Editorial and Photographs contributed by Greg PECK 53A
As arranged for Saturday the 12th May, a celebration and gathering was held at Cooroy ( Sunshine Coast hinterland, Queensland ) in recognition of Phil Hutchinson's 70th Birthday. Phil, of Arborfield's 53a intake, is a founder member of FEOFA.
Due to health setbacks in the case of Roy Ashman of the 42c vintage (he is now coming good) and an overseas visitor with George Millie, only Reg and Vera Harper, along with daughter Lisa, were able to join Maggie and I as FEOFA representatives.
Our trip up to Cooroy was a bit of a struggle, as the connecting Highway between the Gateway Tollway and the Bruce Highway was chocker block and at a standstill. Fortunately I spotted this anomaly in sufficient time to take the 'Deagon Deviation' towards the Redcliff Peninsula, taking great care to be alert for deviates along the way. ;)
Others had of course done the same, so that the Houghton Highway and ANZAC Avenue were very congested in the northbound lanes. It was stop and go all the way to the Deception Bay entry ramp onto the Bruce Highway but at least we were moving. (The stoppage on the connection road was due to a pr@t highspeeding it down the dual carriageway against the flow of traffic, resulting in a very bad head on collision). Once on the Bruce, we had no further problems, arriving an hour later than planned for though.
As it happened, we were first to arrive despite the handicap, next on the scene were the Harpers, so we enjoyed a good lamp swinging session until Phil and Lynne's other guests put in an appearance. Nice people, they soon joined in with their own contributions from their Service days. Lynne provided a superb layout of finger food to sustain us during the 'fall of shot and shell' as we reminisced and listened to anecdotes.
We went along to the RSL (Returned Servicemen's League) Cub and after observing the traditional minutes silence at the end of daylight, we settled into a celebration Of Phil's Birthday, actually it was a double celebration as my Maggie had reached another milestone on the 9th May. I have to say that the culinary efforts of the RSL staff exceeded my best expectations and we enjoyed a superb repast. Maggie and I settled on a Seafood Basket and it was quite magnificent, others went for steak or for Barramundi, a superb fish that is one of my all time favourites.
I have to say that it was a very pleasant evening altogether and we were in the very best of company. When we returned to Phil and Lynne's lovely home,
Lynne surprised us with a birthday cake, of her own devising, dedicated to both Phil and Maggie. I have to say, without reservation, that the fruitcake that Lynne had made as the basis for the Birthday cake, was the finest I have ever eaten.
Reg and Vera, along with daughter Lisa, were overnighting with Phil and Lynne but as Maggie had arranged to go out with our daughter Kath on Sunday morning, ( Mothers day but typically it was a working bee ) we had to head off home. The return journey was a doddle and we did it in one hour and forty minutes, an hour less than the outward journey, a great day altogether and Phil was stoked with the plaque presented to him as a memento.
Next Saturday is Roy Ashman's 80th Birthday, so watch this space.....
The Birthday Boy - Phil Hutchings 53A
A Plaque for Phil.
Reg Harper and Greg Peck back The Birthday Boy - Phil Hutchings.
The F.E.O.F.A. gathering at Cooroy.
A F.E.A.S.T. fit for F.E.O.F.A.
Published: 16th May 2007