Memories of Maryborough for Long Tan veteran

THE last time Charles Mollison was in Maryborough, he was a young army commander months away from being sent to Vietnam trying to find a feed for 80 soldiers.

It was 1966 and a malfunctioning light on the hydraulics of the C130 carrying the soldiers forced them to land on the dirt strip at Maryborough, rather than flying on to Amberley.

With only a small portion of rations left over, Mr Mollison said the soldiers were marched into Maryborough and bundled into whatever cafe or restaurant could feed them.

The former Lieutenant-Colonel remembered the occasion fondly on Thursday when he fired Maryborough's replica time cannon on the Town Hall Green - the first time he has been back in the city since 1966.

He is one of dozens of veterans of A Company, 6th Battalion in Maryborough for a biennial reunion that began on Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the company have served in every conflict since it was first created during the Vietnam War.

Reunion organiser Barry Francis said it would be mostly Vietnam veterans of the company marching behind an A Company banner in Maryborough's Anzac Day parade today.

Mr Mollison was A Company's commander during the Battle of Long Tan, when it was sent to reinforce D Company, the main fighting force.

He said close to 50 years after serving together, the bond formed between the veterans was stronger than family.

 "The camaraderie that was created in the one year in Vietnam is just incredible," he said.

The reunion will continue until the weekend.

Lt Col Charles Mollison is honoured with the firing of the time cannon on the Town Hall Green on market day. He is assisted by Mary Heritage aka Carmel Murdoch. Photo: Robyne Cuerel / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Lt Col Charles Mollison is honoured with the firing of the time cannon on the Town Hall Green on market day. He is assisted by Mary Heritage aka Carmel Murdoch. Photo: Robyne Cuerel / Fraser Coast Chronicle Robyne Cuerel


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