Voice Pipe August 2020

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Voice Pipe August 2020



Going The Distance – I never did school cross country to the best on my ability, however I now know the feeling of what stamina and fitness is all about after the past two years of planning and heading up the organising committee for the recently cancelled 2020 JR Reunion.

They say “once you organise a reunion you probably never do another one”, I now know why! What a workload it is, I guess it was like having five weddings in five days, yeah that’s a big call! This is my second Tingira reunion and throw in a Hobart reunion Annie and I did along the way, this was a marathon compared to a cross country!

Sincerely my heart was gutted the night we had to make the cancellation call. Mark really did keep his best effort for last.

This was to be Mark’s ‘swan song’ in event management. Mark, like many of us, is heading towards retiring days for stress related fixtures like this one. Mark will complete one last term on Tingira national committee as Secretary next year, if elected, he reminds me, that’s a relief!

The reunion team did volumes. Each ran their own marathon for the exercise put before them. The boys in the West, led by Paul Kalajzich, bonded brilliantly with the boys in the East, the association is a better place for this, we found so many new positives from the exercise.

Our new communication link and open doors with Navy, many new Tingira members on board, renewed Tingira merchandise supplier for future rabbits. A website experience that was at the technical height of the industry when playing with local and international $, numbers and database behind code systems, a uni degree required! Then came the new group of Tingira sponsors and supporters who got behind us from the start. A big thank you to Navy Sea Power for reprinting our JR storybooks, just some of the many highlights after the cancellation disappointment.

However, the best was always going to be at the 2020 JR Reunion. The handing back of the Leeuwin ‘front gate crest’ from STS Leeuwin which recently occurred on Tingira Day was certainly a highlight. We will seek to place that Leeuwin crest on the front of the JR Memorial sometime soon to show our true participation in the base history over her past 80 odd years. Then there was the weather during that second week in July? 18 degrees and sunshine every day, how good was that five day period? I feel robbed after the cyclonic conditions we experienced back in 2010.

Our Tingira singer, Amber Lawrence, would have been huge on the stage with the support of the Navy rock band. She has the number one hit this month on i-tunes with the national lock down process, we should get our own Tingira song next!

Our Tingira 2020 Stonehaven Medal winner, Dr Brad Murphy, was to be another big highlight announcement with Senior Navy executives and a few navy ships programed to be along side in Fremantle at the same time. All was approved and ready for action stations as part of the 2020 JR Reunion. Hundreds of tickets to the AFL and the Belmont horse racing went begging, along with the naming of several the races on the day, the ‘Tingira Cup’ was about to be commissioned!

And the final act was the presence of the navy band with bagpiper playing a few ACDC tunes on the Optus Oval as the entry theme into to that final night celebration part with 40 sailors and Tingira Boys parading the Giant Navy and Tingira flags. That’s what dreams are made of, the team excelled to the final hurdle, thanks lads, next time, well maybe?

I say maybe, because it’s just a dream right now for another big reunion. The future of the Leeuwin site is now the next big thing we should watch. We live in a very changing world today from the first month of this year. Perhaps Leeuwin might just have a new agenda going forward as I think many State and Federal governments with present and future plans are under scrutiny and review, especially concerning Defence issues on top of COVID-19 outcomes. The Tingira national committee has moved onward setting the course for the next sprint! Working on our new ‘Strategic Plan’ for the five year period has been challenging but it’s a good plan on the starting line for a new committee to be elected at the next AGM in first half of 2021.

The biggest thank you to sponsors and all persons who gave back many of their 2020 JR Reunion $ refunds as a donation to our association. We are in a better place as a result of these incredible contributions; we were very much in the red ($30k) and behind the eight ball in early March of 2020. Status of Ship Tingira … “Tingira Ready to sail on, and whilst we have endured a buffeting this year, with a clear vision and strong purpose our new and energetic Committee of 2021we will stay the
course well into the future!”

Lance Ker
Tingira Australia Assoc