The last year again has been difficult for many members of the Association as well as the
Association itself due to COVID-19. Hopefully the next year will mean that we return to something like pre-COVID times.
In the last year the Association has relaunched our website and Facebook page. We can’t thank Jamie and Lachlan Simond enough for their incredible work they did to produce such fantastic information on the Facebook page. We will miss them as they spend time in Washington DC, representing Australia.
In December 2021 we had a small but enjoyable lunch at Roseville RSL to celebrate Christmas and we are looking forward to having a Christmas lunch again on 5 December 2022. We hope more people are able to attend, COVID-19 dependent.
On 15 February 2022, the NSW RSL hosted a service at the Cenotaph in Martin Place Sydney to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore. We had a nice roll up of members and enjoyed a nice lunch after the service.
The Association had some issues with the running of the service and what appeared to be the complete ignoring of the families of the men of the 8th Division. Robyn Simond, on behalf of the Association, wrote an excellent email to the RSL about our complaints and received a reply that did not really answer the issues raised.
The Association Committee are in the process of digitising the battalion’s archives which are
lovingly looked after by our Secretary Joan Okey. We have also updated our mail and email lists so that we are better able to communicate with our members and friends.
The digitising of our extensive archives is a very slow process as you could imagine when we are dealing with some items that are between 75 and 80 years old. We aim to have all archives digitised by the end of 2022.
When the archives have been digitised we then have the issue of how to make them available, taking into account that some of the information is very personal to families and some of the information has some unpleasant and distressing information. If you wish to have input into the making available the archives please contact the Secretary of the Association.
Additionally, the annual ANZAC church service was held at St Johns Anglican Church at Gordon on 1 May 2022, after a two-year hiatus. It was wonderful to see everyone who attended and a lovely morning tea was provided in the hall after the service.
On a personal note, the Blyth family were saddened to lose our beloved Heather at the age of 97 at the end of February. Heather was a fine person who gave such support to Merv, a previous President of the Association, and the whole of the 2/18th Family, but was especially loved as a wife, a mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend to so many. We miss her greatly.
President 2/18th AIF Infantry Association