Adelaide Reunion - 2008
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The Band of HMS Buffalo by "Maxie" Beare
Adelaide 2008.

To the strains of “Trombones to the fore “ by the 2008 All Stars and later, Sunset from the MFM, it was clear that the Adelaide reunion 2008 had got off to a rousing start, so from the top here we go!

It must have seemed to the organisers Capt. Tom, Bob and Eric that the 28th of March would never come, however it did and what a show was put on. From the Tuesday prior, members were arriving in Adelaide from afar, and by Friday all were present and correct and we headed for the Watermark Hotel for the meet and greet session, crikey we were 29 plus wive’s etc, but even that wasn’t enough to quell the noise that came from the other group that shared our enthusiasm, we did however manage to track down our old shipmates and gave the ears a right old bashing. Many photos were taken and in due course you will receive them for future reference. We scanned a matter of some 70 years, with our guest of honour Musician Ted Jones leading the way, he was in fact 85? More on Ted later.

Most of us were accommodated in the Buffalo Motor lodge, where, from dawn til dusk stories of bygone years and some present anecdotes were being related. Come Saturday the main event was held on HMS Buffalo, and in age-old tradition we were piped aboard by some very young sailors, lead by their CO Lt Cdr Ed Weeden R.A.N. It was at this point that the two representatives from the Blue Band came to the fore, Capt Richard Long and B/Sgt Mark Snell, arrived to take up position for the presentation from the Band Service to Musician Ted Jones the second survivor from HMS Exeter. A DVD was shown to Ted and the rest of us of his long lost mate Bertie King, the other survivor, yes there were unashamed tears not only from Ted but others were noticed as well. Ted then reciprocated and made his own DVD for showing to Bertie at a later date. It must be acknowledged that the PDM Lt Col. Chris Davis, agreed for Richard and Mark to come to Australia for a week, simply to enhance proceedings, and Richard took it upon himself to bring us up to date with happenings at the school and in the Corps generally.

No luncheon would be complete without the usual speeches and it rested on Capt. Tom Lambert to propose the toast to absent friends, and mention was made of the good wishes forwarded by Lt Col, Graham Hoskins, for a happy and successful reunion, like wise from Bill Hartland. Lunch over, the rest of the day was more of the same by way of chat, chat, chat.

Come Sunday we did not have the privilege of a Church service, or an Orchestra playing for us but we managed to set up the recording studio in the room of Pat Trevis, and Bill Mathews (Trombone) who has his own Radio Station here in Australia took a couple of interviews for playing back later, so if anyone would like to hear them contact Bill at The purpose laid down for Sunday was indeed a BBQ, this was an indoor/outdoor affair, and the steak was as one would expect from this part of the world, thick and juicy, helped down with Flagons of beer and wine. This now lead to the wind up of the very successful weekend, with words from Col Jim, of his delight to meet up with so many of his old colleagues, then came the big decision where and what format the next REUNION will take. The unanimous show of hands opted for the status quo, and it is set for the last weekend in March 09, in Adelaide. Soon after it was time for some of the travellers to depart for parts North, South, East and West, Ray and Jenny Taylor took Ed Nobby Clark back to Melbourne with them, a two day trip, also on the same road back were Eric and Jan Hayward, along with Mick Hutton.

Bill and Sylvia Mathews loaded up the recording gear and left quietly. As did Ginge Chamberlain, back to the farm and his sheep, John Meir, also made a quick getaway, Barry and Sandra Baker didn’t have far to drive just around the corner in Glenelg, Tom and Marge to Woodville, Allan and Hilde Bulley to Adelaide, Ralph and Doreen Payne to Smithfield, Pat Trevis then stayed a while ready for his long journey back home to Perth, Bob and Carol had the pleasure of Max and Joe Simms till early Monday morning, when they made there way to Melbourne by train. This left Ray Watts, Paddy Semple, Richard and Mark, and I have it of good authority that Monday evening Bob and Carol hosted the two guests from the Blue Band to dinner.

Now, the New Zealand contingent were left mainly to their own devices, Chris “Dan” Archer and wife Beryl, were in fact staying with friends in Adelaide, so enjoyed the best of both worlds and will be returning to their homestead way up North In Moerewa NZ, during this coming week, with Vince Harris and wife Beryl, moving on to Perth for more family visits. So the sun was now setting over the yardarm, which was the cue for the MFM to watch the Baton for Sunset, this rendition was listened to with the most critical of ears, and who better than the Band of HMS Buffalo, which now leaves me to sign off, with the fervent hope that many more RMBs join us in 2009, perhaps then, a Volunteer band may introduce themselves to us and will be more than adequately catered for in all aspects.

Til then, we remain Musically yours,

Bernard S ‘Maxie’ Beare

Auckland April 2008

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