News

Weather helps Viet vets honour our Long Tan heroes

TRIBUTE: Former Vietnam Veterans’ Association president Ralph Hindmarsh at the cenotaph he was instrumental in building in Memorial Park, Grafton.
TRIBUTE: Former Vietnam Veterans’ Association president Ralph Hindmarsh at the cenotaph he was instrumental in building in Memorial Park, Grafton.

ORGANISERS of Vietnam Veterans' Day don't mind if the elements lay on a touch of discomfort.

Their plans worked a treat when a biting southerly blew late in the day as schoolchildren and a pipe band marched down Prince St, Grafton to celebrate the 48th anniversary of the battle of Long Tan.

The president of the Grafton branch of the Vietnam Veterans, Ron Shoebridge, said it was good for people to get a feeling of the discomfort soldiers endured.

"I remember during one of these services a few years ago we had a shower of rain," Ron said.

"I thought, 'Good, this will give all these people a touch of what those fellows went through at Long Tan'."

The battle of Long Tan was fought from 5pm on August 18, 1966 between 108 men of D company 6 Battalion RAR and a force of 1500 Viet Cong.

With monsoonal rain pouring down for most of the conflict, 18 Australians were killed and 24 wounded, while at least 245 enemy soldiers died and countless others were wounded.

The heroism of those men has led to the engagement becoming the signature battle of the Vietnam campaign.

Former Vietnam Veterans president Ralph Hindmarsh, who was at the helm when the Grafton Vietnam Veteran's Memorial was completed in 2006, said while Australian forces fought many battles during the campaign, Long Tan was the one that captured the imagination.

He said it had become like Gallipoli in the First World War, the Kokoda campaign in the Second World War and Kapyong during the Korean conflict.

Mr Shoebridge said Monday's turnout was heartening.

"Because of the way they were treated, a lot of Vietnam veterans went bush and don't come out for days like this," he said.

"But it's really good to see the schoolkids taking part and taking and showing respect for this part of our history.

"It's always good to see the kids involved."

Topics:  cenotaph grafton long tan vietnam



SUNDAY SAY: Where do the Bunya's grow?

The rough bark of the trunk of the Bunya. To get the cones naked young men climbed the Bunyas in the time-honoured way using vines for support.

Tree one of area's earliest plantings

Pacific Highway roadworks this week

Roadworks on the highway

Here's a list of all the spots where work will take place

SUNDAY SAY: The grass it can be greener

field of spring grass and forest

Short lawn not always the best

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

How to be spooky and sing like a man

Spooky Men's Chorale, looking a little less spooky, on Saturday morning at their masterclass.

A masterclass on how to be a spooky man (or woman).

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Historic home 'Fairweather' up for action

Fairweather

Historic property owned for last 35 years up for sale

A piece of Clarence Valley heritage up for grabs

The historic house \"Ravensford\" located at 36 Villiers St in Grafton is currently on the market at McKimms Real Estate.

Take a look inside iconic home 'Ravenford'

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!