W3 Company - News


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  W3 Company RNZIR 40th Anniversary Reunion

Christchurch Friday 19 to Sunday 21 November 2010

programme, registration and attendance detail here  Photos are online here

merry Christmas and a happy New Year veterans..!

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year..!

Wherever you find yourself this Christmas, in New Zealand or overseas, with family or alone, remember you belong to a veterans community who shared many experiences and care enough for each other to have reunited again in Christchurch last month.  It is my prayer that such fellowship will be yours again during the Christmas period.   

Best wishes to all veterans and their families/whanau as we [hopefully] have the opportunity to relax and unwind and enjoy fellowship and food aplenty..!

My thanx to all the veterans who have supported the website with stories and news items during 2010 - webmaster

Why was Having the Colours at the Reunion Significant..? - Bruce Young [4 December 2010]
Maori Television filmed the Colours at the Dining-in during the Reunion and later asked why the Colours were significant.  "
I have a favour to ask (another…). I was wondering if you’d be able to give me a quick rundown on why the Parade of the Regimental Colours at the Reunion was so significant.  I understand this has ceremonial significance but that’s as much as I know.  It would be nice to be able to do a little piece on this for ANZAC Day as well as your stories."  I wrote my reply from my perspective as Chair Organising Committee for our 40th Anniversary Reunion where the theme by most speakers was to reflect on the journey and achievements of W3 Coy RNZIR...

Why was having the Colours at the Reunion significant..?  It was to show the veterans their journey and to help with their healing.
Every professional infantry soldier, after first doing All Corps basic training at Waiouru, would be posted to 1st Battalion Depot Burnham where he did his infantry training and was awarded a red diamond to wear on his uniform that signified he was a trained professional infantry soldier [never use infanteer…].  As part of this training every soldier was taught the regimental history, the feats of 20 Battalion or 28 Maori battalion etc, and how their feats of courage and sacrifice were recorded as battle honours on the Regimental Colour.   In effect these veterans were presented as  ‘Giants’ of courage and endeavour that we should want to emulate.
So 1st Bn Depot was the spiritual birthplace of each New Zealand infantry soldier, a place he had to go to prove himself before he was accepted for active service.  But 1st Bn Depot as the depot of the 1st Battalion as such did not have Colours, these being with the 1st Battalion in Malaysia.  
Queens Colour 1RNZIR from period W3 Coy deployed [NZDF]  REgimental Colour 1RNZIR from period W3 Coy deployed [NZDF]
There are two Colours, they are made out of silk and gold thread and reflect a units history of loyalty and service.  And it is the nature and mana of the Colours that they are rarely on display, always guarded and never touched with a bare hand.  
The Queens Colour is only paraded in the presence of the Queen, an heir, or the Governor-General.   It can however be displayed at Officers Mess dining-in nights, or other mess nights when the battalion Commander [CO] is present.  The Queens Colour has no battle honours, just the crest of the monarch and the unit identity and reflects trust by and loyalty to the Sovereign.   
The Regimental Colour is the soldiers Colour, it has their ancestors battle honours displayed along with the unit identity.  The Regimental Colour can be paraded any time the CO so directs, and it was paraded at least twice in Malaysia in the period leading up to our deployment to Vietnam  but the soldiers would have to have been part of the Escort to the Colour to see it.  They would never have seen the Queens Colour as there was no Regal occasion to justify its presence.  
[The 1RNZIR Regimental Colour carried in the photo is the one illustrated above - these Colours were laid up in April 1997 and the present Colours are very different in appearance.  The old and present Colours of 1 RNZIR are shown at this link although the present Regimental Colour shown has the uncorrected 'South Vietnam" dates of 1967 -1970 which was changed at Tribute08].

likely late 1969, Capt Jim Brown MC guard commander, VIP likely NZ High Commisioner to Malaysia [Torrance]
likely late 1969, Capt Jim Brown MC guard commander, VIP likely NZ High Commisioner to Malaysia [Torrance]

This photo has the Regimental Colour on parade in Terendak in late 1969, the ensign is Lt John Fisher of W3 Company, the guard commander [with sword] is Capt Jim Brown MC W3 Company 2ic, and most of the soldiers were to deploy to Vietnam with W3 Company.
Some years after Vietnam the battle honour ‘South Vietnam’ was added by Royal assent to the the Regimental Colour of 1RNZIR.   We had now become ‘Giants’ for future generations of infantry soldiers.
In the mid-1970’s [probably 1974] a case was made to create a new battalion from 1 Bn Depot, once approved it was called 2nd/1st Battalion RNZIR – it could not be called 2 RNZIR as that battalion already existed as a territorial battalion and a regular battalion had precedence over a territorial unit so it became the ‘second 1st Battalion’ RNZIR which is a neat slight of hand.    So the spiritual home of infantry soldiers now had their own colours and although Vietnam wasn’t one of its battle honours the Regimental Colour had the honours of all the Giants we had emulated in Vietnam.  Time to go full circle and start the journey from the beginning.  The Reunion provided the opportunity.
It helped that CGS had apologised to veterans and welcomed us back into the NZDF family.  It helped that the Colonel of the Regiment and the Honorary Colonel of 2/1 RNZIR were both W3 veterans and friends.  But when the CO 2/1 RNZIR announced out of the blue that the Queens Colour would join the Regimental Colour at the Dining-in I realised it actually came down to a real respect from today’s soldiers for Vietnam veterans, much like we had for WW2 veterans.  And the W3 veterans knew, despite all the talk about what a great job we did, that they had never before had the honour of dining in the presence of ‘The Colours’ – it said more than respect, it probably said ‘welcome home’ in a really tangible sense.  So there was healing, restoration of mana, renewed pride and comradeship.  And the CO said, when proposing the toast to ‘The Regiment’, that he saw us as the ‘Giants’ that encouraged him and his soldiers today.  Some of our soldiers had never been paid that compliment.  They enjoyed it.
Finally, journey over.

I was unable to find images of the 2/1 RNZIR colours as were present at  the Reunion to illustrate my reply.
Post Reunion Points - webmaster [30 November 2010]
The weekend programme is here photos of the Fallen during the official events -  Tom Cooper, Dave Wright, John Gurnick [Mullen]photos are here

One irony of the Friday march-in was the need for some veterans to pay their registration fees in cash, which most got from the hotel till after a quick drink.  In short order the hotel cash funds were exhausted at which point the reunion treasurer returned $2700.00 of hotel money back to the hotel as a credit against the reunion account and the hotel were then able to provide further funds for the registration process.

photos of the Fallen during the official events - Tom Cooper, Dave Wright, John Gurnick [Mullen] 

In opening the reunion at the Friday night 'meet and greet' Evan Torrance reviewed the Company programme he had written in his original AB64 notebook for 19 November 1969.  Supper included 80 crayfish and other seafood courtesy of Ross and Jill Dunlea.  The large collection of photographs displayed at the 'meet and greet' included many from the Company historical archive and not previously displayed.  The name tags for each veteran and those of his partner or whanau included a photo of the veteran taken 40-years ago, and it was difficult to reconcile the skinny youthful faces displayed with those wearing them.  [my wife kept saying she didn't know who the hot bloke in her photo was but she'd like to meet him - ed]

16 people took the all-day bus option to visit Dave Wright's grave.  The photos of the Fallen were present for all formal occasions, being looked after by volunteers between events.Evan Torrance as 1st speaker during the Dining-in [Mullens]

The dining-in with the 2/1 RNZIR Colours present was a significant highlight of the reunion.  In his after-dinner speech Honorary Colonel 2/1 RNZIR Baden Ewart took the opportunity to right an historical oversight and presented CSM Doug Mackintosh with the bottle of sparkling wine he missed out on at Vung Tau on our departure 40-years ago [Baden had been the NZ Component NCO originally responsible for the distribution of the wine in 1970].

Evan Torrance as 1st speaker during the Dining-in [Mullen]

The combination of holding the major events at the same place as the accommodation worked well, and the committee found the assistance of staff at the Latimer Lodge invaluable in adding to the unique occasion, in particular their preparation of the dining room for the formal dining-in added much to the spectacle of having the Colours present. 

There were no after-shocks during the weekend.

The photo [right] was taken at the memorial service on Sunday, Bill Compton [Aslt Pnrs] with his back to the camera, and the mortar section across the square with Doug Lewis holding the frame.  The service booklet for the memorial service is here.

The souvenir attendance certificate presented to all registered attendees including family members is here - Danny Campbell is the poster boy, the background image was taken at FSB Jill during the land clearing operation.

The general meeting held on the Sunday decided to hold a further reunion in 2-3 years time at a time and place as decided by the Officer Commanding.  Preferences expressed at the meeting were for the reunion to be held in either Auckland or Picton, with a strong Picton contingent extolling the advantages of their area.  The record of the meeting from the secretary Jill Dunlea is here.

The reunion birthday cake was made by Penny Ure and the plaster W Coy crest was auctioned off after the cake was cut.  At the start of the conference Bruce Young considered himself the youngest original member of W3 Coy turning 20 on his first patrol.  During the Dining-in it was discovered Craig Cocker was younger by about 4-months and Craig assisted the CSM [the oldest member of the original W3 Coy] to cut the cake.  Shortly afterwards Frank Ryan established that in fact he was the youngest original member having served as a 19-year old for most of the time he was with 3Pl.  All three were RF Cadet's in the period 1965 - 67.  The legal age for posting to active service was meant to have been 20-years.

Photos are online here

Kevin O'Brien the Australian Coy FOO is now a mining safety specialist and was called sev2/1RNZIR Colours entering the 2010 Reunion Dining-in [Binning]eral times during the reunion by his Australian company concerning the developing crisis at the Pike River coal mine.

The following have attendance certificates to uplift - send an address here:
Nicole and Craig Beardsley [Danny Campbell]
Ben Hona
Tony and Phyllis Panirau

Feedback from other participants [if any] will be published - send them here

2/1RNZIR Colours entering the 2010 Reunion Dining-in [Binning]

Bruce and Neil, thank you both and Blue for all the hard work and providing a great weekend.  Ross and I both really enjoyed it.  W3 certainly has some characters - Jill and Ross Dunlea

thanks for a great reunion.  That was a class act!   all your team excelled....kudos's to the lot - Mark and Fran Binning

Final Reunion Points - webmaster [12 November 2010]
Invite from Doug and Chris Mackintosh.    "We will be at home in Spencerville (a 25 minute drive to the outskirts of Christchurch) on Saturday 20 November 1.30 - 4.30pm.   If any of you including your partner and family want a break from the bright lights of the city and decide to drop in you will be very welcome.   Our address will be available on the notice board on Friday night or you can get it by email from us."

There were more earthquakes near Taupo yesterday than aftershocks in Christchurch - none of them noticeable.

John and Debbie Mullen have a 12-seater RSA van with spare seats and are offering rides from Picton to people travelling South on the ferry - call 03 573 7428 to make contact.

Following invitation has been posted on the Vietnam Vets blog:  W3 [about 50 veterans with kin] will gather in Christchurch next weekend to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their withdrawal from 1ATF.  Most out-of-town veterans are staying at the Latimer Lodge.  There is a meet and greet session on the Friday night from 1900 hours at the Latimer Conference Centre, local veterans are invited to the session to catch up with old mates.  A small door charge to cover supper will be requested, the bar is cash.  If interested check the W3 website to see who's attending - www.w3vietnam.org.nz

10 November 1970 - Welcome Home W3..!  40-years ago today we were at some point airborne bound for Singapore, leaving behind our reinforcements to V5, and a small rear details under Sgt Hemana.  It was long claimed that one reason we were never welcomed home was we never arrived as a formed body, unlike 161 Bty who did and who were given a civic welcome in Auckland where they were spat on and otherwise abused by a small crowd of trainee Labour party leaders - figure out which welcome you preferred..!

The reunion timeline feature now ceases, I hope the trip down memory lane was useful..!

In an email Monday that stunned the Reunion chairman, RSM 2/1 RNZIR confirmed that the unit would not only be displaying the unit Regimental Colour at the dining-in on Saturday night, but also the Queens Colour.  It is a rare honour for old soldiers to be present when both Colours are displayed and I suspect many of our veterans will never have seen the Queens Colour.

Maori TV will be present during the weekend doing ANZAC Day interviews with some veterans [previously arranged - you can relax otherwise] and filming the Dining-in.

6 and awakey...

Reunion Points - webmaster [7 November 2010]
Registration for the Dining-in has closed, there are 106 people attending the dinner.  Veterans are still welcome to turn up to the Friday night 'meet and greet', and the Sunday service but will be asked to pay a small charge to meet costs.

The official photographer has been stood down after he requested a $1500 'attendance fee', we have not been able to replace him and the fall-back plan is for wives to be the 'happy snappers' and the shots can be shared via the website.

If not already done so those attending with family need to remind them of the dress code for Saturday night, while all veterans need to get a haircut and shine your shoes...

Read the website regularly for updates, and check the previous newsletters for points.  Expect a further update in a week.  11 and awakey...

As at tonight there have been 2670 Canterbury aftershocks, most of them unnoticed.  [a colleague of mine at work lives next door to the epicentre of various after-shocks in Rolleston and he and his wife still want to buy the property...!]

NOTICAS FATAL - 553692 Sgt Hohepa [Lima] Karaka RNZIR Coy HQ - webmaster [4 November 2010]
Turangi RSA advise that Lima Karaka Coy HQ, passed away 2nd November 2010 at Turangi.  A Service for Lima was held at the Turangi RSA Cemetery today, 4 November 2010 at 1100hrs.  Lima was a widower with no children.  send tributes here.  Messages to:  The Karaka Family 49 Ohuanga Road
Turangi 3334
Lima served, in one tour, with V4, and W3.

I wish to send my condolences to the whanau of Sgt Karaka for their and our loss, may he rest in peace. 
Ben Hona 726845

Rest in Peace Uncle Limo........ He was a loved son, brother, uncle, great uncle, soldier and he was a father also to Ra Karaka.  Limo was a great rugby player.  He played against the touring British Lions in 1957.  He was nicknamed Limo the leopard after his favourite TV character.  We love you and will never forget you!!  He joins his brother Miki Karaka of the 28th Maori Battalion KIA.  Moe Mai ra Uncle.... lots of love, your sisters Charlotte and Maud and their families. xox 

Defence White Paper - webmaster [2 November 2010]
Those interested in reading the just released 'Defence White Paper 2010' on the shape and direction for NZDF in the next 25-years click on the link [need Adobe reader]
Govt working through war pension report - Media Statement [1 November 2010]

The Government is undertaking detailed costings and analysis of the Law Commission’s report on the review of the War Pensions Act 1954, Veterans’ Affairs Minister Judith Collins said 29 October 2010.  “I am pleased with progress to date on this large and complex piece of work,” Ms Collins said.  The Law Commission spent nearly three years producing its detailed final report, which contained 170 recommendations to the Government. The report was presented to the Government on 1 June.  In the report the Law Commission stated that it was unable to provide detailed costing of its proposals. The Law Commission recommended that the Government “obtain rigorous costings before making decisions on the implementation of the recommendations in this report”.

“The Government has accepted this recommendation and a considerable amount of work is going into determining the financial impacts of the recommendations,” Ms Collins said.  “It is important that the Government considers all aspects of the report carefully to ensure that the law provides suitable support for elderly veterans as well as modern day veterans.  In addition, proposals for changes to existing entitlements must be carefully considered to ensure that none of our elderly veterans are any worse off under any new system.”

A key recommendation of the report is the introduction of new legislation with two separate schemes – one that applies to all service prior to 1 April 1974, and one that applies to veterans with qualifying service after that date.

“That a system for veterans with service after 1974 has been proposed reflects the complex needs of veterans of multiple deployments,” Ms Collins said.  Costings and analysis of the recommendations are ongoing.
40-years ago:  the Timeline historical series for November 1970 - webmaster [31 October 2010]
At 1055H 40-years ago
today W Coy rifle platoons were complete in Nui Dat for the final time, leaving the mortar section at NDP HELEN as the only W Coy element still actively engaged on operations.  Read the timeline article for November here

Comments, stories and corrections are all welcome - make an effort and send them here

EVSA Children's and Grandchildren's Trust Update- Ross Miller V3 [18 October 2010]
The Board has signed off on another tranche of grants including three from children/grandchildren resident in Australia.     The range of bursaries awarded was, as ever, eclectic and included helping an aspiring author with his research; facilitating attendance at the World Harp Congress; recognising excellence in Dance; sporting achievement; assistance with tertiary study and more.  The number of applications received meant that, reluctantly, the Board had to decline those from applicants who had previously received assistance.  The closing date for applications for the next funding round is Friday, 18 March 2011.    For information of the Trust and how to apply go to our website at www.evsayouthtrust.org.nz  Ross Miller - BOARD CHAIR

Never too old for star-dust - Evan Torrance [13 October 2010]

Government to issue new military medals to up to 160,000 people - webmaster [11 October 210]

The new medals will be available to anybody who served in the military, even part time, for a minimum of three years, Prime Minister John Key, announced at the RNZRSA annual council meeting in Wellington today.  He said Cabinet had approved $3.85 million to make and distribute the medals.

''The medal is for those who have served in the military for more than three years since World War Two, and those who did compulsory military training or national military service.  This is a fantastic way to give our servicemen and women the recognition they deserve.''

Applications would open next year and the first batch of medals would be delivered soon after.  Families of deceased ex-servicemen or woman could also apply, Mr Key said.

The Government has announced a new medal for military service.
Once approved by the Queen, the New Zealand Defence Service Medal will be awarded to those who have served in the military for more than three years since World War II, as well as to those who have done compulsory military training or national military service.  More than 160,000 people are estimated to be eligible for the medal.  The initial call for applications will be restricted to those aged 50 and over, but after six to 12 months it will be opened up to all others.  Cabinet has approved $3.85 million to make and distribute the medal.

New Defence Force medal announced
The New Zealand Defence Service Medal announced by the Prime Minister today closes a long-standing gap in medallic recognition of military service, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says.  “Military service has unique requirements – a commitment to serving the Crown, being liable for operational service, and being subject to military discipline and the demands and constraints of the military lifestyle.  The new medal recognises non-operational military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders.  Those who have served in the military for more than three years since World War Two, and those who did compulsory military training or national military service, will qualify."
“The Government places high value on non-operational service. Those service people were ready and willing to serve on operations and provided essential support to those who did,” the Minister said.  “It is estimated that there are more than 160,000 people eligible for the medal. Of those people, a large number have not been entitled to any medallic recognition to date.  They served their country loyally and well in a wide range of roles and contexts, but not on operations, and they do not therefore qualify for campaign medals.  “In creating the New Zealand Defence Service Medal the Government has delivered on a National Party campaign commitment to appropriately recognise a large group of New Zealanders who have stood ready to put their lives on the line for their country.”

For further information go to medals.nzdf.mil.nz and medals.nzdf.mil.nz/nzdsm/faqs.html

Note: The NZDF is NOT currently accepting applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal.  It is anticipated that a call for applications will happen at the earliest in late February 2011.

Reunion Points - webmaster [11 October 2010]
Official registrations close 6 October.  If you are coming to Christchurch you need to indicate your intention to the committee, make a booking to stay somewhere, and figure out how you want to pay the registration fee.  Use the registration form to indicate your intention to attend, book at the Latimer Lodge if stuck for a place to stay, and either pay into the Reunion bank account or during march-in at the Latimer Lodge from 1800 hours 19 November.  Australian based veterans - please pay on arrival, bank fees here are pretty high.

Unofficial registrations cease on 6 November if wishing to attend the Dining-in but vacancies will become limited by forward planning necessary prior to the event.  Local veterans are welcome to attend the other activities but a small cover charge applies.

There will be a further Reunion newsletter posted by mid-October

For those not able to attend the reunion there is an opportunity to offer their apology for the AGM on the Sunday.

40-years ago:  the Timeline historical series for October 1970 - webmaster [1 October 2010]
W Coy started and finished October 1970 working from their lines in NUI DAT.  When they returned to AO JUDY on 8 October, there were only three weeks of operations left in the 12-month tour.  It is likely however that October is remembered by many veterans mainly for the accidental wounding of four servicemen, one of whom succumbed to his wounds.  This in turn will confuse in many memories the proud record of service attained in the previous eleven months - read the timeline article for October 1970 at this link.

Comments, stories and corrections are all welcome - make an effort and send them here

Reunion Point - Internet Banking [27 September 2010]

when paying the reunion registration fee by internet banking please remember to add your surname and regimental number [or another clue] in the code fields so the treasurer isn't left clutching at straws...

Overseas remittances to the Reunion account might require information concerning the receiving bank:
Account Number:  030728 - 0413959 - 00

Reunion Points - webmaster [8 September 2010]

Apology:  Kia ora Bruce, As much as we would love to attend the reunion we are unable to due to family commitments.  All the best to the organising committee and I am sure we will be missing out on an awesome weekend.  Regards, Jules and Pauline Toheriri

Reunion Newsletter 2:  expect the 2nd newsletter by  the weekend [once the building stops shaking...] which will update details and publish the bank account to which those registered can make payment.  The committee will attempt to visit venues this Friday [was meant to be Monday] but we understand there is little or minimal damage to facilities.  We hear that a bunch of veterans are waiting until the last minute to register..?  If so this is making costing decisions difficult so we would prefer to hear from you before the weekend please..... UPDATEDsee this link

Christchurch Earthquake:  any local veterans or their family want to offer comments on the earthquake..?
John Fisher, Bob Upton, Deni King, and George Preston to name a few of the veterans involved in recent times in the development of Civil Defence procedures, training and control in the Canterbury and Christchurch local bodies.

40-years ago:  the Timeline historical series for September 1970 - webmaster [1 September 2010]
40-years ago
W Coy were protecting the land clearing team north of SHW15, before late in the month having a final break at VUNG TAU and then remaining in NUI DAT as the 1ATF Ready Reaction Force.  The company had several contacts, 3Pl earning Sgt Joe Yandall a MID for their four contacts between 10 and 20 September - read the timeline article for September 1970 at this link.

Comments, stories and corrections are all welcome - make an effort and send them here

Ben Te Namu located - webmaster [25 August 2010]
Ben Te Namu 2Pl moved to Auckland about 4-years ago from Lower Hutt, presently works for Kiwirail.  Contact by cell phone 021 268 6130.
NOTICAS Fatal - 623038 Lcpl Lionel Hudson Harris RNZIR Coy HQ - webmaster [14 August 2010] UPDATED
John Millar advises that Huddy Harris passed away at his home in Ashburton on 5 August 2010.  Lionel, a widower, is survived by two daughters, Annette and Deidre.  Huddy's funeral service is at the Chapel of Patterson's Funeral Services, Cnr of East and Cox Streets, Ashburton, on Tuesday 17 August 2010, at 1400 hrs.  Messages to the Harris Family, PO Box 472 Ashburton 7700 - send tributes here,
Update on NZ Defence Force Medal - webmaster [10 August 2010]
Reference: http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/medal-survey/faqs.html - 4 August 2010
The Government is considering the Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group's report on the proposed NZDF Medal.
The NZDF is NOT currently accepting applications for the planned New Zealand Defence Force Medal.  It is anticipated that a call for applications will happen before the end of this year.  It will take approximately 20 to 22 weeks from when a decision is made by the Government, before any medals are available to be issued.  There will need to be a tender process for the manufacturer(s), and then the medal and ribbon will still need to be manufactured.  The NZDF Medals Office expects a large number of people to apply for the medal and, even with extra staff to process the applications, this could potentially be a two to three year project.

40-years ago:  the Timeline historical series for August 1970 - webmaster [27 July 2010]
40-years ago
W Coy rejoined 2RAR/NZ in the field on recce and ambush ops from 2 August until 10 August, had a break at VUNG TAU from 11 - 13 August and then remained in NUI DAT as the 1ATF Ready Reaction Force.  From 23 August the Company returned to the field for a further 4-weeks [until 25 September].  The Company had no contacts with VC during August - read the timeline article for August 1970 at this link.

Comments, stories and corrections are all welcome - make an effort and send them here

Flags and Photos of our Fallen - John (Woody) Barrett, EVSA National President [23 July 2010]
EVSA hold the flags and photos of our fallen in storage in Auckland. The are available, on loan, for Sub Unit reunions. Ken Ford, our QM, controls the loan process, he can sometimes be contacted by email kenford@inspire.net.nx (depending whether his computer is working or not), or you can phone him on 09 266 9972 or 021 233 8547.  The flags and photos, of our fallen, are Taonga of our association and it is important that they be present when their comrades gather.  We would prefer that these were picked and returned by hand but it is possible to make other arrangements with Ken.  I will be putting information about the ability to borrow them in the next contact.
Type 2 Diabetes - Rick Ottaway General Manager/Secretary for War Pensions [23 July 2010]
I have noted on the EVSA noticeboard that there has been a discussion on diabetes.  The discussion started by someone picking up a post from some other website that related to Navy veterans.  I thought it would be useful if I made the conditions around Type 2 diabetes for Vietnam Veterans quite clear.  It may be useful if someone was to put the following message out to Vietnam Vets to clear up any confusion.
"Type 2 diabetes is one of the conditions included on the Presumptive List for Vietnam veterans.  All veterans who have qualifying service for Vietnam are covered by this list.  As such the only evidence required to substantiate a claim for this condition or any other condition on the presumptive list is;
1. The veteran has eligible service in Vietnam
2. The veteran has medical evidence that confirms that they have the condition. (In this case Type 2 diabetes)"

If there are any Vietnam veterans who have had Type 2 diabetes declined I would be happy to investigate their case.
Fred King - [23 July 2010]
Carol and I will not be able to attend the reunion as we will be in Europe, mainly in Italy, doing plenty of walking and some cycling.     I don’t mind the walking but am a bit nervous about cycling on the roads with those Italian drivers !

The last time I was in Europe was when you, Peter Anderson and I, along with some others, travelled on a cheap British Army chartered flight to Stansted airport in the UK [immediately after our return to Singapore].    I well remember travelling around Europe in my lightweight Singapore clothes and having to make an urgent purchase of a heavy English duffel coat in order that I could survive the European winter.

I hope the reunion goes well and please pass on my apologies and best wishes to everyone.

Reunion Points - [22 July 2010]

Whoever sent a fax registration from 'Sutherland Family Trust' fax please resend with the writing the proper side up..?  If any doubts watch the registration page to see if your registration is recorded. [2nd attempt 23rd was also blank]

Mid-August the committee intends to publish the Reunion bank account details, those registered are then able to pay their registration fee by internet banking.

Your mates coming..?  Have a look at the list of registrations, if you can't make it than email your apology for the AGM.  Where you know other veterans or the family of now-deceased veterans why not contact them to encourage them to also attend..?  This is likely to be the last official W3 reunion.

FROM:-bkowhai2gmail.com - [21 July 2010]

book me in for the reunion coming on my daihatsu Ben Hona

it is your 40th reunion and my first as I was working in Aussie for 17 years kia ora bro.

40-years ago:  the Timeline historical series for July 1970 - webmaster [1 July 2010]
40-years ago W Coy were patrolling from FSPB LE LOI almost continuously throughout July, initially when working with 8RAR and then when returning to garrison LE LOI after 8RAR abandoned the FSPB mid-month. - read the timeline article for July 1970 at this link.

Comments, stories and corrections are all welcome - make an effort and send them here

Reunion Update - Bruce Young [1 July 2010]
The W3 website has had its highest readership ever, with over 1150 unique visitors and more than 40,400 hits.  The most read page on the website in June with more than 250 visitors has been the 40th Anniversary Reunion article, so people are keeping an eye on the planning and on who has registered [or not].

Unfortunately the interest in the Reunion page has not translated into interest in registering for the Reunion, with only 19 veterans so far registered for a total of 36 total registrations to date.

While registrations don’t close for some weeks by now those attending should be putting in place plans and reservations to ensure they don’t miss what is probably ‘the last W3 reunion ever’.  If you have an issue you think the committee should consider please tell us here

The event cost has been capped at a maximum of $125.00 per person and further efforts are being made to reduce this again.

Radio Chatter - webmaster [17 June 2010]

W3 Coy Bursaries by EVSA Children's and Grandchildren's Trust - Ross Miller
Since Apr 2009 there have been three W3 Coy Bursaries awarded as follows:
- to a 14 year old student attempting two university papers in Maori language.  Understand that person is now a full time university student.
- to a 32 year old doing a Diploma in Contemporary Christian Music.
- to a 30 year old completing her Masters Degree.

Two out of the three families of W3 soldiers KIA have given permission for the Board to designate bursaries in their honour.  However for privacy reasons I am not in a position to confirm their names.   Over the same period there have
been five such bursaries awarded.  To date the Board has awarded a total of 336 bursaries ranging from $159 to $2,500.

Doug & Christine Mackintosh with Cpl Willie Apiata VC [Mackintosh]Original SAS Reunion - Doug Mackintosh
Last week ex Lcpl Mackintosh was fortunate enough to attend the reunion of the original NZSAS Sqn which marched into Waiouru Camp 7 June 1955.  Of the 135 or so who went to Malaya in November 1955 about 62 are still about and 36 of these with their partners gathered in the Palmerston North RSA to celebrate the unit's 55th birthday.  By all reports it was a very enjoyable occasion.  For Lcpl M the most memorable event was the dinner when Cpl Willy Apiata VC decided to leave the top table and take his meal with Lcpl M's table of two other SAS veterans and their partners.  At the end of the Dinner after Cpl Apiata had left there was complete agreement that he was without doubt a true gentleman.  The next SAS Originals reunion will be in Tauranga in 2013, perhaps W3 is a bit premature in suggesting November this year could be our final one? [depends on attendance - reunion chair]

RSA welcomes Law Commission’s Report for Veterans - webmaster [2 June 2010]
"The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association is very pleased that the Law Commission's report on the re-write of the War Pensions Act 1954 has been tabled in Parliament."  read more on the RSA website - the report is 237 pages and Government have 120-days to respond to the recommendations. 

Report is available in full from the Law Commission website www.lawcom.govt.nz

40-years ago:  the Timeline historical series for June 1970 - webmaster [1 June 2010]
40-years ago today W3 Coy still had 9-days to go on Op CAPRICORN, then we returned to NUI DAT and started a series of platoon and section strength patrols from the NUI DAT lines to the West of NUI DAT.  Coy HQ and one platoon remained within NUI DAT during the remainder of the month - read the timeline article for June 1970 at this link.

Comments, stories and corrections are all welcome - make an effort and send them here

link to more news from before June 2010 - news archive