The Unit's 21st Birthday Celebration
Brisbane, October 1989

[Hosted by Div EME and 106 Fd Wksp RAEME, Coopers Plains]

Operation "TwentyOne":

Four likely lads from Albury/Wodonga motored out of Wodonga at 5:45am on 26/10/89. They were

  • Ian "Soupman" Campbell,
  • Peter "Pedro" Pernowski,
  • Brian "Adelaide" Langridge,
  • Milton "Pressure" Pearson,


106 Fd Wksp Coopers Plains


Celebrate 106 Field Workshop's 21st Birthday


Smooth; Talk about first in best dressed with a hanger full of stretchers and sleeping bags; We chose the "Hilton" section, that is *left at the door and then back row*; Drunks, staggering home, cannot walk on you.

What To Do:

The beer outlets were closed until 4pm so we ventured out of Camp for some amber fluid with froth on top. We chose to walk courtesy of our 16 hour drive. On arriving at some shops towards Salasbury we asked an old Queenslander, sitting in his old HG Holden (a real Aussie) where the pub was; his directions - "down there and around the corner." Beauty Mate. Six miles later we found it in Mains Road, Sunnybank! The taxi driver conveying us back to Camp never stopped laughing at the route taken to reach the pub.


~A~ for effort go to Jock Manderson (ex welder) from Swan View, WA and Tom Strang (ex VM) from Claremont TAS, bearing in mind the pilot strike.
~Z~to those Queenslanders who didn't show.

The Parade:

They couldn't be RAEME. They marched too well. The setting was splendid; the band and colour against a bush background on the Aussie Rules ground was a picture; the banner ( marched on to the music of "Boys in The Back Room")excellent. Gone was the slow marching and breaking into quick time. However, fixing and unfixing bayonets to enable the firing of "Feu de Joie" made up for that; slight hiccup- a bayonet fell (no noise; the parade ground was grass. didn't go unnoticed because the lad who did the dastly deed was 7'2" (218cm) and that's a long way down to retrieve it). All in all great - "Lily Bolero" still sounds good. The parade host was Lt Col SB Coolahan (ex Adjt 106)

The Beer Tent:

The stories flowed :-

  • Why!      Barry Jackson got to Vungers so often;
  • Why!      Charlie Chase deliberately poked his rifle barrel into the dirt prior to a snap rifle inspection;
  • Why!      Rolly couldn't donate blood for 15 years;
  • How!      WINS Hicks-Hall got all those christian names;
  • How!      Pedro Pernarowski got five steel trunks of gear home;
  • How!      John Strachan wrote off Milton's pistol and the rumour of a pistol going home inside a stereo;
  • How!      Bronco Burns got shot;
  • What!      Rolly Lanham was doing with the cream that Rainbow Aplin (medic) prescribed;
  • How!      We survived the storm water drain through the Lines
  • Tricks!      L/Cpl Charlie Galoski and later L/Cpl Susie Galoski got up to (monkey mascots for those who has forgotten)
  • How!      The taping of grenades saved Al Decatania and John Bailey (both sparkies)

Who Was There:

  • Popeye Reed spots Milton. "G'day! What's my number?" "48606", I reply. "Correct!". Popeye is a Grandad and now lives in Queensland.
  • Charlie Calcraft asked me his number. No Reply. I just recalled it now; 342823!
  • ASMs - Col Philp
  • Art Tels - Phil Smith and Mick Stevens
  • Art Vehs - Joe Harlow MBE and Alan Cook
  • Art Guns - Matt Tynan and Jerry Lewis and Eddie Woods
  • Art Elecs - Kev Riley (and son Grieg)
  • OCs - WINS Hicks-Hall and CVL Palmer
  • Col Elton (ex 19th blacksmith) rang from Perth to wish 106 a happy birthday
  • Noel Catheray (ex REME) called in to say hello

  • Other names that come to mind are
    • Lindsay Adams(3 Cav/106)
    • Alf "Bilko" Keevers
    • Jim Barling
    • Wayne "Skin" Bingham (now has only one leg) Rolly Lanham kept kicking his shins to find out which leg was tin.
    • Phillip "Buddha" Bond
    • Norm Curby
    • Des Keaton
    • Dennis Edwards (who was still playing A Gde basketball)
    • Lindsay Morton
    • Mick Munn (of "G'day how ya going" fame)
    • John O'Grady (tank mechanic extraordinaire)
    • Will Simpson (with a grey beard)
    • Bruce Sheddon
    • Bruce Cushing and
    • Smokey Bavister

Slide Night:

Blackie and Milton showed a few slides including Jock Carlyle mit bagpipes - Buddha Bond dressed going to Kangaroo Court - Don Johnson (instruments) showing Rainbow Alpin (who was born in Borrooloola) how to throw a boomerang. We then sat around a boozer that we had set up inside the hanger telling jokes - fishing jokes (she had worms) - banana jokes (how to eat them). Max Menzies was telling a ripper when the Duty Officer called in (He thought he had sprung us drinking in Lines. However we were only drinking XXXX and Powers with not a greenie (VB) in sight) Well!! Quick as a flash Max included him in the joke: exit the Duty Officer.

Odds and Ends:

Ossie (ex 31st appy) looked after us behind the jump at the Mess. Cpl Scotty cranked up one of those new fangled field showers for us around 5:30am. Milton chucked $50 on the bar - the RAEME Vietnam Assoc another $50, the PMC reciprocated. Milton said a few words thanking our host and we then sang them "Happy Birthday, 106"

Some honouring the Birthday


We purchased a few souvenirs (port etc) then headed north to Aspley where John Bailey - Pedro - Soupman - Adelaide - Pressure - Norm - Lindsay and Des called into Buddha's for a farewell BBQ

At Phil Bond's BBQ Just three at BBQ