W3 Company - News


link to more news beginning June 2006 - news archive

Roll Call [31 May 2006]
Chris Stock and Ben Te Namu have joined EVSA, anyone know their email addresses..? 
offer comment here 
[have located Chris Stock - no email however]
Dave Wrights Grave [27 April 2006]from left to right: Smiley Haua (V2), Doc Welsh (161 & W3), Richard Bennett (W3), John Patmore (V4), Aussie Young (V5), Andy Anderson (W3), Rapa Whiu (V5), Max Hunter (161), Major Grant Day, 2 Cants and WO1 Kevin Collins, 2 Cants
David Wrights grave in the Esk Valley Church just out of St Andrews in South Canterbury.  Each year the South Canterbury Ex Viet Nam Veterans and others parade at Wrights grave and recite the ode, lay poppies and the Last Post and Reveille are sounded. Some years there may only be 4 or 5, other years 10 or 12 attend.  This year there were 18.  from left to right: Smiley Haua (V2), Doc Welsh (161 and W3), Richard Bennett (W3), John Patmore (V4), Aussie Young (V5), Andy Anderson (W3), Rapa Whiu (V5), Max Hunter (161), Major Grant Day, 2 Cants and WO1 Kevin Collins, 2 Cants. Major Day’s wife and two daughters also attended as did the three children of the Bugler Les Glendinning, Timaru Municipal Band and ex 2 Cants member. Judy Stonehouse sister of the late Lt Ian Glendenning (V5) also attended. 
The photos are not top quality due to the bad light at 0725 and the persistent precipitation, (bloody drizzle).   Cheers Peter Anderson
ANZAC DAY - We Will Remember Them...! [25 April 2006]
Pte DN Wright,  RNZIR  DOW 19 March 1970
Pte JL Gurnick,  RNZIR  KIA    29 May 1970
Pte T Cooper,    RNZIR  DOW  11 October 1970
Update Cribb and Campbell [17 April 2006]
Sunray spoke to both
Danny Campbell and Phil Cribb recently and advised that "both have non operational computers and were not aware of the website. Suggested to them that they have a look using a friend/relation/neighbour computer or come and pay me a visit when they are passing through Palmerston North - we will wait and see. Both were in good health and wished me to pass on their best wishes to you and all of our ex members." 
Update Jim Oliver [2 April 2006]
Bruce Young spotted a vehicle number plate in Arrowtown 'W3NAM' and checked out the owner, none other than Jim Oliver ex-1 Pl.  Jim runs a mobile van in the Queenstown area filtering cooking oils for restaurants.  Contact is 027 246 3886
Missing in Action [14 March 2006]
EVSA 'Contact' reports that
Bill Teller and Gordon Alex have moved from their known addresses.  Anyone still in contact with them..?  offer comment here
Year of Veteran  [YoV] Links: [9 March 2006]
In recognition of the 90th Anniversary of the RNZRSA the New Zealand Government has designated 2006 as the ‘Year of the Veteran', a year in which New Zealand communities will have the opportunity to commemorate and honour the sacrifice and service of New Zealand 's servicemen and women. 
he following links allow members to apply for their YoV lapel badge and certificate:

RNZRSA explanation of veteran entitlements
Certificate of Appreciation and Lapel Badge application

Helen Clark Launches Year of the Veteran: [6 March 2006]

Address at the Year of the Veteran launch
Monday, 6 March 2006, 1:30 pm
Speech: New Zealand Government         
Premier House, Wellington

I am very pleased today to be launching the "Year of the Veteran", a year when we in New Zealand express our appreciation of the contribution made to our country by the service and sacrifice of our veterans.
Our government has given a high priority to recognising the service of New Zealanders overseas - through the erection of major memorials, commemoration of significant military anniversaries, the commissioning of new histories of past conflicts, dealing with past medallic grievances, boosting the Office of Veterans' Affairs, and providing a pathway for reconciliation for Viet Nam Veterans.
Last year a decision was taken, with the full support of the Royal New Zealand RSA to designate 2006 as the Year of the Veteran as a further step to show our nation's gratitude for what our veterans have done, and to enable a greater public understanding of the service they undertook on behalf of New Zealand.
In  or recent years we have commemorated six significant sixtieth anniversaries from World War Two: for the Battle of Crete; the Battle for El Alamein; the Battle for Cassino; the D-Day landings; and the end o f the war in Europe and then in the Pacific. We also commemorated the ninetieth anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli last year.
In this Year of the Veteran, 2006, we also commemorate a sixtieth and a ninetieth anniversary; the sixtieth anniversary of the return home of New Zealand troops from Europe and the Pacific, and the ninetieth anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
This year, preparations are also underway for next year's ninetieth anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, which remains the worst military disaster in New Zealand history in terms of lives lost in a single day.
For a small nation, New Zealand's service commitment has been huge.
In the First World War, New Zealand, with a military-age male population of barely 250,000, sent more than 100,000 soldiers overseas. 18,000 of these men never returned home; another 41,000 were wounded.
During the Second War, New Zealand once more made a massive commitment. Over 200,000 men and women served in our armed forces, and 135,000 of these were mobilised overseas. With over 36,000 casualties, our casualty rate was proportionally the highest of Britain's Commonwealth allies.
The last time that New Zealand as a whole had to face the reality of a state of war was during World War II. Since then, however, our service personnel have served in many conflicts, emergencies, and peace keeping operations all over the world.
The veterans who are here with us today represent deployments ranging from WWII to Korea, Malaya and Borneo, Viet Nam, Bosnia, the Gulf, East Timor, Bougainville and Afghanistan.
These varied deployments, some of which are still in progress, attest to the ongoing impact and significance of our veterans' service.
I want to especially acknowledge the Viet Nam Veterans here today. The Viet Nam War was this country's longest and most controversial military engagement of the last century.
I know that for many veterans of that conflict, there is still a feeling that the country doesn't fully understand the realities of New Zealand's involvement, and the aftermath for veterans and their families.
Outstanding issues remain around the exposure of New Zealand forces to a toxic environment, and we established a joint working group to look into these and other issues.
Former State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, has been appointed to chair the Joint Working Group and a consultative process. A final report to Government on what action can be taken to assist in the resolution of the grievances felt by veterans and their families is expected soon.
I understand that around seven hundred people, a high proportion of whom are actual Viet Nam veterans, have been consulted during this process.
It is important for us to remember that the impact of military service is felt not only by veterans themselves, but also by their families, and their communities. During the Year of the Veteran, we should also recognise the role played by families and friends in supporting our veterans.
The Year of the Veteran will see activities and initiatives taking place nationwide to honour and commemorate the service of New Zealand's veterans and our nation's proud service history.
The key aim of the Year of the Veteran is to provide opportunities for veterans to be recognised in their own communities. To assist that, the government has established a one million dollar, contestable Community Grants Fund.
This fund will be available to local authorities, ex-service associations, and other community organisations such as schools and local museums which seek support to organise commemorations of the work of New Zealand's servicemen and women.
Applications are already rolling in for various projects, and decisions will be made soon on the first round of grant allocation.
Local projects might include the refurbishment or rededication of local war memorials and honour rolls; local veterans "appreciation days"; collections of veterans' stories; or concerts, exhibitions, and other events in the community which commemorate local veterans.
In addition, $200,000 is being made available for events with a nationwide focus, to be planned in conjunction with the RSA.
2006 also marks the ninetieth anniversary of the founding of the Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association, an organisation with a proud history of dedication to the welfare and commemoration of our sevicemen and women, past and present.
Special Year of the Veteran Certificates of Appreciation and Lapel Badges will be presented this year as an expression of appreciation to those who have served New Zealand in a recognised war or emergency.
Every veteran of a recognised war or emergency is eligible for this recognition of New Zealand's enduring appreciation and gratitude for their service. Any veteran can apply, and the RSA has already made veterans aware of the process.
Shortly I will be very proud to present the first of these certificates and lapel badges to the veterans who are here with us today.
In this Year of the Veteran, we wish also to recognise those members of our communities who have done outstanding volunteer work for veterans. The service recognised could include volunteer welfare work and maintenance of cemeteries and memorials. Year of the Veteran Commendations will offer a way of saying thank you to those who undertake such service.
In 2006, the Year of the Veteran, New Zealand will have the opportunity to show our veterans that our gratitude for their service does not dim with the passing of time or changing circumstances. We must as a nation continue to be aware of the value and meaning of their service.
It is my pleasure now to formally launch the Year of the Veteran: 2006.

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Update - Mark Binning [14 Feb 06]
"Back in the Hawke's Bay now. Have been doing well in patches but not feeling so good today. Trying to keep healthy and exercise while I wait to see my Cardiologist here. I suppose used to be a healthy one, but heart problems can strike anyone. Everyone should look at their lifestyles - check their cholesterol, diet, exercise regime's, smoking, drinking (change to red wine).
I have done some writing but to be frank not much, have had time away from the computer and any work stuff - just haven't been in the mood to spend time at the computer. Too much on my mind. But I will get there in time - It's a difficult period and I don't seem to be handling it as well as I could.
I'll keep in touch... Mark"
National Reunion Attendance - Palmerston North 2-5 June 2006 [9 Feb 06]
George Preston and Neil Ure are first to confirm they will be in Palmerston North at the National Reunion.  If you plan to attend send the webmaster an email and have your name added to the W3 attendance list.
Website Statistics [for January 2006]
"171 unique visitors came to the site, as determined by typical behaviour of browsers with a non-rotating IP address and including a projection of the true number of visitors with rotating IP addresses. The web site received 358 visits. A typical visitor examined 19.64 distinct files before leaving the site. A typical visit lasted for 6.57 minutes. The longest visit lasted for 62 minutes." AO article was top read.
Wright and Gurnick Photos Wanted [9 Feb 06]
The website is seeking photos of Dave Wright and John Gurnick to publish on the Remembrance page, anyone able to help..?  Also need individual names for the photos in the photo gallery.

No Photos - Peter Anderson [27 Jan 06]
Peter was approached to find some photos for the website.  His answer:  "I haven’t got many photos because of the following reason. When we got the chance to go to the PX I bought a $US50 Yashika Electronic Instamatic and merrily took photos, and either sending the film back to Mr Lee, or sealing the film cassettes in a box in my trunk I can’t recall now. When we RT’d to Singapore, there was a lot of films to be developed, and I said as I was going to England on leave they could wait until I got back and his backlog would have diminished. I arrived back from England with more films and gave them to him to develop. When I went to pick them up he said they were all blank, could he look at the camera, (no the lens cover wasn’t left on) and it turned out that while the camera clicked and advanced the film the shutter had not worked and the film was not exposed. The camera could not be fixed and so it took and failed a swimming lesson at the Singapore waterfront."

Roy Whatarangi and Bruce Young - Christchurch [16 Jan 06]

Roy and Bruce both work at Christchurch Airport, Roy as a security guard for Chubb and Bruce as an IT engineer with Air New Zealand. Roy's daughter Leah also works with Air New Zealand.  Their email addresses are in the nominal roll.



Heart Attack - Mark Binning [14 Jan 06]
Following email was received from Mark Binning after he was asked for the 2nd half of the mortar section history.  "Actually, I'm still in Fox Glacier. The day before I was to return to the North Island (3rd) I suffered quite a major heart attack and did a favourable impression of "Man Dying" before giving the West Coast emergency services a very thorough testing. To add to the drama I had to pick a day when the weather was bad and rescue chopper ops touch and go. However, they managed to get in and whisk me to Greymouth following the coast and at quite low level - not quite the ride I would have liked since I was cast in a stretcher on the floor.  I noted in an e-mail to an old friend of mine in the US - a former marine officer with two tours in SVN - that this was my first chopper ride since coming off our last op in '70.  Ed's response was: "Holly Shit! What a way to get a flash back. You didn't take any rounds on the way did you?" Funny guy.
Anyway, the people in Greymouth critical care unit got clot busting drugs into me and saved the day. I have recovered very well and was out last Saturday.  Have stayed on here recovering and waiting until I'm fit enough to travel.  Bit of a bum start to the New Year, but the good news (at least for me) is that I'm still around. I have a lot of rest and recovery ahead so I should have more time to complete the [mortar section] history."  Mark stresses he's recovering well.

link to more news from before December 2005 - news archive