103 Medium Battery 1975
Laurie Skinner in Vietnam
3.7 inch Mark 3 Heavy Anti Aircraft Gun - Live Firing North Head Manly
No 53 of 1974 Gun Course - School of Artillery 1974
Anti Aircraft Radar No 3 Mark 7
Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, Memorial, Canberra ACT
25 Pounder New Guinea 1944
     
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GUNNERS MEMORIES
1975

1975
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MUSTA PARADE
No Pay for 3 Months!

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 GUNNERS MEMORIES
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By Graham Hampton.

The Regiment was a buzz, Sergeants, Bombardiers and Lance Bombardiers were running around everywhere within the confines of 8th/12th Medium Regiment at Holsworthy yelling MUSTA PARADE Immediately! MUSTA PARADE Immediately!

It was about 10:30 am on one morning in November 1975 these words were being yelled by anyone with rank to report to your respective Battery parade grounds for a Musta Parade.   Having only been in the Army for just over a year now I hurried along with everyone else and lined up in 3 ranks for what was thought to be a usual Administration Parade at which we would be informed of something important from the Commanding Officer or Regimental Sergeant Major.

We all steadied ourselves, "Battery Right Dress" yelled Bombardier Josh McCabe and we all performed the drill to perfection.   The Parade was then handed over to the Battery Sergeant Major who called the roll to ensure 100% attendance.   Following this the Battery Sergeant Major handed the Parade over to the Battery Captain who (for the purposes of giving him something to do within the chain of command) called "Attention - Stand at Ease" then turned and handed the Parade over to the Battery Commander.

Thus far everything was normal a whole lot of formalities for what was thought to be an announcement of some type, obviously with some importance given the hurry up and wait routine.

Gentlemen, the Battery Commander said, I am here to inform you that the Liberal Opposition Party has denied the ruling Labour Government passage of the Finance Bill for the final time and therefore the Government of the day is without funding (or words carefully scripted from Army Office to this effect).   My immediate thoughts were God Almighty the country is broke!

The Battery Commander then went on to advise everyone that in the most dire of circumstances the Defence Force (including me Gunner Hampton) would not be paid for a period of 3 months until such time as there was a General Election and the new Government passed the Finance Bill.   In addition to this you are informed that the Department of Defence will continue to provide food, bedding, electricity and water for all living personnel.   In addition to this we were informed that all married personnel would be attending the various messes with their families to be fed for the duration (well there goes a good mess atmosphere I thought).   All living out personnel be they married or single will not have their electricity cut off nor will they have their cars, boats, furniture, homes repossessed.

My along with many other living in personnel, first thought was how on earth am I going to get my remaining $23.70 to last me in cigarettes, alcohol and taxis for the next 3 months.   Our second thought was how are we going to cope with the wives and children of those married soldiers invading our mess and rationing our food to cover their consumption as well.   Many of us had the final thought of going home and quitting, after all no pay no work or so we thought until we were advised with crystal clear clarity that this was not grounds for discharge and any such thoughts should be removed from our minds.

Anyway to cut a long story short as you are aware we all seen the news clips of Gough Whitlam standing on the steps of Parliament House - "Long may we say God Save the Queen for Nothing Will Save the Governor General".   The Labour Government became our first ever government to be removed by a Governor General and the caretaker government the Liberal Party under Malcolm Fraser were overwhelmingly elected to replace the Labour Government.   Well anyway that is where I was and how I remembered it.   That one day, that one parade and one moment in history has remained in my mind as an anchor point in time.

 

     
     
 
     
 
A Field Battery in Vietnam - Gunner Tiffy
Sergeants from the No. 1 Queensland Volunteer Artillery
Artillery In Action At Heilly France - Circa 1918
Members of 102 (Coral) Battery in Vietnam
Gunner Claude Rubin Winduss (Second from Left) in World War 1

         
         

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