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News from Mackay

20 October, 2022
Des Crowe with his son Paul who has a knapsack and chest gear on.

Our men’s dinner group met again on Monday 26th Sept. Another enjoyable night getting together with friends, some of our members have been coming to this dinner since the club was formed nearly thirty years ago. Our Chairman who, thankfully, has been in this role for many years welcomed members and the guest speaker Paul Crowe, a son of member Des Crowe.

Rex our secretary, a Chaplain, was on school holidays so Graham looked after the reflection.

On the weekend we celebrated the 108th world day of ‘Building the future with Migrants and Refugees’. He said we remember how we have been involved in this area. He also mentioned the ‘Prayer for the Migrants and Refugees’ and passed out a copy to members to say the prayer and think about the importance of looking after Migrants and Refugees.

He also spoke about the death of our beloved Queen Elizabeth who died on Thursday 8th Sept. The funeral took place at Westminster Abbey and the Burial at St George’s Chapel on Monday 19th Sept. Over four billion people watched it on television, and two thousand were in the Abbey for the funeral and eight hundred for the burial, millions of people viewed the coffin at various places or on the way to the churches. Religious leaders from various faiths were invited to attend.

The Queen had planned all the funeral arrangements including for the church, and who should attend. Archbishop Coleridge Brisbane has described Queen Elizabeth II as a great unifier, with an ability to bring people together. Celebrating a Requiem Mass at St Stephen’s Cathedral on Saturday 17th Sept. Archbishop Coleridge used his homily to observe the faith and character of the late monarch during her long reign over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

Billions saw and listened to the funeral and burial mass, the scriptures, the homily, and other parts of the service. It was very ecumenical with various faiths taking part in the mass. The services would have promoted a fostering of Christian unity throughout the world. We often say God works in mysterious ways. Let’s hope and pray the ceremonies of the day will bring people together.

Once again we had a Guest Speaker who was amazing. Des welcomed his son Paul Crowe and gave a brief description of Paul’s background. Paul was a policeman for 15 years and during this time he joined the CMF part-time. He is now a volunteer with a group called the QRAT.

Paul brought with him a knapsack, he also had gear that went on his chest. All of this gear is used when he is required for the group called ‘Qld Remote Area Tracking’ to search and rescue people. Most of our members had not heard of such a group. The group started from Gargett and comprises various people who love working wherever or whenever required, especially in bushland. The volunteers are mainly people who have been in the defence forces, some with SAS-type training. Paul in his previous job in the Police service and CMF loved working in this type of environment. The volunteers have various skills that come in handy for the rescues.

The group meets one night a week for training. The group has been going for five years. Whenever someone goes missing or needs to be rescued, the Police and SES will attend and call on QRAT. The group has the sophisticated gear and army-type experience to assist. This group will continue searching all night if necessary. Because of regulations, the Police and SES are not allowed to work into the night. Paul told us about some of the gear they carry which includes a hammock, army-style food rations, water, special night vision equipment, special mapping, compute-type gear, various types of communication equipment, first aid kits, and much more.  Someone will have drones. The group can be self-sufficient for several days.

QRAT provides members with resources that prepare its members to immediately, when called upon, safely target and directly relieve the suffering, misfortune, and helplessness of lost persons, and victims of natural disasters, and can provide dynamically capable personnel in any emergency including fires, floods, and cyclones. The group consists of volunteers, who love what they do and depend on donations to keep the system going. Some firms donate and our Regional councils help out. Because of the success of this group, another similar QRAT group has been formed in South East Queensland.

Kevin thanked Paul for telling us about this fantastic group, which is all about helping others.

Our next dinner is on Monday 31st October, the guest speaker will be Bishop Michael McCarthy. With all October dinners, Ladies are also invited to join us. The venue will be City Bowls Club, Shakespeare St 6.30 pm for 7 pm start. Please phone or text Kevin on 0487 747 412 if attending”