Monthly Archives: August 2012

Team Member – James Trezona

James Trezona

22/8/12 Part 1

It’s been 2 years now since the idea of going to Kokoda is now a reality. This profile of which I have been putting off is now well overdue. What will I gain from Kokoda and what will I miss. I’ll miss not sharing it with Katie. The hard work Katie has put in not only with the training but with the fund raising for Auricht house. Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about this even to the point of writing it on the walks. We don’t stop long enough though.

Kokoda was always on the bucket list but has shot up. Reasons why for me.. I have no relatives to follow in their footsteps. I don’t know what I will feel or discover. While walking everyone talks about how hard but not so much the feelings. Just recently I discovered we will be covered by a canopy most of the time so views are few and far between. Many go back a second time. Time will tell if the opportunity comes up again.

About me well my adventures in trekking began in 2004 with a trip to Katmandu. Kilimanjaro is on the list and Macchu Picchu however every year we hear more of others amazing adventures and the list gets longer. The overland in Tassie, and love to get back to New Zealand. I always say work gets in the way.

I wonder how I will feel and am I prepared. This is pretty serious ‘word omitted’. Test of everything physical and mental. The preparation is huge. We get to sleep at night and not worry about what may be. Saying all that I am determined to have fun and absorb the beauty.

I have met along the way many dedicated individuals and a team in Centacare who ‘care’ for others and in particular Auricht house. I have been involved in surf lifesaving since I was 9 but see there is so much more outside of this. Through the group I am so grateful to have been able to walk so much of the local Adelaide hills area. The question on everyone’s lips is will there be an extended Misery in 2013?

27/8/12 Part 2 – More real time.

Here we sit now with less than 1 week to departure. Rather be walking than writing. I wonder if time will go quickly on the track. I’m gonna need a couple of beers to finish this off. Definitely looking forward to some beers at the end. They say see yourself at the end and work back from there.

I decided not to read anyone else’s profile before submitting mine. I won’t be tempted to write something similar. Challenge to have my picture taken with every trekker 2012 and get to know them. What other challenges lay before us.

31/8/12

Just talking with my boss at work tonight… I like to talk in real time… it was coincidence as I sat with him to go over outstanding work for the next two weeks and he asked me why I was doing it. I couldn’t answer. He said what will you say to yourself when it gets tough and it is hard… what is driving you. Thinking about it is completing the journey. Sure there are many things associated with the journey but ultimately it is the personal satisfaction of getting to the end and completing it. Strange but it makes you think. Maybe a little too much. All things aligned we all come out the other end and as Katie and I were talking last night when I and others are finished many others will still be on the track working the retreat. Wish you all well and look forward to the short moment when we are all together.

James

 

You can support James’ fundraising efforts at  http://www.everydayhero.com.au/james_trezona_1

On This Day

On August 30, 1942 the Australian forces at Isurava withdrew to the Isurava Rest House and then back to Alola. On the previous day Private Bruce Kingsbury carried out the action which was to win him a Victoria Cross and cost him his life. The retreat to Alola was the beginning of Brigadier Arnold Potts’ fighting withdrawal which held up the Japanese advance for the next 10 days.

On this day the orders finally arrived for the 2/27th Battalion to move on up the Track. And in 10 days time they would join the remnants of the  2/14th and 2/16th Battalions at a hill above Efogi.

And on this day 38 Australians  from the 39th and 2/14th Battalions were killed in action.

Bernie

Isurava

Team Member – Bernie Victory

From 2004

Today

Earlier today I dragged out the very first profile I wrote in 2004, interested to see what has changed and what remains the same.

The need for respite remains as high or even higher than 2004, except now we are meeting the need more effectively with the programs at Auricht.

The Kokoda campaign is now, rightly, much better known. Peter Brune’s book has been followed by dozens of histories, biographies, movies, documentaries and TV series.

The mysteries of the track, the doubt that I would be fit enough have been replaced by a sense of familiarity and a strong desire to experience the pleasant fatigue at the end of a 10 hour day.

Port Moresby was as scary as I had been told, but Isurava and Brigade Hill were more moving and special than I had expected.

The “interesting bunch of people” have become close friends and companions on many journeys. The porters and locals have become facebook friends and familiar contacts, even if they are still in doubt about my identity.

So why finish now – 70th anniversary, 10 crossings, finally got a photo of the blue butterfly at Hoi, Mission Ridge and Kagi at last, cumulative effects of years of tropical bugs, knees going, need to go to other places?

It’s just time.

Bernie

Some Messages

It's Raining on the Track

Dear Bernie/Pauline, and the others doing Kokoda,

Just wishing you all a great time away, and hope everyone achieves their goal.

I hear everyone has begin training hard, with the Master.

Take care and enjoy

 Fay Henshaw

 

Hi Bernie

Just a short message to wish you and all the K12s a successful and safe trip next week. Maybe I wish I was with you but I have to say Elizabeth and I are having a sensational walk in Austria . No walk in the park I can assure you but it is real Sound of Music country, incredibly pristine and green. Big climb tomorrow, 1400 metres to Eagles Nest at Berchesgarten, really looking forward to that

 All the best to everyone from both of us, will look forward to catching up later in September

 Cheers

 Peter

And from Greeny, our training partner, who  just messaged from Port Moresby:

Just completed the trek. Rained Every night. Always Wet. We all done well!

Bernie

Trekker Profile – Pauline Victory

         Welcome to Centacare’s 2012 Kokoda Trek.

    ?     Is  K12 your first Centacare Kokoda Trek?

No.             Skip to  K12

Yes            Read from here

Better late than never!

As I’ve said many times, it was never my intention to ‘do’ Kokoda.  I was happy in the fundraising role.  I have a great belief in the work that Centacare does for families, and the need for facilities such as Auricht House increases all the time.  What we do in the area of fundraising helps a little.

But in 2006 I climbed Kokoda with Joan Schumacher, Anne McDougall, Mark Black and others – and said “never again”!

In 2007, a vacancy needed to be filled, so I filled it – and said “never again”!

In 2009, it was our 30th Wedding Anniversary.  I was hoping for Italy, but Kokoda it was – for my last time!

In 2010, I continued to walk most Saturdays, was happy to do fundraising, organise shirts and cake – until Bernie, Lucy, Alice and others flew out.  And I thought, “I’m not doing that again”!

So towards the end of 2010, I started getting serious about walking and getting fitter, with the intention of being much better prepared than before for the climb.  Having the goal of a tough walk/climb is a great incentive, and I hoped that I’d be a lot better at those big hills in PNG in 2011.  And I was.

While I’m not a reader or watcher of war books or movies, I grew up in a family where WW2 played a big part.  My Dad was the youngest of 8 children.  He and his 3 brothers all joined up, served overseas and returned home.  Anzac Day was one of his most important days of the year.  Kokoda, and the battle sites along the Track, bring to mind very strongly the difficulties soldiers and others faced, to survive.  We have a chance to remember them, honour them, and pray for them.

Apart from walking the Track, there are the other bonuses of Lovelyn, baby Joan (soon to be a 6 yr old) and baby Michelle at Alola village; Cecily in Kokoda; the many lovely people along the Track; the villages; the beauty of the jungle; the quiet; and so much more.

K12

Living at our place, it’s impossible not to get caught up in all the ‘stuff’ of Kokoda.  It’s literally everywhere!

With some trepidation, after failing to finish Extended Misery, and having a somewhat interrupted training regimen, I’m looking forward to PNG  and going ‘on Retreat’ from September 14.

So here we go for the final Centacare Kokoda Trek.  What a time we’ve had so far.  And the only problem I see on our return, is finding new people in Adelaide to tell the stories to.

Pauline Victory

You can support Pauline’s fundraising efforts by making a donation at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/bernie_victory

K12 Communication

Once the K12 trekkers leave Port Moresby we are essentially out of normal phone contact. Communication will be limited and uncertain.

Both Kokoda Spirit and the Centacare leader will be carrying satellite phones. Kokoda Spirit will use their phone to make contact in emergencies and to arrange travel and logistics.

Centacare’s communication will have the following features:

  • We will try to give a report by Sat Phone once per day. The report will go to Claire Victory who will work with Kathy Knightly to prepare a daily blog on our website http://events.centacare.org.au/kokoda2012
  • You can check out the blog as often as you like but we recommend that you subscribe to the blog so that you receive an email notification whenever news appears.
  • If you wish to send a message to the team or to any individual team member you can
    • leave a comment on a blog and our communication team will send it to the Sat Phone
    • send an email or text to Claire (or Kathy or Denise) and it will be sent to the Sat Phone
  • If you need to make urgent contact with a team member ring Claire in the first instance or if unavailable: Kathy, Denise or Dale in turn. They will pass the message on at the earliest opportunity but note that this could be a matter of days, not hours, depending on conditions on the Track.
     

 

Communication can be difficult

Contact details for the Communication team can be found at the Contact tab on the website.

The difficulty of satellite communication in deep valleys and heavy tree cover means that a daily update is not certain. Rest assured though that no news is good news.

Messages of support can have a tremendously encouraging effect on tired trekkers and we welcome your active participation in our trek.

 

Bernie

 

 

Team Member – Norman Tate

Norm and Aleisha on K09

Walking the track in 2009 with my daughter Aleisha, Graham, Winnie and the other K09’s certainly has been one of the more memorable moments in my life-the fact that it is done to raise funds for Auricht House makes it even more rewarding. I have always had an interest in Australia’s involvement in WW2 and prior to my Kokoda experience I was aware of the fighting in New Guinea but not in any great detail-I have since made up for it and have read many books on the subject (2/3 through another at the moment). Having travelled to New Guinea brings a better understanding of the terrain that our soldiers fought in but certainly not the conditions that they endured and the sacrifices they made along the way.

It is amazing what you discover when you let your family know that you are going to New Guinea to walk the track….my mother dragged out photo’s of my great uncle who served with the 2/10th in New Guinea-wounded on the 28th December at Buna, he died New years Eve 1942 aged 28. Malcolm was a typical Australian larrikin who going by his service record possibly owed the Army money after all his fines for being AWOL during leave breaks (he never let discipline get in the way of a good time) – like a lot of young Australian men at the time Malcolm made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.  I am pretty sure I am the only family member that has visited his grave site at Bomana cemetery and will do so again this year hopefully with a better flower arrangement than what I grabbed on the way into Bomana last time.

I also discovered that my sister’s father-in-law was stationed at Eora Creek during the Australian advance and when the subject was raised Stan commented to me “you’re mad…you’d want to be fit” (at this stage beer drinking was my exercise of choice…thanks to Bernie I can now walk to the bottle shop and back). Stan found it difficult to talk about his time at Eora Creek however at a family gathering after we returned he dragged out a photo album that had pictures of him and his mates that he served alongside and still keeps in touch with, which made me feel quite privileged. Stan was inspiring to me during the 2009 walk which is something that I have mentioned on more than one occasion to his grandchildren (my nieces).

I am looking forward to walking the track again and will hopefully do it at a more relaxed pace and take a good look around-New Guinea has spectacular scenery and friendly people. Walking the track in reverse should also make the experience different and hopefully kinder on my knees…. I live in hope that the up’s are steeper and the down’s gentler…..if anyone knows any different please let me know on the 15th September.

Norm

If you wish to support Norman’s fundraising efforts you can visit the sponsorship website at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/bernie_victory

On This Day – August 26

Isurava on August 26, 1942 Map is provided by the Board of Studies NSW© 2012 Copyright Board of Studies NSW

On this day in 1942 at Isurava the 39th Battalion were exhausted. They had faced repeated Japanese probing attacks for weeks, they were poorly equipped and had spent too long manning weapon pits in pouring rain. But there were signs of hope. Their new commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner, had arrived and was instilling some much-needed confidence and organisation into the 39th. And at 5pm the first of the relieving 2/14th AIF troops walked into their camp. Within a day the Japanese were to launch a powerful assault on the Australians.

Meanwhile the 2/27th were still at Sogeri near the start of the Track. They had been held back in case the Japanese forces won the battle at Milne Bay and attacked Port Moresby from the sea. They received word on this day to prepare to move, and some headquarters personnel headed up to check out the Kokoda Track.

 

Bernie

Centacare Adelaide
Centacare Adelaide

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