JB’s World: VILLERS-BRETONNEUX France, Wednesday June 6, 2018

TODAY AND tomorow JB will be in Villers-Bretonneux for the 100th anniversary of the Killed in Action of my uncle Henry Booth aged 20 on June 7, 1918.

I will visit his grave in Adelaide Cemetery, meet the Mayor of Villers-Bretonneux Dr Patrick Simon AO  with greetings from Ryde Mayor Clr Jerome Laxale and Bennelong MP John Alexander OAM and visit Villers-Bretonneux’s Victoria School.

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VILLERS-BRETONNEUX proved to be the turning point of World War 1 – or The Great War as it was called – and Australian forces were significant in hastening the end of the war. They helped save Amiens which was the strategic centre on the Somme River and the major target of the German’s biggest campaign.

 
PRIVATE HENRY BOOTH Killed-in-Action at Villers-Bretonneux on June 7, 1918

My Uncle Henry Booth was “taken on strength” in the 38th Battalion and sent to the field on January 19, 1918 and saw action against the German Army Spring Offensive on the Western Front in March 1918 and helped save Villers-Bretonneux. In so doing he laid down his own life in the field at Villers-Bretonneux.

SEE TRIBUTE IN SPECIAL VILLERS-BRETONNEUX FEATURE

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ENROUTE TO Villers-Bretonneux I have attended the 50th Jubilee European Scouting Guilds Forum at Grossarl high in the Austrian Alps which I have attended over 35 times since 1970 and it is where I met my fate in the form of a bride to be Ulrike Eichmeyer.

We had an excursion to Salzburg where we were honoured by the State Governor Dr Wilfried Haslauer and Dr Josef Schochl Salzburg Landtages President and treated to a chamber concert and refreshments in the Alte Residenz in the city’s centre and lunch in the Salzburg Scout Guild’s Guildhouse nearby.

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ON MONDAY we visited in Pilzen a former member of Sydney St George’s Guild  PhDr Hana Hons Gerzanicova who returned to her native  Czech Republic to reclaim her family home which had been taken over by the Communists during the Russian invasion to the country.

Hana and her husband John Hons escaped from the country and couldn’t return fearing execution. In Australia they had six children including Rafaela who had a daughter Renae who turns out to be the young mum featured in our Mother’s Day front page photo of May 9!

So naturally I took over a few copies of that edition of The Weekly Times for a proud grandma who celebrated 90 golden years last week and to her mum Rafaela who is staying with her mum just now.

Longtime TWT readers will remember the poems we used to publish on front page and inside on special occasions of Christmas, Easter and Anzac day and so on written by Hana. She has been awarded International Poet of the Year twice by the World Poets Association in Washington DC and awarded International Citizen of the Year by the Czech Parliament. A truly incredibly talented and marvellous person.

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THIS WEEKEND JB will go to London to catch up with twin brother Dr Peter Arthur Booth, better half Margaret and daughters Bregitta and Amber and families and to purchase a new bowler hat.

Tuesday it is over to Copenhagen for a night to meet up with Danish friends especially members of the St George’s Guilds of former scouts and guides including Jane Evald who many will remember visiting Sydney on numerous occasions and especially at Granny Smith Festival time and her daughter Therese Alexandra who has visited several times and now has a baby Elly who Uncle John is keen to meet.

Then it’s back to Sydney Saturday for St Andrew’s Football Club 60th anniversary celebration.

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DAVID KNIGHT general manager of Vimiera Village on Vimiera Road Eastwood heads This Week’s Birthday Honours List celebrating today with family and friends including his renowned father Dr John F Knight AM founder of Media Aid Centre Foundation which includes Vimiera Village.

Elaine Collis JP with well over 50 years serving the community as a Justice of the Peace will also celebrate another birthday today same day as Bev Caward celebrates for the first time without hubby Jim Caward and musical star Frances Madden parties Also musical is Noelene Berther Gorman mother of musical stars Sharon, Russell and Jason Berther with Sharon performing in Nashvlle USA and Rusty on the entertainment circuit in Oz.

Dr Bruce Edelman OAM former mayor Hunters Hill and founder of Hunters Hill SES and its first Controller faces 79 candles on his birthday cake tomorrow. 

Bill Dillon aged 98 on Tuesday and better half Phyllis 96 will celebrate 72 years wedded bliss on Friday while HRH Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh will split them turning 97 on Sunday and celebrating with his better half HM at Buck House. Victoria Gouel will learn that life begins at forty on Sunday while another Victoria this time Victoria Blichfeldt a former Ryde Rotary exchange student.

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CLR JUSTINE McLAUGHLIN heads TWT’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List celebrating on Monday same day as Danielle Allen better half of Rev Dean Ken Allen member of Ryde Rotary Club and Sylvia Abboud better half of Tony. Wally Allen celebrates 88 while David Netterfield grandson of Connie Netterfield turns 34.

The one and only Peggy Saunders OAM of Ryde celebrates 86 with family and friends same day as Nathaniel William Dale turns seven son of Rev Paul and Rachel Dale.

June Dally Watkins can you believe it will face 91 candles on her birthday cake next Wednesday almost keeping up with HM Queen Elizabeth same day as Howard Blair of Sydney St George’s Guild of former scouts and guides meeting at Ryde’s historic “Addington” with his better half Margaret just as Frank and Valerie McCorquodale celebrate 65 years wedded bliss. Happy daze all.

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BUMPER STICKER: Live every day as if it was FRIDAY!

 

Keep Smiling!

JOHN F BOOTH