Vale Group Officer L.K. Pitman, OBE, BA, Dip Soc Stud – My Friend

20/11/2014 at 2:58 pm
Lois Pitman at exWRAAF Branch luncheon at Werribee RSL circa 1990s

Lois Pitman at exWRAAF Branch luncheon at Werribee RSL circa 1990s

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My first meeting with Lois Pitman. The exWRAAF luncheon at RAAF Base Laverton, Golf Club. We had 300 attend and the rest is history. Now there are reunions all over Australia and exWRAAF branches in most states. SA had the first luncheon/reunions circa 1976

Lois was a quiet dignified woman. When I call her a woman, she was just that, the epitome – the perfect example of presence. I loved her.

I had the privilege of knowing Lois in her personal environment, away from the adoration of the WRAAF. In truth, Lois deserved every accolade she received through her life including the respect and devotion of anyone who joined the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force, either servicewoman, officer or nursing. She spent her life using her articulate, knowledgeable, empathic voice helping the troubled, life affected women of the world. Not only in WRAAF service; indeed she went on after being discharged to helping so many people in so many environments. Not many years before she passed away at the grand age of 95, she was leading the residents of Rushall Park in their community deliberations.

After meeting her through our early WRAAF reunions at Laverton, I would ring her through the year to say hello and particularly around her birthday in August. It was not an everyday, every week relationship, but there was a warmth and honesty of words between us. In the early days when she still drove a car, we would go to lunch and it was just the most comfortable and precious time. I wish I had recorded some of our conversations now, but at the time it was two friends ruminating about their lives. In fact from my point of view it was being with a person I could trust when I was going through a particularly ugly time in my family life.I told her she was my favorite Aunt, reciprocating with she was fond of me too. That lodged in my heart and lit up such was the power of this woman’s aura.

She didn’t profess to have a mother’s view on life she could share; she just knew empathitically what was needed to say and everyone, be it the florist she took time to see and admire the flowers to the cafe staff we had lunch with; or the grand restaurant we once visited; or her friends and contemporaries, or the thousands of young women she helped over the years. She was a mother to all. She achieved the highest of positions in her long life, the WRAAF being one of the longest, but her highest was just being herself, Lois Kathleen Pitman, the most loved and respected by us all.

I, no — we will miss her. Rest in peace Lois. We shan’t forget you.
Lyn Mitchell (nee ACW Kyte Lyn)

 

Attached is the self-written eulogy read at her funeral. She had determined many years before how the service was to be. The pastor’s reference to a mind like a steel trap was understood by all who were there and knowing laughter broke out throughout, most of the attendees knowing her for such a long time. Dawn, her life-long friend, would have had a charge directed to her had she been caught – flowers were placed against her wishes, the choice of love.

Rookies arriving at Edinburgh. First course was 151. We were given Jacqui Kennedy hats not forage caps. Lois admitted it was her idea. I was not amused. Not my favourite item of dress.

Rookies arriving at Edinburgh. First course was 151. We were given Jacqui Kennedy hats not forage caps. Lois admitted it was her idea. I was not amused. Not my favourite item of dress.

Group Officer LK Pitman OBE BA Kip Soc Stud