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Pre-Christmas Concert For Troops In East Timor


Pre-Christmas Concert For Troops Serving In East Timor

Australian and New Zealand military personnel serving on overseas deployment in East Timor have taken time out from their normal tasks to enjoy performances by leading entertainers.

John Schumann and his band, the Vagabond Crew, comedian Gary Bradbury and singer Chantelle Delaney performed a series of concerts at military bases in East Timor, as part of the 17th Tour de Force. The concerts follow the tradition established almost 10 years ago to the day, when leading Australian performers entertained more than 4000 troops from countries serving in the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET).

Commander of Australian and New Zealand personnel now deployed in East Timor, Commodore Stuart Mayer, thanked the Tour de Force for bringing world-class entertainment and a taste of home to the troops.

“Since the days of INTERFET, Australian entertainers have answered the call to come and entertain our troops on overseas deployment,” Commodore Mayer said at the end of the concert.

“Again we have seen a great response from the Australian entertainment industry and we are grateful to the entertainers who have come here to perform.”

Private Joseph Nolen, a 25 year old soldier from Townsville summed up the sentiments of the troops, saying he enjoyed the concert, but noted that his loved ones were not far from his mind.

“I miss my family heaps,” he said with a proud smile on his face.

“I hope they have a great Christmas and are happy to know I will be home soon.”

The Tour de Force concerts took place in an improving environment in East Timor, where peace and security has increased considerably since the violence that led to the creation of INTERFET in 1999.


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