Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (9 April) . . Page.. 793 ..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
During his time as national president, he received many international awards for his distinguished service to veterans, including awards from veterans organisations in France, Poland, China, Europe and Indonesia. He was an honorary life member of the Royal British Legion and the Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association.
It is particularly poignant that he was honoured by Indonesia in 1992 in recognition of the fact that he was such an excellent human being and such a respected enemy and then good friend. At his funeral, one of his former colleagues told a great story about the Indonesian Chief of Staff, General Benny Moerdani, who, whilst in operations in hinterland Sarawak in 1965, was swimming and Alf, who was then with the SAS, had the general in his sights. He met the general at some time in the future and told him that he had not pulled the trigger because he was afraid of killing or hurting one of the undressed women who were also in the river. It was said at his funeral that perhaps he had lost his concentration.
Alf Garland was a man who would never give in if he believed that a cause was right. One issue was the wrongful dismissal of Air Vice Marshall Jim Fleming as director of the Australian War Memorial committee. Alf fought a great battle there. It was a battle that was lost, but it was a battle that he fought right to the end. He gave a lifetime of service to Australia, both in war and peace.
I met him on a number of occasions and had the honour of serving with him on a committee in 1985 when there were issues around the peace movement, unilateral nuclear disarmament, and a group was formed in Canberra with representatives of various bodies on it. He represented the RSL, and I represented a group called the Coalition for the Western Alliance. We did not win many battles with that group, which seemed to be more interested in unilateral disarmament and had much more of a peace bent in that way, but I came to have great respect for Alf Garland for his very strong views, logic, the force with which he would put his views and the great depth of experience of life that he brought to any situation in which he found himself.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara, four children and seven grandchildren. He continued till his death to serve the RSL and the veterans community in a range of executive positions and he was also an RSL national trustee from 1995. He continued with that commitment throughout his illness until his passing. I join with the Chief Minister in expressing condolences to his family and mourning a great Australian.
MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I join with the Chief Minister in expressing condolences on the passing of Brigadier Alf Garland, who had a singularly distinguished military career and exercised great service for the nation in terms of our veterans and their families.
Brigadier Garland graduated from the Royal Military College at Duntroon in 1953 and went on to serve in Korea, Japan and various staff, regimental and instructional appointments in Australia. As a commander of the 1st Special Air Service squadron in Borneo in 1965, he cut his teeth and really made his mark in terms of his professionalism. He was to go on later to be second in command of the 7th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in South Vietnam and a liaison officer for the commander, Australian Forces Vietnam, to the United States Army corps in Vietnam during 1967 and 1968. From 1968 to 1984, he served in various staff and training appointments, including Chief of Staff of Training Command and Deputy Chief of Personnel (Army).