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Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Page: 11589

Mr ROBERT (9:36 AM) —I rise to express my great appreciation for the invitation that I accepted and the function I went to last Saturday night—the Riverside ‘Warnouts’ inaugural dinner. The ex-services community of the Riverside Residential Resort put on a splendid dinner with service and meals provided by volunteers from within the community. I express my appreciation to the dining president, Mr Jim Baker from the Royal Australian Navy, and to the vice-president, Mr Don Robertson, a veteran from 7th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment. I put on the record my extreme thanks for the opportunity to toast Her Majesty the Queen as part of the toast services and I also acknowledge those who provided other toasts as well. Mr Nev Currey provided a toast to the RAAF; Mr Michael Symons toasted the Army; Mr Ken Smith, a Navy national serviceman—quite a rare thing to see—toasted our ladies; Mr Garry Cooper toasted missing friends and fallen comrades; Mr John McMurray proposed a thanks to the guest speaker and official guests; and Mr John Southern thanked all of our volunteers. I would also like to acknowledge Commander Peter Franklin OAM Royal Australian Navy retired who was the guest speaker on the evening.

It was great to see at the function that we had five World War II veterans covering all arms and services including the merchant navy: Mr Jim Baker from the Royal Australian Navy, Mr Nev Currey from the Royal Australian Air Force; Mr Arthur Freriechs from the Australian Army and Mr John Southern from the merchant navy. It is tremendous to see a community coming together in camaraderie to celebrate ex-servicemen and to bring the community together. It was wonderful to be in the room to raise a toast to Her Majesty the Queen and to also acknowledge the World War II veterans who were there. My thanks certainly go out to the Riverside community and to the ‘Warnouts’. I look forward to assisting them as we go forward and to attending their second dinner next year.