We felt we were special...we weren't civilian...we were ARMY. We lived in small communities, where nearly everything we needed was on base. The medical centre, was on base, the movies, were on base, the kindy, the pool, ballet lessons and so on. Our friends houses were almost mirror images of our own. We never had to ask where the toilet was, ha. When the school bus broke down, which was regularly, we went to school in Army trucks, the kind with a canvas roof. You had to cling on for dear life and I was terrified of having to sit near the open back. When we lived on Canungra Barracks for four years our house backed onto the Golf Course which had a river that meandered through it. You crossed the river in one spot via rope and timber foot bridge, very Indiana Jones and very scary for a little girl whose brothers were wont to rock it. We Collins children also found a more inventive way to get to the otherside.
This was our raft. My mother hated me going on it, I think my brothers hated me going on it too because I was younger and they had to be "responsible". Canungra is home to some of the most deadly snakes on the planet. I look back and wonder how no one was ever bitten. On the other side of the river the men used to "play" war. We would often collect the empty bullet shells. I still love the sound of chinooks. Tomorrow morning 3 of my neices, Maddie, Mary and Lily and I going to the dawn service in the city. We are catching the 3.20 am train from Manly. Ugh ! We are meeting their Uncle, Mr Rooney. Yes the same Mr Rooney of Fun and VJ's fame. My brother Jon, who is their Dad, and is pictured seated in the red shirt, met his wife Julie at Canungra when they were in Grade 5. Julie's family were posted at Canungra at the same time as us. Their Dad was part of the highly decorated Australian military unit, The Vietnam Training Team.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them, Lest we Forget.