An apology is owed
I was puzzled when reading about the push to promote John Monash to the rank of field marshal via an act of Federal Parliament (‘Ley backs step to upgrade Monash’, The Border Mail, October 23) because I knew nothing about the man, so I set about finding out a bit about him.
I found that he was a civil engineer and possibly is better known for all he did in Victoria, rather than on the Western Front in WWI. I was actually four months and 11 days old when he died and that was 87 years ago.
My father was a member of the First Battalion AIF and served on the Western Front in 1917 and 1918. It was difficult to get him to talk of his war experiences, but he always spoke proudly of Field Marshal Birdwood as the greatest Senior Officer of the time.
Dad left his youth and his health on the battlefields of the Western Front, but he always swore that he would never apply for a pension while he could work.
When he could no longer work, he applied for a pension and was told that he could not have one because “his medical records had been lost”.
He died months later.
I often wonder whether his “medical records” are in the vaults of Victoria Barracks in Melbourne, hidden among the records of his efforts to re-enlist during WWII.
I have been told by Legacy that my father was only one of a great many ex-servicemen who were refused pensions because their “medical records had been lost”.
It seems to me that it is time that the government of this country passed legislation ensuring that a proper apology is made to the families of those ex-servicemen.
P.L. Strachan, Thurgoona
The Centrelink treatment
In June 2017, my wife and I applied for and obtained health care cards from Centrelink Albury.
In May 2018, we received a letter from Centrelink in Canberra demanding full particulars of our economic position and income to enable renewal of our health care cards.
Early in June 2018, prior to going on holiday, we forwarded full documentation and information by express mail to Centrelink Canberra, retaining a copy of the documentation for our records.
On our return from holidays on August 17, we discovered that our applications for renewal of the health care cards had been rejected on the basis that we had failed to provide the necessary particulars.
On August 20, I telephoned Centrelink Canberra and was informed by Anita that two pages had been missing from the documents that were provided to Centrelink Canberra, and that we should go to Centrelink Albury and produce the missing pages there.
We presumed that Centrelink Canberra had lost the missing two pages, as there were no pages missing from the copy retained by us.
On August 22, we attended at Centrelink Albury and handed two employees the two missing pages retained by us.
They assured us that Centrelink now held all the necessary documentation, and we would receive our health care cards.
Two months have elapsed and we have still not received them.
We would like to know whether other Australians have received similar treatment from Centrelink.