About The Association

The 17th Construction Squadron Association was formed for members past, present, future or attached to the squadron, regardless of their corps.


Our Story

During the Second World War, about 1943, the company Australian Durex Products was formed by a consortium of American manufacturers.

The company was formed to produce the much-needed items of sandpaper and grinding wheels to support the Arms and Munitions industries. The company continued and expanded after the war with several name changes, one of which in August 1951 was Behr-Manning (Aust) Pty Ltd.

During the Behr-Manning days a new product, the now very popular “transparent cellulose” or sticky tape was developed at the Lidcombe NSW plant. Thousands of people wrote the company telling how they had “fixed” something or mended it with “BEHR” or “BEAR” tape.

The fame spread and the talk of adhesives, sealants, electrical, masking, packaging tapes and grinding wheels became “BEAR” products, although very few were ever officially called “BEAR” in the catalogue.

During this time the Behr-Manning company held a competition among staff and families for a slogan that would be suitable for use in advertising. Two ladies, both wives of employees came up with the slogan “A Little Bear will Fix it”. Pat Hartmann and Lorraine Handel shared a ten-pound prize.

The Little Bear was born.

The Americans loved it and adopted the slogan in the US and all over the world. The company had several more name changes over the years and is currently trading as Norton Pty Ltd.

On 20 Sep 1970, 17 Construction Squadron celebrated its 21st birthday. It was at this time that the unit adopted the “Little Bear” symbol and the motto “A Little Bear will Fix it”.

This motto carries on today.

Our Mission & Vision

The 17th Construction Squadron Association exists to support it’s members through the creation, promotion and retention of lasting ties between our members and the communities we engage.

Our Key Objectives

  • To promote social and intellectual interaction between past and serving members of the Squadron.
  • To promote and assist in achieving the welfare and military efficiency of the Squadron and its serving members.
  • To encourage a spirit of loyalty to Australia and to encourage and assist members of the Association and those eligible for membership of the Association to take an active part in matters of national importance, particularly matters of defence.
  • To assist in safeguarding and preserving all items of historic interest to the Squadron;
  • To perpetuate and foster the traditions of the Squadron;
  • To print and publish any newspapers, periodicals, books or leaflets that the Association may think desirable for the promotion of its objects.
  • To affiliate and/or co-operate with kindred organisations within and without Australia.
  • To be and remain non-racial, non-party political and non-sectarian.

How We Operate

Unlike most associations, the 17th Construction Squadron Associate typically operates virtually. This is predominately due to our desperate nature with members from all over Australia patronising the association.

Annual General Meetings are typically conducted every two years as part of our reunion events.

How we support our members


Member Support


Family Support


Community Engagement


Unit Functions


Our Committee

Michael Borg standing by a 17th Construction Squadron G Wagon

Michael Borg


A former Sapper of the Squadron Michael deployed on AACAP Jumbun, East Timor (INTERFET) and OP Gold (Sydney Olympics); discharging during August of 2001.

Michael is deeply passionate about the Little Bear and after ANZAC Day in 2009, a group of sappers reformed the Association and he has held the role of association president ever since.

Former and current members, family and friends

Become a member today, its easy.

Email Us



C/- 17 Const Sqn Association
8 Foster Place Griffith NSW 2680