Chris Stephens

With my involvement with the RSL, Kenmore/Moggill sub branch;  NSAA (Brisbane West); Military Jeep Club of Qld; Qld Vintage Vehicle Assn and The RAAOC Assn (Qld Div), I am kept rather busy talking to children and attending displays at schools, fetes, shopping centres, retirement centres and hospitals, we also support and sponsor the 2 Wing Air Force Cadet Unit from Amberley.

The main theme of our school visits and displays is to educate the younger generation of the Defence Force's role in world peace, support and aid in natural disasters in addition to teaching the history of our defence force troops throughout the world since Australia was settled.

Some of my most memorable tasks have been organising and having dedicated a memorial on the foreshore of Cleveland Bay, Townsville, honouring 19 RAAF personnel (my father being one of these men) involving a Catalina crash Sept 7th 1943, the dedication was during the VP60 Celebrations 2005 where I led the section of the parade in the Jeep. In 2006 I was asked to lead the parade with the Jeep in Brisbane for the commemoration for The Battle of Long Tan ( Greens and 'bush hat').

On these educational and historic events I wear the dress of my time in the service, ie, the old woollen Battle Dress (winter) or Greens (summer). These uniforms are getting hard to get nowadays....they seem to shrink hanging in wardrobes, also Blanco is unobtainable for the webbing, so one has to try and mix paints to get close to the original colours.

From 1958, I spent most of my CMF (Reserve) days with RAAOC (1 Adv Vehicle Depot, 1 Base Vehicle Depot, 104 Stores Sect,) I had several months with 2/14th Qld Mounted Infantry in the middle of nearly 10 years. I instructed on the driving and maintenance of vehicles with several others including our own AOMs, " JJ" Sherington and Graham Sheehan. I have always wanted to own a Jeep and several years ago a I heard of one up for sale near my workshop...I was lucky enough to 'win' it....very smartly making up the RAAOC 'tac' plates, 1 BOD, Northern Command Maltese Cross and my Service Number on the bonnet....No Yankee Stars and Stripes on my Jeep thank you. After trying to trace the vehicle's history, all I could come up with, was that it came from 1BOD Banyo. It is more than probable that some of us oldies have driven this particular Jeep on camps, bivouacs or exercises in years past. She is now a proud member of RAAOC once again. As I have mentioned in the past, I will endeavour to have it available if needed for any function the committee feels they would like its use.

As I said to an old RAEME mate on ANZAC Day when he commented on the Jeep... "We in Ordnance had the job to 'supply maintain and issue' the vehicles but we got to keep this one".