Our Association has always advocated the display
of car stickers on veterans’ vehicles, and here
is a reason to do so.
Following the devastating bushfires in the
Coonabarabran (NSW) district in early 2013, a
voluntary group known as “Blaze Aid” moved into
town to assist in the clearing of destroyed
sites, and to rebuild perimeter fencing of rural
On Saturday 6th April 2013, Roslyn Harrod (wife
of Don, C Company 2nd tour) was in town, and
somebody noticed the 5RAR car sticker on her
vehicle. Enquires were made, with no result, so
a note was left on her car. When she arrived
home, Don saw the note, which had been written
by a Blaze Aid volunteer. Some simple detective
work found the author to be Don Oakley, who had
served with Tracker Platoon on the second tour.
The two Dons got together with light
refreshments, and memories from 44 years ago
were re-visited. Many names were mentioned, many
old incidents were discussed, and the friendship
consolidated. Then came one of life’s great
coincidences – they discovered that when Don
Harrod’s brother Ian, was the harbour master of
the Esperance Port (WA) in recent years, Don
Oakley’s son Geordie was his assistant! This was
another reason to have more light refreshments.
As a result of their newly forged friendship and
re-acquaintance, more “meetings” will be held
while Don Oakley is in Coonabarabran – one of
these of course will be the ANZAC Day
commemoration on April 25th.
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