Newsletter for the Rotary Club of Geraldton Greenough - Issue No.: 540 Issue Date: 9 Sep, 2019

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Laurie presents

Rabaul WW 2

Guest Speaker – Laurie Croke who is an Allied Health worker at Geraldton Regional Hospital. His particular interest is Australian Military History focussing on New Britain and New Ireland.

Before Laurie's main presentation he informs us of his boxing lessons for Jacqueline Stewart to help her defend herself against Terry (insert laughter here!!).

Laurie is interested in the story of Rabaul and an author J K McCarthy who served in New Britain during WW2. He tells us that Rabaul was the capital of New Guinea until 1937 but continuing volcanic eruptions forced the capital to be moved to Port Moresby.

Incidentally Laurie confesses to be an Essendon supporter (insert more laughter here!!!)

In early 1942 after Pearl Harbour Rabaul was overrun by the Japanese.

In McCarthy's book Laurie discovers Alf Robinson a Queenslander who was serving in New Guinea and New Britain who was taken prisoner but escaped and avoided being bayoneted to death.

Eventually he found he way back to Australia and re-enlisted and saw more action in the S Pacific on a PT boat with McCarthy. It is on this boat that Robinson dives overboard to save a drowning Japanese soldier. Later in the water he received the Distinguished Conduct Medal for other action helping US soldiers.

LT A.L. Robinson on Manus Island, 1944 where he was awarded the DCM

Japanese Landing near Vulcan, Rabaul. Geoffrey Mainwaring, 1970

Laurie Croke decided he needed to see more of this part of the world and travelled to Rabaul. He related the story of the Kokoda trail and the great legacy of the fuzzie wuzzie angels.

Laurie wants to help with some community project(s) on Matapit/Matupit Island, he thinks installing water tanks might be the best outcome and is prepared to put his own savings into Rotary to help with such a project.


Laurie Dines – What are the dwellings on Matapit Island like?

Geoff Wood – Has there been any logistical study to provide tanks?

Peter Moore – Has Aus Aid been approached?

Ray Haynes tells us his father was on Kokoda Trail and helped by Fuzzie Wuzzies

Laurie Croke makes a further comment about Australian WW2 military leader General Blamey and his comment about … ' … the rabbit that runs...'... and that when Blamey visited a military hospital in NG all the soldiers had a lettuce leaf.

Guest Speaker thanks by Clark Scarff.

Author: Grant Woodhams

Published: 20 March, 2019


Meeting Rosters
Setup & Door
Setup & Door
Guest Speaker Host
Invocation & Toast
Raffle & Rotary Cor
Guest Speaker Thanks
Fines Master
11 Sep, 19
Hugh Lavery
Bill Frazer
Douglas Bruce
Dan Crisp
Jason McCarthy
Jim Dillon
Kim Stokes
Robert Houwen
18 Sep, 19
Peter Svensson
Raj Mavath
Viki Fennell
Geoff Watson
Phil Martin
Graeme Bylund
Michelle Mitchell
Hugh Lavery
25 Sep, 19
02 Oct, 19
Bruce Ralph
Jim Dillon
John Gooch
Laurie Dines
Kevin Watson
Kerryn Horo
Robert Houwen
Jason McCarthy
09 Oct, 19
Clark Scarff
Grant Woodhams
Steve Muir
Lew Hills
Peter Sukiennik
Tom Maina
Ray Haynes
Jim Dillon
Upcoming Events
Event Name
Reg. By
Our Club
Fri, 11 Oct, 19
11 Oct, 19
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