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Reserve Forces Day 2005

The 2005 parade was a grand success around Australia.  It celebrated the 90th anniversary of the recruiting marches after the terrible loss of life at Galliopli, the 50th anniversary of the raising of reserve Special Forces units, and service of women in the reserve.  All of the activities are recorded here on this page.

  National Parade Sydney Sunday 3 July 2005 go to top of page

The Commandos on the MarchOn 3 July 2005 The Sydney Parade was a great spectacle.  Veterans and present serving members of the Commando Regiment were assembled at College Street South where they were inspected by Her Excellency the Governor of New South Wales resplendent in her uniform as Honorary Colonel of the Royal New South Wales Regiment, the Chief of Defence Force, and the Prime Minister's representative.  The Governor then moved to inspect the assembled Coo-ee marchers fresh from their training at Malabar the day before, and the Light Horse.

Her excellency's party then moved to a dais outside Parliament House in Macquarie Street where she took the salute as the NSW Mounted Police, Light Horse, Coo-ees, Commandos, Overseas Visitor Contingents from Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United States of America and Reserve Association members from the Second Division and other NSW units marched past.

Activate the links below to see who was there and all of the day's activities.  (CDO Video is .wmv file 498 kb - Channel 9 Coverage is .wmv file 1,291 kb both require Windows Media Player.)  Channel 9 coverage courtesy the Nine Network Australia, Published with permission.


  Melbourne Parade Sunday 3 July 2005 go to top of page

The Melbourne Parade Preparation for the physical aspects of the 2005 Reserve Forces Day March in Victoria commenced in the environs of the Shrine of Remembrance on the prior day with the erection of a marquee to accommodate the large number of VIP's and official guests from both civilian and military callings.

The march stepped off at precisely 1130 hours and proceeded towards the Shrine of Rembrance led by the WW1 horse drawn ambulance from the Light Horse and Artillery museum. The march was led by BRIG Andy McGalliard RFD ED, President of the Victorian Branch of the Defence Reserves Association followed by contingents from the Navy, Army and Air Force, the Army contingent led by the Commandos in recognition of their 50th anniversary. The salute was graciously taken by His Excellency the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia MAJGEN Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC who was later accorded a Royal Salute simultaneously as the RAAF Roulettes conducted a bomb burst over the Shrine of Rembrance at 1200 hours. The RAAF museum had previously conducted a spectacular flyover as the marchers were approaching the saluting base.

The commemoration ceremony was commenced by COL John Wertheimer AM RFD, Chairman of the Victorian Reserve Forces Day Council, who introduced the Governor-General who gave an interesting delivery on the 90th anniversary of the landing of the AIF at Gallipoli highlighting the activities of Private Johnson, one of many Victorians to take part.

Senator Mitch Fifield delivered the Prime Minister's Reserve Forces Day message which unfortunately did not incorporate the Victorian aspect of the march.

The Chief of Army LTGEN Peter Leahy AO, gave a delivery on the history of the commandos and their current role and on conclusion assisted by BRIG Andy McGalliard made book presentations to three outstanding members of the Reserve Forces in recognition of their service.

Commander 4 BRIG Steve Aird read the lesson.

The Head of Reserve Policy MAJGEN Neil Wilson AM read the ode.

The Governor-General was afforded a further Royal Salute on the departure of the Vice Regal Party and the march was dismissed.

Official estimates put the total attendance at around 4000. The weather remained fine and cool.

150 VIP and Official guests were invited to a light luncheon in the Western Wing of the Shrine Visitors Centre where many commented on the great success the activities of the day and how much they had enjoyed it.

Peter Wertheimer
Convenor Melbourne Reserve Forces Day July 2005.


  Newcastle Parade Saturday 2 July 2005 go to top of page

The Newcastle AddressOn 2 July 2005,  the Newcastle Reserve Forces Day Council held their district parade.  Air Vice Marshal Kindler was the guest of honour, international guests from Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United States of America joined in the celebrations

Activate the link below to see the action on the day.


  Training Saturday 2 July 2005 go to top of page

Coo-ees in TrainingOn 2 July 2005,  volunteers from the towns and suburbs along the 1915 Coo-ee March route from Gilgandra to Sydney, gathered at the Anzac Rifle Range, Malabar to train as their forbears did along the way.  They were trained by instructors from Army Training Command, achieving a high standard of drill.  The contingent from Gilgandra led by the Mayor and dressed in the kind of blue dungarees and white hats issued to the marchers along the track won the marching competition, and were presented with commemorative certificates by the Reserve Forces Day National Chairman, Sir Lawrence Street.

Members from the Australian Great War Association dressed in period uniforms established a tented camp re-creating the atmosphere of an AIF training in 1915.  All those present got to visit the encampment and be instructed on the conditions and equipment of long ago.  The AGWA members were also given an opportunity to sharpen their drill so they could take the part of the Coo-ee's AIF instructors on the parade through Sydney on 3 July.

Members of the Australian Light Horse Association were given the opportunity to train under Inspector Wayne Biffin, and Don Eyb (Retd) of the NSW Mounted Police so they could take their place in the Sunday parade.

Army Reserve recruiting had a stand alongside the training ground, and took a number of expressions of interest.

Activate the links below to see the action on the day.  (Video is .wmv file 670 kb - requires Windows Media Player.)


  Melbourne Launch 2 July 2005 go to top of page

The Melbourne LaunchThe Victorian Media launch was conducted at the Melbourne Town Hall commencing at 1000 hours. MC. FLTLT Peter Meehan had arranged a deal of media coverage. The Commandos celebrating their 50th anniversary were the focal point of the launch with rappelling displays down the portico walls, adopting the defensive position to cover each other then proceeding a mock attack on the Town Hall, together with displays of their substantial equipments.

The Commander 4 Brigade Brigadier Steve Aird delivered an address highlighting the role of Reservists in today's Defence Forces whilst Stan Alves veteran AFL footballer and coach in support gave a delivery analogy of the parallel of serving in the Reserve Forces and Australian football teamwork. The 2/10 RAA band was in support attracting much general public attention and interest.

The Melbourne City Council provided morning tea for the participants following the launch. The TV news that evening gave very good coverage of the events of the launch.

Peter Wertheimer
Convenor Melbourne Reserve Forces Day March 2005.

  Overseas Visitor Welcome 29 June 2005 go to top of page

The Welcome FunctionOn 29 June 2005, Overseas current and past serving reservists from Continental USA, Hawaii, Hong Kong and New Zealand were welcomed at a function at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.  Highlights of the night included a performance by the University of New South Wales Regiment Band, a guitar rendition of Waltzing Matilda by Colonel Philip Calahan of the USA, a New Zealand Haka and the winning of the  Overseas Visitors' singing of Waltzing Matilda contest by the Hong Kong contingent, singing in Cantonese, complete with a swagman visitation (see Video).

Activate the links below to see who was there and view the Hong Kong contingent's singing efforts.  (Video is .wmv file 607 kb - requires Windows Media Player.)


  Foster Tuncurry Parade, Sunday, 26 June 2005 go to top of page

On 26 June, the Forster Regional Reserve Forces Day Council held a very successful march through the streets of Tuncurry. The parade consisted of reservists from 41 RNSWR, Cadets from all three services, ex-reservists, ex-servicemen and women along with members from a number of National Servicemen's Sub-Branch's.  The parade was escorted by the Newcastle Military Band, the Hastings Pipes & Drums and the Forster Tuncury City Band.  We were very lucky that the weather broke for the hour and a half that we needed to complete the march and speeches.

The Reviewing Officer for the march was Brigadier Bruce Cook ADC and he was pleased to take the salute from the various units taking part.

At the conclusion of the march we retired to the Forster Tuncurry Memorial Services Club where we served about 350 meals.  During the meal we were entertained by the jazz section of the Newcastle Band, which was very much appreciated by those in attendance.

The day was great success and we thank the National Reserve Forces Day Council for their assistance.

Bob Russell, Secretary

  Sydney Media Launch Friday, 10 June 2005 go to top of page

Hon Charlie Lynn MLC Reserve Forces Day was successfully launched to the Media in Sydney on Friday 10 June 2005 at the historic Hyde Park Barracks, Macquarie Street.

The Deputy Chairman Lieutenant Colonel John Moore OAM, RFD, ED introduced the keynote speaker, The Hon Charlie Lynn MLC.  Charlie is a former soldier and veteran of the Vietnam conflict.  He spoke of the spirit of the volunteer and how that spirit inspired the coo-ee marchers, and all of those who have given reserve service.

Charlie was followed by Major John Gallagher.  John is a currently serving reservist veteran of East Timor. He is a direct descendent of William Thomas Hitchen the Gilgandra butcher who organised and led the march to Sydney in 1915.

Major General Warren Glenny AO, RFD, ED a former commander of the Second Division and Honorary Colonel of the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers spoke on the History and traditions of the Second Division.

All present were impressed by the display by Coo-ee, AIF (1914-1918) and 2 Div (1948) re-enactors in historic dress.  A copy of the press release, and the story of the coo-ees handed to the press at the launch can be downloaded below.

The video is an excerpt from Charlie Lynn's speech.  (Video is .wmv file 504 kb - requires Windows Media Player.).

Thanks to Channel 9 and Channel 10 for covering the launch.


  Brisbane Media Launch, Sunday, 5 June 2005 go to top of page

23 (City of Brisbane) Squadron members at the Brisbane Media LaunchThe Reserve forces Day in Brisbane this year follows the theme "Women in the Reserve".

The key-note speaker at the South Queensland Media Launch was Justice Margaret White of the Queensland Supreme Court.  Her speech can be downloaded below.

Justice White obtained her degree of Batchelor of Laws from the University of Adelaide in 1966. She worked in the field of International Law, particularly decolonisation and its effects upon treaties in the former colonies of Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.

She was commissioned as a Second Officer in the WRANSR in 1967 to provide expert lectures to final year cadets at the RAN College, Jervis Bay, on the subjects international law and the laws of war. Justice White has the distinction of being the first WRANSR Officer commissioned since World War II.

In 1970 she moved to Brisbane, where she was a full time lecturer at the University of Queensland Law School. She continued to serve in the Naval Legal Panel until 1974.

In 1983 she commenced full time practice at the Brisbane Bar; and was appointed Master of the Supreme Court on 5 March 1990. She was appointed a Justice of the Court on 2 April 1992. She has been a member of the Senate of the University of Queensland since 1993. Her particular legal interests are Legal Education and International Law in National Courts.

In 2002, Justice White was re commissioned into the RANR with the rank of Commander. She is married to Dr. Michael White QC, a retired submariner. Their daughter, Sophie is currently serving as Lieutenant, Legal Officer, in the RAN. 


  Community Service Announcements go to top of page

Senator HillVideo Community Service Announcements (CSAs) have been released by the Minister for Defence Thr Hon Senator Robert Hill.  One for NSW, the other for the rest of Australia.  Activate the links below to see the CSAs. (Videos are .wmv files 629 kb NSW, 536 kb rest of Australia - require Windows Media Player.)


Audio Community Service Announcements have been produced by the Radio Announcer John Laws. (Audios are .wma files 531 kb NSW, 478 kb rest of Australia - require Windows Media Player.)


  The Coo-ees in Training go to top of page

Coo-ees in TrainingOn 29 May 2005, Coo-ees around NSW went into training.  Some 50 who will partake from Sydney formed up at Fort Chauvel, Malabar (see below) to learn the basics of drill that they will need to know to take part in the parade.

WW1 AIF re-enactors also took part, preparing a cut down version of the camp they will prepare on Saturday 2 July for the public to view.

Activate the links below to check out the action.  (Video is .wmv file 563 kb - requires Windows Media Player.)


  Association Briefing go to top of page

Sir Laurence Street, MD of TQ3 Travel a Major Sponsor and John Moore at the BriefingOn 19 May 2005, Reserve corps and unit associations were briefed on the scope and nature of the parade in Sydney.  TQ3 Travel made a substantial sponsorship donation to the organising council.


  Launching The Coo-ee Reenactment go to top of page

GilgandraEach of the towns and cities that participated in in the original coo-ee march were held meetings in March 2005 to assemble committees to gather and train Volunteers.


  National Launch 27 November 2004 go to top of page

Vintage Vehicles at the LaunchThe 2005 national launch was conducted at Victoria Barracks, Paddington (a close in Sydney suburb) on 27 November 2004. In the presence of The Hon De-Ann Kelly MP, Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister assisting the Minister for Defence and other dignitaries.

The ceremony took place in what is now the Victoria Barracks gymnasium. The hall that in WW1 recruits received their medical examinations. Re-enactors were present to add the flavour that will be seen when the parade takes place in July 2005.

The Right Honourable the Prime Minister sent a message of encouragement for the parade organisers, those who will take part in the 2005 parade, and Reservists past and present who have and continue to serve the nation.

Use the buttons below to download the PM's message, and a gallery of photos of the launch.


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Reserve Forces Day Council Inc
Patron in Chief His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
National Chairman the Honourable Tim Fischer AC
National Executive Officer and NSW Chairman Lieutenant Colonel John Moore OAM RFD ED Retd

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