Around the Branches

 

ATC/AAFC Branch - Winter 2017

We open this report with our Branch’s heartiest congratulations to two of our members who were recognised for their community service work this year:
- Don Bergman OAM was recognised for his conspicuous community service over many years, and
- Jan Williams (wife of member Doug Williams) who was nominated as a “Local Hero” for her community work at the Australia Day function up at Baddaginnie in country Victoria.

Several of our members made the trip to Benalla on the 25th of March for the Dedication of the Australian Flying Corps Memorial which is situated in the Rose Garden area. Key Note speaker was AFA President Carl Schiller who addressed the gathering with the well informed beginnings of the AFC and its subsequent history in Service during WW1.

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Catalina Branch - Winter 2017

The weekend of March 17 - 19 saw the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Lake Boga No 1 Flying Boat Repair Depot (1941 – 1947). Member Jennifer Newton attended and presented this report.

Lake Boga Flying Boat Museum with a static display of Catalina A24-30 inside. The event was conducted most admirably by the Lions Club of Lake Boga who have proudly taken this entire project as their responsibility. They are to be congratulated for their continued resolve towards creating what is now a complete visitor experience in their area, and to be highly recommended. It was a fully involved community event, with multiple food stalls provided by amongst others the local school, Rotary and CFA. Many other organisations were proudly representing their projects.

It was most unfortunate that the weather in the NSW area precluded the departure of our only flying Catalina to arrive at the event. The flying program for the day included a visit by the PC-3 Orion from Edinburgh SA, the Roulettes who did an amazing aerobatics display, a T-28 Trojan Grumman Avenger, Wolf Pitts and a local aerobatic display from a group of 3 Pitts specials, which was spectacular.

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Royal Air Force Branch - Winter 2017

The Royal Air Force Branch attended two functions during May. The first of these was the AGM which was attended by the President and the Secretary. This was a very constructive meeting and was most useful for a newly constituted branch.

The second event was the "Meet a Mate" Werribee Liberator site visit. This ongoing restoration project is very impressing and the team of volunteers is to be congratulated on the job that they are doing. The aircraft is taking shape and though unfamiliar to most RAF personnel, since only a few Liberators were in use in WWII, shows the how workmanlike the design was.

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President's Report - Winter 2017

I am pleased to advise the Division’s membership has reached 800, and I expect by early 2018 it will achieve 900.

The B24 Liberator Branch will be established in mid-July. B24 Liberator Restoration Australia is anxious to become more closely engaged with the Air Force Association and the serving Air Force community following the very successful ‘Meet a Mate’ event at the B24 Hangar in Werribee.

Incidentally, some of our aircraft weapon aficionados or anyone else who likes to hear and see things that go ‘bang’ may be interested in attending a Browning 50 calibre demonstration fire at the Little River Firing Range to be held later in the year. I’ve yet to weave this opportunity into our events program but I’ll let you know when more details become available.

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Engineers Branch - Winter 2017

Becoming part of the regular scene at the RMIT Alumni luncheon gatherings, the Air Force Engineer Branch, on March 6, once again filled two tables at the William Angliss Restaurant. RMIT is of course familiar with the majority of the Branch members, and the Alumni gatherings reinforce fond memories of those distant academic days. For those not familiar with the William Angliss, these Alumni luncheons are catered by the enrolled Catering School students, and is part of their training. The quality and service are of a very high standard, as is the general silver service décor. To celebrate RMIT’s 130th Anniversary an Alumni Luncheon was held on Tuesday June 6, but this time at Storey Hall, hosted by the Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean CBE. The next Alumni Luncheon at the William Angliss will be Monday December 4, and the cost, yet to be advised, will be around $40, including table wines – highly recommended!

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Bendigo Branch - Winter 2017

On 18th March 14 of our members travelled to Lake Boga for the 75th Anniversary of No.1 Boat Repair Depot. It was a wonderful day, sunny weather with just a cool breeze.

The event which had been organised by Lake Boga Lions Club was extremely well done. There was a huge selection of food & drinks available.

There was only one disappointment, the Catalina didn't fly in from Sydney because the weather was so wet that it couldn't get off the ground. Bet you're thinking just what everyone was saying.

So the high light of the day was the Roulettes who flew low in over the water, performing their tricks. SO GOOD.

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Presidents Report - Autumn 2017

2017 is going to be a busy and hopefully an interesting year for the Division. The Avalon Airshow 2017 was a great opportunity to promote the Association. This year we were accompanied by B24 Liberator Restoration who placed a Norden Bombsight on display. Together we attracted a good deal of interest. I’d like to thank Bob Brackin who negotiated the space with Avalon Airshow management and organised the display. Also, a big thank you to the many volunteers who staffed the stand over the Trade and Public Days.

In February, we welcomed two new branches, the 2SQN Branch and the RAF Branch. That’s nearly 100 additional members, but it is not the number of members that we should crow about. The Association is about making current and new members feel their membership is worthwhile and are getting enjoyment from their membership.

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ATC/AAFC Branch - Autumn 2017

First we extend a warm welcome to two new Branch members from the ranks of the AAFC, Kieran Rogan and John Weiss. We hope they enjoy being members of the Air Force Association and part of our Branch.

The Branch Christmas Luncheon was a huge success again this year and on behalf of the Committee I thank all of the members who attended and made the day such an enjoyable one. My special thanks to O.C. 4WG WGCDR (AAFC) Shaun Young our Branch AAFC Liaison Officer who assisted greatly by stepping into the breach and conducting the raffle, thus saving much of my ailing voice.

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Bendigo Branch - Autumn 2017

Sadly we lost another WWII member in Noel Dean on 16th January, 2017.

Noel celebrated his 90th birthday on 15th August with a great family party. I was very privileged to receive an invitation and meet with his six daughters. Noel had been in extreme pain for past 2-3 years. He attended our meetings regularly, wearing a lovely smile and never grumbled. We will miss him very much. It was Noel's wish for a RAAF funeral service which we were pleased to comply with, giving him a guard of honour as he left the funeral parlour and was carried to the grave.

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Engineers Branch - Autumn 2017

It was resolved that we would hold two functions in 2017; one in June and one in November. These functions are held in collaboration with the RAAF Engineer Officers’ Association (REOA). At the June meeting David Graham (who was a member of DSTO before he retired will be our speaker at the mid-year luncheon. He was involved with the F18 aircraft (as one of our reps in the US) and was the Chief Scientist to CAF (and is well known to senior RAAF officers who served before he and they retired).

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Royal Air Force Branch - Autumn 2017

The Royal Air Force Branch of AFA, came on board officially on 1st January and joined in with the first activity, our Welcome party on 19th February. There was very enthusiastic attendance from our members (Barb, you may know the number) and we were impressed by the warm welcome and an excellent lunch. We were also pleased to receive our official certificate of association which we will ensure is seen by all of our membership. We look forward to many opportunities to meet and enjoy the company of our wider Air Force brothers and sisters.

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Vietnam Veterans Branch - Autumn 2017

Our Annual General Meeting was held in the Air Force Association Headquarters on Sunday 12 February 2017 and
was preceded by a light lunch and presentation of the AFA Foundation Bursary Awards by AFA Victorian President
Carl Schiller and the Encouragement Awards made possible by two RAAF VVA Committee members.

There have been some changes to the Executive this year with Chris Hudnott assuming the role of President and Max
McGregor as Vice President. Most members will know that after 12 years as Secretary, Rick Holmes has decided to
take a back seat on the Committee and Gill Coughlan has taken on the role of Secretary.

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Catalina Branch - Autumn 2017

Allan Arvidson and Jennifer Newton represented the RAAFA Catalina Branch at the Remembrance Day Service in the grounds of the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital (Austin Health) on Friday 11 November 2016. More than 600 were in attendance, including children from Ivanhoe Primary School and the Austin Hospital crèche.

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