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Philip Cogan 4/72

Philip Michael Cogan (4/72)


5719748 Philip Michael Cogan was born in Perth, WA, on 30th June 1952 and completed his secondary education at Aquinas College. Prior to commencing his National Service Philip worked for Western Australian Petroleum as an Acc. Pay and Rec. Clerk. Little did he know then that his NS would only last just nine weeks before all NS commitments were cancelled. However, Philip was one of twenty three Nashos who completed their Officer Training Course in April 1973 after NS had been cancelled.
Phil’s family and friends told of how Philip put to good use the skills he picked up at Scheyville during his short Army career. These skills were used during a varied work life that included running his own catering businesses (one of which catered for the America’s Cup Challenge in Fremantle in 1983), a Service Station (Denmark, WA) and the working fifteen years with Mitre 10. Workmates said that ‘just working with Phil made you want to be a    better person’.coog-1
As well as his work Phil was a good sportsman and also found time to be  involved with community projects including surf life-saving and men’s groups.
Phil married a long-time friend Nicki McCarthy (the best looking girl on the  school bus) and together they had Joanna (recently married to Bowman) and  Sarah.
Phil died suddenly on 9th June 2015. The test of how good a person is will be  shown by the number of people who attend their funeral. Over 1,000 people  attended the ceremony to celebrate Phil’s life held at the Denmark Sea Rescue  Club at Ocean Beach on 20th June. Surf Club members formed a Guard of Honour when the casket left the club for a private cremation.
Right: Phil and Nicki at Denmark on ANZAC Day ‘14

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Peter Peelgrane 3/69

Los Angeles Times, 14 February 1992
Ft. Collins, Colorado. The pilot of a TV helicopter that crashed in icy waters was revived after his heart had stopped beating for up to 45 minutes, said doctors. Peter Peelgrane’s (3/69) body temperature was 71.6 degrees – normal 98.6 – when he was taken into the emergency room at Poudre Valley Hospital, spokesman Mike Vogal said. Doctors said the cold water probably saved his life by effectively refrigerating his body. ‘If this were a summer day and the water was warm, we wouldn’t even try.’ Dr. Mark Guadagnoli said. The 46 year-old pilot was in a critical condition Thursday but his heart was beating normally.
The Bell 206L-3 helicopter, owned by Denver station KUSA-TV, crashed Wednesday (13th February) into the ice-covered Horsetooth Reservoir, just west of Ft. Collins in heavy fog. The pilot was flying to Ft. Collins about 6 miles north of Denver, for scheduled maintenance, station officials said. Sonar located at least two bodies at the bottom of the reservoir. Authorities did not know whether there were two or three passengers aboard.


Pittsburg Post-Gazette, 10th July 1995
Peter Peelgrane, an Australian pilot who flew helicopters for Denver TV stations before he was seriously injured in a 1992 crash into the ice-covered Horsetooth Reservoir, died on Friday of pneumonia. He was 49. Two photographers on board the KUSA-TV Channel 9 helicopter with Mr. Peelgrane when its engine quit were killed in the crash near Fort Collins. By the time Mr Peelgrane was pulled from the icy waters 40 minutes after the crash his heart had stopped. He was in a coma for a month and suffered memory and speech loss.
The Sydney native learned to fly with the Australian Army, going on a number of rescue missions into the outback and helping the government map unchartered parts of the New Zealand jungle. He came to the United States in 1977 on a pilot exchange program and settled in Denver after leaving the service two years later. He started flying news helicopters for KMGH-TV Channel 7 in 1979, moving to KUSA 10 years later. Mr. Peelgrane is survived by his wife and five children.

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Brent Couper 1/70


Brent Couper (1/70)    by Mal Boyd (1/70)
Brent John Couper was born in Perth, W. A., on 15 March 1948 and completed his secondary education at Gateshead High School, NSW. He attended Newcastle University and graduated as a Bachelor of Science/Mechanical Engineering in 1969. Before entering the Army as a National Serviceman he was a student. Brent was posted to the RAEME Training Centre followed by a posting at Southern Command HQ EME (Electrical & Mechanical Engineers) EIS (Engineering Inspection Services?) where he completed his NS.
“Vale Brent, a giant in every way a man should be.” Don Edmunds (1/70)
“Brent was a real gentleman in the true sense of the word. Brent displayed some very special qualities at Scheyville, particularly empathy, listening and support for others. He was very much the quiet reflective type” Peter Balfe (1/70)
Brent Couper stood out in Class 1/70 not only because of his physical stature and his perennial nomination as class “Right Marker” but also because of his wonderful nature. When he passed away it brought out a flow of tributes quite unprecedented from many who reflected on a great person that had quietly but profoundly impacted on them all those years ago.
I was privileged to attend his memorial service recently at Athol Park overlooking Sydney Harbour with fellow classmates Terry Williamson and Bill Moss (both 1/70) as well as Greg Jenkins (3/70) who had connected with Brent in other ways. Terry summed it up well when he said that Brent was farewelled by his family and friends with a range of stories of his life and experiences, summed up by the caption “a life well lived”. Brent’s life was certainly rich in life’s experiences with a common thread being his real interest in all the people that he came in contact with and a genuine sense of humility and modesty as he always looked to support others rather than promoting himself, although we all appreciate that he had the Scheyville determination and competitive spirit – especially on the basketball court.
Brent’s first wife Linda was there as well as his most recent partner and carer, Jeanne. In between, Brent had lost his love, Joy with whom he shared a major part of his life. I passed the many comments from our class on to Linda and Jeanne and Jeanne’s response below says it all:
Brent always said that the Officer Training Unit was life changing. It pushed him further than civilian life. He enjoyed the team work, the leadership models and the responsibilities that grew out the ‘father and son’ scheme which helped orientate new recruits and which ensured both ‘father’ and ‘son’ did the punishment for a son’s misdemeanour. Brent said the Officer Training lit up paths that his engineering studies hadn’t. “The army showed me that I was more interested in leading men than designing machines.”
I’m glad Tony Sonneveld (1/70) remembers Linda fondly recalling pinning on Brent’s graduation Pips. Just a few weeks ago, Brent described “When you graduate from the Army there’s a passing out parade and a ball. For me at age 21, this was my first time in Army finery and it was very fine: navy blue pants, dinner jacket and waistcoat. The Armoured Corps had two yellow stripes down their trousers and a beret with one silver Pip on each shoulder for a second lieutenant. The Army asked a woman – a mum or sweetheart – to put your Pips on. And that was so moving.”
Thank you, thank you kindly for these memories and for being part of Brent’s life. Jeanne Walker