The Adelaide Reunion 2013 Report

Once 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 Hayward

First 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 or self, Eric Hayward on

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,

Eric Hayward.

*spruik ['spru|:k]
(intr) Austral archaic slang to speak in public (used esp of a showman or salesman)
[of unknown origin]
spruiker n


As numbers drop every year - it really makes me weep
I have to lie awake at night – I find it hard to sleep
I think a lot of friends now gone – I really miss them all
But we will meet again someday – and then we’ll have a ball

It will still be a reunion - but the venue will have changed
A different man in charge of things but everything still arranged
Tom will still be saying grace with a wonderful smile as well
Thanking everyone for coming and the many stories he had to tell

Enough, I hear him saying – life must be full of gains
It must go on as normal and someone else must take the reins
You must enjoy your reunion like the many you enjoyed before
Do you remember how much we laughed - when Paddy took the floor?

Now just like Paddy’s stories and we’ll never forget Halloween
Have a toast to absent friends - even sing God Save the Queen
But never let yourself feel down - at such a time for all
Someone splice the main brace and everyone have a ball

I send my greetings to you - this is Paddy talking now
I thank Barry for doing the reading – we’ll wait while he takes a bow
I think of you all so often - when together we had so much fun
At the Adelaide reunion we enjoyed more than just the sun

My health is getting better but the journey is so far
I even asked my doctor if I could leave now and go by car
So until we meet again dear friends stay safe and fit and well
I’ll see you in the counter march and just maybe at the Glenelg Motel



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