Joe Burns was a member of 25 Battalion and served in Greece during that disastrous campaign in 1941. he was a batman to the Battalion CO. After arriving back in Egypt he was medically downgraded and returned to NZ. I remember that ex-25 Battalion personnel visited Wigram in the early 1970s and when they saw Joe is was "how are you son!" cries from him all round. It was funny seeing these middle aged guys calling each other "son". Who remembers Joe's bike being thrown on the roof of the canteen? Also when he set his bedding on fire in block 2 and when they went to the Canteen to get him to unlock the door, Joe thought they were having him on until they shoved him to the window of the canteen and he could see the smoke oozing from his window
Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 29, 2020 11:58:55 GMT 12
Over the years loads of people have reminisced about Joe Burns, he sees to be one of those true legends of the Air Force (like Jimmy 'The Bull' Duncan, and Terry Wereta). But does anyone have a photo of Joe? I have never seen one.
Someone once suggested the RNZAF term "Joe Time" (meaning smoko) came from Joe Burns, is that true?
Joe time came from the the US Army/Marines. In particular for the RNZAF it came from WWII SWPA service where the Marines termed their coffee breaks "Joe Time" (Coffee was also referred to as a cup of "Java") I believe that the original term Joe came from the American equivalent of the YMCA service canteen vehicle that was originally driven by a man called Joe. The NZ Army equivalent is of course "Smoko" coming from a break to have a "derby"
Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 29, 2020 15:57:42 GMT 12
"I believe that the original term Joe came from the American equivalent of the YMCA service canteen vehicle that was originally driven by a man called Joe."
That is exactly the story I heard with respect to Joe Burns, that he had the original Joe Wagon, taking tea and pies around to sections. If this is not true, and it probably isn't, what was his actual job?
A photo of Joe. He was either taking the photo or manning the phones while everyone else was posing. Something like that. I think I have a pic of Ross Gibson but not at all sure about Joe. I never saw Joe drive anything, I am not sure I saw him walk anywhere. He had a bike..
He will be in the rugby pics.
This may well be taken about 1979 with Graham Holland, coach, on the right. He would have been at CTS then. It looks to be a Wigram Interbase team.
Last Edit: Jan 30, 2020 8:12:45 GMT 12 by baronbeeza
Is that not Joe Burns right in the middle of the group, the little fellow with glasses and woollen hat? Also the supposed origins of "Joe Time" have been extensively covered on this site over the years, and in other forums. It is all about the Triangle, symbol of the YMCA, even though that charity was not the only one to provide refreshments at morning and afternoon tea time, at least in the RAF there were several others. However, so far as I know, in RNZAF, the YMCA seems to have been the only one.
That is definately not Joe Burns in the photo. I knew him well from almost daily sightings during the 1960s at Wigram, particularly in the airmens club and sometimes local pubs. Had conversations with him several times. And he was of course the most dapper-dressed gentleman at the Riccarton races.
What some people don't know is that they don't know enough to know that they don't know anything
The presentation pic is from Interbase 1979 in Wellington. The comments with the team photo were thinking the same event. I see JK Allen and Lawrie Agnew were in the team along with Tony Katting. I can see Joe and Graham Holland in the pic but can't put names to the others at this stage.
I don't see the guys we know were in the team so I am thinking the photo is from an earlier event.
Am I right or........
Last Edit: Jan 31, 2020 8:23:00 GMT 12 by baronbeeza