Guest Speaker: Jeffrey Swain
Jeffrey is well know to club members and this time spoke about the theme of ‘Home Coming’.   Jeff is president of the Yea/Kinglake sub branch of the RSL and was a regular soldier in 1968, did a tour of Vietnam and in 1971 did Officer training at Portsea. He worked for the Australian Defence Department at Puckapunyal for a long time.  It had been a long day for Jeff, having attended the dawn service at Kinglake, where speaker Paul Bannon gave an interesting address about the importance of connections, mateship and friendships.  Jeff covered a range of topics, talking about the formation of the Yea RSL, the Soldier Settlement Scheme, the formation of National Identity after the landing at Gallipoli, and some of his own person experience as being part of regular Army.  He also spoke of homecoming, and how it was not always joyful; not all marriages survived and how times were tough for those who did return.
Finally Jeff talked of the role of the RSL and how it has grown in the past 100 years and is now, as then, so important for the veterans and their families. He made the comment that soldiers are much more effective if their families are supported.
Three Minuter: Mike Hirons
Mike fittingly explained the history behind the ‘Dead Man’s Penny’, a name given by the troops to the Memorial Death Plaque sent by the British Government to the next of kin of any troops killed during active service in World War 1. The bronze plaque read in part that ‘He (or She) died for Freedom and Honour.’  Sadly 1,355,000 plaques for men and 600 plaques for women were issued as a result of the World War 1 conflict