My Army Reserve Mentor

Barrie Daniels is very special to me.  A bloke I would have in my defence pit any time. He is not only a great bloke, but a cobber digger mate. Words at times cannot express the friendship we have maintained over the years and yet, this small and brief overview may in fact explain the mateship we have.

Over the past 41 years, we have shared much together and I for one am truly grateful to have him as a mate.  The notes below are two sides of how we met and both have their funny points of view.  Its memories such as this that one can look back and say that it was worth it.   Barrie continues to live in Tasmania with his lovely wife Marilyn and I live in Melbourne.  We maintain our friendship via telephone conversations and keep up to date with world affairs.


Our Chief Clerk was moving on and a new bloke was arriving.
This new bloke was different somewhat aggressive
But with signs that he was different.
He fronted everyone you had to perform or you were out

It was with aggression that he talked with signs of passion
One way or the other he was going to see us right
He set about working just like a young bull with incredible energy
Turned things upside down overnight only he knew what was done

It was a challenge every night to do things right
We couldn’t find any our paperwork anywhere
Overnight a huge store of boxes and records appeared
It was so impressive but still we couldn’t find anything

The Chief demanded more with aggressive passion
It was hard to know if he was improving us or himself
One day a small sign appeared you could see his frustration
This bloke really was worth saving he genuinely cared

Barrie Daniel was cagey one – a good one at that
Never worrying about nothing I can tell you that.
He was a young corporal in 11 IRC
And I was the SGT that you could visibly see

Each ARES night I would issue orders one two and three
They all looked at me and said who the bloody hell is he
The SGT worked hard all day at nights and on weekends
To make the unit just about just right

Each ARES night we went through the same charade
They didn’t think much of the SGT on parade
Who the bloody does he think he is
Coming from the East to do as he please

Even as the years went by
They both kept in touch
Marriage breaks, down and out
Barrie was found to be there alright

It’s now been 41 years since they first met
They laughed and joked but the SGT did not forget
That it was Barrie who showed the way
For Pete the Greek to be what he is today

Despite the distance they still keep in touch
Telephone mobile email or blogging
Supporting a mateship forged a long time ago
Something they don’t take for granted

Today the Sergeant lives in Melbourne town
With children grown and  his lovely wife by his side
While the Corporal his mate moved Tasmania
To keep a close eye from across the Tasman on his mate

Barrie Daniel (CPL)


Arriving on the doorstep one late 1981 December evening
As 11 IRC was my new posting according to my written orders
Go and enhance the unit and bring up to date they said
That is what the big boys advised me back in Melbourne town

I strutted in like a peacock with three stripes on my arms
I was full of beans and ready t rock and roll
I walked into the drill hall and what met my eye
A corporal walking towards me and looking at me up and down

I stopped in the middle of the drill hall and asked for his name
This bloke stood to attention and said corporal Daniel Sergeant
Cripes I said to myself he called me a sergeant as if I didn’t know
I was pleased as punch that  someone had acknowledged me

I said that there will be many changes in the unit starting from now
The corporal looked at me as I was but a back street fool
Yes Sergeant, whatever you say responded the Corporal quickly
Ahhh I had made an impression on the Corporal that I could see

As the days rolled by and the months gathered the untameable dust
The Corporal watched, waited on the Sergeant to see if he would slip
The Sergeant being me realising that I had got off on the wrong foot
Worked like a dog feverishly not to lose face and credibility

Twelve months passed and the Corporal stayed loyal to the last day
Only then did he realise that the Sergeant meant good but was green
The following year they travelled together back to their homes
Each time some gems of advice the corporal would pass on

Corporal Daniel call me Pete said I being pompous once again
Yes Sergeant responded the Corporal with equal charm
Only then did the penny drop that I the Sergeant was a fool
Barrie, call me Pete mate and I thank you for your advice

Months went by and we repeated much the same
The work was being done but only in name
Old Barrie the wise owl took it up upon himself
To bring the SGT down from his top shelf

To educate him some might say

At nights the SGT drove Barrie home
As they lived close by to each other home
Don’t forget In civie street – Barrie was a manager
The SGT just a mere Bush Ranger

Each ARES night the SGT learnt a new skill
From Barrie Daniel a mate now still
Big changes don’t happen overnight
But things began to seem just right

Everyone marvelled at the changes
Barrie smiled and was pleased
Another ARA bloke that he had changed
The Sgt turned out to be a good bloke.

Peter Adamis (SGT)