Moree’s inaugural nashos’ reunion a huge success

MOREE put out the welcome mat at the weekend for nearly 200 former nashos and returned and ex-servicemen and women, who travelled vast distances to attend the North-Western Sub-Branch of the National Servicemen’s Association’s inaugural Nashos’ Reunion.

The reunion had been held at Bingara for the past 23 years, but was this year passed on to the Moree sub-branch, headed up by president Tony Doyle from Mungindi.

National president John Redman praised the Moree committee, which has worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to ensure the tradition continues.

“The weekend has been fabulous,” Mr Redman said.

“There’s no doubt that the local committee has done a great job continuing on from Bingara when the branch there decided to pull the pin because of age and distances travelled.

“When that happened, there was one man from Moree, Eric Johnston, who said that he wasn’t going to give it away.

“He said he’d keep going back to Bingara to see his friends and form his own little group. Eric worked so hard to keep the reunion going,” Mr Redman said.

Sadly, Eric passed away in June last year however Moree’s inaugural Nashos’ Reunion is a lasting testament to his commitment to the cause.

“Eric’s daughter Kam, who is now on the Moree committee, is doing such a great job carrying on her dad’s work,” Mr Redman said.


(From left) National Servicemen’s Association of Australia Gosford City sub-branch president Alf Hill, North-Western NSW sub-branch president Tony Doyle, NSW National Servicemen’s Association and Affiliates assistant secretary Alan Drinkwater, NSW president Ron Brown, national president John Redman and Moree RSL sub-branch president Reg Jamieson were just some of the dignitaries at the inaugural Nashos’ Reunion in Moree at the weekend (Image: Copyright Bill Poulos).

“Eric would’ve really loved to see what has happened here in Moree over the weekend.”

Around 200 visitors and locals were on Saturday night entertained by one of Moree’s most successful exports, bush poet Murray Hartin, at a special dinner at Moree Services Club.

Fond stories were told and memories shared, with The Royal Australian Army Band from Brisbane and the Moree Pipes Band captivating the audience throughout the evening.SoBestCoffee

Local sub-branch president Tony Doyle, who’s been at the helm for the past 18 years, said the reunion was the result of many months of planning and hard work.

“It’s been a great weekend, made very special because of the terrific committee that we have,” Mr Doyle said.

“We really never had enough people to run something like this but the RSL came in and helped in a big way as well.

“It would probably be one of the best committees that I’ve ever had the privilege of being on and I’m very impressed with how all this has all been achieved.

“Being 120 kilometres away from Moree means that I couldn’t put in as much time as what the Moree crew has done and, with the combined efforts of both the national service and the RSL, the weekend has been fantastic,” he said.


Part of the huge march in Moree on Saturday to commemorate the inaugural Nashos’ reunion (Image courtesy of Tourism Moree).

Mr Doyle said future reunions will only be bigger, better and stronger.

“We plan to hold the reunions at around this time each year – we want to follow on from Bingara, which always held them in March,” Mr Doyle said.

“Bingara was the first group in NSW to have a reunion. They had their first in 1995 and held them continuously every year until last year.

“After 23 years Bingara decided to cease hosting the reunion so we decided to hop in – something like this is good for Moree and the district,” he said.

Mr Doyle said the small but devoted Moree sub-branch is the end-product of many years of hard work put in by pioneer members.

“We were originally attached to the northern tablelands and the New England sub-branch based at Inverell, but we formed our own sub-branch in 1999,” Mr Doyle said.

“Our first president was Roger Smith of Mungindi, who was originally from Gurley. Roger put in a lot of time and put in his own money to get this sub-branch off the ground,” he said.

NSW National Servicemen’s Association and Affiliates’ state president Ron Brown also congratulated the hardworking Moree sub-branch.

“Tony Doyle and his committee are to be congratulated for organising this event as well as the branches and members that have participated and helped,” Mr Brown said.

“Some members have travelled considerable distances, and I hope that we can continue next year.

“The oldest nashos are now 84 years of age and the first intake was in 1951. In those days everyone was in and if you were 18 years of age, you were conscripted into the army, navy or airforce,” he said.

The nashos’ reunion continues in Moree today (Sunday, March 12) with a farewell barbecue brunch at Moree Services Club between 9am and 11am.

Story and Image: Bill PoulosDCMThatsWhere


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