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Edward Willis

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Col Doig, in his history of the 2/2 Commando Association of Australia “A great fraternity” recounted:

“In the early days it was realised that, with members widely spread throughout Australia, some form of communication would be required to keep them informed with news of importance to everyone.  A Queensland member, Bulla Tait, attended a meeting held at Monash House in early 1947 [actually 1946] and suggested that a duplicated newsletter be sent to all members whose addresses were known.  Col Doig, who was General Secretary at the time, volunteered to get this newsletter idea off the ground.

Col was employed at the Department of Labour & National Service and his boss was the late Tom Murray, President of our Welfare Association and well and truly in our corner.  Col wrote the first news sheets and had them typed by Lily Davies, a niece of one of our deceased members, Dick McKenzie.  As there was no duplicator available in the building the stencils were sent to the GPO building where the messenger to the State Deputy Post Master General, a Mr Job, would run them off on the P.M.G. machine.  As Mr Job also did the duplicating for the main office of the PMG, the output was considerable and a couple of reams of paper was hardly missed on this monthly basis.  This method continued for some time and, with postage only one halfpenny per item, it was not a very costly exercise for our fledgling organisation.  At that time the mailing list was some 500 members.  Obsolete foolscap envelopes were scrounged from the Department's store and overprinted with a rubber stamp to obliterate the original printed head line.  The addressing was quite a long and arduous task, mostly achieved in 'gash' time.”

The first issue of the newsletter, titled ‘Circular to Members’ was dated 18 December 1946 and is reproduced here.  The publication was renamed ‘Circular Newsletter’ from the second issue distributed in April 1947 and continued in that form (48 editions) until the first ‘2/2 Commando Courier’ was published in August 1951.  Many of the images that were collected as part of the ‘Photographic Scheme’ referred to in the ‘Circular’ can be viewed in the Gallery on the Doublereds website (https://doublereds.org.au/gallery/).

Thank you to Peter Epps for making this unique part of the Association’s history available.


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