Happy New Year to all 8/9 RAR Battalion Association Members
For those of you who were unable to attend the 2023 AGM in Samford, I was asked by the Committee to accept the position as the next Patron of the Battalion Association. I considered, that to be to have been asked, a great honour and I accepted on the spot.
As the new Patron of the Battalion Association, I’d like to wish you all a great start to 2024 and again congratulate the Battalion Association Committee on the execution of the 50th Anniversary at the Samford Showground in October. To say that I had a great time catching up with old friends and colleagues is an understatement, and seeing the wonderful interaction of old mates meeting for the first time in years and sharing stories, was priceless. The Association Committee did a marvellous job in pulling the event together and I hope that they are starting to think about 2028 and a 55th Anniversary.
As I mentioned to Phil and the Committee, we are all part of a very proud Battalion that has steadfastly maintained close links to the two founding Battalions over the years; a Battalion that unwaveringly trained for war and all that entailed over a 24-year period of relative peace; one that survived disbandment and then on re-raising, served with distinction in Timor Leste, Afghanistan, Iraq, on Domestic Operations and currently remains ‘on-line’ until the second half of the year. It’s a measure of the men who served before us and with us, and the strong association we feel to the Battalion and our mates, that makes it such an outstanding Battalion.
I’m looking forward to the activities in 2024 as highlighted to me that include:
- Long Hai Day at Oruzgan Lines, Gallipoli Barracks;
- ANZAC Day followed by drinks at the Grand Central; and of course,
- The Presentation of new 8 RAR Colours to the Battalion and Freedom of the City on 2 November.
The CO and RSM will update the Association Committee on the details of the Presentation of new 8 RAR Colours and City March in due course, but I expect that it will be a big one. If deemed appropriate, noting that many of us will be concentrated in Brisbane to see the Parade, I’m pretty sure the Association Committee will link that event with an Annual General Meeting.
Over a very busy year for the Battalion in 2023, the Association received fantastic support from the CO, RSM and Battalion members. I’ve spoken to the CO, LTCOL Ben Watson and notwithstanding another demanding year for the Battalion, the Command Team is looking forward to supporting our Association throughout 2024 and into the next.
Kind regards, and the best of good luck and wishes for the year to you and yours.
Iain Cruickshank CSC, DSM
23rd January 2024