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Army April 11, 2013
Finding a suitable symbol can
be a challenge for any forma-
tion, especially one with eyes
on an exotic animal.
A baby rhino going by the African
name Kabibi has been adopted by
9 Bde and named Messines after the
World War I battle featuring the earli-
est action by 3/9th Light Horse, a 9
The idea to adopt Messines came
from brigade commander Brig Craig
"It's always been my personal
ambition for the brigade to get a mas-
cot and, of course, for it to be a rhino,
which is the brigade symbol," he said.
"I see that as a rallying point for
Messines lives at Monarto Zoo,
which is Australia's largest open plains
zoo and is an offshoot of the Adelaide
Zoo. Monarto is 60km south east of
Adelaide Zoo's director of life sci-
ences Peter Clark said Messines was
unique for being born in the daytime.
"It was doubly special because
she's a female and that made her the
first female born at Monarto," he said.
"Unfortunately in zoos there seems
to be a predominance of male calves."
Brig McCarthy approached
Defence Health to source sponsorship
to support the zoo.
"From that we can also assist the
zoo in its breeding program and trying
to stop the extermination of rhinos in
the wild," he said.
The soldiers of 9 Bde have welcomed their newest member, a baby rhino called Messines, Capt Stephen Turner reports.
But saving the species was an
uphill battle, according to Monarto
project manager Geoff Brooks.
"They're suffering badly lately,"
"Last year in South Africa alone
they lost 668 rhinos to the poachers'
guns. In 2007 they only lost 13."
When fully grown, Messines will
chew through a bale of hay a day and
guzzle 35 litres of water every time
she drinks. All up she'll grow to be
heavier than an average car, weighing
close to two tonnes.
"The Rhino represents protection,
vigilance, reliability and strength. I
think it's a brilliant emblem for our
brigade and that's why I wanted to
make it into an actual mascot," Brig
This isn't Monarto's first liaison
with 9 Bde.
"We had the reserves build a kilo-
metre of road in the lion exhibit. They
did it over two weekends. It was great
to watch," Mr Brooks said.
Visitors can see Messines at Monarto Zoo.
For more information go to
Brigade's powerful symbol
PRESENT and former soldiers of
9 Bde celebrated the formation's 25th
birthday at Adelaide Wine Centre on
Guests of honour included the
Governor of South Australia, RAdm
Kevin Scarce (retd), and commander
2 Div Maj-Gen Steve Smith.
Maj-Gen Smith was one of the
five past and present commanders
of 9 Bde who attended the event.
The first commander, Brig Oscar
Wayland, and the first RSM, WO1
Keith Dobson, also attended.
Over many years, the reason
behind 9 Bde adopting the rhino as
its logo had been forgotten, but Brig
Wayland was there to set the record
When he took up his post as the
first commander, his charge-ahead
style was soon noted and resulted
in a number of his junior officers
presenting him with a framed photo-
graph of a charging rhino.
He so liked the photograph that
he hung it in a place of prominence
for the whole HQ to admire.
Some weeks later his OPSO
received a call from Land Command
asking what symbol or logo should
be painted on the side of the Land
Rovers, which were due to be dis-
patched to the newly raised brigade.
Not sure what to use, the OPSO
looked up for inspiration and saw
Show of force: 9 Bde has adopted Monarto Zoo baby rhino Messines.
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