Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Newsletter

Returned & Services League of Australia
Washington, DC Sub-Branch
1601 Massachusetts Avenue N.
Washington, DC 20036

April 2010 News letter

This news letter contains details of the Monthly Meeting on April 8, the invitation to attend the Team Australia briefing on April 9, events the ANZAC Day Commemoration, the Little Angels of Korea free concerts for veterans in June, and The R&SL Peace Award to Australians who were in Rwanda.

April 9 – Members are invited to attend Team Australia’s Brief followed by a reception at the Embassy of Australia. (See below for further information).

June 9-12 – Little Angels of Korea free concerts for US Veterans at the Kennedy Center RSVP (See Below).

June 14 – Bakers Creek Commemoration
at Fort Myer, VA (Further details will be advised later).

R&SL Peace Prize for Australians who served in Rwanda - Were you there?

In 1995 the National Branch RSL awarded UNAMIR the ANZAC Peace Prize. In 2008 a suggestion was raised that all persons who served in Rwanda be given a Certificate acknowledging their service in Rwanda.

Unfortunately due to the time lapse since 1995, several members have left the service without any forwarding address. Several female members have married and have changed their names, hence, tracing these persons is a very tedious task. If you are a member of the RSL and wish to receive your Certificate please contact:

Ray Townsend
5A Turner Street
Phone: 07 32828282
Mobile: 0402 601 935E
E-mail: rayht@optusnet.com.au

2010 Board of Governors and Office Holders:
President: Brigadier Rod West CSC, Australian Military Attaché,
Vice President: David Gudes,
Secretary: Dave Ward,
Treasurer: Kurt Lee,
Program Chairman: Mario Mirarchi,
Legal Advisor: Bill Bennett,
Selection Committee Chairman: Edward Connor.
Board Members: Bob Cutler,, Walt Dow, Vivian McKay, Matt Prisutti,
Jack Szalasny, Simon Willis.

Team Australia Briefing at the Embassy of Australia Friday 9 April, 2010

The Counsellor, Defence Materiel, Embassy of Australia, Washington, DC, in conjunction with the Defence Export Unit, Canberra, cordially invites you to attend presentations by “Team Australia April 2010 Innovation Briefs” Team Australia will present a series of schedule briefings on Warfighting Equipment, Communications, and Simulations and Training.

The briefings will begin at 1300. Those registered guests will be invited to remain at 1700 for a Business Attire Social Function to permit additional time to exchange ideas with attendees and members of the team.

For registration or other information contact: 202-797-3385 or email : aurelio.azpiazu@defence.gov.au.

Additional locations

5-7 April The US Marine Corps Briefing to Industry, Baltimore, MD

8 April Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC-AD-) Aircraft Division, Lexington Park, MD (PAX River)

12 April Present in Tampa, Florida

13-14 April Fayetteville, North Carolina at SPECOPSEAST.

15 April Huntsville, AL The briefing(s) at this location will be hosted by the North Alabama International Trade Association(NAITA).
For additional details or questions on the briefs, please call Aurelio Azpiazu at 202-797-3385, or aurelio.azpiazu@defence.gov.au or visit http://www.condmat.com/CMDefenceIndustryGallery.html

Click on "Team Australia April 2010 Quad Charts" for previews of some very unique products, technologies and capabilities. Look also at the other presentations on the site for other products of interest to you or your organization.


The Little Angels of Korea will visit the United States this coming June, to kick off a 16-nation tour to honor and thank the Korean War Veterans for their sacrifices during the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War. While priority will be given to the Korean War Veterans and their families, all veterans will be offered complimentary tickets for the performances on a first-come, first-served basis. A maximum of 4 complimentary tickets will be offered for each veteran and his or her family. Additional complimentary tickets may be requested, subject to availability (Ticket Request Form Attached).


Washington, DC—The Little Angels’ Tour will begin in the prestigious Kennedy Center’s Opera House with 4 performances from June 9-12, all beginning at 7:30 pm. The first two performances on June 9 and 10 will be benefits for the veterans. The third and fourth performances on June 11 and 12 will be public events at which tickets must be purchased. All public tickets will be at a reduced rate as a tribute to the Korean War Veterans.

New York, NY—The renowned Hammerstein Opera House of the Manhattan Center located at 311 West 34th Street in New York City will be the site of the Little Angels’ 4 performances on June 15th and 16th with matinee and evening performances on both days. Complimentary tickets are available for June 15th performances only.

Columbus, GA—Primarily for the soldiers of the Infantry and Calvary Center at Ft. Benning, the Little Angels will perform on June 27th at 2:00 pm in the River Center Theater at 900 Broadway Avenue in Columbus.

Atlanta, GA—The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway in Atlanta will be the site of the Little Angels’ performance on June 29 at 7:30 pm. Half of the tickets will be complimentary, half will be for public sale.

April 8th Meeting

Monthly Meeting-Thursday April 8, 2010. Noon to 2:00 pm.

Where –Amenities room
Embassy of Australia,
1601 Massachusetts, Ave.,
Washington, DC 20036

Speaker: Major Kurt Lee, USMC retired.

Topic: The Korean War and certain sociological aspects involving Chinese Americans in the US military (Includes screening a new documentary which incorporates previously unseen photographs and film of the time). The presentation will take about 60 minutes.

You will notice some improvements. Instead of the theatre style layout used previously, you will now sit at a table. And the lunch buffet will be opened before the President opens the meeting.

Lunch: $15.00, including sodas. Alcoholic beverages, $2.00 each.

Volunteers: As usual, we need a volunteer (or two) to run the bar.

R.S.V.P. by noon on Wednesday April 7, to David Ward on 202-352-8550 or via e-mail at dmpward@wwdb.org

Parking: There is no parking at the Embassy. There is public parking behind and under the Airline Pilots Association at a cost of $15.00 for two hours.

2010 Membership dues of $25.00 are payable at the meeting. Alternatively, make your check payable to R&SL, and send it to Dave Ward, 2308 November Lane, Reston, VA, 20191.

Future Monthly meetings: May 13, June 10, July 8, August 12, September 9, October 14, November 4, and
December 9.

Biography: Major Kurt Lee, USMC Retired, is a veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam with 25 years of active military service. He holds the distinction of being the first Asian American to hold a regular commission in the USMC and the first of his race to lead US Marines into combat.

Major Lee first entered the USMC in 1944 and attained the rank of sergeant when WW II ended. He was commissioned in the first regular officer’s class that was organized after the war in The Basic School.

He fought with the 7th Marine Regiment in 1950 as an infantry unit commander and participated in the Inchon-Seoul operation and the Chosin Reservoir Campaign in its entirety.

Major Lee also served as the Division Combat Intelligence Officer of the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam during
1965-66 when major Marine ground forces landed at Chulai.

He was twice wounded in combat and was awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star Medal, and Navy Commendation Medal.
He also holds 5 Presidential Unit Citations and the Navy Unit Citation that were awarded to units in which he served. Major Lee is a member of the R&SL since 2003 and holds the office of Treasurer.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Please contact our Secretary at dmpward at wwdb dot org for a membership form. Membership is $25 per year.

ANZAC Day 2010

Each year on April 25, the Australian and New Zealand Embassies commemorate ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) Day to recognise the sacrifices that Australian and New Zealand soldiers, sailors and airmen and women have made - not only in defending their country, but in upholding their nation's longstanding commitment to peace and security.

It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War, with the landing at Gallipoli, Turkey. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they soon took in that name endures to this day. For more information on Anzac Day, please visit

To mark this special occasion for 2010, the Australian and New Zealand Embassies are co-hosting a program of events to which all are welcome. These events include:

The Rising Spirit of ANZAC -A photographic journey

The great ANZAC tradition grew out of the personal qualities of ordinary men and women who served and sacrificed in the Great War. ANZAC defines what it is to be Australian. Every April 25, generations of Australians pause to honour and remember the sacrifices made by others. The Rising Spirit of ANZAC exhibition by Sharyn Meade records the personal stories of Australian veterans, in words and images, through successive generations.

When: From 15 April 2010
Time: 10 am - 2 pm Mon - Fri
Where: Gallery @ Embassy of Australia
1601 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

*Photo ID required

Dawn Service: Sunday 25 April 5.45 –
6.15 am

The embassies of Australia and New Zealand, in partnership with the United States Department of Labor, will host a Dawn Service on the grassy area adjacent to the Korean Veterans War Memorial, which is located near the Lincoln Memorial, off Independence Ave, Washington DC.

NB. Car parking is available on Ohio Drive, in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Park, a short walk from the Korean Veterans War Memorial. Comfortable shoes are recommended, as personnel are required to stand on the grass area.

Those of you who would like to attend the Dawn Service and Gunfire Breakfast but rely on the Metro or have concerns about security can contact us (Dave Ward - dmpward@wwdb.org or 202-3520-8550) and we will see if will see if we can help with alternative arrangements.

Gunfire Breakfast: Sunday 25 April 7.15 - 9.15am:

At the conclusion of the Dawn Service, the Australian Embassy, in partnership with the New Zealand Embassy, will host a Gunfire Breakfast at the Embassy of Australia, 1601 Massachusetts Ave, NW Washington DC

A door charge of $10.00 per person (adults and children 12 and over) will be levied to cover catering costs. Those who would like to attend the ‘Gunfire’ Breakfast must R.S.V.P by e-mail to: Those who would like to attend this breakfast must RSVP by email to: nzdsrs@nzdswashington.com or by telephone to: 202 328 4803. Please provide the full names of all those attending.

Guests may pre-pay by check, enclosing the name/s and number/s of attendees, payable to: New Zealand Embassy. Mail the payment to:

New Zealand Embassy
37 Observatory Circle, NW,
Washington, DC, 20008

Please bring photo ID for access to the Embassy. There is limited street parking available around the Embassy.

Commemorative Service: Monday 26 April at 10:30am

The Embassy of Australia in partnership with the Embassy of New Zealand will host a Cathedral Service to commemorate ANZAC Day at the Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, NW, Washington DC. (Seating by 10am is advised).
More information on ANZAC Day events in Washington DC can be found here

All sub branch members and friends are encouraged to attend. Please be sure to RSVP where appropriate.

Sub branch History

On February 5, 1915, the hospital ship “Yarra” reached Australia carrying invalided Australian soldiers from Egypt. On that day the history of the Returned Services League of Australia began. As we look back over the years, it is clear that the common bond of comradeship and mutual interest, which later manifested itself in no uncertain manner, had its simple origin in the close association of the mere handful of men who were the first to be affected by the demands of active service.

As the war developed, the loss of life, the shedding of blood, the agony of wounds, the privation and discomfort, drew Australia’s sons together in an unbreakable bond of comradeship. From this source of mutual understanding, there came back home to Australia those rendered unfit for further Active Service. As they grew in numbers, there developed a determination to convert an indefinite and undirected desire, which they sensed to be common to them all, into an organized endeavor to continue in some form their undertaking of national service and to ensure that each and all should receive such measure of treatment and care as well considered fair and equitable.

These veterans formed state Returned Services Associations in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and it was an informal meeting of one representative from each of these associations in Sydney on 10 May 1916, which set the date for the founding conference. On June 6, 1916, representatives from the respective RSAs of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia met in Melbourne to draw up a provisional constitution and statement of the aims and objects of an Australia-wide body. After four days of debate, they adopted the Name of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia, The RSSILA ever since known to Australians as the RSL.

With about 270,000 members in 1549 sub-branches, the RSL is the largest ex-service body in Australia. It cements comradeship begun in Service and provides a forum for the Service community with the aim of securing improved conditions for Service people, their dependents and the bereaved.

Formed in 1916 by wounded from Gallipoli, it was joined later by men returned from the battlefields of France, Belgium, Egypt and Palestine, and 25 years later, those who served throughout the world in WWII and closer to home in the jungles of New Guinea, Borneo, Malaya and the islands of the Pacific. More recently other generations of Australians who fought in Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Gulf War and peacetime serving and ex-service personnel have joined.

The Washington, DC Sub-Branch is the only one located outside the Pacific basin area and was founded on October 31, 1969 by a group of Australian and American uniformed and veteran defence force personnel. It is strictly a social organization of veterans.

Luncheon meetings are held at the Australian Embassy on the second Thursday of each month with the exception of ANZAC Day, which is always observed on April 25, and guest speakers' address subjects of interest to our members and guests. Additionally, special functions are held mid-year and December at the New Zealand and Australian Embassies.

Welcome to the new blog of the Returned and Services League of Australia, Washington, DC sub-branch,.

We are the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL), Washington, DC sub-branch.
The RSL is a group of Australian and American veterans and their friends who meet monthly at the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC