Date(s) - August 27, 2021
12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club
Categories No Categories
Don’t miss one of the most important and auspicious functions in the history of the Australian Cricket Society… and the very first to feature the Governor-General of Australia, David Hurley AC, DSC, FTSE.
His Excellency is launching the compelling, must-read biography of soldier-cricketer Tony Dell, whose life was forever tarred by the Vietnam War.
The only Australian Test cricketer alive to have seen active service, Tony’s life fell apart after Vietnam. By his mid ’60s, he was virtually penny-less and living out of his mother’s garage when he belatedly was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, beginning his quest to address the issues of men’s health and assist fellow Vietnam sufferers via his charity Stand Tall For PTS.
In Vietnam, Tony witnessed atrocities from which he never recovered. Rarely could he sleep for more than two hours per night. His marriage crumbled and he became estranged from his three children.
The appearance of the Governor-General, a most distinguished soldier, is a mark of the universal respect Tony has among Australia’s Defence Force.
This is a luncheon to savour. You will be challenged like never before. This is an unmissable emotional rollercoaster. Please book early as many from the Forces will be attending among a multi-media function, extending past our immediate memberships. PLEASE ACT NOW TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT. Reservations and pre-payment are a must on a first-in basis.
Autographed copies of Tony’s book And Bring the Darkness Home will be available on the day. It is a $50 hardback. We have access to only a limited number of signed copies. Only those who attend are assured of the autographed version. (for those who cannot attend send $60 including post to Wayne Ross, his details are below)
The Australian Cricket Society regards this event as our most important since Sir Donald Bradman’s appearance at the 1973 Annual Dinner.
Bookings and payments through ACS secretary Wayne Ross on 0416 983 888
Costs: $85 ACS /Taverners members, $95 friends
Wayne’s email is [email protected] and address PO Box 4528, Langwarrin, 3910, Vic.
We prefer payment via EFT but we also provide a Paypal option for your convenience, below
Our Bendigo Bank details for EFT transactions: BSB: 633 000, Acc No: 143226314.
Please record your surname and number of guests for whom you are paying: For example: DELLSMITHx2
Here is a preview of Tony’s story:
Private Tony Dell and a handful of his mates had lost their way in the blackest of jungles south-east of Saigon. A routine mission soon became their worst nightmare. Just as they were bedding down, having resolved to wait until first light to re-track their steps, a large enemy platoon marched directly at them. Any sound and they were dead.
Dell held his breath hoping the Viet Cong wouldn’t hear the boom-boom-boom of his heartbeat. The Australians were hopelessly outnumbered. The enemy came within metres of the hideaways… and kept marching.
When it was finally safe to alert his superiors via their radio, Dell couldn’t speak. He was so traumatised.
‘We just had to shut up and hope that no-one spotted us,’ he said of his near-death encounter. ‘If someone coughed or the bloody radio had squelched, we were gone.’
His time in Vietnam left monumental scars. Seeing so many die violently triggered decades of torment. He saw a bullet blow an enemy soldier’s brains out. He saw another enemy soldier shot in the chest and his whole back explode with the exit wound.
‘I witnessed things that the human brain is not meant to experience,’ he said. ‘A couple of years in Vietnam changed my outlook on everything: life, cricket and people.’
The atrocities and horrific violence he witnessed left him sour, moody and impossible to live with.
Haunted by the vision of the dead and disfigured and jolted by flashbacks of enemy fire whistling overhead, rarely could he sleep for more than two hours each night.
It wasn’t until he was in his mid-60s, living in his mother’s garage that he learnt the truth of his own painful self-destruction and the reasons behind all the dramatic mood swings and marriage breakdown. A diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder emanating from his active service, allowed him to finally piece together the ruins of his brooding, troubled life and seek some answers.
Author Greg Milam, who penned And Bring the Darkness Home said Dell was ‘one more unlikely casualty of the ghosts of the Vietnam war’.
‘His personality changed entirely,’ Milam said. ‘The psychological toll of war had been confronting and overwhelming.
‘Having seen so much death, he was never able to process it, because he had a job to do.’
It is a fabulous, emotional read. We believe it will be one of the bestselling Father’s Day books of all.