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Editorial and Photographs contributed by Greg PECK 53B


Early this morning we saw Alan and Sheila off at the entry to the International Air Terminal at Brizzie Airport. Three and a half pretty full on and hectic days of zotting about all over SE Queensland to try and catch up with all of the FEOFA blokes and their better halves. We had a tight schedule but it all went off very well indeed and I have to say that Alan (60b) and Sheila were a delight to have as company, no pretensions at all, just honest to goodness 'folks' that exemplify the sort of couple that so many of our ilk become as the years mellow us. They were made welcome wherever they went and responded fulsomely, it could not have gone better!


They arrived right on time on the Thursday and we drove them home, provided lunch and something cold and wet to wash it down with, before settling in for a lamp swinging session. Later that evening we had a main meal of knackwurst, kartoffelsalat and side salad, followed by Maggie's famous trifle and then we went to our eldest lads place for the tour of 'Peckingham Palace' that Gregory and Tammy seem to think obligatory, as they like to get to meet all of our visitors connected with my Army days.


Toowoomba and the Millie's, George (49b) and Marion, were our first port of call on Friday and we had a really great day with them, lunching at our favourite hotel, this was followed by a detour on the way back home to call on Vera and Reg, (51b) they too were at their sparkling best and like George and Marion, entertained us royally. Their home is situated in a picturesque surround and the wildlife abounds.


Early to rise in the morning again and a trip to Mooloolaba for a look see at Underwater World, along with a waterways tour of the Mooloola river and canal complexes. Afterwards we drove on another 50 or so kilometres and called in on the Hutchinson's in Cooroy. Phil (53a)and Lynne have avian visitors every day and they were soon clamouring for attention as we sat and enjoyed some finger food and a beer or two on the back veranda. We rounded off the Cooroy trip with a very nice feed at the Cooroy RSL Club wherein Phil is the Club secretary and Lynne the treasurer of the Ladies auxiliary. Always a warm and hearty welcome from Phil and Lynne's friends when you drop in there. Just another top day really, Alan and Sheila loved it.


On Sunday we had arranged to meet up with Roy and Kay Ashman (42c) , as well as Jim and Jennie McGuire outside the Carrara markets, Jim (52a) and Jennie were on time, no sign of Roy and Kay, so 15 minutes after the rendezvous time we went in, planning to call on the missing duo on the way home, to ensure they were OK. No sooner had we gone in than I came face to face with Roy, who had been waiting outside the other entry point. Kay was not with him, having had a bad fall a couple of days previously and feeling uncomfortable with her bruising from that. lots of souvenirs bought by Alan and Sheila, a simple lunch and a beer or two at one of the cafe's that abound in the market and plenty of chit chat and leg pulling. A great little meet up by any criteria and proof positive, were any needed, that we Brats are an exclusive breed and invariably compatible when we gather together. it goes without saying that we got the pick of the wenches too!


We did a tour of the Gold Coast on the way home from the market and got caught in a monster traffic snarl up that saw the four lane Pacific Highway at a standstill in some places. Fortunately we know an alternative route and soon took off on that. Then it was back home for evening repast and time to start packing for the very early trip to the Airport this morning. Even that went well, as we beat the rush hour and on the way home, thanked our lucky stars we had got Alan and Sheila away so smartly, as the northbound lanes were chockablock and at a standstill in many places as we headed southwards for home. Once the road works and bridge duplication are finished this July or thereabouts this sort of problem should be a thing of the past, barring any sort of major accident of course.


We had some wettish weather about while they were with us but by some sort of miracle, we were elsewhere whenever it came on to rain, never missed it by much but we did miss it!


In NZ, where Alan and Sheila were off to next, Jim and Jennie McGuire provided them with a contact number for the REME Association there and Jim Culley of 44b, who has just contacted me from the Bay of Plenty area, has asked if they want to spend a day or two at his place. See what I mean about us ex Brats? Worth breeding from we are........ We are looking forward to meeting up with Jim Culley ourselves when he comes to Brizzie in March.


Greg Peck, 53b




Alan Cook 60B with Greg Peck 53B and Alan’s wife Sheila.



Greg, Sheila and Alan


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Sheila and Alan are spoilt for choice.



Alan, Greg and Sheila.



Alan and Sheila Cook.



Alan and Sheila with Greg and Lynne and Phil Hutchinson 53A at Cooray.



Jenny and Jim McGuire 52A with Roy Ashman 42C and Alan.



Jim, Roy, Alan and Greg lining up for the Haka.



Alan, Sheila and Greg.



Greg, Sheila and Alan.



George and Marion Millie 49B, Sheila, Greg and Alan at the H.Q. of F.E.O.F.A. in Toowoomba.



Maggie Peck, Sheila, Vera and Reg Harper 51B and Alan.



Published: 1st March 2009











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