Currumbin RSL Commemorates Battle of Long Tan

Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2016

August 2016 marks the 50 year anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, Vietnam. A commemorative pop up museum will be on display at the Currumbin RSL from Monday 15 August through to Friday 19 August, showcasing unique artefacts, photos and footage shared by Vietnam veterans.

Some of the Vietnam veteran Sub Branch members and Memorial Club staff worked together to create this pop up and collaborated to find out what it is Vietnam veterans would find most interesting. The Club has managed to secure some unique and interesting artefacts, photos and footage.

Barry Sullivan served as a pilot in Vietnam for 12 months and took myriad photos during his service, with many on display at the pop up. Some images have captured the horrors of war while others the essence of Vietnam.

Bill Durrant a local collector and Vietnam veteran has loaned a plethora of items, from battle dress uniforms and greens to standard issue hootchie (tents), mattresses, ammo boxes and claymore bags; used to carry anti-personnel mines.

Chuck Kizis an avid collector and Vietnam veteran has also loaned an interesting and rare selection of ‘trench art’; art pieces created in Vietnam during the conflict using pieces of artillery.

The pop up museum will also have a photographic exhibition of photos taken by Vietnam veteran Richard McLaren. A veteran who uses photography as a form of therapy to cope with PTSD and the image displayed will show his journey from returning home from service, his struggles with PTSD and his return to Vietnam.

There will be a short documentary of interviews with Vietnam veterans which include interviews with Club President Ron Workman OAM, Keith Payne VC OAM DSC SS (US), Normie Rowe AM among others. There are also interviews with the wives and partners of Vietnam veterans and the effects PTSD has had on them. These interviews have been undertaken by Kym Melzer as part of her ‘Ripple Effect’ series.

Actual footage taken by two Vietnam veterans during their tours will also be shown and is courtesy of Gary Mikkelsen.

The pop up will run from Monday August 15 through to Friday August 19 which takes in Vietnam Veterans Day on Thursday August 18. The museum will be held upstairs in the Club’s Waterside Event ‘Valleyside’ room.

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