2010 AABC Association Reunion/AGM
Darwin - 25th to 27th June 2010

Reunion Summary

Dear Members
The 2010 AABC Association Reunion was held in Darwin this year and from all reports from those who attended it was an enormous success.  Special thanks should go to Geoff Carter and his committee for organizing most of the weekend that all came together extremely well.  Thanks goes out to Music Director of the Australian Army Band Darwin, Captain Matt Chilmaid and the Band Sergeant Major, WO2 Bland Holt for the support of the band for the Saturday afternoon concert, the reunion dinner and the use of the bandroom for the ‘guggenheimer’ and the BBQ on Sunday.

This brief will provide an interim report for members who attended the reunion including a report on the AGM.

Friday 25 June 2010

Association Golf Day
The Golf Day was held at the Palmerston Golf Club was again successful, although only 16 players that took on the course it didn’t deter from having a good morning’s golf.  The group winners from the day were Ashley and Lindy Renton and Mick and Denise Avramovic.

Civic  Reception
Our Association’s ‘Meet and Greet’ was held at the Darwin Council Chambers.  Unfortunately the Mayor was away on other duties and our host for the reception was the Deputy Mayor, Alderman Fred Marrone.  At 5.30pm Alderman Marrone was on hand to meet all the members and their guests as they arrived and gave a warm Darwin welcome speech to the Association.  Beer and wine flowed and delicious canapés were served to a large gathering, which made a wonderful beginning to the weekend ahead.

Saturday 26 June 2010

Association AGM
The Annual General Meeting was held at the Darwin RSL commencing at 10.00am.  Forty five members were in attendance.  During this time partners of the members were taken on a city tour of Darwin which included the Darwin Museum, Art Gallery and sites relating to the bombing of Darwin during WWII.
The meeting was officially opened by the President Bob Keatch at 10.00am.  This was followed by the list of the names of Association members that passed away during the year were read.  Also the names of the seven Soldier Musicians who died on active service since World War 2 were also acknowledged.  The meeting stood for a minutes silence followed by the Ode.  Lest we Forget.

The apologies were received (total 44).

The Minutes from the previous AGM held in Townsville - Were read and accepted.  The only business arising from the minutes was that the Director of Music, LTCOL Ian McLean suggested that the meeting consider that the 2011 Association Reunion be held in Canberra, ACT.  This was due to the Royal Military College celebrating their centenary, HM the Queen would be in attendance and New Colours would be presented to the College.  A proposal that a band made up of members of the Corps and Reserve members would be paraded.  This was carried but later cancelled.

The President’s and Treasurers Reports were read and accepted.

Election of Office Bearers
- The list of new office bearers are listed below:

President – Patrick Ainsworth Mansfield Steer
Vice President – Ivan Cocking

Secretary - Kevin Noon

Treasurer – Jim ‘Shad’ Harper

Committee – Neville Lloyd, Peter Guest, Grahame Johnson, Bill Honter, Bob Keatch (Immediate Past President)

Congratulations were passed onto the Bob Keatch for his excellent work and contribution to the association during his tenure of office as President.

Director of Music Brief
– LTCOL McLean advised the meeting that under a proposal for the Remediation of Establishment Hollowness the AABC may be required to lose up to ninety positions, but with an election being called, the Chief of Army’s tenure ending and other factors being taken into account, this agenda would not be considered at this time.  The upside of this was taken by the association as a positive and looked promising for the years ahead.  The downside being that recruiting for the Band Corps had stopped and is of concern.

Brief by the new Honorary Colonel
– Brigadier Mark Bornholt, AM addressed the meeting and stated he was extremely pleased with his appointment.  He did advise that unlike the two previous Honorary Colonels he was not a musician, but during the weekend was seen playing Bass Drum and led the singing of The Minstrel Boy during a toast to the Corps at the Association Dinner.  Brigadier Bornholt stressed that the Band Corps did not have a role and he was preparing a paper on this agenda.

Future Reunions
– The meeting voted favorably on the next reunion being held in Wagga Wagga from Friday 21 October – Sunday 23 October 2011.  This is currently being organised with a committee being formed and more information being distributed shortly.
This would be followed by reunions in Melbourne (2012), Tasmania (2013),  Sydney (2014), Adelaide (2015) and Perth (2016).  Other than Wagga Wagga, these venues are yet to be finalized and confirmed by the committee.

Update on Balcombe Plaques
– A meeting was held at Balcombe on 29 April 2010 with representatives from the RA Survey Corps, Army Apprentices Association, Army Apprentices Heritage Officer, RA Signals Corps, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Mornington Historical Society, AABC representative and Neville Lloyd and Jim Harper from the AABC Association.  This project which includes the history of the Balcombe Barracks (1886 until 1999), and those units that served there has again been delayed due to proposals to make the area around the U.S. Marine Gates, the old parade ground and Mace Oval an historical precinct.  Other inclusions are to have proper information and signage work to be carried out by council and Dept of Roads.  Our committee of two will update the association as details come to hand.

Facebook – A notice of motion was put by Geoff Carter “That the AABC Association establish a ‘private’ page on Facebook whereby members and authorized persons can access – and more importantly, post comments and pictures for all other authorized persons to see”.  The motion was carried.

General Business

Association Flag
-  During the past year an investigation on having an Association Flag made was carried out.  It was decided that Geoff Carter (AABC Darwin) would have a proper Association Flag made by the next reunion to be held in Wagga Wagga in late October 2011.

Fund Raising – As a result of the Association Memorial being build and fully paid for, plus other agenda in the pipeline the Treasurer requested the Association give some thought to raising funds to maintain our bank balance in the ‘black’.  He suggested that we should consider raffles and other fund raising methods to help pay for items in the future.

AABC Association Memorial
– This project to have two poems erected at the memorial site has been delayed due to the fact we are awaiting word from the Simpson Barracks Project Officer for permission to go ahead with the plan.

Meeting Closed at 11.45am.

Australian Army Band Darwin Recital
At 1.00pm the members and their partners gathered under shade to hear the Australian Army Band Darwin provide the City with a free concert in Raintree Park.  The hour plus concert featured a broad spectrum of the Band’s repertoire which was highlighted with some instrumental soloists and vocalists performing.

Reunion Dinner

With 123 seated guests including our Principal Guests, the Honorary Colonel Brigadier and Mrs Bornholt, PMC of the Brigade Sergeants’ Mess, WO1 Kevin ‘Blue’ Ryan who was representing the Brigade Commander, WOFF David Toohey representing the Commander Northern Command and members of the Australian Army Band Darwin, we all sat back and enjoyed the excellent hospitality of the 1st Brigade Sergeants’ Mess at Robertson Barracks.  Not only was the Mess extremely large and impressive, but the food and wine, the service, which was served by soldiers from the Brigade, and the way the association and their partners were made to feel welcome having being invited to share such a prestigious Mess.  The band played during the dinner, in between joining the members at the table for veritable feast of fine food.  After the Loyal Toast, our new Honorary Colonel made an impressive speech that included the role of the band Corps, some of which was passed on at the meeting earlier that day.  It was arranged prior that Brigadier Bornholt would conclude his speech with proposing a toast to the AABC, but to the surprise of everybody present as the Mess stood for the singing of the Minstrel Boy he began to sing, leading us all in song.  So much for advising us he couldn’t sing?

Sunday 27 June 2010

Googenheimer and BBQ
Those of us who had an early night arrived at the home of the Australian Army Band Darwin at Winnellie, broke open the locks to their instruments, which in most cases had not had a note escape since the last googenheimer in Townsville and joined in with the playing of a march, an overture and a selection of popular tunes.  Some of the members of the band joined our members and I’m not sure if they were surprised or stunned by the sounds that emanated from the concert stage.  Anyway all had a lot of fun and after the ‘blow’ again locked their instruments up for another day…. or year.

At 12.00noon the band social club had arranged a BBQ which topped off a great morning.  Unfortunately many of us had to depart mid afternoon and couldn’t stay for the finale at Robertson Barracks.

Robertson Barracks Tour
Apparently during the dinner the evening prior it was arranged by the Brigade Commander that association members be invited to visit the barracks during Sunday afternoon and be taken on an informative excursion and getting ‘up close and personal’ with Army hardware the 1st Brigade has on hand.  This included 155mm Artillery pieces, the new Abrams Tank, APC’s and Bushmaster Troop Carriers.

This was a great conclusion to a wonderful weekend.

Once again the association thanks all of those who were involved with the organisation of the entire reunion weekend, especially Geoff Carter and his committee, Captain Matt Chilmaid and WO2 Bland Holt.
Well done!

See you in Wagga Wagga in October 2011

Kevin Noon

AABC Association