Intrepid Club member Brett Cribb embarked on the Kokoda Track with Executive Excellence on Friday the 13 July.
In Brett's own words...
"On arriving at Port Moresby on the ominous “Friday the 13th”, some 70 years and 9 days after the Japanese landed on the beaches at Gona and Buna in PNG, all went surprisingly well!
The next day we were up bright and early at 4:30am to have breakfast and our daily anti malarial medication before departing for Port Jackson Field to fly to Kokoda. We were to track the way the Kokoda battle unfolded being ably guided by Al Forsyth OAM, a director of Executive Excellence and 40 year army veteran. Twenty of those were served in the SAS and 5 as the RSM of the SAS. Need we say more about his capabilities.
We arrived in at Kokoda at around 10:30am to be greeted by our 13 porters for the trip. Having recently sprained my ankle, yes 2 weeks before leaving, I met my half porter Jaysim. What a bunch of wonderful people they are and proved to be over the next 8 days. Over the next 8 days we experienced the whole of the Kokoda track and much of what it has to offer and concluded our walk on the 70th anniversary of the above mentioned landing.
Rotary is prevalent up there. RAWCS is all over the place from Kokoda hospital and museum to the medical clinics on the track. I’ve included a sample below.
Highlights of the trip included:
- Isaravu Memorial
- the stories of our diggers and experiencing a small part of what they went thru in walking the track
- 8 days of no rain!!
- Brigade Hill and the service we held where our brilliant forces were almost overrun; did you know our government has not even placed a memorial plaque here??
- hearing about Commander Potts on location
- a night of fine food courtesy of the people of Efogi
- the help, sharing and singing of our porters and general banter
I urge every Australian who can to complete this trip. If you prepare for it reasonably it’s a great experience.
Thanks go to the people of PNG for letting us share their beautiful country and our intertwined history, Executive Excellence - what a wonderful bunch of people, my colleagues who did the walk – what an experience to share, and finally to our diggers – “Lest We Forget” Metson, Charlie McCallum DCM, Bert Kingsbury VC, Butch Bissett and the unknown soldiers of Australia who gave their lives for us.
More details: Brett Cribb - tel: 0408 984 311 or email.