September 2019 - Two months after the 2020 JR Reunion website launch, we are now counting down the months (11) weeks (45) and days (311) so much has been done and still so much to be done. That’s the easy part from my seat, our reunion sub- committee team are working around the clock on coordinating what will be truly a magnificent week in Perth next year.
I have taken on those in the social media world who say “the cost is a bit rich for a dinner”. Well it is, I totally agree, but it’s no ordinary dinner down the local pub. So are the associated costs that we as an organisation have to face in the new world of compliance. GST and event insurance, money in the sky with little if any return, it’s user pay, you think the next reunion will be any cheaper, sorry not likely!
Qantas and Accor offers are both now alive on the website, I have air tickets, hire car, accommodation booked, like many others here on the Australian east coast and several from overseas. Little change out of $10k so far for the ten day sojourn west that the wife and I will experience, at least we get to see family and friends visit some old and new haunts. I really expect to see a full turn out from the WA boys, especially those who live in the suburbs of Perth, their budget is a lot less than mine and many others!
To date, our numbers are good and on target, of course the dinner is filling fast as the ‘early bird’ price is about to close off on 1 October. It is gratifying to see many bookings from members of the first ten JR intakes, for many of them this is their ‘Everest of all reunions’, thanks guys we really appreciate your efforts to be part of this.
We have also had a fast take up response to the new merchandise on offer. The ‘Foul Weather Jacket’ have been a big hit, good move lads, it is sure to be the wettest, windy and coldest week of the year, because six weeks ago to the day, Perth enjoyed a week of beautiful sunshine with an average 19 degrees, repeat in 12 months, I can only hope!
Again this merchandise website page will close on 1 October and then orders will be manufactured to the number for delivery next year. There will be NO overruns on reunion merchandise, we are not a bank I can assure you and will not order or hold extra stock. NOW is the time to order if you want one of these exclusive products including the two brilliant ‘Tingira’ history books our committee have put together, a limited run like no other!
With all that said, Tingira National Secretary, Mark Lee , made a trip to WA last month for a a series of meetings to put the final sign off on all things JR Reunion with navy and community leaders. Assisted by WA LJR Paul Kalajzich, they report one major change to the proposed program, as several intakes were wanting to have reunion dinners on the Friday night.
The Friday ‘Leeuwin Naval Salute’ at Leeuwin Barracks has now come forward to a new afternoon time slot with the main gates now opening at 1500 with an estimated 1830 finish. The Junior sailors mess, canteen and wets will be know as ‘Club Tingira’ area zone for the exercise. We will have access to ‘some’ accommodation blocks and the Drill Hall for displays and a snuggly wet weather routine inside if we have to rollout plan B on the day.
Today Leeuwin Barracks is a Defence base in full working mode, very much in use. Many of the buildings ten years ago that were dormant are very much operational today. The pool is again filled with water to the edge, roof repaired on drill hall and even white lines on the roadways!
As I write we are waiting for Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, to confirm with us his commitment during the five day period, hoping for him to be very much part of 2020 JR Reunion.
All I can say is ‘be there’ the memories will be well worth the cost and you will become another part of our ongoing Tingira Australia Association history.