MARYANG SAN Memorial Service and RAY EWELL DCM Dedication. 7 Oct 2014.
Charlie Coy was well represented considering the distance people travelled. Our base for the next few days was the Holiday Inn in the centre of Townsville, which is our chosen venue for our Reunion in 2016.
Sunday was spent in front of the big screen having a few cold ones and watching the ARL Grand Final won by South Sydney Rabbitoh’s. By Mon afternoon there were 22 of us gathered in the foyer, where we were given a brief before moving by bus (driven by big Mal CSM C Coy) to dinner at the Townsville RSL. Here we were met by Gerard Kearns (OC C Coy) and his wife Brooke together with Sheryl (Mal’s wife). Also joining us were Gerards parents Keith and Sandra. A wonderful evening with great company. We ended the evening with a brief by Gerard and Mal on the next days activities.
We enjoyed the trip out to Lavarack Barracks with driver and guide the multi skilled Mal, who dropped us at Kapyong Lines 3RAR Parade ground and the about to be named Landing Zone Ray Ewell. The Maryang Day parade and service was inspiring and a credit to the soldiers of “Old Faithful”. Ron Ash escorted Mrs Yvonne Ewell (Ray’s widow) to the lecturn where on her behalf, delivered a moving tribute to Ray which brought forth an emotional response in all of us old soldiers. A MH90 troop lift chopper then swooped in and landed with the Pl Sgt 9Pl Sgt Sharn Stratton who escorted Yvonne to the plaque and sign for the unveiling, together with Ron and the CO 3RAR Lt Col Gavin Keating and the RSM W01 Andrew Shore.
After the formalities were over we crawled in over and around the chopper, and even though all us asked the pilot for a ride WH&S would not allow. Then on to a fine B-B-Q provided by the hard working chefs of Charlie Coy at the Madden GC Club, followed by presentations and a tour of the unit museum. The rest of the day was taken up with an escorted tour of the indoor 25 metre range, the night training facility, night fighting equipment and an urban training facility where members of Charlie Coy demonstrated building clearance, interesting stuff. The soldiers of todays army are multi skilled and highly trained in anti-terrorist, urban and jungle warfare.
Our thanks and appreciation to Lt Col Keating, RSM WO1 Andrew Shore for the training and conduct of the ceremonial aspects of the days activities, and a big thanks to Cpl Hallam and Cpl Woo for their patience and professional conduct as our tour guides through the various training facilities. CSM Mal and OC Gerard were giving of their precious time and resources to make our stay a memorable one.
We went back in time to listen to some of our history ( Maurie Pears MC and Joe Vezgoff veterans of Maryang San) paid tribute to one of our own (Ray Ewell DCM) and enjoyed the company of old comrades and the soldiers of “Old Faithful”. What more could you ask for.
Here is a link for information about the Battle_of_Maryang_San.