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New Zealand Permanent Force Old Comrades' Association

Newsletter No. 102 June 1999


Routine Orders

Last Post

Mrs Joan Keinzley 4 March 99 in Melbourne
889761 NJ (Neil) Ward 7 February 99 at Kaikoura
1616 Lt LE (Eric) Autridge 22 April 99 at Auckland
30221 Col RH (Bob) Smith, OBE 12 May 99 at Auckland

Life Members

The following are elcted life members on reaching the age of 80:
DC Allison, GA Weaver, LtCol JF Spring MBE, CM Cochran

Next Committee Meeting

Saturday 14 August 1999 at 1000hrs at the Birkenhead RSA. All members are welcome to attend.


Since our last transmission, in which we remarked unkindly on the "Interim Report into Defence Beyond 2000", the "consensus among defence analysts" has broken up with a bang. Some support the basic assumptions of the Select Committee, more debunk them, and new stars appear in the firmament. We have space for only a few highlights.

In the NZ Defence Quarterly, the Minister when interviewed deals sternly with the wetter parts of the report, but opposes the recommendation we favoured, the re-amalgamation of the Defence Force and the Ministry. "There is a healthy tension between the Ministry and the Defence Force. They provide two separate streams of advice", he says happily, preferring tension to teamwork, as this allows the politician to keep control, perpetuating such an absurdity as an army without a coast defence capability, devoid of heavy anti-aircraft or anti-tank artillery, and without any medium guns. He did not have to arrange this, as it was engineered by a cynical immoral previous administration.

The NZ International Review carries an excellent dissection of the report by a retired Naval Officer, who advises the Army "The Corps" mentality belongs to the past. Solders will need to think of themselves not as infantry, gunners, engineers, etc, ... Something could be learnt from the British Royal Marines". Never mind that for centuries every army in the world has found separation of these arms to be necessary. On the other hand, the Navy might find it sensible to install the desirede primary armament on its "floating target" frigates.

The chairman of the perpetrators of the "Beyond 2000" report stated in the press that the army was poorly equipped for even peace-keeping roles, to be promptly contradicted by the acting director of the Centre for Strategic Studies. Mr Quigley bounced back, to be supported by a retired Chief of the General Staff, who was in turn met by a counter-blast from the Present CGS. How splendid that some professionally qualified officers are entering into the arena, even if they are on opposite sides!

All forget that a function of a Defence Force should be to defend: they concentrate on peace-keeping, placidly accepting financial cuts, and placing "affordability" as the prime factor in equipment acquisition. Meantime the Army has become an under-gunned political toy, and may deteriorate, as we are told that the select committee chairman "might be given a special advisory defence role" in a different administration. "The Flowers of the Forest are a'wede away". Return to top


Motutapu Gun Position Restoration

DF Mainland and Co. are managing a project for the Motutapu Restoration Trust which involves setting up a "corporate hospitality facility" (to watch the America's Cup racing) at the 6-in gun site on Motutapu Island. At least one gun pit is to be "themed" in its military role. The Trust has been given support by the Army and Navy, and requests our help in obtaining memorabilia (photos, films, uniforms, equipment etc to this end. Jeremy Speight, the administrator, can be found at Private Bag 99912, Newmarket, Auckland or phone (09) 307 9066. Return to top


Events & Reunions

ANZAC Day 1999

A wreath was laid on behalf of the PFOCA at the Birkenhead Memorial Park ceremony by Des O'Connor and Wally Ruffell. Bert Dyson, Vic Meyle and Dick Mitchell were among thoses present.

At the Dawn Prade at Brown's Bay, we noted attenders MajGen Les Pearce who laid a wreath, and Vic Meyle.

At Mosgiel, the Army News shows a howitzer being fired by 3 hatless members of the Otago and Southland Regiment on Anzac Day. What the HELL is going on?


John Rout presided at a gathering of 106. The Toast to the Regiment proposed by Geoff Morris was replied to by Rod Baldwin. Jack Bunt, President of the RSA, was presented with a 105mm howitzer dial sight and carrier by the assembled gunners. The band of the RNZA played. It was another splendid occasion, a credit to the organisation of Jeff Waters and his helpers.


The lunch-time meeting was attended by a loyal hard core of 14, sadly depleted by death and illness. Life Member, George Josepf, was a welcome addition. Justice, that blind-folded goddess, struck a mighty blow when Jim Ross won the bottle of whiskey raffled.


By the number of promises received, this promises to be a humdinger. Members wishing to reserve accommodation at the Spa Hotel may do so from now on by notifying the Secretary.

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