1AFH Association 2018 Vampire Reunion will be in Melbourne!

The 2018 Reunion will be held on:

Friday, May 11th - Tuesday May 15th, 2018

At the Reunion, President Rod, will lanch a book covering the History of the Unit, those who served in each section and some stories & anecdotes! Not to be missed!

50th Anniversary Reunion – 2018

Contact your mates and get your groups organised for the 50th Anniversary of 1 (Aust) Field Hospital. The unit commenced operation on 1 April 1968 and along with 33 Field Dental Unit, 1 Fd Med & Dent Stores, Det 1 Fd Hygiene Coy, Chaplains and the Red Cross personnel we provided the health care required for our Aussie and Kiwi troops.

At previous reunions we have had group photographs from each of the years the hospital was in operation ie 68, 69, 70 and 71 as well as photographs of section groups like Transport, Theatre, Pathology and Wards. We would like group photos for this reunion to show how well we have aged!

The organisation of a reunion involves a 'fine balancing act' to provide the best opportunity for you to get together with your mates and colleagues and have a good time. As well as providing a memorable reunion at an affordable price. It gives us the opportunity to look back on that time 50 years ago and along with our mates, we can reflect on our service, doing a damn fine job, looking after the health of our wonderful diggers.

The location of Melbourne for this reunion was decided at the Darwin reunion. Once this was decided, our Secretary, Jeff Gilbert volunteered as the organiser. The next decision was, when. Factors considered were:

  • Avoid ANZAC Day as several of our members are involved in their communities.
  • Avoid school holidays and major sporting events.
  • Other factors considered were:
  • Be close to an airport and have access to public transport.
  • The venue should provide good accommodation at a reasonable price and have facilities suitable for our events like reception and meet-n-greet; reunion dinner; meeting room, bar and restaurant.
  • If possible, be within reasonable proximity of major attractions, dining or entertainment.

Mantra.JPG

In researching what could be obtained in the greater Melbourne area Jeff Gilbert approached 26 organizations and short-listed eight for detailed analysis and inspection. The committee reviewed the final eight venues, looked at the pro's and con's of each and selected The Mantra Hotel Tullamarine. The 2018 Reunion will commence on Friday 11 May with Reception and Meet-n-Greet and the final event on Monday 14 May, a bus trip to the National Vietnam Veteran's Museum (NVVM) at Phillip Island.

The room rate negotiated is $159 p/n for a single or two people and $214 for three people sharing a room. This rate also includes a full buffet breakfast for 1, 2 or 3 people. The hotel will also honour this room rate for additional days before or after the reunion. There are no rooms block booked by the Association, so book in as soon as you can. The 2018 Reunion Booking Sheet provides details of the planned events as well as the phone number for accommodation bookings at the hotel ie 03 9093 6500 (select Option 2). 

Mantra Room.JPGPaul Danaher visited the hotel during the negotiations and made the comment that it is a great venue at the right price. The hotel has their own shuttle buses which provide a free service to and from the airport. Paul also said "our members need to be advised it is not right in Melbourne so they cannot just duck out the door to visit galleries, shops and restaurants".  It is not like being in the city but we have negotiated with management to use their buses to take members to a public Transport Hub or Restaurant. Obviously this will be by groups, not individually. The cost of using city venues was prohibitive for most of our members.

Parking is available in the vicinity of the hotel for those planning on driving to the reunion. For those travelling with caravans, there is some storage space available in a secure area. Contact Jeff Gilbert ASAP if you want a space reserved.

Details of events and other plans for the reunion will be published on our website and also on Social Media, on Facebook. Dale McCarthy has set up the Callsign Vampire Facebook Group and has agreed to administer the site for our Melbourne Reunion. It is a closed group with control of those that have access. See the article from Dale in this CSV about how to join our Facebook Group.
Mantra Conference.JPGIf there are members in your network that are not members of the Association, they are more than welcome to attend. Get them to email Jeff Gilbert with their contact details and he will forward the documentation to them.

The Mantra Tullamarine Hotel is a very good venue for our very special 50th Anniversary Reunion. It will be a memorable event, for all the right reasons! I hope to see you there.
Rod Searle