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Saturday 14 November 2009
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well as Defence Civilian Health
workers are welcome
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Mr David Talakovski
Telephone: 02 8335 5269
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WORLD NEWS 17
Army November 12, 2009
TWO of the last few living cria-
dos have met for the first time
since World War II as part of 2/2
Cdo Association’s preparations
for a trek in East Timor early
The association is planning the
trek into the mountains of East
Timor in honour of the criados
the Timorese men who assisted
Australian soldiers during WWII.
WO2 Andrew Nichols, on his
second deployment to East Timor,
said they wanted to keep the herit-
age of the Aussie and criado spirit.
“ Today there are very few
2/2 Cdo veterans or criados left,
so to find two criados in their 90s
and bring them together was a very
special moment,” WO2 Nichols
“ Meeting the criados and hear-
ing their history really brings
home to me the shared military
history that exists between people
in Australia and East Timor.”
Timao da Silva and Rufino
Correia remember their years spent
with the Australian commandos.
Mr Correia vividly recalled patrol-
ling with the commandos and
being ambushed by the Japanese.
“We came around a corner,” Mr
Correia said through an interpreter.
“Then the Japanese attacked us
and threw a hand grenade.”
The shrapnel caught Mr Correia
in the neck but he survived and
worked with the Australians for the
remainder of the war.
Mr Correia was recently award-
ed East Timor’s Medal of Merit by
President Jose Ramos-Horta.
The criados of Portuguese
Timor were vital to the Aussie
2/2 Independent Coy’s operations
in the rugged Timor mountains.
They risked their lives so they
could provide assistance and fight
alongside the commandos working
deep in Japanese territory.
While the Portuguese transla-
tion of criado is servant, the com-
mandos adopted a new translation
and dubbed the criados their “little
COMMAND of the ISF in East
Timor has been handed over to a
naval officer for the first time.
Cdre Stuart Mayer assumed respon-
sibility from the outgoing commander,
Brig Bill Sowry, at a handover parade
in Dili on October 23.
Brig Sowry said economic stabil-
ity and community confidence in East
Timor had been moving in a positive
“ While there is still work to be
done, the improvements in East Timor’s
social and economic stability are appar-
ent,” Brig Sowry said.
“The streets are busy, marketplaces
are open and employment opportunities
are being created.”
He said in the past year the improve-
ments had enabled ISF troops to reduce
their presence on the streets while still
being ready to provide a rapid response
“Importantly we are seeing provin-
cial policing responsibilities passed
from the UN to East Timorese police
units,” he said.
He welcomed Cdre Mayer and said
his leadership of the ISF would be of
great benefit to East Timor as the nation
Chief of Joint Operations Lt-Gen
Mark Evans congratulated Brig Sowry
on his outstanding tenure, saying he
had “overseen a period of ongoing
improvement in the security situation
in East Timor”.
BRIG Bill Sowry received the Medal
of Merit, one of East Timor’s highest
accolades, on October 12.
East Timor President Jose
Ramos-Horta awarded the Medal of
Merit in recognition of Brig Sowry’s
The citation said Brig Sowry had
led with outstanding presence and
integrity, and that he stood out as a
leader of compassion and humility.
“Brig Sowry has maintained a
visible focus on capacity building,
adapting to the needs of the Timor-
Leste people through a grass-roots
approach,” the citation said.
“Brig Sowry has provided ena-
bling support for the F-FDTL to
undertake independent population
support tasks and he has achieved
a commendable level of credibility,
respect and honourable standing
MEDAL OF MERIT AWARDED
New command for ISF
Welcome: Brig Bill Sowry symbolically passes the commander’s
mobile phone to Cdre Stuart Mayer.
Photo by AB Jo Dilorenzo
A trek to
It’s an honour: WO2 Andrew Nichols meets former criado Timao da Silva in Dare, East Timor.
Photo by AB Jo Dilorenzo
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