Vets remember battle of Long Tan
STANDOWN, a military term roughly translated as stop and rest, is the namesake of a bush caravan park aimed at giving Vietnam Veterans a tranquil “home” to visit.
What started out as a popular place for Rod and Pam Elkington’s visitors, “just evolved” into its current form.
“Last year, for the first time, we had a march for Long Tan day,” Mrs Elkington said.
“Clarence Ormsby delivered that service. He has a beautiful voice that is so calming. He doesn’t go on forever; it’s just a nice service.”
The day, which is open to the public, starts at 3pm with a march and service conducted by Mr Ormsby.
That will be followed by smoko and happy hour with BYO drinks.
At 6pm there will be a camp fire dinner and show where Mr Ormsby will entertain. Cost of the evening is $20 per person.
“People can just come for the evening’s entertainment if they don’t want to camp.”
So popular is the park that all the powered sites have been booked out but there are sites without power if campers have a generator.
Proceeds from the night will be donated to the Agent Orange Fund of Australia – something Mr Ormsby is passionate about. The following day he will launch his CD titled Real Live Heroes Sing for Kids.
The day will begin with a documentary film at 11am, followed by lunch.
Those attending are asked to bring a plate of finger food to share.
Rod Elkington, a Vietnam vet, and Pam have owned newspapers and magazines, farms, road houses and properties together, but this latest venture is something close to their hearts.
“Every day is different,” Mrs Elkington said.
“When we sold the (passionfruit) farm we were looking for somewhere to build and a bit of land.
“We knew the people who had this (18 acre) property so we rented it for about two months and then bought it to use it as a base while we travelled.
“It was never going to be a van site but we now have 28 powered sites and full amenities.
“It’s a beautiful place to live and it’s nice to hear people come back to stay and hear them say ‘it’s nice to be home’.”