Tony Macquet SAMVOINT Chairman

My Q1-2020 message

SAMVOA has been preparing to take part in its 17th official participation of an ANZAC Day, where our veterans turn out in their hundreds in Dress Code 1A to pay our respects to the achievements of the ANZACs and to remember the fallen, both ANZAC and our own. This year, due to the current pandemic, we will have to do this in some other way, following the cancellation of all parades and commemorative services.  

At a time when the world faces the greatest health challenge of our lifetime, we can all embrace the choice of responsible action and, in doing so; we are embracing the gift of life for ourselves, our families, our friends and our community. As our generation of veterans moves into later-day life, it is vital to take care that we do the right thing by staying at home, remaining at least 1.5 meters from others and to wash our hands regularly.

We are saddened to hear from Western Australia that our friend and fellow Veteran, Timothy Chadwick, passed away on the 25th March and our deepest condolences are extended to Tim’s family, his close friends and SAMVOA family who were associated with Tim. Tim is the 21st SAMVOINT member to have passed away that we are aware of, and it is sad that, in these times, we will be unable to acknowledge Tim’s passing in a fitting SAMVOA way.

The four SAMVOINT Entities around the world continue to facilitate opportunities for our members to meet, network and attend Remembrance Services in our host countries outside of South Africa. Most have had to be cancelled due to the prevailing situation; however, the organisation remains an extremely viable and effective one with many, well attended meetings, functions and get-togethers that develop many long-term friendships and networking.

Our Zone 2A Entity, SAMVOZA, in South Africa, continues to meet the local challenges through our Medal and Welfare Office in Johannesburg where there remain many cases of Veterans who are in desperate need of support and assistance, from filling in the required forms in order to receive Veteran benefits, to hospitalisation. Our Safe House Project is helping Veterans with temporary accommodation, whilst the DMV arranges their official Housing Benefits, which takes much longer to process than other benefits. This office also makes sure that Veterans are admitted and visited in our Military Hospitals.

My message this quarter is about us emerging on the other side of this pandemic with our health and economic futures intact. May this be the case and the SAMVOINT Executive joins me in wishing each of you all the very best over this difficult period.