Monday, February 2, 2009


(aka - Badcoe Hall Re-Dedication)
The 7th Feb is almost here, and I have just received the final guest list, who's speaking, etc.

Class Orderlies have, in the meantime, received notification to pass on to Alumni members about the "down-sizing" of the PNCT (Point Nepean Community Trust) function. Where, initially we had hope to be able to have paid seats at the Dinner for around 280 people, we are now down to about 70 people all up. We have tried to maintain as good a representation as possible - with Offrs (Comdts, Snr Instrs - RSMs and WOs - SNCOs and Jnr NCOs all represented). We even managed to get a few grad members invited.

Ken Gillespie will be the "Reviewing Officer", and Alan Grifin will also be there. That these two are attending is important as the intention is to persuade them to investigate the potential for use of the old OCS for respite purposes for Veterans and/or their families. There is already respite facility planning within the Master Plan, so maybe we could "plug in" to that. It certainly is an ideal area for this purpose, and the custodians of the area would also benefit from some Defence funding to assist in maintenance. As we all can appreciate, the maintenance bill for the whole area is horrendous, so funding must be found somehow - in keeping with the Master Plan.

By the way - the latest edition of the PNCT magazine "Quarantine Station" has a graphic of the Master Plan as its centre spread. Unfortunately the digital copy does not include the centre spread, so I have scanned it and made it available separately (with permission from PNCT).
Download addresses for both are available below.

We (the Alumni) will be presenting Badcoe Hall with a framed print. This will be presented during the Dinner so as not to detract from the actual Tribute by the PNCT at Badcoe Hall.
May I take this opportunity to express our thanks for all the "suggestions" we received from Alumni members concerning the name of the print and the label within the frame. We all know the advantages(?) of decision by committee......!

A digital copy of the print will be available for purchase on CD (no download) shortly to help defray the cost of the presentation. Purchasers can then print or have printed a copy for their own purposes. Details shortly.

OK - the program for the evening is as follows. If it changes before Fri, I will put amendments in here.
7 Feb 2009
1800 hrs - Badcoe Hall - Tribute by PNCT. This short ceremony will take about 45 minutes. Those of you who have contacted the PNCT will already have received advice on entry. Unfortunately there is no "open to the public" due to security in place. It is probably far too late to request entry at the moment, but their contact details are: or phone: 03 9927 2222 (Melb office)
Dress, neat casual. I believe there may be some light refreshments available after the Tribute.

1900 hrs (approx) - VIP guests (only) will be ushered to the Cadets' Mess for Dinner.

Entrance to the area will be controlled by PNCT and the appropriate security staff.
There are no activities in the old OCS area on Sunday.

Some of the VIP guests will be remaining on the Peninsula overnight, and it is envisaged that we will get together for a late brunch on Sunday either in Portsea or Sorrento (loc TBA).

Yes, of course we will be taking many photographs and will share these with you as soon as possible after the event. I believe Army Newspaper may also be covering the event, as well as Melbourne and local newspapers.

To download, click on following links:
"Quarantine Station" (Acrobat .pdf format - 4.5 MB)
Master Plan centre spread (Acrobat .pdf format - 6 MB)

Loyalty & Service

Bob de Haas

Monday, November 17, 2008

Alumni Annual Picnic Bar-B-Q Sun 14 Dec 2008

The Annual Picnic Bar-B-Q is on...!!
It's a BYO everything yourself affair. That means bring your own food, drinks, tables, chairs, umbrellas, snake bite kits, sunscreen, "shoo-fly" stuff (you'll need it .... or don't you remember?), etc. A bar-b-q hot plate will be in situ for those who like to cook (and stand around with a "coldie").

Open to all Alumni members, families, friends. Children are responsibility of parents/guardians. No swimming unless strictly supervised. There is a cold water shower stand in the area.

Send me an email ( to let me know numbers by NLT COB Fri 5 Dec.

Entry is by code for the electronic gates. When you arrive at the gates (boom gate, right hand side as you approach) phone me on 0413 063 361, and I will give you code to enter. Will need same code to enter OCS gate at old tank junction. And make your way down to vic of old SGTs' Mess (bayside).
Click on the image to see larger view. There is some work still being done in the area (water/sewerage pipes) so please stay well clear of areas concerned.

From 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs - clear of area by 1800 hrs - take out all own rubbish. Please leave the area cleaner than when you arrive.

This may be the last time we have exclusive use of the area, so please make an effort to come down.

If you know any Alumni members in Melb/Vic who may not know about this, or who may not have internet access, please inform them by other means.

So far, we have had beautiful weather for each occasion we have run the Bar-B-Q. We are hoping this time won't be any different! The more of us there, the better the atmosphere.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Gerard Nelson (Class of Jun '71) has asked me to put this on the Notice Board for him:

"Fellow members of the OCS tribe

I have been associated through Bob for some few years now, with the Trust, which has responsibility at this time for the Point Nepean site.

There is no doubt that the people associated with the Trust had done an excellent job in ensuring that the site has been preserved. Particularly the refurbishment and dedication of Badcoe Hall is something for which we should, all those associated with OCS should be grateful.

I have become aware that the focus of the Trust is on the role of Quarantine Station. This is understandable, however, there has been military installations on that site for a very long period of time and those installations have a right to at least equal billing in terms of the importance of the location. We were not well served by those members of the ADF or the Department of Defence were involved in the transfer of this land. I am prepared to apologise if I am wrong about this and I’m sure, all members of the tribe would like to understand the process of transferring this important piece of military history from Army.

It is relevant to consider the role that OCS played in the development of Australia. It is not an exaggeration to say that Australia would not been able to exercise political power in the region without the graduates of OCS to officer the ground forces deployed during the Malayan Emergency, Confrontation with Indonesia, and in support of the United States in the Republic of South Vietnam. Nor would Australia been able to influence events in Papua New Guinea before and during the creation of an independent state. Further, Australia would not have been able to participate in the events in Iraq without graduates plying their trade as military leaders.

This does not take into account the role the graduates have played in politics, at the State and Federal level as well as in industry and commerce. It is often forgotten that service in the military is an important part of Nation Building.

I am of the view that there is a very real danger that the Armys role at Point Nepean will be subsumed into the Quarantine Station, if action is not taken. The best way to take this action is to attend the dedication of Badcoe Hall in February 2009. Unless, we are able to demonstrate through high demand for places at that event, the Trust will be able to say that the members of the OCS tribe howsoever described are not interested in what happens to the site.

My exposure to the OCS website and particularly my interaction with the members of the Trust have caused me to consider where the spirit of OCS resides. Is the Memorial Wall the most appropriate focus for the memory of our tribe or is it the geographic location? It is important that the spirit of OCS does not die, although there is only a small percentage, based on content on the Web site, of graduates, who seemed to be really interested in perpetuating the history and spirit of OCS. Without the work of BOB DE HAAS it is unlikely that we would have any focus on OCS at all.

I look forward to seeing you all in February."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

OCS Legends' Lunch - Sydney 8 Oct 2008

The inaugural OCS Legends' Lunch was held at Vic Bks, Sydney earlier this month. The attendees were all from a working environment within the barracks precinct. Subsequent "Legends' Lunches" will be more encompassing - Sydney based Alumni (members of OCS classes and staff).

And a unique protocol has also been adopted for the Lunch, ie the senior member present at any of these Lunches is to wear a Second Lieutenant's "pips" for the duration of the Lunch.

At this first Lunch, an original OCS flag bedecked a wall, and a retired Colonel (Peter Sibree, Class of Dec '64) was the first to be "pipped" with 2Lt's pips by Donna Cole (OCS Staff Member '84/'85) and Kes Svanberg (Class of Jun '85). Shortly after, a late arrival Mick Moon (Class of Jun '81) arrived in his Brigadier's uniform. Immediately upon his arrival, he was "promoted" to 2Lt. What did that then make him - a Second Lieutenant Brigadier, a Brigadier Second Lieutenant, a Second Brigadier Lieutenant, or perhaps a Lieutenant Second Brigadier......???

However, ex RSMs of the OCS Portsea would probably fume and gush horrible RSM words in seeing the actual "pipping" procedures go wrong....!!! Or was it a deliberate error - something to stimulate the ire of our illustrious RSMs of OCS clan? Can you spot the error?

Good luck guys. It really is great to see the Alumni members gathering together, regardless of grad class.

OK Ken - the challenge is out! Will you be attending the next OCS Legends' Lunch? Think about this - there will be a Lieutenant General Second Lieutenant, or will he be a Second Lieutenant Lieutenant General...etc. Or am I just "stuttering"...?

1st pic - an original OCS flag behind the members of the inaugural OCS Legends' Lunch
2nd pic - Mick Moon gets "pipped" by Donna Cole and Kes Svanberg.
3rd pic - Mick Moon seems comfortable with his promotion. Less stress, Mick...??
4th pic - The first "senior" 2Lt - Peter Sibree.
Pics can be seen in larger format (with more description) through the "Reunions" link on Home page ("Reunions Elsewhere")

Comments are not only welcome - they are expected...!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Class of Dec 67 Reunites in Kuala Lumpur

The Malaysian chapter of the OCS Class of Dec 67 did themselves proud when they organised and hosted the (now) triannual reunion for their class. Mohd Said and his family excelled in their offerings and ensured the event was an "event to remember". Thanks Said - well done! The "evidentiary" photos will be on the Dec '67 Class Page albums before long. Next reunion - Adelaide in 2011.

Their graduation was 41 years ago, and still the DS won't leave them alone!

Terry Holland, then a Captain (and himself a graduate of the Class of Jun '58), obviously had decided these "lads" of '67 needed a hell of a "guiding hand", and his advice is ongoing still today. The bugger has a bloody good memory as well (he must have taken notes, even way back then)! And he seems to have learn't how to use a teleprompter or cue cards, 'cos I certainly can't remember him being that good in presentations in '67!

Seriously, a fine and very much appreciated gesture, Terry - and some wise words that apply to ALL graduates as well. Sorry about putting the video up here in the Notice Board, but I'm having trouble making the .flv file play off the server! Class members can contact me for a copy in DVD format, in the meantime.

Thank you Terry - and stay well, Digger!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How To Submit A Comment

Let me try to make it easier for you (by numbers) to have a say. Click on the image to see a larger view:
Step 1 - Click on a Topic Heading
Step 2 - At the bottom of the article that appears, click on the "Post a Comment"
Step 3 - In the space provided, write your comment, then simply click on "Publish Your Comment" (or "preview" first, which allows you to edit if you made an error).
Sorry if this all sounds a bit "egg sucking", but your comments would really help. Thanks.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Meeting With Sculptor Peter Corlett

A very enjoyable and cordial meeting was held at Peter Corlett's studio in Fitzroy a couple of weeks ago.
A number of Peter's works are seen here - Beersheba, Bullecourt Digger, Cobbers, Simpson and His Donkey, and the artist himself working on the Beersheba statue.
The process of the creation of our "cadet' statue involves a clay model, then the "larger than life" size model, and then the casting in bronze.
In keeping with the re-dedication of Badcoe Hall, Peter suggested that the "face" of the "cadet" be that of Peter Badcoe. This helps Peter in his work as he is a "humanist" and the statue takes on a "persona".
At present the Request to have the statue at Portsea is with the Point Nepean Community Trust Board, which will meet towards the end of Aug. All being well, we should have the concurrence we need to go ahead. The cost of the statue's creation, including transport, mounting and plaque is in the order of $100,000. The intention is that Alumni members will be invited to contribute $100 (+ or -) each (a "funds thermometer" will be on this site to progressively indicate contributions progress. Gerard Nelson will open an account specifically for the project, and Alumni members will be able to deposit their contributions directly via direct deposit/bank transfer, or cheque. The account details will be made known early in September. Contributors may have their names added to a "list" on the website in acknowledgement of their contribution, although amounts contributed will not be listed.
The widest possible promulgation of this project is requested so that Alumni members can have ample opportunity to make their contributions. Remember, Alumni members are all cadets (graduated or not) and staff of the OCS from mid 1952 to end 1985.

By all means, please leave a "comment" and let's know your thoughts...!