The 1986 Old and Bold

Abalinx 16 April 2018 Peter Adamis 

This is for all my military mates who were and still are the Old and Bold of a past era. A time when life was tough, competitive, cobber digger mates were special and a time where you met up with mates from years ago.  This course was the second best course I had ever attended. My best course was Subject one for Sergeant where I competed against my own peer group, Infantrymen. A copy of the article maybe downloaded by clicking on: THE 1986 OLD AND BOLD     

The Warrant Officer course was my second attempt at it. In the third week of my first attempt, my marriage broke down in 1984 and I removed myself in order to save the marriage. It didn’t. In my second attempt, in the third week I broke my wrist playing rugby and I thought it was over. But I told the staff that wild horses would not drag me off the course. (I am hiding my broken wrist in the image). The remainder of the course was somewhat difficult but I got through it. Got the opportunity for one week to be the student CSM.     

It was certainly tough for me because I had to have an aide to carry out the physical demonstration of the Sword drill, taping up my wrist to do all my physical tests and confidence course. But with the help of the blokes on the course, I got through and that was what true mateship was all about even though we were all competing against each other. Mind you, a bloke had to pull his weight, broken wrist or no broken wrist. The Course WO1 Robinson was one of the many staff members who stuck in my mind as an exceptional example of what a Warrant Officer was expected to be. Tough, compassionate, skilled, knowledgeable, respected by his peers and set the example to all. Laurie Harrison and Jim Carroll were two other blokes on staff that I had served with which made it harder for me as I was not looking for any favours and neither did I get any. It was a purely professional leadership course.

One of my favourite recollections was on my last day as student CSM, receiving a perfumed letter from an unknown admirer. All the blokes reckoned that whoever wrote must have been pretty sweet on me to send such a perfumed letter. After releasing the student body, I went back to quietude of my room and opened the letter. I must admit I was not expecting any letter from any woman as I was still reeling from the marriage breakup, paying debts, trying to survive and seeing my four boys every fortnight.  As I began to read the contents of the letter, I smiled, smirched, chuckled and roared with laughter. It was from a lady named Thelma Barwick.  Thelma was the wife of my Officer Commanding at Deakin University Company located in Geelong.    

The letter went something like this, Hello Pete, all your mates are probably thinking that this letter comes from your sweetheart and to cheer you up, “we” sent it up to you to cheer you up.  I chuckled because I could not see Maurice Barwick agreeing to be a party to this.  But yes, I was to find out some many years later that he was “forced” to take the letter into Melbourne and post if from there so that I would not have a inkling where it came from. I must admit, that one letter boosted my morale and confidence that I was able to successful complete the course. What a very thoughtful gesture on her part.  Sad to say Thelma lost her battle with cancer some nine years ago on my Birthday.

But that not the end of the story, for over the years, Maurice and I became very good friends and he became an adopted Uncle to my four sons and they all adored him. When my lovely wife came along, she too loved him and became a very close member of our family. In fact the ABALINX website is also named after him (Adamis/Barwick/Linx). Last year Maurice travelled to spend time with me for four week in my place of birth and was instrumental in encouraging me to commence construction on the ANZAC Gardens project monument. A monument dedicated to Australians, New Zealanders and Greeks.            

As for the bloke sin the photograph, I was privileged to have met up with such brilliant blokes that I had not seen for many years. Some of them are on Social Media today others have moved onto bigger and better things and many I have lost track of. I guess the day will come when I will reminisce on those days, but not yet as its ANZAC Day soon.    Anyway, this photo should bring back memories for many blokes. Take care, stay strong and remember that we too were young and bold.

Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum. He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), and Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: Contact via Email: [email protected] or via Mobile: 0481 342 791


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