QUIET EXIT: NSAA Mildura president, Frank Dart, left, with The Ramon Deed Retreat president Mick Chopping, at the Ramon Deed Memorial at Dareton.

By PAUL MENSCH

THE Mallee sub-branch of the National Servicemen’s Association (affectionately known as Nashos) quietly disbanded late last year and in a final act of generosity donated their remaining funds of $1469.76 to the Ramon Deed Retreat at Dareton.

The local sub-branch reluctantly decided to disband due to dwind-
ling numbers and lack of attendance at its regular meetings.

National Servicemen’s Association Mallee sub-branch president, Frank Dart, said that the decision to disband was not taken lightly.

“None of us are getting any younger, and it was becoming harder to get members to attend regularly,” Mr Dart said.

“It was decided that we donate our existing funds to the Ramon Deed Retreat. It was our way of continuing to help veterans.”

What is the Ramon Deed Retreat?

Ramon Deed died in Vietnam on May 10, 1967, from a severe shrapnel wound to the neck, when a landmine he was helping lay
accidentally detonated.

Ramon was born and raised in Mildura, with his memory having lived on with the establishment of the Ramon Deed Veterans Retreat in Dareton 13 years ago.

The retreat opens its doors to returned servicemen and women, serving personnel and their families from all armed services, and members of all peacekeeping forces.

Ramon Deed Retreat president, Mick Chopping, described the donation as “extremely welcome”.

“We are continually upgrading the facilities and every cent helps,” Mr Chopping said.

“Recently we installed solar panels on the roof of our sheltered outdoor area, which has helped reduce our power consumption during daylight hours.

“The money donated by the Nashos will help us purchase a storage battery that will enable us to use solar power during non-daylight hours, reducing our power bill even more.

“It’s a shame that the Mallee sub-branch has disbanded, but we are grateful that they saw fit to donate their remaining funds to our facilities, that helps ex-servicemen like themselves.”

Who are the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia?

The National Servicemen’s Association of Australia was founded in 1987 and is the second largest ex-service organisation in the nation.

It represents the 287,000 young men called up for service in the Navy, Army and Air Force in two schemes between 1951 and 1972.

The association’s objectives are to promote the health and welfare of National Servicemen and to represent National Servicemen to government, the community and the media.

It also works to promote educational programs about National Service in schools and in the community, and to promote social interaction between National Servicemen and with the wider defence communities.

Membership is open to any ex-National Serviceman from any of the three services, or ex-members of the Defence Forces including Regular, Citizen and Reserve Forces as well as service with Allied Forces.

While the Mallee branch no longer operates, membership of the organisation is still possible through the Victorian branch.

For more information visit www.nashos.org.au/-vic.