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This is an initial advice of a Battalion reunion to be held in Canberra in November 2019 in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Battalion’s return to Australia (RTA).
On November 28, 1969 members of the Battalion boarded the HMAS Sydney for the return journey to Australia, landing in South Australia on December 9 for a welcome home parade through the city of Adelaide, from where it had departed for Vietnam on November 9, 1968.
Originally consideration was given to holding the RTA in Adelaide on and around December 9, 2019. However concerns that another reunion in Adelaide just two years from the last, the closeness to Christmas and the possible heat in Adelaide at that time of the year caused a rethink.
A suggestion put forward by SA Patron, Warren Featherby, that it may be appropriate to hold this reunion in Canberra was picked up by the SA Association. Discussions were held with the ACT Association and the proposed reunion as detailed here-under is ready to be launched.
As there were a number of reasons not to hold the reunion on and around 9 December, such as RMC March Out, ANU Breakup etc, it has been decided to hold the reunion on and around 28 November 2019 being 50 years since the Battalion departed Vietnam and began its RTA.
THEREFORE I am pleased to advise that planning is now well advanced to hold the 9th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment Association’s next reunion in Canberra from Wednesday November 27 until Friday November 29, next year 2019.
The programme for the three days of the reunion is:
Wednesday 27 – Whole of Battalion Meet & Greet to be held in a venue yet to be confirmed, however the venue will be one which serves meals and drinks in the normal course (eg a club) where it will not be necessary to “hire the room” but rather those attending simply arrive, purchase their own food and drink as they wish and catch up with the others attending. We are having discussion with one such venue located in Dickson. There will be no up-front cost to you as you pay the venue on the day. This event will be held from 1130 hours until whenever you choose to leave.
Thursday 28 – Reunion Lunch to be held in the Silks Restaurant, Canberra Thoroughbred Park, 1 Randwick Rd, Lyneham ACT commencing at 1130 hours until whenever you choose to leave. The lunch will consist of a two course meal (main and desserts) with two choices of each (alternate drop). We have opted not to have a beverage pack, which disadvantages the non-drinkers, instead the venue will provide a “cash” bar where you can purchase as little or as much as you want of what you like. There will be minimal formalities, no entertainment, no auctions, maybe a raffle, no memorabilia sales, just the opportunity to eat, drink and chat to others attending. We have chosen a midday function so that people can stay on as long as they wish, but when they leave not have to find their way home in the dark. The venue is almost adjacent to a stop on the new Light Rapid Rail service expected to be completed in early 2019.
Friday 29 – Commemorative Service to be held in the Royal Military College Chapel, Duntroon. The service will be held at 1000 hours allowing people to make their own arrangements for lunch with others from the Battalion following the service. Holding the service in a Chapel such as this overcomes weather problems, the need to source and pay for a marquee, chairs etc., a significant cost saving
The costs for you to attend the reunion will be keep to a minimum. As with the Adelaide reunion grant funds will be sourced to defray essential costs. At this stage of our planning, the costs for the reunion are the room hire for the lunch venue, the meal which includes tea & coffee, some incidental costs for postage etc. We are looking at bus and coach hire for a shuttle to the lunch venue from the LRR Station and transport to Duntroon. Whether we need this or how many we need will become obvious as people book and let us know their needs. Our budgeting shows that the cost per person for the reunion will be $55.
We do not expect to have as many people attend this reunion as happened with the Adelaide reunion. We would hope that 250 may get along, but if only 170 turn up so be it. This is our break-even point.
You may be wondering why the SA Association is involved in organising this reunion in Canberra. The reason is that it was SA who first proposed a RTA (Return to Adelaide) Reunion for Adelaide. When the decision was taken to hold it in Canberra, the SA Association agreed to continue the organising as the ACT Association does not have a lot of members. The ACT Association is providing on the ground support as needed. The other reason is that SA has the data-base and web facilities which were put in place for the 2017 Adelaide reunion.
General factotum (formerly Honorary Lance Corporal)
Coordinator Canberra Renuion