OEM Functions and Events
Initiated and maintained as a means of positive reinforcement for our proactive welfare focus, the calendar of functions, events and outings OEM offers our members is a popular and much appreciated area of our activities.
Activities that are socially inclusive and encourage our members to communicate, share common interests and enjoy themselves, in a casual and unstructured environment, have a positive influence in personal lives and relationships. We travel, explore, celebrate, support, share and enjoy each others company.
* From left. Tony, Bill, Brian and Alan about to head off for a day fishing.
- Vietnam Veterans Day - 18th August (Co-incides with the Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan)
Yarra Valley Vietnam Veterans March
OEM supports the Yarra Valley Vietnam Veterans Group by assisting with the organization of the annual March within the Yarra Valley. The March is organised by a local R.S.L and takes place just prior to the 18th August (Vietnam Veterans Day). The March is rotated between different locations each year and OEM Members march under the OEM Banner. Refreshments are available after the March and Service. We encourage not only OEM Members, but all Vietnam Veterans within the area to march and support the Service.
Boronia Dawn Service - OEM Sub-branch (18th August)
Our Sub-branch conducts a Dawn Service each Vietnam Veterans Day. A guest speaker is invited to give an insight into some aspect relevant to Vietnam Veterans. A "Gunfire" breakfast is provided for attendees.
Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance (18th August)
A march and service is conducted each year at the Shrine. It is organised by the Victorian State Branch of the VVAA.
- Badge Week
During the week or so preceding Vietnam Veterans Day, our Badge Week co-ordinators ably assisted by a large number of volunteer members, team up to raise the funds we need to allow us to provide services for many of our members. This generally involves being paired up for a few hours and "manning" one of the booths we locate across our region. Our Members sell badges at various shopping centres, Bunning’s stores and supermarkets ranging from the Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges and many other locations within our area. All funds raised go directly into our Welfare Fund.
Badge Week not only generates much needed funds but also raises the profile of Vietnam Veterans in the community. It's a good opportunity for social connection and interaction and to connect with Vietnam Veterans not in the VVAA. Our members find this a very rewarding experience and many opt for two or more shifts.
OEM Members commemorate ANZAC Day at a number of RSLs within our region, at the Shrine Dawn Service, and the March along St Kilda Rd.
During ANZAC Day week a number of our members volunteer to attend various combined school services, and other community locations, as guests to provide a connection and interact with the community as well as to provide younger people with an insight into Australia's military history.
Our OEM Sub-branch is regularly invited to lay wreaths at many of the RSLs within our "geographical patch". Locations include, Yarra Glen, Healesville, Warburton, Mt Evelyn, Emerald, Upwey Belgrave, Croydon, Bayswater, Ringwood, Boronia & Waverely RSLs. We seek volunteer members to represent OEM at all locations.
In conjunction with Local Branches of Legacy, OEM participates in the laying of wreaths at several large School Services within our area. These include Lilydale Combined Schools Service, Ferntree Gully Schools Service and the Upper Yarra Combined Primary Schools (Yarra Junction) Service. Each year we seek Members to represent EOM at these important occasions.
OEM also assists Legacy by taking part in Nursing Home ANZAC Services in the Lilydale area. Members are asked to consider participating at these events
- Spirit of ANZAC Awards
OEM, in conjunction with the Knox Falcons Junior Football Club, co-sponsors the “Spirit of ANZAC Awards”. These annual awards recognise a junior player in each of the 10 Junior Grades of the club who best demonstrates the "ANZAC spirit".
The awards are presented at an Award Night Ceremony at the Club Rooms of the “Knox Falcons” in early May each year. With some 300 guests, Award Night is the Falcons seasons' most important and well attended evening. In attendance are players, Club Committee, families, the Federal Member of Aston, as well as OEM Committee and Members. All OEM Members are very welcome to attend this great evening.
- Remembrance Day Services
Representatives attend Services and lay wreaths at various locations throughout our OEM area. These include RSLs at Yarra Glen, Healesville, Warburton and other locations. We also attend the Remembrance Service held at the Commonwealth War Graves Area at Springvale Cemetery on the Sunday before the 11th of November.
- Annual General Meeting
All Members are invited to attend the OEM Annual General Meeting to vote on various issues and nominations for OEM Committee positions. The Meeting usually occurs around February each year and is followed by a BBQ.
An on-going and varied calendar of functions gives everyone something to look forward to and covers the wide ranging interests of our membership. Typical of the functions are:
- New Members Breakfasts
These take place once or twice a year, the frequency being dictated by new membership numbers. Many existing Members take the opportunity to join with new Members and welcome them into the Sub-branch at a hearty breakfast. New members are presented with VVAA badges and have their photo taken as a group along with current current Committee Members.
- Christmas Lunch
Probably one of the most eagerly anticipated of our regular functions. Up to 150 Members gather to celebrate Christmas,
2 or 3 weeks prior to Christmas Day, each year. There is usaualy entertainment provided along with a sumptuous Christmas lunch. Much good Christmas cheer and merriment ensures that this function will be on the OEM calendar for many years to come.
- Footy Grand Final Celebration
Another regular function celebrated just prior to the AFL Grand Final Day each year. Members often wear their favourite team colours and sit down to a fully catered hot breakfast. We often have a guest speaker. A fun morning for all.
- Monday Men's Coffee Club
An informal gathering of our male members at a chosen location on the first Monday of each month. A good chance to catgh up. We share a large table and share a yarn and a laugh.
- Casserole Lunch
WE usually have this activity on a Sunday around the middle of the year at the Boronia RSL. Members bring along
a casserole or sweet or salad etc to share. The lunch is gaining in popularity each year and usually attracts 50 or more Members each year. Again, a lot of fun and an enjoyable day.
- Other Functions
Throughout the course of the year we also conduct a number of 'one off' activities. These are really only limited by our member's imaginations.
Outings are always well attended. We often take a bus, or buses, and cars and head off to an event or for a change of scenery.
"Gypsies" Caravan Club
The formation of the OEM Gypsies is an example of the advantages and opportunities offered through having a large membership within the OEM Sub-branch. Three or four trips are organised each year. Sites chosen always include those places that also have cabins and other alternative accommodation available. "You don't need to have a caravan to be a Gypsy".
These could include going to a show, bus trips to various locations, etc.
Right: "Inclusiveness" - Photo courtesy of Bill Cane JP
Eastern Veterans Wives Group
The Eastern Veterans Wives Group attracts a large number of women to the many functions, events and outings organised throughuot the year. One of the most popular and regularly attended is the "WivesTea" which occurs once a month. Husbands/partners etc. also attend but are located at a separate table. See the "Wives Group" page for more information.