ExFortuna Survey Association

 

The formation of the ExFortuna Survey Association was adhoc and commenced as a series of informal social gatherings by serving and past members of the Army Survey Regiment. The aim of the group was to satisfy the need to continue the fellowship and Esprit de Corps that had been so strongly formed by members of the Survey Regiment and the Survey Corps over their years of service together. These functions were very often held at Fortuna and were usually in the “neutral” unit BBQ area so that past members of all ranks and their families could join together. This situation continued until about 1992 when the group was in danger of folding.

 

Colonel Don Swiney MBE had just retired as the Survey Corps Director and had moved to the Bendigo area and John Hogan approached him to help re-invigorate the Association. Don as President together with a number of long serving unit members formed a committee to continue and build on the good work started initially. As well as maintaining the social gatherings they commenced the publication of a newsletter and adopted its name as “Magna Carto” flowing on from a series of so named Unit newsletters produced in July 1943 by the Land Headquarters Cartographic Company.

 

Following the tradition set, the flavour of the newsletter remained light and was never to be taken too seriously. After what seemed like a never-ending barrage of official reviews over many years it became apparent that the Survey Corps as we knew it would end, and that the Army Survey Regiment located at Fortuna would also close. It was decided that the Unit history had to be written and this task fell to the members of the Ex Fortuna Survey Association. To meet the funding requirements of the history project, the Association became incorporated on 21 May 1996.

 

The Survey Corps flag was lowered for the last time and Army Survey Regiment was disbanded on 29 November 1996. Valerie Lovejoy was commissioned to write the Unit history and it was published in March 2003. Having printed some 15 million coloured maps and over half a million ciphers and secret books those that served during WWII will remember Major Bill Sarll’s very appropriate final address ” The job we had to do was so well concluded that the name LHQ Cartographic Company can be regarded as a Hall Mark for service and efficiency throughout mapping organizations. Our fun was grand and ever with us and helped to cement those friendships which I trust will remain for all time.” The ExFortuna Survey Association continues to foster and facilitate that fellowship between both members of the Army Survey Regiment and past members of the Survey Corps.

 

Gary Warnest President