QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY REGIMENT

ASSOCIATION

November 2006
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Volume 18 Number 4

          November 2006

What's in this Issue

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President's Report

The Annual General Meeting of the Association was held on 15 September 2006.  It was well attended with a few new faces.  It was the last occasion which the current Commanding Officer would attend as the CO.  The Association passed our thanks for her stewardship over the last few years and wished her well for the future.  The CO designate LTCOL Jennifer Cotton attended and was welcomed by all members.

Although the night was a little long, the presentations given by Bruce Davis and George Fryberg were fascinating.  It was a pity that we ran out of time to satisfy all during the question and discussion period.  Their presentations can be seen in this newsletter.

As usual a management committee was elected and the new members of the committee can be seen later in this newsletter.  For the next year we are combining the duties of secretary and treasurer.  On behalf of the members the previous members of the committee were thanked for their work during the year.

For those members who visit the QURA website (obviously if you are currently reading this report) I am sure you are impressed with the development of the site.  Peter Morton has worked hard to develop the site and spends a lot of time organizing the presentation of each newsletter.  There will be some more development to make the site more user friendly.

Recently I was pleased to receive some photos and historical articles from the late Alex Freeleagus’ etstate.  We are currently processing these and will be using them in future editions of the newsletter.  I again appeal to all to consider writing small snippets of you memories with QUR.  Even only a few lines will help.  All contributions are saved and will be used for future editions of historical publications.

With Christmas coming I would urge members to consider the purchase of a QUR tie, lapel pin or stubby holder.  The small profit we make on the sale of these item gives us the ability to continue our work.  You can view our range of memorabilia and purchase instructions on our For Sale page.


The last function for the year will be the Christmas get together at the Victory Hotel in the city on 1 December 2006.  It is a great time to drop in after work to share a drink prior to the Xmas break.  We have arranged a separate section of the hotel for QURA members only.  We normally get a very good attendance and we find it to be a very pleasant hour or so.

We remind you that the first function for the new year will be the Back to the Regiment in Feb – March.  The date will be confirmed later.  We will notify all via email once the date is set.

I wish to extend the best for the festive season and trust that you rest well and safely.

 


 

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CO's Report

This year has been an important one for QUR.  We have had some very great successes, the rise in Staff Cadet numbers being just one.  We now regularly have around 100 Staff Cadets attending training at St Lucia and Townsville.  This is extraordinary and we are really quite stretched, but happily so, to cater for them.  Our last two Selection Boards have yielded 16 more Staff Cadets starting their induction on the 10th November.  I believe by mid 2007 there will be around 100 Staff Cadets at St Lucia alone, with us hitting the 120 mark including North Queensland Company. 

Alongside this we have had a boom in the number of Soldiers we have at entry level with the Training Support Company.  We now have around 22 on our books.  We have struck a deal with 9 RQR and these people now benefit from some training with 9 RQR each month.  This has the benefit of grounding them with their infantry skills, giving insight to a typical Infantry setting, providing opportunities for deployment as they arise, and of course the reciprocal benefit for 9 RQR, of providing troops to lead. 

Just recently we have welcomed the new Commandant for RMC-A BRIG Bornholt.  He has an agenda for change that may see the First Appointment Course shortened considerably, and may include use of the Kapooka Recruit Training Centre for our Staff Cadets at the early stages of their program.  The details are still being worked through and will probably not result in any perceivable differences to our programs until late 2007. 

In the region, the Army Reserve is about to experience a major reorganization.  It is likely that QUR will come under 11 Brigade for administrative command, and remain with RMC only for technical control of modules.  The move of Reserve elements (including 9 RQR) in South East Queensland to 11 Brigade, 2 Division, is creating quite a stir, but I’m certain the details of the arrangements will be settled quickly with projected start date of the new arrangements June 2007.

At QUR we are coming to the end of posting for several key staff.  It seems that the RHQ will be changing almost entirely for 2007.  We have two new ARA CAPTs arriving soon.  In the new year we welcome a new Commanding Officer LTCOL Jenny Cotton, XO MAJ Kerry Tcherepko, OC Jacka Coy MAJ Russell Jacob, OC Trg Coy MAJ Brennan, Trg MAJ Doug Perrers, OPS WO, RQ and so on.  It really is going to be a new team.  For next year we will also have a few vacancies, 14 Captain Instructor and 11 SNCO.  These vacancies are going to hit the unit hard, especially with the boost in Staff Cadet numbers.  APA-B is working hard to fill the spots with warm bodies, but maybe there are some talented people on the Standby Reserve who might like to take up the call and join the active members of the Regiment again.

As for myself, I have again enjoyed the privilege of being Commanding Officer of QUR for another year.  I have as yet not been formally informed of my next posting, but if the story I’ve been told is correct then I’ll be quite pleased ….  Of course you never believe anything until it arrives in writing.

Thanks again for your continued support of the Regiment, and I wish you and your families a happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Nan Bahr
Lieutenant Colonel
Commanding Officer
Queensland University Regiment

 

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"Did you know about...", Did you ever"

Complete the Caption Competition

This is for all the would be wits in QURA - Submit a funny caption for the picture below and the best reply will receive an ever popular QURA stubby holder as the prize.  All entrants will be published in the next newsletter.

Please send in your entry via email to Trevor Luttrell.

 

Why not provide some little snippets for publication in this section?
Why not share some secrets?
Remember no names no pack drill!

 

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FUNCTIONS IN 2006

Back to the Regiment            17 March 2006
Anzac Day                               25 April 2006
Regimental Dinner                  6 May 2006 (By Invitation from QUR)
AGM                                        15 September 2006 - ( 1900Hrs for 1930Hrs)
Christmas Function                 1 December 2006 (Victory Hotel Friday 5.30 PM)

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KOKODA TRACK by Laurie Smith

As promised in the last newsletter, here is the account of  the trek along the Kokoda Track by some rather energetic members of QURA.


KOKODA

 
It was all Backstrom's fault.

The seven of us were having a quiet beer at the Irish Club when he casually threw out the challenge "
I'm going to do the Kokoda track next year, do any of you want to come with me?"

We'd all had a couple before this seemingly innocent question was tossed up and of course it seemed like a terrific idea.  After bouncing the concept around we were soon vowing to carry each other over the track if for unimaginable reasons that should become necessary in such a fine body of men.  Backstrom had picked his time to perfection!

Chris contacted us individually the next day by which time of course we were sober and to a man, advised him that doing the track in the time frame agreed the night before was now unfortunately impossible. 

However, he was unrelenting - "
you promised" he said, "we all agreed" he whined, and one by one we crumbled. 

The next phase of this looming catastrophe was a numbing realisation of the enormity of the task to which we had so casually agreed.  Our QUR days and our physical ability to patrol all day without a second thought were very dim distant memories - a fitness regime was a clear and pressing need.

There were a couple of false starts but, after a number of religiously attended planning sessions back at the scene of the crime, momentum began to build and some serious training was undertaken.  Sand tracks on Stradbroke Island, the best that Binna Burra and O'Reilly's have to offer in the way of tough walks and our home away from home - Mt Cootha, were the focus of a lot of our spare time for the next six months.

We had chosen to do the track with Executive Excellence (EE) which proved to be a very sound choice because the company's name is synonymous with its approach to preparing people for the track physically, mentally and emotionally. 

The physical preparation includes a compulsory eight week program involving gym work, tortuous early mornings walking backwards up steep hills carrying weighted packs and the painful discovery of all of the hardest tracks on Mt Cootha for three hours every Saturday morning.  A six hour "graduation" walk completed the program five days before we flew out to Port Moresby on our grand adventure.

Our trek was traversing from Kokoda back to Owers Corner outside Port Moresby and the flight from Moresby to Kokoda gave us our first view of the terrain we'd have to walk over.  "
Bloody hell!!" was the most printable reaction I can record here, however it was the beginning of our understanding of the horrendous conditions that all who fought and died on the track endured.  The seeds of a respect that grew deeper and more personal with every day's passing were well and truly sown.

We had chosen to do the track in July and by coincidence, the dates almost mirrored the start of the campaign for the 39th Battalion back in 1942.  Just arriving on the Kokoda airfield gave an overwhelming sense of that history and a brief walk took us to the Kokoda plateau itself where a memorial and a well tended museum stand silent and solemn sentinel. 

One of the benefits of doing the track with EE is that it's predominantly staffed by ex-military personnel who ensure that the geographical points of significance, and the people associated with them, are honoured with well constructed and delivered briefing sessions.

Kokoda was our first experience of those briefings and it's hard to describe adequately the emotion evoked sitting where soldiers had fought and died in such a significant military site while its history is comprehensively described by someone who cares deeply about it.  At a couple of points along our journey these briefings drew unembarrassed tears as our understanding of what the soldiers went through matured. 

Our first taste of the track itself was reasonably easy until the final climb into our night position at Deniki which gave a testing indication of what lay ahead.  It also gave us our first experience of jungle conditions - the humidity, the cool and welcome afternoon rain, the mud underfoot and the luxuriantly varied plant life.  Remarkably, we encountered almost no animal life at all. 

A rat pack dinner after a tub in the creek was followed by the inevitable evening sick parade conducted by our indomitable trek leader and medic Maddi.  There were twenty -four of us in the trek group and a few had early blisters which were treated amid vocal and totally useless advice from the rest of the rapidly bonding group.  An early night in our one-man tents completed what soon became a familiar and reviving evening routine as our journey progressed.

Day two was a hard slog to Isurava which features heavily in our collective memories of the track for two separate but equally significant reasons.  The first is the memorial which is one of the most powerful war memorials any of us had previously experienced. 

Its power emanates from both its location - a clearing in the jungle with an incredible view down the Kokoda valley to the airfield - and from its simplicity.  Four large, black pillars stand in a circle of white gravel and each stone is engraved with one of the words - Courage, Endurance, Mateship, Sacrifice. 

The combined effect resonates with an almost palpable aura of reverence and respect which is made all the more significant because of its close proximity to the spot where Bruce Kingsbury won his VC. 

 

 


 

 


Isurava was a high point for us because of the memorial but unfortunately it was also the low point of the trek because it was here that Chris Backstrom made the brave decision to leave. 

 

Chris is legally blind but has a degree of eyesight which enabled him to undertake the training with some difficulty but nonetheless safely.  Unfortunately, that capacity was impacted severely by the variable light conditions under the jungle canopy to the point where he couldn't see at all.  His physical endurance and his courage were more than a match for the challenges of the track but unfortunately not his ability to see it. 

In typical Backstrom fashion, his principal concern was not for himself but for the safety of his porter and the time delay effect of his necessarily slow passage on the larger group.  It was a deeply poignant experience to have to say goodbye at such a significant point of remembrance as Isurava - the seven had become six. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Pressing on, we followed the merciless path through Alola, Eora Creek and Templeton's Crossing until we reached Kagi on the fourth and by far the wettest night we spent on the track.  It was a newly prepared site and very muddy, but our spirits lifted enormously when three casks of wine were magically produced by our indomitable carriers to accompany a fresh pasta meal.  After dinner, one of the few surviving fuzzy wuzzy angels was brought in a wheel chair to our camp and we heard his proudly related story in respectful silence.

The fifth night saw us arrive at Menari, the most picturesque of all the villages we encountered and the second highpoint of the trip because John, the EE military historian, put together a special briefing that night which he delivered with heartfelt passion. He also arranged for three of our number to recite a reading and two poems which eloquently evoked the courage, sacrifice and achievement of the troops and the fuzzy wuzzy angels who had preceded us to this spot sixty-four years earlier.

After the final poem, the Ode was recited with chilling resonance and followed by silent individual reflection in near total darkness.  That silence was broken when our native carriers, who had quietly gathered behind us in the darkness, unexpectedly and beautifully sang the PNG national anthem in perfect harmony.  It was a truly moving experience and there were few dry eyes as the trekkers responded by singing Advance Australia Fair with our arms around each other. 

Leaving Menari we pushed through the track's constantly changing terrain traversing along the flats of the Brown River and encountering true swamp for the first time until we reached Nauro village and a well earned overnight rest.

The next morning took us on a gruelling three hour climb up the nine false crests of the Maguli Range after which we pressed on to Ioribaiwa Ridge, the closest that the Japanese got to Moresby.  It was sobering to stand on that historic ground facing Moresby and reflect on the possibilities for Australia if they hadn't been repulsed - they got so very, very close!

Our last day's trekking saw us climb Imita Ridge and descend to wade the deliciously cool Goldie River before the final push up to Owers Corner with its magnificent archway memorial. 

The climb to Owers is a fitting way to finish because as a final challenge, the track saves one of its biggest, bastard climbs for the very end - an unrelenting grind made harder by the blazing sun as the surrounding jungle has been cleared.


A key memory of the trip is the sheer ruggedness of the track - we did a lot of hills in some fairly rough terrain during training but the track made them all look like the botanic gardens by comparison. 

The distance from Kokoda back to Owers Corner is only ninety-six kilometres however, the constant variation of terrain and the high degree of difficulty in each of those transitions makes the track one hell of a challenge. 

At no point along the way can you "unplug" and walk along, mind in neutral, enjoying the often stunning view because in many instances the path is just mud held together by tree roots and every step requires concentration and careful selection. 

Grinding ups which seem never-ending turn into treacherous downhill stretches which appear equally interminable.  Reaching the top of a bad up is cause for only temporary celebration because it means going down again only to inevitably arrive at another killer up. 

Knees ache, joints moan and feet scream from the constant pounding hour after hour but remarkably, no serious injuries were sustained by any of our party apart from a nasty case of "trench foot". 

The highest point of the journey is the top of Mt Bellamy which at 7000 feet presented yet another surprising element of this amazing track because for the first time we all experienced the breathlessness resulting from exertion at altitude.

Multiple creek crossings were achieved via ingenious arrangements of ropes, downed trees, saplings and more ropes built by our native carriers who shepherded us across with great care - they were like old friends by the end of the trip.

The shy, laughing people we met in the villages along the track are another lasting memory as is the unexpected and fully savored taste of a can of beer which some local entrepreneur had carried God knows how far to sell to us trekkers.

Also engrained is the memory of sudden neutralisation of the aches and pains of a hard climb when confronted by the historical shock of seeing the well formed weapon pits which remain to this day - the round Japanese pits often in close proximity to the rectangular pits of the Australians.

A recurrent theme of our discussions there and since has been the comparison between our own situation and that of the diggers. 

We were absolutely knackered doing the track in the best of health, with plenty of food, modern equipment and getting plenty of rest but we knew from reading the histories how tough it had been for the soldiers. 


They were racked with malaria and dysentery, had half a blanket between two men perhaps, and hefted the constant weight of pack, weapons and ammunition in unseasonably wet conditions. 

Besides negotiating the track, these blokes had the physical and emotional impact of battle plus the unrelenting activity that attends it - patrolling, digging in, moving and then digging in again over and over with minimal logistical support.

Getting to fully understand the enormity of that feat in the terrain and conditions thrown up by the Owen Stanley Range was a truly humbling journey. 


Footnote:

This account is not intended to convey the story of the Kokoda track even though the criminally undervalued significance of that campaign to Australia is deeply honoured by all of us. 

It is simply the story of the six happily rotund ex QUR members and a friend who did the track in July this year.  The "us" are Bill Beach; Chris Backstrom; Chris Goodhew; Paul Carr; Peter Williams and Laurie Smith - all ex QUR.  Katrina Jessen, an old friend of Chris G's, did the training with us to get fit and got so caught up with the excitement and the unrelenting banter and backstabbing that she decided to do the track too. 

QUR had been a big part of our lives twenty-five years previously however, within a very short time of starting this journey, the bonds between us were such that we may as well have never left Walcott Street.

Our combined advice to all interested in doing the track would simply be - do it and do it with Executive Excellence - it's a life changing, fantastic experience!

 

Following photos of the trek supplied by Paul Carr

   
Bill Beach, Laurie and myself on day 2 on the way up to the Isurava  war memorial.
 

Beers at the end of Day 2

One of the last Fuzzy Wuzzy angels at Menari, Day 5
   
This is possibly the prettiest photo, taken on Day 5, just after leaving the wet and muddy campsite Laurie mentions, on the way to Efogi
Pte Bruce Kingsbury VC at Bomana War Cemetery outside Moresby
Laurie Smith and Bill Beach traversing a typical uphill stretch.  Mud held together with tree roots
Day 7. Wet Feet! Only one day to go.

With Laurie Smith rabbit-earing me!

At Owers Corner.  First real food for 8 days. 

Don't mees with us, dude!

At the end of the trek at Owers Corner
   

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If you enjoyed Laurie's article, why don't you also write something for us!!!
 

REMEMBER THE NEWSLETTER NEEDS YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS!!!
 

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2006 AGM Dinner Speech by Justice George Fryberg

 

WHY WE FIGHT WARS(1)

 Justice H G Fryberg(2)

 

Mr President, Honary Colonel, Commanding Officer and friends

 In the latest Association newsletter, the irrepressible Peter Morton has published a number of war quotes.  Among them is one attributed to General Charles de Gaulle: "The graveyards are full of indispensable men".(3)  The General said that in 1969 when aides were urging him not to retire, but the aphorism has an ambiguity which makes its inclusion among war quotes appropriate.  Countless millions died in war during the last century and there is no sign in this one of any change in human attitudes to war.  Given the horrible cost, why do people fight wars?  We were all soldiers once, and willing to go to war.  But why?  What would we fight for? 

 Questions like this can be answered at varying levels of abstraction.  At the highest such level, we fight for happiness, for the good life.  We fight to preserve our way of life, we are sometimes told.  In modern Western society this has become synonymous with freedom and democracy.  How many times have you heard President Bush employ these words in relation to the war in Iraq?  But the goals of freedom and democracy are unachievable without the critical ingredient which they have in common: a society governed by the rule of law.  My thesis tonight is: we fight wars to preserve the rule of law for ourselves and our friends.

 The precise content of the concept of the rule of law is the subject of some academic controversy.  For tonight's purposes it is sufficient to refer to some relatively uncontroversial features.  The concept embodies a social system in which the rules are ordained and published before they are in force; in which the rules are enforced through a fair process conducted by an impartial tribunal; and in which the rules are equally binding on all members of the society, including the rulers, the enforcers and the lawmakers.

 The rule of law must be distinguished from rule by law, as well as from rule by arbitrary decree.  The People's Republic of China may well be described as a country which practices rule by law; but I would certainly contend that it is not on any sensible view of the term one in which the rule of law prevails.  The rule of law involves more than a mechanical enactment of legislation in accordance with predetermined procedures.  It has a normative element.  The rules must not only be properly enacted; they must also be fair.

To some, the very idea of an association between law and war is ridiculous.  Cicero recorded an old Roman maxim: inter arma silent leges - "in time of war, the laws are silent".  To Clemenceau is attributed the expression which is the bane of military lawyers: "Military justice is to justice what military music is to music".  But Australians have a different attitude.  From Breaker Morant to Gunner O'Neill we have been outraged by military injustice.

The graves of Morant and Hancock

Importantly, the outrage has been generated not by the perceived innocence of the accused, but by the perceived denial to him of due process.  In Morant's case it was the denial of a fair trial; in O'Neill's it was the infliction of unlawful punishment.  These denials are seen by Australians as unfair.  That perception derives from the deeply rooted acceptance in our society of the rule of law, part of our English inheritance.  As Lord Atkin said in a famous English case in wartime 1942, "In this country, amid the clash of arms the laws are not silent"(4)

Today, we are told, we are deeply involved in the war on terror.  The expression "war on terror" was coined, or at least given currency, by President Bush after the attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001. It has replaced the "Cold War" as the catchphrase designed to unify the nation against a common enemy.  That is doubtless a salutary objective.  However it is also used as part of political rhetoric to justify increasing the power exercised by executive government over those outside the structure of government, those whom the media call "ordinary people".  Any such increase may well involve some compromise in the application of the rule of law.  It therefore behoves us to ask: are we giving up the very thing for which we are fighting?

I do not propose to say anything tonight about Australia's anti-terrorism laws.  I have not read them thoroughly, nor have I seen enough of their application in practice, to make an informed comment.  I want to focus on one matter only: the imprisonment and trial of foreigners at Guantanamo Bay by the United States government and the Australian government's willing acceptance of this.  

I say "by the United States government" because the alleged basis for the whole exercise has been the executive power of the President of the United States, particularly as commander-in-chief of military forces.  I focus on imprisonment because it contrasts with freedom.  I refer to foreigners because only foreigners are imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay; no United States citizen is subjected to this regime. Guantanamo Bay is, of course, in Cuba.

 May I begin by reminding you of a little recent history.  Following the attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon and the presumed attempted attack on the White House in September 2001, the US Congress authorised the President to 

"use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons"(5)  

Less than two months after the attack and acting under that resolution, the President ordered the armed forces of the United States to invade Afghanistan.  At that time the de facto government of Afghanistan comprised members of a group called the Taliban, but this government was not recognised by the US.  US forces in conjunction with several anti-Taliban militias controlled by local warlords engaged militias which supported the Taliban.  Afghanistan had no regular army and none of the militiamen wore a uniform.  

A number of foreigners fought in the pro-Taliban militias.  Among them were Salim Hamdan of Yemen and David Hicks of Australia.  Both were captured by anti-government militia forces which turned them over to the US military in November and December 2001.  In June 2002 they were transported to Guantanamo Bay, along with many hundreds of others captured in a variety of circumstances, not all of them in combat.   

 

Guantanamo Bay was chosen for this prison because it was thought that, not being sovereign American territory, prisoners would be unable to apply for habeas corpus in American courts.  That proved wrong.  In 2004 the Supreme Court of the United States held that this could not prevent individuals from applying to a federal court for a writ of habeas corpus.(6)  However it remains American law that foreigners have far fewer rights than citizens.  One can legitimately question why an Australian should be accorded worse treatment under US law than an American, but there seems no doubt that under American law the rights which the Americans so proudly claim to uphold are not extended to others.

 By a series of executive orders and instructions,(7) President Bush and Mr Rumsfeld, his Secretary of Defence, established military commissions to conduct trials of some of those who were so transported, laid down the procedures to be followed by those commissions, provided the maximum sentences which the commissions could impose and established a system of review of commission decisions.  Those orders and instructions have been heavily criticised by persons of the highest integrity and authority around the world.

It is impossible to describe all of these criticisms in detail tonight.  They have one common theme: the system of military commissions established by the orders and instructions was not one which accords with the rule of law.  

In June this year, in Hamdan v Rumsfeld,(8) the Supreme Court of the United States held by a majority of 5-3 that the military commissions were invalidly constituted.  

 In essence the Court held that Congress had not only not authorised the orders and instructions, it had expressly denied the President authority to create military commissions of this kind.  The structure and procedures of the commissions violated both the United States' own Uniform Code of Military Justice and part of the Geneva Conventions on the Conduct of War.  The opinion of the Court concluded, "[I]n undertaking to try Hamdan and subject him to criminal punishment, the Executive is bound to comply with the Rule of Law that prevails in this jurisdiction".  

Despite that peroration, it is quite clear that the basis of the decision is the absence of Congressional authorisation for the commissions. 

The problem was that the President established them in a form inconsistent with his authority to do so.  The judgment is silent as to the power of Congress to enact legislation conferring authority.  On 12 September the President sent a bill to Congress to do just that.(9)  If the bill is not amended, a system of military commissions could be re-established, similar in form to that struck down by the Court.  Since 12 July the House of Representatives armed services committee has been holding a series of hearings to receive testimony on standards of military commissions and tribunals.    These hearings are continuing and Senate committees have also scheduled hearings.  It seems probable that before the November Congressional elections, legislation will be passed conferring some sort of authority on the President.  By the end of the year essentially the same system as was struck down by the Supreme Court might be re-established with the authority of Congress.  

What was the justification for and what were the features of that system?  

The justification was asserted in the founding order made by the President on 13 November 2001.  It was "that it is not practicable to apply in military commissions under this order the principles of law and the rules of evidence generally recognised in the trial of criminal cases in the United States District Courts".  The order did not spell out why that was not practicable, nor did it suggest that it was impracticable to use ordinary courts-martial.(10) It did not even mention the possible use of an international tribunal such as the International Criminal Court or a special purpose tribunal such as those established for the former Yugoslavia or Rwanda.  It is not too difficult to guess why Americans would not consider an international tribunal, but the refusal to use ordinary courts-martial (or at least to structure the commissions so as to confer the equivalent protections) is more puzzling; some would say sinister, especially in the light of the government's failure or inability to demonstrate the impracticability of such an arrangement in Hamdan.(11)

Appointments to commissions were to be made "as a military function"(12) and proceedings were required to be conducted in accordance with orders and instructions issued by Mr Rumsfeld or his delegate.  Four months later Mr Rumsfeld detailed the arrangements for the commissions.(13)    Each commission was required to have one judge-advocate and from three to seven non-legal officers as other members.  Commission members were appointed by Maj Gen John D Altenburg under power delegated to him directly by Mr Rumsfeld.  A number of those appointed had served in Afghanistan.  Gen Altenburg was responsible for approving charges and referring them to a commission. All procedural decisions, including rulings on pure questions of law, were determined by majority vote, but all interlocutory questions the disposition of which would bring a charge to an end were required to be referred to Gen Altenburg for decision.  Other interlocutory questions could be so referred.   Convictions did not require unanimity - a two thirds majority was sufficient.  There was no appeal from a commission decision, but Mr Rumsfeld was required to review each decision and either return it to the commission for further proceedings or forward it to the President with a recommendation.  The ultimate decision on guilt or innocence and on sentence was to be made by the President.  By the President's order the jurisdiction of the commissions was made exclusive and defendants were denied the right to seek any remedy or maintain any proceeding directly or indirectly in any court of the United States or any foreign court or international tribunal.  In other words, the order purported to deny an Australian citizen access to Australian courts.  Perhaps most tellingly, the President's order explicitly did not create any right, benefit or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party against the United States or its officers.

Mr Rumsfeld's order provided some safeguards for the accused:

a. They had to be given a copy of the charges in a language they understood.(14)

b. They were presumed innocent until proven guilty.(15)

c. The standard of proof was proof beyond reasonable doubt.(16)

d.  They had to be represented by military counsel, could be provided with any necessary interpreters and they could engage a civilian lawyer.(17)

e. They had to have access to evidence intended to be led by the prosecution and to any evidence known to the prosecution which tended to exculpate them,(18) but not if the evidence was ruled to be protected information, a term which included classified information and information protected by a rule from unauthorised disclosure.(19)

f. They could not be obliged to testify at the trial and no adverse inference could be drawn from their failure to do so.(20)

g. They could obtain witnesses and documents for their defence, but only to the extent necessary and reasonably available as determined by the presiding officer.(21)

h. They could be present in person at the trial unless disruptive or unless the proceedings were closed.  The accused's military counsel had to be permitted to be present at all proceedings but could be ordered by the presiding officer not to disclose to their client what took place in closed proceedings.(22)

i. The trial was to take place in public unless the presiding officer or Gen Altenburg decided otherwise.  Notwithstanding the general right of the accused's counsel to be present at all proceedings, a decision on closing proceedings could be made on the basis on a closed, ex parte application by the prosecution.(23)  In Hicks' case the Australian government obtained an assurance that the trial would be held in public

Those measures went some way toward providing a system which accords with the rule of law as described above.  That being so, what were the features which were subjected to the criticism to which I referred earlier?

 First, there was only one test for the admissibility of evidence: would the evidence have probative value to a reasonable person?(24)  This test had to be applied by military officers only one of whom had any legal experience.  The ability to assess probative value often depends heavily upon experience, for example with hearsay evidence, identification evidence or propensity evidence.  It seems likely that much of the evidence against the defendants will be in the form of hearsay statements by informers and fellow prisoners from Afghanistan who would not be made available for cross-examination.  Not only would these officers have difficulty in applying the test; but also they would be able to overrule the view of the judge-advocate by simple majority vote.

 Moreover, there was nothing to exclude evidence, including evidence of confessions, obtained unlawfully or improperly.  Until earlier this year the American government sought to maintain the admissibility of confessions obtained by torture.  They were belatedly excluded as a result of political pressure,(25) after FBI officers provided evidence that torture had actually occurred at Guantanamo Bay,(26) but confessions obtained by threats or actions not amounting to torture, or by improper inducements remained admissible.  Such confessions are notoriously unreliable, but it may be doubted whether officers who served in Afghanistan would find them so.

 The United States government continues to assert the right to monitor conversations between accused persons and their lawyers, although in September 2005 a belated order was issued prohibiting the communication to the prosecution and the use in proceedings against the prisoner of information so obtained.(27)  The Australian government was given an assurance that monitoring would not occur in respect of Hicks.  Why he should be treated as an exception was not explained.

 It was of course possible that questions of admissibility of evidence could be referred to Gen Altenburg for decision.  Given the fact that he was the person responsible for approving the charges and referring them to a commission in the first place, this hardly seems a decision by an impartial tribunal.

 Those deficiencies in the evidentiary provision were magnified by the possibility of proceedings in closed court and in the absence of the accused.  The accused could be denied access to protected information by the simple process of classifying it or passing a rule prohibiting its publication.  That information could then be given to the commission in his absence.  It is of course quite impossible for anyone to respond to evidence which neither he nor anyone outside the commission knows about.  The opportunity for fabrication of evidence is unconstrained and, as the Dreyfus case showed a century ago, potentially devastating for the accused.

 It should not be thought that all of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay were captured in Afghanistan.  Some were not even seized in a combat zone.  There are men taken in Bosnia, Gambia, Zambia and Thailand.(28)  Most prisoners are not alleged to have committed offences within the jurisdiction of military commissions. It is not intended to charge them with anything.  They are simply to be imprisoned until the President decides that the war against terror is over. That could take 50 years. Their continued detention is warranted, it is said, because they might take up arms against the United States if released.  A person, such as Hicks, who has been charged may if convicted be sentenced to a term of imprisonment extending beyond the end of the war, but even if he is acquitted, he may continue to be detained until the end of the war.

 The justification for the detention of most of the prisoners was not that they were prisoners of war, but that they were enemy combatants (traditionally the category assigned to spies and saboteurs).  That meant, according to the President, that they were not entitled to the protection of the Geneva Conventions, and until 7 July 2006 the United States refused to apply the Conventions. For many of the prisoners, this unfortunate position was the result of being a member of a militia without uniforms.  They were denied prisoner of war status, notwithstanding that many were fighting under the control of the government of Afghanistan, a country where militias have never been equipped with uniforms; not even those fighting on the American side.

 On 7 July this year, following the finding of the Supreme Court that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions applied to Hamdan, the Department of Defence required all personnel to ensure that their standards complied with that article.  This means that unless Congress acts to change the law, the United States will, among other things, be bound to prohibit "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment".  It also means that any prisoners who are put on trial must be tried "by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognised as indispensable by civilised peoples".

 The President initially asserted the existence of an unreviewable right to assign people to this category, but in June 2004 the Supreme Court held that some form of independent tribunal was the only way in which enemy combatant status could be lawfully determined.(29)  Consequently, the government established a Combat Status Review Tribunal.  The procedures of this tribunal had all of the defects of the military commissions and a few more besides.(30)  "Enemy combatant" was redefined to include anyone who was part of Taliban or al Qaida forces engaged in hostilities against coalition partners, regardless of whether he actually did anything.  Involvement in terrorism or combat against the United States was unnecessary.  That definition is not recognised by international law, including the law of war which the United States claims to be enforcing through the military commissions.  The person detained carries the onus of proving that he was not an enemy combatant.  The standard of satisfaction for the tribunal to make an adverse finding is balance of probabilities, not proof beyond reasonable doubt.

 The near impossibility for a prisoner of making a case under these conditions was illustrated by the following exchange at the hearing of one Mustafa Ait Idir.  It occurred during a Review Tribunal hearing, but it could just as easily have occurred in a commission.  In reading a list of allegations forming the basis for detention, the Recorder of the Tribunal  asserted, "While in Bosnia, the Detainee associated with a known Al Qaida operative."  In response, the following exchange occurred:  

"Detainee: Give me his name.

President: I do not know.

Detainee: How can I respond to this?

President: Did you know of anybody that was a member of Al Qaida?

Detainee: No, no.

President: I'm sorry, what was your response?

Detainee: No.

President: No?

Detainee: No. This is something the interrogators told me a long while ago. I asked the interrogators to tell me who this person was. Then I could tell you if I might have known this person, but not if this person is a terrorist. Maybe I knew this person as a friend. Maybe it was a person who worked with me. Maybe it was a person that was on my team. But I do not know if this person is Bosnian, Indian or whatever. If you tell me the name, then I can respond and defend myself against this accusation.

President: We are asking you the questions and we need you to respond to what is on the unclassified summary."31

That could have come straight from Franz Kafka. ==>

The right to know the details of the prosecution case and the right to be present at the trial are fundamental to the rule of law.  Such considerations were undoubtedly what led the United Kingdom government to reject the American use of the commissions for its nationals.  Lord Goldsmith, the British Attorney-General, wrote, "I was unable to accept that the procedures proposed for the military tribunals were adequate to ensure a fair trial.  I am pleased to note that, following this decision, all the British detainees were returned to the UK."(32) That was doubtless an admirable outcome for those detainees, but it completely undermines the principle of equality before the law, which is an essential constituent of a system based on the rule of law.  The same is true of the raft of promises of special treatment made to the Australian government in respect of Hicks.  But politics trumps legality, and Hicks is a white man.

Another important aspect of the rule of law is trial by an independent and impartial tribunal.  How can it be said that this applies in relation to the Guantanamo Bay prisoners?  The military commissions included officers who served in Afghanistan.  They were appointed by Gen Altenburg, who was also responsible for approving the charges against the prisoners and placing them before the commissions.  Any interlocutory decision to dismiss a charge had to be referred up to the general.  The only right of appeal was a review by the President or Mr Rumsfeld, acting on the advice of military officers.  The political imperatives facing the politicians, including the Australian Prime Minister, are obvious. John Howard has publicly convicted David Hicks: "He has, amongst those that are held in Guantanamo Bay, committed more serious offences than most."(33)  In case anybody should fail to get the message, the President has said, "There are some who need to be tried in U.S. courts. They're cold-blooded killers. They will murder somebody if they are let out on the street."(34)  Can that sort of statement, made by the Commander-in-Chief, really be ignored by a non-legal military officer?  

 A further aspect of the rule of law is the requirement that criminal offences be defined in advance.  Many of the prisoners have been charged with conspiracy in alleged breach of the laws of war.  It seems probable that no such offence exists; four of the Supreme Court judges so found and three others left the point open.(35) That was the only offence with which Hamdan was charged (perhaps being Osama bin Laden's driver sounded too trivial).  That is also one of the three charges against Hicks.  His conspiracy was allegedly committed between 1 January 2001 and about December 2001, that is, in large part before the war on terrorism was declared.(36)

 The other offences alleged against Hicks are attempted murder and aiding the enemy.  The charge of attempted murder alleges he directed small arms fire, explosives and other means intended to kill American, British, Canadian, Australian, Afghan and other coalition forces.  The charge of aiding the enemy nominates al Qaida and the Taliban as the enemy aided, notwithstanding that the Taliban were the government of Afghanistan at the time.  It remains to be seen precisely what he is alleged to have done, when and to whom; the charge sheet gives no particulars of these offences.  Hicks was unarmed when arrested at a roadblock outside the combat zone by Northern Alliance forces on 9 December 2001.(37) It all seems a bit unlikely, but until we hear the evidence to be given by the American Lindh, we must suspend judgment.  Lindh, you may recall, admitted his guilt of a number of offences and was given a reduced sentence in return for a promise to testify against others. 

 Whatever Hicks did was not an offence under Australian law and the second and third charges are not alleged as war crimes.  They are alleged to be "other offences triable by military commission".  They were first defined in writing by an instruction on 30 April 2003,(38) but are alleged to be offences which existed as part of the general law of war prior to the conduct in question.  On this theory it ought to be possible to attempt to demonstrate non-existence of the offences by reference to law books, but the instruction was binding on all lawyers involved in the commissions.  Quite how the United States has the right to try someone for offences defined by itself after the event and not alleged to have been committed against Americans or on American territory has not been explained.

 Finally on this point, it was impossible to know what penalty might have been imposed in any particular case.  Because the charges were based on the vague notion of the laws of war, there was no defined penalty for any particular offence.  The commissions were to exercise an unfettered discretion to impose anything up to and including the death penalty.  One must assume that in the case of Hicks, where the government has promised Australia that the death penalty will not be enforced, no commission would have the temerity to impose it.

 Lastly there is the question of a timely trial.  The original purpose of the Guantanamo Bay facility was interrogation.  Charges were deliberately delayed until mid-2004.  To date only 10 people out of more than 600 have been charged.(39)  No trial will be held until 2007 at the earliest.  Inevitably the trial process will be tarnished by this delay, which could have been avoided had a court-martial been used or the commissions structured to confer equivalent protections.  Witnesses forget some of the things which once they knew.  They die or disappear.  They become prone to reconstruction.  And the effect of the delay on the prisoners is substantial.  Quite apart from the psychological impact, the commission instructions explicitly provided that time spent in custody as an enemy combatant did not fulfil any term of imprisonment imposed.  This presumably referred to all imprisonment prior to conviction, and certainly to imprisonment prior to the laying of the charges.  Despite this, the Australian government is currently negotiating with the Americans to have the time counted.  Why Hicks should be treated differently from others in this regard has not been explained.

 I asked earlier, "Are we giving up the very thing for which we are fighting?"  To the extent that we have supported the use of military commissions for the trial of David Hicks, I think the answer is "Yes".  Terrorism must undoubtedly be countered, and some derogation from the methods by which we have traditionally applied the rule of law is probably inevitable.  I certainly would not want to suggest that the current model of procedure for a criminal trial in Australia, or even for a court-martial, either is perfect or represents an irreducible minimum for a system under the rule of law.  Some compromise is unavoidable.  However the system previously in place for trial of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay was inappropriate and unnecessary.  Australians - especially those of us who were or are soldiers - should scrutinise whatever is put in its place with great care.  We are fighting terrorism in Afghanistan and our soldiers are at risk.  We should be clear on why we are doing it.  May I again quote Lord Goldsmith:

"In the war on terrorism, we are fighting for more than the safety of our citizens, though that is a huge objective for us. We are fighting for the preservation of our democratic way of life, our right to freedom of thought and expression, and our commitment to the Rule of Law, for the liberties which have been hard won over the centuries and which we hold dear. These are the very liberties and values which the terrorists seek to destroy, not only through mass murder and destruction of property, but also through the climate of fear that their actions create, and are intended to create."(40)

 Early in my remarks I referred to General de Gaulle's retirement.  Shortly after that momentous event, the general and his wife were lunching with former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and his wife.  Yvonne de Gaulle was asked what she was most looking forward to in the future.  After a moment's thought she answered, "A penis." 

 There was a stunned and rather embarrassed silence, broken only when the general intervened: "My dear, I don't think the English pronounce the word like that.  They say 'appiness."

 

 

 Our happiness depends upon the rule of law. 

That, I suggest, is why we fight wars.

 

1  Address to the Annual General Meeting of the Queensland University Regiment Association at Brisbane, 15 September 2006.

2  Maj (ret).

3  http://www.qura.org .

4  Liversidge v Anderson [1942] AC 206 at p  244.

5         http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_bills&docid=f:sj23enr.txt.pdf

6     Rasul v Bush  542 US 466 (2004).

7     Presidential Order 13/11/01: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/11/20011113-27.html

      Military Commission Orders: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Aug2004/commissions_orders.html

       Military Commission Instructions: 

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Aug2004/commissions_instructions.html .

8     No 05-184, 29 June 2006, http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/05-184.ZO.html .

9  Called the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

10  Which have jurisdiction under UCMJ 18 "to try any person who by the law of war is subject to trial by a military tribunal".  A court-martial is a military tribunal: see UCMJ 21.

11  Hamdan v Rumsfeld, majority judgment, sec VI C.

12  The commissions themselves have been described by the Judge-Advocate, Pacific Air Forces-Australia as "a lawful form of military action in a time of war ! by the US President as the Commander-in-Chief": see Bialke, Lt Col Joseph P: "Al-Qaeda and Taliban Unlawful Combatant Detainees, Unlawful Belligerency, and the International Laws of Armed Conflict", (2004) 55 AFL Rev 1 at p 69.

13  Military Commission Order No 1, 21 March 2002.

14  Paragraph 5A.

15  Paragraph 5B.

16  Paragraph 5C.

17  Paragraph 5D, 5J, 4C(3)(b).

18   Paragraph 5E.

19    Paragraph 6D(5).

20     Paragraph 5F.

21  Paragraph 5H.  The value of this right is dubious, or at least limited : see "Guardian finds Afghan witnesses US couldn't", http://www.guardian.co.uk/guantanamo/story/0,,1809981,00.html .

22   Paragraph 5K, 6B(3).

23    Paragraph 6B(3).

24  Ibid, s 4(c)(3).

25  Military Commission Instruction No 10 , 24 March 2006.

26  Lugosi, Charles I: "Mocking the Rule of Law: a Kangaroo Court for David Hicks", (2005) 14 Temp Pol & Civ Rts L Rev 335 at pp 361-2.

27  Military Commission Order No 3 , 21 September 2005.

28  Lugosi: loc cit, p 358.

29  Hamdi v Rumsfeld  542 US 507 (2004).

30  See http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jul2004/d20040707review.pdf .

31  Lugosi: loc cit, p 359.

32  Speech to the Royal United Services Institute , 10 May 2006.

33  Lateline, 30 June 2006 .

34  "Bush Willing to Use Diplomacy ", Fox News, 21 June 2006.

35  Hamdan v Rumsfeld   No 05-184, 29 June 2006.

36  The charges can be viewed at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jun2004/d20040610cs.pdf .

37  Lugosi: loc cit, p 340.

38  Military Commission Instruction No 2 , 30 April 2003.

39  For their names and particulars, see http://www.defenselink.mil/news/commissions.html .

40  Goldsmith, Peter Lord: "Terrorism and the Rule of Law", (2005) 35 NML Rev 215 at p 221.

 

 


  *****************************

 

AGM DINNER - SEPTEMBER 2006

 

Foundation members Sam Harrison and  Len Eacott with Nigel Waistell
Present CO QUR LTCOL Nan Bahr with incoming CO LTCOL Jenny Cotton
George Fryberg going through his notes for the AGM address with Rod Hardaker and Andrew Luttrell
Greg Adams and Peter Williams discussing QUR Transport Platoon whilst Paul Carr does his best to ignore it
Peter Jensor and William Ridley chatting over dinner
The teacher push in QURA - Rod Hamilton, John Hammond, Bruce Davis and Garry Collins with Brad Shillig (bottom of table) trying to find out what makes them tick
Come on Garry, someone needs to laugh at Peter Sharwood's jokes!
Ruth Kassulke and Peter Morton wondering when they can start on the excellent steak
Family occasion - Sue and Chris Goodhew enjoying themselves at the AGM
Nick Dubravcic, Wayne Barclay and Bill Beach at the AGM dinner

 

  *****************************

 

AGM DINNER TALK by LTCOL BRUCE DAVIS

 

QURA executive member LTCOL Bruce Davis is currently serving a fulltime posting as SO1 Projects at the DIRECTORATE of RESERVES ARMY in Canberra. 

The following slide show was part of Bruce's AGM post dinner talk about the directions in which the Army Reserve is moving.  If any members would like further info on Bruce's talk he can be contacted on bruce.davi63@defence.gov.au 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

  *****************************

 

 

Correspondence from Members

Received from Geoff Bulow:-

 

To: Peter Morton
Subject: RE: DRA Website

Peter
The Defence Reserves Association has just launched a new website www.dra.org.au
Could you please advise all QURA members as there is some very useful info and links on the site.


Regards
Geoff Bulow
 

 

==================================================================

 

Received the following email from BJ Price
 

To:- Peter Morton
 

Subject:-  QURA

 

Peter,
 

Please pass on my sincere thanks to dear Donna for her heartfelt words. I can assure her that we are boxing on in the best traditions and will not let the effects of the Cyclone get to us.


We are currently making plans to utilise now cleared acreage to pursue what we hope will be more lucrative lines. So as she intones, every cloud has a silver lining.


On the subject of an eye to the future should any QURA members be interested in landscaping palms and/or cycads we still do have a great range and I can arrange delivery practically anywhere in Australia. Although the transport companies will only handle minimum loads of one pallet.  I'd be happy to make our plants available to QURA members at wholesale rates.  Should they care to contact me I'd be only too pleased to advise them personally.


Our current wholesale price list is available at our website www.ppp.com.au


Obviously Peter if you think this shameless self promotion is in any way out of line with the QURA objectives I certainly wont be offended in the least.


However our best course of action at this stage is to trade ourselves out of this strife.


Take care,
BJ

 
 

==================================================================

 

Received the following email from Leslie Pyecroft
 

To:- Peter Morton
 

Subject:-  Update from NZ

 

Hi Peter,
 

Lesley Pyecroft here,
Yes we are crossing back over the ditch.  Arrive Brisbane on the 6th October.  Move into our home on Bribie Island on the 13th October then wait for all the furniture to arrive.  I will then take time out to get to the Regiment and submit my paperwork for the new medal and of course pay my association fees.  Just thought I would drop you a line.
Look forward to meeting up with everyone again and to introduce you to Mark.


Cheers

Lesley Pyecroft

 

 

==================================================================

 

Received the following email from George Fryberg
 

To:- Peter Morton
 

Subject:-  Military Conversion Chart

 

Dear Peter,

You may have seen this, but I just saw it for the first time. It's quite funny.

I trust you duly received my paper.

Regards,
George

Justice Fryberg
Supreme Court of Queensland
George St
BRISBANE

 

Military Language Conversion Chart

 

NAVY

ARMY

AIR FORCE

Heads

Latrine

Powder Room

Rack

Bunk / Farter

Queen bed electric blanket & doona

Cafe / SCRAN Hall

Mess / Mess Tent

Dining Facility

Pussers Cook

Cook / Fitter & Turner

Contract Chef

Brew

Brew

Vanilla Skim Latte' with a bickie

Limers / Goffa

Goffa/ jebwby juice (can of coke/cordial

Shirley Temple

W9's/Coveralls

Cams /DPCUs

Casual Attire

Seaman

Private

Bobby / Jimmy

Chief

WO2

Timothy / Justin

Captain

Colonel

Rupert / James

The Table(chooks)

CO's Parade

Time Out

Mess/Onboard

Barracks

Self contained Apartment

Durps/Trolleys

Underwear

Knickers

Cells

Piss Can

Grounded

Cero's

Pollys

Armani Suit

Lid / Cap

Beret/Head Gear

Optional

AFT Stores

Q Store

Westfield Shopping Mall

Hammered

Pissed

Oops. little tipsy..

Deployment/ Detachment

Deploy / Ops / Bush / Scrub / Field

Huh?

Runners

Runners

Moccasin's

Die for your Country

Die for your Mate

Die for Air Conditioning

Shipmate/Oppo/Besty

Mate/digger

Honey/Babe/Pookie

Terminate / Contact

Take Out

Back on Base for Nuck Night

Boiler Boots

Jump Boots / GPs

Ugg Boots

Pussers Sandals

JC Sandals

Patent Leather Stilettos

SEAL

SAS

Librarian

Shore Patrol

MPs

Chaperone's

Oouh-Rah!

Hoo-ah!

Hip-Hip hurray! Jolly Good

Hot Packs

Rat Packs

Al a Carte

Throw a Goffa

Salute / Chuck a Boxer

Wave

Obstacle Course

Obs Course

Typing Course

Parade Drill/Parade Ground

Drill Practice/Parade Ground

What?

Canteen

AAFCANS

McHappy Meal

RANPFT

PTI

Smoko Ping Pong Comps

Chief Swain

RSM

OIC Cuddles

Midshipman

Officer Cadet

Debutant

Jack Tar

AJ

RAAFY Chappy


*****************************

War Quotes
 

Peter Ustinov b 1921
- And here is the lesson I learned in the army.  If you want to do a thing badly, you have to work at it as if you wanted to do it well.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1917 -63
- It is unfortunate that we can secure peace only by preparing for war.
- The mere absence of war is not peace.
- Victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan.

Barbara Tuchman 1912- 89
- Nothing so comforts the military mind as the maxim of a great but dead general.

Alan Moorehead b 1910
- Wars in the main start with textbooks.

Curtis Emerson Le May b 1906
- A man should have dinner with his friends, and the commanding officer has no friends.

Arthur Koestler 1905 - 83
- The most persistent which reverberates through men’s history is the beating of war drums.

George Herbert 1593 - 1633
- One sword keeps another in the sheath.

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Perigord 1754 -1838
- War is much too serious business to be left to military men.
 

Anonymous War Quotations
- A battery seen is a battery lost.


- Hey diddle diddle, right up the middle.


- Military solutions are problems.


- Fight for honour, for dishonour is easily won.


- The world began with war and will end with war.


- If it moves, salute it, If it does not move, pick it up, I you cant pick it up, paint it.


- It is an ignorant scholar who preaches politemness to a soldier.


- It is easier to find a large army than a good general.
 

- The soup makes the soldier.
 

- With the stick comes peace.
 

- Better to did than be a coward.
 

- When the war is over make alliances.
 

- He who has land will have war.
 

- Many who return from war cannot give account of the battle.
 

- The best battle is to keep out of gun shot.
 

- Warriors and gold may be idle, but they never rust.
 

- Nobody can blunder twice in war.
 

- The brave may fall, but they do not yield.
 

- A cowards mother does not weep.
 

- Eternal peace lasts until the next war.
 

- A bayonet is a weapon with a worker at each end.
 

- A weapon is an enemy even to its owner.
 

- Distant drum, sweet music.
 

- When the flag is flying, all reason is in the trumpet.
 

- Force binds for a time, education binds forever.
 

- It is easy to be brave behind the castle wall.
 

  *****************************

QUR Association 2006 Christmas Drinks

 

The 2006 Christmas Drinks for the QUR Association will be held at the Victory Hotel, Cnr Edward and Charlotte Sts, Brisbane on the evening of Friday 1st December 2006 starting at  1730 hours. 

 

The Association has reserved a section at the left rear (Jugs and Hooters Bar) of the beer garden.  To reduce the admin overheads for this year's festivities, the executive has decided to provide free bar snacks and ask member's to pay for their own drinks. 

 

Come along after work and enjoy a few drinks and tall stories with fellow members of the Association.

 

Please RSVP by 26 Nov 06 for catering purposes 

email reply to  Peter Morton

Name: ________________________________________________________________
 

  • I will be attending the Association’s Annual Christmas Party to be held at the Victory Hotel, Edward St, Brisbane on the evening of Friday 1 Dec 2006 starting at 1730 hours.

  •  I regret that I am unable to attend.  Please tender my apology.

 

  *****************************

MEMBERSHIP DUES PAYMENT REMINDER

 Please check the Members Page to ensure that your membership is current.

If you pay your membership fees on a year by year basis payment is now duefor 2006.

PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO PERUSE THE Members Page AND CHECK THE ENTRIES WITH AN ADDRESS FLAG OF `N`.  WE HAVE LOST CONTACT WITH THESE MEMBERS AND REQUIRE EITHER AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR POSTAL ADDRESS TO RE-ESTABLISH CONTACT

Membership status codes are:

  • SMEMB - Special Member (no fees)

  • LMEMB - Life Member (no fees)

  • PUOM - Paid Up Ordinary member (no fees but can transfer to 10 year membership for $50)

  • NEW - New member (no membership fees received as yet)

  • 2005 - 201? membership fees paid to year indicated

  • 199? - 2004 membership fees due for 2005

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:

The Treasurer

QUR Association

24 Walcott Street,

St Lucia 4067

For those members with internet banking, payments may be made direct to the QURA Bank Account.

Details are BSB 064 129, Account 0090 4500, Account Name QUR Association Inc

Please ensure your name is supplied in the payment details.

 

*****************************

EMAIL ADDRESSES

The Executive Committee encourages all members to provide a current email address to allow quick and easy communication of important notifications and reminders of upcoming events. 

If you know of any ex-members of QUR who are not in the association, please contact the Membership Registrar (Peter Morton) with any contact details that you have.

THE ASSOCIATION WILL ONLY CONTINUE TO EXIST BY RECRUITING NEW MEMBERS

For members wishing to provide a new email address, please send an email to Peter Morton  to 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.

          COST :            $15 per copy.

What about a CD containing over 100 images of the history of the Regiment.

COST :            $10 per copy.

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      0437 442 964

Email                    trevor.luttrell@qed.qld.gov.au
 

Send your payment to:

The Treasurer, QUR Association, 24 Walcott Street, St Lucia Q 4067.

For those members with internet banking, payments may be made direct to the QURA Bank Account.

Details are BSB 064 129, Account 0090 4500, Account Name QUR Association Inc

Please ensure your name is supplied in the payment details.

 

*****************************

Association Office Bearers

 

Position Name Bus Hrs A/Hrs Email
President Trevor Luttrell 3422 8658 0437 442 964 Trevor Luttrell
Vice President Paul Smith 3221 1275 0417 629 885 Paul Smith
Secretary/Treasurer Bruce Davis 3622 1777 3878 2920 Bruce Davis
Membership Secretary Peter Morton 3406 6820 3425 3060 Peter Morton
Newsletter Editor        
         
Committee Members Greg Adams 3264 5544 0422 849 659 Greg Adams
  Col Ahern 3896 9510 3278 1862 Col Ahern
  Chris Backstrom 3863 9238 3359 6262 Chris Backstrom
  Garry Collins   3359 5993 Garry Collins
  Ruth Kassulke 3119 9789 3314 6818 Ruth Kassulke
  David Ross 3227 6974 0402 904 204 David Ross
  Mal Try   3278 3393 Mal Try

 

End of Newsletter