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Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch

BACKGROUND
The Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans (DViets) is an affiliated sub branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (Vic) and was formed in 1999.

The sub branch operates from the Greensborough RSL as its host RSL, which is very supportive of the DViets by providing meeting facilities and an area for the sub branch to carry out its activities.

Members meet each Friday from 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm for an informal gathering to exchange news and views. Whilst we generally meet at Greensborough RSL, on the 3rd Friday each month we travel to Montmorency-Eltham RSL.
Partners are most welcome and encouraged to attend on the Fridays and, indeed, at any of our functions.

The sub branch has around 200+ financial members and partners; all the male members are ex-servicemen that served in Vietnam during the Vietnam conflict.

AIMS
The aims of the sub branch are identical to the aims of the VVAA i.e. the welfare of veterans and the families of veterans.

ACTIVITIES
The sub branch is very active in the ex-serviceman community and in the general community as a whole and is involved in:

• assisting in provision of welfare services for veterans,
• supporting and providing assistance to the Austin Repatriation Hospital,
• providing support for Vietnam Veterans Day appeal,
• organising and providing regular welfare activities for all members.

Links

Contact Information

location
PO Box 542 Greensborough Victoria 3088
phone
+61 0432 631413

Contact

Location

A collection of memorabilia from the Vietnam conflict largely donated and/or lent by members of the sub branch; includes details of the sub branch assets; includes a picture gallery of members' functions. The collection dates from mid-1960's to current date and continuing. Items include army gear as used in Vietnam; pictures/newspaper cuttings; books; flag;, vehicle models; aircraft models; replica weapons; and other associated memorabilia. Collection includes pictures of Sub Branch activities since formation in 1999. Collection includes Sub Branch assets eg Honour Boards, flags.

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111 items

Shield - Trophy Whistlestop

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Trophy shield of mahogany polished wood for the Breaking of the Seal award at the members' annual day out. Brass plates on the shield record the winners from inception in 2005 to retirement in 2014

Historical information

The Sub Branch male members began an annual day out in 2005 whereby they took travel by train to and from Gisbourne to enjoy each others company over a lunch and an ale and to while away the time. In a lighthearted spirit, the Break The Seal competition was began to honour that member who held off the longest before succumbing to the 'call of nature'.

Significance

Significant is respect to being a lighthearted evidence of the comradeship and supportiveness of Vietnam veterans.

Inscriptions & Markings

Shield heading on a gold plate at the top of the shield records: D Viets Whistlestop Tour, Gisbourne. "Break"-The-Seal "Perpetual Trophy. Individual brass plates record the winners since inception in 2005 until the Trophy was retired in 2014. Central in the body of the trophy is a circular disc imprinted with By Presidential Decree with sketches therein: possum on the left, a beer glass in the middle and a koala on the right with a jagged lightening like slash diagonally through the middle of the circle.

Photo - Pipers Lament, Long Tan Cross

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Photo of Pipers Lament at Long Tan Cross, Vietnam, respecting the soldiers who died in Battle of Long Tan, 1966; includes short text describing Battle of Long Tan. Rectangular shape, dark brown wood frame.

Historical information

A commemoration ceremony at the Long Tan Cross, Vietnam with Australian soldiers reflecting on the battle and the cost therein; supported by two pipers. Includes the Heading for the text: The Pipers Lament to the dead of Long Tan by 6RAR/NZ Battalion. Photograph AWM Bel 69/556VN.

Significance

Solemn record of the Long Tan Cross as it was positioned in Vietnam at the site of the Long Tan Battle - the Cross was relocated to the Australian War Memorial in 2018.

Inscriptions & Markings

Text describing in brief the background of the Battle of Long Tan.

Commemorative Port

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Bottle of port; Pfeiffers brand, 500 ml; 2016 VVAA (Vic) label commemorates 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan

Historical information

The port was one of many initiatives by the Victorian Branch of Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia to commemorate the Battle of Long Tan.

Significance

Significant to the extent that it is a reminder that 2016 was a significant commemoration of a major battle in Vietnam - the Battle of Long Tan.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label headed Victorian Branch Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia; then 50th Anniversary logo finishing with "Commemorative Port". Fine print on label satisfies regulatory labeling requirements.

Flag - Flag, Viet Cong

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Viet Cong flag, made of cloth, looks 'hand made'. Dimensions are xxmm long and xxmm wide. Colours are equally red on top half with blue on bottom half; yellow text at top of the flag is Quyet Thang; a yellow star straddles the halfway line of the flag and has yellow 1969 below the star.

Historical information

Souvenired flag as used by Viet Cong; unknown how it came into hands of the donor.

Significance

A significant reminder of what enemy the Australian Defence Forces were up against.

Inscriptions & Markings

Colours are equally red on top half with blue on bottom half; yellow text at top of the flag is Quyet Thang; a yellow star straddles the halfway line of the flag and has yellow 1969 below the star.

Photos - Collage, Nui Dat and Vung Tau

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Collage of photos of Australian Task Force, Nui Dat and Vung Tau; six pieces in total. Photos taken circa 1965 showing living and working positions in Nui Dat; showing street scenes of Vung Tau.

Historical information

Set-up period photos of Australian Task Force Area and of Vung Tau.

Significance

Nui Dat photos significant because of they being of earliest set-up in Nui Dat.

Photo - Vietnam Veterans Day, 2001

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Photo, Framed, Outside Greensborough RSL, Vietnam Veterans Day, 2001

Historical information

Picture captured outside Greensborough RSL, 2001. shows some 2001 members.

Significance

Includes some of Sub Branch earliest members.

Inscriptions & Markings

Text in photo: Vietnam Veterans Day - 2001; listing of members

White Cross, Convery

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

White cross with name and service number printed; red poppy attached.

Historical information

One of 521 crosses placed in lawns of The Shrine, Melbourne, on 18th August 2016 as part of Victoria's 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - each cross carries the name of an Australian soldier killed in the Vietnam war and a red poppy made by the wife of a Vietnam veteran.

Significance

A poignant reflection of a life lost whilst in Service in Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

Robert Tom Convery, Service No. 38627.

Award - Certificate, Conspicous Service Award, 2009

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Famed Certificate, rectangular in shape in portrait profile, metal frame.

Historical information

A record of gratitude for the Sub Branch's assistance to Vietnam veterans after the disastrous bushfires in 2009.

Significance

Significant to have visible some simple evidence that the Vietnam veteran Sub Branches look after their own if they are experiencing difficulties,

Inscriptions & Markings

"Awarded by the Victorian Branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia to the Diamond Valley Sub Branch in recognition of your support of the Victorian Vietnam Veteran Community Through your Contribution to the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Appeal". Signed by the State President, Bob Elworthy, 18 December 2009. With the organisation's motto at the foot of the Certificate: "HONOUR THE DEAD BUT FIGHT LIKE HELL FOR THE LIVING"

Photo - DViet Working Bee, Repatriation Hospital, 2003

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Photo, DViet Working Bee At Repatriation Hospital, Heidelberg 18th February 2003; picture taken at the Vietnam Memorial in the Remembrance Garden. Rectangular shape, wood frame.

Historical information

A photo of DViet Working Bee At Repatriation Hospital, Heidelberg 18th February 2003

Significance

Record of the long time and cooperative connection between the Repatriation and General Hospital, Heidelberg, and the Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans.

Inscriptions & Markings

Working Bee At "The Repat" 18th November 2003. Listed names of the participants.

Commemorative cross

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

White cross with name and service number printed; red poppy attached.

Historical information

One of 521 crosses placed in lawns of The Shrine, Melbourne, on 18th August 2016, as part of VVAA (Vic)'s 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - each cross carries the name of an Australian soldier killed in the Vietnam war and a red poppy made by wife of Vietnam veteran.

Significance

A poignant reflection of a life lost whilst in Service in Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

John William Kirby, Service No. 27758

Cutlery Set, Field

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Army issue of field cutlery set comprising knife, fork spoon with clip. Made of metal.

Historical information

Field cutlery for use on patrol.

Significance

Such items had great relevance to soldiers whilst 'ón patrol'; they facilitated some comfort ie food in often strenuous and tiring circumstances and for many...was their first foray into cooking.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil.

Photo - DViets, ARTC, Kapooka, 2002

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Photo, Framed, wood, brown; DViets at ARTC, Kapooka, 2002

Historical information

Dviets visiting Army Recruit Training Centre (ARTC) Kapooka, 2002

Significance

Records some DViet members 2002.

Inscriptions & Markings

DViets "Back To Basics; Kapooka ARTC, November 2002.

Pith Helmut - Pith Helmet, North Vietnamese

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Pith Helmut as issued to Army of North Vietnam soldiers, olive in colour with a North Vietnam star central to the front.

Historical information

Helmet is an examples of equipment (clothing) issued to the soldiers of North Vietnam. It is unknown how it came into the hands of the lender.

Significance

Significant in respect that the soldiers of North Vietnam were a respected foe and these items represent a tangible reminder of the enemy faced.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Documents Display

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Collection of various and not necessarily related documents from Vietnam War era.

Historical information

Various pieces of documentation from the Vietnam War era.

Significance

A historical reference to the types of propaganda targeting Allied forces; example of a Safe Conduct paper; and extract of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention, 1949; example of a Military Pay Certificate - common currency at the time..

Inscriptions & Markings

Documents include: a Safe Contact Pass (front and back); four x primitive typewritten Notices disparaging Allied action in Vietnam; extract of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention, 1949; specimen of Military Pay Certificate, Ten Cents, as was in common use during the Vietnam War.

White Cross, Brooks

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

White cross with name and service number printed; red poppy attached.

Historical information

One of 521 crosses placed in lawns of The Shrine, Melbourne, on 18th August 2016 as part of Victoria's 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - each cross carries the name of an Australian soldier killed in the Vietnam war and a red poppy made by the wife of a Vietnam veteran.

Significance

A poignant reflection of a life lost whilst in Service in Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

Dennis Lindsay Brooks, Service No. 3787889

Honour Roll - Honour Roll, Vietnam

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Rectangular Honour Roll of the 521 Australian soldiers killed while In Service; picture embedded onto the Honour Roll of an assembly of soldiers at the Long Tan Cross, Vietnam.

Historical information

A listing by name of the 521 Australian Soldiers killed whist In Service; the recognition of those who paid the Supreme Sacrifice is the cornerstone of The Ode which is recited at all formal gathering of Vietnam Veterans.

Significance

A reverent recollection of those who paid the Supreme Sacrifice even if the individual has no personal knowledge of those who died.

Inscriptions & Markings

A brief description of the Battle of Long Tan is underneath the picture of the Long Tan Cross; names of all 521 Australian soldiers killed whilst In Service makes up the Honour Roll.

Jersey - Vet Ride 2012, Worn By Sgt Danial Ferguson

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

In portrait aspect. Jersey as worn in Vetride 2012 by Sgt. Daniel Ferguson. Predominantly white/grey/black in colour with VETRIDE across the chest. Includes logos of Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia and Shirt maker. Includes signatures of famous cycling commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Shepwin. Includes a picture of Sgt Daniel Ferguson in bottom righthand corner.

Historical information

This jersey was worn by Sgt Daniel Ferguson in 2012 Vetride in Australia and then in Veterans 'Tour of Duty' ride in USA.

Significance

It provides a memory of the earliest beginnings of Vetride.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plate states: " 2012 Vetride Jersey" with following text: This is an original Vetride 2012 jersey and was worn by Sgt. Daniel Ferguson during that 400KM ride. Later that year Daniel took part in the 'Tour of Duty' Veterans ride in the USA again with this jersey, which he had signed by the famous cycling commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Shepwin. Founding Chairman of Vetride 2012, Peter Liefman, donated the jersey to a raffle during Vetride 2013 and it was eventually purchased by Roger Greene on behalf of Team DVIETS to be hung beside their jersey. Below left in the frame are two medallions supporting the jersey: (1) a 'Tour of Duty medallion with USA Flag, and, (2) a medallion with a kangaroo in the foreground and an Australian flag in the background. A red circumference of the medallion details the names of the four riders in the Tour of Duty ride: Sgt Dan Ferguson, PO Brian Fish, Sgt ??? Seery, Maj Ty Domin.

Plaque - The Long Tan Cross

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Rectangular wooden plaque with black face and gold lettering describing the historical background of the Long Tan Cross.

Historical information

From birth of the Sub Branch, this plaque is what is looked towards in reflection of times past.

Significance

The Long Tan Cross is highly significant to all Vietnam Veterans; this plaque is highly significant to members of the Diamond Valley Sub Branch.

Inscriptions & Markings

Text describing the historic background of the Long Tan Cross.

Plaque, Royal Australian Navy, Vietnam

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

A stone rectangular plaque representation of the Royal Australian Navy Service in Vietnam. Prominent cable and anchor as Centre Piece with a listing of the names of various Navy craft which served in and around Vietnam waters.

Historical information

This stone plaque was presented by Bill Hey on behalf of Mackay Vietnam Veterans in 2016.

Significance

An emotive record of Naval service in and around the waters of Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque is headed "R.A.N. In Vietnam" with two side columns recording the names of various craft then "To All Who Served" near the base of the plaque followed by three more names of crafts who served.

Photo - VVA (Vic) Council Meeting, 2003

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Photo, Framed: VVAA (Vic) Council Meeting, 2003, Hosted by Diamond Valley Sub Branch.

Historical information

Shows delegates from Sub Branches throughout Victoria and includes local MP Jenny Macklin.

Significance

Record of delegates to Council Meeting of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (Vic), 2003.

Inscriptions & Markings

VVAA Victorian State Council Meeting, November 2003; Hosted by Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch; special guest is Jenny Macklin, MP.

Jersey, Framed - Vet Ride, 2012

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Framed Vet Ride participant jersey; predominantly white, orange and black in colour; autographs of other riders are written on the jersey. The riders' team name is front and center on the garment "Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans" with Vietnam ribbon immediately below. Other sponsors' names are recorded around the garment.

Historical information

The rider's jersey was mounted and framed and then presented to Diamond Valley Sub Branch in recognition of its support to the inaugural VetRide.

Significance

Significant because this VetRide was the inaugural event with the Diamond Valley Sub Branch in significant support from the ground level.

Inscriptions & Markings

Top plate: TEAM xxxx, 2012. Bottom plate: VETRIDE 2012 - TOUR OF DUTY. The inaugural VetRide organised by VVAA Vic was held from 25 March to 28 March covering.....TBA

Trophy Shield - Trophy, Nashos vs Regs Bowls Competition

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Perpetual Trophy for Nashos vs Regs for an Annual Challenge; first awarded 2002. Normally lawn bowls but in 2003, it was ten pin bowling. Rectangular in shape; dark polished timber with centre piece surrounded by a border of mini plates for winner each year.

Historical information

Beginning in 2002 DViets conducted an annual lawn bowls 'çompetition' between National Servicemen and Regular soldiers; competition was lightly competitive and generally, the results were spread evenly between the two sides.

Significance

Historical record of a social activity for members with a friendly rivalry between "Regs' and Nashos'.

Inscriptions & Markings

Centre piece comprises a Heading of "Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Regs Vs Nashos Challenge Shield" and a large VVAA logo; mini-plates border this text with engraving of the winners each year thereon. A border of mini-plates surround the centre piece with the names of winners each year engraved thereon.

Book - Vietnam War, 50th Commemoration, USA. A Time To Honour

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Hard Back copy of book issued at USA 50th Anniversary Commemorations, Hawaii, 2017

Historical information

Book with DVD � A Time To Honour - is souvenir book issued at USA 50th Anniversary Commemorations, Hawaii June 2017

Significance

A detailed commentary of the Vietnam War, albeit, from the American angle.

Inscriptions & Markings

Title: Vietnam War, 50th Commemorations. A Time To Honour. Stories of Service, Duty and Sacrifice.

Cutlery, In Base

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Era of usage is undetermined. Cutlery set, for use in base, comprising knife, fork and spoon, made of metal. Given the different markings on the pieces and the different aging colours, it is likely that this is not a set but notwithstanding that appearance, they still represent the standard issue of cutlery to the Armed Forces for use 'ín base'.

Historical information

The pieces represent the type of cutlery utensils issued to Defence Forces over a wide range of conflicts.

Significance

Significant in respect to being an example of the types of equipment etc that was used during many conflicts including (likely) the Vietnam War.

Inscriptions & Markings

Both the fork and spoon have Rising Sun imprinted onto the handles; plus the fork has two half moon swirls at the end of the handles. The knife has a twin line border on the handle.

Certificate - to Greensborough RSL from VVAA (Vic)

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Paintings - Paintings, On Patrol

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Original painting, in two pieces depicting Australian soldiers on patrol; also give an insight as to vegetation common within patrol areas at this particular place and time.

Historical information

Painting depicts a typical patrol by Australian soldiers, this time in open grasslands.

Significance

TBA

Inscriptions & Markings

TBA

White Cross, Rands

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

White cross with name and service number printed; red poppy attached.

Historical information

One of 521 crosses placed in lawns of The Shrine, Melbourne, on 18th August 2016 as part of Victoria's 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - each cross carries the name of an Australian soldier killed in the Vietnam war and a red poppy made by the wife of a Vietnam veteran.

Significance

A poignant reflection of a life lost whilst in Service in Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

John Milton Rands, Service No. 2787069.

White Cross, Rennie

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

White cross with name and service number printed; red poppy attached.

Historical information

One of 521 crosses placed in lawns of The Shrine, Melbourne, on 18th August 2016 as part of Victoria's 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - each cross carries the name of an Australian soldier killed in the Vietnam war and a red poppy made by the wife of a Vietnam veteran.

Significance

A poignant reflection of a life lost whilst in Service in Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

Brian Rennie, Service No. 312641

Model - Centurion Tank

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Wooden model, centurion tank, polished wood.

Historical information

Model of centurion tank as was in Service in Vietnam.

Significance

Centurion tanks were a valuable resource in some operations; they provided valuable support to infantry soldiers.

Plaque - DCSO-W Gardeners Cellar, 2001

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Wooden plaque with light metal face.

Historical information

Wooden plaque with metal face.

Significance

Though DViets had only minimal connection with the Gardeners Cellar, the plaque reminds us of how some things were in the 1960's and beyond.

Inscriptions & Markings

Story on face of plaque describing history of the Gardeners Cellar.