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2013 - SAMVOA National Formal Mess Dinner

Glen Waverley RSL
11th October 2013,
Guest of Honour
Major General Roland de Vries SD SM MMM
An expert on mobile warfare.

Eight SAMVOA Formal Mess Dinner

11th October, 2013

Glen Waverley RSL,

Guest of Honour; Major General Roland de Vries SD SM MMM

On Saturday 11th October, 2013, the National Executive of SAMVOA now proudly hosted its eight annual formal mess dinner at the Glen Waverley RSL. The change enabled us to have higher profile guests because these persons brought in more participants. We could seat up to 80 persons.

There was a lot of interest in the Guest of Honour as he was a legend in his own time, earning himself the reputation “Rommel of the SADF” because mobile warfare came second nature to him. He had implemented it most effectively against the Soviets in Angola to such effect that he was in demand internationally to share his concepts of mobile warfare.

The evening before a book launch was help at the RSL and Veteran Roland de Vries, who is a member of SAMVOINT, presented his work, which we all found very interesting.

Roland de Vries joined the South African Army in January 1963, qualified as an officer in January 1964 and retired as the Deputy Chief of the South African Army in April 1999.

De Vries served loyally for more than 37-years in the South African Defence Force (SADF) in various training and operational positions. It was an exciting and fulfilling career in which he enjoyed commanding magnificent military institutions such as 61 Mechanised Battalion Group, the South African Army College, 7 South African Division and the Joint Training Division of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

He had the honour to have participated in various military operations in the former Rhodesia, South West Africa (now called Namibia) and Southern Angola. Some of these were well known operations such as Protea, Modular and Prone in Southern Angola, respectively in 1981, 1987 and 1988. The latter two mentioned high intensity conventional battles subsequently led to the peace accord being signed between South Africa, Angola and the Cubans in New York on 22 December 1988.

His work in the army entailed actively participating in the development of the Ratel infantry combat vehicle and its subsequent combat system and doctrine through the seventies. He played an important role through his military career in the development of operational concepts and military doctrine for mobile conventional warfare within the Southern African context. To this end his book on mobile warfare (Mobile Warfare – a perspective for Southern Africa) was published in South Africa, whilst still being a colonel in August 1987.

The Formal Mess evening began for the 64 guests with Drinks at 1930H at the downstairs reception. Mike Black, the Mess President presented the South African Sherry before the call to dinner was made by the Mess Vice President, Brent van de Stadt. The Guest of Honour and guests were piped into the mess area by our piper, Karl Brown.

Grace was said and the Host, Veteran Tony Macquet welcomed everyone.

Same menu as last year, which had been so successful with alternate servings.

• The Entrée was:

o Cream of Buttermilk Pumpkin Soup.

o Ricotta filled Ravioli in rich Tomato Sauce, shaved parmesan.

• The Mains were:

o Slowly Braised Karoo Lamb Shank, served with creamy mash and seasonal vegetables.

o Oven Roasted Chicken Breast Fillet with Apricots and Almonds, filled with apricots and almonds, topped with a creamy chardonnay sauce, accompanied by creamy mash and garden salad.

• Desserts were;

o Sticky-Date Pudding, served warm with vanilla bean ice cream, butterscotch sauce, donned with a Halo of Toffee.

o Ouma’s Lemon Meringue Pie, served with whipped cream.

• Coffee, tea and beverages from the bar.

During the proceedings, our Mess President welcomed Roland de Vries, author and military strategist of note and presented a background to his accomplishments. Roland responded eloquently, as a practiced presenter, and we all enjoyed a thought-provoking presentation, which made us realise how lucky we were to have had a leader at this level and of this caliber.

The Toasts were made:

1. South Africa, the Mother Country, wishing her peace

2. Australia, our new home, may we be worth citizens.

3. Fallen Serviceman and women, “Lest we Forget”.

Veteran Karl Brown played a very well-received medley on his pipes, which included some favourite South African tunes.

Veteran Brent van de Stadt, as Mess Vice President, controlled the evening well and all went as planned

Attended by:

Roland and Henriette de Vries

Ian and Sylvia Batholomew

Mr and Mrs M Black

Kevin Bowden.

Tyler Bowden

Karl and Edith Brown

Ross Brown and Shae Iddles

Gustav and Talana Cook

Kevin and Jenny Edwards

Cliff and Josie Everton

Brynton Fennel

John and Val Hanlon

Ted and Judy Hayes

Patrick Honeyborne

Barrington and Pamela Ingram

Lloyd Knowler

Tony and Dee Macquet

Max and Anna Newman

Jacques and Suzanne Van Niekerk

George and Vera Paouros

Garth Pienaar

At du Plooy

Gordon Pugh

Kevin and Debbie Rother

Neill Roos and Honey Fowley

Trevor Robinson

Paul and Gillian Roos

Rowena Schroeder

Kevin Shaw

Neil and Lee Slaughter

Derick and Vanessa Smith

Jared and Lisa Smith

Brent and Debbie van der Stadt

Cliff and Sandy Styles

Nic and Marietjie Swart

Evert and Lauren Veenhof

Dudley and Mrs Wenzel

Mike Weber

Peter and Diana Wilmot.

Chairman's Plaque Awards:

Veteran Roland de Vries SD SM MMM - In recognition of his dedication to duty as an outstanding soldier and leader, dedicated to the preservation of peace in Southern Africa. His admirable and committed dedication to both his tasking and to those placed under his command rightfully places him as a "Hero in his own time" and a favourite amongst those who served under and alongside him. SAMVOA salutes you.

Veteran Paul Roos - In recognition of his dedication to duty and to the ideals of SAMVOA. His leadership and contribution to the success of the South African Service Cross Project and the development, launch and continued management of the project has been outstanding.

Veteran Andrew Tully and Veteran Karin Tully - In recognition of their dedication to duty and to the ideals of SAMVOA. Andrew's knowledge and skills in heraldry is recognised as a major contribution to the development and Intellectual Property associated with the South African Service Cross Project. Both his and Karin's contribution to the development, launch and management of the project has been outstanding.

Veteran Kevin Bowden - In recognition of his dedication to duty and to the ideals of SAMVOA, which includes him taking over as Regional Chairman of New South Wales. We also recognise him for his skills and contribution to the success of the South African Service Cross.

Lt Col Barrington Ingram AM RFD ED - In recognition of the wonderful support SAMVOA enjoys when he gives unselfishly of his time to show visiting South African dignitaries around places of military interest in and around Melbourne. His friendship is greatly appreciated and SAMVOA salutes you

Order of the Star of Honour of Ethiopia

Since being instituted in 1884 by Menelik II, the father of Emperor Haile-Selassie, the Order of the Star of Honour of Ethiopia was been awarded sparingly, to notable Imperial and military figures in the past, such as King George VI , Major-General Lord Gleichen of the British Army and Commandant General’s Zinni and del Valle of the United States Marine Corps.

In recent years, an “African Honours List” has accorded knighthood’s to Ambassadors, Ministers, Staff Officers, Academicians and other professionals in recognition for their varied services to Africa, like the philanthropist Sir Wilfred Thesiger, the humanitarian Ammanuel Foxe & Dr. David Johnson of the College of Heraldry to name a few.

His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie and the Ethiopian Crown Council have the pleasure in bestowed upon Andrew Michael Tully, The Order of the Star of Ethiopia at the grade of Commander, in recognition of his over 20 years’ service "to the arts".

Andrew is an accredited herald, a Fellow of the Association of International Heralds, a Fellow of the Genealogy Society, a member of both the British Heraldic Society and the Society of Heraldic Arts and is currently serving as Maol’Tuile Pursuivant.

From an African perspective, his heraldic & ceremonial contributions came to the fore during the Inauguration of Nelson Mandela. His services also aided the development of the Unitas Medal that many of us wear tonight, including numerous SADF & SA Army Corps insignia, SANDF ceremonial uniform designs & badges of rank known to our forces today.

As Andrew was unable to receive this knighthood in person from his Highness the Prince, we are honoured to have been asked to take this unique opportunity, and on behalf of the Crown Council, conduct this investiture and bestow upon Veteran Tully this, the Order of the Star of Ethiopia.

CHAIRMAN'S CUP WINNER : Western Australia Region

SAMVOA Bugle Winner : Veteran Paul Roos

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