While most of the Vietnam Swans attended the Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass in Thailand on ANZAC Day, one Swan, Adam Baird, was attending the Dawn Service at Long Tan (near Vung Tau) with his father, Richard.
Adam says that “Mum and Dad came (to Vietnam) for their 2nd visit, but the main purpose of the visit was for Dad (Viet Vet) to attend the Dawn Service at Long Tan. Then we visited his old army base in Nui Dat and a few other places of interest etc. Pretty special to stand there with Dad during the Dawn Service. Proud day for me!”
Later, they headed back to Vung Tau and dropped into an Aussie expats’ sports bar. While they were there, they bumped into North Melbourne great, Glenn Archer. “Arch was there as part of a tour group of Vets with his Dad having served in Vietnam also. Had a chat for a while and had a pic. Top bloke! Also got a signed pic from the legend!”
Glenn Archer debuted for North Melbourne in 1992. He had a reputation as one of the most courageous players ever to play the game. To reflect this, the AFLPA awarded him the Robert Rose Award for Most Courageous Player six times in nine years, the most of any player in the award’s history. He won the prize in 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 (tied with Brett Kirk).
In 1996 he won All-Australian selection, and was named best on ground in the Kangaroos 1996 premiership team, winning the Norm Smith Medal. Although Glenn was part of the losing Grand Final squad to Adelaide in 1998, he tasted premiership success once more in 1999. Amongst winning other awards from his club and the AFL, Archer was voted “Shinboner of the Century” by North Melbourne in 2005 – “Shinboners” being the nickname of North Melbourne (Archer’s biographical detail taken from ).
See Patrick Stringer’s article, Finding Dad in Siam.