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Military Despatches attends the Annual Signals Association Luncheon.

Sunday 5 May found deputy editor John Verster and myself at the Parow Golf Club. Not that we were there to play golf.

John, like Mark Twain, believes that “golf is a good walk spoilt.” We were there to attend the Annual Signals Association Luncheon.

Robbie Roberts, whilst serving as Officer Commanding 71 Signal Unit initiated the establishment of the Signals Association (Western Cape) on 2 December 2000 following a successful Open Day event at Acadia Park Military Base on 6 May 2000 when Maj General Piet Verbeeck officiated as the functionary. Signallers from all walks of life came together after having read advertisements placed in various newspapers of the time.

The Association kicked off with 16 members and gradually grew annually, mainly from members of 71 Signal Unit that joined. Presently, the Association has over 100 members from all over South Africa and internationally.

The food at the lunch was good, the company even better. The guest speaker for the day was Captain (SAN) (Ret) Trunell Morom. She was the last Officer Commanding SAS Unitie. I must confess that I really enjoyed her presentation.

Another guest that I was really happy to see was Sydney ‘Uncle Syd’ Ireland.

At the age of 98 he is the oldest member of the Signals Association. He is also the last surviving signaller of 3 Brigade Signal Company that was established during World War II.

Syd joined the army in 1940 and he went on to serve as a wireless operator in Kenya, Abyssinia, British Somalia and Egypt. He spent much time in Cairo and Alexandria and took part in the Battle of El Alamein.

He was later seconded to the Air Force as a wireless operator and attended a conversion course from Army to Air Force procedures at Tempe, Bloemfontein. He was demobilised in 1945.

All in all, it was a memorable day. A big thank you to the Signals Association for inviting us to the event.

And a big thank you to Robbie Roberts, a true scholar and gentleman, and someone that I hold in the highest esteem.

I’m looking forward to the next Signals Association event.

Certa Cito.

More details and photos appear in the June issue of ‘Jimmy’ Own’. Click here to read.

VIP GUESTS: From left to right: guest speaker Captain (SAN) Trunell Morom, Chairman of the Signals Association Lt Col (Ret) Robbie Roberts, and ‘Uncle’ Syd Ireland.

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