'As the bugle plays the last post and chorus, the old men stood up proud and tall. But year after year their numbers get fewer, some day no one will stand there at all. But we shall never forget them.'
These words ring true for the national servicemen residing in Port Stephens whose numbers continue to dwindle over time.
Two years ago the Port sub branch, which meets once a month in Raymond Terrace, went searching for former Nashos to join their ranks or risk closing their doors.
"We did get some positive feedback [from the Examiner article] and managed to gain a couple of new members but our numbers are dwindling again," sub branch secretary Stan Allanson said.
"So we are putting the word out to see if there are any Nashos still residing in the Port Stephens or Dungog areas who would like to join us for a monthly meal, a chat and mateship. If we cannot raise any interest than I am afraid we may have to fold."
From 1951 to 1972 there were 800,000 young men called into National Service who completed compulsory training in the Navy, Army and Air Force.
The Port Stephens sub branch has about seven or eight active members who attend the monthly meetings and social outings.
"We also discuss issues such as the proposed changes to the White Card," said Mr Allanson, now aged 85.
The sub branch meets at 1.30pm on the third Wednesday of the month at the old council chambers on Port Stephens Street, Raymond Terrace. For information on how to join in call Stan Allanson on 0468 433 679.