Seventeen years on, Nashos’ reunion still going strong

February 29, 2012

Strong interest has again been shown in the annual Bingara Nasho’s reunion, to be held on the weekend of March 10 and 11.  Organiser, Lucy Bilsborough, told the Bingara Advocate the Caravan Park is fully booked, with the overflow of caravans going to the Showground.

The Nashos’ reunion began as a low key event, organised by the late Ken Bilsborough, who, soon after the formation of the National Servicemen’s Association, thought it would be a good idea for former Nashos to come to a place where they could meet up and renew old friendships. As he lived here, Ken decided that the place for the reunion should be Bingara.

Nashos from around the country heard about the reunion, and the next year, it turned into a larger event, involving a street parade, service in the Memorial Gardens, and lunch at the RSL Club.

The success of the event lies in the low key organisation. Nashos and their partners, and in some cases, families, come to Bingara, catch up with old friends, then return home after the weekend.

Ken and his wife Lucy did the bulk of the organisation of the event, which continued to grow. In 2005, the 10th anniversary reunion attracted 280 marchers, and about the same number attended the luncheon.

A welcome night will be held at the Bingara Returned Services Club on Friday March 9. Darts Club members find they usually have a few extra players on that night, as some of the Nashos join in the competition.

The Parade in Maitland Street begins at 11am on Saturday, March 10,. The parade will be led by the Inverell Pipe Band, and will include vintage cars. Some of these cars will carry Nashos who cannot march.

The march culminates in the Memorial Service in the Memorial gardens, and is followed at 12 noon by a lunch and reunion.

The annual National Servicemen’s church service will be held in St. Johns Anglican Church on Sunday, March 11 at 9am, and will be followed by a roast lunch at the RSL Club.