Vol 12

Page 2


Honorary Life Membership.


Recently we were speaking with Bon Hall, who as Wng Cdr ER Hall (it’s a name that most will never forget) was the CO Radschool from 4th July 1964 to the 28th June 1968. A lot of us were at Laverton during his reign, yet I don’t think too many of us ever spoke to him, or got to know him and consequently we knew him only as that stern looking bloke who took the salute on parade once a week. Not many of us knew that as a Flt Lt, Bon Hall had been a POW under the Japanese during WWII and was forced to work on the notorious Burma railway and to endure horrific conditions. It’s probably still a surprise to most people, and it’s a pity that it has taken nearly 35 years for a lot of us to find out who our CO really was. Most of us have been to a war of one sort or another, God knows there has been enough of the bloody things, but none of us has had to endure the hardships that was forced on Bon during the later years of WWII.  Frank Alley, who was an EdO at Laverton during that period knew him and said of him  “My experience of him was that of a fine, honourable man, much to be admired for his work at Radschool. He was a man that looked older than his real age, I expect due to his war-time experiences. I didn’t know of his past at the time, but some time later I saw him interviewed on an ABC program about the Burma-Siam railway where he described the atrocious conditions and how he and his mates were forced to eat maggoty meat and were happy to do so. He later wrote a book about those experiences - The Burma-Thailand railway of death plus a number of other books including A saga of achievement, a story of the men and women who maintained and operated radio and radar systems of the RAAF over 50 years; A saga of achievement, the RAAF radio story and Glory in chaos a story about the RAAF in the Far East in 1940-42.


Frank says “I found him to be utterly supportive of a sprog such as me and entirely admirable. I was lucky to be an officer in the RAAF at the time that he was OIC. I admired him immensely, even though he chipped me for wearing my 'work' cap on parade. If ever there was a man who epitomised the best of the RAAF for me, it was Bon Hall and my worst moment in the RAAF was when I found that I had disappointed him.”


Since his retirement from the RAAF Bon has been very active in a number of organizations, but he is now slowing down, and is starting to draw back from active participation. He lives in Melbourne, not far from the City in one of the eastern suburbs and we thought it only fitting that the man, who had so much influence on us when we were young tear-aways living at Laverton, and who should be admired for his past experiences, should be our first Honorary Life Member.  I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say we’re proud to have him.  Perhaps he can share a few moments of his time at Laverton with us in later editions—we hope so!!  Incidentally, we know what the ER stands for…..



Next Reunion.


Well it’s now only ‘not long to go’ until the next reunion which we hope to hold over the long weekend, 25-27 April next year. That’s 6 months from now. Some time ago we applied for and received the OK from the Brisbane Anzac Day Combined Parade Committee to march under the Radschool Banner. The Committee are holding their next meeting on the 12th November and we have to attend for a briefing and to let them know our numbers. We hope to have Allan George lead the march, but he is still uncertain of his movements next year, all depends on good old Saddam I suppose. At this stage the numbers aren’t too encouraging with only 21 saying they ‘think’ they’ll attend. We understand that it’s still a way to go, and a lot don’t know what they’ll be doing then, but, if you do intend to attend, and if you haven’t already done so, please go to our web site www.smpl.com.au/radschool and fill in the coupon which will give us some sort of indication. If you don’t have internet access, please post us a small note. Remember, this is not binding in any way, we just need the numbers for planning and costing purposes. The numbers so far are:-


Anzac Day March                          21

City Rowers                                   27

Amberley tour                                20

Dinner                                             36

Bar-b-q                                           28

T-Shirt                                             20


Not yet enough, but it’s early.



Jenny Abbott knows that most blokes like to look at naked chicks, so she sent us a photo.

If you want to have a look, go HERE.   (Bet you all do that before you read the rest of the RAM)



For those not familiar with what we have planned, here again is the format:-


Friday 25 April


Join the Anzac Day march through the streets of Brisbane, starting about 10.30am, and marching behind the Radschool banner. Then after the march, we all meet at City Rowers which is a night club on the river, and where 9 and 35 Sqns have been meeting for years. City Rowers provides ‘walk around’ nibblies most of the afternoon, and you buy your own drinks at normal prices. Cost. $10 per head to get into the Night Club, and which includes the food.


Saturday 26 April.


Day.  Tour of Amberley via bus, which will leave the city at about 10.00am, arrive Amberley at 11.00am. Have a look over the base, then lunch in the Airman’s Mess followed by a few drinks in the Sgt’s Mess, return to Brisbane at about 3.00pm. Cost. About $20 per head—all inclusive.


Night.  Dinner and drinks at the Qld book-makers club. This will start about 7.30pm and will finish at 1.00am. We’re working on including some entertainment, but we’re not saying what just yet. It is a fancy dress night, and the theme for the night is “Famous Military Leader or Famous Crime Fighter.” You can come as Sparticus, Hitler, Batman, Dick Tracy, the Lone Ranger, doesn’t matter as long as he/she is/was a military leader or a famous crime fighter. Once again, John Broughton will MC the night which will include drinks and walk around nibblies from 7.30, buffet style dinner at about 9.00pm, then entertainment and drinks till close. Cost.  About $50 per head which includes drinks, food and entertainment.


Sunday 27 April


Barbeque brunch at New Farm park. This will start about 10.00am and will go till about 3.00pm, and will include all sorts of good things, eggs, sausages, bacon, toast, hash browns, tomatoes, etc, and a Champers or two to wash it all down. There will be plenty of tea and coffee, all designed to put out the fire from the previous night’s partying. Cost.  About $10 per head, all inclusive. There won’t be any other drinks provided, beer, spirits, etc, but those that wish can bring their own.


We’ve had a few queries re the dinner. Some think it a bit too expensive as they don’t drink all that much, or can’t as they live a few miles out of town and have to drive home. They think the $50 per head for the meal and one or two drinks is excessive and have suggested that we set a cost for the dinner, entertainment and for the rental of the upstairs room at the club and then allow everyone to buy their own drinks at their own pace. We’ll look into it if you want, please let us know what you think (email or write in) and if there are sufficient numbers we’ll do the sums. The trouble with that sort of exercise is this:—at present we have a “once only” $10 joining fee for the Association. We don’t have an annual membership fee as we find we usually receive enough money from new memberships and from money left over from the reunions to fund the RAM—until the next reunion. It’s really six of one, and half a dozen of the other. We haven’t yet asked the Booky’s club if they will take money on the night, last 2 reunions we had there we ran dry tills, and that was the way they preferred it.


If you haven’t already let us know your intentions re the reunion, do so as soon as please. It takes time to organise these things, and we’re slowly running out of that. We intend to get the next issue of the RAM out in about 2 months, just after Christmas, where we will let you know what’s on and how much. We’ll include a “Yes I’m in it” form and then we’ll ask you to confirm things, and send in your money. Start planning……..



When the driver of a huge semi trailer lost control of his rig, he ploughed into an empty tollbooth on the freeway and smashed it to pieces. He climbed down from his truck to survey the wreckage and within a matter of minutes, a repair truck pulled up and discharged a crew of workers. The men picked up each broken piece of the tollbooth and spread a creamy substance on it. Then they began fitting the pieces together. In less than half an hour, they had the entire tollbooth reconstructed and looking as good as new. "Astonishing!" the truck driver said to the foreman. "What was that white stuff you used to stick all the pieces together?"

Want to know—go to page 10 for the answer!!




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