Probus members find the tank traps prepared in the Second World War to deter the Japanese army.
Probus members find the tank traps prepared in the Second World War to deter the Japanese army.

Visit to tank traps a feature of Probus club tour

A DEMONSTRATION of the training of law dogs, a tour of Tenterfield and a visit to the tank traps beside the Mt Lindesay Rd were features of a recent tour by members of the Warwick Combined Probus Club.

Lawdogs Australia, which is located at The Summit near Stanthorpe, trains dogs for protection and detection in law enforcement and security.

Manager and principal trainer Matt provided demonstrations of the skills and training of dogs at several levels. Training starts at the age of six weeks, when pups are exposed to contact with people and rewarded for performing simple tasks.

The exercises are presented in the form of games, which the dogs seem to enjoy. Several dogs were put through their paces.

The first bailed and guarded a "felon". Successive dogs demonstrated the ability to seize and release offenders on command and to quickly catch those who attempted escape.

Probus members hid a cache of "drugs", which was quickly found by dogs that were able to differentiate between residual and current scent to correctly identify the location.

The final performance was by a german shepherd, which was ready for transfer to another handler.

On command he bailed up an offender, guarded and cowed him, lunging with bared teeth, always falling short of contact.

On command the dog seized the offender by the arm and then released him.

He then gave chase when the offender attempted to abscond and had recaptured him within a few paces.

We were met at Tenterfield by Jan, a member of the Tenterfield Probus Club and a volunteer at the Tenterfield Visitors Centre.

She provided commentary during a tour of the important and impressive historic buildings, including the premises once occupied by the Tenterfield Saddler, who is well known through the music of Peter Allen.

The tour included visits to houses once occupied by other famous sons of Tenterfield, including the Father of Federation Sir Henry Parkes, Banjo Paterson and Major J.F. Thomas, who defended Breaker Morant.

The Tenterfield Bowls and Golf Clubs owe their success to Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen as they amassed large sums from Queensland residents who drove across the border to get their gambling fix. No doubt many Warwick residents contributed to the coffers.

After lunch at the bowls club, we set out in search of the tank traps, situated a few kilometres east of Tenterfield.

These traps were set up to bolster the infamous Brisbane Line to prevent Japanese armed forces from penetrating beyond the Queensland border in the expected invasion during the Second World War.

The Mt Lindesay Rd passes through a narrow gap in the granite ridges of the Great Dividing Range.

The traps consisted of three rows of closely spaced tree trunks, which rose about 1m from the ground.

Armed forces were stationed nearby, ready to blow up the road and divert the tanks into the narrow defile that housed the traps.

In surmounting the traps the tanks would expose their soft underbelly to the Australian forces, leading to their destruction and the defeat of the invasion. Such was the thinking in that era.

The Probus Club meets on the first Wednesday of each month to hear a variety of interesting speakers.

Members regularly take part in organised bus tours to places of interest and live theatre productions.

Information on Probus is available from Arthur Maynard, phone 4661 2447.

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