WRAAF Branch Victoria June Newsletter 2016

18/01/2017 at 9:21 pm

EX-WRAAF ASSOCIATION VICTORIAN BRANCH JUNE2016 Edition SHAME WEBSIITE In the last NSW Branch newsletter was an interesting paragraph about the ‘RSL Shame Website’ which had been brought to the attention of their committee. This intrigued me so I did a little investigation of my own. The RSL is not to be blamed nor is the correct internet address given. It has nothing to do with the RSL (other than frequent criticism of that organisation when it comes to members wearing medals to which they have no entitlement) but still makes interesting reading. I have long been aware of this site but it is ages since I last checked it out. They have revamped it and boy, have they added ‘wannabees’. If you want to look for yourself go to the Australia and New Zealand Military Imposters Group site. The part that caught my interest in the NSW newsletter was that they had ‘shamed’ an ex-WRAAF wearing an unearned Peace Keepers beret. So I had to have a look. I have spent a long time today working my way through the alphabet to get to the entry I was after. But to save you some time, I suggest you head for the letter ‘R’. If you served in the period 1958— 1967, or were an MTD, or your service number was in the vicinity of W219035—W219045 you may know the lady. NSW are seeking her whereabouts so that they can write to her “and explain what disrespect she has brought upon the WRAAF”. I would imagine that they have already received that information as the page gives a few clues and it isn’t a big metropolis community. If you have some spare hours with nothing to do, enjoy the reading. It will probably bring a smile to your face. Some people have fertile imaginations and delusions of grandeur to say the least. Dear ex-WRAAF, I began this newsletter with good intentions back in March, and here I am trying to break the speed-typing record and finish it. Back in March I was in Benalla (approximately half way between Melbourne and Albury) and the weather was gorgeous. I was bemoaning the lack of rain as we really needed it around most of the state. You will be pleased to know we have since had some rain but could use more if you have any to spare. In March it was a typical autumn day. I always recommend that if you are coming to Victoria, come in autumn when the colours of the trees show it to its absolute best. Close to where I was staying was the old RAAF base on what is now known as Benalla Airfield, the home of the Gliding Club of Victoria and their highly-rated gliding school. I have been meaning to take myself down to the RAAF Museum at Point Cook to make closer enquiries on the units located there during it’s wartime heydays, but haven’t got around to it yet. I feel pretty sure that it was a flying training school. So now I have a project. Thanks to Noelene Park and Pat Kempton (from West Australia branch) who passed on the information reported on page 4 of this newsletter. That is one of the features of being an ex-WRAAF I value most—the spreading of news. We won’t need to rely on telephones or computers as our only sources of news while the grapevine still functions. Many of you may already be aware that there is planning underway for another reunion. WRAAF Branch WA are interested in hosting a Reunion in September / October 2017 in South Australia. The address for contact is Judy Bland. You can email her (to express your interest or find out more details) at gib41@bigpond.com. I googled ex-WRAAF reunion 2017 and came up with one site with the following message, (which seems to indicate a change of date): NEXT WRAAF REUNION 2018 6,7,8 April 2018 to be held in Adelaide SA EXPRRESSIONS OF INTEREST Please send $10 with information: Service No. Name, Address etc Post to WRAAF Reunion RAAFA Bull Creek Drive BULL CREEK WA 6149 All info confidential. Also please enclose a self stamped addressed envelope. (Thanks). email: wraafreunionsaustralia@wraafreunions.org A group of girls who served at East Sale are planning on a cruise reunion around September 2017 too and have thrown it open to all ex-WRAAF. For more information contact Lyn Mitchell by email on kipling3@bigpond.com. When I started drafting this newsletter it was Autumn. Well, winter has well and truly arrived now. We have had days of cold weather plus beautiful rain. The kind of days you want to spend indoors, curled up around the fireside reading or knitting. Or outdoors watching the footie (as my husband is doing today). I am staying indoors to write this newsletter. There is no end to the sacrifices I am willing to make! And next newsletter we will be looking at our spring gardens, that is how quickly the seasons pass. Talking about time passing it is hard to credit that this time last year many of us were making final preparations for our trip to Coolangatta for the reunion. Regards Brenda 2 FROM THE PRESIDENT Well Ladies, it is hard to believe that a quarter of the year has gone. Where does the time go? I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year. As you will know by now we didn’t have a Luncheon in February. However, I wish to thank two ladies who came up with suggestions. Caroline Hanrahan suggested either of the hotels opposite Southern Cross Station. Parking could prove expensive if we used the Southern Cross car park, and an alternative is difficult. Cate Pettit suggested Anzac House (the home of the Victorian Division of the RSL). This would mean we were very limited in kitchen resources and would need to take in our own lunch with the ability to make a cuppa on site—and this would be reliant on being granted permission to use their meeting rooms on a Sunday. Both these suggestions require further investigation and are subject to the opinion of the membership. Thank you for at least making an effort to offer suggestions. Our June luncheon will be held at the Altona RSL. Please be aware that WE NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE COMING SO THAT WE CAN MAKE A BOOKING. The venue isn’t large and is reasonably busy, so help us to avoid being turned away. Congratulations go to our very own Berys McEvoy who come October will be sailing around the Greek Islands due to success in a Photography Competition. We are green with envy and unfortunately won’t be able to congratulate her in person as she will not be available for the Luncheons before she sails away. Cheerio J Go
I do hope that the Victorian Proban (the Official newsletter of the Probus Association of Victoria) don’t object to us using their material. This item and photograph appeared in the April—May 2016 edition. MEMBER NEWS “Berys McEvoy, a member of the Ringwood Clocktower Probus Club, was all smiles after being awarded first prize in the Probus Southy Pacific Limited Photographic Competition, which is a great honour for her and the club. The winning prize was a $25,000 cruise for two around the Mediterranean and Adriatic Coast. To reach the finals the photo taken by Berys of Autumn Fun in Bright had to face competition from scores of entries taken by Probus members around Australia and the south Pacific Region. Eventually the photos were narrowed to just six finalists one of which was fellow club member Col Pask, The final judgement was made by PSPL during A dinner cruise on Sydney Harbour. Our congratulations to Berys. We know from experience that she seldom has a camera far away from her hands. We heard that she couldn’t make the next lunches, but didn’t know the full details. We have tried to convince her she should take one or two of us with her, but no success. To say we are green with envy is putting it lightly. DID YOU KNOW …. ? The average Aussie street of 100 houses would contain: 10 kids under three, 45 dogs, 27 cats. There would be a marriage every nine months, a birth every 14 weeks, and a death every seven months. Small Talk We have many distinctly Aussie phrases, but the most popular is ‘no worries’ with 74 per cent of us using the tem regularly. I wonder what your favourite Aussie- ism is? AUSSIE FACTS The wettest town in Australia is Tully in Queensland. The town receives an incredible 4400mm of rain each year compared with Lake Eyre, our driest area, which receives just 100mm. 3 SICK LIST (Thanks to NSW Branch) PAT LAW (THOMPSON) WIN MAYNE (SMITH) HELEN RODDOM (SILLIVAN0 LYN MORRISON (CHRISTMASS) LEONE HANCOCK (WILSON) HELEN VIDLER (DOAK) PAT BRIEN (O’REILLY) JOY ROBERTS & JEN SHEILA VAN EMDEN BARBARA COHEN JAN JONSHON (CRUMPTON) MARGARET DONALD (GRAHAM) ANN GARLAND (ROSS) UNA COOPER (McCAULEY) ADDITIONS TO OUR MEMORY BOOK Vale MARION HAY (nee POWER) Marion lost her long battle on 12 February 2016. Marion was on Course 83, serving from 1958 t0 1968 as a Teleop, achieving the rank of Sergeant. She was a much loved member of the NSW Branch committee and gave valued support. ROSEMARY RYAN (nee McCOSKER) February 2016 WRAAF in the Equipment world from January to December 1961 “She had to leave the good life back then to take up the hard life as a RAAFie wife when she married Ashley (Jumbo) Ryan (deceased), an ex C130A loadie and Equip SGT at Edinburgh, Richmond, Butterworth and Fairbairn. WAAAF QX168613—CPL HINES, Rita (formerly Stokes, nee Gow) 04 Mar 2016 Found in ‘Mufti’ (RSL VIC DIV) MARY HOLMES Metung DOROTHY ALEXANDRINE JACK Box Hill AMELIA ALMA WATSON Tongala WE WOULD LOVE TO KEEP THESE TWO BOXES EMPTY, BUT LIFE BEING WHAT IT IS THAT IS WISHFUL THINKING. Still, we can only spread the news if you pass it on to us. HELP WANTED Correspondence has been passed to us from Belmont (Geelong)Victoria, requesting help. It says “I am a volunteer at the Queenscliffe Historical Museum, Hesse Street, Queenscliff, Victoria. A badge was found on the back beach at Queenscliff and handed to the museum. It has obviously been in the sand and sea for a long time. It is a Saint John Ambulance badge, engraved W.R.A.A.F. W316626 Laraine Barkley—300440, and I assume probably presented to Laraine when she joined the WRAAF. We would like to trace Laraine or any family members to let her know of this find, or obtain more details.” I have had this message for at least six weeks now, and knowing that my source will have spread the news far and wide through her own contacts, Laraine or a family member may have been found, but in case they haven’t had success maybe you can assist. If you can offer any help please contact R.W. Hodgetts on 03 5243 6637 or even the museum directly. 4 VICTORIAN BRANCH MAIL EMAIL 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 CONTACT US —— Some of you may remember the reports on the horrific bushfires in Western Australia (in the Harvey region) in January this year—what a terrible way to start the new year. The above was sent to me as a cutting from the ‘West Australian’ dated 26 Jan 16. it may be someone you remember from your RAAF life as it concerned a Bevan and Jan Delaney who lost their home when fire raced through Yarloop. In the picture above you see all that they were able to retrieve from the wreckage of their home after the fire had passed. According to the article Bevan spent 22 years in the RAAF (serving in Thailand, Malaysia and Darwin). The couple met in Darwin where Jan was also in the RAAF (ed’s note: this should have been WRAAF. Her maiden name was Ridgeway and she was on recruit course 100). Fortunately it appears they had sufficient warning to prepare to evacuate the town and managed to pack photographs, a computer and some clothes while they waited to make the final decision. Their worried sons convinced them that it was time to go. Bevan was born and raised in the town and thought that it was ‘the best place in the world to live’. His childhood home survived the fire. How often do we hear of bushfires being selective in which house or building they will burn? Regrettably I don’t have any follow up on this story, but maybe you do? We can only hope that Bevan, Jan and their families are recovering from this dreadful experience and that the whole community is passing through the terrible period of grief which is part of the ordeal and resuming a ‘normal’ life. I understand that the fellow-members of the Ubon Group have supported Jan and Bevan, at least in the early days. At the end of January a Town Meeting was held about the future of Yarloop and the consensus was that the town would be rebuilt. One of the leading-voices at this meeting was Andrew Forrest, a mining magnate and landowner in the region. In 2009 after the Black Saturday bushfires destroyed Marysville, here in Victoria, he was one who gave valuable assistance and support with the successful rebuilding of that town. THE NEXT LUNCHEON DATE: SUNDAY, 26 JUNE 2016 TIME: 1200 HRS VENUE: ALTONA RSL CLUB {CNR SARGOOD ST AND RAILWAY ST SOUTH} COST: APPROX $15.00—APPROX $30.00 (YOUR CHOICE FROM THE MENU—THREE COURSES AVAILABLE) DRINKS: BAR PRICES PARKING: PLENTY AVAILABLE TRANSPORT: RAIL STATION ADJACENT REMINDER: SENIORS TRAVEL FREE ON SUNDAYS Please do not forget to put your name down if you are going to join with us. Give June a call on 03 9741 5562 or Brenda on 03 9749 6068 before June 22nd. Sign of Old Age Several days ago, as I left a meeting, I desperately gave myself a personal search. I was looking for my keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search of the meeting room revealed nothing. Suddenly I realised I must have left them in the car. Frantically, I headed for the car park. My husband had scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition. My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them. His theory is that the car will be stolen. As I scanned the car park I came to a terrifying conclusion! His theory was right. The car park was empty. I immediately called the police. I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen. Then I made the most difficult call of all. “Hello MY Love”, I stammered. I always call him “My Love” in times like these. “I left the keys in the car, and it has been stolen.” There was a period of silence. I thought the call had disconnected, but then I heard his voice. He barked, “I dropped you off!” Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, “Well, come and get me.” He retorted, “I will, as soon as I can convince this policeman I have not stolen you b….. car.” This is what they call, The Golden Years.

WRAAF Branch Victoria – December 2016

18/01/2017 at 9:18 pm

EX-WRAAF ASSOCIATION VICTORIAN BRANCH DECEMBER 2016 Edition Dear Fellow ex-WRAAF, In point of fact Christmas is now over for another year, but the spirit lingers on. Now that I have met almost all of my personal targets I can devote some time to the newsletter. I have surprised myself because I have not opened my computer for the past three days. Believe me, that is something of a record, other than for occasions when I am away and haven’t taken the laptop with me. I have had a couple of days when I have been able to devote myself to my family and it has been a lovely time. We had lunch locally on Christmas Day with our son and his partner plus one of our grandsons who has been left home to house-sit and dog-sit. Then Boxing day our daughter-in-law, her partner and more grandsons spent the day with us for a barbie. So we have had a lovely family Christmas time. Our eldest daughter and our son-in-law are in Sydney with his brother, and our youngest daughter and her family are South Australians so they usually have their big family gatherings there. Add to that our West Australian family. Thank goodness for telephones so that we could spread greetings across the country. People ridicule Melbourne for it’s changeable weather, but it can be a blessing too. Our Christmas Day was in the high thirties with a hot dry northerly wind blowing. The night-time wasn’t much better. Boxing Day was about 20ºC, and our family members had to put sweaters on as they were feeling the cold outdoors. Personally, I loved it as I prefer the winter season to the heat of summer and I function better. Plus it allowed us to comfortably barbecue the lunch. Then we got rain, as anyone who was watching the Boxing Day test would know. Today is almost a repeat, but I still love it. Boxing Day has to be the first time in my living memory of I haven’t been glued to the radio, listening to the start of the Sydney-Hobart yacht-race and the test match. When I was very much younger we also often had the Davis Cup on broadcast, in the days when it was usually the US and Australia playing. So today I have settled down at the computer and have the radio on with the cricket. As yet I haven’t seen which yacht won the race to the Sydney Heads but have heard a short while ago that Wild Oats XI has had to withdraw for the second year with a gear breakage when they were hoping to win their ninth running of the race. I’ve always like that boat, but must admit I only have an interest in the Boxing Day race. Now we can really begin looking forward with a New Year so close. The highlight of 2017 for my family will be our son reaching 50 years of age. (It will also be the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of ten-o’clock closing for hotels in South Australia as that happened the same day as our son’s birth.) But with a new year we can be optimistic and wonder what will happen. Let us all be positive and ensure that we spread some peace across the world with some medical breakthroughs to improve the health of people in that world. It would be great if there was a greater effort in many countries to improve the living standards for their populations instead of treating them, other than their favoured tribes etc, as people to be down-trodden and exterminated. All too often those same governments expect other countries to address the problems they themselves have created. They can manage to find the money to buy weapons and to prosecute genocide. All too often religion is used as justification for these wars and I for one am tired of that attitude. I get brutal enough that I do wish we could just gather the instigators of these wares, whatever religion they profess to follow, settle them on a island, seal of any external interference and leave them to fight amongst themselves, even if it means they kill each other off. I do know that it is all in my dreams but I can fantasise. I have no sympathy for fanatics. The other wish is that the silent majority would learn to speak-out and drown out the few who think they run the world. Maybe then we would get rid of the do-gooders (who really aren’t solving the problem – they are the problem) and the political correct minority. Maybe then the politicians would learn to do what the people want rather than what the lobbyists push them to do. After all they rely on our voting for them! And now someone has knocked my soapbox from under me so I had best move on to the newsletter proper and stop my political diatribe. I do hope 2017 is good to you and your family, especially if this year hasn’t been kind to you health-wise. Be kind to yourselves and the people you are in contact with. Regards, Brenda Our Greetings to You and Your Family From The All Fellow Members of the Victorian Branch 2 FROM THE PRESIDENT, Now it is time for another message from me and my mind has gone wandering again. Just trying to come up with something original and different is beyond my fuzzy brain. I do hope you all had a pleasant Christmas and that Santa (just remember, if you don’t believe he doesn’t come) was good to you. We had our family get-together at the end of November as the family is becoming more dispersed. The grandchildren are growing up with the result I now can claim being a great-grandmother. It does mean that they have wider families to spend the holiday season with. A reminder that our next Luncheon will be on 25 June 2017 at Altona R.S.L. Please notify Brenda Douglas on 03 9749 6068 by 15 June if you plan to be there for a table booking to be made. We are now only having two luncheons a year due to a restricted venue list, and a reminder that the October one (at Box Hill RSL) is on the fourth Sunday to avoid the Melbourne Cup long weekend. That will 22nd October 2017. you can’t say we haven’t given you plenty of warning of the dates. My health is still a problem and the chemo treatment is on-going. It certainly limits my options for travel and holiday planning, but I try to keep a positive attitude. I have to look after myself, although I have excellent family support. However they all have their own lives so I try not to be needy unless absolutely necessary. I wish you a Happy New Year and hope that 2017 is better for everyone. June G THE NEXT LUNCHEON DATE: SUNDAY, 25 JUNE 2017 TIME: 1200 HRS VENUE: ALTONA RSL CLUB {CNR SARGOOD ST AND RAILWAY ST SOUTH} COST: APPROX $15.00—APPROX $35.00 (YOUR CHOICE FROM THE MENU) (THREE COURSES AVAILABLE) DRINKS: BAR PRICES PARKING: PLENTY AVAILABLE TRANSPORT: RAIL STATION ADJACENT REMINDER: SENIORS TRAVEL FREE ON SUNDAYS A WARNING TO US ALL!!! Shampoo Warning! I don’t know WHY I didn’t figure this out sooner! It involves the shampoo when you use it under the shower. DO NOT wash your hair in the shower. When I wash my hair, the shampoo runs down my whole body, and yet printed very clearly on the shampoo packaging label is this warning: “FOR EXTRA BODY AND VOLUME” No wonder I have been gaining weight! Well! I got rid of that shampoo. I am going to start showering with Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. It’s label reads: ‘DISSOLVES FAT THAT IS OTHERWISE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE.’ Problem solved! P.S. If I don’t answer the phone, I’ll be in the shower! Some Historical Trivia In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on the number of people were to be pictured, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are ‘limbs’, therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, ‘Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’ (Artists know that hands and arms are more difficult to paint.) The Grim Reaper came for me last night, and I beat him off with a vacuum cleaner. Talk about Dyson with death. ————— A mate of mine recently admitted to being addicted to brake fluid. When I quizzed him on it he reckoned he could stop any time… ————— The wife was counting all the 10c and 20c coins on the kitchen table when she suddenly got very angry and started shouting and crying for no reason. I thought to myself, “She’s going through the change.” 3 SICK LIST JUNE GOSPEL BERYS McEVOY COLLEEN WITHERS ADDITIONS TO OUR MEMORY BOOK Vale MAUREEN COUGHLAN nee DUFFY Recruit Course 33 ESALE / LAV 1952—1956 WE WOULD LOVE TO KEEP THESE TWO BOXES EMPTY, BUT LIFE BEING LIFE THAT IS WISHFUL THINKING. We can only spread the news if you pass it on to us. At times, the reports may be ‘old news’ but it does take time for the news to filter down. If you want it to be more up-to-date then please let me know via email (address below) and do provide some background information. At present my main source is the odd newsletter I see. These are really few and far between. 65th Anniversary National WRAAF Reunion 2018 IT’S ON !!!!! The South Australian WRAAF Reunion is on the 6th, 7th, 8th April 2018. We are looking into accommodation and venues for this function – too early for prices as yet. We are selling lovely white handtowels with state or territory flowers with WRAAF embroidery for $15.00. There are also dark blue with light blue WRAAF embroidery Polo Shirts $40.00; Sleeveless Vests $50.00; Ladies Scarf of light blue with dark blue WRAAF on the bottom, a beautiful warm fleecy material $22.00 and Jackets for $55.00. When ordering clothes, please include chest measurement either in inches or cm. Numbers only no letters. [[I think this means – Measurement and not size number]] Cheque, money orders or Credit card details (number and expiry date and CCU) Please contact Laeraine on (08) 9306 2681 any time. Expressions of interest are being called for and a $10 registration is payable and should include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Please contact Judy Bland at gjb41@bigpond.com or write to WRAAF Branch, AFME, Bull Creek Drive, Bull Creek, WA 6147. ************************************ VICTORIAN BRANCH MAIL EMAIL 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 CONTACT US —— PLAQUES Some information for your End-of-Life file to save the family having to make enquiries at a stressful time in their lives. If you wish to have you final resting place marked to record your membership of the WRAAF a letter needs to be sent to the War Graves Commission requesting permission for use of the WRAAF Crest on a grave site. Give as much personal detail as possible. They require your maiden name, service number, dates of service, date of birth and date of death. Small Talk In this country we have many distinctly Aussie phrases, but the most popular is ‘no worries’ with 74% of us using the term regularly. Did You Know ….? that over 46,000 years ago, Australia was home to what is known as megafauna. Picture 2330-kilo kangaroos, echidnas the size of sheep, wombats as big as bulls, and 70-kilo carnivorous rats. And we all know that a wombat’s poop is cubeshaped! Another Did You Know….? The average Aussie street of 100 houses would contain 10 kids under three, 45 dogs and 27 cats. There would be a marriage every nine months, a birth every fourteen weeks and a death every seven months. Aussie Facts If you were to visit one new Australian beach every day, it would take more than twenty-three years to see them all. The wettest town in Australia is Tully, Queensland, the town receives an incredible 4400mm of rain each year, compared to Lake Eyre, our driest area, which receives just 100mm.

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!

ex-WRAAF Vic Group September 2014 edition

06/02/2016 at 4:47 pm

SEPTEMBER 2014 Edition
Well, here I am running late again. The only consolation I can take is that I did most of this edition in September. I just
seem to have been snowed-under since then. I find I wear so many hats and sometimes it becomes difficult to prioritise the
time I need to devote to each.
Since my children were teenagers and became members of the Australian Air Force Cadets (or the Air Training Corps as
it was known at the time) I became involved with that organisation. After twenty years from my discharge from the WRAAF
I went back into uniform. I was lucky that I had kept close contact with the RAAF thanks to a serving husband, so it wasn’t
quite the culture shock it could have been. The changes had been an on-going part of my life. I stayed with the AAFC until I
reached the age limit and since then have continued as a Civilian Instructor. I am the Finance Officer / Administration Officer
for the flying flight in Victoria. That is a continuous job, monitoring the payments almost every day of the week plus preparations
of the invoices etc.
Both Ron and I are also civilian instructors for the logistics area and we have been extremely busy lately. We have to vacate
the building we are in and move to another location which seems to have required us to work three or four days a week
instead of the one day. Still the end is sin sight.
I also belong to my local unit of Australian Red Cross, which doesn’t take up as much of my time. If a group of local people
come along and indicate they want to take up the challenge we are willing to step aside. Almost all of our members are
my age and looking for the younger generation to take on the task. However community service is obviously becoming a
thing of the past. I was reading in our local paper this week that my local branch of Apex has closed due to inability to falling
numbers and people who are willing to give their time to their community. A sad aspect of modern day life.
I often express my thanks to my WRAAF training as it taught me to be organised and many of the skills I now use in my
current interests.
In between time I am very involved in tracing my family history. I find it so fascinating to learn what my forbears did
with their lives and how they were affected by their times. I would love to be an invisible observer in so many events to hear
the conversations and see just what went on. To see how they lived and where they lived. My prime piece of the jigsaw
would be to learn just when and where my grandparents landed in Australia. We just can’t find that fact.
Then when I get some spare time I would love to get myself on the sewing machine and knitting needles / crochet hooks.
That is one of my interests that has had to take a back seat for far too long.
Normally, I don’t hold forth on myself as I have just been doing, but this edition I am finding it more difficult to fill the
newsletter. I do seem to write like I talk. So I guess you could add talking as another of my interests. Ask my husband and I
am sure he will tell you I could talk the leg of an iron pot (as the saying goes), but I enjoy a good chinwag.
The Times They Are A-Changin’
A week ago I attended an End-of-an-Era function – The Closure of the Sergeants’ Mess at RAAF Williams
Laverton. A little over a year ago instructions were given to merge the Officers’ and the Sergeants’ Messes at
Laverton. The instructions were obeyed, but after a while a reprieve was granted and the SNCOs returned to
their ‘spiritual’ home if only in a limited capacity. Both messes had in the interim lost their dining-rooms and all
ranks now dine at the mess many of you would have known as the Airman’s Mess. It has become the only dining
room on the base. So on returning to the SGTS Mess there was limited bar service available and almost all
of the accommodation had disappeared.
Now the decision has irrevocably been made to create the Combined Officers and Sergeants Mess (COSM)
and the SNCOs decided to say farewell in typical fashion with a grand Spit Roast and a review of the history of
the mess. The memorabilia has been moved to the Officer’s Mess and will have pride of place in that building.
Shortly the SNCO Mess building will be demolished.
The farewell night was great for those who have had long connections with the mess. My husband (a former
CMC at Point Cook and Edinburgh) met several people whom he had known with his close connection to Laverton.
Farewell and thanks for the good times. Now there are newer traditions to be created—a new era has begun.
A sign of the times—this will surely happen at most, if not all, bases.
It is hard to believe it is almost Christmas, the time seems to go so fast the older we get.
Firstly, congratulations to Margaret Campbell on being named as the ‘Wyndham City’s 2014 Citizen
of the Year’. (The City of Wyndham is centred on Werribee Victoria and Margaret, as reported
in a previous newsletter, is a fellow ex-WRAAF.)
I’m afraid this year has been my ANNUS HORRIBULUS. The only thing that hasn’t happened to me this year is
being hit by a bus, but I’m thinking of taking public transport so I can knock that off my bucket list.
Just a quick summary of my woes—in February I had a bout of pneumonia, April I came out in a rash that I am
still trying to eradicate. Next I lost my Brother, then on the 30th of May I had a TIA and I’m having surgery on a
hernia this month. Hey, I’m still here and I still have my sense of humour so desperation hasn’t sunk me to the
Don’t forget the next Luncheon is at Ringwood RSL. It is almost directly opposite the Ringwood station plus there
is plenty of parking available on site which makes for ease of access for all. I hope to see you there if the bus
doesn’t get me first.
Some of you will already have read the following editorial in the Sydney ex-WRRAF Newsletter, but just
in case it is food for thought.
“Where is this once great country I grew-up in heading? When are the views of the fair dinkum Aussies
to be heard, including those of our politicians and church leaders? Despite the black flags of Islamic State
being flown and the idiotic hate being spewed from the mouths if some in places like Lakemba in Sydney,
nothing is being done to deter these so-called ‘Australians’. I have had enough of the bleeding hearts
and PC brigade telling me we must be tolerant and compassionate towards those intent on turning our
country into another nation destroyed by these cowardly barbarians. The average Aussie is too laid back
and apathetic and thinks ‘she’ll be right mate’. Remember those who fought and died to keep us free and
safe, and speak up to your politicians and church leaders, who apparently haven’t got the bottle to speak
for the majority, or one day it will be too late for those left after we leave this mortal coil. I for one have
no intention of ‘converting or die’. I read somewhere words to the effect that ‘evils succeeds when good
men do nothing’, and wonder whether those who fled to the top of that mountain and the Christians being
slaughtered in the middle-East had heard those words. If you disagree with my views, perhaps you should
take a crash-course in Arabic now. Why do the leaders of these people call themselves ‘Australian Muslims’?
The rest of us call ourselves Australian, not Australian Christians, atheists, Buddhists, etc. my
church tells me we should turn the other cheek, but you can only do this so many times before you become
punch-drunk. A must read for all concerned Aussies is ‘Salute to Denmark’ online—very concerning.
If I have offended anyone (apart from Islamic State followers, I apologise. Perhaps I should ask God
to keep His are around my shoulder and His hand over my big mouth and writing hand—what do you
If you need to make contact with the Queensland Branch at any time and you have access to email, life is a little simpler
now. You don’t need to know the name of the executive office-holder on their committee but can email them by the alias.
For example if you want to contact the secretary send it to secretary@wraaf.org.au. The same applies to the president and
treasurer by using that position in the address. This should make life simpler and save having to regularly update address
books and contact lists.
WAAAF & WRAAF 1951-1952
(CPL Course 2)
Still, we can only spread the news if you pass it on to us.
Wyndham City’s Citizen of the Year
Werribee resident Margaret Campbell is Wyndham City’s 2014 Citizen of the Year, receiving the honour at the Wyndham
Community Volunteer Awards dinner held on 22nd August, 2014.
Margaret was recognised for her outstanding volunteering contribution of almost 50 years, which continues today
through her active membership of 15 community organisations. Her interests are wide and varied and she is regarded as a
friend and mentor to many. Margaret is particularly known for her advocacy regarding Aboriginal rights, and as an advocate
for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
A lady who leads a full and busy life.
In typical ex-WRAAF tradition we add our salute to Margaret.
We are proud of you.
We know there are many more very busy ladies out there.
Why not tell us how you fill your life so we can let everyone
know. Don’t hide your talents – we are all marvellous people.
Margaret has been a board member of the Wyndham Community
and Education Centre for 15 years, eight of which
were spent as either chair or vice chair. For the past 16 years,
she has been a member of the committee of management of
the Wyndham Community Arts Alliance, sat on the advisory
body for the development of the Wyndham Cultural Centre
and is a long-time member of Aboriginal advocacy organisation,
Margaret’s passion for poetry and literature has led her to
publish extensively, writing on the history of Wyndham, most
notably on migrant and local history. She has contributed to
several literary organisations, including the Western Women
Writers, the Fellowship of Australian Writers and the Werribee
and District Historical Society. Another significant contribution
is her work with a young writer’s group in Wyndham,
mentoring, teaching and developing a love of literature in
young people.
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
DIANNE PATTERSON , Course 144 Telop at RAAF Laverton is
boing sought by Margaret O”Heir (Rose) 07 4936 4816
Fay Ison is seeking info on anyone of Courses 12, 28, 34, 35, 38,
after 1500 hrs on 07 3816 0906.
ROSIE FINN, Dentast, served during the 70’s and originally from
Brisbane is being sought by Pamela Ritter of the Brisbane Branch.
Lyn Mitchell is looking to make contact with IRIS KATHLEEN
Ringwood RSL at 1200 hrs on Sunday 31 August 2014.
This venue is ideally located directly opposite the Ringwood Railway Station (don’t forget those with Seniors Cards have
free transport on Sundays). The club is on the corner of Station and James Street Ringwood and for those driving there is
plenty of parking behind the club.
Melways Map 49 Grid Reference H9
I have just received a report of another memorial to visit. It has
been highly recommended. This is the AFGHANISTAN AVENUE
OF HONOUR and is located at Yungaburra overlooking
Lake Tinaroo near Atherton (south-west of Cairns for those not
familiar with Queensland locations).
I received a few photographs but especially liked this one. We
all willingly salute our service personnel, especially those who
paid the supreme price, but we should also salute those dogs
who gave their lives and service—after all they had no choice.
The dedication is most apt.
If you are planning to be in the area this might be a place to add
to you list of places to go.
An email currently doing the rounds contains complaints apparently
made to councils in Britain by ratepayers. Here are some of the ones
we can safely print.
1. I wish to report that tiles are missing from the outside toilet
roof. I think it was bad wind the other day that blew them off.
2. My lavatory seat is cracked. Where do I stand?
3. The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it
is cleared.
Tickle the Funny Bones
A husband and wife are sitting quietly in bed
reading when the wife looks over at him and
asks the question:
“What would you do if I died? Would you
get married again?”
Husband: “Definitely not.”
Wife: “Why not? Don’t you like being married?”
Husband: “Of course I do.”
Wife: “Then why wouldn’t your remarry?”
Husband: “OK, OK, I’d get married again.”
Wife: “Would you live in our house?’
Husband: “Sure, it’s a great house.”
Wife: “Would you sleep with her in our
Husband: “Where else would we sleep?’
Wife: “Would you let her drive my car?”
Husband: “Probably, it is almost new.”
Wife: “Would you give her my jewellery?”
Husband: “No, I’m sure she’d want her
Wife: “Would you take her golfing?”
Husband: “Yes, those are always good
Wife: “Would she use my clubs?’
Husband: “No, she’s left-handed.”

Victorian WRAAF Group – December News

03/02/2016 at 3:54 pm

Well Ladies, it is the time of the year to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2016. It hardly seems
twelve months since we were preparing for the new 2015.
We had a lovely luncheon at the Box Hill RSL; the food was lovely and reasonably priced plus the staff were very helpful.
There were eleven ladies in attendance and all seemed to be enjoying themselves. There was no pressure on us to move on
or to make less noise – we are always a very loud group with conversations going on all the length of the table. As you
know we have decided not to go back to the Ringwood RSL, so we are currently looking for another venue. Please, we welcome
suggestions, remembering that at least 4 or 5 of us travel from the west. One suggestion received was a river cruise,
but on contacting ‘City River Cruises’ I learnt that they only cruise for one hour and only serve morning or afternoon tea.
Our congratulations to Jenny Lumsden (daughter of Shirley nee James) who, with effect 01 December, has been promoted
to Air Commodore. We are all excited and proud of this recognition of her skills and efforts. We are still waiting for a copy
of her ‘official’ photograph but we did include a photograph of her in a newsletter about eighteen months ago. Jenny is a
highly qualified Nurse at Melbourne hospital, specializing in the Intensive Care area.
Ann Steele and I joined many fellow ex-WRAAF at Coolangatta. We stayed at the ‘Sofitel’ in Broadbeach and with my
CabCharge we were able to use it to get around. The ‘Meet and Greet’ and the Dinner were most enjoyable if a little crowded
due to numbers. Food was excellent on both nights, so congratulations to the Queensland girls. Patsy Lumsden, Trish
Hodda, Lyn Mitchell Marj Dixon, Lorna Dowsley, Brenda Douglas, Margaret Marshall, Caroline Hanrahan, Cate Pettit and
Di Hoopert were the Victorian girls I can immediately recall seeing among the crowd. My apologies if I missed your name
here. From reports, the Sunday Service at Curumbin RSL was excellent (I missed this event)
While we were in the area, Ann and I decided to play the tourist and enjoy ourselves. We went to Movie World where we
went on the raft ride down the waterfall. Exhilarating! We also went to Curumbin where we had to fight the ibises whilst
trying to eat out lunch. Disappointingly, we didn’t see one of the famous coloured birds the day we were there, but it was
lovely. We also contributed to the tourism dollar by visiting Sea World and even ventured into Pacific Fair (never been to a
shopping centre before—a new experience!). As you can see we had a very busy time and arrived home tired but very happy.
And the photo below shows my smiling face (with the greyer hair above it). The other face belongs to Ann Steele, our
secretary. This was taken during our tourist activities up north looking at souvenirs.
Cab Charge
Many of us qualify to use this service, but may not have
made the effort yet. Application forms are available at
your Doctor’s surgery. You need to complete the form
and forward it. You also need to let you doctor know you
have begun the process as he has to do his/her part
online. Until he/she does, nothing will happen. Once
these two steps have happened you will receive a plastic
card by post and an accompanying letter.
If you are planning on travelling interstate, I found it
very easy to make the necessary arrangements.
I rang them and this is what occurs. You need to inform
them where you are going, with the exact date of arrival
and exact date of departure. They will send a book of
Interstate Vouchers. These will effectively half the cost
of your travel, but there is a limit to the cost of the trips.
All these details are in the accompanying letter. When
you have enjoyed your holiday you must return the unused
While talking about the services for we aging members of society,
if you have Disabled Car Stickers, it is recommended that
when planning travel it is wise to contact the municipal authority
where you will be going to see if they recognise your sticker.
Don’t take it for granted.—you just might find you are abused
and/or fined.
October Luncheon Attendees
At last I have begun the final newsletter for 2015. I have been mentally planning what I need to
say and then (still mentally) changing and amending it all for a few weeks now. But today is the day
when I get down to the job in earnest.
As usual, I have several tasks that I need to get stuck into especially with Christmas breathing
down my neck. I still haven’t made my cakes. I always have the best of intentions to do this in September
before the heat makes baking less appealing but the time goes by a such a speed that here it is December
and I am still planning on baking. I also have our annual Family Report to write and that is becoming
more pressing with the arrival of several Christmas cards over the last few weeks.
This year I have spent considerable time working on my Family Tree and have loved every minute
of it. Once started it becomes a serious addiction. My eldest daughter and I are sharing the investigation,
which is great, as it gives me someone to share successes and failures with, plus bounce ideas
off. It is amazing what problems one can solve during, or following, a conversation. I find I am replaying
them in my mind at the oddest of times and sometimes I manage to have an ‘Eureka’ moment.
In the last year or so the husband of one of my cousins has joined the team and we have been able to
share information. I have learnt about the youngest generations, the ones I don’t get to see or know due
to being interstate for so long. Most of us in Australia hope to find a convict on our tree and at last we
have succeeded. My Great-Great-Grandfather was transported to Van Diemens Land for life—by modern
standard his crime of horse stealing was minor. Few people get life for murder nowadays! We still
have many more branches to find, so the research goes on.
I enjoyed my trip north for the reunion. There were about 275 other ex-WRAAF there and boy
could we talk. It was a crowded room as well as a loud one. It was even nice to have a guest speaker if
only to revel in the relative quietness. My eldest daughter ventured north with me and we enjoyed ourselves.
We drove up the Newell Highway and returned via the coast to Sydney, calling in on towns connected
with our family, visiting friends both before and after the reunion and enjoying being a tourist.
The weather was excellent and it was lovely seeing family and friends again. More chatter and lots of
nostalgia for me.
Now we are waiting for the solution to the big mystery—where and when will be the next reunion.
To date I haven’t heard any rumours let alone an announcement. I know there are a couple locally
who would dearly love to enjoy another Victorian reunion, but I for one don’t feel up to the work involved.
I have enough going on in my life as it is, and from experience I know that there is a lot of work
to do. Here in Victoria we consider we were very lucky as much of the work was done for us last time.
Just finding a venue is a difficult task. I know someone involved in another organisation’s national reunion
and they are encountering the same problem. We also need to consider the advancing age of the
majority of our ‘membership’ – for many travelling is becoming more and more problematical. Just
talking to a couple of the girls who went to Coolangatta about the trouble they had with the airlines and
their mobility aids is a learning curve in itself. And I haven’t got the stage of having to rely on a walking
fame yet, but that may happen in the nearer future than I would wish, hence my preference for combining
the reunion with a holiday and preferably a self-drive one.
The annual Melbourne reunion of RAAF Ex-Apprentices will be held on Saturday
23 January 2016. This function is for all ex-apprentices and their partners / friends,
and will be held at the Werribee RSL (not far from both Point Cook and Laverton
for those who are not familiar with the western suburbs of Melbourne). There will
be a $20.00 entry fee to cover costs, and normal RSL dress rules apply.
For information, please contact Graeme Oxley
Phone : (03) 9256 3858 (business hours)
Email: graeme.oxley@defence.gov.au
Our next luncheon is due on 28 February 2016.
It will be at ? ? ? ? ?
We have repeatedly asked for a new venue. If we don’t have at least
one suggestion by 5 February 2016 (to June 03 9741 5562) then we
will have to cancel the February luncheon. It is up to YOU now.
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
ANN STEELE (knee reconstruction)
If your name hasn’t been mentioned here and
you are on the Sick List it is because we haven’t
been told about it, so please take our good wishes
for a speedy recovery as read.
Still, we can only spread the news if you pass it on to us.
WRAAF Recruit course 16
Enlisted as Equipment Assistant
Remustered to RAAF Police
Died 27 Sep 15 age 84 years
The following names were garnered
from Mufti (RSL quarterly publication
in Victoria)
from Nhill
HOBBS from Box Hill

Three of the ‘Sale
girls’ who have a
Reunion within a

Queensland President,
Rosie Forster, reciting
the Ode at the Service of
Remembrance at
Curumbin RSL.
(I was pleased to see the
Australian Air Force
Cadets assisted at this
service. From all reports
they did an excellent job,
not that that surprised
me. I know they always
do on such occasions —
this is an unsolicited
comment from the Editor)
To each of you and to
your families, our wish is
for a Safe and Happy
Christmas, and the hope
that 2016 will bring you
Health and Happiness.
Enjoy the break, and see
you in March.
Why did the turkey join the band?
Because it had the drumsticks!
What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck
in a chimney?
What did Adam say to his wife on the day before
It’s Christmas, Eve!
What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?
What is the best Christmas present in the
A broken drum – you just can’t beat it!

WRAAF Newsletter Victoria Branch 2013 December

19/12/2013 at 11:45 am

WRAAF Vic Branch Newsletter Dec 2013

WRAAF Brisbane Newsletter Jan to March 2013

12/07/2013 at 4:13 pm

Hello All

I’ve been remiss in not loading the Brisbane Branch newsletter from way back. Click on

WRAAF Brisbane Newsletter Jan to March 2013



WRAAF Vic Branch has restarted its Newsletter

25/06/2013 at 4:44 pm

Hi all

Brenda Douglas has picked up the baton and has devoted her time and mind to compiling the WRAAF Branch Vic Newsletter. Please click on the link

WRAAF Vic Branch Newsletter May 2013 Editor Brenda Douglas


Victorian Newsletter for September 2012

10/09/2012 at 2:12 am

The September Issue has been sent to contributors. View it on line here. WRAAF NLtrIssue September 2012 or go to Reunion 2013 page.


Victorian Branch Newsletter September 2012

08/09/2012 at 1:50 am

Below is the Victorian Newsletter for September and my second last as you will read. The format below is from the PDF format copied and pasted into this post. It has not copied some photos. If you would like to view it in it’s original format I am uploading the PDF copy.

WRAAF NLtrIssue September 2012


Page 1 September 2012

Hello All
It has been an exceptionally busy year for me and unfortunately my health has been up and down like a yo yo. I’m sure I am far better off than many of you, but aches and pains and winter ills have been quite disruptive. And just recently I’ve had a recur-rence of my heart problems. (Quad Bypass in 2000). This has led me to think seriously about what I need to do in the next few years and though I will never put the WRAAF completely to one side; I have to prioritise. I have reluctantly decided that I must put this newsletter down and let someone else pick up the mantle. I will continue to develop a web site I have been setting up as part of my writing course and you all can watch me struggle by going to exwraaf.com. I will do one last edition of the newsletter in December/January 2013 and try and tie off any lose ends there might be.
This of course does not help any of you who do not have a computer and I am sorry that I cannot continue for you. I am going to suggest that you sign up to one of the other Branches and I will list their addresses in this issue. There are now quite a few web sites that those with internet facilities will be able to search out. Just Google them and you will be able to find them but I have listed the more prominent ones in the contact page overleaf.
Our lunches are held 3 times a year and you of course are invited to join us on the last Sunday of February, June and October. Details are on page 2.
It has been a pleasure writing to you all. I have enjoyed your letters to me and meeting some of you. Please con-tinue to send me your profiles as I am hoping to put them on the web site. I do feel like I am letting you down a bit but I have to get my house in order. For years I have put off sorting the mess and now that I have this second warning I have to think of my family and what is a priority. Please do not send any money to me or to the WRAAF Branch. If someone takes over the writing they will use my address list which after 3 years is finally coming together. You’d think it should, wouldn’t you. Not sure if I will be organised enough to run a web site but I can’t know until I try.
Be friends to your friends and I’ll see you at the next reunion in Perth and before that I’ll write December January.
Til then.

Warmest wishes
Lyn Mitchell

Ps Information on Perth Reunion 2013 in this issue
Lyn Mitchell
28 Jacqueline Rd
Mt Waverley Vic 3149
Phone: 03 9802 6835


Last Sunday in October 2012 at Ringwood RSL
16 Station Street, Ringwood Vic 3134
Ph # 9870 6604 Melways Map Ref 49H9
My email is kipling3@bigpnd.com
There is a train stop directly opposite.

Page 2 September 2012
WRAAF Victorian Luncheons are held on the LAST SUNDAY in February, June and October.

FEBRUARY is at Caulfied RSL
4 St Georges Road Elsternwick.
(Doors do not open til Midday)
Train: Get off at Elsternwick Station and turn right
Tram see Metro Information
No cent auction here. There is no room.
JUNE is at Altona RSL now (previously at Werribee)
Altona RSL Sub-Branch Inc.
31 Sargood St, (Postal – PO Box 37)
Altona Victoria 3018
Telephone: 9398 2817
Email: admin@altonarsl.com
Please note there is a train stop opposite the RSL. The RSL is on the corner. Buses do stop I believe in the same street. The building is on the beach side of the train line. It can be confus-ing.
We can organise a cent auction at this venue. We bring a small gift and have a raffle.
OCTOBER is at Ringwood RSL
16 Station Street, Ringwood Vic 3134
Ph # 9870 6604 Melways Map Ref 49H9
There is a train stop directly opposite.


I am interested in a 2013 REUNION in Western Australia. Enclosed is a $10 Regis-tration NAME: ………………………………. MAIDEN NAME: ………………. Email: ………………………………….Course Number: …………..
ADDRESS: ………………………………………………………….
Send form and money to:
WRAAF Branch, AFME Bull Creek Drive
For completion by WRAAF WA.
Receipt Number: ……………………………………………………………………….Date Received

Page 3 September 2012

Brisbane Branch WRAAF Branch (RAAF Association Queensland Div)
President: Rosie Forster
Email: rosie93@optusnet.com.au
Secretary: Rosemary Coleman Phone: 07 3879 4889
Townsville Branch
Barbara Bower Phone: (07) 4778 4260
Sydney Branch WRAAF Branch NSW
President: Mrs Betty Sutherland, 14 Batt Street, Penrith 2750
Secretary: Mrs Margaret Wells, JP, 18 Woodland Avenue, Hazlebrook 2779
Phone Contact: 02 47 58 7153
Subscription & Envelopes: Subs are $5 subs and 3XSA stamped envelopes each year to ensure being on the mailing list.
Annual Luncheon held yearly in October.
Patron: Shirley McLaren
Treasurer: Shirley Delaney, 78 Wrench St, Cambridge Park NSW 2747
Phone: (02) 47 212 797
Canberra Branch Australian Capital Territory
Carol Johnston: (02) 62885086
Email: cjjaus@netspeed.com.au
Perth Branch WRAAF Branch (RAAF Association WA Div.)
Nora Cunningham, President Judy Bland, Secretary Phone No: 08 9401 8296 Email address: gjb41@bigpond.com Meetings held first Tuesday of each month at 7.30 pm in the Meg Olive Room, Air Force Memorial Estate, Bull Creek WA. Contact Judy if you would like to receive the WA newsletter.
Jane Dowdeswell: WA WRAAF Contact wraaf2013@hotmail.com
WA Branch, are taking expressions of interest for the 2013 Reunion
Victorian Branch
June Gospel, President Phone No. 03 97415562
3 Queens Crt Werribee Vic 3030
Lyn Mitchell: Contact Website: 28 Jacqueline Rd Mt Waverley Vic 3149
Phone: 03 98026835 Email: kipling3@bigpond.com Website: exwraaf.com
Toowoomba Branch Queensland
Have reunion once a year usually in September
Enquiries Mrs Judy O’Loughlin
Phone: 07 4630 1157

The Brisbane Branch have a sponsored website. It’s called wraaf.org.au
Also Radschool Association have a great site for news
(especially if you married a RAAFie). It’s called radschool.org.au
Then there is The Defence Alumni Network (DAN) dan.gov.au Lyn Mitchell’s Site exwraaf.com

Page 4 September 2012 Images of newsletter from WA branch on Reunion 2013 (click link to newsletter to get image)

Page 5 September 2012

This was probably submitted in Rosemary’s day. Maybe even printed but I think given everything that has happened to me of late, including another birthday as have all of you, it should be repeated. It was submitted by June Gospel passed on by her daughter Michelle.
The Old Woman
A very weird thing has happened. A strange oed lady has moved into my house. I have no idea who she is, where she came from, or how she got in. I certainly did not invite her. All I know is that one day she wasn’t there, and the next day she was! She is a clever old lady and manages to keep out of sight for the most part, but whenever I pass a mirror, I catch a glimpse of her. And, whenever I look in the mirror to check my ap-pearance, there she is hogging the whole thing, completely obliterating my gorgeous face and body. This is very rude! I have tried screaming at her, but she just screams back. The least she could do is offer to pay part of the rent, but no. Every once in a while, I find a dollar coin stuck in a coat pocket or some loose change under a sofa cushion, but it is not nearly enough. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I think she is steal-ing money from me. I go to the ATM and withdraw $100, and a few days later, it’s all gone! I certainly don’t spend money THAT fast, so I can only conclude the old lady is pilfering from me. You’d think she would spend some of that money to by wrinkle cream. And money isn’t the only think I think she is stealing. Food seems to disappear at an alarming rate, especially the good stuff like ice cream, cookies and candy. She must have a a real sweet tooth; but she’d better watch it, because she is really packing on the pounds. I suspect she realizes this, and to make herself feel better, she is tampering with my scales to make me think I am putting on weight too. For an old lady, she is quite childish. She likes to play nasty games, like going into my closets when I’m not home and altering my clothes so they don’t fit. And she messes with my files and papers so I can’t find anything. This is particularly annoying since I am extremely neat and organised. She has found other imaginative ways to annoy me. She gets into my mail, newspapers and magazines before I do and blurs the print so I can’t read it. And she has done something really sinister to the volume controls on my TV, ra-dio and telephone. Now all I hear are mumbles and whispers. She has done other things. Like make my stairs steeper, my vacuum heavier and all the knob and faucets harder to turn. She even made my bed higher so that getting into and out of it is a real challenge. Lately she has been fooling with my groceries before I put them away, applying glue to the lids, making it almost impossible for me to open the jars. She has taken the fun out of shopping for clothes. When I try something on, she stands in front of the dressing room mirror and mo-nopolises it. She looks totally ridiculous in some of those outfits; plus, she keeps me from seeing how great they look on me. Just when I though she couldn’t get any meaner, she proved me wrong. She came along when I went to get my picture taken for my driver’s licence; and just as the camera shutter clicked, she jumped in front of me! I hope she never finds out where YOU live.
When I was a child in the 1950s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered.
They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job. Today’s stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip. The mature woman has a choice, she can either go to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippo-potamus that escaped from Disney’s Fantasia, or she can wander around every depart-ment store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands. What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rock-ets from a slingshot, which gives the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be protected from shark attacks. Any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash. (continue page 6)
Page 6 September 2012
I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had disappeared! Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took awhile to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib. The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment. The bathing suit fitted all right, but unfortunately it only fitted those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized cling wrap. As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, “Oh, there you are,” she said, admiring the bathing suit. I replied that I wasn’t so sure and asked what else she had to show me. I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serving ring. I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan’s Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day. I tried on a black number with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning. I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eye-brows to wear them. Finally, I found a suit that fitted, it was a two-piece affair with a shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ri-diculous search had a successful outcome, I figured. When I got it home, I found a label that read, “Material might become transparent in water.” So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I’m there too, I’ll be the one in cut-off jeans and a t-shirt! Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain, with or without a bath-ing suit!
Anyone who receives this & who wears a single digit dress size, THIS WAS SENT TO YOU IN ERROR, but I hope you got a chuckle out of it anyway.
NSW 48th Annual Reunion WRAAF (1951—1977)
Venue: NSW Leagues Club
Time 1130—1500 hours
Cost: $40.00 per person
Bar: Buy your own at bar prices
Contact Shirley Delaney, Treasure
WRAAF Reunion Group,78 Wrench Street, Cambridge Park NSW 2747
Cheques made payable to WRAAF Reunion Group
(include a stamped, self-addressed envelope if a receipt is required.

Page 7 September 2012

Douglas Barthelson is looking for names of people in RAAF Communication Operator Musterings. Your help will assist the current Radio School Staff recover and rebuild their records.
He is helping to rebuild a chronological record of all course photographs, member names (first and last) and course start and finish dates.
I am printing a couple on this page but their are many and quite frankly this newsletter does not get the coverage this deserves. We all know how hard it is to date and pick out faces and names of our own photos. However, we must do what we can in the name of Esprit de Corp.
If you know someone email me or ring 03 98026835 or write 28 Jacqueline Rd Mt Waverley Vic 3149.
We can’t put names to faces in this photo, but we’re sure that Bev Seach, Jean Dancey, Bob Delaney, Georgina Tatham, John Richards, “Strawb” Hart, Paul Curran, Jan Noack, Sandra Nichols and Denise Carey are in there somewhere, – perhaps someone can help.
26 TPRINOPS 1966

Page 8 September 2012

Photos of Women in the RAAF 2010. To see click on newsletter link above

Article 2010 Sunday Magazine
Below: October 8, 20111 Herald Sun Newspaper

Page 9 September 2012

Clare Lotan passed away in June 2012. Clare had not been well for some time.
Clare (W39606) was a Clerk Admin, joined August 1953, was on Course 47 and served 1953—1956 July 1956 at Sale, Laverton and Wagga Wagga. She joined the WRAAF Branch in January 1998 and served as Branch Secretary in 2002.
Noelene Park has advised me that Jan Weatherhead has lost her husband John. It was late May 2012. He died after a long illness. John was an active member of the local CFS for over twenty five years. CFA nmembers formed a guard of Honour at the church and gave as-sistance to Jan at this sad time. Jan also has been a long time active member of the CFA.
Editors Note: I have Jan’s address if anyone needs it. Contact me at 28 Jacqueline Rd Mt Waverley Vic 3149 or at kipling3@bigpond.com.
Kim (Marjery) Meade (nee Kimmitt) passed away 26/2/12 Kim was on Course 5 and served as an Equip Asst from 1951—54 at 1SD Tot-tenham.
Dorelee Dalton (nee McNamara, passed away on 10/11/11. Kim was a stewardess. Angela Bennett (nee Berwick), passed away August last year. Angela was an AMO and on Course 188 serving from 1970 –73.
Eunice Smith (nee Vidler) also has lost her husband aged 67 years from heart problems. Eunice is surrounded by her family which give great comfort. Eunice is a Rookie Course mate of mine. We flew to Adelaide on the same plane. Found each other in 2004 I think.
From Noelene Park: Richard (Dick) Nash, husband of Jan Nash (nee Heap) Course 125; passed away early July 2012 after a long illness. Dick was in the Army and was a Vietnam Veteran.
Sick List
Vic Branch
Beres McEnvoy
Marj Duffus
Una Cooper
Helen Martin
Barbara Marshall (Smith)
Una Cooper (McCauley)
Eileen Gilligan (Dunn)
Fay Wheatley (Brien)
Carol Johnston (Rudkin)
Wendy Canty
Lyn Morrison (Christmass)
Barbara Gilson (Willis)
90 Years of the RAAF (Published: No-vember 2011) Price: $50.00 (for hard copy)
This book is an illustrated “snapshot his-tory” of the Royal Australian Air Force that focuses, year by year, on specific chrono-logical events from its formation in 1921 to the present day. It captures not only the highlights and achievements of the last 90 years, but also its low points. For more in-formation on this publication and how you can obtain a copy, see the RAAF APDC website at: http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/Publications/Details/470/90-Years-of-the-RAAF.aspx
WRANS Christmas Luncheon will be held at Sydney RSL Club on 17th November. Any-one wishing to attend along with Betty Sutherland, Shirley Delaney and Margaret Wells would be made welcome. Cost $35 and contact Margaret (NSW) on 02 47 587153
Fay Stever (Budden) June 2012 following a long battle. Fay was an EquipAsst/TeleOp Cpl, was on Course 58 and served 1955-1958.
Page 10 September 2012
Please be advised any cancellations made within 24 hours of arrival will incur a first night penalty
The group rate for the WRAAF reunion is $260 room only, this is for a Superior Queen room (1 Queen size bed) or a Twin Superior Room ( 2 double beds). The group rate is available for the dates Friday 11, Sat 12th and Sunday 13th October 2013. Any dates out-side will be charged at the hotels best available rate at that time, however Perth rates can be quite high especially Monday to Thurs-day as it is the busiest times for the hotel, at this stage dates outside the group date range have been quoted at $359.00 per night to some of the WRAAF ladies I have been in contact with. Alternatively if you wish to email me your number I will be able to contact you directly.
My direct number is 08 92631843 and I work Mon to Friday 7am to 4:30pm.
I have called Stephen today 6/9/2012 and there is extra information. You must book by email or by fax.
The fax # is 08 92631801. If you have neither then I would advise you to write and try to keep a photocopy of your letter. Steve does want to have visible records. There will be a special on the breakfast at the CBD restau-rant for $28 and cannot be changed by 2013. If you wish to book outside the days of 11/12/13th October 2013, please email Stephen on his direct email and request a special rate. He can then consider to lower the rate—to around the $360 mark. There is also a $50 charge per each guest over 2 people who may stay in your room over-night.
Steve’s email is stephen_jackson@rydges.com
DVA Services:
DVA has launched an internet based gateway to a growing range of services. To use this service you must have access to the internet and call
1800 173 858
During business hours
To receive a personal registration number.
You can still access
by phone or mail.