Mark Povey - Keeping fit and fed

Running time
2 min 46 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We would do PT three mornings a week at six o'clock in the morning. So everybody was up early, three days a week. Once everybody else went to work, those of us who stayed within the house complex in the university compound in Mogadishu. We had Somalis who came to work for us. So we had an army RSM who gave the Somali workers jobs. I

would always be always getting requests from all the other parts of contingent to go and get stationery, paper or any other equipment they required. Even down to, I'd organise to get everybody's beret size so I could organise to get the UN berets, the UN badges, the UN cravats.

And to get stores in the UN system is not like going down the street and just walking in and asking across a counter. They make you jump through hoops. And so if you requested me to go and get some new biros or some carbon paper or paper, it would probably take me two days just within the UN system to be able to get that stuff to give it to you. Because I don't go to one person to get the paperwork signed, I would go to three or four people and each person had to have their own little stamp, and then a little bit of identification on their paper to make sure that they were justifying their existence within the UN scheme as well.

Every Friday, myself and we had a Navy Lieutenant, he was a supply officer. So we would have to organise to get down to the seaport. And we will take two vehicles down, and we will go down and do our rations run for the week. So the UN would give the contingents X amount of money for the amount of people that we had in the contingent, and we would go down to a company called Morris company, they were a company out of Brisbane, they had all the food, so we would go down there and and get our food from them so we could feed the contingent through the week and as as a storeman, that was part of my navy job, that's when myself and the supply officer would go down and get the food.

So the seaport where the food was, was probably about five kilometres as a direct route. That was too dangerous. So we had to go via a bypass route, which would take us about 25 kilometres to get back down to the seaport to get our stuff. And as I said, we'd go down with two vehicles, one driver and two shooters minimum.

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