JB is off to Villers-Bretonneux and the World War 1 battlefields of France and Belgium tomorrow as an Anzac pilgrimage in the footsteps of my father Arthur John Booth who enlisted at age 16 and his elder brother Henry Booth aged 18 and their brother-in-law William Taylor Gibbs 21 who followed him from Grenfell in western NSW. Only my father returned.

Henry Booth was killed in action June 7, 1918 while his brother-in-law William Taylor Gibbs who was promoted to Lance Corporal December 22 1916 was killed in action in Belgium near Polygon Wood and his name is recorded on the Menin Gate where I propose to visit.

Sadly Will never saw his son William who was born two weeks before his embarkation from Sydney. My parents supervised his upbringing and placed him through University.

Bill Jr went on to serve in the RAAF in PNG in World War 2 as a meteorologist and became the head weather man in Australia as Director of the Bureau of Meteorology 1962-1978 and later world head weather man in Switzerland at the World Meteorological Organisation in Geneva.

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SUNDAY WAS pretty hectic for JB with four major events after 8am church: Willandra Open Day with Ryde District Historical Society where I am Patron and founder in 1961; Addington Open Day down Victoria Road a little from Willandra which I saved in the 1960s and is now headquarters of the St George’s Guilds of former scouts & guides which incidentally I also founded; Ryde Eisteddfod 30th Anniversary celebration in Ryde Civic Hall with first and only female Ryde mayor chairman Edna Wilde OAM hosted by master of ceremonies and former Ryde mayor Jim Hull OAM; and East Ryde Scouts Annual Report Meeting (formerly AGM!) which JB founded almost 60 years ago! And what a delight to see so many parents and local citizens carrying on the great work with the world’s greatest youth movement.

Trying to get fit I walked between the three earlier locations and wondered at the end of the day as I slaved in the office why I was feeling a little pooped around midnight…and beyond

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STEVE COLQUHOUN General Manager of Club Eastwood aka The Bizzo heads This Week’s TWT Birthday Honours List just ahead of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June. Steve is also honorary secretary of the Eastwood Chamber of Commerce which is growing and going from strength to strength under his leadership with president Vic Tagg and support of Club Eastwood management headed by president Ray Blunt.

Cale James Graham celebrates lucky thirteen today son of John and Joanne Graham and brother of Jade and Alana and grandson of a proud former Ryde Mayor Peter John Graham OAM and the late Betsy Graham.

Patrick Beaton son of the late Anthony Albert “Bro” Beaton formerly of North Road Ryde will celebrate 57 years at Sussex inlet today.

Barry O’Farell former premier of NSW faces 58 candles on his birthday cake tomorrow. He shares with Yvonne McConnell in Manchester England and Rev Stuart Mason former Uniting Church minister at Gladesville.

Connie Netterfield former councillor of Ryde City Council and champion golfer and Rotarian celebrates Friday same day as Sherrie Monardo.

Putney couple Usha and Karam Ramrakha celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary with family and friends. Congratulations to you both.

Rhonda Paras better half of Bill Paras of Rendezvous café fame of the former Ryde Shopping Centre who this time last year were holidaying in Bill’s homeland celebrates Saturday sharing the same day as our special favourite TWT sales executive the late Josephine Cosgrove Lumley who many remember with great affection and known as the lady with the hats as does JB. Regards to David, Stephen, Clem and family.

JB cousin Alan Booth turns 78 Sunday with better half Lyn and family same day as Zoe Reynolds younger daughter of JB niece and Goddaughter Debbie Booth Reynolds at Captains Flat near Queenbeyan and younger sister of Eva and daughter of Graham.

Joan Wares mother of De’ann Hespe of Granny Smith Festival fame celebrates 97 on Monday and we wish her well for her special day.

Eastwood Chamber of Commerce Treasurer Trina Phillips of Allegiance Home Loans celebrates also on Monday as does Matthew Shepherd and Joy Tugas in Manila The Philippines and back
home Raffaella Tiscar.

Karen Hojte daughter of Kirsten Pi and Knud Hojte in Copenhagen Denmark celebrates on Wednesday and JB looks forward to catching up with her and her brothers Bjorn and Per with her parents when spending a day and night there en route home from my trip departing tomorrow.

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BUMPER STICKER: Money isn’t everything. But is sure keeps the kids in touch!

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Keep Smiling!

-JOHN F BOOTH