Western Australia Reunion – October 2016
This past long weekend was the WA Big Brother Movement reunion event organised by Little Brother Peter Howell (Fairsea – 1966). If the follow-up emails and phone calls to Little Brothers that attended are anything to go by, the event was a resounding success. Many Little Brothers expressed their warm appreciation for Peter’s initiation and hard work in taking up the organising of the event and making it a success and there has been great enthusiasm to make this a reccurring event. See Peter’s account of the event below. (All photos at the bottom of the page)
“Our event – the first anywhere other than Sydney – was held Sunday 2nd October at the RSL Sub Branch in East Victoria Park, a very pleasant clean and beautifully maintained venue.
The lead up was somewhat daunting as there was little idea of the level of interest from the 23 (later 25) Little Brothers known to be in WA, however good communication going both ways proved that there is a good deal of interest after all.
On the day, 14 attended. 3 others were uncontactable, 2 were overseas, one had a last minute family situation to deal with, so we could have had 17 in total if the timing had have been right. Not bad for a first attempt!
Those who did attend were (ordered for the photo above, left to right):
Gerry McDermott Air 1972
Derek Thorogood Air 1981
Mike Hilton Ranchi 1952
Keith Thorogood Air 1981
Peter Howell (Organiser) Fairsea 1966
Maurice Dunphy Canberra 1965
Colin Sizer Air 1968
David Wrigley Arcadia 1954
Edward (Ted) Biggs Fairsky 1966
John Sibson Fairsky 1961
Craig Fleet Air 1982
Peter Bowey Strathmore 1961
John Harrison-Brown Asturias 1952
Paul Beech Northern Star 1965 (Paul unfortunately had to leave before the photo was taken.)
Hopefully with a bit of encouragement and possible press coverage the remainder may come to a future event, and also I hope that we may find a few more Little Brothers who have flown under the radar thus far.
Most came with wives, partners or a friend which made it a more family and relaxed type of gathering. Some of those ladies kindly assisted my partner with refreshments, name tags, photos etc which was appreciated.
The reunion was designed to have a little formality, a few stories, a dash of humour and some refreshments in order to make something of an occasion of this first occasion; therefore after a short address giving background and an opening welcome, Peter Howell gave a quick rundown of his experiences, quickly followed by Ted Biggs, John Harrison-Brown, John Sibson and Mike Hilton. Paul Beech later made a gracious “thank you” to Peter Howell for his efforts in organising the day. Following this we just mingled and chatted amongst ourselves for another hour or so before departing our several ways.
It was interesting that two LB’s lived in Mandurah, but had not previously met until that day, so there is some confidence in hoping we will be able to forge new friendships, using the BBM as the common thread.
The BBM office in Sydney were very supportive, and provided each LB with a copy of the book by Alan Gill titled Likely Lads and Lasses, plus copies of each individual record card and ship/aircraft card which the LB’s took away with them; even 3 original application forms to Australia House! Additionally there were newspaper clippings and photos of the training farm plus some material from the book Ships That Passed.
As we age(!) it is my belief that our personal past history becomes more important. It was satisfying to put this event together and it is my hope that we in WA will have further get togethers. Hopefully other LB’s in different regions or states will be motivated to do the same – then when we manage to go to the “big one” in Sydney at some stage, we will all have more information and subject matter to discuss.
There is a host of information and some thousands of personal stories to be gained from individuals. The BBM wants our stories and our anecdotes and our histories for their files, and for the information of other LB’s as well as for the next generation who may, one day, want to know more about their forebears! So, don’t be shy – get it all on paper and send it in.. Thanks for reading this”
– Peter Howell
Thank you once again to Peter for his efforts in organising the event. Peter also documented the steps taken to make this reunion a reality and we will share this template with everyone hoping Little Brothers from different states see how easy it is and step up. Reunion Template
BBM is working on a standardised invitation that you can use when organising a reunion, please contact us if you are interested in working with us in setting one up in your state.