Reunion 2022 – Just under 3 years away!

It is early, but perhaps it is a good time to think ahead.

Bill Houston has passed on access to the book the Class of 1969 produced to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. It is very large, almost 80 Mb, so it is located in Dropbox. I have been able to access, with a Dropbox account. The link is Class of 1969 Book

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 5.51.45 pm

So, have a look, and please post any observations. This is not a call for any remarks about the members of the Class of 1969 (most of whom, actually, I recall fairly fondly) either how they were at the time or how they look now!

Any offers to volunteer to help to produce one for our Class would be welcome.

How many did you do?

Thanks to Frank Edwards for this little gem from The West Australian. Brings back (not fond) memories, and perhaps a thought that a claim might be worthwhile, given the return! But I guess we were never ordered to do push ups as a punishment: it was for our physical development.

Push ups

Some bad news from Callo

Callo has asked that the following bad news be passed on. We all wish him, Barb and their family our unequivocal support at this time.

I would like you to let the Class know that sadly I have been diagnosed with Stage 4 Bowel Cancer. To say that Barb and I are stunned is a huge understatement.
Six months ago I had my usual yearly medical, including a bank of blood tests and poo tests. The results put everything at normal if not better.  Not one hint that anything was wrong.
Last week, after some symptoms of discomfort, a colonoscopy, MRI and CT scans revealed the previously undetected bowel cancer had spread to the liver.  This is an incurable cancer. It was only discovered by a colonoscopy.
Chemo starts next week in fortnightly doses and is designed to shrink the cancers and improve my quality of life.
It is hard to believe only 3 weeks ago we were on holidays with the grandkids in the caravan and this week we receive this news. Rest assured Barb and I remain positive and determined to fight this together.
This note is written not to seek your sympathy but simply to inform you all.
Mates Forever,

Vale WO1 Kevin ‘Lofty’ Wendt OAM BEM

WO1 Kevin 'Lofty' Wendt OAM, BEM

16663 Kevin Stanley (Lofty) WENDT OAM,BEM served 28 years in the Army in various units and ended his career in July 1990 as the WO1 RSM of the Army. He served in both Malaysia and Vietnam with 8RAR and was wounded on 10 July 1970 in Vietnam.

Lofty’s Funeral will be a MIlitary Funeral Service be conducted by 8/9 RAR Padre.

Funeral Notice in the Courier Mail:

WENDT, Kevin Stanley

Known as “Lofty”.

Late of Degilbo. Passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side on Monday, 27 January 2020.

Aged 76 years.

Cherished Husband of Wynsome and always remembered by Kay.

Much loved Father and Father-in-law of Troy and Sara, Leisa and Scott, Karen. Adored Pop of Calum and Julia, Tom and Chelsea, Kodey, Jed and Charlotte, Beth, Eli. Loving Brother and Brother-in-law of Shirley (dec’d) and Graham (dec’d), Darryl (dec’d) and Toni, Narelle and Bruce.

Beloved Uncle.

Special Friend to his many many mates.

Loved Always.

Forever in our hearts.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a Celebration of Lofty’s Life to be held at the Biggenden Show Hall on Friday, 7th February 2020, commencing at 11 am, followed by Interment at the Degilbo Lawn Cemetery.

“Gone Fishing”

Lofty Wendt continued to serve after retirement from the Army, as a North Burnett Regional councillor. He also managed to be a champion fisherman, having won the Biggenden Fishing Club award three times in its six year inception.


And an advance eulogy from George Mansford:

Regimental Sergeant Major Lofty Wendt, OAM, BEM

There will be a large gathering in a country town called Biggenden to farewell one of Australia’s best, a professional soldier by the name of Lofty Wendt. Many mourners will be veterans who served with him and in varying circumstances testing courage and endurance.

Also present will be a guard of today’s young warriors from his old regiment which will farewell him with a final salute of three volleys of rifle fire.  How the memories will fly for those present at the burial service and others grieving from distant places. There will be so many proud and fond visions from the very first screaming order he received as a raw recruit to the last command he gave as the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Australian Army. Between the beginning and end of a remarkable career will be countless memories of soldiers who recall his leadership, guidance and the Wisdom of Solomon in his reprimands and punishment to erring soldiers.

The number of soldiers he trained is not known, nor was how many rebels he converted from aimless indifference and potential failure to a religion where purpose, pride, drive and battle discipline was the order of each and every day. However, be rest assured it would be a seemingly endless column with heads held high, shoulders squared and all in step, marching through the decades of his soldiering days.

He has left a strong legacy of soldiering for all who wear the proud nation thread which includes devotion to duty, leadership, immense respect and love of country.

In the stillness of the night when ghosts of RSMs prowl, listen carefully and you will hear his faint echoing call reminding all; “Duty First”

George Mansford FEBRUARY 2020


         Be Careful, He is Still Watching You 

In a country town not far from here

Our old comrade sleeps mid peaceful surrounds so dear

His bed etched with words, of who he was and when in mortal times

A soldier who was part of us and shared our lives, yours and mine


Hear again his voice commanding columns of marching booted feet

Be it on the dreaded field of Mars or along a cheery friendly street

A mentor of countless youth, sparking fire of discipline, purpose and pride

Always his powerful symbol of polished wood and brass by his side


When necessary, sternness or wit with a message for all, so very clear

As our master, he guided column after column through doubt and fear

Be it danger, thirst, hunger and a growing question of “Why?”

There was often his comforting smile and cheery voice that lifted spirits high


As he sleeps, a new generation wearing national cloth passes by

He stirs in his bed of earth and utters a muffled cry

I swear if the recruits were listening, would be heard a message from afar

“Heads up, march in step, you idle lot, and never forget who you are”


George Mansford © February 2020



Latest from ADFRA

Two messages on 31 Jan 2020:

  • The Ombudsman’s response to our request for a review of his report is attached.  It can also be viewed by clicking here.

It is as we expected.

Kind regards,


  • Apparently the attachment did not go out with my last email on this subject.  My apologies.  Hopefully I have now solved that.

If anyone is still surprised by the Ombudsman’s report it is worth noting that his investigation was funded by the Department of Defence (DoD).

It is also worth noting that DFRDB benefits are funded by the Defence Budget.  Little wonder DoD is digging in its heels to ensure we don’t get one extra cent.

Kind regards,


If unable to see the attachment Click Here

Next Brisbane Catchup – All Welcome

Received the following (edited) email from John McNamara about the next catch up in Brisbane. Everyone is welcome to come if you’re in the area at the time.

From: John McNamara

Date: 29 January 2020 at 1:15:58 pm AEST

Subject: Dunners and Partners Lunch – The Normanby Hotel / 1 Musgrave Road  , Red Hill – 1230pm 6 Mar 20

Good Afternoon ,

I have been to The Normanby Hotel today in preparation for our lunch and was given a tour of their renovations and was most impressed . Our old lunch venue is now a Pokie Room and for those who attended this venue last time “ Trunk “ ( the previous Owner ) has moved on but is fondly remembered by the old staff members.

Here is The Plan :

– I have booked a table for Friday 6 March for 16 which is a flexible number to be confirmed a couple of days out ,

– Arrive around 1230pm and ask for “ The Hounds Lounge “ ( I thought this was fitting ) where we will have arrival drinks . There is a big car park with loads of free parking at the back of the pub and you enter this from Kelvin Grove Road as the place is on a corner,

– Food and Drinks will be pay as you go , and

– Lunch will be in a Private Room on the Top Floor called “ The Valentine Room “ and The Menu is attached

Please let me know if you are available (you meaning both of you ),

Hope all is well at your place ?


John Mc

The menu is at this link: NEW MENU