ETHOS – Camaraderie and Sapper Kinship” of being a SAPPER

The RAE Association of WA (Inc) was first formed in July 1926, when a group of Ex Engineer soldiers held a meeting to form an association, who had an interest in being part of an organisation that was to be built on camaraderie and the kinship of being a Sapper.

There have been many ups and downs over the years both in relation with membership numbers, the structure of the association in regard to government regulations and control of Not for Profit Organisations and also in some cases the expectations of members.

This statement of Ethos and/or The Meaning of being a member of The RAE Association of WA Inc, is made to both remind and encourage us all, to follow the path of the intention and benefits of being a member.

As for any organisation, a committee is elected and in place to both run the administration of the organisation and convene meetings, gatherings, events, etc. and so forth for the benefits and participation of its members and the organisation overall.

In doing this, committees provide a variety of activities, events, meetings, to hopefully cater for as wide a number of their members as possible. However not all things are suitable to all members, all of the time.

So, this is when each member must remind themselves that the committee of an organisation and indeed the organisation itself, is not there to specifically to entertain its members.

It is there for all to participate in and be involved with each other and the organisation on the basis of the ethos and reason of the organisations existence/being.

Which in our organisations case, it is, “Camaraderie and Sapper Kinship” above all else.

In addition to the Ethos / Reason of the existence of the RAE Association, the following is a resume of other member benefits:

Purple Circle Newsletter

The composition and production of this unique circulation is the very epitome of the Sapper spirit, Ubique (everywhere), because it has been and still is the result of the efforts of just one Sapper. It was never intended to be so, but the position of President of the RAE Association of WA (Inc) seems to automatically carry with it the roles of writer, printer, editor, producer, photographer, distributer and provider to the organisation of four excellent newsletters per year, being the editions of:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Winter
  • Autumn

The receiving of each copy of The Purple Circle Newsletter would be the single most significant thing to most members, apart from them being a member of the association itself.

The Purple Circle Newsletter has become an integral part of the association and especially because it informs and communicates with all of the members.

It would be nice if it could become the endeavour of all members to contribute in any way possible to assist in the composition and production of this marvellous little circular.

Membership Cards

Provided by post, with receipts of membership fees or handed to members where possible at our meetings.

General Meetings

Are held five times a year with times, dates, location etc. notified to members via the Newsletter and email bulletin.

At each meeting a light luncheon is provided, normally via the good old BBQ or similar, together with free drinks as well.

Normally a small raffle is run also at each meeting.

Annual General Meeting

Once a year event of course, normally held in July. Luncheon and drinks are provided as for the General Meetings but with a little more upmarket trend. A raffle is also run at the Annual General Meeting.

Register of Assets

The association maintains a record of material items that are in the association’s possession and those that are donated. For further information please contact the Committee via: Secretary RAE Association WA email at [email protected]

Welfare Fund

The association has a separately operated bank account to the everyday business/general account of the association.

The funds in this account are there for granting to any member who may have extreme financial hardship.

An Association member who is able to demonstrate financial hardship shall upon written application and approved by a minimum of three members of the board, be entitled to welfare assistance.

Fellowship Lunches

Organised by our Social Members at no cost to the Association. Members and friends attend at their own cost and transport needs. Carpooling is encouraged for those unable to travel independently or wish to enjoy ale. Venues where Seniors Lunches or similar low-cost meals are on the menu are normally selected.

Where possible other venues of interest are considered for the event.

Flag Bearing Party

This band of Volunteers provide a service to present Flags of:

  • National
  • RAE
  • 13 Engineer Regiment
  • 13 Field Squadron
  • 22 Squadron
  • 22 Construction Squadron
  • RAE Banner to special events – such as Anzac Day
  • Funerals of members, at the family’s request or special events endorsed by the Committee.

Fund Raising


It would be very nice if our Volunteer group was a little larger, so if you can stand, walk and talk there is a spot waiting for you in this group.

Special Events

Where special events such as tours with bus hire, entry fees or similar costs are incurred. The costings are then tabled at a Committee Meeting to ratify that expenditure.

Representation of the Association

The committee, principally the President, provides the Association with representation to other like groups, organisations and bodies that the Association may be affiliated, including but not limited to:

  1. 13 Engineer Regiment
  2. 13 Field Squadron
  3. 22 Squadron
  4. 16 Battalion Group
  5. SASR Association
  6. RSLWA
  7. Army Museum of Western Australia
  8. DVA
  9. Other affiliate Corp Associations

Register of Members

The committee, principally the Secretary keeps a detailed list of all members which enables the organisation to be able to keep and make contact with every member.

This can also be a valuable tool for members wishing to know the where abouts of one of their mates.

Having a register of members can help to reunite Sappers and Families that have drifted apart over the years.


The Australian Pocket OXFORD Dictionary meanings of:

  • Ethos – “characteristic spirit, tone, of a community, settled character”
  • Camaraderie – “feeling of comradeship”
  • Kinship – “kindred peoples, subjects, spirits”