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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012
8 | www.probussouthpacific.org Kokoda Trail trek I read with interest the article on the Kokoda Trail in the April-May issue. IdiditwhenIwas79,andIwasn’t the oldest person to have done so. Others in my group encouraged me to doitagainwhenIwasayearortwo older so that I could claim the record, but I decided against that! I trained for 15 months before starting the walk, but of course ‘walk’ is not the best description. You climb a total of about 5500m up and down over the 96km. My training included going to the gym, at first once a week, and then three times a week, as well as taking hill walks around my local area with a weighted backpack. You don’t have to carry the full weight of your pack on the trail – I hired a full porter and carried only a light pack with some food, water, first aid materials and clothing. He was a blessing. On particularly difficult descents he showed me where to step. There are several tour operators to choose between, and different services are offered. For example, you could do the walk with an Australian guide who describes the wartime history of the Trail or a PNG citizen who doesn’t; you could do the eight-night walk, or longer or shorter, and, importantly, travel in either direction. From my experience I’d recommend from Owers Corner to Kokoda; you start off going downhill, and finish at Kokoda going downhill. The other way, you start off with a gentle (and seductive) climb, and finish with a steep serious climb. Our guide – a PNG citizen – had led people like us 103 times and was most helpful. When you finish you get a wonderful glow of achievement! David Synnott Combined Probus Club of Northbridge, NSW Medal spotting The front cover of the April-May 2012 issue shows a photo of a clasp of five service ribbons. A long- retired Royal Nav y officer and I, both members of the Probus Club of Prospect Inc, are interested in knowing what the ribbons are – some have us beaten. Identification would be helpful please. Norman McKenzie Probus Club of Prospect Inc The medals are, from left to r ight, the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal, NZ War Service Medal and War Medal 1939-45. All except the NZ War Service Medal are British Commonwealth War and Campaign Medals awarded to Anzacs for WWII service. – Ed. Anzac pride As an active Probian and retired member of the Reser ve Forces of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with a continuing interest in militar y matters, I was very disappointed with the presentation and accuracy of the set of five WWII miniature medals on the cover of the April-May 2012 issue. I appreciate that somebody, most likely a veteran of WWII, mounted these medals to the best of his or her ability and wore them with pride. The precedence of the five medals is not correct. The fourth medal should be last, and the last medal should be in position four. The appearance of the set is also untidy. There are ends of ribbons protruding from under two of the clasps, red cotton rough tacking is very prominent across all medal ribbons and the mounting bar protrudes past the first medal. On the third medal, the ribbon used is roughly halved from a ribbon provided for a full size medal. Ingenious, but far from accurate or, to my mind, acceptable. A neat and correctly mounted set of medals depicts the service history of the wearer and is an important and colourful addition to uniform or civilian dress when the wearing of medals has been approved. Please accept the above in the spirit of constructive criticism; I fully support our national magazine. These comments are mine, not those of my Probus club. Dudley Barrow Hobart Macquarie Probus Club You are r ight, the medals were mounted and worn by a proud veteran, perhaps imperfectly. Any offence was unintended and regretted. – Ed. Travel insurance The Q&A about PSP Travel Insurance in the April-May 2012 issue of Active Retirees overlooked a problem – not being able to buy Probus travel insurance before lettersYour
Active Retirees June-July 2012
Active Retirees Oct-Nov 2012