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Ross Adams 2/69


 Sapper 2791648, Graduate Number 983, Ross Anthony Adams.


Ross was born on 20th October 1949 and commenced his NS on 10th February 1969, graduating with Class 2/69 on 4th October 1969 into the RACT and was posted to 10 Movement Control Group. During his NS he was posted to 32nd Small Ship Sqn, 40 Water Tpt Sqn (Hvy) and 109 Tpt Coy. Ross extended his NS until 9th May 1972 then transferred to the ARA where he was posted to JTC Canungra (Movt Offr), HQ 3rd Transport Company, Brisbane Water Transport Unit,   HQ 1st Transport & Movement Group, HQ 1st Division, Movement Division HQ Logistic Command, HQ Logistic Command, HQ 1st Division Transport, HQ 1st Military District and 1st Ground Liaison Group. Ross discharged from the ARA on 12th February 1989 with the rank of Major. After his military service, Ross pursued a legal career with his own practice at Sunnybank, Brisbane. During his service Ross was awarded The Defence Force Service Medal, The Australian Defence Medal and The Anniversary of National Service Medal 1951-1972.



Ross’s funeral was arranged by his son Robert, and will took place at the Mt Gravatt Crematorium Chapel on 21st September 12011.


Eulogy: (Kevin Richardson – 2/69)

My name is Kevin and I am very proud to say that like Ross many of the gents here today we are members of a very unique group of guys called the Class of 2/69, as well as other members of the OTU Scheyville Association. In 1969 the Army took a group of young guys from many and varied professional fields around Australia, trained them, graduated them as Officers in the Australian Army and then released most of them back into their civilian occupations two years later.

I consider us a very unique group because on the 20th October this year at Norfolk Island, 42 years after the government of the day joined us together as a class, we are celebrating yet another reunion.

This particular reunion takes on more meaning for the boys of 2/69 and their partners, as it was Ross, despite his illness and other problems, with the aid of his great mate Rob Wilson, who did the ‘recce’, and planned all the details to ensure that this reunion would be as successful and memorable as all the other reunions we have held.

I remember in particular Rob advising some us that during all the planning for this event, and despite Ross’s failing health, nothing was going to stand in his way to ensure the success of this event and I am sure at the appropriate time on Norfolk at one of our dinners we will all rise and drink a toast to our mate and brother 2of 69.

On a personal note I remember Ross inviting my wife Kath and I some 18 months ago, to Brisbane for the weekend to meet Nicki, as she had yet to meet all the 2/69s and their partners, and although far from being well he insisted on taking us to some wonderful places and in particular to one of his favorite lunch spots, so that we could get to know Nicki, and being Ross, his generosity shone through and he insisted on meeting all the expenses for the weekend.

At a point in time during lunch he was noticeable unwell, but rather than dwell on his own discomfort he related to me one of what he called the benefits of having his stomach removed.

He related a party trick he did once by downing a complete bottle of scotch in one swallow.

As he recounts to the amazement of all present he showed no signs of being drunk and as Ross explained to me, without a stomach you cannot get drunk.

He then laughed and he said he only did it the once as he had no taste buds as a result of his condition and he would not waste good money on what he could not taste.

Ross did have a bucket list and there were two things on his list stood out for me. The first was a phone call I received at work one day from Rosco telling me he was attending to one of the items on his bucket list. When I asked which one and what it was, he advised he was in a helicopter flying over the Apostles, and I had not heard him so happy and excited for such a long time.

Another part of his bucket list was a very special OTU 2/69 dinner that took place in Brisbane earlier this year. As Rosco said to me, I could have all my friends around me and have a drink with them and say my own goodbyes to each of us present on that night.

We will all remember with great affection his spirit and enthusiasm that evening

And finally one last thought. Ross, I believe, would liked to have been passed on to all present and in particular to you Nicki, Ross’s mother Nita and the rest of the family now he is at rest.






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Gary Ticehurst 4/72

Vale: Gary Ticehurst


Gray Edwin Ticehurst was born on 10th October 1950 and commenced his NS as 2801428 on 27th September 1972, commencing with Class 4/72 at OTU on 13th October. Soldiering was in Gary’s blood as his father, Noel, had been a Survey Corps Warrant Officer. Gary continued serving when NS was cancelled and graduated as Graduate Number 1785, on 19th April 1973 into Army Aviation and commenced training at Point Cook. He graduated as a pilot on 7th December and was posted to the School of Army Aviation on 23rd January 1974 for helicopter training, qualifying as a Sioux Pilot on 21st May, then doing a four-week transition course for the Bell 206B-1. He attended the RAAF Survival Course, had detachments to 1 Avn Regiment and 171 Op Spt Sqn, attended the RAAF Flying Safety Officers Course and on 1 June 1977 was posted to 161 Recce Sqn. From September 1977 he was employed by the Surf Life Saving Association to fly Search and Rescue tasks on weekends. Gary participated in Ex Long Look or four months in 1978 and whilst on Leave-Without-Pay commenced as a helicopter pilot for the NSW police Force. He discharged from the Army on 13th April 1979.


In December 1980, Gary formed his own company to pursue television and film production support to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and became the ABC’s first full-time pilot. He also donated his time helping the Variety children’s charity. Gary continued to work closely with the Australian film production industry and flew during the making of several films: Fool’s Gold, Nim’s Island, Superman Returns, Stealth, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, Mission: Impossible 2 and Anna and the King. He also flew for TV Commercials and numerous sporting events.


With Reporter Paul Lockyer and cameraman John Bean, Gary Ticehurst was piloting a helicopter on 18th August filming a third documentary of Lake Eyre filling up with water when the helicopter crashed on the eastern side of Lake Eyre. All three died in the crash.


Gary covered 29 straight Sydney to Hobart yacht races and during the tragic 1998 race, he did more than just cover the race. The yacht Stand Aside was the first to fall victim to the wild weather, with Ticehurst’s chopper among the search and rescue crew. Gary said: “I’m used to flying through weather fronts, but this was sitting like a whirlwind, and here was Stand Aside in the middle of this with half its roof missing.” Six men died during the 1998 Sydney to Hobart, but a total of 55 were rescued including 14 crew members from stricken yacht Business Post Naiad, which lost its skipper and a crew member. Gary was also involved in the rescue of the upturned yacht Skandia.

His memorial service was held on 30th August alongside yachts moored at Rushcutters Bay in eastern Sydney. There was standing room only as hundreds of mourners gathered in a marquee to farewell one of the national broadcaster’s finest. Veteran ABC journalists, cinematographers and loved ones remembered a “60 year’s young” man who was due to become a grandfather of twins this year.


The ABC’s man in the sky was described at his memorial as having the “eyes of an eagle and the hands of a surgeon” when it came to helping to capture beautiful images of Australia. He was also a big-hearted, gregarious character who rescued stranded sailors and bushwalkers, and brought joy to children in small towns by letting them sit in the cockpit of his ABC “squirrel”.


His son Matt Ticehurst described his dad’s love of the Sydney Swans and said he would have loved the turnout at his memorial service. “I have a direct message to you from him: “How bloody good is this?”, he said. “Dad was someone who saw the inherent ‘bloody goodness’ in every single aspect of life.”


Gary’s wife Teresa, whom he met in 2005, recalled how he proposed to her from his Sydney hospital bed on a first date. “The doctor was in shock when, after Gary had delivered ‘the mother of all kidney stones’, he gets down on bended knee in his backless hospital gown and, in fits of laughter, joy and love he begged me to marry him,” “How could I not?”


A wake was held at the nearby Cruising Yacht Club of Australia with the song Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum being played as mourners filed in.