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Cowra Japanese Garden welcomes you to
(Cherry Blossom Festival)
26 and 27 September 2009
A feast of Japanese
Culture from A to Z
Aikido, Art, Bonsai, Calligraphy, Crafts, Film,
Gagaku, Hochoushiki, Ikebana, Jewellery,
Karate, Kites, Kimonos, Koto, Nori Rolls,
Origami, Sakè, Shakuhachi, Singing, Sumos,
Sushi, Tai Chi, Taiko, Tea Ceremony, Traditional
Toys, Yakitori, Zen garden and much more.
Phone 6341 2233 for more
details or visit the website
Sakura Matsuri is recognised as a 2009 Regional
Flagship Event by Tourism NSW.
The first lines of the faded page read,
" Throughout his tour of operational
duty Flying Officer Jack has accomplished his
duties with determination and exceptional
skill...This officer has never let either
adverse weather or enemy opposition deter
him from completing his allotted tasks.
On one occasion 70 bursts of accurate
anti-aircraft fire were directed at his aircraft
but, after taking evasive action, he returned
to the target and completed his mission.
Another time Flying Officer Jack's aircraft
was hit by fire from the defences and severely
damaged but nevertheless, despite difficulty
in controlling the aircraft and in adverse
weather, he persisted in his endeavours and
successfully completed his mission."
The brave actions of Flying Officer
Gordon Jack during World War II led him
to being awarded the Royal Australian Air
Force's Distinguished Flying Cross.
While he may have been an
experienced pilot and a dedicated soldier,
he was also a keen golfer, a loyal worker
and a larrikin. The Gordon Jack I knew
was a bossy, stubborn old thing who
always had a cheeky grin on his face; that
man was my grandfather.
Growing up, my Pop didn't say much
about the war, so I didn't really know much
about his life when he was young. I recently
decided to research and find out more.
I began looking on the Australian War
Memorial's website and there I found the
recommendation and confirmation for
Gordon Jack to receive the Distinguished
Flying Cross. It was strangely wonderful
to look at the screen and see my Pop's old
address, the date of his enlistment and his
next of kin, my grandmother, Norma Jack.
I also found that the Australian War
Memorial has a copy of my grandfather's
book, 'Gordon Jack -- an autobiography'.
While the convenience of the internet
is great, and I was able to access a lot of
information, I really wanted to see some
original documents, so I arranged a time
to visit the research centre.
While many people visit the memorial
to be dazzled by The Hall of Memory
or to place a poppy on the Roll of
Honour, there is also a research centre
onsite. The research centre is the single
most important resource for researching
Australia's military history. At the centre
they have access to official and private
records, including unit war diaries,
squadron records, letters and diaries.
Walking into the memorial sent a
shiver down my spine; you can almost feel
W ia ies
JONI SCANLON was able to discover
more about the fascinating past of her
grandfather and his time at war, using
a Canberra institution.
FLYING HIGH: This photograph is the final
reconnaissance flight of Gordon Jack in a
Spitfire over the Arno Valley, Italy.
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