It’s a Wrap!

Classmates,

Your Reunion Planning Team met on Wednesday to enjoy a quiet lunch and do a quick wrap-up of the Reunion. Based on the feedback received, it seems that everyone had a great time and enjoyed the weekend, apart from those who decided that a dose of COVID would be a great take-away! We hope everyone fully recovered in time to enjoy a great Christmas! 

We’ve already posted a “thank you” to a number of others who contributed so much to the reunion, but we should follow up with one more: Elph wasn’t able to join us in person (he was on zoom), but despite that, he’s been busy sorting out and posting videos from the weekend on our website – thanks Elph! There are more to come.

So after deciding that, on balance, we’d done a bloody good job, we then determined that we weren’t about to volunteer to do the next one! Fortunately, a usually reliable source (who must remain nameless) has told us that the Kiwis have suggested that they might host another one in Aotearoa in 2027. No details at all at this stage, but start saving your pensions and stand by for details! The last one over there was terrific.

Finally, we should also report that Kym MacMillan’s Caribbean travel plans came to nought. After raising a little over $18,500 for the functions, caps and glasses, and paying bills of around $18,200, we were left with a surplus of $343.50. Clearly not enough to warrant fleeing the country, so that amount has been donated to Legacy and the account closed. A copy of the master spreadsheet is available from Kym if anyone feels the need to call in a professional auditor!

On behalf of the Canberra organising team, we wish you all a very healthy and happy 2023! 

Mates4Ever!

Live Stream of the Celebration of the Life of Jim Molan

I have copied this information from Jim Molan’s FB page:

“The Molan Family have been greatly touched by the expressions of love and respect for Jim that have been shared in the past week, from near and far.

We are aware that many who knew and were impacted by Jim may not be able to travel or attend his celebration of life tomorrow. If you wish to view the service, you may do so at the link below, commencing at 10am.”

https://attnd.com.au/jim-molan

Alternatively, go to https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=jim%20molan

Seeking Sponsorship for the Legacy Centenary Relay

Kerry and Peter Jenke are actively involved in Legacy, an organisation well known to all of us.  This year marks the Centenary of Melbourne Legacy, the original Legacy Club and by association, of Legacy itself.  It’s going to be a big year, and an extremely important one for the future of the organisation.  Apart from the Jenkes, Steve Jones and Rick Davies are actively involved in Legacy and there could well be others.  Peter previously sat on the National Board. Kerry is the first female President of Melbourne Legacy and the success or otherwise of the Centenary falls in no small way on her.  

Legacy is also an organisation about to undergo massive organisational change.  For most current Legatees, the only Legacy Beneficiaries they’ve known are largely the WW2 widows.  Because our generation of ex-servicemen and women in the main didn’t have overseas operational service, until only about 15 years or so ago, we weren’t entitled to join Legacy.  This has resulted in a generational gap which saw later generations of servicemen and women reluctant to join the organisation, thereby creating the situation we have whereby the average age of Melbourne Legacy Club members (Legatees) is around 75.  Of around the 45 clubs Australia-wide, I’d be surprised if the average age was much different. This situation is further exacerbated by increasing government requirements which restricts the support which can be provided by volunteers (amateurs, if you like) and requires greater reliance on professional, paid staff – albeit, still under Legatee control and direction exercised through our Board.  On Melbourne’s Board, chaired by Kerry, they are fortunate enough to have a current serving Maj Gen, the second such appointment they’ve been lucky enough to have. 

Of course, shrinking Legatee numbers mirror the decline in likely beneficiaries because more recent conflicts have resulted in far less casualties and in families in need of Legacy assistance.  But, of course, because of the need for professional assistance rather than that provided by volunteers, that support comes at a high price.   This year’s Centenary provides an excellent opportunity to raise Legacy’s profile in an Australia which looks very different to that after the two World Wars and even after Vietnam.  To that end, a Legacy Centenary Relay will be run, starting in Pozieres (in less than 100 days) and ends in Melbourne, leading into the Legacy Australia AGM and biennial Conference in October.  The run is neither continuous nor demanding, but more of a photo opportunity to raise Legacy’s profile.  There is already committed media and significant ADF support.

Peter will be participating in the Relay (and possibly the other Legacy classmates will be as well) and would like to seek sponsorship from any class members who might wish to do so.  The mechanics have not yet been sorted, and while it might called a “sponsorship” in essence it will be a donation – Peter reckons that someone might like to sponsor him by the cm because the total distance of any participant is apparently about a km, and for most, considerably less.  With two tin knees, he’ll only be walking!

We’ll post more information as it comes to hand.

Jim Molan’s Funeral

Update from the Class of 1971’s FB page:

“From The Weed.
Jim’s funeral service will be at 10 am next Wednesday 25 January at the RMC Chapel. It is to be a Military Funeral service. Anne has asked Roger Powell to deliver a “military” eulogy, following a family eulogy and to be followed by a political eulogy by Hon Peter Dutton, MP.”

More to follow as it comes to hand.

Vale DR Jim Burgess

Received news via the Class of 1973 that Dr Jim Burgess died last Wednesday 4 Jan. Jim was a lecturer in Geography at RMC and was also a member of the Rugby 1st XV in 1973 and possibly beyond.  He was apparently also well known amongst the Canberra Rugby community.

He had been ill for some time but steadfastly decided not to prolong his life and had elected not to have a funeral. A Memorial Service is on Friday 10 Feb at Duntroon Chapel followed by a reception at Duntroon House conducted by Tom Frame, former Anglican Bishop to the ADF. 

Could anyone who might wish to attend please let Chris Wallace know at wallaceclan3@bigpond.com

Commonwealth Seniors Health card

Have received some good advice from Peter Jenke about the Commonwealth Seniors Health card. He noted ‘that in November just gone, the eligibility earnings limits for the Comm Seniors Health Card were raised significantly.  For a couple, the limit is now $144,000 pa.  Because deeming rates are used in any calculation, a lot of self-funded retirees may now be eligible and thus able to save quite a bit, particularly in relation to their pharmacy bills.  Other benefits vary state by state.’

He further noted that the application can be ‘a bit of a bugger’ to complete – depending on individual circumstances and that if you have a SMSF that does complicate the process some.

Anyway, it would be worth your while to check it out. As a starting point go to https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-treatment/veteran-healthcare-cards/commonwealth-seniors-health-card