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2006 Reunion Report
"Return to the Heartland" - 17 to 20Aug 2006

106 Field Workshop RAEME Association Inc hosted a Major Reunion for the Unit's veterans and others in August 2006.

Photos

Report and Thanks

John Strachan

Hi All

It was a fantastic reunion, made fantastic by the bubbly mood of all those who attended and the excellent support which was provided by the Army Logistic Training College, The Murray Border Vietnam Veterans Assoc, The Army Museum and the SS&A Club.

I'll have some more to say on another day.

For now I want to post the report already written by Terry Beaton.

Terry is retired but performs the role as the RAEME Colonel Commandant for the Victoria and Tasmanian Region. We invited Terry along to address us at the dinner but as he is actively involved in developing the EME display in the Army Museum he was able to attend the other events. Terry was adapt at swapping as many stories as the next bloke so he really contributed to helping make the event more memorable.

Terry has written a report already because he is off to Japan tonight!

Here is the report he has posted to his contact group:

Back To Heartland Reunion Report

Over the period 17-20 Aug 06 The 106 Fd Wksp Association had their “Back To The Heartland Reunion” for those who served in the unit in SVN over the period 1968-71, as well as an open invite to those from 1 Armd Sqn Wksp and other Workshops, and attached LADs at Nui Dat and Vung Tau.

By 11 Aug 06 some 69 Vietnam Vets (Bluebells, Blanket Counters, Bake Layers and Band Aids) and 45 wives had registered for the three day event, despite the difficulty of travelling to Albury from interstate. The Committee can be happy with the turnout of dedicated Veterans, especially as people like “Enzo” advised one night that up to four years ago he could hardly “leave” his home, let alone face travelling interstate to Albury.

Highlights for the Group were the opportunity to visit ALTC on Friday 18 Aug 06, where they observed future tradesmen under current training, followed by a most memorable “Dusk Service” in Albury to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Long Tan organised by the Murray Border Vietnam Veterans Association (MBVVA). The President, ex-WO1 Gary Treeve (RAEME) gave a moving account of the action at Long Tan in his address. Eighteen candles were laid by Veterans to commemorate those who died in this battle.

The following morning the group visited the developing EME Exhibit at the Army Museum followed by a BBQ lunch in the Memorial Park in South Bandiana on a sunny, but cool day. The BBQ was catered for by the MBVVA with assistance from the new Bandiana Chapter.

The main Reunion Dinner was held that night at the SS & A Club at Albury, where a “lite pro” presentation continued to show photos of events in SVN ongoing from the previous night’s buffet dinner.

The atmosphere throughout the event was fantastic with so much humour attached to memories from long ago. Mateship was everywhere to be seen. Little if anything was said about the bad times. It proved that 106 Fd Wksp was a typical RAEME Unit, despite the war, with characters in all forms. Some more than others coming to the forefront of comments throughout the proceedings.

The presentation of a mounted pistol (suitably rendered) to the unit’s CSM (Milton Pearson) to replace the one he had lost on a mission nearly 40 years ago was an unforgettable moment. Milton was speechless for nearly a minute, then he recounted the events surrounding the loss, followed by a complaint that a certain Scheyville trained QM had made him pay $75 for the loss, when a beer only cost 30 or 50 cents.

The Committee can be proud for organising a highly successful bash, thoroughly enjoyed by everybody who made the effort to attend. Well done!

Footnote:-Milton didn't pay a brass razoo for the pistol but I'm still waiting for the $1 for the lanyard!

As I said earlier - more about the reunion another day.

Regards

John Strachan
President
106 Fd Wksp RAEME Association Inc