History of the Down-Under Reunions
The idea for Down-Under Reunions happened when Terry Hales (NSW) and Bill Davis (QLD) met at a restaurant on the Gold Coast to celebrate Christmas and also meet for the first time with other Queensland Vindi Members (also present was Wilf Downs on holiday from NZ). Terry and Bill both newsletter editors had been in contact with each other for some time on mutual Vindi matters and had introduced each others family into the conversations so when meeting for the first time was quite a reunion. Sitting down together after lunch and enjoying a coldie both said together at the same time how about a real get together with all branches invited. Sadly Terry crossed the bar on 2nd September 2013 but not before he had been to and indeed hosted many reunions.
   
   
Well that’s how the Down-under Reunions started 8 months later in 2001, the first being in Coffs Harbour organised by Terry Hales with just 26 Vindi lads and partners attending, from mostly NSW, QLD and NZ. With little lead up time it was a great event, even with just a few with their partners. New friendships were bonded with the same interests and backgrounds and talk went into the wee hours and was resolved to do it again next year with a bit more organisation.

Photos of the
Coffs Harbour Reunion
   
   

Photos of the
Nambucca Reunion
Between Queensland’s Rob Lynde, Brian Hunt, Bill Davis and Terry Hales, Nambucca Heads (NSW) 2002 was selected and joint initial planning took place, unfortunately with the vast distance to travel from Terry’s home QLD took over. The reunion was based in a caravan park on the edge of the river with events held in marquees supplied and erected by the Army, many other sponsors coming to our aid including Rotary who cooked a steak lunch on the last day. Nambucca Bowls Club being the venue for Fridays “getting to know-you” and the Saturday formal. With an estimated 160 present for the formal dinner and dancing into the early morning this reunion was hailed as one never to be bettered only equalled.
   
   
Soon after Nambucca with Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) reunions on a roll Queensland opted to hold a reunion in Tweed Heads 2003 with basically the same team organising the event. Seagulls Sports Club was selected as the venue for the 3 day event and Vindi lads staying at various accommodation in the area. Many new ideas were put in place such as a horse race afternoon like we had at sea and fancy dress for the last night. Much entertainment was organised, so much so it was hard to attend all. Another great success, though poor transport and breakdowns to the lift dampened it a tad. An estimated 180 Vindi lads and partners attending at one time

Photos of the
Tweed Heads Reunion
   
   

Photos of the
Napier Reunion
At a meeting in Tweed Heads, New Zealand took up the cudgel and Napier was declared to be the next venue for Down-Under Reunion 2004. The venue Napier RSL and most Vindi lads staying at the Kennedy Holiday Park made it a winner. Another great success due to the hard work put in by Alex Bailey, Tony Scott, Trevor Castleton and many others. This reunion brought together 220 Vindi lads and partners, many Australians coming over to take a holiday as well and see New Zealand, for many the first time.
   
   
South Australia took up the challenge to host the 2005 Down Under Reunion. The venue for that year’s reunion was Tanunda in the Barossa valley, a wine growing area with beautiful unmatched scenery. Once again the reunion was a huge success with thanks going to the organising committee.
 
Photos of the
Tanunda Reunion
   
   

Photos of the
Umina Reunion
In 2006 it was the turn of New South Wales to host the Reunion. The venue was Umina, on the Central Coast region of NSW.
 
The 2007 reunion was in Fremantle, Western Australia. The WA branch is a very small branch but they did a wonderful job of hosting a very successful reunion.

Photos of the
Fremantle Reunion
 

Photos of Christchurch
The 2008 reunion in Christchurch in New Zealand was a huge success despite some initial setbacks. The organising team are to be congratulated on a magnificent effort. For photos click on the photo of Christchurch Cathedral.
   
Queensland hosted the next reunion at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. To see the photos click on the photo on the right.

Caloundra Photos
 
Western Australia hosted the 2010 reunion. Click the photo on the left to go to the photos of this magnificent event. Click on the bus for photos
 
South Australia is the venue for the 2011 reunion. It was held at West Beach which is a beautiful Adelaide suburb. Click on the photo for photos  
 
Queensland hosted the reunion, on the Gold Coast in 2012. Click on image for photos
 
Hawkes Bay Branch hosted the Reunion in Napier in 2013. Click on image for photos.  
 
This year it was Western Australia's turn to once again host the reunion in Fremantle. Click on the photo of Fremantle Prison for the all the photos of this year's reunion.  
 
Great friendships have been bonded and many over a swinging the lamp session found they were at school together or sailed together, the camaraderie forged all because they were once institutionalised on a cockroach invested hulk of a ship and trained under very strict discipline.