Black Cat Trail - Sept. 08

The trek has sparked a deeper interest in the whole picture of the campains in PNG especially the 2/7th commando's

"I can't tell how much it meant to me to do the Blackcat and what a privilage it was to trek with you and the legends, thankyou all for the experience and friendship. The trek has sparked a deeper interest in the whole picture of the campains in PNG especially the 2/7th commando's. They were at Mubo, Wau, Bena Bena, Ramu Valley, Nadzab, Kaiapit, Bulolo, Kesaway, Dove Bay, Shaggy Ridge, Dumpu, Wewak. Even if I was fit enough I couldn't cover that amount of territory in the time I have left on the planet. I am going to the 2/7th reunion at Port Maquarie in November I will be taking the video footage I took on our trek and photos to speak about my experience."

Rob L'Estrange, NSW

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

To think what our soldiers endured is unbelievable you are so right, the knowledge and history of the track needs to be spread far and wide throughout Australia…

Dear Aidan

Well first of all thank you so much!!! This track has been something ive wanted to do for sometime and all the refferals from specialist paramedic,,, Mick Mair about you have never been more accurate. Sure at times I thought this is bullshit! But your encouragement and passion would get anyone across that track!!! Your knowledge of the Australian history is absolutely outstanding, and to think a mad Irishman is preaching what we should already know is embarrassing, thank you. Our group was a great bunch of people. Dave and I didn’t know anyone and we have met some wonderful ,good fun , good spirited people. The Legatees, well what can I say, beautiful people and they are a credit to those who have raised and nurtured them. So often along the track when we came to a difficult spot, that black hand would appear and hold mine to make it easier. The people along the track were a pleasure to come across. Certain people in my life doubted my ability to do this and to achieve it is something I will never forget thanks to you, Owen, Simmo, Dave Walker. To think what our soldiers endured is unbelievable you are so right, the knowledge and history of the track needs to be spread far and wide throughout Australia…. It should be at school.  Thanks so much once again.

Debby 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

A journey I will never forget... “stand tall and never give up”

Aidan,

Certainly a journey I will never forget nor wish to…….. so much to learn about the efforts of those that fought for us

“stand tall and never give up”

David Walker 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I want to say that your passion and love for the kokoda track is the biggest inspiration and I really appreciate that.

Dear Aidan,

I just want to thank you for this opportunity that for me I will never forget. I want to say that your passion and love for the kokoda track is the biggest inspiration and I really appreciate that. I know my dad will be watching over me and is proud as you said….. so thank you very , very much

Ashleigh Monk 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I really appreciate all the encouragement you gave us... I found you very inspiring and I admire your passion for Australia and its war history, it definitely shows in your talks.

Dear Aidan,

Thank you so much for everything. Doing the kokoda track with you was a wonderful experience I wont ever forget and I’m sure i will continue to learn from for years to come. I found you very inspiring and I admire your passion for Australia and its war history, it definitely shows in your talks. I really appreciate all the encouragement you gave us throughout the journey and I truly appreciate all the efforts you and the legends put in. once again thanks for everything.

Eliza 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

difficulties I encountered, Knowing that the “machine” even had trouble!!! Your passion for the history of kokoda and your knowledge in everything related has encouraged me to be more than I am. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, it will not be forgotten

G’day!!

Aidan, you have been a true inspiration throughout the track. At times I saw you struggle, become dehydrated and that helped me overcome the difficulties I encountered, Knowing that the “machine” even had trouble!!! Your passion for the history of kokoda and your knowledge in everything related has encouraged me to be more than I am. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, it will not be forgotten. I hope to do the track with you again in the not too distant future.. your mate,

Matty Woods 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

with your guidance, passion, knowledge and inspiration I feel that Australian spirit inside me and FINALLY understand what our great country is all about.

Dear Aidan,

Thank you so much for an amazing experience. I have always seen myself as a passionate Australian,  and now with your guidance, passion, knowledge and inspiration I feel that Australian spirit inside me and FINALLY understand what our great country is all about. You are an amazing person and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done and do not only for teaching Australians about the kokoda campaign but also for the great things you do for the PNG people. You are a modern day hero, you have an aura about you that nothing will ever destroy. I admire you and am inspired to learn more about the kokoda campaign to really know my country’s history and pass it on to others.  I would love to get a smaller group together and do the kokoda track again to experience more challenging and achieve more from this great place. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done and I thank you ,, Owen and Simmo for your help to get me through it, stay amazing!!

Tim Keary 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

It was everything I expected and more... an incredible adventure for me, emotionally and physically

Hi Aidan,

This was an incredible adventure for me, emotionally and physically. It was everything I expected and more. As Tyron said, your spirit is strong and your legacy is the legend that is kokoda. I will spread the story of kokoda because that is what you want and that is what all Australians need to know. We will meet again in the future im sure, until then…..

Michael Forbes 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

Your first speech at the Police Legacy Ball was inspirational, which is why I am here…

Aidan,

Thanks for the memories which you have helped create for me over the past 12 days. Thanks for taking me on 5 weeks out from starting the trek. I have learnt a lot from you about the kokoda campaign that I didn’t know beforehand. Your first speech at the Police Legacy Ball was inspirational , which is why I am here… you have a wonderful group surrounding you, which are a credit to you. Owen, you couldn’t ask for a better advocate and strong character and lovely, lovely man. So sweet and kind.  Simmo, is a genuine and dedicated supportive fun guy, who cared and helped so many along the way. Thanks for the pills on day 7. The group of people on this trip were a great and fun bunch. So many wonderful and outstanding characters. The Legatees …what a fun and inspirational group  of six wonderful youthful people. Their lives having had such a loss that I certainly cannot and don’t wish to yet experience but can certainly sympathise with the me. their strong and happy outlook on life and experiences are an absolute tribute to their upbringing and character. Again thanks for the memories and keep doing what you are doing. Like you say its sad that it takes an Irishman to do it, but having known a wonderful Irishman all my life (father) im happy and grateful that you are :-) take care and best regards

Peta Courtney 24/4/2012

 

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

When I walked past other groups there was little speech. Everyone in your group knew the meaning of teamwork and fun.

Aidan,

My kokoda Experience was one of mateship, generosity and most importantly Charlie. Thank you for surrounding yourself with amazing people, they had a great impact.. their generosity in particular. When I walked past other groups there was little speech. Everyone in your group knew the meaning of teamwork and fun. Simmo is brilliant and huge thank you to him. Meeting Charlie, sharing his life and stories is why I travel and why I would recommend Kokoda. It is important to learn others way of life in order to make a difference. Thank you for you moving service at Isurava.

Nicole Deabel 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

The passion, knowledge and determination you have is admirable. I have learnt a lot about myself on this adventure and I now know I can push the limits even further, so I thank you for helping me get to that level.

Aidan,

Wakey, wakey, …. Mate you are an inspiration to all Australians. The passion, knowledge and determination you have is admirable. I know in my heart and mind that I will pass on the knowledge and passion you have displayed over the past 12 days. You run a tight ship and it shows with your 100% success rate, congrats mate. The way you operate is a trait I will take on board myself in business and life. I have learnt a lot about myself on this adventure and I now know I can push the limits even further, so I thank you for helping me get to that level. I know we will stay in contact because I really want to do some photos relating to the PNG campaign. Thanks a million

Matty Veitch 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I really felt like I was leaving, listening, hiking with the best. Your knowledge and experience blew me away

Hello Aidan,

Thanks for everything. Walking kokoda with you and your team was an amazing experience. I really felt like I was leaving, listening, hiking with the best. Your knowledge and experience blew me away. The way you talk to people is something you should be proud of. You are one of those people tha when you talk everyone listens…. To be honest I didn’t know much about kokoda before coming into it and now I can say I do. Thanks again for everything I will put everything I have into the DVD.

Charlie Lambert, Assoc Producer Ch 9.  24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

Your passion and drive is truly amazing. Your love for PNG and the track is infectious but the experience I have got is life changing and without doubt one of the best things that has ever happened to me

Aidan,

Mate what can I say…….. Thank you!! Your passion and drive is truly amazing. You have taught me things about myself that I never will have discovered on my own. Your love for PNG and the track is infectious but the experience I have got is life changing and without doubt one of the best things that has ever happened to me. You are an aussie legend and our country and the Anzacs are all better off for having known you. Keep on telling your story, their story as only you can!!! I am proud and fortunate to be able to call you a friend. Thanks mate

Tm McCarthy 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

You have done more for the diggers and their memories than anyone. Your passion and drive is unmatched at keeping the story alive

Aidan,

Mate, you are a true Aussie legend,. You have done more for the diggers and their memories than anyone. Your passion and drive is unmatched at keeping the story alive. I’m privileged to know you and have certainly discovered things about myself because of the opportunities you have given me. You truly do deserve the Anzac Award. It could not have gone to a better Aussie!!

Chris Simmons, Paramedic , 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I’ve had an amazing, inspirational experience. You bring the experience to life, its to the point and no frills.. I loved it

Aidan,

I know its all been said before, but here goes short and sweet……just like meJ

Thanks to you, I’ve had an amazing, inspirational experience. You bring the experience to life, its to the point and no frills.. I loved it. I will be sure to spread the word and pass on as best I can all that you have given me in such a short time. You deserve all that comes your way and so much more. Thanks again

Sharlene Harriman 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I not only learnt a lot about the history of the campaign but also a lot about myself. Met some great mates along the way and will carry these memories forever.

To Aidan,

Thank you soo much for the experience and all the knowledge you shared with us along the track. I not only learnt a lot about the history of the  campaign but also a lot about myself. Met some great mates along the way and will carry these memories forever. Thanks again and congratulations on getting us all across and your award.

Nadene Carroll 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

amazing staff... I honestly have an understanding of what some of the soldiers felt during WW2 even though probably would have been happy to stay back and fight them rather than try to walk up some of those bloody hills

Hello Aidan,

Its hard to say what I went through on the track. You have some amazing staff, Owen, Simo. I honestly have an understanding of what some of the soldiers felt during WW2 even though probably would have been happy to stay back and fight them rather than try to walk up some of those bloody hills. I have a deep respect for what you do and wish you well in the future. Im pretty sure I said I’d take the helicopter, then I was walking away after you said “I’d complete the walk”. Once again thank you, your staff and amazing legends who without them I wouldn’t of made it through. I know that I’m deeply sorry and if I come back I will be properly prepared.

Regards Eric TEuben 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I will advise those who ask to train hard and prepare physically then just wait and see how the track decides to treat you

Hey Aidan,

Firstly thanks for leading us on this little journey. I came on this trek prepared, I believe however this was no guarantee for low points as I had many. If anyone asks me for advice I will tell them to train hard, prepare physically and buy  shares in a  chemist as preventative maintenance is always better than a cure. After this has been done I will say just wait and see how the track decides to treat you. It could be you or your mate next to you that is injured or sick. I find no greater pleasure than seeing someone doing what they love and are passionate about. This my friend is you, and it is an honour to be here for you to do this.

Thanks Dave Scott 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I appreciate your knowledge and passion for Australian military history. you have a great relationship with your legends and your friendships with local villages shines through

Hey Aidan,

I just wanted to thank you for leading us through an amazing country, a temultous track and a history of our nation which is clearly undertold.  I don’t express (man tears) like my flatmate Beggars did last year, but I appreciate your knowledge and passion for Australian military history.

Whilst you pushed us as a group, you achieved the objective and showed us the track is certainly alive and bites back (scratches and itches to prove it) you have a great relationship with your legends and your friendships with local villages shines through. It was a pleasure to complete this journey with my mates and colleagues so thank you for your patience . all the best and kind regards

Julia Bradley 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

Afantastic and memorable experience. I am very thankful that I got to do it with someone who has an obvious passion for the track, its history and the country.

Dear Aidan,

Thank you for a fantastic and memorable experience. I grew up in the wonderful country of PNG and learnt about the track from a very young age.. I had wanted to walk the track from a very young age.. I had wanted to walk the track for a very long time and am very thankful that I got to do it with someone who has an obvious passion for the track, its history and the country. Whilst my grandfather was not an Australian soldier, he fought for the British and was a prisoner of war, working on the Burma railway. This experience has brought me closer to understanding his hardships and struggles which is what I had hoped to achieve….and so for that, I thank you.

I also thank you for what you have done for PNG and the close relationships you have formed with the people of this country, because that is something I also hold dear. Wishing you all the best and congratulations on the Anzac of the year award.

Emma Huckins 24/4/2012

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