will be many words written about the recent mini reunion in South Australia,
so let me simply say that, when two ex Royal Marine Bandsmen get together
its normally a run ashore, when twenty appear all at once you know that
some thing is about to happen! For months now a stirring was underfoot
with the knowledge that Bob Chumley and Eric Hayward were arranging what
was to turn out be the event of the year for.....
S. Maxie Beare,
x2891 represented by his widow.
30th 2006 arriving at Adelaide airport there was a welcoming committee
of Tom, Barrie, Bob, Eric and Ray along with wives, which, was to be the
start of chat like you have never heard before! Joe, Max, Mike and Ken
had arrived, and were then taken to their respective 'digs' for the duration.
The Friday night we all met at Watermark Hotel for a general get together
and among the hubbub were heard shrieks of laughter as old ships and acquaintances
were reunited, and tales of yesteryear were shared. Many Tournaments,
Lord Mayor’s show, Albert Hall, various concerts, soccer matches,
and Beat Retreats were all treated to the same, as mess deck tales were
related. The reunion had therefore got off to a flyer.
Come Saturday the formal part of the event was held on HMS Buffalo, I
note that much has been written about this old boat by Tommo in his last
essay on the 05 get together, so will not go on. We were all crowded in
to the main dining room, wives, sweethearts, friends alike, and were treated
to a wonderful meal including Steak! By the kilo! Then of course the toasts
were proposed, and the inevitable speeches followed, it was with something
special that Tom delivered in the saga of the sinking of the Trinidad
during the war and the loss of so many of our colleagues, and the survival
of perhaps the most famous of all British Composers in George Lloyd, who
can understand the trauma that that musician went through, and survived
to tell the tale, of course being of Cornish parentage helped, together
with the RMB tag.
You were not forgotten my friends, as "absent
friends" were recognised, and best of all a date was set for the
next re union being March of 2008, so without further ado I would encourage
you all to start saving those gig pennies and consider a holiday in the
sun, at the end of the Northern winter. “End of commercials”
as the saying goes ‘Where the b***** hell are you?
Sunday morning after church, all roads led to the Chumleys in Montana
Drive, where a BBQ was to be held, never before in the field of human
eating have so many steaks sausages and patties been eaten by so few!
Along with plenty of the amber liquid to quaff, what better way to say
farewell to all and sundry after what was the second of what will become
the most talked about get together of Australian bandsmen for years to
come. Sadly we said goodbye to Tommo and his daughter who had to fly back
to Melbourne for work on Monday morning, Jan and Hilde were not available,
as a planned boat trip took precedence, and Barrie went AWOL! Mike Hutton
and Ken Kelly left us to drive to Melbourne in their hire car, and then
on to UK in time for Mike to report back to Dickie V, and Ken to continue
with the school band. It was so good to see Eric and Ray back on their
feet after a year of hospital visits etc, and nursed back to full health
by there own Jan and Pat. Joe's case was located and returned after it
went missing at the Airport, and all this time England were having their
troubles at Adelaide Oval.
Sightseeing was on the menu for some and a requirement for all cricket
lovers would be a tour of the Bradman museum, shopping in Adelaide’s
CBD at this time of year is really nice with all the Christmas decorations
on view, but I for one can't reconcile Christmas in 33 degree heat. However,
the reunion all but over we sadly, and with some emotion, left Australia
knowing that in 2008 we will all be welcomed back by the lovely Carol,
Jan and the rest of the wives who enjoyed their time with us in the band
room. Monday morning Joe and I arranged a river trip on the Murray, and
Tuesday we had a day with Tom and Marge Lambert, all too short but we
relived our Yacht times and reminisced old times, and being British cheered
on the English cricket team to no avail. Oh dear! So then, till my next
report in 08, I will sign off, with many happy memories of a weekend that
will be remembered forever.
come and join us.
S Maxie Beare
8th December 06
Album in Progress 12/20/06
bear (pardon the pun) patience as I have over 180 to choose from.