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Obituary--Neville Stanley Foldi 1930-2005.

"Nev" Foldi, who died in Canberra on 22 November 2005, was the longest serving member of the Federal Council of the Military Historical Society of Australia. He had been a Council member from 1978 to 2002. He was Sydney born and educated at Fort Street Boys' High School After school Nev spent twelve months as a cadet Patrol Officer in New Guinea before joining the Australian Customs Service in Sydney. There he became a member of the 30th Battalion, The New South Wales Scottish Regiment, rising to the rank of captain.

His old friend Ken White enlisted him as a member of the Military Research and Collectors Society, NSW Branch; Nev was interested in Australian military history, mainly First World War, and he was the proud owner of a collection of Britain's' model soldiers--complete sets in their traditional red boxes. Transferring to Canberra in 1963 Nev joined Ken White, Ken Lyon and myself to form the ACT Branch of the Society in May of that year. It was about the time that the NSW Branch broke away and the title Military Historical Society of Australia was adopted for our organisation.

In 1975 the ACT Branch had undertaken the responsibility to form the Federal Council of the MHSA and, after the hiatus which occurred in 1978, Nev stepped into the role of Federal President. I became Federal Secretary and, as we lived in the same suburb we were able to establish not only a good working relationship on Society matters but also to become firm friends, a friendship which continued until the present.

Nev held the office of President for four years and in those years his leadership proved a stabilising influence in an organisation somewhat in disarray. When he relinquished the Presidency to Hans Zwillenberg, Neville immediately undertook the post of Society Treasurer, a difficult role with the number of Branches comprising the Society. In spite of the complexity he could be relied upon to produce the annual balance report by the due date. Nev carried the responsibility for 20 years, retiring from Federal Council in July 2002.

An occasional contributor to Sabretache, he maintained his membership and an interest in the affairs and activities of the Society. In Federal Council his contributions to discussion of Society affairs had always been considered and straight-forward. His wise counsel will be missed.

From 1997 until shortly before his death, Nev undertook voluntary work in the Research Section of the Australian War Memorial. He had a life-long interest in the Scouting movement, he had been a Scoutmaster at one time and was for several years the Secretary of the Shakespeare Trust, a fund set up to support Scouting in Canberra.

His funeral service was attended by members of the Society including most of those who had been associated with Nev on Federal Council. I was able to present a tribute to Neville's work in support of the MHSA and to pass on to Ann and her family our sympathy for their loss. We have lost a good friend and a loyal member.
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Publication:Sabretache
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Words:509
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