again it's all over for another year. The Adelaide Reunion, which was
held in Glenelg, South Australia as usual was a resounding success.
This year there were only eleven Ex RMBs attending most accompanied
by their wives. Due to smaller number of attendees it enabled us to
get around and chat to everybody which is not always the case when there
are more in attendance.
Joining us this year were the following. RMB/X1763 Ralph Payne, RMB/X2353
Jim Mason, RMB/X2840 Barrie Baker, RMB 3615 Ray (Taff) Taylor, Ginge
Chamberlain, RMB/X3195 Bob Chumley, Vince Harris, RM26593 Mike Thompson,
RMB/X3242 Bill Matthews, RMB3759 Ray Yates and self, RMB/X 3051 Eric
to arrive was Vince Harris from New Zealand. Vince was my Bassoon instructor
way back in 1954 and I actually was Babysitter for his first child.
He is still active in the blowing business and even brought his Bassoon
along. He didn't offer to perform Lucy Long though. Next to arrive was
Ray Yates from West Australia. This was Ray's first time at the Adelaide
reunion and both he and his wife Jan enjoyed the experience of a great
weekend talking old times. Ginge Chamberlain this time drove across
from Orange New South Wales to join us, leaving behind his 5000 sheep.
The journey took him two days with an over night stop. Bill Matthews
and his wife Sylvia flew down from Sydney this time as being so close
after Easter felt there would be too much traffic on the roads. With
the arrival of Jim Mason and friend all the way from the UK via Townsville
where he visits his family, our trips to the airport were complete.
We have always attempted to meet those arriving by air from interstate
or overseas. Mike Thompson had arrived a couple of days earlier where
he enjoyed the hospitality of his hosts Bob and Carol Chumley. Ray Taylor
and his wife Jenny, who seem to be on the road with their caravan more
than they are at home in Melbourne, were already in Adelaide. They organize
their touring to coincide with our reunion and have done so every year.
I of course drove over from Bendigo. I should say that I was driven
over as I had a bad problem with my eyes and was unable to drive myself.
With the remaining attendees already permanent residents of Adelaide
it meant that we were now about to enjoy a great weekend.
On Friday evening we assembled in the dining room of our motel for the
usual meet and greet. This year a sit down meal was provided by our
hosts with the usual provision of more than enough food. The bar remained
open while stories of past endeavours were discussed, some of course
good and some, well what do Bandies talk about. Of course all the time
the ladies suffered in silence, well some of the time anyway.
Saturday is of course "The" day. HMS Buffalo is a replica
of the first ship to arrive in South Australia with the new settlers
of the colony, some of whom had not chosen to be there. The Buffalo
is the venue for our official luncheon and has been so since our reunions
first started. We are Piped aboard by the Cadets of the Royal Australian
Navy which always adds a nice touch to the occasion.
The menu this year was either Porterhouse Steak or Atlantic Salmon,
which incidentally is caught in South Australian waters. The steak,
eight inches long and two inches thick was cooked to perfection and
just melted in the mouth. I'm told the fish was equally as good as were
the entree and sweets.
Before starting, Grace was said by none other than the Reverend Ray
Yates. Barrie Baker who was sitting next to me mentioned, and I quote
"My word, he did that well". I explained that he should know
how to do it as Ray was an Ordained Priest. None, apart from Bob and
self knew Ray was an Ordained Anglican Minister.
The Loyal Toast was Proposed by our 'once upon a time' PDM, Jim Mason,
preceded of course with an anecdote of Jim's time with the Royal Yacht.
I won't repeat that here.
It was then my turn to toast Absent Friends, some of whom have left
us in the past year. Tom Lambert being missed very deeply as he was
a guiding light among us.
On Sunday, again in the Dining room of our Motel, we gathered for a
BBQ lunch which again provided us with more than we could eat.
In due course, time for Paddy's Poem, read to us by Barrie Baker, who
Paddy considered close enough to be Irish, but Barrie actually comes
from Macclesfield of all places. All said it was Paddy's best, so thanks
Paddy. Also thanks to Barrie, job well done. 'Paddy's Poem' has become
a tradition as Paddy started it when he first attended and continued
to do so whilst he was able to attend. Last couple of years his health
has restricted his travels however he is with us in spirit and his poem
is looked forward to by all.
A couple of very short speeches and a reached agreement that our next
reunion should be at the same venue next year on the last weekend of
March, that is 28th, 29th and 30th March, 2014. Details will be provided
later, hopefully enticing others to attend, you would not be sorry.
Anyone interested contact Bob Chumley on firstname.lastname@example.org
or self, Eric Hayward on email@example.com
Sadly it was time to say Cheerio. Ginge had unfortunately left in the
morning to "arrive in Hay while the sun shines". Hay being
a rural town in NSW and being halfway home for him.
Returning people to the airport is not the best part of the weekend
but being assured, that all being well we will be there once again to
pick them up next year does help.
Those who were there I hope will be forgiven for spruiking* the splendor
of our Reunion with all saying that there is absolutely nothing we can
do to improve it, except of course, to have the present PDM with the
Massed Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines on the lawns alongside Buffalo.
Now 'THAT' would make the perfect weekend.
Thanks for coming along,
(intr) Austral archaic slang to speak in public (used esp of a showman
[of unknown origin]
As numbers drop every year - it really makes me
have to lie awake at night – I find it hard to sleep
think a lot of friends now gone – I really miss them all
we will meet again someday – and then we’ll have a ball
will still be a reunion - but the venue will have changed
different man in charge of things but everything still arranged
will still be saying grace with a wonderful smile as well
everyone for coming and the many stories he had to tell
I hear him saying – life must be full of gains
must go on as normal and someone else must take the reins
must enjoy your reunion like the many you enjoyed before
you remember how much we laughed - when Paddy took the floor?
just like Paddy’s stories and we’ll never forget Halloween
a toast to absent friends - even sing God Save the Queen
never let yourself feel down - at such a time for all
splice the main brace and everyone have a ball
send my greetings to you - this is Paddy talking now
thank Barry for doing the reading – we’ll wait while he
takes a bow
think of you all so often - when together we had so much fun
the Adelaide reunion we enjoyed more than just the sun
health is getting better but the journey is so far
even asked my doctor if I could leave now and go by car
until we meet again dear friends stay safe and fit and well
see you in the counter march and just maybe at the Glenelg Motel