Reminiscing About 1940s Military Operations in Port Stephens

Club President Phil Dodd with new Probus Club Of Port Stephens members Barbara and David Kerr.


WINSTON Churchill on several occasions referenced “looking into the past to see the future”, and at the Probus Club of Port Stephens July meeting that reference came to light when local historian Roger Rigby, presented a fascinating picture of the American presence in the Bay in the nineteen forties, in the form of US Marines using the beaches for rehearsals for the coming European and the Pacific campaigns.

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Time flies and development is a never slowing vehicle, but to be reminded of the Bay in those days, and the changing activities to accommodate the mass of men and materials that nations commit to warfare, is a jolt, and a reminder of the changes that that generation had to accommodate.

Rogers’s description of the Bay, ably assisted by John (Stinker) Clark, who was part of the gathering and a teenager in those days, had the audience riveted to the presentation.

The revelation that wrapped the meeting in fascination for everybody, was the possibility of storage tunnels buried deep below the ground between fly point and Little Beach, this area, known as HMAS ASSAULT back in those days, was the main landing plus storage area for materials and supplies, and therefore the possibility of relics and equipment still being there is a juicy probability for the historians to ponder, and we hope, dig deeper and locate.

David Heath of the Probus Club of Port Stephens said, “We wish Roger and his band of enthusiasts well, – watch this space.”

To conclude the meeting Club President Phil Dodd had the pleasure of inducting new Probus members David and Barbara Kerr.

“The President then presented club member Peter Page with his twenty five year certificate and thanked Peter for his contribution to the ongoing success of the club,” he said.

David encourages visitors to attend as they are more than welcome to enjoy the activities and outings at Probus Club of Port Stephens.

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