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This issue is running a bit late. I have no idea how I found time to go to work for all these years. I must also apologise for not updating the Web site. All part of the adjustment that has had to happen.

Now that Iím out of work with little prospect for re-employment Iím planning to move away from the climatic extremes of Canberra. Weíve bought a modest cottage in Moruya (South Coast of NSW) and weíll be moving there as soon as the Ďfarmí at Gundaroo has sold.

This issue is a bit of a mixed bag largely due to the events of 11 September. Iíve devoted a bit of space to the aftermath of that horrific day. Iíve included articles and views which I believe to provide some insight to what makes the USA, and in particular New York, tick.

Thereís an excellent letter from Dave McCormack and also his general newsletter. The photos certainly add to the interest. Kel Gealy has dug deep to find some unlikely stories and has shaken the cobwebs off his old typewriter. You have no idea of how difficult it is to make the computer recognise his type-face, corrections and over-strikes!! Thanks Kel, it is always a challenge.

There isnít a lot of seasonal Christmas stuff, but there are a few ďfeel goodĒ things, some of which may even pry a tear from your eyes. Fortunately Iím constrained by the number of pages so I wonít subject you to a detailed report of our USA trip. But watch out, next issue may be the one.

Iíve also had my eyes opened to the world of Veteransí Affairs and want to thank Bert Hagel for leading me through the minefield. He keeps telling me to ďget out and smell the roses!Ē Fine for him, he has some spectacular blossoms outside his front door. With his help I hope to run regular features on this topic.

Thanks to all who contributed to this edition. You are what makes this rag.

Recently, an old friend of mine, died after a heart attack. He defied the medicoís predictions for the best part of 10 days which gave us the time to visit him. He was a Christian in every sense of the word and was totally at peace with his passing. A few days before he died I wished him a safe journey and he responded - ďThatís guaranteed my friend!Ē. He believed totally!!

The point of this is that he was completely prepared. None of us know when the tap on the shoulder will take place. So how well prepared are you ??

I certainly have a lot of unfinished tasks but at least I have made arrangements for my familyís future. No, I havenít arranged my burial plot yet, but I will and soon. I havenít worked out the form of the service I would like to have, but I will. And I havenít done a great many things that Iíve put off until another day, but Iíll be doing those things too.

Iíve heard from some who have retired that they are bored and have nothing to do. Well Iím hoping to learn to cook - properly - at a TAFE or adult education venue. I want to learn more about photography and I hope to be able to contribute to the welfare of veterans by training to be an advocate. If you add to that a desire to cross Australia a few times you can see that Iím not about to get bored.

For those of you who have an interest in these things, the finances are looking pretty good. The fact that I no longer work in an office environment means that Iíll have to pay for some items that previously were free. I havenít had time to find a sponsor for this yearís Fund Raiser so Iíll donate a dozen bottles of wine from my home cellar. Thereís a bit of an ulterior motive there, it means I wonít have to pack them down to Moruya.

We have decided to have a Named Paver at the RAE Vietnam Memorial at SME. The inscription will be

ď55 AAES / EWPSĒ
ďVietnam VeteransĒ
ď1966 - 1972Ē.

Iíll endeavour to get a photo of it. (Along with a lot of other things :-)

Please continue to use the Gundaroo address and the Ďreply paidí envelopes. We wonít be moving for a while yet and Iím sure Australia Post will redirect the mail for a while.

Have a most enjoyable Christmas and safe and healthy New Year.

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