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Army July 5, 2012
Cpl Mark Doran
VIETNAM veterans from the first and second
2RAR/NZ Anzac tours (1967--68, 1970-71)
will be attending the first combined reunion in
Townsville from July 25 to 29.
2RAR's veterans will have a chance to
reconnect with old friends and make new
ones at Lavarack Barracks with the current
members of the battalion who have recently
returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.
An open day hosted by 2RAR will be held
on July 27 at Samichon Lines. Coinciding
with the 2RAR Family Day, the battalion
will show off its weapons systems along with
static displays by B Sqn 3/4 Cav Regt, 4 Regt
RAA and 5 Avn Regt.
The official reunion dinner for mem-
bers of 2RAR/NZ Anzac will be held at the
Townsville Entertainment and Convention
Centre on July 28.
Adjutant Capt Nicholas McCarthy said
the battalion expected hundreds of veterans to
attend the reunion.
"It will be great for our lads to meet for-
mer members who are veterans from Vietnam,
not just for those who recently fought in
Afghanistan, but for our soldiers who haven't
deployed yet as well," he said.
"They will be able to compare notes and
see that soldiering hasn't really changed that
At 10am on July 29, the 2RAR/NZ Anzac
veterans will join B Coy, 2RAR, for a parade
along The Strand.
The guest of honour will be Maj-Gen Jim
Connolly (retd), who was a platoon command-
er during the battalion's first tour to Vietnam.
The parade will be followed by a com-
memoration service in Anzac Memorial Park.
For more information go to www.2rar-association.com.
to reunite History on display
The 2RAR museum features an extensive collection of photos and memorabilia
Cpl Mark Doran
IT'S only fitting a dedicated sol-
dier with a unique military history
is guarding the historic cache of the
2RAR Historical Collection.
Curator Cpl John Twomey was
posted to 4RAR in 1973 five weeks
before the battalion amalgamated with
2RAR to become 2/4RAR.
It wasn't always a smooth envi-
ronment for the few younger soldiers
who worked with hard, battle-scarred
veterans from the wars in Korea and
The new Lavarack Barracks bat-
talion was charged with preserving the
traditions, associations, museums and
proprietorship of the two units until the
link was annulled.
Because of this, all ranks of
2/4RAR were aware of the history of
both battalions and strictly preserved
these traditions, while working hard to
establish a distinctive image for their
unit.In 1990 Cpl Twomey became
2/4RAR's Historical Collection
Curator and when the battalions de-
linked in 1995, the collection became
He has worked there ever since,
now as a reservist after gaining quali-
fications in museum management and
South-East Asian history.
"We have to look after the herit-
age of all our soldiers who served here
and on operations overseas and the
young soldiers who are posted to this
battalion need to learn about our his-
tory," he said.
Exhibits at the collection include
displays from the battalion's involve-
ment with the occupation of Japan as
the 66th Bn, through service in the
Korean War and Vietnam as 2RAR as
well as daily life and ceremonial events
back in Australia.
Among its collection of artwork is
the famous painting by Ivor Hele of
the Battle of Samichon, The Hook,
and a series of charcoal portraits from
Vietnam drawn by Ken McFadyen.
Cpl Twomey said the battalion
liaised with the community and associ-
ations who were invited to visit the col-
lection, as were local school students.
"Our museum is an eye opener for a
lot of people," he said.
"They are stunned at the amount of
memorabilia we have."
Artefacts and images from more
recent deployments to Cambodia,
Rwanda, East Timor, Solomon Islands,
Iraq and Afghanistan are also on
As a younger member of the bat-
talion, Pte Alexander Luiten said the
collection was important for soldiers
to learn where their customs and tradi-
tions came from.
"Displaying our history shows
where we started and it's fantastic to
have this collection and be able to look
back and see what our 2RAR veterans
did," he said.
"Maybe one day we will have
something from our time in the battal-
ion on display as well."
Looking back: The curator of the 2RAR Historical Collection,
Cpl John Twomey, talks Pte Alexander Luiten through an exhibit.
Photo by Cpl Mark Doran
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