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Triker Tom


My story started in 1952 at a small then farming community of South Morang just north of Melbourne.  I spent my first 10 years of my life here, attending the South Morang Primary School.  In 1962 my family moved to our own farm at Scotts Creek in the Western District of Victoria.  Here I continued my schooling at the Timboon Consolidated School, and then onto the Timboon High School until December 1967.

January 1968 I joined the Australian Army as an Army Apprentice at The Australian Army Apprentice School at Balcombe on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne.

Here I was Educated in skills of a Motor Vehicle Mechanic, a Soldier & furthered my Education for 3 years. In December 1970 I Graduated from the Australian Army Apprentice School.

I was then Transferred to Puckapunyal Area Workshops to work under supervision for my final year of my Apprenticeship. During this year it was mainly fine tuning my skills, which included 1 month with the RACV to learn about trouble shooting & on the spot break downs. Also fine tuning my Military skills before being turned loose as a fully qualified Vehicle Mechanic & Soldier.

In January 1972 I headed off to my first posting as a qualified Vehicle Mechanic/Soldier to 9 Transport Company at Lavarack Barracks in Townsville . This was my first time out of Victoria, and Arriving in Townville only 3 weeks after Cyclone Althea had devastated the region.  Water was still lying everywhere and with the high temperatures, the humidity was up over 95% was a real culture shock to my system. while at 9 Transport Company I done 1 trip to the tip of Cape York, many trips to the Cooktown area and the Gulf of Carpentaria.  I even had 8 or 9 weeks at Shoalwater Bay Army Training area near Rockhampton.  On a few of these trips I did get a small chance to look about, but most of the time I was kept extremely busy keeping most of the Army Equipment operational.

In July 1975 I was posted back south to Puckapunyal's 1st Armoured Regiment Here my main job was to keep most of the Regiments equipment operational, including the Armoured Personal Carriers & Centurion Tanks, and later the Army's new Leopard Tanks.  During my time at 1st Armoured Regiment most of the training exercises were on the Puckapunyal Range area, but I did enjoy about 9 weeks at Woomera Rocket Range for a major exercise involving the Leopard Tanks.
In September 1978 I was Post back north, this time to 1 Base Workshops at Bulimba (Brisbane).  This was the first time I had been posted to a Unit within my own Corps.  During my stay at Bulimba I was fortunate to get a 6 months detachment to Darwin Area Workshops.  During my stay in Darwin I went on an Infrastructure gathering exercise out through Arnhem Land and then up to the Coburg Peninsula.  During this trip, we visited some of the most remote fishing spots that were loaded with fish.  The trip wasn't all fun though. As I had to maintain all the equipment, and on the last morning I failed to get the fridge operating, and it was well stocked up with fish.  But I was fortunately saved by a RAAF Radar Technician, who had the electrical knowledge to overcome the problem. I knew what the fault was, but I didn't know how to overcome it.  So, all the fish in the fridge was saved.  In January 1983, after 15 years in the Australian Army, it was time for us to part company.
After my discharge I returned to Brisbane and knowing that I would not be able to survive on the Dole, I took up a job driving a Taxi, while I contemplated how I was to spend the rest of my life.  Well I quite enjoyed this new life style, and after 12 months I decided to purchase my own Taxi

And I operated this for 18 years, when I was forced into selling it due to poor health.

I am now on a Disability Support Pension & a Department of Veterans' Affairs Disability Pension. 

My main interest now is the Ulysses Club , and when my health & budget allow it, I like to travel about a bit.  When I first joined the Ulysses Club, the Brisbane Branch was the only one in the area.  And the 3 year period 2000 to 2003 I was the Treasure for the Brisbane Branch.  Now there are about 12 Branches in the region & mid 2003 I was one of the founding Members of the Northern Gateway Branch located in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. For the first year I was Secretary/Newsletter Editor.  And the next year because the Branch was growing so rapidly I dropped back to only Newsletter Editor.  And I am now currently having a rest from Committees, just trying to enjoy life, & ride my Trike as much as possible.
Currently I am thoroughly enjoying a trip of my life time touring about Australia in my car towing my Caravan, which I acquired in April 2016 to replace my trusty Camper Trailer, which the setting up and pulling down was getting too much for me, now that I have sold my Trike.
My next major change was to upgrade my car. My trusty Holden Vectra had served me well for 17 years, & with close to 200.000 klms on the clock, it was time for it to go. And then in September 2017, I up graded my Caravan. Now I have a 19'6" full size Majestic with an Ensuite. Much more comfortable.