We were deeply saddened recently with the passing of Colonel Garry Chandler RFD. Garry, a previous Commanding Officer of the Queensland University Regiment (1993-1996) and President of the Queensland University Regiment Association, passed away on 16 December 2004.
Many former members of the University Regiment and his colleagues from his military service attended his funeral which was held at St Bernard’s Church, Upper Mt Gravatt. The Association arranged a floral tribute for his wife Helen and has passed the sympathies of all Association members to her. Members of the Association have offered support to Helen for the future.
I was deeply honoured to be asked by Helen to present the eulogy for Garry at the funeral. Garry was a close mate and will be greatly missed. An honour guard of Garry’s former comrades formed up at the door of the church to pay respects to him on his final journey.
A short summary of his military service can be seen further on in this newsletter. The eulogy is also included in this newsletter.
On a brighter note, we welcome Nan Bahr as the new Commanding Officer as of 1 March 2005 and we wish her the best during her time of command.
At the end of the 2004, the Association met for the usual Christmas drinks at the Victory Hotel. Although I was not able to attend, I have been informed that it was indeed a pleasant occasion attended by over thirty members .
FUNCTIONS IN 2005
To reduce the cost of the postage for the quarterly newsletters, the executive urges members that have an email address and receive this newsletter by post to contact the Membership Registrar (Peter Morton) so that the Association can distribute notification of the newsletter via email.
The QURA website (www.qura.bigpondhosting.com) has the following contents:
In order to maintain the activities of the Association the executive has decided that members who require the newsletter to be mailed be asked to contribute an additional $2.50 per year. The first newsletter for 2005 will be free but subsequent issues will only be sent to those who assist us with the rising costs. We regret this decision but we wish to ensure that we have adequate finances to continue giving prizes/awards to the members of the Regiment.
As usual we will be asking members to continue supporting the Association through their contribution to their annual membership. The production of the newsletters, histories and support to the Regiment does incur a cost which can only be found through membership contributions and fund raising. We continue to welcome new members.
Members who are not currently financial will be contacted by the executive.
We intend continuing the collection of any pieces of history. We encourage members to take the time to write of their time in the Regiment. Either send it in hard copy of email it to any Executive member.
Don’t worry about the formatting – just produce the words. We will format it for the history collection.
Academic Prizes for QUR Cadets
QURA will present prizes to cadets for academic and military excellence in the studies for commissioning on 26 February 2005.
The committee is committed to furthering the goals of the Association and supporting the Regiment.
We would encourage you to attend the Back to the Regiment function on 11 March 2005.
Please note that this date has changed from previous notifications.
Colonel Garry Patrick Chandler, RFD
As mentioned earlier, the Executive Committee is moving towards notifying members via email when the newsletter is available on our website. By producing the newsletter in an electronic form we can provide colour photographs and can, in fact, include more pictures and articles.
By having email addresses, it also allows the Executive to quickly notify members of important occurrences and provide reminders of upcoming events.
We will still maintain a postal service for those members without email accounts but it will assist your Executive greatly if up to date email addresses are provided.
For members wishing to provide a new email address, please send an email to Peter Morton email@example.com so he can ensure your address is received and entered onto our contact list.
HISTORY OF QUR
Have you considered purchasing a copy of the History of QUR magnificently complied and edited by Paul Smith?
It contains 128 pages of stories, photographs and has a coloured badged cover.
What about a CD containing over 100 images of the history of the Regiment.
Why not treat yourself to a copy or buy copies for your friends. These are collectors items so don’t miss out.
How to purchase copies:
Ring Trevor Luttrell 0407 143 289
Email Peter Mortonpeteramorton@bigpond.com
Send your payment to:
The Treasurer, QUR Association, 24 Walcott Street, St Lucia Q 4067.
Examples of the Photos in the Images of the Regiment CD
DO YOU NEED MEDALS MOUNTED OR RENOVATED?
CONTACT Rick Fraser, Artist and Designer
Medals mounted and renovated
PO Box 2012, Woorim
Bribie Island Q 4507
Phone(07) 3408 0404 or 0411 460 378 or email Peter Morton on firstname.lastname@example.org
Eulogy delivered by Brigadier Trevor Luttrell at the funeral of Garry (Stumpy) Chandler, 20 December 2004
I am Trevor Luttrell. Helen has given to me the extreme honour today of talking about Garry. I gathered some mates to talk about him and this is the result.
I knew Garry as a mate and a soldier. Garry Patrick Chandler, other wise known as Gaz, Gazza, Stumpy, Mr Nice Guy and the Big Man. It is indeed a hard task to talk about a mate that I have known for many years and to try to find the right words. I have searched my soul. I have talked to those who knew him. I have struggled to summarize his life in a few words – believe me a hard task. The best words to describe Garry are that he was a BIG MAN………and I don’t mean big in the physical sense. Yes, he was a man mountain but Garry had a heart to match that size.
His real bigness was in the way he gave himself to others.
On the soldier side of things: Garry enlisted in the Army Reserve in the Queensland University Regiment in 1972 to train to be an officer. He was commissioned in 1976 as an infantry officer. In 1979 his greatness (I mean his bigness) was recognised when he was selected as the Aide De Camp for His Excellency, the Governor of Queensland, Sir James Ramsay. For those who may not understand this high honour, Garry was responsible for organizing the activities for the Governor and was his personal assistant during those years. This shows you the mark of the man, to be personally chosen by the Governor of Queensland.
Following this, he served in the University Regiment, the 9th Battalion The Royal Queensland Regiment, and after qualifying for the rank of Lieutenant Colonel he commanded the University Regiment. – 1993 -1996. Garry served in many postings after this command, in several training jobs and as the Deputy Commander 7 Task Force. In 1999 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel where his last command was as the Commandant of the Regional Training Centre responsible for training of regular and reserve soldiers in all of South East Queensland.
As you can see he was indeed a BIG MAN in military circles.
If the promotion to the high rank of Colonel was not big enough, during his career he won a Prince of Wales Award to travel overseas to study. During this travel he served in the British Territorial Forces in the UK and in Germany serving with three battalions of the Royal Green Jackets. He also served in the British Army Directorate working in the field of Individual Training. This service was recognized by a high commendation from the UK, one which is the equivalent of a Queens Birthday honour in Australia. For his service as the Commanding Officer of QUR, he received a General Officer Commanding Training Command high commendation. He also received the Reserve Forces Decoration for long and excellent service.
Now that I have mentioned the excellent service history of this big man, I will talk about the mate ……… Gazza.
I have received a note from one of Garry’s university associates Stephen Arnold who currently resides overseas and sent this note by EMAIL: He said:
In that little bend in the river at St Lucia there stands a building and, along its 5th level, there runs a corridor heading straight towards that bend in the river. At the end of the corridor, there once stood a man, proud and tall, holding ajar the door to room 531 and allowing the strong aroma of caffeine to tempt all who were hitherto locked away in their rooms, pulling out their hair over some research report, some student assignment, or some administrative matter. Garry Chandler- the Master Barrista in room 531 – had made one of his famous brews and was inviting the lucky residents of the corridor to partake. Over a coffee, the master would soothe away the tensions and frustrations of the motley bunch of academics, students and somewhere in betweens. The master performed miracles with his brew, his conversation, his caring empathic listening and the full, health giving belly laughs that were inevitable in his presence. Garry Chandler inhabited room 531 of Building 42 at UQ for some 3 years and created a genuinely supportive work environment in that corridor, building strong friendships along the way. He also worked closely with other lecturers, and the students he taught, to bring the human touch to the teaching of management. “Friends of the corridor”, fellow lecturers, and generations of students at UQ, owe their remaining shreds of sanity to the Master Barrista. We will miss him greatly…………………..
You may recall the TV series MASH where the surgeons called their quarters “The SWAMP”. Well several members of the ARES joined with Garry to be members of a swamp. Just a group of army buddies who went fishing, camping, socializing, partying, and yes……. even working together. We looked after each other and cared for each other. We supported each other over many years. I am proud to say that I am member of that swamp but I won’t tell you all of the stories about that group – some of them are best left unsaid.
In thinking about our experiences together I couldn’t recall anything that Garry did which matched the stupidity displayed by his swamp mates…… Garry was always there to enjoy the moments and mop up after our disasters. But let me tell a couple of stories.
Garry, the big man, was so good at his job that when we went fishing, his swamp mates used to ride at the back of the boat whilst he sat up the front shielding us from the sea spray. He thought he was so good shielding us, but really we were just using his big frame to balance the boat by using him as ballast. That is………….. two of us equaled one of him.
Yesterday we tried to capture some of those unusual words and activities which he regularly used. Statements such as :
When he was trying to take the mickey out of a mate he would say
You are confusing me …. With someone who cares!??????
– which in fact, we knew he always did.
Or he would say when some one made a mistake
Well …………. You missed it by that much
– This was normally directed to one of the swamp mates who had launched a very big boat at the ocean and missed by placing the boat on the concrete launching ramp instead, in front of the commodore of the boating club.
Garry also used to demonstrate his love of a joke, when he would appear to show to people his compassion, when he would be really having a dig at them. He would show his support for them by taking out his white handkerchief, folding it carefully and pretend to wipe the tears of compassion from his eyes. The cheeky gleam in his eyes showed the unique sense of humour he had.
Apart from his great love for Helen, Garry had interests in many things – BMW’s, cricket , all codes of football, any form of cards, Tim Tams, curry pies with mushy peas, a rare steak, sticky buns from the cake shop and a good cold beer … which of course had to be super strength. As Garry often said… copying the famous Homer Simpson…. Ah beer!
Garry had a great intellect which was ably demonstrated in the many games of cards he enjoyed playing. He took great delight in planning strategies to defeat others by devious and cunning methods. It was a delight to see him at work. It was all in good fun.
Helen told me I could not tell any really dreadful stories of Garry so I won’t. But some which involve Helen …… well……
It seems that Helen and Garry were at the Twin Waters Resort at Maroochydore. Garry was then a Lieutenant Colonel and a unit commander. It seems that for all his military skills Garry used to frequently get lost when attempting the arduous journey from their accommodation to the restaurant. After all there were three tracks to choose from!!. His usually good navigation just didn’t seem to work on holidays. Then when Garry and Helen rented one of the water bikes with the big wheels the bike continually went in circles. The big man Garry on one side, compared to the petite Helen on the other side made the bike impossible to steer. Garry kept on telling Helen to paddle faster to straighten it up. I am sure that Garry would have realized that he could have peddled a little slower.
However, Garry was always the real gentleman. Whenever he was seen, never was a hair out of place. The word impeccable springs to mind. He was often known as “Mr Perfect!” both in dress and manner. He once demonstrated the delicate art of shelling and eating prawns with a knife and fork while the rest of the table hoed into plates full of prawns in the usual messy way.
Garry always looked the part.
I cannot think of a time he ever displayed any angry emotion. He just kept a very even and calm attitude, and gave of himself to all who knew him. This meant he was highly respected by all. His cool calming approach was needed often when he had to cover up for the misdoings of some of his mates. Garry even had to help a soldier mate (who happened to be a Captain) to assemble his pack and webbing because he had never been in the bush before…….. so his boss would not find out.
But Garry had an ideal cover to show his human frailty. He would always have an excuse. If he left a dirty glass on the sink he would cover his tracks by quickly having a complicated technical reason why he left it there. Just another side of Garry, to demonstrate his caring for others. He worked for many years in “old Boys Associations” both military and civilian, to ensure that all were cared for. He was a big man and gave a lot.
For those who know about the Army life you will know that before every activity there is always an advance party to prepare the way. The joke from the swampies was when we were to go fishing or anywhere else we would agree on a time to leave. Say Friday morning for the weekend away. Then Garry would always say
Well if we are leaving on Friday morning we may as well leave on Thu night as the advance party.
After us changing the times for him he would then say
Well if we are leaving Thursday night we may as well leave Thursday morning to prepare the advance party.
This would continue for some time until we were planning to depart on the previous Monday.
Well old swamp buddy – you have gone one better and decided to go on the advance party by yourself. You were the Mr Nice Guy and will be going to heaven. Well for the rest of us, we are likely to be going elsewhere but we will try to be there with you.
These are just a few snippets of Garry’s life. He was a big man with a huge heart and an enormous quantity of caring and compassion. He gave to us all so much. He gave his heart to all. After talking about his excellent soldier skills I have to conclude and say that he failed in the application of one principle of war. … keeping something in reserve – he gave all of his heart and life to those around him. But unfortunately he did not keep enough in reserve for himself……When he really needed it.
Soldier on Garry, old mate.
A big man and a big heart.
We will remember you.
This annual activity continues to be a highly successful social function for the Association
Association members and their partners and guests are to RV in the Standfast Club, the soldiers’ club at the Regiment’s St Lucia depot, for an evening of good cheer with old comrades and new acquaintances from amongst the membership and those currently serving in QUR.
The activity is to be conducted in 5 phases:
Groupings and Tasks
Groupings will be fluid and the task is to have a good time.
H Hour 1800 hours (no problem if you can’t arrive till a little later)
Dress Smart casual but don’t worry about being overdressed if it’s convenient to come straight from the office.
Assembly AreaAmple parking is available in the depot grounds in Walcott Street.
Administration and Logistics
Payment Send a cheque with your reply form or you can pay at the door
RSVP 1 March. Please use the enclosed form or email/phone Peter Morton
Drinks A fruit punch & soft drinks will be available for those wishing to avoid alcohol
Rations The unit Catering Section will be providing a gourmet barbecue
Command and Signals
Come along and enjoy a drink and catch up with old friends of QUR. Or come along and meet some new members of the Association.
Reply Details for Back to the Regiment Night
Fri 11 Mar 05
If you pay your membership fees on a year by year basis payment isnow due for 2005.
A code showing your membership status is printed on the address label attached to this newsletter.
The codes are:
Annual dues are $10 and a 10 year paid-up membership can be had for $70.
Postage of newsletter $2.50 per year
Cheques should be forwarded to:
to Dr Karen Ferguson. Joel's best man is Brigadier Rod Hamilton , who is 2nd from the right. The wedding took place at the Garrison Chapel Enogerra on 4/9/2004
Association Office Bearers