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Archive for June, 2009

The 2009 Asian Champs

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 6, 2009

The 10th Asian Champs, KL, 5 September 2009

The hosts of the 2009 Asian Champs, the Malaysian Warriors, have just released the following information.

Twelve teams from around Asia will converge on Kuala Lumpur for the 10th Annual Australian Football Championships, Saturday 5 September 2009.

Dubai Heat will be aiming to repeat their success at the 2008 Champs in Singapore: the China Reds, Japan Goannas, Hong Kong Dragons, Vietnam Swans, Lao Elephants, Thailand Tigers, Philippine Eagles, Jakarta Bintangs, Bali Geckos, Singapore Wombats and hosts, the Malaysian Warriors, will have other thoughts!

The venue for the event will be the magnificent Royal Selangor Polo Club which has three ovals. Teams will be drawn to play four preliminary games. There will be two semifinals and the Grand Final.

The Championship Trophy will be presented by the Patron of the event following the Grand Final. The top twenty players of the tournament will be named and presented with their All Asian Team 2009 guernsies.

An U17 and Auskick series will also be played as part of the Championships: teams from Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Malaysia will contest these Junior Asian Championships.

The Malaysian U17 squad is largely made up of local players – a first for Australian Rules in this country and hopefully the beginning of the embracing of our code by the Malaysian community.

Entry to the RSPC and the Championships is free. There will be ample catering options and alternative activities available to those who come along to witness the day’s spectacle.

To keep updated with the very latest information, log onto the .

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Saigon BBQ – Part II

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 4, 2009

Wrap your laughing gear around one of these snags!

Last weekend in Saigon, the Vietnam Swans had a Club BBQ to farewell Muzza and Christina and to reflect on what has been achieved so far in 2009. Below is part II of the story looks at the ANZAC Day weekend in Thailand.

ANZAC Day Match, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

In May of last year, the Thailand Tigers invited us to their ANZAC Day match in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

Patrick Stringer’s father was a Prisoner of War on WWII’s infamous Thai Burma Railway. While he survived the War, his health never fully recovered. Six weeks after Patrick was born, his father died.

Patrick, a Swannie from Hanoi, eventually decided to come on the footy trip. He explains:

Despite living and working in Vietnam for 4 years, and with the railway so close, I had not yet summoned the courage to visit. It’s not that visiting it was not important to me.  It was very important to me. I had researched for years the details of my father’s capture in Singapore and his time in the forced labour camps. But I simply did not have the courage to stand in a place where I knew my dad had suffered so much, where he and countless others had been tortured and tormented. I did not have the courage to stand where young boys had died, crying out for their mums and dads.  That place, hallowed as it may be, was an awful place, a place of death and dying and I did not have his permission to go there.

But I also knew that to connect with my dad I had to visit the significant places in his life, and this was perhaps the most significant place of all.

In the early morning darkness on 25 April 2009, Patrick spoke to us on the bus as we travelled to Hellfire Pass for the Dawn Service.

At the Dawn Service, the New Zealand Ambassador said:

The far off echoes you hear when you sit here quietly in the dark come from Australian pain. The distant cries you hear come from Australian hearts.

Whether you are religious or not, this cutting represents something which goes beyond our ordinary lives. Men – many of them no more than boys – lived and suffered and fell and died here. Where we stand.

Memories of home – of shimmering heat and cicadas and cold beer – sustained life here, and were lost here. Where we stand.

For the service at the War Cemetery in Kanchanaburi, the ex POW Bill Haskell said:

The prisoners were starved, overworked, exposed to diseases, harassed and brutally assaulted at the work place.

The established rules of warfare in relation to prisoners of war were abandoned completely in the frenzy to push the railway through.

We remember these men with great affection and deepest respect.

Later that morning, during the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery Memorial Service, the Vietnam Swans were invited to lay a wreath which had been provided by the Thailand Tigers.

Imagine that. The Vietnam Swans laying a wreath during the official service at the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery on ANZAC Day 2009. And, thanks to the Thailand Tigers, a Vietnam Swans wreath will now be laid at all future ANZAC Day ceremonies at the Cemetery.

Prior to the match against Thailand, both teams gave a standing ovation when the three ex POWs, Bill, Neil and Snow, arrived. After the match, everyone on both teams shook hands with them. Photographs were taken and beers shared.

A man in the crowd handed us an article about the 4th ex POW, Ernie Redman – “What it means to be Australian”. Ernie, who had made the trip to Thailand for ANZAC Day in each of the previous seven years, suffered a heart attack just two days prior to his scheduled departure to Thailand this ANZAC Day. Five days later, the same man in the crowd wrote to the Swans to advise that Ernie, the 91 year old, had passed away the previous day.

Those of us who travelled to Thailand reflected again on the significance of the 2009 ANZAC Day. The Hellfire Pass Dawn Service, the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery Service, the footy match played in front of 3 ex POWs and with the 4th in hospital… and now, there are just 3 ex POWs.

ANZAC Day 2009 in some respects has just given us a lifetime of daze.

Many people who saw the presentation of the tour were also moved. Feedback came from people such as the Sydney Swans CEO and Director of Football Operations.

The aforementioned speeches can all be found on this website.

Part III from the Saigon BBQ will look at the seriously awesome Kainey Cup held in Hanoi.

Posted in Farewell | 1 Comment »

Saigon BBQ – Part I

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 3, 2009

Wrap your laughing gear around one of these snags!

Last weekend in Saigon, the Vietnam Swans met up at Danny & Jo Armstrong’s house for a BBQ to farewell Muzza and Christina. Below is Part I of a speech.

G’day Muzza, Christina and the rest of the Swannies

In December last year, we said See ya, Scotty Stacey.

Today, the Vietnam Swans Farewell Club thanks and farewells Muzza and Christina. Muzza was a star on the field. Off the field, in our footy tipping comp, he was the Tip-Star. Meanwhile, Christina, exasperated with our repeated fluffs at designing a new footy jumper, single handedly wrung the duck and replaced it with a Swan that sung.

In December last year, we noted that our footy club, from Hanoi to HCMC, is about fitness, camaraderie, community, competition and creating experiences that people would find difficult to find as individuals. We celebrated our successes which included a new footy jumper, a photo with Miss Australia, a 2nd Asian Champs, a match against an Australian warship, our inaugural AFL Grand Final Party in HCMC and the Indochina Cup in Phnom Penh. We wondered if it could get much better than that. We wondered if it was possible to get any better without the presence of Scotty the Saigon Prez.

In 2009, the existing Saigon Committee of Danny Armstrong, Shagger, Anh Joe, Drew, Gus and myself were re-elected. We also added Nicko, Derrin, Monkey, Fleur, Larry and Greg Armstrong. Derrin was elected Saigon President – and has done an absolutely outstanding job since.

Black Saturday Bushfire Match and Fundraiser

On 7 February 2009, Victoria was engulfed in a firestorm. Six weeks later, on 27 & 28 March, together with the Bali Geckos, we hosted the Black Saturday Bushfire Fundraiser and Match. We received terrific support from sponsors and raised AUD4,517. We donated this money to the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League which was at the heart of the devastated communities.

David Carter, CEO of club sponsor, Odyssey Resources, recently said that he was:

Chatting to the editor of the Australian CPA magazine and it turns out that she lives in Kinglake and was personally affected by the tragic Black Saturday bushfires. She is yet to live in a house again. She was personally touched by the spirit and donations from the Vietnam Swans after I sent over a copy of the powerpoint presentation that was prepared following the match and fundraiser”.

Phil Martin, the AFL’s Manager of Government Relations wrote to the Vietnam Swans to say:

Great work. Have passed the Bushfire Fundraiser and Match presentation onto the Victorian Premier’s office.

Last Saturday, Greg Armstrong, who is currently in Melbourne, visited the YVMDFL. Greg says that:

Upon arrival we were greeted celebrity style at the gates by the YVMDFL’s CEO, Stephen Walter and their President, Graeme Tulpin. We were taken up to the members’ lounge situated above the club rooms and provided with complimentary food and drinks for the afternoon and a perfect position to watch a great afternoon of country footy.

On behalf of everyone in the YVMDFL who was affected by the bush fires, both Stephen and Graeme expressed their gratitude and thanked all the efforts by the Vietnam Swans and Bali Geckos in raising money for those affected.

They will be sending a YVMDFL jumper over to Vietnam as a token gesture of their thanks.

Part II of the above speech which covers the Anzac Match and the Kainey Cup coming up next.

Posted in Farewell, Fundraiser | Leave a Comment »

 
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