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6 July 2012

Email received from John Davidson:


Hi All

The 2012 Reunion has come and gone. We will be into 2013 before we know it.

We tried something new this year. Bob Hutton visited us from Adelaide and brought with him all of his magic music machines and electronics. It was quite a production and Bob and our key facilitator, James Fraser-Byass (what a dynamo is James) prepared, operated and transported the sound gear. Bob presented a brilliant collection of well known songs from across the years. We were also regaled by Floyd Griffiths with his wonderful tenor voice and his limitless supply of stories.

We then had the good fortune to be treated to non-scheduled performances from Alan Smith and Pat Beston. Alan entertained us with Bougainville Blues (how does he remember all of those lines !) and Pat concluded the entertainment for the day with a passionate rendition of Danny Boy. Pat is supremely confident and comfortable with the microphone. He could not wait to get hold of it. He might have a job at next year’s event, something to look forward to.

We enjoyed the best possible weather. For some of us the effort to attend is becoming, physically, quite challenging. We so much appreciate the continued attendance of Ken and Mariele Hooper. For the first time we enjoyed the company of B16 legend, Pedro Saavedra, his daughter, Clara and the extended family. Pedro has two fine young grandsons who we can`t wait to get onto the JDA books. Pedro is well into his 80`s. He was delighted to spend time with old workmates including Errol Ryan, John Barnham and all the way from Perth, Ted Rogalski.

It was lovely to see Merle and Christine Wall. Thank you Merle for making such an effort to come along. Once again there were several first timers and many who travelled interstate. Also from Perth came Kaz Kloda, Ted Adams, Fran Leo and Judy Smith.

At every gathering we have people attending for the first time and on this occasion it was no different, Brian Bennett was there from Indonesia, Greg Rashford, just returned from Kuching, Vic and Sally Rogers and Harry (Ken`s baby brother) and Litia Nelson. Also visiting us (with Russ Gill from Cairns) was the former Arawa Police Supt, Mike Bell. My Chrissie worked for Mike at the Station in the early 70`s. It was good to have Chrissie handy. It is the only way that I could be sure of regular meals.

John McLeod and Roger Kapu were also down from Cairns. Gisela Hanssen has become one of our regulars. Gisela is about to join Bert on a yacht on the Adriatic. My blood is far too thin for such an adventure.

Perhaps the most consistent of our attendees from outside Brisbane, up from Sydney, is Stephanie Ross. Stephanie, you must have a massive photo collection from our reunions. If we can "limit the bytes" down to the minimum we will consider the circulation of some of this material. Stephanie may shock us one of these years by bringing along Barclay.

Also John and Shirley Mowatt have found a BCL phone book that goes back to the "dark ages". We would like to increase our readership from this document but it is a big job and for the time being we are fresh out of time. In this office we receive tremendous support from Maureen and James and Valerie has also been helping with the list and the mail outs. If anybody else is living close by and has time to spare then please give us a call. Sara helps out when she visits each year from Melbourne for some of the winter months.

Alana, thank you so much for bringing along Paul. We want you to bring along Marshall next year. We just won`t tell him about Ditchie attending. I will never forget the conversation that took place in Sally`s paddock between Ditchie and Marshall so many years ago. Thank you Sally for making the journey all the way from Grafton. The newly retired Mr Ray is looking well. He was seen speaking with Gwen and Billie Koch. At least his lips were moving so we can only presume that he was telling lies. (I pinched this line from our dear old mate, Danny McGrath) After many years working in Asia, Mike and Liz Crowe came along. We must convince Liz to attend a safe driving course. We were most concerned for the safety of some of the less nimble attendees.

As well as Bob Hutton, South Australia was represented by the Evansons, Colin and Eunice. Gavin and Sandy Comber were also there from somewhere in the cold country, further south.

While we are in "thank you mode" we should mention the Cybulski`s, Rhonda and George, who back in the early to mid-90`s, were the key networkers who worked to ensure our day out would endure. In fact without George and Rhonda i doubt that our fraternity would have made it to 2 years - it is now heading towards 22 years.

The Wilson`s had several house guests including Diane Soul from Melbourne. Both Ravenscroft families were represented from Melbourne and Port Macquarrie.

The former Loloho fraternity was well represented with Stephanie, Bill De Board, Roger Smitheram, the Gowans, the Vickers and Michelle Rigby. Chris is commuting to Tabubil. Chaddy was down from Cairns and on his customary impeccable behaviour. I don`t think that he offended too many people. His face was unmarked, usually a good indication.

There were several next generation Bougainville Brats in attendance. The Ryans were there in force. Alex Cybulski was another. I found myself speaking with a fine young man who turned out to be the son of Bob Sampson. I have misplaced this name, Bob, can you please help me here. David and Karyn Rosenthal (nee Simon) were others. We are delighted to advise that Karyn has recently joined the "A" Team.

I have not mentioned above many of the locals. Some that spring to mind are the Nagels - Marty and Lisa, Mick Hamer, Chris Hatherley, Valerie Garside, John and Anne, Peter and Shirley, Rob and Diane Slee, Peter Bennett, the PNG Vice Consul - Paul Nerau, Wendy and Ross Colvin, Derek Gorst, Robbie Brown, Fred and Marilyn Simon, Theresa Neville, Graham and Julie Talbot, Fergus Keane, Keith Sherwood, Blue and Vera Rodwell, Rae and Lisa Smart and Horst Allman, another champion attendee. There were many others. Jill has not been well so Derek was obliged to make the long return journey to Bellbowrie early afternoon. Keep your chin up, Jill. Mick remonstrated with Chrissie about some terrible mistake / choice that she made some 35 years ago !!!!!!

A few of our stalwarts were missing this year including Grumpy, Phil and Gunther, Urs (Freddie`s passing may have impacted here) and Peter Zilmer. Peter recently made it to the finals in the Queensland Masters Squash Tournament in Caboolture. Who should he see there, still playing at the highest standard, but Ross Tilby. Rolly and Marie Cornell were other regulars not to arrive this year.

Chrissie and I have been on a short holiday. Along the way we stayed with wonderful friends from our Arawa days, Susie and Sean James. Devon was rather damp but it did not stop us from enjoying our holiday. I spoke to the Rev John and Sarah Ewington. John has recently concluded a term of 15 years as the resident minister at the parish of Appledore, just around the corner from the James`. Sarah said that they maintain contact with many ex-Bougies including the Pattersons, Gwyn and Andy, the Jacksons, our Valerie and many others. Sarah said that Peter Gittens has been unwell. We hope that Peter recovers quickly.

I apologize to those who I have failed to mention here. James delegated to me the simple task of taking down some of the names but I have stuffed up again. On the positive side, the nametags were a great success. Rolly has been telling us to do this for many years.

Don`t forget the Melbourne reunion, see details here:

SUNDAY 5TH AUGUST 4.30 – 8.30pm



RSVP 29TH JULY Di Stewart 03 9584 8220 – stewies[AT]

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