ONE HUNDRED YEARS on and VillersBretonneux in France and Ypres in Belgium still remember and honour the Aussies who served and the many who died in defence of their freedom.
JB HAS just attended commemorations in both Villers-Bretonneux and Ypres to pay my respects to two uncles who paid the supreme sacrifice in these two far away places from their homes in Grenfell, country New South Wales.
Last Thursday June 7, I visited the Adelaide Australian War Cemetery in Villers-Bretonneux where my uncle Henry Booth lies in a well kept burial place on the 100th anniversary of his killed-in-action not far away.
As many peopled had warned me it was certainly a very moving and emotional experience as I laid a memorial cross from Ryde along with my niece Amber Booth youngest daughter of my twin brother Dr Peter Arthur Booth who she was representing on his behalf.
Amber had met Ulrike and I in Paris en route to Villers-Bretonneux from London where she was born and lives and continued with us to Ypres and the Menin Gate for the 8pm daily Last Post commemoration.
Our other uncle Willian Taylor Gibbs’ name is inscribed on the Menin Gate along with thousands of other soldiers who lie forever in unknown and unmarked graves around the countryside.
My father Arthur John Booth was the lucky one who survived the massacres of Villers-Bretonneux and other places otherwise I would not be able to pen these few words.
Even so he did die prematurely of war wounds before Peter and I turned 21 but we can be grateful for what he achieved and the legacy he gave us. R.I.P. Henry, Will and Dad.
Presentation to Mayor at Villers-Bretonneux
Villers-Bretonneux Mayor Dr Patrick Simon AO hosted a reception to The Weekly Times editor John F Booth AM on Thursday at the Franco Australian Museum within the Victoria School at Villers-Bretonneux.
John Booth presented letters from the Mayor of Ryde Clr Jerome Laxale and Bennelong MP John Alexander OAM and a ‘Ryde Remembers’ pennant from Ryde City Council and presented the mayor with an Australian outback cork hat which he happily wore for the TWT on-the spot PHOTO.
Also pictured is Victoria School history teacher Msr Guillaume Fournet, Lauriane Lepretre, Nathalie Carlier and Victoria School children.
Congratulations to Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients
CONGRATULALTIONS TO all recipients of Queen’s Birthday Honours announced this week. A full list of all local awards see our coverage.
TWT’s Birthday Honours List
This Week’s TWT Birthday Honours List is headed by another Queen Jane Meney our TWT Miss Eastwood Granny Smith Festival Queen celebrating 24 majestic years tomorrow Thursday.
June Dally Watkins one of our distinguished Granny Smith Festival judges celebrates a remarkable 91 years young and graceful today same day as Howard Blair St George’s Guild National Treasurer celebrates with his beautiful better half Margaret and Frank and Valerie McCorquodale celebrate 65 years wedded bliss.
Jane Evald who has visited Sydney numerous times over the years from Denmark notches up another year on Friday and JB was fortunate enough to catch up with her and celebrate a few days early in Copenhagen on Tuesday and Wednesday en route home this week.
Also celebrating Friday is Ely Menton better half of former TWT director Peter Thomas Menton of Bankstown and father of JB Godchildren Rosemary Superstar and David John Menton.
Graham Mitchell of Hunters Hill celebrates 78 golden years Friday while JB great nephew Luca Arthur Singh Sahota turns 15 in London younger son of Amber and Jat and brother of Oscar and Scarlet and grandson of JB twin brother Dr Peter Arthur Booth and Maggie. Paul Ripley our TWT courier also celebrates Friday.
Shirley and Bill Trodden of Putney celebrate 61 years wedded bliss Friday with children Jennifer, Bryan, David and Robert and seven grandchildren.
Elizabeth Bird daughter of Anita celebrates another special day Saturday.
Margaret Clare Barton of Sydney St George’s Guild and Girl Guiding great treasurer and widow of police Inspector Keith Barton celebrates 98 golden years on Sunday same day as Scouting great Lyn Mann celebrates and Annelies Viehauser in Grossarl Austria where we spent some days last week attending the Grossarl Guild Scout 50th anniversary Forum. And Ricky Lui celebrates in Eastwood.
Ross and Rose Rocca of Midway shopping centre fame celebrate 65 years wedded bliss on Sunday while Nick and Mary Tedesco celebrate 58 years of joy and happiness together on Monday,
Ray Blunt president of Club Eastwood the popular watering hole in Hillview Road Eastwood also affectionately known as “The Bizzo” maybe shouting for the mob on Monday to celebrate another milestone of birthdays. But then again, maybe not! But well worth a try!
Hanna Grace elder daughter of Julianne Taffa parties also on Monday.
Janice Brennan better half of Geoffrey Brennan of Ryde Rotary club fame celebrates Tuesday and can expect breakfast in bed (oh yeah!) same day as David Trevor Shakes former shopping centres marketing manager at Eastwood and Top Ryde. Also Muriel Dormer and June Gillies of Scouting and Guild renown while Sophie Leigh another Pommie JB greatniece and daughter of Bregitta and Andy Leigh and sister of Tommy and Jessica turns fifteen.
Stefan Sojka of Riverside Business Chamber formerly Ryde Business Forum celebrates next Wednesday same day Erin Lillian Te Ratana celebrates. Happy daze all.
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BUMPER STICKER: My wife went off with my best friend and I really miss him!
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-JOHN F BOOTH