The guest speaker was BDR Shane Fender , from 7 LT BTY , who joined the gathering to recount the highlights of his tour
with OPERATION ANODE to the Solomon Islands. He was part of an Army Reserve company, formed mainly from soldiers from 5
BDE. Prior to deployment the company underwent an extensive period of preparation and training culminating in a sign off
by 1 DIV, that the members and unit were fit for the task.
Shane spoke about the stabilisation that was needed following the unrest and violence in Honiara and the process of
supporting the UN RAMSI program of assistance. Shane deployed as a signaller and operated in a range of situations from
urban patrolling in Honiara, through to landing on remote islands, where they met indigenous groups that had not seen
foreign soldiers since the US Marines left after WW2. On one of these islands a local resident pointed out two trees,
where the Marine signallers had rigged an aerial aided by the resident's grandfather. He set about assisting Shane to rig
an aerial to establish communications back to HQ.
The luncheon gathering thoroughly enjoyed Shane’s recounting of what has been quite a successful program bringing
great credit on the UN program and those participating including the members of the Army Reserve.