Dear Swans and Supporters
All footy, rugby, soccer and cricket trips are great fun.
Playing a footy match on ANZAC Day in Kanchanaburi in front of 3 ex POWs is in a space of its own.
It was a great privilege to have made this trip with each person in our touring party. It was a great privilege to be the guests of the Thailand Tigers. It was a great privilege to have met three ex POWs.
It was a tour where words like “privileged”, “humbled”, “honoured” and “special” seemed inadequate.
The attached hopes to provide some insight for those who could not join us.
The Thailand Tigers are very fine custodians indeed of the Kanchanaburi ANZAC Day Match.
Phil Johns, National President
Footnotes: As you may be aware, ex POW, Ernie Redman died on 29 April 2009. Grant Harris emailed the Vietnam Swans today to say:
I saw Bill Haskell (ex POW photographed above) today at Ernie’s funeral. Bill spoke again, and once more his words were mesmerizing. At around 90 years of age Bill has sat on a 10 hour plus, 700 km bus trip to be at the funeral.
Rest assured that we said goodbye to Ernie in the best way possible.
Also today, a memorial service was held for ex Hawk Rob Dickson and his two sons Byron and Gabriel. Rob came to Hanoi in 2006 and was involved with the match between the (former) Hanoi Swans and the AFL / CARE All Stars. See the for full coverage of the Memorial Service.
The Vietnam Swans send our condolences to the families of both Ernie and Rob.
Still to follow: Copies of the New Zealand Ambassador’s two speeches on ANZAC Day and possibly, a copy of Bill Haskell’s speech at the War Cemetery.