More than 80 members of the Bundaberg CMF Army Reserve Association will gather for a special celebration dinner this month to commemorate 25 years of operation.
CMF stands for Citizens Military Force but was changed in the early 1990s to what is now known as the Australian Army Reserve.
Secretary Helen Hancock said the local organisation had a proud history in the region with its founding members all having joined the CMF from a young age.
“The CMF started in 1901 and in 1942 compulsory military was introduced when all single men between the ages of 18 to 45 were required to join to defend Australia,” she said.
“In 1993 the CMF changed to the Army Reserve.
“In 1997, four previous members of the CMF decided to start an association of former and present members of the Army Reserve.”
Helen said the large group featured members ranging in age and from a multitude of varying backgrounds.
“It's not just the Army Reserve, we are open to members of all armed forces and have also included the police, ambulance, fire and anyone else who would like to join,” she said.
Local connections keep CMF Army Reserve Association members active
For 25 years, the Bundaberg CMF Army Reserve Association has been involved in many activities within the region including an ongoing partnership with Bundaberg East State School.
“My late husband Alan Hancock, the principal Doug Ambrose and teacher librarian Paul McMillian started a writing competition and after my husband died 15 years ago the school presented a memorial shield in his honour,” Helen said.
“We have attended the school each year to present the shield to the winner at their Anzac Parade as well as a $50 voucher from Dymocks.
“Later this year we will be presenting the school with a display case containing a relic from Hellfire Pass, Burma Railway.
“We obtained this relic from Government House when former Governor General Paul De Jersey retired.”
Helen said the group was proud of its community and often planned trips and outings to keep members active.
“We have meeting once a month, also members go to Eidsvold for weekend shoots and we have been on trips away and try to have monthly Sunday lunches,” she said.
“It is important for friendship and fellowship, we are all getting older and enjoy the comradeship.”
To celebrate their 25 year anniversary, Helen said the Citizens Military Force dinner would be held at Rowers on the River on Saturday 21 May for its 80 members.