OCS Portsea Alumni Class of Dec 1973

The aim of this website is to record for posterity the year that was: the life and times of the Officer Cadet School of Australia, graduating class of 14 December 1973.  The records on this site include our training which commenced on 11 January 1973, graduation, post-graduate military service, civilian life (where posted) and reunions.

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Thu 10, Sep 2020

It is with a sad heart and a deep feeling of loss that I advise my fellow classmates of the notice received from Julie (Jules) Riley;

“Kev passed away peacefully this morning (Saturday 5th September 2020) at The Prince Charles Hospital Qld. The cancer in the brain had spread rapidly over the last 2 weeks and swelling of the brain to a point where he was semi-conscious. He is now at peace and in no pain.”

Kev is survived by his wife Jules married in 1972, son Adam, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

Jules also advised that due to Covid-19 she will be arranging a Memorial Service once the restrictions subside.

The Officer Cadet School Journal from December 1973 summed up our classmate and friend;

  • Graduated to RAEME and posted to 18 Transport Company Workshop.

“Kev (The Rat) comes from Hobart and is another ex-appy. Kev served part of his sentence as a vehicle mechanic at 3 Base Workshop before coming to Portsea. Kev’s main interests were Aussie Rules and Sailing.”

Kev was the BSM of the December 1973 graduating class and was awarded on graduation;

  • Sword of Honour
  • The Basic Skills Prize.

After graduation Kev served in a couple of technical postings and then returned to OCS for three years which included a short stint as an exchange instructor at RMA Sandhurst, UK.

Back above the “Brisbane Line” for further technical postings (Regimental) including HQ 6 Bde (Staff).

Off to the Middle East for a year with UNTSO/UNDOF an accompanied posting making it a much more enjoyable posting with Jules and an 8 years old son.

Retuning to Oz, promotion and a unit command at 106 Field Workshop (6 Bde).

Threats of Melbourne or Canberra next on the posting agenda so Kev resigned in mid-1989. Various civilian roles saw Kev as the State Maintenance Manager for TNT and then back to his comfort zone of training.

Sadly missed but never forgotten – RIP



45th Reunion Officer Cadet School of Australia (Portsea) Graduating Class December 1973

Wed 17, Apr 2019

Brisbane 7-9 December 2018

After class feedback in the preparation phase it was the general consensus that the City of Brisbane should once again host the three days of festivities during the period 7-9 December 2018 and we welcomed graduates who travelled from New Zealand, Vietnam and most States and Territories of Australia to the 45th Reunion – Officer Cadet School of Australia (Portsea) Graduating Class December 1973.

“Well I can honestly say that the 7P’s (principles) of Prior-Preparation-Planning-Prevents-Piss-Poor-Performance came to the fore in December with three days of Esprit-de-corps, camaraderie, memories, laughter, new introductions and of course a small degree of bullshit and a modest degree of drinking” this was an extract from the news article in 2013 for the 40th reunion and it most certainly applied once again to the three days of events to celebrate our 45th reunion.  The preparation and planning were detailed as you would have expected and carried out over the preceding twelve months by the organising committee. Initially chaired by Peter Feeney (Feens) who unfortunately needed to step down and was not able to attend to reunion. The baton was passed to John Duff (JD), Mark Gallagher (MG), Eric Lanham (Rick) and Mike Buck (Buckie) and this committee spent long hours and had a huge degree of fun and friendly banter organising the three days of activities in minute detail.

A total of 31 graduates (OCS of Australia Graduating Class of December 1973 – 95 Graduates) and their wives or partners attended the various functions;

A total of 31 graduates (OCS of Australia Graduating Class of December 1973 – 95 Graduates) and their wives or partners attended the various functions;

Friday 7th December 2018 – a meet & greet commenced the reunion and was held on the pool deck of the Hilton Hotel where we had a total of 47 attend with 31 graduates and 16 wives, partners and one sister (Buckie’s sister Lenore who manned the reception desk) The highlight of the evening no doubt was to welcome the one and only VINNIE back into the fold. The committee resplendent in their committee shirts & caps (sponsored by A.L.B. Distributors) welcomed one and all and Graduates were handed their 45th Reunion Memorabilia Packs. MG gave a welcoming address and the food and beverages package was sensational.

Saturday 8th December 2018 – For those that were capable we gathered at the ANZAC SQUARE for a late morning memorial service to honour our fallen classmates. Chaplain Peter Devenish-Meares officiated over the service and his words were heartfelt and solemn. Major Phillip John Winston Mouncey delivered a beautiful reading as part on the service.

The Venue and Chaplain organised by MG were befitting for the Aussies & Kiwis who attended and truly inspirational. From there we crossed Anne Street to The Grand Central Hotel and shared a couple of cold ales to toast our fallen classmates.

Saturday 8th December 2018 – The highlight of the reunion weekend was the Showboat Cruise on Brisbane River aboard the Kookaburra Queen 11 and we all gathered at Eagle Street Wharf in preparation for a magical night. Thirty graduates and twenty wives and partners attended thereby enabling us to have the bottom deck to our group exclusively. What a night was experienced by all with the setting food, drink, service and company platinum class. The evening had a small formal side with speeches by the MC – Mark Gallagher (MG) and some sincere and kind words from Hoddy – Colin Hodkinson representing our NZ contingent.

Sunday 9th December 2018 – For those of us that were not boarding early flights to head home we travelled to the magnificent venue of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron at Manly where we were greeted by the Commodore Mark (MG) Gallagher and his beautiful wife Fran. This was the perfect venue to have a recovery lunch and cold beverage.

Special thanks is extended to the graduates who assisted and contributed to enable our close friend and classmate Vinnie to experience the reunion and have some time touring parts of Oz. Special mention and a very warm hearted thank you to John McConnell, Bruce Mackie and their families who opened their hearts and homes to make Vinnie’s stay a very memorable experience.

50th Anniversary

The next milestone will be our 50th Anniversary in 2023 and the suggestions to date are to keep the milestone a no fuss affair with a proposed lunch gathering at the Portsea Hotel, keep watching this space!! BSM Riley and his beautiful wife Jules have completed an advanced recce with the following report:

Howdy Team,

Jules & I have just returned from the Mornington Peninsula where we attended the Appy School 50th re-union (of enlistment rather than graduation)!  A great turn out with about 70 of the ‘old farts’ out of an original 140 attending. Whilst there we took the nostalgic trip down to Portsea just for a sticky beak and the obligatory glass of wine at the pub.  We approached reception with a warning order for 9th Dec 2023 and shock horror, the books aren’t open that far ahead.  We did explain this wasn’t a booking but early warning but when we mentioned possible numbers their tune changed somewhat.  (They have taken my name and number at this stage). They currently have 11 accommodation rooms but will be building another 14 by the time we are there for ‘our show’.  I suggested that we will probably need all of those rooms much to their delight!  There is a rather large new boutique resort across the road from the pub now with something like 25 self-contained apartments but talking with John Goodchap who lives on the peninsula, this resort is heavily booked all year round.  Prices in that area of course, are as expected, “up market”, including the pub.  We were just thinking of walking distance accommodation to the pub but of course there is much cheaper available further out from Portsea.  That time of the year obviously is the start of the high season so we will need to book early. The pub has had a major refurbishment with the outdoor area overlooking the jetty and bay now under cover.  This refurb is obviously continuing with additional accommodation going in. So, just a bit of a heads-up guys, it certainly brought back some memories sitting in that beer garden pondering over that glass of wine (or two). We’ll definitely need a fairly early start to get this one up and running.

Best wishes to you all, Kev & Jules