A Life In Cars

The life story of Dickie Sutherland


Trip to Puckapunyal

National Service scheme, 1964–1972 A fourth period of National Service was introduced in 1964, and in May 1965 the Coalition Government introduced new powers that enabled it to send national servicemen overseas. At that time Australian soldiers were involved in the war in Vietnam and with Indonesian Confrontation. The Menzies Government wished to raise the army's numbers to 40,000 in order to meet overseas commitments.

Puckapunyal Passing out Parade.

Darryl was conscripted into the Army and posted to Puckapunyal for his basic training.  His friends and family had seen him off at the Adelaide railway station, all quite stiff upper lip and teary. after a couple of months, he was to complete his training in a few days, Dian, Darryl’s sister,  Graham, and I planned to go Puckapunyal for his Passing out Parade.

All 20-year-old males had to register with the Department of Labour and National Service, and their names were selected by the “birthday ballot”, in which men were randomly selected for national service by their date of birth. Those who were selected for national service were required to serve for two years full-time in the Regular Army and three years part-time in the reserves.

Friday 27 6 1969

Mini Van (from the Trip log)

Speedo reading           22391.6 miles

At 10.55 pm we left Marshall Tce. Brooklyn Park

12.30 a.m. arrived at Murray Bridge service station for fuel.              23447.8            $1.83 (Dick) 4 1/3 gallons.

3.30 a.m. arrived Nhill 23630.3 $2.30 (Dick) 4 ¼ gallons.

5.45 a.m.  Ararat 23733 $1.60 (47) (GJ) 3 1/3 gallons.

7.50 a.m. Deer Park $1.00 (Dick) 2 ½ gallons. (Dianne $5 )

8.24 a.m. 24006 (or road to Sydney highway 31 or road to Seymour) Richard put fresh air in tyres (4 of them) at Golden Fleece Service Station and also checked his oil level. At 8.28 a.m. Richard put 1 pint of oil in the tank at 8.30 a.m. Melbourne

We booked into a Motel = for $6.00 for Sat night.

Quick mileage check

MB to Nhill 23630-23447=163 38 mpg

Nhill to Ararat 23733-23630=103 31 mpg

Ararat to Deer Park 112-8 miles

While in Melbourne Dianne went shopping, Graham and I after a once over the city shops visited friends, first Jack, not home, was tied up with other friends elsewhere, then I called Pauline and arranged to meet her and her cousin for drinks at a local pub.  Enough of the visiting and socializing, all too soon we were on our way back to the motel for Tea with Dianne and then preparation for tomorrow.

Sunday  29.6.69

Leaving for Melbourne at 8.00 a.m. Mileage 23999 It was Sunday the city was quiet.

We three drove to the Puckapunyal Army camp, parked in the visitors’ car park, and headed off to find Darryl.

Passing out Parade and afternoons activities

March out Parade Darryl Front row 4 from the camera (Photo by Graham)
Darryl passing by (photo by Graham)

The Parade was a splendid affair, company after company of well-disciplined Troops marched past, I spotted Peter Bywaters classmate from Enfield High School, who you meet when you are out and about. 

Darryl marched by with his comrade in alms’ looking every bit the part. 

Taking the Salute Photo by Graham

After the Parade, Darryl was our escort for a Camp tour, the barracks, the mess, and all very ships shape.

All too soon we said our farewells.

Bendigo 5.20pm SA time 24130miles $1.20   2 ½ gallons

Dimboola 8pm SA time  2428A $2.29  5gallons

Tintinara 10.10p.m. 24413.4   $1.38 3gallons 40 mpg .

Adelaide 24555 (home) 2164 Miles

Final fuel cost for trip = $15.60.

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