As Whiskey Company was made part of this Brigade after camp was established, we were placed in
an area of Nui Dat which was away from the perimeter of the camp. This meant we were not
required to have sentries on duty each night. Initially much of our time that was spent in base was
used in making our tent lines as comfortable as possible. We never really appreciated having a bed
a mattress and a pillow supplied at base camp until we saw what other companies had in their lines
when we were there on sentry duty at night. In almost every camp we saw that they were in a tent
on the ground on camp stretchers with very little else except sand bagged walls outside the tent.
Even though much of what we had was made from ammunition boxes we at least had floors and
side walls about a metre tall. Of course having the bed, mattress and pillow was just luxury. Where
we could, we used the timber for shelves and storage containers. Our bar was decoratively painted
inside and we had a Maori designed archway outside Company Headquarters. We seemed to spend
days initially sand bagging our tents, building fences in various parts of the company lines and
ensuring the grass was cut short. However even though our lines were important our posting to Sth
Viet Nam was primarily to assist in the war that was occurring there.
Following long operations on return to Nui Dat we would spend much of the first three to four hours
cleaning our weapons and kit, packing our dhobi (washing) and handing that in to the Q Store and
finally showering and cleaning ourselves up. Of course if the operation was a short one, a week or
less, then less time was required for these tasks. The difference was that following the longer
operations it meant we would have a barbeque prepared for us to enjoy. These barbeques would
often continue well into the night and returning from long operations was always a relief as well as a
feast. Camp activities of course included our bar for a majority of our boys or the movies for many
also which were screened on an outdoor screen behind the bar. As well as these activities you could
always find a game of cards going on somewhere within the lines. The serious players would be
playing with a minimum bet of $10 this meant that only the serious players were found playing there.
The games played varied from Slippery Sam, Poker to Pontoon.
In base camp down near the airstrip was the Dust Bowl and the PX Store (Postal Exchange) which
sold all sorts of items from Tape Decks to Bottles of Alcohol. They had a large variety of things for
sale at very low prices. Many of us took advantage of shopping and at such good rates and it made
our pay go a long way.