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2023 ANZAC DAY - Sydney NSW

Recount by Veteran DL Curry SAMVOA NSW Regional Chairman.

Dear Veterans,

Congratulations on a fantastic march in Sydney yesterday. I believe we handled ourselves with pride and decorum, and were rightly praised for our performance. Was it the best yet? If not, then it is up there with the best. Winners.

I'd like to add a few comments on the day and thank certain people (in no particular order) who put in that little bit extra to make the day as special as it was. (It's always difficult to do this as someone may be missed, but put it down to old age on my part, and not malice).

Firstly, all our veterans who attended, give yourself a great shout out. Without you we have no parade and no march. Our dress was great, NSW is proud of the various groups that made up the SADF/ SANDF and we celebrate this diversity with those who choose to, by wearing their individual unit berets with such pride. The Master at Arms and I were also greatly relieved that no North Korean bemedaled defectors where present on the day, thanks everyone for living up to the spirit of the SAMVOA dress regulations on the day. Salute.

Some old faces that we hadn't seen for a while- I note Veteran George Dionyssopoulos and Veteran Paul Harvell who have been part of us since inception but took a few gap years. Welcome back. I'm sure there are others and their presence was greatly appreciated. Welcome to new members like Veteran Morne Cheetham who marched for the first time, in addition to several new faces on the day. Thank you.

There were many who cheered us on like Veteran Matt Fisher HC from London, Veteran Rick Myburgh from a jacuzzi in an cruise ship somewhere in the Med!!!, our (relatively) tame Aussie Veteran Steve Roberts, Veteran Sandy Alexander and friends of the group Rob Reynolds, Gordon Hatch and Rex Henning who, with our WAGs, like Karen Jooste and the Deon Cilliers family cheered us on from the side lines. And many others. This is the support that keeps us going.

Tyrone Diedricks for his photographic skills which in no way denigrates the many other videos and photos taken and shared by others. An awesome record of the day.

To our National Chairman Geoff Mitchell who travelled down from Canberra to march with us- you are a legend and made NSW proud. We love visitors on the day, from other regions or parts of the world, they add to our numbers and may become members someday, and are always welcome.

Veteran Jono Jooste, our NSW Master at Arms who drove the parade with his usual skill and presence. This greatly contributes to our performance on the day, notwithstanding the 'drilled in' drill skills that the SADF gave us all.

The three cadets organised by Veteran Aubrey Sonnenberg who carried the Banner and Standard, along who with Veteran Angus Pollitt, who led the march with great skill. Iron men all.

Once again, we had a very successful lunch at Club York with 40 Veterans and family attending. There was certainly more than enough good food, but at $65 per head, it seems to be getting expensive, and this and limited numbers unfortunately exclude some members from attending. This may be a realistic market price in Sydney for ANZAC Day and there is no easy answer. However I'm open to suggestions as to how we may become more inclusive and get more of our marchers and families together after the march where a lot of meeting and greeting takes place, all of which builds our group cohesion and camaraderie. This is often the only time we get together with other members in the year so something that allows more interaction in an informal setting (like a braai) comes to mind. Any ideas guys?

The two section heads- Western Sydney and The Central Coast respectively, Veterans Nic Laubscher and Jannie Diedricks who marshalled their manne for the march, and who diligently arrange the very important monthly get togethers at their local meeting places. This is the commitment that maintains and builds our Region.

Deon Cilliers and his boys who are looking after the Standard and Banner for us- most appreciated .

Lastly the office bearers, Veteran Frank White, our previous chairman who's class act I'm trying very hard to follow, and who acts as our treasurer, Veteran Ugo Cannavo our QM, Veteran Aubrey Sonnenberg who heads up the 'keeping the current Chairman in line committee', and of course Veteran Jono Jooste, Master at Arms, as mentioned above. Thank you for your support.

I'm pleased that the march went off so well, it's a great start and hopefully we can build on this in the future. ANZAC Day is our most important day.

Once again, thanks to everyone who attended, supported us in person and were with us in spirit. If I've neglected to mention anyone, my bad. It is not intentional and I have a lot to learn with many old and new names and faces in our group.

Best regards, Dave

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