Major General Darryl Low Choy (Ret)
The inaugural George Marchant Lecture was held in the Chermside Library on Saturday 20th November 2010 at 10am and was attended by 55 people.
The President, Terry Hampson, commenced by
welcoming the visitors and outlining the life and
times of George and Mary Marchant. He then
welcomed the speaker Major General Darryl Low
Choy (Ret) Commander of 7th Brigade, now Associate Professor at Griffith University in Environmental Science.
Prof. Choy, using a power point display, explored the Honourable Tradition of the part-time soldier who, in time of war, would become a full-time soldier. Some joined to use their trade or profession in the Militia while others joined to learn new trades and professions; they all became soldiers. They trained in Chermside and in 1915 they went to Gallipoli and then on to the Western Front in France and Belgium; then back to civilian life.
In the interwar period the Militia was reformed and went to war when World War II began in 1939. Again they trained at Chermside as the 7th Brigade and went to Milne Bay where they inflicted the first defeat that the Japanese Army suffered in WWII. They then went on to the islands of the Pacific to clear the Japanese which involved very heavy fighting. Then in 1945 they were demobilised and went back to civilian life.
The tradition continued in the form of the National Service training, the Citizens Military Force and the Army Reserve. It was not until the 1980s that the 7th Brigade was reformed as part of the Army Reserve and took part in such large scale manoeuvres as Operation Kangaroo when the entire Australian Army was deployed across Northern Australia. By that time women were in the fighting units as soldiers.
The 7th Brigade has been in overseas missions such as Cambodia, Afghanistan, Namibia, Western Sahara, Ruanda and other places as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping forces. The Honourable Tradition of the Citizen Soldier continues.