Partners of 9RAR – March 2021

Maxine Tapper has shared this wonderful newspaper article from November 14th 1968.

50 plus years on they are still enjoying life in Western Australia 


West Australian Newspaper 

Thursday November 14 1968  

“It was a wharfside reunion and farewell yesterday for Lance Corporal Kevin Tapper (21) of Bicton and his fiancée, Miss Maxine Williams (21) of East Freemantle.  L/Cpl Tapper, a national serviceman was one of about 60 

W. A. soldiers who were given two hours leave  on the Freemantle wharf only – before they sailed for Vietnam

The troops and about 50 Western Australian sailors of the Sydney’s company were allowed onto the wharf. 

The Sydney was carrying the main party of 500 officers and men of the 9th Battalion in Vietnam

Yesterday was the 9th Battalion’s first birthday. The event was due to be celebrated in the Sydney’s main hanger after it left Freemantle.- Picture by Rodney Taylor”

We do not offer advice, rather information that you can take onboard or follow up yourself if you wish to.  We are not an advocacy organisation more a coffee club connecting people  

Hi Campers, 

So, we are well into 2021, it is odd in Sydney, everything seems the same as it was but then you take another look and it is not. People are getting back to the office, the kids are back at school, TAFE and University. The shops, pub’s and parks etc are all open BUT then you have a closer look and there are differences everywhere.  A lot of people are still working from home. No one wants to travel on public transport. All cafes, hairdressers, clubs etc. require you to scan in using the Services NSW app (there is another story) RSL meetings are on Zoom! Generally, people are staying close to home; International travel is off the agenda and even interstate travel is fraught with danger……you can make all the plans you like but until the day you leave you need to hold your breath and hope you can get across the border and then back. 

At our house the Christmas tree remained up until our youngest came home for Christmas February 25th, after a year of lock down in Melbourne with the border closed, then in January 2021 it was closed the other way and now as I write he is boarding a plane for the flight home.  I never thought I would have to dust the Christmas Tree, but I left it up until we could all be together for Christmas, he was home for about a week. After a couple of days catching up with friends (in a COVID safe way) and then Christmas dinner on the 25th Feb he started to show signs of having been here long enough and couldn’t wait to get on the plane to get home, but at least we all will feel better having that time together.   

I know there are many of you out there with family stuck interstate or overseas, missing grandchildren, special events, sick loved ones. It is still be tough, frustrating and sad  -remember that we have all weathered many a storm over the past 50 years, this is a walk in the park for the partners of Vietnam Vets! Just stay connected the best way you can and reach out if it becomes too much or you notice someone you think could do with some support.  



There is a terrific movie that will give you a good laugh, it was released in October 2020, but with everything else that was happening it got a little lost in the noise . It is available of DVD at all of the usual places and is streaming on some of the available services.   Check your library as well, if not ask them to get it in. 


”I love the smell of mothballs in the morning”

When a nursing home stands in he way of a 50 year courtship, four grumpy old Vietnam Vets combine to rectify the situation.

After many years apart these brave Vietnam Vets find themselves together at the Hogan Hills Retirement Village and they find that they still have it when it comes to working together to achieve the things they want to do before time runs out ! They may have memory loss and not be as quick as they once were but they prove it is never too late to take on another adventure together.       A delightful comedy with some wonderful stars  James Cromwell, Dennis Waterman, Roy Billing, Shane Jacobson, Jack Thompson and the wonderful Jacki

Weaver as the love interest                         

Don’t forget the popcorn and ice cream to go with the movie!

Advance Care Directive……. Generally, we put in place our wills, power of attorney even an enduring guardianship but how many of us leave instructions for how we wish to be cared for when we can no longer make the call. 

How many of us have considered this and then followed through and put it in writing so that it is there for our loved ones.  

Loved ones need to know exactly what your thoughts are. If they need to make a decision on your behalf make sure they know what you want.

Think of those around you make life as easy as you can when times are tough

State Government Health department web sites all have links to these documents with good information regarding how to complete the form or start with this address.

Crypto Currency…Bitcoin.  

what is it and why is there so much fuss about it.   This article, by Steve Richard gives an explanation of what Bitcoin is, it is not advice, Crypto currencies are unregulated and unsupported by any financial institution.

What is it:

Cryptocurrency (or ‘Crypto’ as its often shortened to) is an entirely digital currency. It uses what is called ‘Blockchain’ technology as a record of all of its transactions, making it very difficult to fake information about it. 

This is the simplified explanation, when a new bitcoin is made, a ‘block’ of information is created which is then encrypted (hence why it is called a ‘crypto’curency). When this transferred to a new owner, the original ‘block’ is not lost, instead a copy is made which also has a link to the old block, and the old block has a link to the new block. This means that there can potentially be dozens or hundreds of these blocks. When ownership of a bitcoin is transferred legitimately all existing blocks are told about it. 

There is no single ‘ledger’ of information about the currency, instead there’s a chain of these blocks in chronological order held in different places, it is almost impossible to illegitimately transfer a bitcoin (which would be essentially stealing it) because you would need to track down and hack every single instance of this block-ledger at once.

A side effect of this is it is the is no centralised bank that supports this currency, all the information is held on different computers all around the world. For some people this is the appeal, it means it is a currency that is not under the control of any government regulation or reporting. However, this also has its downsides, no regulatory authority, no real regulation no control. The amount of bitcoin that exists is not controlled anywhere, it is purely a process of ‘mining’.

Because Bitcoin depends entirely on cryptography, making new bitcoin is actually quite tricky. It can only be done by computers solving very complex equations to generate the encryptions needed for a new bitcoin with the appropriately encrypted blocks. This is very slow process called ‘Mining’. When Bitcoin was first invented this was done by people with spare computers running in their homes. Now it is a bit more complicated, but the amount of money involved means there are a lot of people working on it still. Because the computations involved are so complex, the BBC recently published an article saying it is estimated that around the world bitcoin mining is using more electricity than Argentina. 

The mining process is slowing down. Because of the mathematics involved there are a limited number of potential bitcoins that can exist, estimated to be about 21 million, of which 2.6 million more can be mined. In July last year it was estimated that although the first 18.4 million bitcoin took only 10 years to mine, because the remaining ones have more complicated calculations it may take over a century to finish mining them, even accounting for improving computer technology.

Where is it used:

That is actually a very tricky question. When Bitcoin was first ‘created’ no one had any idea what to do with it, and it was ‘worth’ cents. In 2010 someone who was involved in the early stages of bitcoin bought a pizza for 10,000 bitcoins. That amount of bitcoin, if sold on the 31st of December 2020, would be worth $376 million dollars. However, the tricky part is that purchase made international news, and for the first time, established to the world that bitcoin does in fact have value. If the Pizza had not been bought, it’s possible that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency would never have taken off as it has.

The trouble now is that Bitcoin is incredibly volatile. Its value in any given month can vary enormously compared to any other currency, making it less like a ‘currency’ and more like an incredibly unstable commodity. In the last 12 months, Bitcoin has had a low value of $8,300, and a high value of close to $64,000. In a week its price can vary by more than $10,000. All of this means that Bitcoin is actually very poor for making purchases.

That is not to say that bitcoin is not an acceptable tender in some places.  A number of businesses do, and some companies have sprung up that sell amazon gift cards for bitcoin, effectively converting the currency into something they can spend directly.

How to get it:

To purchase Bitcoin, you need a registered account at a crypto trading website. Because crypto currency is poorly regulated at best, it is important you do your research before considering any of these. Two years ago, Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange website encountered a problem where their founder died and had not shared the password for the exchange’s storage of cryptocurrency with anyone else. It is estimated that because of that lost password, CAN$190 million worth of cryptocurrency (at the time, its value has increased since then) is encrypted on a laptop that no one can access.

If you are considering getting any crypto currency, please be careful and do your due diligence first. This is not a normal currency that you can use easily, and it is not a safe investment, with enormous fluctuations in their value being very commonplace. It’s a zero-sum game. The only money that can exist in Bitcoin is what people have invested in it. It is impossible to make money without someone else losing money at some point in the process. If anything, the only way it can continue to make money for investors is if they convince more people to invest in it (increasing the amount of money there) so they can get out with more cash. It’s basically a decentralised “Ponzi“ scheme.  Media are very happy to talk about people making large sums of money off Cryptocurrencies, but it is important to remember that every time someone makes money on Bitcoin by buying low and selling before a crash, it is because someone else bought at the high and is now stuck with a currency they spent $20,000 on, which is now only worth $5,000                                  


The Schofield Triplets – Poppy, Mabel, Nora looking for grandparents Colin and Francoise to come over the border. 

Good news is Mèmè and Pèpè (as they are known to the girls) have arrived! Spending time with Jan in Maleny so they can be closer to the girls in Brisbane

Vale an Amazing Women 

Betty Plummer 

 March 1922 – February 2021

Betty was a Veteran, Wife, Mum Grandmother and a wonderful Lady. 

Many of us were privileged to meet Betty at 9 RAR Reunions and Functions

Betty was a woman who was active in all facets of the community and one who had a special place in her heart for 9 RAR

To Bob, Vicky and your family we offer our sincere condolences. 

Mental Health First Aid 

If you are interested in learning how to help or identify those that may be suffering with mental health issues Mental Health First Aid offer a two day ( 6hrs x 2) course available, teaching skills for providing initial help to a person who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. 

The course is run by qualified health professionals and is tailored to the specific needs of the participant cohort .

Recently The Vet attended the course at Hornsby RSL (who sponsored the course) it was open to all of those who wanted to participate.  Jill and David Greenhalgh attended the same course at Moruya RSL. And Jill said she found it really helpful, she also participated in the online exam at the end of the course and is now holds an accredited Mental First Aid Certificate.      03 9079 0200       Information is also available through OPEN ARMS  for RSL Clubs wishing to offer this course of for those wanting to  where courses are being held.  

Remember, check the “facts” you hear, a lie can travel half way around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on!

OPAN The Older Persons Advocacy Network  

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is a national network comprised of nine state and territory organisations that have been successfully delivering advocacy, information and education services to older people in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote Australia for over 25 years.

Older Persons Advocacy Network’s free services support older people and their representatives to address issues related to Commonwealth funded aged care services. Older Persons Advocacy Network is funded by the Australian Government to deliver the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP). OPAN aims to provide a national voice for aged care advocacy and promote excellence and national consistency in the delivery of advocacy services under the Program.

While OPAN is always on the side of consumers, it is an independent body with no membership or constituency beyond its nine service delivery organisations. This independence is a key strength both for individual advocacy and also for our systemic advocacy.

This organisation offers assistance on many issues for older persons, call 1800 700600 and you will be connected to your state based office.


James Valentine has some new PODCASTS available and they are all produced for Senior Australians….The series is called Life’s Booming, produced by Medium Rare Content. It is available from Apple and Google  podcast downloads. 

In the series so far are Hello Freedom, Going Solo, Rolling on the Road, The Trainspotters, The Adventurers and Chasing Elvis. 


I know that there are Veterans all along the east coast that have salt water running through their veins and are lifelong members of local surf clubs. Partners, perhaps this is something you can encourage them to look at. The above information has been “lifted” from their website  which is full of really interesting information. 


Silver Salties is a physical activity and social connections initiative for older Australians designed by Surf Life Saving Australia in conjunction with Surf Life Saving Clubs and funded by Sport Australia’s Move It Aus – Better Ageing Grants Program.  Silver Salties is designed for older Australians, however people of all ages can participate.

Surf Life Saving Clubs can choose to deliver one or more of the 20 Silver Salties programs on offer which include accessible, friendly, safe and fun activities at the park, clubhouse, beach, pool and in the surf catering for older Australians’ diversity in age, weight, mobility, fitness or experience. SLSCs can choose Silver Salties programs to deliver that suit club capacity, setting and context, as well as participant interest. 


Silver Salties gives Surf Life Saving Clubs an opportunity to engage older Australians in the community, re-engage older club members, capitalise on older Australians’ life experiences, educated older Australians about water safety, attract new members to the club, and receive subsidies to run approved Silver Salties programs and/or to develop innovative approaches/programs. 

You don’t stop playing because you got too old, you got too old because you stopped playing !


Every venue you go into now requires that you sign in. It is made to look so easy when you watch a younger person doing it.  They walk up, whip their mobile phone out, scan the screen then using the thumb from the hand holding the mobile they complete the sign in and walk on thru.  It is an all in one motion.  

This is not the case for Senior Australians….everywhere you go they are holding up the queue to get in.  They fumble around looking for the mobile, then for the glasses so that they can see what comes up on the screen. Find the camera app, hold it up to the bar code making sure that they centre it. Read the text that comes onto the top of the screen (checking it is the same as last time) press ok and wait for the Services app to appear. To speed things up we now enter The Vet as a dependent rather than go through the entire process twice.  I don’t know what he does when he is on his own ( it doesn’t really matter). Please, move away from the entrance to complete the check in, people just don’t have the time to wait for us. Don’t forget to check out, we found we were at a café in Picton for a day and a half last week!

Stay Safe and Stay Well

Happy Reading

Lesley and Jan