Canberra visit was most enjoyable with visits to Old Parliament House I saw the Queen pass by on the Admiral's Barge as she was travelling along Lake Burley Griffin to the Floriade display in the gardens, the War Memorial a great place stayed for the daily closing ceremony a piper who played at the rear of the memorial fountain and as his tune ended at the gates to the tomb of the unknown solder they were closed, very moving. The.Art Museum was enjoyable we followed an old guide giving the school kids a tour so I managed to picked up a few pointers on modern art especially the most talked about 'Blue Poles' if you look at the colour blue and concentrate you see mainly blue in the painting and likewise if you concentrate on red the same occurs but I am not a volunteer for local art judging.The caravan and camping show was on so that became a must see.We stayed at the Epic camp grounds, grounds and surronds okay, but the toilet facilities were not cleaned on a regular basis and were lacking.Went back to the War Memorial on a seperate occasion to the Research Section and look up the file on HMAS Melbourne for 1964/65 a very enjoyable read. We enjoyed our Canberra stay eating out and enjoying the atmosphere and the Royal Visit.See you soon hoping all are well and happy and keeping safe from storms Barry



Hi
Passing through Kiama to Nowra .I was in awe of the landscape, the rolling steep hills with the great divide in the back ground,What impressed me so much was the many vibrant shades of green and being spring it was if someone had thrown a handful of seeds here and there for there were flowers everywhere. Berry a simply town a modern blast from the past, visited the treat factory the old milk processing factory, the ranges were steep up into Kangaroo valley and the old single lane bridge on the way to Fitzroy Fall in the Cambawarra Ranges.Stayed at Shoalhaven Heads and visited Nowra and the Air Museum at HMAS Albatross it seems just yesterday for I spent 10 years of my life in and out of this district going back and forth to HMAS Melbourne.
Moving on down the coast visiting Huskisson, Jervis Bay, St Georges Basin & Ulladulla brought back frond child hood memories, then on to Batesmans Bay a quiet fishing village no longer, stayed for a couple of days.
Church again this time at St Bernard's a modern style new church, great music with the tambourine beating to the music, the parish priest had had some complaints from the oldies about the noise from the younger members of the congregation he simply said stay at home for this were we pray as a community.
Next day went down to Bega for a look around had a ploughman's lunch at the Bega Cheese Factory a beautiful selection of cheeses, meat and salad and finished the day with a dozen oysters & white wine back at the van.
We moved on to Braidwood stopping for coffee and a walk around the town, most of the pubs have closed but it would take a while to do a coffee crawl these days. Now in Camberra, visited Parliament house today, I am still thinking about the way things are turning out today and if our forefathers wanted it to happen this way.
Cheers
Barry



The Avey's have sent in another blog of 'The Avey's On the Road' Catch up with their travels on
travelingozaveys.blogspot.com/

Rugby Ron

Just a couple of lines to let you know that I am still in the land of the living. Nothing much happens on the Atherton Tableland as you well know.

I lost my mother to dementia/pneumonia in Melbourne early morning Boxing Day 2009. I was flying Cairns – Melbourne and driving Melbourne Airport – Dandenong so many times last year that in the end I believed that I could do the trip blind folded.

In your recent weekly newsletter you said that there were 3500 people at Villiers-Brettoneaux, France for ANZAC Day Dawn Service. I was one of them. I am advised that I got my face of ABC TV back in Australia. In the afternoon there was a service in Bullicourt. I was last in Villiers-Brettoneaux in 1977 when as a LSWTR on HMAS MELBOURNE is was part of a group of 50 sailors and one officers wife (Mrs Nigel Stoker) who did a one week trip across Europe from Portsmouth, UK to Naples, Italy. We were waiting on the wharf in Naples on MELBOURNE’s arrival. Any way the first time I visited V-B the mayor put on a reception for us (Champagne and sweet biscuits), this time the Mayor of Bullicourt put the booze and sticky buns on for all those who attended the ceremonies. A few days later when passing through a village called Ligny-Thilloy also in the Somme Valley the village was having a function for May Day, the Deputy Mayor was sent out to haul in the Aussies from their coach (suitably decorated in Aussie Flags). Toasts were drunk to Franco – Australian relations in Champagne accompanied by sweet biscuits. I did 2 terms of French at High School in 1962 and haven’t spoken the language since, but we found the natives very friendly. Even in Paris. The trick was to have a little stick pin with crossed French/Australian Flags on the collar so that they didn’t mistake us for Poms and then attempt your best school boy French. They responded in their best school boy English. I had to take back everything that I have said about rude frogs. I was away 23 days doing a Battlefields Tour of the Somme Valley, Ypres/Leper (Wipers to the WWI Diggers), Waterloo, both in Belgium, the Normandy landing beaches and Paris. I was selected to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate at Ypres. I had been tasked to find the name of a Great Uncle of a neighbour and found it just above where I had laid the wreath. I also found the grave of my Great Uncle John O’Connell Joseph CARROLL at Armentiers. My father was named after him. We went Cathay Pacific Cairns – Hong Kong – Paris and returned the same way. Had 2 nights and 3 days in Honkers on the way home. The last time I was there was in 1977 and I had a great deal of difficulty finding places to remind me of my ill spent youth. The site for what was HMS TAMAR is now inland after all the reclamation from the sea that has been going on. The Icelandic volcano ash plume didn’t affect us as we were booked for flying out of Cairns 21APR10 and that was the day that flights resumed. Charles De Gaulle Airport Paris was chaos with all the flights landing together. Basically no Customs or Immigration, just get out of the airport. If that had not happened we would have gone to the back of the queue and left about 6MAY10 which was of no use as we had tours booked in Europe to start the day after arrival. The whole trip went like clock work.

I’m now the Secretary Treasurer of the Malanda RSL Sub Branch and work one day in a tropical fruit winery in Yungaburra (bottling, labelling. sales etc.

I omitted to say in my ramblings under that I was also at Le Hamel where Atherton resident Henry (Harry) Dalziel won his Victoria Cross (the 1000th awarded) 4JUL18. After returning from the trip I did a bit of research on him. He was born at Irvinebank 18FEB1893. After leaving school he worked as a fireman on the railway between Cairns and Atherton where he lived with his parents. He was living at Oxley S.E QLD when he died 24JUL64 aged 72. His ashes are at the Mt Thompson Crematorium, Brisbane. Apparently there was a memorial wall/display dedicated to him at the now defunct Atherton RSL Club. I’ll have to enquire what happened to it

Cheers


James






Hi Everybody

We've spent the last three days in Nuriootpa (Barossa Valley), and tomorrow we make the trek into Adelaide. We were lucky enough to catch the last couple of days of the Barossa Vintage Festival, so have had a good time and made the most of it . Visited a couple of our favourite wineries and had lunch at Maggie Beers Farm.
We'll be in Adelaide at least a week, depending on pathology reports after the mole removals on Wednesday.

Hope you are all doing well and keeping safe.

Lots of love
Lea & Rick

Lea & Rick Avey
c/- Landbase LBA7835
Locked Bag 25
Gosford NSW 2250
Phone: 0419 219 794
bigbirdtwo@bigpond.com




TANK EVANS TRAVELLING THE GREAT SOUTH LAND


Tank Evans has forwarded the following email on his travels:

G'day Folks,

Well Phyllis and I are on another journey exploring our great country. We have been on the road for over 3 weeks already and have so far only travelled in so called civilised and populated areas. Still, we have had an interesting and enjoyable time. Although it's disappointing that Phyllis is not so keen at caravaning as I am. She does of course enjoy the happy hour(s) involved later in the day. Myself, I am overdosing on caffiene via Pepsi Max, have to look after the figure of course. I feel left out sometimes now being a non drinker for over 2 years (sob). Buy I still seem to loud and crude without the grog still.

We left Bellmere and headed inland down towards Echuca on the Murray via Goondiwinda and to stay at Dubbo with Dolly and Lil Gray and forgot they were in F 1 J 1 on holidays. We do however hope to meet up with them on our trip along the way at somewhere yet to be determined. So got to Echuca earlier and met up with an ex sparker Kerry Heffernan and his wife Margaret. They shot my diet to bits with great food and company.

Then went down to Melbourne for a few days to catch up with Family, Our son and wife, Hywel and Nadine and visited Aunties and cousins who also destroyed my diet which is only temporary whilst on this trip by the look of things. We had not been to Melbourne for over 17 years so a lot of changes especially in the road system. It was fantastic to catch up with the families again.

We then returned to Echuca and met up with our travelling partners for the next 3-4 months Derek and Marilyn Whyte, whom I joined up with in '63. They are great company and have a sense of humour to match the best. They then took us on to Robinvale on the Murray where they grew up and met some of the family who were marvellous and very friendly to us. They also showed us around the area and also visited a vineyard and saw the workings of picking and packing the grapes and they gave us a box of red crimson seedless grapes to go away with. We ate and shared them before we crossed the fruit fly borders too.

From there went to Mildura for a couple of days once again only a couple of metres away from the banks of the Murray at the 'van park. Beautiful area and we had a nice relaxing time during the days and an invigorating time during happy hour ( or sundowners).

From there we stayed at Wellington and Normanville prior to arriving at Moana Beach about 40 kms south of Adelaide to stay 6 days over the Easter period. Here we met up with Bob Stupple and his wife Pat.Derek will have his vehicle serviced and get new tyres here and I hope to get the 'van rear vision camera fixed and the indicators on the van have also been disrupted by lack of LED lights.

We move on then to visit the Fleurieu Peninsular and then head up north to Woomera and Roxby downs before travelling the Oodnadatta track and on to Ayers Rock. This of course will be the subject of my next travelogue.

We trust everybody is in good health and would love to hear from any of you.

Best regards

Gareth (Tank) and Phyllis

PS Annette & Peter got your travelogue this morning from UK Keep enjoying yourself and love to Alicia and wish her a Happy 30th





A litle dit from Mick Gallagher when touring in India in March 09

I am at present in Udaipur NW India on a tour. Today just witness a 'Taliban' Parade through town celebrating Mohammad's birthday. Back in Sydney Wed 25th March, have a week at home and then booked in to the Mater Hospital at North Sydney/Crows Nest for a hip replacement on Wed 01 April (April Fool's Day).

I spent a day in Mumbai but didn't have time to go for an audition at Bollywood or find a Slumdog millionaire princess. Next time eh!

Namustay.

Mick Gallagher. Still a QMG at heart.




Mike and Jill Hogan arriving in the Shaky Isles


Only minutes ashore & I'm using the Maori tongue , I suppose that makes me a ' cunning linguist ' ?  







Ron, with Peter's kind permission, I thought I would copy you in on a nice coincidence that occurred recently and maybe you would like to include a mention in your newsletter. Just a bit of human interest.

My wife, Dianne and I have just returned home after a two week cruise on MS Volendam, around New Zealand with Holland America Line. As it turned out, on the first formal evening (tux and gongs), I got talking to Peter Pagett and we very quickly discovered we had both been at Leeuwin together in the 7th intake. Not only that, he was pals with my 'squarie' at the time, WROT Dianne Bennett who later became my wife. Dianne was with me on the voyage of course, and as you can imagine, we had plenty to talk about. What a small world!

Peter didn't make it to Freo' for this year's reunion but this chance meeting did fill in a gap for him. We were able to answer a lot of questions of each other about long lost buddies and I have some nice photos from back in '63 that I will forward separately to Peter. Anyways, in the mean time, here is a couple of happy snaps from on board MS Volendam for the record.

I thought I might mention that wearing the gongs was the trigger for us to start up a conversation on the Volendam, otherwise we wouldn't probably have gotten to know each other. I mention this because it does prove the old saying that folks shouldn't be shy to wear their gongs when going formal - not just on ANZAC Day. "Wear them, 'cause you earned them".


Peter Pagett & Neville Thomas. MS Volendam, Dec 2008.


L-R Dianna & Peter Pagett, Neville & Dianne Thomas. On board MS Volendam, Dec 2008.


Smooth sailing in 2009

Nifty Nev Thomas
R94130



Weekly News 19 April 2009


G'day All,





We had the dedication ceremony today for Mumbles and Gary Devlin. All Gary's living relations bar one who is in the States attended the ceremony. Mike Hogan and Phil Narramore spoke on his behalf, with Phil donating the money to pay for the dedication plaque. Mumbles wife Gail and daughter Jakelin were in Queensland representing NSW in Dragon Boating. Gail has indicated she intends to visit the Chapel. Magoo spoke on behalf of Mumbles and paid for the dedication plaque. The three speakers did themselves proud.



A mistake on the service programme indicated Gary died in 1986 aged 77. Mike Hogan was looking for him under the pews. Julie, his wife reckons he is still around and arranged the typo.



Apologies were given for Schubes who is in the Middle East working and Derby Munroe who was a shipmate of both Gary and Mumbles.



Besides Mike, Phil and Magoo, other 63er's who attended were Brissles Lassau, Spook Cairns, Mick Gallagher and myself. Mick as you know has recently had a hip replacement. He is recovering rapidly, is no longer using crutches but is using a cane. Photos of the event will be included in the Dedications page of the website when Mick and Mike forward their photos.







SUBJECT TWITCH HAWKINS







Kev Uttley sent the following email containing the attached photo




Hi Ron --- we were represented at Twitch's funeral -- see attached photo -- yours truly plus Ken (Smoo) Smith, ex PO Bill Pearce (Derwent and Brisbane) and Bill? Crouch --- photo taken at Gaythorne RSL where the family had a wake -- the old Padre did an excellent job, told us all a few stories about Twitch we didn't know and what a great bloke he was even more than we already knew -- Ken Smith also did a great job as main speaker and also filled us in on a few good yarns -- Twitch would have been pretty happy with the event and no doubt would have enjoyed the few beers with us at the RSL afterwards if he hadn't been booked prior to catch up with a few others in Heavens Ex Sailors Mess. --- kev


SUBJECT TANK EVANS TRAVELLING THE GREAT SOUTH LAND


Tank Evans has forwarded the following email on his travels:

G'day Folks,

Well Phyllis and I are on another journey exploring our great country. We have been on the road for over 3 weeks already and have so far only travelled in so called civilised and populated areas. Still, we have had an interesting and enjoyable time. Although it's disappointing that Phyllis is not so keen at caravaning as I am. She does of course enjoy the happy hour(s) involved later in the day. Myself, I am overdosing on caffiene via Pepsi Max, have to look after the figure of course. I feel left out sometimes now being a non drinker for over 2 years (sob). Buy I still seem to loud and crude without the grog still.

We left Bellmere and headed inland down towards Echuca on the Murray via Goondiwinda and to stay at Dubbo with Dolly and Lil Gray and forgot they were in F 1 J 1 on holidays. We do however hope to meet up with them on our trip along the way at somewhere yet to be determined. So got to Echuca earlier and met up with an ex sparker Kerry Heffernan and his wife Margaret. They shot my diet to bits with great food and company.

Then went down to Melbourne for a few days to catch up with Family, Our son and wife, Hywel and Nadine and visited Aunties and cousins who also destroyed my diet which is only temporary whilst on this trip by the look of things. We had not been to Melbourne for over 17 years so a lot of changes especially in the road system. It was fantastic to catch up with the families again.

We then returned to Echuca and met up with our travelling partners for the next 3-4 months Derek and Marilyn Whyte, whom I joined up with in '63. They are great company and have a sense of humour to match the best. They then took us on to Robinvale on the Murray where they grew up and met some of the family who were marvellous and very friendly to us. They also showed us around the area and also visited a vineyard and saw the workings of picking and packing the grapes and they gave us a box of red crimson seedless grapes to go away with. We ate and shared them before we crossed the fruit fly borders too.

From there went to Mildura for a couple of days once again only a couple of metres away from the banks of the Murray at the 'van park. Beautiful area and we had a nice relaxing time during the days and an invigorating time during happy hour ( or sundowners).

From there we stayed at Wellington and Normanville prior to arriving at Moana Beach about 40 kms south of Adelaide to stay 6 days over the Easter period. Here we met up with Bob Stupple and his wife Pat.Derek will have his vehicle serviced and get new tyres here and I hope to get the 'van rear vision camera fixed and the indicators on the van have also been disrupted by lack of LED lights.

We move on then to visit the Fleurieu Peninsular and then head up north to Woomera and Roxby downs before travelling the Oodnadatta track and on to Ayers Rock. This of course will be the subject of my next travelogue.

We trust everybody is in good health and would love to hear from any of you.

Best regards

Gareth (Tank) and Phyllis

PS Annette & Peter got your travelogue this morning from UK Keep enjoying yourself and love to Alicia and wish her a Happy 30th
(this has been copied to the web site in the 'travel stories'.


SUBJECT JIM BUSH'S PHOTOS - NOSTALAGIA


Jim Bush forwarded the following email

Hi Rugby



I was going through some old photos and came across 2 photos that were taken on the Vung Tau Ferry ( Sydney) during one of my trips to Vietnam. I can’t remember which trip it was but it would have been between 1965 – 1966 or 1969 – 1970.



They were taken on the F’Castle of Sydney whilst anchored in Vung Tau when a couple of the local dancing girls were brought onboard to put on a show for the troops. The first photo shows the girls doing a traditional dance in traditional dress and the second photo shows the girls doing a Go-Go dance in western sixties dress.



I thought I would share these with you and you may wish to put them on the web site for others to reminisce.



Cheers



Jim



The photos have been inserted in 'photos' on the website. Those were the days.



SUBJECT NAVY POEM


And another poem to go on the same page







Let There Be No Moaning at the Bar

Old sailors sit
And chew the fat
About things that used to be,
Of the things they've seen'
The places they've been,
When they ventured out to sea.

They remembered friends
From long ago,
The times they had back then,
The money they spent,
The beer they drank,
In their days as sailing men.

Their lives are lived
In the days gone by
With the thoughts that forever last.
Of the bell bottom blues,
Round white hats,
And good times in their past.

They recall long nights
With the moon so bright
Far out into the lonely sea.
The thoughts they had
As youthful lads,
When their lives were wild and free.

They know so well
How their hearts would swell
When the flag fluttered proud and free.
The underway pennant
Such a beautiful sight
As they plowed through an angry sea.

They talked of the scran
the chefs would make
And the shrill of the bosuns pipe.
How salt spray would fall
Like sparks from hell
When a storm struck in the night.

They remember old shipmates
Already gone
Who forever hold a spot in their heart,
When sailors were bold,
And friendships would hold,
Until death ripped them apart.

They speak of nights
Spent in bawdy houses
On many foreign shore,
Of the beer they'd down
As gathering around,
Telling jokes with a busty whore.

Their sailing days
Are gone away,
Never again will they cross the brow.
They have no regrets,
They know they are blessed,
For honoring the sacred vow.

Their numbers grow less
With each passing day
As the final muster begins,
There's nothing to lose,
All have paid their dues,
And they'll sail with shipmates again.

I've heard them say
Before getting underway
That there's still some sailing to do,
They'll say with a grin that their ship has come in,

And the Good Lord is commanding the crew.













Have a good week



cheers



Ron



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To read further details of the the Avey's trip around OZClick here to download this file


To read details of the Avey's overland Aussie trip click here

 
Russel and Joy Dale were pleased to spend an hour or two with Dave "Larry" Kent at Leeuwin in April. Though they grew up together in Ballarat, joined the Navy together, spent the year at LEEUWIN, then rarely crossed paths until the 63 reunions. The Dales reside in Grovedale Victoria and Dave lives in Bundaberg.