On Friday 25th march 2011 it was time once again to host ex members
of the RMB to our reunion in Adelaide South Australia.
Jan and I drove over from Victoria in time to meet those who were due
to arrive at Adelaide Airport from places far and wide. John Thorne
(RMB?X2466) arrived early, this being his first visit to join us. His
daughter had contacted me earlier to say that they had intended to surprise
John with a trip to Australia, however they could not hold the details
without having to tell him he needed his Passport. Suffice to say that
John duly arrived at 0715 hrs on Tuesday 22nd, to be met not by me but
by Bob Chumley who resides in Adelaide. John had been briefed to expect
the Ozzie sun to be shining. It was cold, wet, and windy, which is most
unusual for Adelaide at this time of year. John was rather lacking in
warm weather clothes and although he didn't complain he must have wondered
about all the hype re, Ozzie sunshine.
Bob Chumley had earlier in the week received a phone call from John
Woods (Dickie I failed to get his number). John just happened to be
visiting his daughter in Adelaide and having seen somewhere something
about a reunion asked Bob if he could join us. Now as if we would say
NO, not likely. So John did join us for all three of our events and
I believe that he rather enjoyed the experience.
Pat Trevis arrived without having provided his flight details and found
his own way to the accommodation where he and his nephew settled in.
Next to arrive, from sunny Queensland were Jim Mason and his partner
Sheila. Jim takes advantage of being able to join us at the same time
each year as he visits his daughter in Townsville. Great to see them
Arriving from New Zealand were stalwarts of our reunion, Maxie Beare
and Joe Simms, who had joined the RNSM together 61 years ago, almost
to the day. They have obviously maintained a strong friendship for all
of those years, and Max, bless him, does a job worth many medals looking
after Joe, who although keen of mind is not so well in body.
Ralph Payne, who retired from the RMB 54 years ago is a local and appeared
at all events along with his photos, including those of his ship, HMS
Howe, and was able to tell stories of those days on board a 14 inch
Ray Taylor and Jenny drove over from Melbourne as they always do and
Barrie and Sandra Baker drove up from their delightful abode at Victor
Harbor just an hour away.
arrival of Tom Lambert, who is not in the best of health but who is
as sharp as ever, our gathering, although small was nevertheless complete
for the reunion of ex RMBs in Adelaide for 2011.
On the Friday evening at 1730hrs it was time to gather in the dining
room of our Motel for the usual period of lamp swinging and food aplenty.
With the bar open until when we decided that it should close it was
a great evening.
Saturday was of course THE day and after a photo session we boarded
HMS Buffalo for lunch. We were expecting to be piped aboard by Cadets
of the RAN but due to a breakdown in communication they didn't turn
up until the next day.
Maxie Beare was called upon to say Grace, Tom Lambert gave a short speech
to welcome us all and at the appropriate time Jim Mason proposed the
Loyal Toast. I was called upon to Toast Absent Friends, reminding those
present that even in our small membership we had in fact lost three
in the space of the last few years. After a lunch of either steak or
"Barramundi", that’s the northern Australian fish that
is most enjoyed by those who visit our vast shores and by we who are
permanent residents, we ate and of course had some liquid refreshment,
before standing down late in the afternoon. The evening, for those of
us still standing, was spent enjoying the local Pasta restaurant.
Well it seemed that Sunday had arrived too soon as we gathered once
again by the Motel Pool to enjoy a BBQ and the reading of Paddy's Poem.
Paddy Semple was unable to be with us this year but he did, as always,
with his poem provide us with the smiles that only Ireland's own could
do, ably read to us by Jim Mason who encouraged the laughs in the right
places. Paddy ensures that he will try to be with us in 2012. Thanks
very much Paddy and I look forward to picking you up at Adelaide Airport
in the last weekend of March 2012, possibly along with your mate Ray
Time came for us to say once again our farewells with the promise that
the last weekend March 2012, for those who can make it, we will meet
in the same place once again.
I must thank my co-organizer Bob Chumley and his lovely wife Carol without
whose in-put this reunion would not happen.
Eric Hayward RMB/X3051