WRAAF NSW Newsletter – March 2016

02/03/2017 at 1:49 pm



WRAAF Newsletter NSWMarch 2016

WRAAAF Newsletter NSW -June 2016

02/03/2017 at 1:44 pm


WRAAF Newsletter NSW June 2016

Anzac on the Wall – A Poem by Jim Brown

01/03/2017 at 1:18 pm

Hello all

I’ve been rather neglectful of my website but I assure you I don’t forget it. It’s just there’s not enough time in the day when there’s so much else to do. Most know I’m trying to do my BA and this semester have taken leave of absence to recover from an end of year medical nightmare. Getting there.

This poem below was sent to me, I think, after the last reunion by Tom Rendall, Pam Bridgeman’s husband. It’s a beautiful poem and you wonder if it’s real. Sad to say it’s not but it is a composite of many people and doings just like this John Stuart.

I’ve retyped it from an A3 sheet but the funny spellings are what comes with the poem – not my mistakes. I also looked up the origin of the poem. Enjoy.


The Anzac on the Wall

(sent to me by Tom Rendall I think)

Poem by Jim Brown


I wandered thru a country town ‘cos I had time to spare,

And went into an antique shop to see what was in there.

Old bikes and pumps ad kero lamps, but hidden by it all,

A photo of a soldier boy – an Anzac on the Wall.


“The Anzac have a name?” I asked. The old man answered “no,.

The ones who could have told me mate, have passed on long ago.

The old man kept on talking and, according to his tale,

The photo was unwanted junk bought from a clearance sale.


“I asked around,” the old man said, “but no one knows his face,

He’s been on that wall twenty years, deserves a better place.

For some one must have loved him so, it seems a shame somehow.”

I nodded in agreement and then said, “I’ll take him now.”


My nameless digger’s photo, well it was a sorry sight

A cracked glass pane and a broken frame – I had to make it right

To prise the photo from its frame I took care just in case,

“Cause only sticky paper held the cardboard back in place.


I peeled away the faded screed and much to my surprise,

Two letters and a telegram appeared before my eyes

The first reveals my Anzac’s name, and regiment of course

John Mathew Francis Stuart – of Australia’s own Light Horse.


This letter written from the front, my interest now was keen

This note was dated August seventh 1917

“Dear Mum, I’m at Khalasa Springs not far from the Red Sea

They say it’s in the Bible – looks like Billabong to me.


“My Kathy wrote I’m in her prayers she’s still my bride to be

I just can’t wait to see you both you’re all the world to me

And Mum you’ll soon meet Bluey, last month they shipped him out

I told him to call on you when he’s up and about.”


“That bluey is a larrikin, and we all thought it funny

He lobbed a Turkish hand grenade into the Co’s dunny.

I told you how he dragged me wounded in from no man’s land

He stopped the bleeding closed the wound with only his bare hand.”


“Then he copped it at the front from some stray shrapnel blast

It was my turn to drag him in and I thought he wouldn’t last

He woke up in hospital, and nearly lost his mind

Cause out there on the battlefield he’d left one leg behind.”



“He’s been in a bad way mum, he knows he’ll ride no more

Like me he loves a horse’s back he was a champ before.

So Please Mum can you take him in, he’s been like my brother

Raised in a Queensland orphanage he’s never known a mother.”


But Struth, I miss Australia mum, and in my mind each day

I am a mountain cattleman on high plains far away

I’m mustering white-faced cattle, with no camel’s hump in sight

And I waltz my Matilda by a campfire every night


I wonder who rides Billy, I heard the pub burnt down

I’ll always love you and please say hooroo to all in town”.

The second letter I could see was in a lady’s hand

An answer to her soldier son there in a foreign land


Her copperplate was perfect, the pages neat and clean

It bore the date November 3rd 1917.

“T’was hard enough to lose your Dad, without you at the war

I’d hoped you would be home by now – each day I miss you more”


“Your Kathy calls around a lot since you have been away

To share with me her hopes and dreams about our wedding day

And Bluey has arrived – and what a godsend he has been

We talked and laughed for days about the things you’ve done and seen”


“He really is a comfort, and works hard around the farm,

I read the same hope in his eyes that you wont come to harm.

Mc Connell’s kids rode Billy, but suddenly that changed

We had a violent lightning storm, and it was really strange.”

“Last Wednesday just on midnight, not a single cloud in sight

It raged for several minutes, it gave us all a fright

It really spooked your Billy – and he screamed and bucked and reared

And then he rushed the sliprail fence, which by a foot he cleared”


“They brought him back next afternoon, but something’s changed I fear

It’s like the day you brought him home, for no one can get near

Remember when you caught him with his black and flowing mane?

Now Horse breakers fear the beast that only you can tame,”

“That’s why we need you home son” – then the flow of ink went dry –

This letter was unfinished, and I couldn’t work out why.

Until I started reading the letter number three

A yellow telegram delivered news of tragedy

Her son killed in action – oh – what pain that must have been

The Same date as her letter – 3rd November 17

This letter which was never sent, became then one of three

She sealed behind the photo’s face – the face she longed to see.


And John’s home town’s old timers – children when he went to war

Would say no greater cattleman had left the town before.

They knew his widowed mother well – and with respect did tell

How when she lost her only boy she lost her mind as well.

She could not face the awful truth, to strangers she would speak

“My Johnny’s at the war you know, he’s coming home next week.”

They all remembered Bluey he stayed on to the end

A younger man with wooden leg became her closest friend


And he would go and find her when she wandered old and weak

And always softly say “yes dear – John will be home next week.”

Then when she died Bluey moved on, to Queensland some did say

I tried to find out where he went, but don’t know to this day

And Kathy never wed – a lonely spinster some found odd

She wouldn’t set foot in a church – she’d turned her back on God

John’s mother left no will I learned on my detective trail

This explains my photo’s journey, that clearance sale

So I continued digging cause I wanted to know more

I found John’s name with thousands in the records of the war

His last ride proved his courage – a ride you will acclaim

The Light Horse Charge at Beersheba of everlasting fame


That last day in October back in 1917

At 4pm our brave boys fell – that sad fact I did glean

That’s when John’s life was sacrificed, the record’s crystal clear

But 4 pm in Beersheba is midnight over here ……

So as John’s gallant sprit rose to cross the great divide

Were lightning bolts back home a signal from the other side?

Is that why Billy bolted and went racing as in pain?

Because he’d never feel his master on his back again?

Was it coincidental? Same time – same day – same date?

Some proof of numerology, or just a quirk of fate?

I think it’s more than that, you know, as I’ve heard wiser men,

Acknowledge there are many things that go beyond our ken


Where craggy peaks guard secrets neath dark skies torn asunder

Where hoofbeats are companions to the rolling waves of thunder

Where lightning cracks like 303’s and ricochets again

Where howling moaning gusts of wind sound just like dying men

Some Mountain cattlemen have sworn on lonely alpine track

They[ve glimpsed a huge black stallion – Light Horseman on his back.


Yes Sceptics say, it’s swirling clouds just forming apparitions

Oh no, my friend you cant dismiss all this as superstition

The desert of Beersheba – or windswept Aussie range

John Stuart rides forever there – Now I don’t find that strange

Now some gaze at this photo, and they often question me

And I tell the a small white lie, and say he’s family.

“You must be proud of him.” They say – I tell them, one and all,

That’s why he takes the pride of place – my Anzac on the Wall.


Jim Brown


Jim is a former Primary Schoolteacher, Police Officer in N.Z. where he was born and where he also commenced a career as TV Journalist before moving to Melbourne.

In Australia Jim worked as a News and current affairs journalist for Channels Nine and Ten where he won awards for his reports on the Chamberlain Trial, the Ash Wednesday Fires. He covered overseas events including the fall of the Marcos Regime and the trial of Australian Priest Brian Gore in the Philippines.

In 1991 he joined the ground-breaking lifestyle program “Healthy Wealthy and Wise” as a presenter of travel and human interest stories. Around Australia Jim filed stories on more than 270 destinations and characters, and more than 50 overseas including NZ, Northern Ireland, and USA (Los Angeles, & New Orleans) South Africa.

Jim is now a freelance Producer of broadcast and corporate TV, videos and DVD’s cameraman, & editor.

In recent years Jim has branched out as a songwriter, and performer of classic Australian Bush Poetry and his own work, for which he has won several awards both in Tamworth and other competitions around Australia including the Bush Laureates Golden Gumleaf Award for recorded poetry. This is the most prestigious poetry award in Australia.

Jim has won the State of Victoria’s Bush Poetry Champion, and has recently returned as a tour guide for a “Celtic Spirituality tour of Ireland” to examine the roots of our music, culture and the Christian religion to understand how they all fit into our lives today. In 2006, Jim was invited to perform at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, and the Tullamore Irish Festival. In September this year Jim won the inaugural Wool Wagon Poetry Competition in Crookwell NSW.

Jim enjoys working with young people and teaching them how rhyming verse is relevant to their generation. Besides rediscovering the joy of our unique Australian poetry classics from the pen of Banjo Paterson and others, audiences have enjoyed Jim’s own verse and music. An hour with Jim helps understand the soul of Australia.

Index of Writings

Author’s Note: It started when I was a TV journalist preparing to travel to Gallipoli for the 75th anniversary of the landing [1990]. I went to Canberra to gather photographic support for a TV documentary, and while in the archives of the Canberra War Memorial Museum a lovely old man put a box of letters before me. The letters were untraceable, and had no addresses. They were written to and from the war front and I was entranced by them. I was not allowed to take them away, but I made notes. This was a long time before I became a bush poet,

The final cog in the wheel was about 5 years ago when I went into an antique shop and saw a photograph of a light horseman on the wall. For some reason I still can’t explain I had to have it, and started writing a poem based on the question who was he? This was the first or shorter version of the poem.

I later revisited my notes of the letters and incorporated them into the longer poem. What struck me in the letters was the untold suffering of Australians waiting at home, and how many mothers and fathers knew intuitively that they had lost a loved one on the other side of the world. Those close to the land seemed to know from signs of nature, and these are in the poem.


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WRAAF Lannie Wilson tells us another WRAAF Story

27/02/2016 at 1:19 pm

WGCDR Baxter Margaret LynnSource Lannie Wilson
I have very fond memories of Group Officer Baxter,going back many,many moons.
She was then Flight Officer Baxter,WRAAF Officer in charge at RAAF Frognall. The year was,I think, 1962.
I was posted to Frognall after rookie course 120 at Point cook. I had two wonderful buddies {let them remain nameless at this stage},and,periodically we did get into some mischief in the barracks. In those days nissan huts. I recall distinctly,along with my two “buddies” being hauled ” on the mat” before Flight Officer Baxter for some idiotic mischief in the barracks.. At the time, we were convinced that we were to be court martialled.
Thankfully we were given a gentle tongue lashing,and,dismissed.
The NCO i/c ,who marched us into {then} Flight Officer Baxter’s Office was Sgt Doreen Fraser.
Afer being posted from Froganll to East Sale to await re-muster to TPRINOP at Radio School,Laverton,I did not ever come across Group Officer Baxter again during my years in the WRAAF,but,never forgot her charming,gentle reprimand on that day.
I often wonder about my two buddies,and,always remembered “Flight Officer Baxter” with great affection,and,that day we were hauled “on the mat”.Oh! so long ago. Lannie Wilson

A WRAAF Story – Thank you Pam

06/02/2016 at 4:59 pm

Dear Lyn
I was interested to read your account of life at East Sale in the Djinning Assoc. Newsletter which my husband, Lou Thompson, ex-COMMSOP receives. Who can forget Panic Nights and floor polishers!!?
I was sent to School of Air Navigation as a Clerk General in 1962 after completing recruit course at Point Cook. I arrived late at night at the WRAAF Quarters which seemed deserted and wandered around nervously until I spotted a light and knocked on someone’s door. I was put in a temporary hut for a night then allocated a room with four girls who became my friends for the four months that I was there. One was called Cora, I recall, and she seemed to be constantly on a diet and consuming Ford Pills to aid the process! There was a pretty blonde girl and I have photos of her but sadly I cannot remember her name and also Sophie Vladyka who I remember as being quite extrovert and good fun. I remember playing with a ouija board in our room and frightening the life out of each other in the dark.
I had my 21st birthday at East Sale and we went to a hotel for dinner where some commercial travellers gave me samples of their stock as presents! I still have a gold plated china dish from that event. Later in the year I was posted to Base Squadron, Point Cook. Other postings I had were Headquarters, Williamtown and Air Staff at Headquarters Operational Command, Glenbrook, where I met my husband and was discharged after four years service in 1966.
I attended the WRAAF Reunion in Brisbane in 2011 and had my photograph taken, wearing my old forage cap, with Quentin Bryce. I also met up with four or five girls who had been on my recruit course which was a bonus. Hope this is of some interest to you.
Pam Thompson (nee Jones)

Ex-WRAAF Association Vic Group March 2014 edition

06/02/2016 at 4:49 pm

MARCH 2014 Edition
Greetings to you and welcome to the first edition for 2014. I must begin with an abject apology. I have been trying to
prepare this edition for more than two months now, but unfortunately life kept getting in the way. Once I begin it is usually
full steam and the newsletter is done in a day or two, but sometimes I find it easy to put off any task I should be doing. In my
defence, some of the ‘life’ were things that HAD to be done THEN and THERE. I am sure you all have those events in your
We only had three editions since I became the editor last year and at that time I only distributed about twenty copies.
We have added a further ten names for the address list since then, which is pleasing. A couple of these are the ‘younger ones’
so it is great that they want to be kept up to date on the news. Welcome to all.
For some of you, your SAEs will shortly run out. As a warning, when I send the last envelope I intend putting a coloured
dot sticker on the newsletter to let you know a new batch is needed. I do hope you decide to forward a fresh supply.
It never ceases to amaze me how we come by names and addresses. A couple came via my daughter who knew ‘the
girls’ through her working life. One came when I attended an Australian Air Force Cadets’ Promotion Parade and during a
conversation between one of the cadet’s grandmother and my hubbie it emerged that she was an ex-WRAAF, so of course my
husband brought me into the conversation. It didn’t take long to sell her on the idea of the newsletter and now she has forwarded
her stamped-addressed envelopes and joined the list.
I’m not sure if I welcome this new year as I seem to be learning of too many deaths among people I know,
thankfully not only exWRAAFies. I had three funerals in just on two weeks, and a good friend of mine had two brothers and
a sister die within nine weeks. I’m not sure that I need to be reminded of my mortality so frequently. It is ages since I bothered
to read the birth notices, but not only do I not read the death notices now, I have given up buying the paper as one way
to avoid reading them.
It was very disappointing to have so few at our last luncheon. Not that I am complaining about the company as we had
a lot of laughter and riveting conversation but it would be great to see more at the next lunch. For the Melbourne Ladies (or
even for those planning on coming to the big smoke) details are inside. The few of us would welcome the chance to meet you
either for the first time or once again. Don’t think you will be a stranger, the chances are we know you or someone who
knows you—and we have a history in common.
During the past week my husband and I went to Seymour to visit the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk. May I
recommend it to you if you are traveling north of Melbourne. It is a short distance from the Information Centre (it is easy to
follow those signs) and is made up of panels which when viewed from a distance show photographs of that war involving
many Australian servicemen and women, and when you are close you will find that all the names are recorded, even the
Tracker Dogs. First target was to find my husband’s name and then many family names. Next just to look down the list for
many people we knew during our service life. There is one stand alone panel for those who lost their life. It is a lovely recognition
of their sacrifice and so peaceful. I can heartily recommend it.
Earlier this year we had the Museum celebration of the Royal Australian Air Force’s 93rd Birthday plus the years of
military flying at Point Cook. I must admit I decided to stay at home—seen many Air Shows, but from all reports this one
was spectacular. I am sure that if you go onto the Defence website there will be plenty of photographs to look at.
One of the features of the flying display was the replica Boxkite aircraft which has recently been finished and approved.
How fragile were those aircraft our early aviators flew? The instigator has been looking for a new project and is now
hoping to build a replica Spitfire aircraft and to display it outside the RAAF Museum at Point Cook. His name is Group Captain
(retired) Ron Gretton, AM and he is asking for help. For more information go to http://www.radschool.org.au/magazines/
Vol46/Spitfire_fund.htm. While you’re there have a look at the photograph collection and news about the WRAAF.
Some Light Relief
John was nine years old and was staying with his grandmother for a few days. He’d been playing outside
with the other kids, when he came into the house and asked her, “Grandma, what’s it called when two people
sleep in the same bedroom and one is on top of the other?”
She was a little taken aback, but decided to tell him the truth. “Well, dear, it’s called sexual intercourse.”
“Oh,” said little Jimmy, “OK” and went back outside to play with the kids.
A few minutes later he came back in and said angrily, “Grandma, it isn’t called sexual intercourse, it’s called
bunk beds …. And Jimmy’s mother wants to talk to you.”
I know that we are almost a quarter of the way into the year, but this is the the first edition of this year, so a belated Happy
New Year to all. I hope you all had great Christmas and New Year celebrations.
My Christmas was very quiet as my daughter Tracey and granddaughter Pania were headed overseas. My granddaughter,
who is 14, went to play hockey in England, Belgium and France. They played nine games, won three and drew one. As this
was a scratch team against seasoned players I think they did very well. Still they enjoyed my ‘overseas tour’ even if I could
only see the sights in my imagination and through their eyes.
Our luncheon at Elsternwick Bowling Club was disappointing as only 5 people turned up. Trish Hodda, Caroline Hanrahan,
Ann Steele, Brenda Douglas and Me. We still managed to have a very enjoyable meal and the company was most enjoyable
We were lucky to avoid having to pay extra as the venue had put on extra staff as we had booked for 13—20.
To all who are on the sick list, get better soon. And that’s an order!!
June Gospel ?
For those who aren’t avid
readers of ‘That’s Life’ this
notice was published recently.
Good to see the publicity.
Now this won’t be news to those who have already sent off their Expressions of
Interest (EOI) for this reunion, —- the venue has been changed. You can still send
the EOI which was attached to an earlier newsletter, and in return you will receive a
Registration form which contains the details of the venue, cost, souvenirs for sale
and some accommodation suggestions with (2014) prices.
If you didn’t receive the EOI form, and can get on
to the internet (if you can’t ask a grandchild to
show you how or do it for you—they can do it in
their sleep) log on to www.wraaf.org.au and you
can access an online form. For those doubting
thomases, it really is simple.
For those who really don’t know anyone who can
help them, just drop me a line with a SAE and I
will forward you the Registration Form.
If you haven’t sent your EOI in yet get on to the
website and fill out the Registration Form and
send it off so that you are kept up to date by mailout.
Time is running out. Believe it or not there is
only about fifteen months before the show starts.
We would love to meet up with you at the ‘Meet
and Greet’ or the Dinner.
If you have an email address, you will probably have read this already, but it is well worth repeating. As the person who sent
it to me wrote, “The only thing that worries me about this item is that it’s probably true.”
Theodore ‘Dutch’ J. Van Kirk was the navigator on the ‘Enola Gay’ when it dropped the A-Bomb at Hiroshima,
Japan, and is the last surviving member of the crew.
This really happened.
Dutch was asked to speak at a grammar school this week. The young teacher introduced him by saying
the speaker was a veteran of World War Eleven (as in WWII).
Dutch stood up and walked out of the school without saying a word. End of story.
Accounting Machine Operator
Enlisted 02 Oct 1962
Discharged 09 Dec 1964
Gwen served at Point Cook (Recruits) and at
1SD Tottenham
Also (again thanks to Sydney Branch)
Shirley Brown (French) Stwd
Olwyn Felton (Punter) – 09 Nov 13
Barbara Mary Cook (aka Sally)
(Nutting) – 25 Sep 13
Sharon Hewitt (Carmody)
Cse 173—01 Aug 13
Marion Marguerita Squiers (Coleman)
Still, we can only spread the news if you pass it on to us.
From the Sydney Branch newsletter, these
were published in March. Hopefully they
have all recovered now.
Barbara Marshall (Smith) is now in a
Nursing Home; Kay Kirkland (Harrison)
is now called the Bionic Woman; Una
Cooper (McCauley); Carol Johnstone
(Rudkin); Joan Martin; Laurie Heslehurst
(McPherson); Fay Wheatley (Brien); Margaret
Humphreys; Anita Simmons
(Barrett) and Dany Brown.
Is on Sunday 29th June.
Sargood Street
Just a short walk from the Altona Railway
Station. Parking is available on the club
site or across the street. Be warned that
the venue is surrounded by one-way
streets. You need to access the club via
Blythe Street and drive north up Sargood
Street. The club is on the corner of Sargood
Street and Railway Street South
which does not allow access to the club.
We are not booking a table as we cannot
afford to pay for those who don’t come
and we cannot predict numbers.
As I said earlier in this newsletter we welcome
all who care to join us and would
love to see a large group. But even if there
are only half a dozen of us we will have a
good time.
Do you have a Pensioner Concession Card and have you applied for your MyPost card yet? Every cent
saved is valuable and this card will allow you to purchase 50 stamps for 60c each per year, plus they
give you 5 free stamps when you join. I filled out the form online and took it along to my local Australia
Post (you need to do this as you have to present you Pensioner Card as proof) and they were very helpful.
The assistant asked if my husband was eligible and if he had applied for his card (he hadn’t) so she
filled out the form and it was all done in a short time. I could even sign it for him as my hubbie is recorded
on my card. Some service for a change. The website is auspost.com.au/mypost.
PRESIDENT — June Gospel (nee Hoy) Brenda Douglas victorian.exwraaf@gmail.com
SECRETARY —- Ann Steele (nee Dodds) 41 Bourke Crescent
EDITOR —- Brenda Douglas (nee Whiting) Hoppers Crossing Vic 3029
CAROLE YATES—MedOrd Recruit Course 131 Nola Popowycz is looking for her.
PHONE: 07 4774 7774
FAX: 07 4779 6837
Contact Roslyn direct to one of the above points and for any inews for Nola Popowycz let me know and I will forward the
information on. Contact details are below.
The Editor
The next twelve months or so will be extremely busy for the ex-service community. As you will be aware this year
is the centenary of the outbreak of World War I (The War to End All Wars!). Probably the largest concentration for Australia
will be on Gallipoli next year. Many people are making their pilgrimage to be there, even if only on board a ship in the
Dardenelles. The area cannot accommodate the projected crowds any other way.
We shouldn’t forget that there is another important date—in October 1914 the first fleet of troop ships assembled at
Albany WA for their departure for the Middle East. This beautiful expanse of water was, for many, the last sight of Australia
they would see. The fleet sailed on 01 November 1914. The commemoration doesn’t start at Gallipoli, it begins at Albany.
There will also be the commemorations of the many battles of WWI—The Somme, Poziers, Fromelle are all familiar
names for those with an interest in Australian Military History. Of course not only Australia and New Zealand people
will be reminded of their history, people from all around the world will remember the troops they provided on both
sides of the war. Britain will be commemorating many battles.
We regard April 1915 as the beginning of military history for Australia and New Zealand, but for Britain it goes
back a lot further. Next year they will be remembering the Six Hundredth Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt which is
regarded as a watershed in their military history. The 25th October, 1415 saw Henry V leading his troops in a major victory
against the French, thanks to his Long Bowmen. We still recall that victory with the famous ‘two-finger salute’ to show
that they were unconquered. Many of us during our schooling learnt about the battle with our study of Shakespeare.
My husband and I had our taste of the Gallipoli commemorations this year with our youngest daughter there for the
Turkish Ariburnu Service, the Anzac Dawn Service and then up to Lone Pine Memorial for the Australian service. It was
an experience she will never forget and I must admit when the ABC crossed over to the Dawn Service I felt I was there
because she was. I found it very emotional. She was able to wear her Great –Grandfather’s medals. He, fortunately for our
family history, was there towards the end and survived. Our family was lucky.
Another historic milestone this year is the Centenary of Australian Red Cross. In August 1914, just nine days after
the declaration of war the Australian Red Cross was formed. What a busy one hundred years they have had!

Vic Branch Newsletters From 2014 to 2016

06/02/2016 at 4:44 pm

Hello All
Having a Sunday quiet day and housekeeping my computer so it can have a rest in cyber hospital!
So as a result posting all these newsletters in one go. They may have been previously published but you can catch up on old news.
All the best in 2016
Lyn Mitchell

Some interesting posters

14/03/2015 at 12:21 pm

Sourced from Ex WRAAF Facebook Site


2013 WRAAF Reunion Photos taken by RADSCHOOl

26/10/2013 at 2:08 pm

Radschool Magazine photos are available to be seen on this site. Just click and you are there. Trevor does a great job of recording these events. At times I hear disquiet, just tiny things about men in a woman’s world. I think it’s great that Trevor enjoys recording some of our history and his site has evolved just as we all have done. The fact that the men sit in the next room to us and enjoy each others company. Yes we are liberating if only a snail’s pace.


The Beginning of the ExWRAAF Reunion Movement

31/01/2013 at 9:45 am

The exWRAAF movement probably started around 1970. Probably by Maxine Cheyne. Probably at a luncheon held at her home.

The first Australia wide reunion was definitely in 1976. Held with a luncheon at Maxine’s place again and a further meeting at the local CWA hall. About 49 ex WRAAF attended. Sandra Perry was there (second row from the top, 5th from right). Also Jackie Walsh nee Rodger (Kneeling on floor at right), next to her Joan Ramsay nee Arbon (next to Jackie at right).

Mary Bradshaw is fourth from left in first row behind person lounging in front. Incredibly Mary has a diary to say the photo is from January 1976. Saturday 17th January “we had a luncheon at the President home Maxine Cheyne and followed by a dinner at the CWA rooms at Kent Town. Joy Pepper, Pat Huskings, Dulcie Lang. Val MCoy, by Mary’s diary was there. Pep (Joy) 6 from L in second back row.

Can anyone else name themselves. Email me on kipling3@bigpond.com. This photo is crucial to the WRAAF reunion movement. It might be the first. Since then many gatherings have taken place and every two or three years a National reunion is held in alternating states. Let’s make it a quest to remember the reunions and where they have been held since this time.


First National exWRAAF Reunion
Adelaide SA Luncheon held at Maxine Cheyne’s Home and later at CWA Rooms at Kent Town