Adelaide Reunion - "Maxie" Beare's account

Some months ago, a mere suggestion for a further mini reunion was made at a get together of a few ex Royal Marine Bandsmen in Australia, little did they envisage that this event would take place, and least of all entertain some NZ Ex's. So it was determined that on the 11th 12th November 2005 the Australasian reunion would take place, and the wheels of progress got into motion.

Invites were sent to known members domiciled in NZ, together with many more that were dotted all over this region; a suggested programme was drawn up, and forwarded to likely attendees. Joe Simms and I accepted, and on the 9th November, flew out from Auckland in the early hours of the morning, arriving in Adelaide at 8.30 am, we were met by Bob Chumley, who, after the usual welcome, transported us over to Capt. Tom Lambert's for morning tea and more hugs and kisses, having not seen the boss for over 34 years, what a thrill that was.

Later we were to go over to Bob's where we were accommodated for the rest of our stay. Carol arrived home from work, at which time a decision was made that we go out for dinner to continue our swinging of the lamps. Friday morning it was arranged that a photo shoot be held for the local paper, and we all assembled at the site of HMS Buffalo, situated in Glenelg, I don't like to admit it, but we missed out, at least Joe, Bob and myself did, caused by a huge container being in the way and the Aussie contingent were sheltering behind it out of the way of the very cold wind that was around, however also in hiding was Tony Oberdries and Pat his wife who had arrived on the same flight as us. Incidentally the 11th was also my 75th birthday, a day that will live in my memory for ever. I must not forget, but it was this day that yet another Kiwi had arrived from Auckland, ex Band Master Garry Brownrigg, in all, five Kiwis had arrived including Pat Oberdries.

This mission completed we were then invited on board for morning coffee, and the strangest thing happened, a young couple who were on the next table overheard us raving on, and the lady (simply aghast) asked if we were really RM Bandsmen, as it so happens her brother-in-law was also in the Band, one Ken Keast, and that, on the other side of the world caught us all in a tizz, Jan was known by many of the group, so they were invited to our celebration lunch the next day, but were more inclined to use their holiday at the cricket.

Come the 12th, we arrived back at Buffalo to be piped aboard like true VIPs; this was by courtesy of the local Naval Cadet's training outfit. At the start of proceedings, having got to know each other by this time, we sat down to a scrumptious meal, which as it turns out was not the last, more later on that. The official toasts were delivered firstly by Tom, and absent friends, and the loyal toast by Eric Hayward, Bob Chumley rose to thank all concerned in the very complex arrangements that were evident only on the day, the wives all played their part, with typing posting telephoning searching etc.

Prior to the meal we were socialising on the upper deck, (as you do), and sadly dear old Joe was taken sick, it must have been the sun, and he was AWOL for the first couple of days, and were told that Adelaide at this time of year is out of this world with temperatures very bearable? Anyway a sit down and a glass of water and all was back to normal, while this was going on and for most of the time in Australia many cameras were in use, and Richard I know has posted some on his web site, do take a look!

More food was on the programme for us, and Sunday we decided to return to the Smorgasbord, for a fish dish, and a wash up of what had gone on before and after the reunion, it was unanimous that being the success it was that a further effort be made in 2006, and a date was set there and then, so make a note world travellers, November 17/18/19th 06, further information will be available nearer the time. After lunch we were all invited back to Tom's for a swim and photo scan, there were heaps of photos on view mostly Tom's but Eric Max and Bob showed a few of there own. One may be excused to think that that was the end, no way. Monday morning it was Tom's turn to take us out to see the sights of South Australia, and what a day, a forty minute drive to Adelaide hills, through some of the most beautiful scenery, outside NZ! Sorry. A stop at a water mill, and an Ice Cream, saw us arriving back at Bob's, where we were dropped off, and further decisions to be made for the evening meal, just a quiet dinner in a quiet restaurant would be an ideal way to slow down after the hectic happenings of the past week.

Tuesday we would be flying back to NZ and by this time Tony and Pat had packed up and left for a further week up on the Gold Coast, to be followed by Garry, leaving Joe and I who had a day in the City, making a visit to the Bradman museum which really was very disappointing to say the least, but we had a good chauffer in Bob. A look at the Adelaide Oval, and Cathedral, all rabbits had been purchased, duty free shop raided and in the early hours of Wednesday morning we arrived back in Aukland, very tired and very happy at what we had achieved it was time to commence being farmers workers, husbands and volunteers, ROLL ON November 06.

Bernard S Maxie Beare

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