BULLETIN 11052022
11 May 2022

Home of Past District 9810 Governors
Bill Tierney (1986-1987)
Russell Gurney (2018-2019)
Alma Reynolds (2020-2021)

 

 
At our meeting on Wednesday 4th May at Doncaster RSL Bruce Parker presented Denis Clark, President of Doncaster RSL, and RCD member Kevin O'Donnell  with memorial plaques. For Denis the plaque was for Commando operations during the Vietnam war. For Kevin it was in memory of his father Walter who was a member of Z Force who "kidnapped/ freed the Sultan of Ternate during WW2. Story is below'
Next Week's guest speaker is Jossie Dimarucut From the Rotary Club of Greater Annonas in the Philippines.
 
Details for the Zoom meeting are 
Joady Barnes is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Rotary Weekly Meeting
Time: 
        May 4, 2022 06:30 PM
        May 11, 2022 06:30 PM
        May 18, 2022 06:30 PM
        May 25, 2022 06:30 PM
        Jun 1, 2022 06:30 PM
        Jun 8, 2022 06:30 PM
        Jun 15, 2022 06:30 PM
        Jun 22, 2022 06:30 PM
        Jun 29, 2022 06:30 PM
Meeting ID: 858 8284 1077
Passcode: 779783

 

*********************
D9780, 9790, 9800, 9810, 9820
 INVITATION
 
Shine On Special Guests and Rotary Leaders   
 
2021 SHINE ON RECOGNITION AWARDS Event
 
DATE: Saturday 14th May 2022 at 1PM
 
Venue: Templestowe Baptist Church Hall
 103-105 Anderson Creek Rd
Doncaster East 3109
 
Please RSVP to Barry Halpern  by 8th  May   2022
 
Mobile: 0419 332 982
 
This Event is being hosted by District 9820 and 9810
 
Proudly sponsored by Bendigo Bank Housing Loan Group
**************************
 

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The Rescue of the Sultan                of Ternate              by Z Force Commandos

IN THE dead of night, they made their way slowly through groves of sweet-smelling nutmeg and clove trees, down the perilously steep slope of the volcano that towers over the island of Ternate.

Leading the party was local guide Achmed Bashir. By his side was an officer from Z Special Unit, also known as Z Force, the elite surveillance and sabotage unit that caused havoc across Japanese-occupied south-east Asia.

There were about 40 people on the trek. Among them was the Sultan of Ternate, Iskander Muhammad Jabir Syah, the ruler of one of the most fabled of the Spice Islands, the latest of a line of monarchs stretching back 800 years.

Accompanying him were his two wives, one heavily pregnant, his eight children and a retinue of courtiers and relatives.

Mudaffar Syah, who was 10 at the time and was to succeed his father as Sultan of Ternate, recalls: ''We stayed close together. There were Japanese spies everywhere.

''My God, that was an experience. No one could say anything, there could be no light.''

It was the early hours of April 9, 1945. Project Opossum was an audacious operation to snatch the sultan and his family from under the noses of Japanese troops garrisoned on Ternate. Project Opossum had been ordered by the Allies' supreme commander in the Pacific, General Douglas MacArthur.

The Japanese reign in Ternate had been especially brutal because Sultan Jabir refused to bow to their authority. Starvation and disease was widespread. Sultan Jabir had been sending clandestine intelligence to the Allies for months and was convinced he and his family were about to be slain.

''This history must be written and distributed in Australia,'' implores Sultan Mudaffar. ''For us here, Australia is the hero of the Second World War.''

A Z Force contingent of 13 was assigned to the mission, mostly Australians plus two Indonesian recruits from West Timor and North Sulawesi. It was commanded by a Dutch officer, Captain Kroll.

Bombers strafed Japanese positions across the northern Moluccas as their boats sneaked behind enemy lines to Hiri, a small island less than two kilometres north of Ternate.

From Hiri, the message that Z Force had arrived was sent up the volcano with the guide and the intelligence officer to where the royal family was hiding.

The force managed to elude the Japanese, and all descended safely to the coastal village of Kulaba at day break after a six-hour trek, and two boats then carried them across the strait to Hiri

Their arrival, according to an account by Major Hardwick, a Z Force operative at Hiri, was ''one of the most dramatic scenes I have ever witnessed in these lands''.

Hundreds of villagers poured out to greet Sultan Jabir, and elders lined up to kiss his feet. Sultan Mudaffar said his father was deeply concerned by the commotion, telling villagers: ''Watch what you are doing, the Japanese will see you.''

His fears were well founded. At dawn the next day, boatloads of Japanese soldiers headed across the strait.

One of the Japanese boats had already landed when Z Force commanders were alerted. Lieutenant George Bosworth, an Australian, rushed 500 metres with his sub-machinegun to the landing site.

''This man was too brave,'' Sultan Mudaffar recalls. ''According to my father, he was just standing there shooting. My father said, 'You can't just stand there'.''

Three of the Japanese soldiers fell on the beach. As Lieutenant Bosworth approached, one of them picked up his rifle and shot him in the head.

Warrant Officer Perry assumed command and attacked the remaining Japanese forces. He sent a party by boat to meet another Japanese craft heading to Ternate. All those on board were slain.

A young Australian Z Force soldier, Private Higginbottom, climbed on to the Japanese vessel as it drifted out to sea and was killed by a Hiri militiaman, who mistook him for Japanese. Z Force soldiers would often darken their skin to appear like Malays and this, says Sultan Mudaffar, may have explained the confusion.

The remnants of Japanese tried to swim back to Ternate, but all were killed by natives before they made it to shore.

The Sultan and his family were taken to Morotai by PT boat, where Sultan Jabir debriefed General MacArthur on Japanese troop positions, tactics and morale.

But the Allies had grander plans for him. They saw him heading eastern Indonesia under a new Dutch-controlled federation. Sultan Jabir and his family were sent to Wacol, a small town between Brisbane and Ipswich, where the exiled Netherlands Indies Civil Administration plotted its return.

In October 1945, soon after the war finished, the Sultan went back to Ternate to reclaim power..

''After the war, my father received a telegram from MacArthur, from Tokyo,'' Sultan Mudaffar says. ''It said, 'Your Excellency, do you want to make your own state? Or do you want to follow the republic as proclaimed by Sukarno?'

''My father said, 'My state is already proclaimed, the republic of Indonesia'.''

Z Special Unit was disbanded at the end of the war. Fewer than 50 members remain and only a handful will be fit enough to march tomorrow to commemorate Anzac Day.

For years, he and other members of the unit were ordered not to talk about any of the operations they undertook. ''Not many people know about the rescue of the Sultan. I didn't speak about it,'' he says.

HELP

Photos and stories wanted.

We are about to turn 50 years and as Bulletin Editor I want to run stories about our previous projects and members. Graeme Trainor has donated stories from his time as Editor, many thanks Graeme. Now I need more, and pictures. Please don't send as multimedia messages as I cannot receive them.
 
 
The Mercure Hotel Doncaster.
Our new meeting place
 
 
Stories
Welfare
While we’re getting on with the business of helping others, let’s take a moment to remember our fellow Members, Partners and Friends of the Club, who may be doing it a little tough.
We’re also thinking of our long-term absent Members whom we don’t see often enough.
I’m sure all of us know an absent or ex Member who would love to have a call from any one of us as Members of the Rotary Club of Doncaster.
If you do know anyone who is unwell, or is going through challenging times, or even if you’re up against it yourself, contact our Welfare Officer, PP Frank Evans on 9337 8493, or email frank.evans1@bigpond.com.
EDITOR'S CORNER
Please let me know if anyone has issues with reading the bulletin, also if anyone has any suggestion on content for the Bulletin please do not hesitate to email me: – joadyb@optusnet.com.au
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