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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (9 April) . . Page.. 794 ..

MR PRATT (continuing):

Mr Speaker, as one of his infantry students, I remember him as inspirational. We used to refer to him-of course, behind his back-as Judy, which was a play on words. He was a firm and wise leader and a firm and wise instructor. Calm and measured, he was typical, with his lanky, sun-tanned looks and boxer's nose, of the tens of thousands of professional and volunteer soldiers who had for decades walked and fought on the jungle mountain ranges of Asia in support of fledging democracies and against the tyranny of undemocratic regimes.

Absolutely committed to his role as a leader in the RSL, he worked tirelessly to improve the position and situation of all veterans, widows and their dependants. In Canberra, we will remember Brigadier Alf Garland for the translations of his often cryptic phrases of expression, such as "Magpie 35, hit my smoke", a phrase used by Australians in Vietnam in reference to the Canberra bomber flights of 2 Squadron RAAF which would fly in support of Brigadier Garland's troops and his calling upon them to fire in support of his "smoke". That is where that phrase came from. That phrase, and others, are recorded on the wall of words at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Anzac Parade.

One thing Alf Garland might have wanted to take action on is the mooted plan by the French government to build an international airport which would threaten the war graves of 61 Australians, soldiers and airmen, who fell fighting for France, far from home, in the first and second world wars. Therefore, I take this opportunity, in memory of Brigadier Garland, to call on the French government, through its embassy, to consult deeply and sincerely with all the relevant allied and Commonwealth countries whose fallen lie in France. If our nations were able to reach an honourable compromise on this matter, I think Brigadier Alf Garland would entirely approve.

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, I rise to speak to this condolence motion as the wife of a retired Army brigadier who served his country for 30 years. Having witnessed first-hand the dedication to this country of our service men and women, I recognise Brigadier Alf Garland as a true Australian.

Brigadier Garland was a legend in the armed forces community. Before rising to the position of national president of the Returned and Services League, he served Australia as a soldier for 35 years in Korea, Japan, Borneo, Vietnam and elsewhere, at one time commanding the Special Air Service and earning a medal for distinguished service.

Brigadier Garland is best described as a man who gave a lifetime of service to Australia in times of both war and peace. He led the RSL during difficult times for veteran communities and was successful in recouping many benefits that had been taken away from veterans. Brigadier Garland was sometimes a controversial figure, as he was a man known to speak his mind-something not uncommon in this place, Mr Speaker.

He was a staunch monarchist who was fond of referring to those of us on the other side as roundheads. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in the lead-up to the republic referendum and was prominent in its subsequent defeat. Brigadier Garland was a distinguished, passionate and committed Australian and one of this nation's true heroes.

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